MAG Disk (Jan 1991) : SpaceWar / readme

                        SPACEWAR version 1.11

                     Copyright 1989, Jeff Petkau

                       Program by Jeff Petkau
                      Graphics by Brian Fehdrau


This program may be copied and distributed via bulletin boards, online
services, disk collections, or any other means, with the following
restrictions:

1. No fee may be charged for distribution except to cover the cost of media,
   shipping, or online time.

2. No additional copyright of any sort may be claimed over it.

3. The complete, original archive must be distributed.  You may convert the
   archive to other formats, such as lhz and zip, but all files in it must
   be included unmodified.

There is no restriction on how much money you can send me after trying this
program and deciding that it is the greatest thing you have ever seen.
However, different sums will get different results:

- Send me $100.00 and you will receive a bound copy of the 150-page manual
  and maybe a free subscription to "Spacewar" magazine.
- Send me $20.00 and I'll order myself a pizza.
- Send me $5.00 and I'll tell everyone that you are cheap.
- Send me no money and I won't even know that you exist; you will spend the
  rest of your days wandering in despair.

                     Jeff Petkau
                     829 3rd Street East
                     Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
                     S7H 1M6



This .zoo should contain the following files:

   readme                     10775 bytes
   SpaceWar                   38028 bytes
   SpaceWar.info                398 bytes

   damage.8svx                15648 bytes
   engine.8svx                18134 bytes
   entdeath.8svx              16500 bytes
   entfire.8svx                3176 bytes
   klindeath.8svx              4904 bytes
   klinfire.8svx               1408 bytes

   swabout.ilbm                3558 bytes
   swcoalesce.ilbm            14196 bytes
   swmoon.ilbm                 5488 bytes
   swnumber.ilbm                644 bytes
   swships.ilbm               17532 bytes
   swsun.ilbm                   956 bytes
   swtitle.ilbm                2070 bytes
   swtransport.ilbm            4880 bytes




                            History

1.11
   Version 1.11 is basically the same as 1.10, except that I have moved up
   to Manx 5.0a and no doubt introduced all kinds of new bugs in the process.
   This release was delayed about three months because I was going to locate
   and fix all those bugs, but I never got around to it.  So basically this
   is 1.10 with some really minor changes and a bunch of new bugs.


1.10
   Many many many changes from 1.0.  Since hardly anyone has ever seen
   1.0, I won't list them here.

1.0
   I wrote this game about two years ago, and ever since then have been
   delaying releasing it because I kept wanting to add one more feature.
   Somewhere along the line, I decided to try to sell it to a magazine
   (Amiga Resource, to be specific) since I figured I'd get more money out
   of that than shareware.  Soon after, I discovered that a beta version
   had already made it at least as far as Georgia, so I had to scrap that
   idea.  I then continuted to hold off releasing it until I could get a
   digitizer and record some decent sounds.  I still haven't got a digitizer,
   and I'm still using rotten sounds, but I really don't care any more.  So
   here it is.



                              The Game

To start SpaceWar from the CLI, change your current directory to wherever
the sound and graphics files are and start the program. The default
stack should be big enough. To start from the Workbench, click on the
icon. The sound and graphics files must be in the same directory as the
program and icon.

SpaceWar is a two player game. One player controls the Enterprise, the
other the Klingon ship.  Why the little triangle is always called the
Klingon, I do not know.  The object is to shoot the other player (no
kidding).  One point is scored when you kill the other player.  The game
ends when a player reaches fifty points.

Each player can have a maximum of eight shots out at once, or twelve if
you count the fragments from an explosion.



                            Menu Options

Game
   pause [TAB]  Pause.
   new          Start a new game.
   about...     Display vital information.
   quit         Quit the program.

Options
   rapid fire   When selected, hold down trigger for rapid fire.
   black hole   Makes sun invisible.  Shots can pass a bit closer to it
                without being destroyed, but ships will still be ripped
                apart by the gravity.  If there is no gravity, then the
                sun is gone; objects can safely pass through where it
                isn't.
   asteroid     Causes a small round asteroid to orbit the sun.
   space        Controls the size of space.  At the larger settings, ships
                can go some distance past the edges of the screen before
                they hit the end of the universe.
   edges        Controls what happens when ships (and shots) hit the
                aforementioned edge of the universe.  "Wrap" means they
                simply come in the other side, retaining their original
                velocity.  "Bounce" means they bounce off.  "Nasty" causes
                shots to disappear and ships to be annihilated.
   gravity      Controls the strength of gravity.  If gravity is set to
                "none" and the sun is invisible ("black hole") then there
                is no sun at all.
   thrust       Controls the strength of ship thrusters.

Control
                Use this menu to select which controls control which ship.
                Joystick 1 and 2 are pretty obvious.  The keyboard
                controls are keypad 4 and 6 to turn, keypad 8 to thrust
                and keypad 5 to fire.  Select "Remote" after establishing
                a modem connection to indicate that the other player is
                controlling this ship.  "Computer" is inactive at the
                moment, and is there mainly to remind me to get around to
                adding a computer-controlled ship.

Remote
   begin remote Opens the serial device and displays the chat lines on the
                screen so that you can talk to your modem.
   end remote   Closes the serial device and removes the chat lines.
   baud rate    You figure it out.
   chat lines   These two options control the number of lines of
                          chat text visible on the screen.  The top text
                          is incoming chat, the bottom is outgoing.
Sound
   load sounds  This attempts to load all the sound files from disk.  See
                below for more info.


There are hotkeys for some menu items, but they aren't visible in the
menus because they looked like hell (colors all wrong).

pause                   TAB
newgame                 A N
quit                    A Q
about                   HELP

begin remote            A R
end remote              A E

load/unload sounds      A S



                                Sound

All game sounds are loaded from 8SVX sound files when the "load sounds"
option is selected.  There are four basic sounds: FIRE.8SVX (when someone
shoots), ENGINE.8SVX (the engines), DEATH.8SVX (when someone explodes),
and DAMAGE.8SVX (when someone has been hit but isn't dead yet.)  For each
of the sounds, you can specify that only the Klingon is to use this sound
by prefixing the filename with KLIN, or that only the Enterprise is to use
it by prefixing the filename with ENT.  For example, this archive has
different explosion sounds for the two ships (ENTDEATH.8SVX and
KLINDEATH.8SVX) but only one engine sound (ENGINE.8SVX).

NOTE: I scavenged all of these sounds from various sources.  As far as I
      know, none of them are copyrighted; if one of them is, please inform
      me and I will remove it from the archive.  I would really like to
      digitize all the sounds myself anyway (thought you'd heard the last
      of that old explosion sound?  Ha!)



                             Remote Game

The remote game options allow two players with Amigas to play over the
phone lines (or with a null modem).  The first step is for both sides
to start up spacewar and select begin remote from the "Remote"
menu.  As long as neither ship's control is set to remote, you can use
chat as a simple terminal to get your modems connected and ready to go.

After you are all connected and able to chat with the other player, decide
who is going to play what ship.  The player with the Enterprise should
select remote from the Klingon's control menu, and the player with the
Klingon should set the Enterprise to remote.  All options must be the same
on both sides, and you cannot both be controlling the same ship.



              Features and Other Members of the Insect World

- It flickers a lot.  This gets more annoying every time I look at it, so
  I'll probably fix it Real Soon Now.

- If there is no gravity, the moon just kind of hangs there.  Enterprising
  players can actually push it over to where the other guy's ship appears
  to collect a few dozen points.



                       Future Versions

Various sorts of fuel supplies will be added, along with limits on fuel.

An option for Gorfian shots.

More variety when someone is hit.  The arcade game was great for this.

Better sounds.  These ones suck.  Again, the arcade game was wonderful.

As soon as I get around to it, I will add some method for re-syncing the
two sides in the middle of a remote game, if they get messed up.  It
should be fairly tolerant of line noise already, though.  I can usually
pick up the phone and scream without screwing it up.

A four-player option, with two players on each side of a phone hookup.
Speed is the main restriction here.  Could also add support for a
joystick parallel interface, except that I don't even know what that is.
(Mr. Franklin in Georgia's idea.  If he's reading this:  I tried to
reply, but it bounced.)

Eventually, I might allow one of the ships to be computer-controlled so
that you can play the game without having to find another person.
Unfortunately, some really Nasty Math might be required to make the
computer player even tolerably good; I'm not sure if I can do it or not.

---

Jeff Petkau

   usenet:   petkau@skdad.usask.ca
   no net:   (306)664-3185
             829 3rd Street East
             Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
             S7H 1M6