Developers' Diary

Soft Landing for Windows, thanks to PyInstaller

PyInstaller

As we approach the demo (like Achilles approaches a turtle…) and as we have a new Windows-based audio guy on board, it has become pretty important that we get a standalone version of Soft Landing working on Windows. See, for Jules and me, Soft Landing requires Python, Pygame, PyObjC or Numpy, and PyOpenGL, each at a particular version number. As we’ve moved around between machines over the past few years, we’ve both gone through the dance of installing all these dependencies many times.

Thankfully for our future players, some programmers more knowledgeable than me have put together some brilliant software for packaging up a Python project with all of its dependencies into a self-contained downloadable file. On the Mac, there’s py2app, which I’ve had working for a long time now, and on Windows, there’s PyInstaller, which I just tried out for the first time today. It took just a short while to get everything working, and most of that time was wrestling with Windows itself, not with the software.

So PyInstaller is yet another item in a long list of indispensable software without which this project wouldn’t be possible. It’s heartwarming to think of how such an amateurish coder like me can create such an ambitious project, thanks to the hard work of people who actually know what they’re doing. I’m looking forward to putting a really extensive thank-you message in the game.

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