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Allegro Game Programming Library

Frequently Asked Questions


1. Did anyone actually ask you any of the questions listed here?

No. 'Frequently Asked Questions' is a misnomer. A slightly better term would be 'Frequently Anticipated Questions'. Furthermore, who actually cares enough about these games?

2. What is Pixelchase?

It is a game where pixels chase each other. With the advent of Pixelchase Enhanced, it is now also known as Pixelchase Classic. You control one of the pixels. Your friend (or the computer, if you have no friends) controls the other. If you are the red pixel, you try to catch the blue pixel. If you are the blue pixel, you run like hell. Isn't that fun?

3. What is Pixelchase Enhanced?

It is a still-in-development, supposedly better version of Pixelchase. Above all things, pixels can now rotate and accelerate/decelerate.

4. What is Cytovolution?

It is a game that has similar controls and mechanics to Pixelchase Enhanced. You control a single-celled organism that goes around eating other cells to survive and grow. When you grow large enough, you reproduce, dividing into 2 daughter cells, one of which you retain control, as well as gaining a mutation (upgrade) that attempts to be scientifically accurate.

5. How to move?

For Pixelchase (Classic):
Player 1 - W to move up, S to move down, A to move left, D to move right
Player 2 - Up to move up, Down to move down, Left to move left, Right to move right

For Pixelchase Enhanced and Cytovolution:
Player 1 - W to move forwards, S to move backwards, A to turn left, D to turn right
Player 2 - Up to move forwards, Down to move backwards, Left to turn left, Right to turn right

The recommended method to move smoothly is to hold down W or Up to constantly move forward, turning left and right when needed.

Note for Pixelchase Enhanced: Quickly tapping the forward or backward button twice in succession will give your pixel a brief boost of speed in that direction.

6. How to win?

For Pixelchase and Pixelchase Enhanced:
You gain points as the blue pixel (runner). Reach a 1000 points in Pixelchase Classic or 500 points in Pixelchase Enhanced to win.

For Cytovolution:
You don't. You can't. You merely survive for as long as possible, until you die, get bored, or the game crashes (which can unfortunately still happen sometimes). Then you can brag about your score.

7. The game crashed. Why?

I can't really help you there, because I was too lazy to implement debugging in any of these games. If you're a programmer, you could always try to help. Or if you notice a particular sequence of events that always causes the game to crash, please email me about it, and I'll see what I can do.

8. Network play doesn't work.

Network play doesn't mean Internet play, so that means you can only play across your LAN, or over a Virtual Private Network set up using Hamachi or similar programs. So entering your friend's IP address as given by sites like whatsmyip.com will not work. The IP has to be from the LAN or VPN. If you have no one to play with over LAN or VPN, you can always test out Network Play by running two instances of Pixelchase Enhanced, one of them to act as the host, and entering 127.0.0.1 (which means yourself) as the IP address to join, so you can play against yourself. The game is prone to crash during network play, so I'm sorry if that happens. Network programming is especially hard, and I'm not an especially talented or experienced programmer.

9. I caught the blue pixel, but I still remained as the red pixel. Why?

This happens because once you catch the blue pixel, it becomes the red pixel and spawns at a random location. This random location may happen to intersect your current location, causing you to be 'caught' right after catching the other player, such that you remain as the red pixel. This problem should be fixed in Pixelchase Enhanced, by ensuring the new catcher never spawns in the same location as the runner. I may release a fixed version of Pixelchase Classic in the future.

10. I can never tell which direction the pixels in Pixelchase Enhanced are facing.

Press R while in-game, and a directional arrow will be displayed in front of each pixel to indicate which direction each is facing.

11. The AI is too hard. I can never beat it.

In my experience, if I set the delay time of the AI any slower, I could always beat it by doing circles around it. If I set it any faster, it would be impossible to win. However, I will release a version of Classic that allows the changing of the difficulty of the AI in the near future.

12. Why is there no sound?

Pixelchase Classic should have background music. This should almost definitely work on Windows if you have your volume controls turned up. On Linux, sound should work with ALSA, OSS, ESD and JACK. However, sound will not work on distributions like Ubuntu that have Pulseaudio set up, because Pulseaudia ALSA compatibility is not perfect. Sound would work if I force Allegro to use OSS as the sound device, which I might do in the next release. As a workaround, you can use JACK as a sound server, which will suspend Pulseaudio temporarily for Pulseaudio-using systems.

13. What does 'Sapience' (in the Pixelchase Classic menu) mean?

'Sapience' is the correct term for what people normally call 'Sentience'. It means the player is not controlled by the computer or AI, but through keyboard input (that is presumably made by human beings). I could have used the term 'Human', but that would have been discriminating against any sapient alien beings that might play the game.

14. I have a question that isn't listed here.

Email me at tzxrules@gmail.com. No spam or anything irrelevant please.