Sessions at PyCon US 2012 on Thursday 8th March in H3

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  • Introduction to Game Development

    by Richard Jones and Katie Cunningham

    This tutorial will walk the attendees from some introductory game development theory (what makes a good game) and through development of a simple game (how to make a good game) with time left over for some experimentation and exploration of different types of games.

    The tutorial will start with Katie Cunningham giving an introduction to video games, covering the basic components of a game, and some general game genres. Some basic tropes in modern games will be explored, as well as pitfalls to avoid in making a game for a today’s audience. Genres will be paired with inexpensive/free examples that can be explored by the tutorial attendees later.

    The baton will then pass to Richard Jones who will walk through the practicalities of building a simple video game from scratch, starting with presenting one approach to structuring the game code to keep it sane. He will talk about what libraries are available and then focus on the facilities present in the library used in the tutorial.

    We will then walk through the development of a simple game during which the attendees will code the game. Once the game is developed we will talk about potential further development that possibilities and use the remaining tutorial time to encourage and assist attendees in their efforts to do so.

    The game developed will cover the key game-writing skills of controlling what appears on the screen (including animation), loading resources, handling user input and simulating the environment within the game.

    Participants should be familiar with Python, and must have pygame installed. We will not have time to deal with installation and compatibility issues so participants must check their laptops can run pygame applications.

    At 9:00am to 12:20pm, Thursday 8th March

    In H3, Santa Clara Convention Center

    Coverage video

  • Making interactive maps for the web

    by Zain Memon

    This tutorial teaches students how to create beautiful, interactive maps for the web. When asked to display geodata, most developers decide to put some big red markers on an embeddable Google Map and call it a day. If you're interested in creating maps that are more beautiful, more interactive, and more usable, this tutorial is for you.

    Build a light-weight version of Trulia's crime maps from scratch by the end of the tutorial, with a heatmap, source data points on the map, and a custom-styled base layer.

    Prerequisite Knowledge

    A solid understanding of Python, and very basic understanding of map concepts (like knowing what latitudes and longitudes are). A cursory run-through of the GeoDjango Introduction Tutorial would also be helpful.

    Topics Covered

    • Cartography 101
    • What are map projections?
    • Map tiles, and how maps on the web work today
    • Formats for storing and transferring geodata
    • Where to find interesting geodata
    • PostgreSQL + PostGIS
    • How to store geodata
    • Datatypes
    • Geographies vs Geometries
    • GeoDjango
    • Querying data with the ORM
    • Customizing the GeoDjango admin
    • Displaying the data
    • Creating and designing map tiles with TileStache
    • Customizing styles with Polymaps
    • Adding interactivity to maps
    • How to make geodata pretty

    At 1:20pm to 4:40pm, Thursday 8th March

    In H3, Santa Clara Convention Center