Choose Your Own Adventure is completed!

This is a post about my recently completed Choose Your Own Adventure game. It was a really small program, only about 500 lines, but it was my first program that was fully functional, first program that I compiled to .exe and shared, and first one that used a few different tkinter modules. I’m going to write about what I really enjoyed doing, and what I didn’t, as well as the features, and what I plan on doing with my CYOA program in the future.

Firstly, the feature list is small, but simple:

  • A custom file parser that looks for the tags for page name, text, and choices for where you want the story to go next
  • Dynamic pages loaded from the story file that anyone can create and load.
  • Scrollbars. I added this because what list only has two items. There is scrollbars on the history frame that tracks which pages you’ve been to, and you can go to any one of them on the fly.

So anyways, what I enjoyed doing was mainly completing the project. It didn’t take very long, just a week or two of good effort, but seeing it spit out the text that we had put into the custom file there was really nice. I realized that that was the best part of programming, seeing the application behave, or do something, that you didn’t explicitly program. Seeing it successfully run through a story makes me want to try to tackle harder challenges.

I’m proud of the way it loads up each page from the file you load into it, so you can write any story you want, so long as the file follows the following template:


~[page_name= First page~]

~[sheets_in= None~]


~[sheets_out= SecondPage, ThirdPage, FourthPage~]


So, you put in a page name, the story text and the title of the next pages that you want to load up next. There’s an extraneous ‘sheets_in’ which could be used in a later feature, but right now, it is unused. There’s also the PAGE_START and PAGE_END tags which separate each page for the parser.It’s simple, and I find it to be clean and at least decently efficient even though I haven’t tried it with a story with more than 20 or so pages.

The way each page is created independently of each other, so you can jump to any given page that you’ve already navigated to, using the history bar on the side of the text. That was my first time using the listbox and scrollbar tk widget. I was surprised to learn that the scrollbar doesn’t overlay on the widget, but is actually in the adjacent column as close as possible.

I used regex on the text file with the story, but that was really tough to get right, due to my inexperience with it. Luckily I had RegExr’s help with it, followed by the Online Python Regex Tool to try the regex in actual code. Regex is definitely powerful, but its syntax is one of the least readable things for a newbie like me. Still though, I’m sure with time it’ll be easier and easier. It was probably the least fun I had with the entire program, because sometimes I was unable to understand why it would work with some strings, and not with other similar ones.

Another tool I used for the first time was Py2exe and another similar tool. I tried to use py2exe and it didn’t even run on my pc, but I’m willing to chalk that up to my vast inexperience once again. I was told over reddit in a thread I had created asking about this very thing about the best way to do this, and I was introduced to pyInstaller, which puts everything you need into one exe that you can distribute without installing any other libraries, but when I tested it on a computer without Tcl, it crashed almost immediately. Still not sure why py2installer doesn’t include that.

Finally, I am considering expanding the tool and make it a public application that anyone can use. I’m not sure there’s a big demand for it, but I feel like I can find a subreddit that would definitely be able to find a use for it. In the very least a more capable programmer would be able to turn it into something a bit more usable.

Anyways this is longer and I’m too tired to proofread it, so might as well stop here. Til next time!


Some progress towards multithreading


I’ve made some good progress today. I’ve got a super basic new/load title screen that loads…well so far it only loads one new thread, but it will handle the two threads that I can think of right now, the GUI and Logic thread.

It’s been tough going to get to this point because I was really having trouble figuring out the proper module structure, but what I’ve done is kept most everything in the global space of each of the 10 or so modules I’ve got, and just use a ludicrous amounts of module.attribute calls, which means I do a lot of imports over from module import. I can’t see that being a good thing in the future, but for now it’s what I’ve got.

The project doesn’t have shooting, GUI beyond pygame or enemies yet, because the modules haven’t been fully updated yet, but so far it just looks like I’ve gotta keep renaming certain objects, which Wing makes crazy easy. I’d really like to take the time here to outline all the positives, but I really don’t have anything to compare it to, other than notepad 1. It’s got just about everything you’d need

Anyways, like I mentioned I need to update those other parts before I can start making forward progress. I imagine I’ll need to learn how to use Queues to properly sync my threads, but I’ll have to leave that for another time.

So what I’ve learned today is that globals do not need to be at the start of a function, despite what I used to think, imports are sort of tough to get right, but fairly easy once you get the hang of it, and that it still feels really good to see what you’ve made work, despite little visible change.

Module Management

In this post, I’m going to try and plan out my module layout. As it currently stands I’m only using and This is going to become something quite different, as I’m hoping to solve the namespace issue I’ve been having.

It started when I started using the popular if __name__ == ‘main’: format I decided I wanted to clean up all the initialization stuff into a particular function init()but that was not as easy as I had hoped for. In fact it broke my code enough that I am writing a post about it.

The issue is probably obvious to anyone but me, but I forgot how namespaces worked. That is, I forgot that even if you put a function in the top level of a module, all variables created therein are scoped to that function. So what that left me with, was a global scope that was free of any variable I had created in the init() function. So I took to reddit, as usual, to solve all my issues.

Luckily, the ever present user, eryksun, was around, along with others, and informed me that multiprocessing worked best with the Queue module and my two modules split up into smaller ones.

I figure that that would my scope issue because instead of just calling for example to get his name, I could call and get it, from any module that has imported objects. So this is going to mean for my code a slight rewrite, but more of a copy and paste sort of deal, with several changes to most calls in my entire two modules. Which aren’t that big, keep in mind. Maybe 1500 lines total, across and

Anyways, so far, my draft is this:

–          Main, which creates the two threads for logic and GUI2, which I’m going to drop the 2 from.

  • GUI is just going to be fed stats from logic and stats, but will also be able to change some of the stats it changes. I’m not sure how to do this just yet. I’m hoping someone will drop down from the heavens and show me.
  • Logic is going to be the main game logic behind most of everything. It’s going to draw on Tools, Objects, Items, Environment, and Stats so it’s going to import a few things.
    • Tools is going to be the module for most of the my math oriented stuff, also the function for handling images.
    • Objects is going to be the module for all the characters in the game. It will rely on AI for the NPCs. Have to decide whether the character components will be created there or not.
      • AI will be in charge of the AI patterns and such, when they get developed. Like I have previously written, I cannot get a handle on A* pathfinding. I’ve really tried though, it’s just not working.
    • Items is going to handle the items in the game. So all the drops and crap will be taken care of here.
    • Environment is will be where of the world information will be handled, so the world squares, backgrounds, that sort of thing.
    • Stats is going to be where the absolute plethora of statistics will be handled. This game will have an insane amount of stats, let me tell you what.

So there you go, a quick breakdown of what I’ve got in the works for now. It’s been a fun ride so far, for the most part. I hope it keeps going.

Looks like wordpress ate my formatting from msword which is a shame. I had all the module names styled as code.

Namespaces again.

So I’ve started using different modules for my squares project here and what I’ve ran into is namespace problems again. In my name == main I’ve got just the init() function, but that creates all the game objects under that function’s namespace, rather than global, like it used to be when I had everything in my name == main instead of in a nice function.

Perhaps instead of a all-encompassing int() function I create functions that return objects and use those. I’m not sure.