Piga's Thanksgiving Dinner Hunt
First Release: November 25, 2010
Latest Release: November 22, 2012
The gameplay comprises of eight turkeys appearing at various edges of the screen. When the game begins they start to scatter about and regenerate on the other side of the game world once after they leave the screen. The player has to click on the turkey once to fry it into a roast turkey dinner and a second time in order to collect it. The turkey's prior inertia means that the dinner will continue to slide of the screen even after it has been roasted. After it leaves the screen it is replaced by a living turkey. Scores, comprising of both turkey's roasted and collected, are kept and can be saved in a high score table. It is equally important to achieve a high amount of turkeys roasted and a low ratio between that and those caught. The player has a minute to complete the hunt each round. For the past two versions, a special decoy mode has also been added wherein the turkeys sometimes turn into other farming objects which can not be shot. The game speed can now also be controlled.
Graham Wilson first wrote the game in 2005 as a test-case for his initial use of Game Maker during the efforts that brought about the basis for the Piga Windows Entertainment Pack. This version was full-screen and did not have a time limit, score system or require that you collect a turkey after you roast it as well, as having more primitive Microsoft Office '97 clipart. It was even more of a small program intended only for idle amusement than the current Gambas incarnation. Work was first attempted to create a version in Gambas for Canadian Thanksgiving 2007 (October 8), but, due to still being too inexperienced with the language to complete it as much as was desired, the project was abandoned.
Three years later, on Canadian Thanksgiving 2010 (October 11) at around 4:00 PM, Graham decided to try and code a prototype for it that very day, and so began the current incarnation. The game was actually mostly completed by midnight, and in essence reflects the final released version. It is the first Piga Software program written in Gambas to include any sort of save system; if only for high scores. During the course of development, he replaced the original graphics with those from Openclipart and added a grass texture from Molotov.nu. Being already too late to release it for Canadian Thanksgiving, and also logistically impossible given Piga Software was in the middle of moving to icculus.org at the time, it was decided to make a list of features left to add and release it in about two months time for American Thanksgiving on November 25.
Work on completing it began on November 21, such as adding some additional features, adding background music and correcting some bugs. The background music includes two renditions of the folk song "Turkey in the Straw" and a rendition of the song "Give Thanks". These were converted from MIDI to Ogg Vorbis by Malcolm Wilson Multimedia, who also did an overhaul of the sounds that had been placed into the project. After a turbulent struggle to actually package and upload it, including the fix of one critical bug, the game was made available on the 25 November. Although within the game the sprites and music are in PNG and Ogg Vorbis formats respectively, the original raw MIDI and SVG files are included in the source code archive. On October 4, 2011, work on an updated version began, mostly to correct and update some of the program's functions. Two new features were also added, the first a "decoy" mode that can be turned on or off and a new time freeze easter egg. The update was sent out for October 10, 2011, Canadian Thanksgiving.
Developing on version 1.5.0 began on November 18, 2012, originally intended as simply another bug fixing release, but quickly grew to be much larger than originally intended. The updated eventually ended up adding smooth movement and custom game speed, which allows for both a more fluid and customizable game-play experience. The game's visual layout was also re-arranged and the handling of easter eggs was cleaned up. However, its primary goal was still to port the program from Gambas 2.x to 3.x, which required several other minor tweaks to be made. The game was released on November 22, 2012, American Thanksgiving.
April Fools' JokeEdit
On April 1, 2011, a joke image was released by Graham L. Wilson proclaiming to be a screenshot of an upcoming sequel called "Piga's Thanksgiving Dinner REVENGE!" promising that "all the while folks like you were roasting poor defenceless turkeys, they were collecting names and now they are after you! In this innovative first-person shooter we offer the players the chance to become a turkey as he tracks down and roasts all those that would have roasted him!" On the theme and date, he also noted "Out of season I know... or is it?" and finally "Warning, game may not exist on this point on the probability axis. See today's date for more details...". The image is based on a conceptual game engine Graham was working on at the time, and the joke was first thought of during the development of the actual Thanksgiving Dinner Hunt and saved until April 1 the following year. The farmer and cow clipart later reappeared in decoy mode. The shot was based on the then in-development Gambas Scaling Engine.
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