Mike wants help with Pirate Kart stuff!

ExciteMike's picture

As you may have heard, the GDC Pirate Kart Kickstarter is fully funded! That means I've got even more stuff to do! So I'm asking for a little help! But also involving the community is fun anyway!

  • T-Shirt Design - I could fall back on the cartridge image seen here, but it might be cool to see what else we can come up with? Especially if it's a single color so that it's cheaper to print and/or can glow-in-the-dark!
  • Poster Design - I was thinking something like those Ludum Dare wallpapers I've made? We probably won't get a number of games that exactly fills the poster with no gaps, so some kind of logo or message could go in that? Then again a bunch of screenshots with no explanation is kind of awesome too. Also I never did turn this into a poster either. Okay maybe I didn't need to ask for poster help, but I do welcome additional ideas!
  • Business Card Design - It might be cool to have Glorious Trainwrecks cards people can grab at the kiosk! Maybe that would be a better use of that "without making a few friends" image. We can also do more than one kind!
  • Program Icon - For the corner of the window and the icon you click to launch it.
  • Reaction Cam - SpindleyQ had the awesome idea to try and livestream or at least record people as they play! We'd need to get a webcam and figure out how best to stream it without bringing up a window for it if we can help it. Something on the commandline or code the coded-in-Python launcher can use directly maybe? I don't know how feasible it would be to record three days of video but making a sped-up video of everyone playing like the Winnitron did last year would be cool.
  • Launcher Music - Anybody feel like making some musak? We seem to have a tradition of using "The Girl from Ipanema" :) Maybe someone could do a cover?
  • Knytt Player - As discussed here, if we have a hacked build of Knytt Stories, we could make the launcher support people submitting those .bins!
  • TESTING - I perhaps put the event unwisely-close to GDC. There's just no way we want to make one person play ALL the games to make sure they work, so hopefully I can get a bunch of you to try the kart launcher between Pirate Kart Weekend and GDC and the worst of the issues can get sorted out. The launcher is going to have some auto-updating capability so hopefully even if something goes horribly wrong I can still fix it for most people.
  • A PC - I need to get a computer there to actually run the kart on! I would use the very laptop I am typing on now, but for godknowswhy it has a lot of trouble with games made in game maker and I really want to support those! So if you are in the area and have a PC or laptop and can get it to Moscone to set it up in the kiosk, let's talk! (I think monitor, speakers, mouse, keyboard are provided but I should doublecheck)
  • Booth Decor - We should definitely get a poster or pirate flag or something! If we can come up with the design (the one I used for the IGF Kart is definitely fair game) and figure out how/where to get them made, I can throw the money at it!
  • Swag? - I don't know if it's affordable enough, but we could maybe give out discs? Hand-labelled DVRs fit the theme beautifully.
  • Signed Copy - I don't know what to do with it once it's signed, but someone should bring around a DVD/DVD case of this kart or the IGF Kart for signing!

Whew that was a lot of stuff! Like a month ago some people were asking how they could help and I didn't give useful answers, so hopefully it's not too presumptuous of me to ask now! I appreciate any help I get!

Also I feel a need to say this somewhere: I'm seeing some folks talk about "Mike's" pirate karts, I've been doing a few interviews, and I was invited to be a speaker at GDC because of them (just one of the 5-minute microtalks, but still). That doesn't completely sit right with me. The pirate karts being about particular people is pretty much the last thing I want. Someone else gets to organize the next Pirate Kart or other community stunt, ok?

FUN FACT: Apparently Clickteam has a booth at GDC this year! I am so going over there and giving them a high-five!

Danni's picture

Re: Testing: Maybe we can do

Re: Testing: Maybe we can do something kind of Ludum Dare-style and assign each person a block of games to test? Like, one person tests games 1 through 30 and another tests 31 through 60? Of course, we would need redundancy in case one or more people end up not doing their share.

thesycophant's picture

I'd love to help out in any

I'd love to help out in any way I can. I doubt I'll come up with a compelling design for the shirt/poster/icon/business card/2012-in-one Kart logo, but if I do, I'll whip up a draft and post it here.

Definitely interested in helping out with testing.

Side question: I may be able to GDC if I get a student pass. Will the student pass allow me access to wherever the Pirate Kart booth will be? That's the only place I wanna go.

ExciteMike's picture



Every pass EXCEPT student gets you into GDC Play, where the kart is. http://www.gdconf.com/attend/passes.html#section2

If you come to GDC with a student pass, we'll sneak you in there somehow! (I can probably let people borrow staff passes? Those don't seem to do much EXCEPT let you in to GDC Play).

Zecks's picture

can't do much

but if i find the inspiration i'll whip up some cree-zay launcher music

Zecks's picture

looks like i didn't do

looks like i didn't do anything then.

however, i have some really corny trax from an earlier game of mine that i thought would fit right in. (except maybe the last one i don't remember even uploading it)


Booth decor

Going with the Pirate Kart theme, might I suggest a poster that makes the booth look like a terrible bootleg knockoff?

"Game Developer Conference Presentation
Amusing game for Michaelsoft Windows ComPuter Application!
• To receive
• Insert optimum disk for multiple service
• The games will open an capture the excitement of a the childhood
• Batteries 8xAAA"

Ignore previous edits: this

Ignore previous edits: this poster is totally awesome and copyright-infringing. I don't even care if it's useless, I just wanted to make it.

Noyb's picture

Knytt Stories Commandline

Got a simple commandline level selector working for Knytt Stories. Attached is the compiled KSCommandline.exe file and the MMF2 source, which doesn't require any additional extensions beyond the ones used by Nifflas.

If you pass in the level name as a commandline argument as described below, then the game starts at the title screen for that level, with the "back" and "uninstall" buttons destroyed. Upon finishing the level, the player returns to the level's title screen. Without the commandline argument Knytt Stories runs as normal.


  • Install/Unzip the original Knytt Stories.
  • Place KSCommandline.exe in the Knytt Stories directory. (Optionally delete the original Knytt Stories.exe)
  • Install whatever levels you want to play via the usual Knytt Stories install process.
  • run KSCommandline.exe /level="[world folder name]"

For example, if you have already installed Healy's Knytt Stories level "A Day at the Beach," then use the following command to play it:
KSCommandline.exe /level="Healy - A Day at the Beach"

Quotes around the folder name are important!

Note: My code assumes the level is already installed. Glancing at the installation code, if I'm not wrong all it does is decompress the binary into the proper world folder, so unless bandwidth is a major issue we can just include pre-installed level folders. There are also no sanity checks that the given world folder exists. Also, saves persist between play sessions. I can fix these issues later, if necessary. We'll also have to figure out a good way to let a first-time Knytt Stories player at the event know the controls.

KSCommandline.zip6.26 MB
Danni's picture

Re: Saves: New/Continue

Re: Saves: New/Continue option in the launcher? Or would that be weird?

ExciteMike's picture

Would it be too tough to

Would it be too tough to make something where I just give it the .bin on the command line?

And/or uh, how do I actually decompress it. It doesn't seem to be a zip or a rar?

Noyb's picture

The .bin file uses the MMF2

The .bin file uses the MMF2 extension "Directory Packer" which seems to consolidate a directory and its files into a single file.

Attached is a version of Knytt Stories that can install + play files from a .knytt.bin file. It's quite hacky, but it should work. If you pass in a .bin.knytt file through the command line using the syntax below, it attempts to install the level. If it succeeds, or if the level already exists, the player is shown that level's main menu. I also added new window menu options to allow users to play the tutorial and view the credits without needing to go into the main menu, both of which restart the program upon completion.

For reference, I used the Textfile Object extension in order to extract the world folder name from the bin.


  • Install/Unzip the original Knytt Stories.
  • Place KSCommandline.exe in the Knytt Stories directory. (Optionally delete the original Knytt Stories.exe)
  • run KSCommandline.exe /LevelBin="[relative path to .knytt.bin file]"

For example, if you have the original .knytt.bin file for Healy's Knytt Stories level "A Day at the Beach" stored in a "Bins" folder in your Knytt Stories folder, then use the following command to play it:
KSCommandline.exe /LevelBin="Bins\Healy - A Day at the Beach.knytt.bin"

Quotes around the file path are important!

KSCommandline2.zip6.3 MB
ExciteMike's picture

This seems to work! I had to

This seems to work! I had to copy the .knytt.bin to a Bins directory next to the exe, but after that it looks like it's all good!

ExciteMike's picture

Hmm. Them .oggs in the Knytt

Hmm. Them .oggs in the Knytt stories thing up the filesize of the kart launcher a lot. How safe do you think it is to remove them? Are those (and the tilesets) referenced by user-made levels?

sergiocornaga's picture

Yes. Once every submission

Yes. Once every submission is in, you could cut out the unused .oggs if you wanted. I'm not sure if it's worth it, I have a feeling this Pirate Kart will end up being over 2GB no matter what we do.

kirkjerk's picture

So, is there any clever

So, is there any clever thing to get to KNP on 64 bit systems?

Too bad DOSBOX+Win3.1 is probably not 100% kosher to spread to the world :-(

ExciteMike's picture

For the GDC kiosk I'm gonna

For the GDC kiosk I'm gonna run a 32-bit OS. For after that... I'll probably delay releasing the kart launcher to everybody until a while after GDC so I can figure this out without a tight deadline looming.

For the IGF Kart I converted Klik+Play games myself using The Games Factory. I don't actually have any better ideas than that at the moment.

leilei's picture

How does a minimal

How does a minimal Linux+Wine work with KNP games? Like some small stripped Wine running on SliTaz....

Danni's picture

Klik & Play is not

Klik & Play is not compatible with Wine.

The Games Factory is, though.

ExciteMike's picture

I played around for a while

I played around for a while with trying to make the launcher fire up a virtual machine, I think I could get that working, but it would take a lot of work to make it work the way I want. Instead I ended up installing 32-bit Windows XP on a 64-bit computer (which I'm not sure saved time actually because that didn't go terribly smoothly).

Running Windows 3.1 under DosBox gets the job done. (Or any 32-bit Windows OS under like VirtualBox or VMWare). I think at some point after GDC I'll set up dual-booting between XP-32 and Win7-64.

The DosBox+Win31 solution is just dropping some files on your hard drive and so is the easy way to do it. The others involve going through an actual OS install, so it's kind of a pain in the butt to do for just one program.

ExciteMike's picture

A thing you can

A thing you can test!
Consider it pre-alpha. There's still an awful lot to do, but auto-updating (when you first start the launcher) and downloading and running games should work.

Most of the currently uploaded games work in it, but I didn't test them all. Wreck Christmas doesn't work because I haven't hooked up Noyb's Knytt player yet. If you try one of the others and something terrible happens, let me know!

thesycophant's picture

About 40% of the time I hit

About 40% of the time I hit "play," the launcher crashes. Any time I double-click on a title, it crashes, too. I tried Pedro's "I Hate Cars" several times, but though the launcher minimized, the game itself never came up.

I'll see if I can spend some more time with this after class, too!

ExciteMike's picture

Thanks for trying it! Don't

Thanks for trying it!

Don't worry about testing it too hard at the moment. I've been finding lots of ways that it doesn't work as well as I thought...

Zecks's picture

it always crashes after i

it always crashes after i try playing a second game in a session

also it always redownloads the games

Apart from the crashing, the

Apart from the crashing, the big issue for me right now is the red/blue borders on all the game screenshots (and the weird blue box that appears on them too).

Also: the launcher seems to

Also: the launcher seems to have problems with odd characters. "warning old man" won't launch right now, probably because the description is in Korean, but other innocuous things like dashes (–) appear as garbage text.

EDIT: Also, RGBALL doesn't work because it can't detect a game file. Maybe because it was uploaded as a .rar?

ExciteMike's picture

Got a number of issues fixed

Got a number of issues fixed now, I think! You can download at the same link as before!

RGBall, and Knytt stories still don't work. I haven't hooked up the knytt thing yet and for RGBall my which-of-these-files-is-the-one-to-use heuristics still stink, but there are easy improvements that should get RGBall working.

In theory it should be able to auto-update well enough now that you won't need to redownload after today's (but then I thought that last time).

Because I have nothing

Because I have nothing better to do:
-For some games with larger screenshots (like A Quick One), parts of the screen appear next to the textbox.
-Gun Fighter won't load for whatever reason.
-The list keeps autoupdating constantly, so it's really slow to respond to clicking/scrolling.

ExciteMike's picture

The autoupdating one sounds

The autoupdating one sounds tough. Are you getting the little update popup or is the list just refreshing a bunch?
For the sake of testing I had versions up that refreshed every five seconds, which is way too often. Hopefully I just forgot to change it back before the most recent upload.

I think I know what's up with the others and should get 'em fixed tonight.

Thanks so much for the help testing, btw! Everything we catch now is something I don't have to worry about while I'm AT the conference.

Sometimes, the list just

Sometimes, the list just refreshes (as in, games disappear and then are slowly added back). This causes slowdown on the menu... but happens for other reasons too. It seems to happen most often if I close a game out before it completely downloads.

Not totally sure, but it seems to be linked to it redownloading the list or a game.

(Also of course it crashes a bunch but that's expected right now.)

EDIT: If it's too much to fix, maybe at least for GDC you could have all that data locally and not mess with the auto-download stuff.

ExciteMike's picture

Oh no. The crashing really

Oh no. The crashing really isn't expected :(

I hope I just forgot to upload everything and that's what's going on here. Anyway the weekend is coming up so I'll finally be able to sit down and work on it for a decent span of time. I'll make sure it shows version numbers somewhere so we can double check that part of it easily in the future.

0.03.04 is much much more

0.03.04 is much much more stable. It's still slow/unresponsive if you click out of downloading a game, but that's the only issue I'm having at all now.

ExciteMike's picture

Up to v0.08.13:

Up to v0.08.13: http://kart5.s3.amazonaws.com/piratekartv.zip
I tried every game tonight and they all launched and played!

GoreCore's picture

Confirming that everything

Confirming that everything works here.

GoreCore's picture

Also, is it possible to load

Also, is it possible to load knp game into tgf2 and make it vista/win7 friendly?

ExciteMike's picture

Anybody want to take a shot

Anybody want to take a shot at designing business cards to hand out at the booth? Especially ones that invite folks to make games with us?

My attempt at it came out quite badly: http://www.meyermike.com/uploud/bizcardback.png

ExciteMike's picture

Oh wait. I can just print

Oh wait. I can just print stuff out on computer paper for cheapies instead of ordering fancy cards.
I'll probably throw the text from http://www.glorioustrainwrecks.com/node/44 over one of the KNP backgrounds, print those up and call it done.

snapman's picture

I will make something

I will make something tonight.

snapman's picture

Here is a flashy card/poster.

Here is a flashy card/poster.

gtCard01.png810.11 KB
SpindleyQ's picture

François Lionet now has

François Lionet now has this card and is going to visit the Pirate Kart booth tomorrow!

YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH easily the most exciting moment of GDC for me I can die happy

sergiocornaga's picture

Maybe a bit too enigmatic

glorioustrainwreckscard.png116.71 KB
sergiocornaga's picture

I talked to virt and he was

I talked to virt and he was pretty keen on the idea of this being used as launcher music.

ExciteMike's picture

OMG <3!

OMG <3!

ExciteMike's picture

v0.11.30 is starting to look

v0.11.30 is starting to look pretty alright, I think!
(needs a redownload. In my hurry I didn't make it so the auto-updater can handle everything) http://kart5.s3.amazonaws.com/piratekartv.zip)
It's not where I want it to be (needs filter options, list randomized, 'party shuffle' mode, 'play random game' button, and well I've got a big list here) but at least I could have the kiosk run this and not feel like I completely botched it.

sergiocornaga's picture

KnyttPlayer Bug Report!

The "Nifflas - Tutorial" level needs to be installed for the tutorial button to work properly, but it's not included in the original download. Then again, maybe it should be set up to play a different tutorial instead?

ExciteMike's picture

oh! Thank you! I will fix

oh! Thank you! I will fix that tonight!

Danni's picture

Aha, nice idea. Though if

Aha, nice idea. Though if we're going to make those kinds of changes to Knytt Stories then maybe we should change the title screen to have the Glorious Trainwrecks logo just so we can differentiate from the "official" version.

ExciteMike's picture

Would that still be

Would that still be necessary if I put in Healy's tutorial? I think there's s really only the installing screen and the window title to change other than that.

I can probably just rename Healy's tutorial to make Knytt stories grab it instead of the real tutorial, but for the other things I don't have MMF or the necessary extensions. Anyone want to grab Noyb's source and make those changes?

Noyb's picture

I'll have some time tonight.

I'll have some time tonight. What changes should I make?

  • Title bar -> "Knytt Stories 1.2 - Glorious Trainwrecks Edition"
  • Add GT logo to install/level screen for the commandline control flow? Maybe replace the rabbit on install screen with yellow jogger? (Sacrilege?)
  • If you're cool replacing the original tutorial, I am. I can also just as easily change the menu to point to the right name.
  • Fix normal (non-commandline) install menu flow that I just noticed I broke last time. -.-;
  • Does something need to be done with the main menu? People playing the kart levels through the launcher won't even open it normally. Actually, should I disable this control flow altogether, maybe link the curious player directly to Nifflas' site?

ExciteMike's picture

I'm happy for any help I can

I'm happy for any help I can get!
These are all things that sound cool but are like extra bonus things we could live without.
So I guess I'm saying that anything you feel like doing there I would be grateful for!

In particular I really really dig the idea of replacing the rabbit with yellow jogger :)

sergiocornaga's picture

You're the best, Noyb!

All these plans sound cool, especially the addition of the yellow jogger. Though your mention of the title bar reveals a big issue! The latest version of Knytt Stories is 1.2.1, and it's required in order for levels that use custom objects with offset values to work properly (which my contribution to the collaboration already does). You may need to re-apply your modifications to the newest version...

Noyb's picture

Oh, no! You're right. Might

Oh, no! You're right. Might take a little longer on my part, then. Hopefully the changes are just in the game frame and not the secondary/UI ones I've been editing...

Noyb's picture

Okay, so the Knytt Stories

Okay, so the Knytt Stories zip I had *is* the latest one. My normal Knytt Stories binary is at 1.2.1. Downloading a fresh copy and doing a diff shows that the source releases are identical. It just looks like Nifflas didn't update the source release within the latest zip (mfa is dated at 12/30/2008).

I tried the collab level so far with my last .exe and I didn't see any glaring graphical bugs, although that doesn't mean they aren't there. Have you tried it, too?

I'm not sure what to do now! D:

sergiocornaga's picture

I'm sorry, it's starting to

I'm sorry, it's starting to seem like my warning was a false alarm. As far as I can tell, every feature that's in 1.2.1 is in the mod you made (including custom object offsets, which aren't supposed to be in 1.2), but it's difficult to be sure since I don't think there's a changelog out there. I think all you can do at this point is proceed with the mod you started work on and hope that the only thing different about the .mfa is the title bar!

Noyb's picture

Knytt Stories Player v3

Attached. Did most of the suggestions above, except for removing the main menu on non-command-line use. Same usage as last time. Also added a cracktro (using Zecks' music) that anyone is welcome to make more visually appealing.

KSCommandline3.zip7.17 MB
ExciteMike's picture

Yay! It's uploading with

Yay! It's uploading with this and should be available at http://kart5.s3.amazonaws.com/piratekartv.zip in a minute or two. (but all I did was swap the KSCommandline exe. The autoupdater should be able to get everything else I changed)

I am a little worried about people not realizing they need to click or button past the cracktro, though. hmm.

sergiocornaga's picture

Nice. The yellow jogger fits

Nice. The yellow jogger fits in really well, and I love the cheesiness of the cracktro.

Maybe the cracktro should be triggered optionally by button press? On that note, I've noticed some issues with using the help functions (credits, tutorials) while a level is running. The sound messes up in a variety of ways, and the way it boots you out of the level might not be so good. Perhaps credits, tutorial and cracktro should become buttons on the level menu (underneath the save slots or something) that aren't accessible when playing?

One last pedantic criticism: isn't NightSky just one word?

sergiocornaga's picture

Would an 'installed games'

Would an 'installed games' or 'downloaded games' tab be possible?

Also, I noticed upper case letters get listed in groups before lower case ones, but I can't decide if this is bad.

Also also, is it possible to update the thanks page without need for re-downloading the executable?

And a bug report: for the Wasps vs. Demons series the launcher opens the readme file instead of the executable! This could be an issue for every RenPy game past 'R'...

Maybe that blank column next

Maybe that blank column next to "Last updated" could be a checkmark for whether or not it's downloaded.

ExciteMike's picture

Thanks page - Yeah I can

Thanks page - Yeah I can make a change to that and the launcher should auto-update it if you close and reopen it.
Wasp vs Demons - grab the launcher from here http://kart5.s3.amazonaws.com/piratekartv-pregdc.zip ("-pregdc" should be in the zip name and window title). I think that was fixed already.

These are good suggestions! It's getting close to GDC, though, so I don't know if I actually have time to do launcher work and still take care of other personal junk I still need to do :/

atuun's picture

Would it be better to just

Would it be better to just have all the games finished by GDC downloaded onto the computer before the event? I'm thinking that some of the games are fairly large, and it might look like the launcher is hanging if it takes a while to download something.

ExciteMike's picture

That's the plan.

That's the plan.

Another idea!

You should get some kind of large canvas/whiteboard/guestbook for people to write down thoughts/doodle about their favorite games. It'd make an awesome little collaborative thing that you could share with everyone afterwards.

Zecks's picture

problems with knp games

my klikcomp (vista w/ one of those x86 64-bit thingies) has a problem with running knp games

namely, that the path can't contain ANYTHING longer than 8 characters no matter what

so, could you rename the 'extracted' folder to something shorter?

ExciteMike's picture

That's... very unexpected! I

That's... very unexpected!
I will do this! But things are getting crazy busy as GDC approaches, so I can't promise I'll get it done until after GDC.