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Issue 21.6 ('Differences')
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Find the Differences

Creating a game and game maker

Issue: 21.6 (November/December 2023)
Author: Marc Zeedar
Author Bio: Marc taught himself programming in high school when he bought his first computer but had no money for software. He's had fun learning ever since.
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 40,999
Starting Page Number: 43
Article Number: 21605
Resource File(s):

Download Icon project21605.zip Updated: 2023-10-31 23:51:18

Related Link(s): None

Excerpt of article text...

Back in the day when something called a newspaper existed, there used to be a section of the comics that contained a little puzzle: two "identical" drawings and you were supposed to find the slight differences between them. It was pretty easy, at least until you got down to just one or two differences left. I always enjoyed it, but hadn't played the game in years.

Recently, however, I came across a modern version that you play on the Web. Instead of drawings, the new one uses two photographs—one subtly altered with Photoshop. It might have a small item missing or a color could be different. For instance, a photo of some buildings might have an extra window or be missing a window, telephone lines might be gone in one version, and a green truck might be red in the second picture.

This turns out to be more challenging and even more fun, as the differences can be tricky. The variety of photographs is a plus, too. I also really liked the game's interface: when you click on a "difference" there's a "success" chime and the secondary image is corrected so that they both match. When you find all the differences, the two photos are the same.

Unfortunately, the game I found is poorly written and often won't load in my browser. (When I searched for solutions, others complained of the same endless "loading" screen, so it's not just me.) Deleting cookies worked for a while, but then stopped. I finally gave up playing it, but I liked the concept—and so, as is typical, I decided to see if I could write my own in Xojo.

Two Parts to the Program

As I conceived of my app, I quickly rejected the idea that the app could create its own difference puzzles. That would be a fantastic AI trick and is definitely beyond my abilities!

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