XClones: Perhaps the weirdest use of the Running Man yet

There are a number of interesting goodies on the Intellivision Lives! CD-ROM, including a number of "in-house" programs which were either works-in-progress, or "learning demos" -- programs written by the coders while learning to write for the Intellivision.

One such game is CRAZY CLONES, a simple game which grew out of the canonical "first program", KILLER TOMATOES. In CRAZY CLONES, you are the one real person in a sea of clones. You must tag as many clones as possible while avoiding the Clone Master. When the Clone Master touches a clone, a new clone is produced. When the Clone Master touches you, the game is over. Note: If you tag all of the clones without letting the Clone Master create a new clone, you're hosed.

So what is XClones, you ask? Simple -- I borrowed a couple elements from CRAZY CLONES (namely, the graphics and the name) and combined them with the ubiquitous XRoach to produce XClones. Although I haven't really preserved the CRAZY CLONES gameplay (it wasn't appropriate for what I was trying to do), I have at least produced something amusing.

Tell Me More!!

Well, XClones builds on the original XRoach by J.T. Anderson. It uses most of the original code, although I've made some improvements (I think) which seem to improve the flicker problems and some other issues in the original XRoach.

The graphics are the same as in CRAZY CLONES, including the 'squished' man graphic. (FYI, the Running Man graphic himself is identical to the one in BASEBALL as well.) For added realism, I've quantized coordinates inside of XClones to the same pixel granularity as the bitmap.

XClones supports all of the same flags as XRoach. Here's a quick rundown:

-display What X display to put this on.
-rc clonecolor Color to make the clones. The default is cyan.
-clones number_of_clones Number of clones to make. Default is 8
-speed speed Speed of the clones. The default is 20 (which is probably too fast). -speed 3 seems about right on many systems.
-squish Enable squish mode (disabled by default). XClones becomes a game of skill, in which you try to squish the poor Running Men.
-rgc clone_guts_color Color of a squished clone. Default is the same as the clone's color.

Ok, I can't stand it, where do I get a copy?

You can download a copy of the XClones Source Code in ZIP Format right here! Just unpack it, run xmkmf and make, and you should be all set. (Note to Solaris people: You might need to edit the Makefile produced by xmkmf if you don't have the SparcWorks compiler installed.)

I will not make precompiled binaries available. If you can't build it yourself, then you can't play with XClones. Cope and deal. :-)

Known Issues

To date, there's one known issue with XClones. In 'squish' mode, mouse clicks on the root window are directed to XClones in order to try to detect squish events whenever a Running Man is visible. This can cause minor annoyances when trying to bring up a menu in window managers such as olvwm and others which require clicks on the root-bitmap. As long as the Running Men eventually hide (or you squish them), you'll be fine.

Obligatory Legal Disclaimer

The original XRoach is Copyright 1991 J.T. Anderson. I was unable to reach Mr. Anderson in order to explicitly ask permission to distribute a modified version of XRoach. It is neither in the public domain, nor is it under GPL. However, since XRoach has been floating around the net for 8 years now and is in numerous Linux distributions, I think I'm ok in distributing my modified version, as it is clearly labeled as such, and I still credit the original author. If anyone out there (including J.T. Anderson) objects, please email me and let me know to take this offline, or at least somehow work this out.

I make no warranty or guarantee that XClones will function properly for you. As with GPL'd software, there is NO warranty; not even for MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. (Note -- I cannot place XClones under GPL, as XRoach is not under GPL, and I am not the copyright holder.)

The Running Man graphics that appear in XClones are adapted from the CRAZY CLONES game which comes with the Intellivision Lives! CD-ROM. Intellivision Lives! is produced by Intellivision Productions. The original graphics were copyrighted by Mattel, and are now owned by Intellivision Productions. XClones is NOT a product of Intellivision Productions.


Last update: 8-20-99

im14u2c AT primenet DOT com