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January 2009

04:15 Tuesday 27 January 2009

XorCurses-0.0.2 (outdated)

This is the second release of my XorCurses game. Written in C, and using the ncurses library, it runs on Linux and hopefully other Unix like systems. The game is totally based upon Xor by Astral Software - created in 1987.

This release is quite an upgrade from the previous release. As you can see, there is now a menu to choose which level you want to play. Only the first 3 levels from the original game are available right now, as the other levels use objects which I have not written the code yet to make them work. Level 0 is a brand new level I have designed myself. I am yet to complete it.

The game play is, I think, complete for the first three levels - you can play them and finish them just like in the original game. Since the previous release of XorCurses, I have written the code to make the fish fall, and the chickens run to the left. I found this quite dificult to write, it took several days before I had even worked out how to write this code.

When I came back to this game, I had forgotten the levels to some extent, and was never very good at them back in the early 1990's. The map was invaluable - and this prompted me to write the code to display the map now and not later so the first three levels are playable.

One of the problems I faced in writing the map code, was the fact I am using a character based display - there are not enough characters on the standard console/terminal to display the game area and the map (like the original game does do). To solve this, I decided to only display half the characters on the map, which means half the detail of the map is lost. I did however, attempt to code it so the masks would always show up - not in numbers - but as a guide to where they are. This code is not quite right yet. Despite this, the small map is only a guide, and the player can press 'm' or 'M' to display the full map in all its detail. Unfortunately this also is unable to fit onto the standard terminal/console size, and so the full map can be scrolled up and down to see every part of it.

Download XorCurses-0.0.2.tar.bz2

tar -jxf XorCurses-0.0.2.tar.bz2
cd XorCurses-0.0.2
cat README | less



Guess what? There's a slight problem with that. There's a conditional jump based on an uninitialised variable... And a couple of other minor glitches...

Download XorCurses-0.0.2b.patch to fix these and before entering the XorCurses-0.0.2 directory (as in the instructions above) do the following:

patch -p0 < XorCurses-0.0.2b.patch

I think that should work. The .patch file should be in the same directory as the XorCurses-0.0.2 directory (if you put the .patch in the XorCurses-0.0.2 directory then change -p0 to -p1 (dash pee one).

18:34 Monday 19 January 2009

Why XorCurses?

I used to play XOR on my Amstrad CPC 464 in the early 1990's. The object of the game is to collect masks to complete each of the 15 levels and then solve an anagram puzzle to become a member of 'The Order of Xor'.

What I like about this game is the lack of time limit for completing a level, and that the only skill required for the game is logical thinking. To solve the puzzles therefor, there is no need for lightening fast fingers nor as such, enemies to defeat.

Seeing as there was not a port of XOR to Linux, nor is it available to play via the Amstrad CPC emulator, and that I could not be bothered to try and get any other emulators working, I decided to try and write from scratch, Xor for Linux.

Having not written games since giving up my Amstrad CPC (and BASIC), nor knowing anything about using decent graphics I decided to write XOR so it can be played on the console or terminal - with the game being represented in ASCII characters. I've started writing it in C, and it uses ncurses. Below is a screenshot.

At the moment you can switch between the two shield player characters and move around the maze. Masks are collected, the map does not work, and force-fields work to block your path or let you through depending on your direction of approach. All other objects just block the way because their behaviour has not yet been implemented.


XOR information and a port for RISC OS/ARM based machines.

XOR at wikipedia.

XOR Windows port from ovine by design.

13:44 Friday 16 January 2009

More New Audio

More recent audio produced over Christmas 2008 and New Year 2009...

18-Dec-2008 link)

18-Dec-2008 link)

25-Dec-2008 link)

05-Jan-2009 link)

07-Jan-2009 link)

More information about these soon, when I get back to finish off the current state of the page-generation code I've written for this website and uploaded it etc etc... Maybe by the end of this month, maybe during February...

[edit - 20150212]




A page detailing new stuff and other random noise.

The journal is a general place for writing about what I am doing, or for making more official announcements concerning the things I do. It's also a place where I can write freely about my ideas, or just play with words and language.

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