Provided by: xboing_2.4-31_i386 bug

NAME

       xboing - An X Window System based blockout clone. V2.4

SYNOPSIS

       xboing  [-version]  [-usage]  [-help]  [-sync] [-display <displayName>]
       [-speed <1-10>] [-scores] [-keys] [-sound]  [-setup]  [-nosfx]  [-grab]
       [-maxvol  <1-100>] [-startlevel <1-MAXLEVELS>] [-usedefcmap] [-nickname
       <name>] [-noicon]

              -speed <n>         - The game speed, 1 - 9. 9=Fast
              -maxvol <n>        - The maximum volume as percentage
              -startlevel <n>    - The starting level for game
              -help              - Produce this help message
              -sync              - Turn on X synchronisation
              -usage             - Print a brief help message
              -version           - Print out the current version
              -scores            - Print out current highscores
              -keys              - Use keys instead of mouse control
              -sound             - Turn audio ON for game
              -setup             - Print setup information
              -nosfx             - Turn off special effects
              -grab              - Turn pointer grabbing on
              -usedefcmap        - Use the default colourmap
              -nickname <name>   - Use nickname instead of real one
              -noicon            - Do not create a custom icon
              -display <display> - Set the display for the game

DESCRIPTION

       XBoing is a blockout type game  where  you  have  a  paddle  which  you
       control  to bounce a ball around the game zone destroying blocks with a
       proton ball.

       Each block carries  a  different  point  value.  The  more  blocks  you
       destroy, the better your score. The person with the highest score wins.

       The arena is filled with blocks and other objects. You  have  a  paddle
       that  can  move  from  left  to  right  at the bottom of the arena. You
       control the paddle so that the proton ball bounces  around  blowing  up
       blocks and that it does not go past the paddle and out the bottom, much
       like a pinball game.

       You may like to check out my WWW Home Page for XBoing at the  following
       URL http://www.catt.rmit.edu.au/xboing/xboing.html

BLOCK TYPES

       The  blocks  exhibit  different behaviour. The bomb block when hit will
       explode all other blocks around it. You will score the points  for  the
       blocks  exploded by the bomb. If another bomb is beside it then it will
       explode also causing a chain reaction. The solid wall  brick  will  not
       explode  unless  next  a  bomb. The ammunition block will give you four
       bullets and so on. Special blocks such as reverse and machine gun  will
       only last for one ball/level.

       There  is  also  a unlimited ammo block that will enable unlimited ammo
       for that level. You will always have bullets to shoot with. Cool.

       There are random blocks that change their colour  and  therefore  their
       points every now and then. They add a bit of interest to the levels.

       There  is  a pirate symbol that will kill your ball if touched. You can
       shoot this block 3 times to kill it. Keep away from the Death block, it
       terminates your ball!

       The  walls off block will turn the wall bounce off on both the left and
       right side of the arena. This will mean the ball will  not  bounce  off
       the walls but continue through the wall and wrap around to the opposite
       side respectively.

       The extra time block will add an extra 20 seconds to the clock to  help
       you out.

       The  reverse  block  will when hit, reverse the controls to the paddle.
       This block should be avoided as it makes the game really hard.  Hitting
       another  reverse  while  already in reverse mode will turn it off. This
       control mode is reset to normal for each new ball.

       The teleport block will teleport the ball somewhere else on that level.
       It  will  not  place  you  too  close to the bottom of the screen or on
       another block. If the teleport cannot teleport the ball anywhere as the
       board  may be full - it will teleport your ball to the paddle and shoot
       it off there.

       The sticky paddle block will stick the ball to your paddle each time it
       is hit and wait until you press fire to shoot it off again.

       Some  blocks  will drop from their starting positions and head off down
       the screen until they nearly hit your paddle. These are  normal  blocks
       except  they  move...  They  will not clobber an existing block or move
       into a ball. Note that their score will decrease as the move  down  the
       screen!! Get in early I suspect.

       There  is a roaming dude that just roams around the arena. It has logic
       to stop it bouncing into something and will not roam off screen! It  is
       worth a few hundred points and must be killed.

       There is a machine gun block that allows you to shoot much faster. Note
       that you will also use your bullets at a greater rate. Can  be  fun  to
       let off a burst every now and then. Erases counter blocks very fast.

       An  extra  ball symbol may appear and when hit by a proton ball it will
       give you an extra ball!

       There is a shrink paddle block  that  will  shrink  your  paddle  to  a
       smaller  size  for the level. If you currently have the smallest paddle
       then it has no effect.

       There is also an expand paddle block that will grow  you  paddle  to  a
       larger  size  for  the  level. If you currently have the largest paddle
       then it has no effect.

       You can use the bullets to shoot the last pesky blocks  or  to  collect
       lots  of  bonus  coins.  You  will  be given 4 bullets when a new level
       starts. If you lose a ball you will be given a  token  2  bullets.  Use
       bullets  wisely  as you will hate yourself when there is one brick left
       and the ball is missing it for ever.

       Throughout the game the bonus coins  will  appear.  Collect  these  for
       bonus points awarded when the level is finished. Sometimes the coin may
       appear as a x2 or x4 symbol which will indicate that the  scoring  from
       then  onwards  will  be multiplied by 2 or 4 respectively. Note: if you
       get a x2 then x4 then x2 you will go back to x2 mode.  Also  note  that
       this x2 or x4 mode will be disabled after each ball death.

       Also  during  the  game  some  special blocks will appear like reverse,
       death, extra ball, etc. and then disappear like the bonus coins.  These
       blocks behave like normal but will disappear.

       Sometimes a little eye dude will walk across the top and if shot or hit
       by the ball will earn you 10000 points! He will only walk across if the
       top row is clear.

       If  you  collect more than 10 bonuses during a level the killer mode is
       activated which will turn the ball red and the ball will plough through
       all blocks except the solid ones and finish the level very quickly.

       The  bonus  screen  will  tell you how you went in the last level. Your
       bonuses will be added plus the bullet and  level  bonus.  You  get  500
       points for each bullet not used. You get 3000 points for each bonus and
       if you get more than 8 bonuses you get a SUPER BONUS of 50,000  points.
       You  also  receive a new ball every 100,000 points. Pressing space will
       skip the bonus animations when the bonus screen appears and your  bonus
       points will still be added.

       Like  the  special  popup blocks you may see a dynamite block that will
       when hit kill all other blocks of the  same  type.  Pretty  good  block
       really.

       There  is  a  level timer that counts down while playing each level. If
       you don’t complete the level in the allotted time you will not  receive
       the  time bonus which is 100 points per second remaining. You will miss
       out on the level bonus if your time runs out.

       The ball will be automatically  shot  off  the  paddle  after  about  5
       seconds  unless  you  press  the space bar. You can always press ‘P’ to
       pause the game.

       If the ball gets stuck in an infinite loop it will  automatically  tilt
       the  board if the ball hasn’t hit the paddle after a certain time span.
       The time span is about 8 seconds I think.

       When you get a new ball you will see a small  red  arc  with  a  moving
       yellow  dot  go  from  left  to  right  and back again. This yellow dot
       indcates the direction of the ball when you start it.

       XBoing was started like many other projects to learn Xlib better. I had
       the  XPM  library  and  was  already using it in a Motif application. I
       thought that it would be cool to have nice  colour  pictures/animations
       in  an  Xlib  game.  So I did. Without the XPM library I would be still
       playing with the colours I think.

OPTIONS

       The speed option will adjust the speed of the  overall  game.  It  will
       except  integer  numbers  between 1 and 9. The speed of the game can be
       changed from within the game as well. See  Game  Control.  The  default
       value is warp 3.

       The  maxvol  option  allows you to adjust the maximum volume to be used
       for the sound effects if sound is supported. It doesn’t mean all sounds
       will  be this volume but they will use that volume as the top volume to
       scale against.

       The startlevel option allows you to set the  starting  level  for  your
       games.  Note  that when your score is placed in the highscore table the
       level number is the number of levels completed and not the level number
       attained. Also, in the bonus screen your level bonus will be the number
       of levels completed multiplied by the level bonus  value  and  not  the
       current  level  number! Unless this option is used the first level will
       always be level one.

       The help option will display a brief one line description  of  all  the
       command line options used with xboing.

       The sync option will turn on the X Window System synchronisation of all
       Xlib calls which means that all calls  are  flushed  by  the  X  server
       before continuing. This will cause the game to become slower but enable
       some debugging. The default is OFF.

       The usage option will print a very brief synopsis of  all  the  command
       line options and there value ranges.

       The version option prints the version of xboing that you are running.

       The  scores option will print both the roll of honour and your personal
       best scores to standard out. This can be useful if you are not  running
       the  program  on  an  X  window  display and still want to see what the
       scores are.

       The keys option will enable the use of the keyboard for  game  control.
       Within  the  game  you  may  press  <g> to toggle between mouse and key
       control. The default is MOUSE control.

       The sound option will enable sound to be turned on if possible.  Within
       the  game  you  may press <s> to toggle sound on or off. The default is
       OFF.

       The setup option is useful when you have just compiled the program.  It
       will  display  the paths of the level & sound directories and also give
       you some information on other things.

       The nosfx option will turn OFF special effects. The special  effect  in
       question  at  this  stage  is  the explosion shake. Turning it off will
       speed the game up a little bit. The  default  is  ON.  Servers  without
       backing  store  will  have  it turn off automatically as the shaking is
       shocking.

       The grab option will tell xboing to grab the  mouse  pointer  when  the
       game  is  visible. Pointer grabbing has the effect of stopping you move
       the pointer outside the game window. This is useful  as  it  constrains
       the mouse and you don’t get colourmap flashes. The default is Off.

       The  usedefcmap  option  will  make  xboing  try  to  use  the  default
       colourmap. This will be fine if the default  colourmap  is  reasonabily
       empty  (ie:  200  free colour cells!). If you have a complex picture on
       your background then this option will  not  work  and  xboing  will  be
       unable to allocate enough colours.

       The  nickname  option allows you to specify a nick name for you instead
       of using your real name found in the password file. This can be  useful
       for  hiding  your identity. Please note that I store the user id in the
       highscore file and use that for checking and sorting.  You  will  still
       appear only once in the global highscore table.

       The noicon option will tell xboing not to create a custom icon. This is
       needed with some window managers as they only allow a small  number  of
       colours  and  the  icon  uses a quite a few. You may not like this icon
       either and want to use your own.

       The display option will force the game to be viewed on another display.
       The  format  of  the  display  name  is  <xserver:0.0>  like most other
       programs where xserver is the name of the display. The default is  your
       display of course.

       You  may  also  set  three  environment  variables used by xboing. They
       specify the location of the level files, sounds and the highscore file.
       They are listed below.

       These  environment  variables  will  override  the  settings  that  are
       compiled into the program.

              XBOING_SCORE_FILE = the highscore file to be used.
              XBOING_LEVELS_DIR = the directory with the levels.
              XBOING_SOUND_DIR  = the directory with the sounds.

GAME CONTROL

       Use the mouse to move the paddle left and right  by  moving  the  mouse
       left and right. All mouse buttons shoot bullets, start ball. The paddle
       will follow the mouse pointer. This is the best method and  easiest  to
       use by far IMHO.

       Below are the keyboard controls. (Non case sensitive)

              Space   = Start game
              J       = Paddle Left
              K       = Shoot bullet
              L       = Paddle Right
              Right   = Paddle Right
              Left    = Paddle Left
              Escape  = End game and return to introduction.
              i       = iconify the game and pause.
              H       = View roll of honour.
              h       = View personal highscores.
              p       = Pause game.
              d       = Kill the ball.
              a       = Toggle audio on/off.
              s       = Toggle special effects on/off.
              c       = Cycle through the intro screens.
              1-9     = Game speed where 9 is fastest.
              +       = Increase maximum volume level.
              -       = Decrease maximum volume level.
              t       = Tilt board bumping ball.
              z       = Save current game.
              x       = Load saved game.
              w       = Set starting level.
              e       = Change to level editor.
              q       = Quit XBoing.

SAVE/LOAD GAME

       XBoing  supports  a one level save game facility. Every five levels you
       complete you have the ability to save the game once. The game  will  be
       saved  in your home directory in your account. The ability to save will
       be indicated by the highlighted word "Save" in the specials area  below
       the arena.

       When  playing  you  can  press  the save key (see GAME CONTROL) and the
       current state of the game will be saved. If you save it will  overwrite
       any  previously saved games. If you had more than 1 saved game it would
       make it too easy IMHO.

       To load a game that has been saved you start a  normal  game  and  then
       press  the  load game key. The saved game will appear and you can start
       playing from where you saved.

       Please note that the paddle position and ball position  is  not  saved.
       The  paddle  will start from where the mouse is and the ball will start
       from the beginning position.

LEVEL EDITOR

       The built in  level  editor  allows  you  to  design  your  own  levels
       interactively.  You can simply click on a block type and then draw into
       the level to add blocks. The level editor can also let  you  play  test
       the level before saving it.

       To change to the level editor simply press "e" while watching the intro
       screens. The window will grow right a bit and a tool bar will be shown.
       You are now ready to draw away.

       The  left mouse button is the draw button while the middle mouse button
       is the eraser. You can press the mouse button down and  also  move  the
       mouse  to  provide  continuous  drawing until you release the button in
       both draw and erase modes.

       The right most most button can be used to find out how much a block  is
       worth  in  points. Simply click on a block in the toolbar or level area
       and the score will change to the score for that block.

       You can play test the level. You will have infinite lives and the level
       never  finishes.  Simply  press  "p" to enter test mode and "p" to exit
       test mode.

       Some basic editing facilities are available such as flipping the  board
       vertically  and  horizontally and also scrolling 1 block vertically and
       horizontally.

       Within the editor there are several keys that can be used.

       Below are the keyboard controls. Case sensitive.

              q = Exit editor.
              p = Start/End play test.
              r = Redraw the level.
              s = Save the level.
              l = Load the level.
              c = Clear the level.
              t = Change the time bonus.
              n = Change the level name.
              v = Flip board vertically.
              h = Flip board horizontally.
              V = Scroll 1 block vertically.
              H = Scroll 1 block horizontally.

SCORING

       Note: Highscores are saved at the end of each game. If you quit a  game
       while playing your score will be added to the highscores.

       Each  block  has  a  point score. Some blocks such as the counter block
       will have more than one score associated with it.

       Each time the paddle is hit with the ball  your  earn  10  points.  I’m
       nice.

       There is a death symbol (a pirate) that when hit by a ball will destroy
       your ball. You can shoot them three times to remove them.

       At the end of each level you are awarded a level bouns which  is  level
       <n> x 100 points. So for level 20 you get 20,000 points! If you fail to
       complete the level in the time allotted you will not  receive  a  level
       bonus.

       XBoing  uses  two highscore files. One displays the global scores which
       will be your best score to date. The other is  a  personal  high  score
       table with all your attempts (stored in your home directory).

       If  you  obtain  the highest score then you will be asked to imput some
       words of wisdom to your fellow game  players.  This  short  message  is
       displayed  under  the  Boing Master’s name and is there for all to see.
       This message is saved with the high score file so watch out if it rude.

              red = 100
              blue = 110
              green = 120
              yellow = 140
              tan = 130
              purple = 150
              bomb = 50
              wall = 0
              roamer = 400
              drop = row * 100
              specials = 100
              ammo = 50 plus bullets
              counter = 200 (each number).

SOUND SUPPORT

       Xboing  has  support  for  sound.  It  has sound code for the following
       machines :-

       HP, SUN, NetAudio, LINUX & NetBSD PC Soundblaster, RPLAY sound  system,
       and DEC Audiofile.

       Most support and use the .au format sound files. The linux version just
       sends the data down to the audio device which may cause slight clicking
       sounds  due  to  the  audio file header. Future versions of xboing will
       support other machines if patches are sent to me  or  if  I  learn  the
       sound  format. I am not going to have heaps of converted files all over
       the place in different formats as the archive would be HUGE.

LEVELS

       The levels are not increasingly harder to play - some are but some  are
       easy. This is because it takes ages to create and design levels.

       The  level data is specified in a simple ASCII file that can be edited.
       The levels are loaded when required from the directory  specified  when
       the game was made.

       You can create more levels if you like making sure that they are in the
       correct format and that they have a correct filename.

       Copy newlevel.data to level??.data and use that for the editing of  new
       levels.

       The  format  of  the  level  is  shown in the newlevel.data file in the
       source distribution in the levels directory.

       Make sure you have a level title and a time bonus in seconds.

       level format: (case sensitive)

              . = blank
              w = wall block
              r = red block
              g = green block
              b = blue block
              t = tan block
              p = purple block
              y = yellow block
              X = Bomb
              B = Ammo
              c = Unlimited Ammo
              D = Death
              R = Reverse
              H = Teleport
              L = Extra ball
              M = Machine Gun
              W = Walls off
              ? = Random block
              d = Drop Block
              + = Roaming dude
              m = Multiple balls
              s = sticky block
              < = Shrink paddle block
              > = Grow paddle block
              T = Extra Time block

NOTES

       I will place all new  versions  of  XBoing  in  /contrib  on  the  site
       ftp.x.org.  I  will  post  an  announcement  of  the new release in the
       newsgroup comp.windows.x.

REDISTRIBUTION

       XBoing - An X11 blockout style computer game

       (c) Copyright 1993-1997, Justin C. Kibell, All Rights Reserved

       The X Consortium, and any party obtaining a copy of  these  files  from
       the X Consortium, directly or indirectly, is granted, free of charge, a
       full and unrestricted irrevocable, world-wide, paid  up,  royalty-free,
       nonexclusive   right   and   license  to  deal  in  this  software  and
       documentation files (the "Software"), including without limitation  the
       rights  to  use,  copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense,
       and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons  who  receive
       copies  from  any  such  party to do so.  This license includes without
       limitation a license to do the foregoing actions under any  patents  of
       the party supplying this software to the X Consortium.

       In  no  event  shall  the  author  be  liable  to any party for direct,
       indirect, special, incidental, or consequential damages arising out  of
       the  use of this software and its documentation, even if the author has
       been advised of the possibility of such damage.

       The author specifically disclaims any warranties,  including,  but  not
       limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a
       particular purpose.  The software provided hereunder is on an  "AS  IS"
       basis,  and  the  author  has  no  obligation  to  provide maintenance,
       support, updates, enhancements, or modifications.

AUTHOR

             Justin C. Kibell - Systems Programmer/System Administrator
                CATT Centre RMIT - Melbourne - Victoria - Australia.
                             email: jck@catt.rmit.edu.au
              SnailMail: PO BOX 260, Eltham, Victoria, Australia, 3095

                              Computer Science Graduate
                   Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT)
                                      Australia

BUGS

       See README documents in source distribution for list of  bugs  and  bug
       fixes.

       Mail all bug reports/suggestions to jck@catt.rmit.edu.au specifying the
       version and machine type you are using. Use ’uname -a’ to  explain  the
       machine type. Please note the version of X11 that you have installed as
       well, ie: X11R6, X11R5, X11R4, etc.

       Please read all documentation before asking for help - only fair.