August 19th-22nd 2011 :: Theme: Escape
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On The Run!

by Rectifier - 48 Hour Competition Entry

NEW: Linux support with curses! (Do note that it requires a very large terminal window; you may have to mess with your prompt to get it to fit)

The story is described in-game, but in short: You are an AI in a Shadowrun-style futuristic setting, trying to evade those who wish you destroyed.

Written in Python using only the stdlib and WConio.
Purely console based, Windows-only.

I was extremely happy with how the UI turned out - it captured that Movie Interface feel quite nicely. Much of the gameplay itself was coded in under 12 hours, and there's so much more I wish I could do, but I'm satisfied enough.

You can view a screenshot progress archive at

- Please use the Windows Binary (Fixed) link!
The original submission would get completely wedged if you got purged from a node.

- Typing long command names can get tedious. However, once you've disambiguated a name to only have only matching command, it'll happily run it. For example, 'neighbors' can thus be shortened all the way down to 'n'.

Happy hacking!

- Spigot [Rectifier on IRC]

Downloads and Links




frr171 says ...
Aug 23, 2011 @ 2:18am

I've never seen anybody break the fourth wall like this before, this is really a great concept!

Jorjon says ...
Aug 23, 2011 @ 7:25am

I'm a big fan of console games (Nethack, Dwarf Fortress and Liberal Crime Squad), so I was surprised by this entry. A very fun game, reminds me of Uplink, which I spent hours playing on. I got the feeling I was really trying to escape, rushing commands to go as far as I could. But the Purge action is somehow broken, I don't know if that is intended but every time someone purges me from a node, I can't play anymore because it raises an NPC exception.

wbobeirne says ...
Aug 23, 2011 @ 7:27am

I keep running in to a bug where it says ERROR: Cannot travel to a node you are already connected to. in the home node, which makes me unable to travel at all since I can't back out. Maybe I'm just doing this wrong.

Spigot says ...
Aug 25, 2011 @ 5:13pm

There was a game-ruiningly severe bug in NPC purging; I've uploaded a fixed binary. I believe it's allowed by the "fixing crashbugs" clause, but I kept the original up just in case.

Rudy says ...
Aug 25, 2011 @ 5:36pm

Indeed reminded me of Uplink. But that also points out one of the downsides of command-line tedium. Very well implemented for 48h game. "neighbors" is a bit of a pain to type though :P

Spigot says ...
Aug 25, 2011 @ 6:29pm

As soon as you narrow it down to a single legal command (which the autocomplete is supposed to help with), it'll run. By the time I implemented that I never did anything but "nei" or "nei -s".

I'll add that to the documentation here.

Shadow says ...
Aug 25, 2011 @ 11:44pm

Quite a good game. I loved the concept and your approach to the theme. I kinda missed the ability to scroll through the console log though. I also didn't know exactly what to use as ID for things like defending a node. There's no "ID" next to each entry in the tunnel list (although I assumed a zero-based index). A VERY good job nonetheless, I actually enjoyed it a lot. One of the best games I've tried so far.

Jedi says ...
Aug 26, 2011 @ 12:00am

It seems really cool but really involved. I'm going to have to give it another look later. One thing I really wish for is a faster way to input commands. Being able to press the up and down arrows to scroll through previous entries would help loads.

Also, I had a hard time understanding quite what was going on. It seemed like I was getting updates about teams that had nothing to do with nodes I was connected to. Is this intentional? I'd especially see weird Purged messages that didn't seem to apply to me. I couldn't tell who was being purged but I wasn't taking damage. The messages will be cut off sometimes too.

Also, you use a really tall display! I just now noticed that I can scroll to the top and see my condition. (1440x900 desktop over here).

All-in-all, it's very cool and I'll be giving it a closer look next time I want to get immersed in a hacking game (pretty soon) :).

siebharinn says ...
Aug 28, 2011 @ 1:00am

This is one that I want to go back and spend some more time with after the voting round. Nicely done.

Jedi says ...
Aug 30, 2011 @ 12:51pm

...This one is pretty addictive. The RPG element is cool. My display problems were from my console using a bigger font by default. I also realized that you can type just the beginnings of commands :).

My biggest complaint is that it's too hard. Especially leveling up. I've played the game probably 20-30 times now and always go after high storage systems but I was only able to find programs that were of use 3 times. I also died once hacking into the first node I was connected to :/. Maybe I could've lived if I tunneled through it? I die a lot in this, not sure if I'm still missing some strategy.

It's a problem that you're dumped to the desktop every time the game is over. Also, if you over connect to your home node circuitously, you're totally screwed.

Problems aside, I like this but never feel like I'm making much headway before I die with each play. I'd really love to see this balanced and developed further.

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