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Allegro Game Programming Library
Pixelchase is a simple 2-player game programmed in C++ using the Allegro game programming library. Simply put, it is Tag on your computer screen. The Red pixel is It, or the chaser, and the Blue pixel is the runner. The runner gets points, and whichever player gets 1000 points first wins. When Red catches Blue, the players switch places (i.e. the runner becomes the chaser and the chaser becomes the runner), and Red appears at a random position on the screen. Glorified screenshot
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Apostrophic Catastrophies
By ZOMGxuan on 2012-02-26, 00:57:12

And just in case you didn't know, I wrote the PHP and MySQL for this website myself, mostly as a learning enterprise. So most of it was badly written (it still is), with one problem being that I could never add apostrophes to posts and have things go smoothly. But now, that problem is finally solved with my newfound knowledge of the addslashes function, and I'm going to celebrate with some button-mashing. '''\\'\\'\'\'\'""\\''\'\"" Hell yeah.
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Goodbye, Drumtracks.
By ZOMGxuan on 2012-02-26, 00:43:50

In a minor update that bears a completely coincidental pseudo-resemblance to the recent removal and replacement of the original drum-laden Ubuntu login sound, I finally got around to messing with the music tracker files, removing the need to store the drumtracks in separate files (why this was done in the first place is a looong story), and reducing the codebase by some 50 lines. Changes uploaded to the git repository, but they aren't worth making a release for. Wait till I reimplement network play.
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0.1 version numbers per year
By ZOMGxuan on 2012-01-27, 23:40:40

More than a year after writing most of the code for it, I am finally announcing the release of Pixelchase 1.1. Most of the changes are under-the-hood optimizations and code clean-up, as I have mentioned in a previous post, but besides that, you can now extensively configure various game options, such as input, AI difficulty, points to win and player speed. (If you want to have a make-shift music visualization instead of a game, try setting both AIs to Perfect, player speed to 99, and then admire as Red and Blue zip along after each other at speeds so incomprehensible that they sometimes merge into Magenta.)

Prepping for a release presents challenges that are surprisingly frustrating, not the least of which is setting up build environments for 32bit Linux (using chroot) and Windows (after having the ditched the now inactive Dev-C++). On the other hand, being able to iron out all the tiny kinks in your software (from displaying the right icons to static linking to customizing X WM_Classes) and make the game, shall I say, pixel-perfect, is ultimately satisfying. Hope you all enjoy the release. I certainly have while sitting on it for a year.
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A Hardliner No More
By ZOMGxuan on 2010-10-20, 02:34:37

If you have ever looked at the source of Pixelchase (and let's face it, you haven't), you would have noticed one of the most horrifically ugly things in the world of programming: a humongous 20-line chunk of HARD-CODED TEXT. Yes, I can imagine you just writhing in pain as you read this. That text was used for display in the About screen. Now the Extremely Bad Thing about hard-coding large descriptive chunks of text like this is, if you change the description somewhere else (such as right in the ABOUT text file always shipped with the game itself), you have to change in the game as well, and then you have to recompile it, i.e. it is inconvenient, inefficient, and most probably inconsistent.

Alas, though, now we can all rejoice, for I have fixed the problem, by writing a whole set of functions meant to read text from a file, split it into paragraphs, and wrap each of those paragraphs to a maximum number of characters per line before displaying the whole thing on screen. Just to show you that I am actively developing this thing. Now, any change in the ABOUT file will result in a change in the text displayed in-game. Isn't that nifty?
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Long-Overdue Maintenance
By ZOMGxuan on 2010-10-16, 17:45:59

It strikes me as quite sad that my last post was over a year ago. Undeniable proof of my complete lack of efficiency or commitment.

In any case, development will hopefully proceed more smoothly from now on, with the addition of GIT repos for both Pixelchase and Cytovolution. You can now check out "bleeding-edge" code (ha, hahaha), and more importantly, I will never have to do all this version managing crap manually ever again. Plus I can develop remotely now. Yippee.

Pixelchase (Classic) has been heavily rewritten for a much cleaner and more organized coding style, along with a much improved menu class and support for pretty flexible option configuration (keyboard controls, sound drivers, points to win, AI difficulty, etc.). In fact, I did this work long ago, I just never got around to releasing it. You can either grab it from the GIT repo (there is even a Makefile!), or just wait a short while more for me to ready a proper release.

A side effect of this work is the obsoletion of the code in Pixelchase Enhanced. I originally wrote the menu class in Enhanced, then ported it back to Classic before improving it greatly along with many other things, with the end result being Enhanced code looking very crappy in comparison. So, I began thinking, why bother spending so much effort maintaining these 2 almost identical things separately?

As a result, Pixelchase Enhanced is going to be merged back into Classic, and the game will be just be called Pixelchase. This will allow for multiple modes of gameplay (either Classic-style or Enhanced/rotational-style), thus resolving the problem once and for all. However, in the interests of both purity and providing an ultra-lightweight version of the game (which can still fit on a floppy disk), there will be a version released containing only the core, classic gameplay. This version will probably be very similar to the version of Pixelchase Classic that I will release soon.

It has been quite a journey developing this game, with quite a lot more time spent in hiatus rather than actually producing content, but being a much more experienced programmer than 3 years ago, it is my hope that Pixelchase not only gets better, but gets better faster.
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Go away, Spambots.
By ZOMGxuan on 2009-07-04, 13:05:01

A spambot has been spamming one of the older newsposts, so now I've made some changes to the comment system that will hopefully help to protect against automated spam a little. Originally, I tried to implement ReCAPTCHA, but after wasting a lot of time I found out that Sourceforge blocks connections to other servers, so ReCAPTCHA can't be used. Also, HTML is now disabled in comments.
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