Provided by: liquidwar-server_5.6.4-3ubuntu1_amd64 bug


       liquidwar - a unique multiplayer wargame


       liquidwar [-vh]


       Liquid War is a multiplayer wargame. Its rules are very simple but yet original.


       -v Displays the version number.

       -h Displays copyright and various information.

          There  are  many  other  command  lines  options,  which  are described further in this


       As Liquid War is a cross-platform program (it also runs  on  DOS  and  Windows),  I  could
       reasonably  not  provide groff UNIX-style documentation to Windows user. Therefore, Liquid
       War's documentation is available in many formats, including HTML, PostScript and PDF.
       I believe these formats are easier  to  read  than  this  man  page.   So  check  out  the
       /usr/share/doc/liquidwar  or /usr/local/share/doc/liquidwar directories, for this is where
       HTML and other documentation files should be. Otherwise, if you are a  die-hard  man  page
       user, you may continue with this document 8-)


   The Liquid War concept
       Liquid War is a wargame. But it is different from common wargames.

       When  playing Liquid War, one has to eat one's opponent. There can be from 2 to 6 players.
       There are no weapons, the only thing you have  to  do  is  to  move  a  cursor  in  a  2-D
       battlefield.  This  cursor  is  followed  by  your army, which is composed by a great many
       little fighters. Fighters are represented by small colored squares. All the  fighters  who
       have  the  same  color  belong to the same team. One very often controls several thousands
       fighters at the same time. And when fighters from different  teams  meet,  they  eat  each
       other, it is as simple as that.

   How do teams react?
       Teams  are  composed  of  little fighters. These fighters all act independently, so it can
       happen that one single fighters does something different from what all the other do.

       The main goal of these fighters is to reach the cursor you control. And to do  that,  they
       are  in  a way quite clever, for they choose the shortest way to reach it. Check it if you
       want, but it is true, they *really* choose *the* shortest way to reach the cursor. That is
       the whole point with Liquid War.

       But  these  fighters are not perfect, so when they choose this shortest way, they do as if
       they were alone on the battlefield. That's to say that if  there  is  a  fighter  blocking
       their way, they won't have the idea to choose another way, which is free from fighters but
       would have been longer otherwise. So fighters can be blocked.

   Who eats whom?
       When two fighters from different team meet each other, they first try to  avoid  fighting,
       and they dodge. But if there is no way for them to move, they get angry and attack the guy
       which is blocking them. Sometimes, they attack each other and both loose  health.  But  it
       can  happen  that  a  fighter is attacked by another one, which is himself not attacked at

       Here is an example of this behaviour: A blue fighter and a red fighter both want  to  move
       to  their  right,  for  that  would be the shortest way to reach their cursor if there was
       nobody on the battlefield. But they are blocked by other fighters. If, for  instance,  the
       red  fighter is on the right and the blue fighter on the left, it is the red fighter which
       will be eaten.

       When a fighter is attacked, he first looses health, that is to say that  he  gets  darker.
       When  his health reaches 0, his color changes and he becomes a member of the team by which
       he has been attacked. Therefore the number of fighters on the battlefield  always  remains
       the same.

       When  fighters  of  a  same  team  get  stuck  together  and  block  each other, then they
       regenerate, that is to say that they get brighter.

       However, I think the best way for you to understand the way it works is to try the game...

   Basic strategy
       When I play Liquid War, I always try to surround my opponents, and it usually works.

       By the way, the computer has no strategy at all, he is a  poor  player,  and  if  you  get
       beaten by him, it means you have to improve yourself a lot!

       But  still,  the  computer  doesn't  do one thing which I've seen many beginners doing: he
       never keeps his cursor motionless right in the middle of his own fighters, for this is the
       best way to loose.

   More strategy
       Here are some more tips, kindly submitted by Jan Samohyl.

       *  Try  to  cut your opponent off walls and surround him completely with your troops; when
          trying to penetrate his forces inside a tunnel, keep your troops at the wall (and force
          them  ocassionaly  to  attack  off the wall). I think this is a biggest weakness of the
          computer AI, that it doesn't know this.

       *  When luring your troops to outflank an enemy,  always  move  your  cursor  through  the
          enemy, not the other way around.

       *  To penetrate very narrow tunnels, stand back for a while and let some enemy troops come
          from the tunnel to you. Then surround them, destroy, repeat.

       *  I have observed that with more than 2 players (6), the game difficulty depends  on  the
          map  in  the following way: If the playing field is completely empty, without any holes
          (topologically equivalent to full circle), the game is the  easiest,  because  you  can
          just  go  through  the  middle  to  outflank  your opponent. If there is a single large
          obstacle (ie. playfield is topologically equivalent  to  ring  (the  area  between  two
          nested  circles)),  the  game  is  the  most  difficult, because you have to choose one
          direction for the attack, and cannot simply defend the other direction. For other maps,
          it  seems  to  really depend on their similarity to one of these two extreme situations
          (and army size, of course, because it changes the relative size of obstacles). Also, if
          you  would later add another cursor, this property would probably disappear (maybe then
          games with n+1 obstacles would be the hardest ones with n cursors).

       *  If you want a particularly challenging computer game (at  least  for  some  maps),  use
          several  players,  max out attack, min out defense, max out base health (opposite would
          be harder, but game then changes to the large cloud of black troops, so you  don't  see
          anything) and give winner an advantage.

   The winner is...
       The  clever  guy who has got the greatest number of fighters in his team at the end of the
       game. Or the one who exterminates all the other teams!


       Liquid War rules have been invented by Thomas Colcombet.

       He was trying to find algorithms to find the shortest path from one point to another,  and
       found  the  Liquid War algorithm. Then it came to his mind that a game could be build upon
       this algorithm, and Liquid War was born. He programmed the first two  versions  of  Liquid
       War using Borland Pascal for DOS, and gave me some information about the algorithm so that
       I could re-program it.

       I'm the guy who programmed the latest versions of Liquid War. I enhanced  the  algorithms,
       and  did quite a bunch of work to have the game playable by (almost) anyone, that's to say
       create a correct GUI.

       If you want to join me, here's all the information you'll ever need:

       Christian Mauduit

       Web site:

       GnuPG public key: FD409E94 -
       GnuPG fingerprint: 4762 1EBA 5FA3 E62F 299C  B0BB DE3F 2BCD FD40 9E94

       Snail mail: 32 rue Jean Moulin  95100 Argenteuil  FRANCE

   Other contributors
       As Liquid War is now free software, protected by the GPL, anyone is allowed to view, edit,
       modify,  re-compile  the  source  code,  and distribute it, as long as Liquid War is still
       distributed under the GPL.

       Here's a list of the contributors:

       *  Alstar: drew a map, which is now included in the main distribution.

       *  Peter Wang: ported Liquid War to GNU/Linux.

       *  Cort Danger Stratton : helped me setting up network support.

       *  Tim Chadburn : wrote midi  files  for  the  game.  His  contribution  has  been  truely
          appreciated  since  it's  rather  hard to find GNU GPL compliant artwork. He also wrote
          documentation and helped with midi support in general.

       *  Jan Gretschuskin : contributed 11 maps, and made the German translation. So if you  run
          Liquid  War  with  German menus, you know who you have to thank -> Jan! 8-) Also do not
          forget to visit

       *  Mouse : contributed a map.

       *  Rene Stach : drew 3 maps.

       *  Roderick Schertler : implemented HTTP 1.1 support.

       *  Ryan D. Brown : ported Liquid War to Mac OS X.

       *  Eduard Bloch : maintained the Debian package, and helped with German support.

       *  Michael Terry : provided a .desktop file for better integration  with  Gnome,  KDE  and
          other UNIX desktop environments.

       *  Kasper  Hviid  :  contributed  many  maps, with their own textures, and made the Danish
          translation. Great work, also available on

       *  David   Redick   :   wrote   an   external   random   map   generator,   available   on

       *  Alexandre Pineau : maintains the Debian package.

       *  Michael Wagner : translated the web site in German.

       *  Peter Williams : fixed the "too many opened socket" server bug.

       *  Jan Samohyl : submitted strategy tips.

       *  Gavin : wrote the Liquid War fanfic.

       *  Dave Vasilevsky : fixed the Mac OS X port.

       *  2 of omega : contributed a map.

       *  666-REFIZUL-666 : created many maps (distributed separately).

       *  Thomas Klausner : fixed Makefile for FreeBSD

       *  Joan Dolc : helped with Mac OS/X port

       Many  other  people  helped  me by submitting bug reports and patches, and I want to thank
       them for their precious help. Thanks to all the Debian people too, who nicely maintain the
       Liquid War .deb package.

Mailing lists


       This  list  is  for  general  discussions about Liquid War. Here you can make suggestions,
       submit bug reports, ask for help, find players, etc... Basically, any question  or  remark
       which concerns the game is welcomed on this list.

       Practical informations

       You  can't send messages to the list without subscribing. The only reason for this is that
       it's one of the only way to block spam efficiently. I first thought  it  could  be  OK  to
       allow  anyone  to  post, but liquidwar-user seems to have be harvested by robots, so now I
       need to restrict posters. However, I insist on the fact that anyone can subscribe, and the
       subscription  to  the  list is not moderated. So if you are a human being and not a stupid
       spam robot, you're welcome on the list 8-)

       Here's a list of usefull URLs:

       *  To (un)subscribe:

       *  To consult archives:

       *  To post on the list:

   Chat and IRC
       Web-based chat-box

       I   have   have   set   up   a   web-based   chat-box   which    is    accessible    here:

       It's  not  as  good  as  a  good old IRC channel but not everybody can use IRC (because of
       firewalls and the likes), and I like the idea that people can chat and have  the  list  of
       available servers in one single web page.

       IRC channels

       I  personnally  spend  some  time  on  so you might use it to find other
       players - though I'm not really an IRC addict... ...not yet at least!

       Here are the channels I recommend:

       *  #liquidwar : Liquid War dedicated channel, to find players and chat while playing.

       *  #netgame_players : general channel for players who want to play Internet games  -  Free
          Software and/or Open Source games of course, we're on 8-)


   What's this?
       Quoting  Gavin: "I wrote a liquid war fanfic some time ago [...] I wrote it after a friend
       claimed that there wasn't any liquid war fanfic because it wasn't possible."

       So here it is, a Liquid War fanfic, enjoy! (and special thanks to Gavin)

   The Battle of Emberlificoted

       The General presided over his massing army in his seat, or rather hovering ring, of power.
       It  dipped slightly as he flew low over his troops marching through the viscous marsh-like
       terrain. They were like children: obedient, loyal, and they ate a lot.

       Glancing at the status panel mounted in front of him he grimaced; the other  five  armies:
       Yellow,  Green,  Orange,  Turquoise,  and,  of course, Red, were also readying armies of a
       similar size to his own. His violet clones would have to fight hard and eat  well  to  win
       this day.

       Today  would  not be a battle of luck, the General mused, it would be a battle of tactics,
       of alliances, and of betrayal. Every clone was identical  -  that  was  the  general  idea
       behind  clones - and the terrain seemed strangely symmetrical; it would not give advantage
       to any of the six armies amassed today.  Glancing  at  the  hologram  of  the  battlefield
       projected in front of him the General noted that he would have to move quickly, Orange and
       Yellow were too close for comfort,  though  fortunately  Baron  Red's  army  of  eponymous
       coloured clones was the furthest.

       General  Violet's  fingertips  were  sweaty even before they touched the four main control
       keys in front of him. They were labeled 'W', 'A', 'D', and, of course,  the  full  retreat
       button  -  very  useful  for misleading foes and ambushing them as they pursued - 'S'. The
       keys were arrange in a roughly equilateral triangular pattern; with 'S' forming  the  base
       and being adjacent to both 'A' and 'D', 'W' formed the tip of the triangle.

       A long breath left his parched lips as at last he made his move.


       "Dammit!" he screamed moments later. He had misjudged Captain Yellow and Commander Orange;
       he had expected one at least to attack immediately, one he could have handled.  They  were
       working  together  -  foiling  his attempt to shoot between them to near the center of the
       battlefield to gain a better vantage point. Yellow had shot down towards him, cutting  off
       his  advance, and now Orange had sealed his escape route. "It's not over yet" muttered the
       General. He opened a voice channel with Commander Orange:

       "Very clever. Flawed, but still clever."

       "Flawed?" came the reply.

       "Yes flawed, when the good Captain is finished devouring my army who do you think he  will
       turn  to  next?",  bluffed  the  General  -  his hands worked quickly as he manoeuvred his
       hovering control ring, all that his troops ever saw of him, carefully towards the  weakest
       section  of  his  attackers. If he could just break out a few units he could soon turn the
       tide against both Yellow and Orange.

       "We have an alliance..." Orange's voice was unsure now.

       Time for some sarcasm to through her even more off balance, thought the General,

       "I gathered", he spoke softly, slowly, and with too much meaning. Then closing the channel
       he turned his attention back to his escape.


       "Yes!"  wooped  the  ecstatic  figure of the General. Fifty or so of his troops had broken
       free undetected and were even now working their way cautiously towards the  camps  of  the
       Yellow  army,  only  the  front lines were still actively fighting; this opening gambit of
       Yellow and Orange had turned into a stale siege and Yellow's army had pitched tent.

       General Violet steered his hovering guidance ring to the center of the  Yellow  camp.  His
       troops  struck, both those who had got behind the lines and those who were still besieged.
       Yellow reacted too slowly and suddenly found that her army, was shrinking  back  from  the
       onslaught. There was nowhere to run to, and bye now her only ally - Commander Orange - had
       abandoned her to her fate; he was too busy engaging Sir. Turquoise,  who  had  managed  to
       escape  from  the  slaughter that the Baron had caused to the Turquoise ranks and was even
       now valiantly attacking the flanks of the Orange troops.

       A glance at the status panel showed that Yellow's life force was fading quickly:  8%,  3%,
       1%, Gone.

       The  General  smiled, he always enjoyed getting the first kill, and by now his armies life
       force had grown and his clones had replicated. With his, now, formidable fighting force it
       was  no  problem  to engulf both Sir. Turquoise and Commander Orange's brawling armies and
       annihilate them. Once again his army grew in size and power. Now if only the Baron  didn't
       notice that..., thought the General.


       "Too  late!"  yelped  the General, now thrown into panic, as he saw the approaching Baron.
       His army had also grown in size and power - having  fatally  injured  the  Turquoise  army
       within  the opening moments of the battle, and having finally managed to catch the elusive
       fleeing form of, or what remained of, Emperor Green.

       Gripping the controls harder the General thought quickly, his army doesn't  so  completely
       outnumber  me  that this is already over, however unless I can cause him to make a mistake
       that allows me to take the upper hand then I will inevitably lose. Maybe I can...

       This thought was terminated and replaced by another as the Baron's angry red troops  broke
       through  the  undergrowth  that  had  covered  their movements and started to surround the
       General's army. The thought that now throbbed through the panic-stricken mind  of  General
       Violet was simply 'Run!'.

       Even  as he signaled the retreat and made for what seemed to be the only possible means of
       escape the Baron's blood red control ring appeared at the opening. The General knew it was
       over, even before the host of red beings appeared at the opening.

       There was no escape. His life force was almost depleted and he was surrounded. Then it was
       that the Baron decided to communicate:

       "Too bad. It was a good game"

       The General blinked, gaped, and was generally  gobsmacked.  Just  before  his  life  force
       completely failed and his own weary eyes closed in defeat he snarled,

       "What!? This is not a game!" were the General's dying words.

Menus and hot keys

       This  section describes how the GUI works. Since programming advanced GUIs with Allegro is
       not so easy - standard C programming definitely lacks flexibility -, and also  since  it's
       somewhat  hard  for  me  to  figure out what is user-friendly and what's not, Liquid War's
       menus are not always self-explanatory. I'll just try and do something better next time!

       Map menu

       The map menu allows you to choose the map you are going to play on. A map is defined by  3

       *  A frame. The frame can be chosen with the slider which is below the preview. The frames
          are automatically sorted by alphabetical order.

       *  A texture for walls.

       *  A texture for the zone where fighters are allowed to move.

       In the middle of the screen, there is a preview of the level. In this menu, the values  of
       the parameters can be independently changed by:

       *  Moving a slider.

       *  Clicking on a "+" or a "-" button.

       *  Typing a number.

       On each side of the preview, sliders allow you to choose the two textures. There is also a
       preview of each texture. Below this preview there are 128 little buttons which  allow  you
       to choose single colored textures.

       The name of the map and its resolution are displayed in the lower part of the screen.

       You'll  notice  that  on  some  maps the texture selection zones simply disappear. This is
       because these maps are associated with a texture, so choosing a different texture is often
       not  recommended  for  it  won't  look as nice as with the right one. If you still want to
       override this behaviour you can click on the  "on/off"  button  just  right  to  the  "Use
       default  texture"  label.  This  is  a  toggle button which will allow you to use your own
       textures even on maps that normally come with their own skin.

       You'll also notice that a "Random map" button is available. This button  generates  a  new
       random map using an external program, "lwmapgen", developped by David Redick, available on

       This program supports many command line options, and if you want a very precise control on
       the  generated maps, you'll need to run it separately. Looking at LW's log file you should
       be able to see the commands LW issues when calling this program, this can give  you  ideas
       on  how  to  launch  it  manually.  Alternatively  using the "--help" option (for instance
       "liquidwar-mapgen --help" under UNIX) should describe how to use it.

       Teams menu

       This menu allows you to choose the teams which are going to play. There are 6 square zones
       in this menu. Each of them is associated to a team.

       Each team can be either:

       *  Disabled ("Off")

       *  Controlled by a player ("Human")

       *  Controlled by the computer ("Cpu")

       The  computer  plays  poorly, so remember that Liquid War is basically a multiplayer game,
       and that the cpu control is dedicated to beginners only.

       You can also choose the color associated to each team by clicking on one of the 12 colored

       Below  the 12 colored buttons, there are four buttons which allow you to choose your keys.
       Click on one of these buttons and  then  press  the  key  you  want  to  define.  Joystick
       movements and buttons are considered as keys. You can disable the joystick with the button
       which is at the bottom left of the menu. Mouse input is also possible, and mouse movements
       are considered as keys too. To define mouse control, click on the button associated to the
       direction you want to control, and then move the mouse. Then  the  button  should  display
       something  like  "M->".  Mouse sensibility can be set with the little slider at the bottom
       right of the menu.

       Graphics menu

       Here you can choose the graphic options of the game.

       The "Video mode" button allows you to switch between fullscreen and  windowed  mode.  This
       button is not available under DOS.

       The "Brightness" slider allows you to set the brightness of the game.

       The  "Menu  res"  slider  allows  you  to  set the resolution used by the menus. There are
       currently 5 possible values, which depend on which platform you're running the game on.

       I personnaly think the menus look best with the 640x480 resolution, but  some  may  prefer
       higher  resolutions. Lower resolutions should only be used if you have problems using SVGA
       video modes.

       The "Game res" slider allows you to set the resolution used during the game.  The  allowed
       values  are  the  same than those for the menus. I recommend that you don't use resolution
       higher than 640x480, unless you have a Pentium VIII running a 10GHz.

       Page flipping can be toggled. It is up to you to decide wether you  keep  this  option  or
       not.  The  main  disavantage  of  turning  page  flipping off is that the info bar and the
       battlefield can look rahter ugly if they overlap. But if you turn  page  flipping  on  you
       will  not  easily  reach the 166 frames per second I sometimes get on small levels with my
       K6-225. I personnaly always turn page flipping off.

       The viewport size defines how much of your screen will be used by the battlefield.

       *  If you set the slider on its left position, the batllefield will not  be  stectched  at
          all.  Or  if  is strechted, it will be by a x2 or a x4 factor. So this is the mode wich
          allows the fastest display.

       *  If you set the slider ont its right position, the game will run in fullscreen mode.

       *  With all the other positions of the slider,  the  battlefield  will  keep  its  general
          proportions but it will be stretched.

       The  "Waves"  button  allows  you  to  toggle  the wave effect. You can also do this while
       playing, by simply pressing F4.

       Sound menu

       This section allows you to set the sound volumes. There are 4 sliders, which are:

       *  "Sfx": sets the volume of all the sfx sounds, thats to say'the sounds you hear when the
          game starts, when you loose etc...

       *  "Click":  sets  the volume of the click, this nasty noise you hear each time your press
          on a button.

       *  "Game water":  sets  the  volume  of  the  blop  blop  blop  sounds  which  are  played
          continuously while you are playing.

       *  "Menu  water":  the  same  thing  than  "Game water" except that it concerns the sounds
          played while your are choosing options.

       *  "Music": general music volume.

       Rules menu

       This menu is the one where you can change the rules of the game.

       The "Time" slider controls the time limit. The game will stop after this time is  elapsed.
       You can pause the game by pressing the "F3" key.

       By the way, an info bar can display the time left while you are playing. This info bar can
       be toggled during the game by pressing the "F1" key, and you can change  its  location  by
       pressing the "F2" key. It also displays how many fighters there are in each team.

       The  "Army  size" slider controls the amount of fighters there will be on the battlefield.
       The position of the slider reflects the amount of fighters of all the teams  together.  If
       there are 4 teams, then each player will have half as many fighters than if there had only
       been 2 teams.

       The "Cursor x" slider controls the speed of your cursor.

       *  If it is set on the left, the cursor goes at the same speed than the fighters.

       *  If it is centered, the cursor goes twice faster than the fighters.

       *  If it is set on the right, the speed of the cursor is multiplicated by 3.

       Below is a "Min 160x100" box with a slider  on  its  right.  This  means  that  maps  will
       automatically  be  magnified so that they have a size of at least 160x100. Indeed, some of
       the maps that come with Liquid War were designed in 1995 when  486  Intel  computers  were
       common.  Therefore  the  maps were smalls. Today, these maps are not really fun to play on
       fast computers, so Thomas Harte suggested this automatic magnifying feature, and that  was
       IMHO  a  smart  idea.  You  can  move  the  slider  to the right to make maps use a higher
       resolution - ie magnify them.

       The "Defaults" button of the "Rules" menu will reset rules to their defaults. This way you
       can  tweak  rules  and  then  come  back to the default rules whenever you want. Note that
       there's also a "Defaults" button in the main "Options"  menu,  but  it  will  reset  *all*
       options,  including  player names... The advantage of the "Defaults" button in the "Rules"
       menu is that it will only reset rules parameters, and keep the rest of your  configuration
       options untouched.

       Speeds menu

       The  "frames/s" slider allows you to limit the number of frames per second. If this slider
       is set on the left, there won't be any limit, so Liquid War will repaint your screen  each
       time  the fighters move. But this can be a weird behaviour if your machine is really fast,
       for no one cares about 100 fps per second, one can not even see them... So this  paramters
       limits  the  refreshment  rate, so that there can be several logical moves of the fichters
       for only one screen refreshing. If it is set on its right, the display  is  limite  to  10
       fps,  so  you'll  have to find your setting. I personnally set it right in the middle, and
       get 40 fps. If you press "F5", you'll get the number of frames  per  second,  and  if  you
       press  "F6", you'll get the number of logical moves per second. You can also press "F7" or
       "F8", and you will get the percentage of time  your  computer  spends  on  calculating  or
       displaying the level.

       The  "rounds/s" slider allows you to limit the number of rounds per second. If this slider
       is set on the left, there won't be any limit, so Liquid War will run as fast as  possible.
       This  setting  will  be  of no use if you use Liquid War on a slow computer or if you play
       with hudge maps, but sometimes, with  a  high-end  Pentium  class  computer,  it's  simply
       impossible  to  play on small maps because things simply go too fast. So this parameter is
       here to help you and avoid the "10000 moves per sec" problem.

       Waves menu

       This is where the wave parameters are set. The waves are just a graphic effect,  which  is
       not  really  usefull.  I  don't often use waves, but I still think they can sometimes look
       nice. Change these parameters if you really mean to do it, but  if  you  don't  understand
       what they mean, it is really OK...

       There are 4 different types of waves, each of them being defined by:

       *  An "Ampli" parameter, to define how big the waves have to be.

       *  A "Number" parameter, to define how many waves should be displayed at the same time.

       *  A "Speed" parameter, to define how fast the waves should move.

       If  you  want to undestand what the "WX", "HY", "WY", and "HX" codes mean, try to pay with
       only one type of wave, the "Ampli" parameter of the 3 other types of wave being set  to  0
       (that is to say the slider is on its left position), and sea how it looks like.

       The wave effects can be toggled during the game by pressing the "F4" key.

       Advanced menu

       This menu allows the user to change the behaviour of the fighters.

       The  "Attack"  slider  sets  the  agressivity  of the fighters. If it is set on the right,
       fighters eat each other very fast. If it is set on the left, it takes ages to fighters  to
       change teams.

       The  "Defense"  slider  sets the capacity that the fighters have to regenerate themselves.
       The more it is on the right, the faster fighters regenerate.

       The "New health" slider sets the health of the fighters which have just changed teams. The
       more it is on the left, the weaker these fighters will be.

       The "Winner help" slider controls a parameter which causes fighters to attack with various
       strength depending on how many fighters belong to their team. Not very clear... Let's just
       say that:

       *  If  this  slider is set on the right, the more fighters you have in your team, the more
          aggressive they will become.

       *  If it is centered, all the fighters of every team will  always  attack  with  the  same

       *  If  it  is  set  on the left, the less fighters you have, the stronger they will be. In
          this mode, games usually never end.

       The "Cpu strength" parameter never makes the computer more intelligent than a monkey.  But
       if you set it on the right, it advantages the machine outrageously and fighters controlled
       by the cpu will be really strong. So to get rid of  them  you'll  definitely  need  to  be
       clever.  Again and again, don't forget that Liquid War was conceived as a multiplayer game
       and that playing against the computer is not really an interesting thing to do.

       The "CPU vs human" parameter allows you to control how aggressive CPUs are towards humans.

       *  If set to "Always", CPUs will always attack humans and will never try to attack another
          CPU,  unless there are no humans left. This used to be the default behavior in previous
          Liquid War versions, but some players remarked that it was rather unfair, so  now  this
          is an option.

       *  If  set to "Random", CPUs won't care wether their opponents are CPUs or humans, they'll
          attack anybody. This is the default behavior.

       *  It set to "Never", CPUs will attack each other before bothering human players.

       The "Allow net bots" button can be used to allow bots to connect on network games. Indeed,
       bots are by default disabled in network games, since in this case LW assumes that bots are
       useless (there are already several human players). However, turning this  option  on  will
       allow  you  to  connect  bots  within  the game. It's important to note that this is a per
       client option, this means that you can't use it to  forbid  access  to  bots  to  a  given
       network game. This option was simply created to avoid confusion when connecting on network
       games, while still allowing bots to connects if you really want them to.

       The "Algorithm" parameter allows you to force the algorithm to standard C mode. There's no
       real  good  reason you would like to do this, since the C algorithm is slower than the ASM
       one. Moreover, the ASM algorithm is automatically disabled if you play against a  computer
       which does not have ASM enabled. Think of this as a testing/debugging option.

   Hot keys
       Here's a list of keys you might use while playing:

       *  F1:  toggles  the  "info"  zone  where  the  game  time  and  the state of each team is

       *  F2: moves the "info" the zone arround, possible positions being top, right, bottom  and

       *  F3: pauses the game. This function is disabled during network games.

       *  F4:  toggles  the  "wave  effect".  Without  this  "wave effect", which is turned on ny
          default,the game will run faster.

       *  F5: displays the number of frames per second (*).

       *  F6: displays the number of rounds per second (*).

       *  F7: displays the precentage of CPU spent on the game logic, calculating where  fighters
          must go for instance (*).

       *  F8: displays the precentage of CPU spent on graphics (*).

       *  F9: turns on/off the "capture" mode. In this mode, screenshots of each frame are taken,
          and written to the hard drive as bitmaps.

       *  F10: quits the game right away without any confirmation prompt, also known as  the  "my
          boss is coming here!" function.

       (*)  all  these  figures  tend  to  be  clearly  false  as  computer go faster and faster.
       Basically, the time required for "logic" and "display" operations is getting  shorter  and
       shorter,  and  the  tools  I  use  to  measure  it are not precise enough. Therefore I get
       approximations which might by plainly wrong.

Network game

       Since release 5.4.0, Liquid War includes network support, that's to say  that  people  can
       play  over  a LAN (Local Area Network). However, due to limitations in Liquid War's legacy
       code, and also because of the lack of time I have, it might be a little tricky to set up a
       network game at first. So please read this section carefully.

       You should keep in mind that:

       *  DOS  only  releases  of  Liquid  War  do  not include network support, only Windows and
          GNU/Linux versions will allow you to set up a network game.

       *  The game should run fine on any LAN, but there's no garantee the game will be  playable
          on  the  Internet.  Indeed  if  your  "ping delay" is not good enough, the game will be
          awfully slow. Bandwidth is not an issue, since Liquid War  rarely  needs  more  than  2

       *  You'll need to know what an IP address is.

       *  You  don't  need  to  set  up  a network game to run a multiplayer game. Liquid War was
          originally a multiplayer game without network support. Network support is here only for
          people who don't feel comfortable when playing at 6 on the same keyboard 8-)

   Getting started
       What do you need?

       You'll  basically  need  2 computers connected on the same LAN. We'll call them computer A
       and B. You might be able to play over the Internet too, but the game can be harder to  set
       up and - which is worse - very slow.

       You'll  also  need  to know the IP address of computer A. Type "ipconfig" under Windows or
       "ifconfig" as root under GNU/Linux to get this information if you don't have it.

       Starting the server

       Liquid War uses a very traditionnal client/server approach.  Basically,  the  server  gets
       informations  from  all  the  clients  and  then  dispatches  the collected information to

       So you'll need to start a server on computer A by running "liquidwar-server" on  GNU/Linux
       or  "lwwinsrv.exe"  on  windows.  This is a console application, ie it does not set up any
       graphic mode.

       Here's a small example of a server start on GNU/Linux:

       $ liquidwar-server
       How many teams will connect to this server?

       At this point you must enter a number between 2 and 6, and then  press  "ENTER".  In  this
       example  we  will  answer 2. The server really needs to know how many teams will be in the
       game: when enough teams are connected, the game starts. It can also  be  a  good  idea  to
       answer  6  systematically  and  then  force  game start by clicking the "Start now" button
       within the client. It's possible to skip this question  by  typing  "liquidwar-server  -2"
       instead of a plain "liquidwar-server".

       Use "-2" to get rid of this question.
       Register on "" (y/n)?

       Now  if we answer "y", then the server will automatically contact the "meta-server" and it
       will be listed on

       This can be convenient for people who want to find other gamers to play with on  the  Net.
       For now, let's answer "n", we'll test this meta-server stuff later 8-)

       Use "-private" to get rid of this question.
       2002-06-03 16:43:00: Listening on port 8035...
       2002-06-03 16:43:00: Waiting for 2 teams...

       Now  the server is ready to accept clients. By default it listens to clients on port 8035.
       You could change this behavior  setting  by  calling  "liquidwar-server  -port  8061"  for
       instance, but let's use the default port to make things easier.

       Starting the clients

       Start the client on computer A normally by typing "liquidwar" on GNU/Linux or double-click
       "lwwin.exe" on Windows.

       Go to the "Teams" menu and select 2 teams, a red human and a blue CPU for instance. If you
       don't  know  how to do this, then try and play Liquid War on a single computer first. It's
       important to notice that by default the "blue CPU" won't connect on the network game. It's
       possible to allow bots to connect on network games, but they are disabled by default.

       Now come back to the main menu, and a "Net Game" button should be available. Click it. Now
       you should be able to:

       *  Start the game.

       *  Change the IP address of the server.

       *  Change the communication port.

       *  Set a password.

       *  Search for internet games automatically.

       Since the server is also running on the same machine (A), you can  leave  the  default  IP
       address as is (

       Now  you  are ready to start the second client on computer B. Like with computer A, you'll
       have to:

       *  Select 2 teams, green an yellow this time.

       *  Select "Net Game" in the main menu.

       But this time you'll also need to change the server  address,  since  the  client  is  not
       running on the same computer than the server.

       Now  click on "Start game" on computer A. The server should play a "system beep", which is
       usefull if you run a server and want to be notified of client connections without watching
       the console all the time, and it should display messages like this:

       2002-06-03 16:44:48: Connection from ""
       2002-06-03 16:44:48: Team "Napoleon" on client "" accepted
       2002-06-03 16:44:49: Client "" accepted
       2002-06-03 16:44:49: Waiting for 1 team...

       And on the client you should see a screen which says "Waiting for 1 team(s)" with the list
       of connected players below (Napoleon). You do not need to click on the "Start now" button.

       Now click on "Start game" on computer B. The server should display messages like this:

       2002-06-03 16:49:14: Connection from ""
       2002-06-03 16:49:14: Team "Henri IV" on client "" accepted
       2002-06-03 16:49:15: Client "" accepted
       2002-06-03 16:49:15: Client "" ready
       2002-06-03 16:49:15: Client "" ready
       2002-06-03 16:49:15: Sending info to ""
       2002-06-03 16:49:15: Sending info to ""
       2002-06-03 16:49:16: Game start

       And at that point, the game should start 8-)

       Restart a new game

       Once the game is over, you can start another network game on the clients without  touching
       the server, because the server automatically restarts and waits for players to connect.

       To  stop  the  server  -  if you want to change its settings for instance - just go to the
       console where it's running and press CTRL-C.

   Using the meta-server

       The meta-server is a piece of software which is running on my web site, and allows servers
       to register themselves so that client can get a list of available servers.

       It's written in PHP and is _very_ basic but I believe it's enough for what has to be done:
       maintain a list of running servers.

       The source code for the meta-server is included in the source package of  Liquid  War,  so
       you  might  run  such  a server yourself if you want to. However, by default, servers will
       register    themselves    on    my    web    site,    and    will     be     listed     on

       How to register a server

       Launch the server, and when you get the question:

       Register on "" (y/n)?

       answer "y".

       Note  that  if you're behind a proxy or a firewall, the server might be unable to register
       itself. Clients might also have problems to connect themselves on your server if there's a
       machine which does NAT (Network Address Translation) between you and the meta-server.

       How to find a server

       In the main menu, click on "Net Game" and then "Search for internet games".

       Now  you should see a list of available servers. You can click on the items in the list to
       get more informations about a given server. Once you have chosen a server, click on  "Join

       Now  you  get on a "Waiting for teams" screen. You might be interested in using the "Start
       now" button. Indeed, if you are 4 players connected on a  server  that  accepts  up  to  6
       players,  maybe  you'll  want  to  start  the  game  right away without waiting for 2 more
       players. In this case, every player must click "Start now". A "*" character  will  replace
       the  "-" in the players list when a player clicks on "Start now". When all the players are
       displayed with a "*a, the game starts.

       You can also chat with other players by entering text in the area above the "Send message"
       button, and then click on this button. Keep in mind that this is a very primitive chat and
       that the best way to chat efficiently is IMHO to play in windowed mode  and  have  an  IRC
       client at hand.

       Note    that    you    can    also    get    the    list   of   available   servers   from There you'll also find a little chat-box
       which will allow you to send exchange messages with other players.

       Server options

       You  can  pass  options to the server using the command line. The following parameters are

       *  "-n" where "n" is a number between 2 and 6 : with this option you can tell  the  server
          how many teams will connect to the game. Beware, there can be several teams on the same
          computer, so if you want to have a computer with 2 players on it and 2 other  computers
          with a single player, then you need to use the "-4" option.

       *  "-lag  n"  where  "n" is an integer : with this option, you can control the lag used at
          startup. Normally, Liquid War handles this parameter automatically, but you might  want
          to force it to a given value.

       *  "-port n" where "n" is an integer : allows you to change the IP port used by the server
          to listen to the clients. if you omit this parameter, the default  port  is  (8035)  is

       *  "-log  file.log"  :  dumps all informations in "file.log" instead of using the standard

       *  "-public"  :  skips  the  "Register  on  ..."  question,  and  registers   the   server
          automatically on the meta-server, so that clients can find it easily.

       *  "-private"  : skips the "Register on ..." question, and does not register the server at

       *  "-comment This_is_a_comment" : associates a  comment  to  the  server,  which  will  be
          displayed  by  the meta-server. Note that the character "_" will be replaced by spaces.
          This makes command line parsing easier. I'm lazy 8-)

       *  "-password xxx" : associates a password to the server. With this option,  clients  will
          need to give the right password to be able to connect on the server.

       *  "-callback cmd" : with this option, the command "cmd" will be launched whenever someone
          connects on an empty server. For instance, if you want to run a  permanent  server  and
          want  to  know  when someone connects but do not wish to permanently keep an eye on the
          server's log, you might use this option and put in "cmd" a command  that  automatically
          sends  you  a  mail. You might also use a command that fires a popup window. It's up to
          you. 2 sample scripts are available in the "misc" directory of the  Liquid  War  source
          distribution.  One  is  "misc/" and works on UNIX platforms, and the
          other one is "misc/lwpopup.js", which is automatically used by "misc/lwserver.bat", and
          works on Windows.

       Common options

       These options work on both client and server, even if they are rather "server-oriented".

       *  "-metaserver  url"  :  redefines the URL of the meta-server. Usefull if you want to use
          your own meta-server.

       *  "-netlog" : if you use this option, the server will dump all the network traffic on the
          standard output. This is usefull for debugging.

       *  "-nobeep"  : Disables the system beeps that the application might fire. These beeps are
          mostly used on the server to notify clients connections.

   About Liquid War's network implementation

       Liquid War uses TCP sockets, and a single-threaded server. This implies that:

       *  The game can sometimes get blocked if you play on Internet.

       *  The server can't talk simultaneously with several clients.

       I needed to use TCP sockets, since LW's algorithm can not cope with any data loss and it's
       not  a  reasonnable to try and anticipate what the map would be like if the player did not
       move etc...

       I did not implement any complex multithreaded stuff since I'm lazy  and  however,  clients
       need  to  have  informations  about  all  the other before something can be done. However,
       implementing a mutltithreaded server could have advantages over the current solution.

       What is this lag stuff anyway?

       In Liquid War, all the clients send their key presses to the server, and then  the  server
       dispatches this information to everyone. This has to be done for every round.

       You  can  easily  imagine  that  if a player has a poor connection, with a very long "ping
       delay", it can take quite a long time to send the information to the server, and then  get
       it back.

       So what Liquid War does is that at the beginning of the game, the server sends a couple of
       "blank" key strokes to the clients. This way, clients receive data from the server  before
       thay  have sent any. The number of key strokes sent at the beginning of the game is called
       the "lag".

       So if it takes 200 msec to send and then receive data from the  server  (approx  the  time
       returned  by  the "ping" command) then with a lag of 6, you can theorically play at a rate
       of (1/0.2)*6=30 rounds/sec.

       On one hand, setting the lag parameter to a high value will avoid many network errors  and
       allow  you to play at a very fast pace, but the big drawback is that there will be quite a
       long time between the instant you send a key stroke to the server and the moment it  comes
       back  to  you. On the other hand, setting the lag to a low value will limit drastically he
       number of rounds per second, but make the game more "responsive".

       However, since release 5.4.1, the "lag" is modified automatically and should adapt  itself
       to the situation. I've not been able to test it in real conditions yet, but it should work

       Still, setting the lag to a sensible default value can save you some trouble.  Indeed,  by
       default,  Liquid  War  will choose a value (6), but it can not guess if you are playing on
       Internet or on a 100 Mbit LAN, and it can  take  quite  a  long  time  before  Liquid  War
       automatically finds the right value. To know the right value which should be used with the
       "-lag" option, simply play a few games and watch the average lag (which  is  displayed  on
       the server console every minute) at the end of the game.

       Performance issues

       Liquid  War  uses  a "light" server, and one of the advantages of this solution is that it
       allows you to run the server on low-end computers. I personnally run a permanent server on
       a 486 DX2, and it runs like a charm.

       The  only  thing you have to take care of when running a server is bandwidth. Don't worry,
       you won't need a 10Mbit connection, basically, each clients sends and receives 12 bytes of
       data  at  each  round. If you add TCP/IP headers and the facts that stuff will probably be
       bundled in bigger packets, a client must deliver about 15 Kbit/sec (up  and  down)  for  a
       game that runs at 100 frames/sec. A 56K V90 modem is enough for this.

       So  if  you  run  a  server  with  2 clients connected, the server will need to deliver 30
       Kbit/sec in both ways. A 56K V90 modem _can_ do that, but your provider needs to be a good
       one 8-)

       And  if  you  run  a  server  with  6  clients,  you simply won't be able to reach the 100
       frames/sec with a 56K V90 modem. It  will  necessarly  drop  to  something  less  than  30
       frames/sec, and is likely to drop to about 15 frames/sec. OK this is not a big deal, since
       few Internet games run at more than 30 frames/sec, but well, if the  server  has  troubles
       receiving/sending data, everyone will wait, and the fun will go away.

       As  a  conclusion: if you have the choice, choose the friend who has the best bandwidth to
       run the server, without even considering the power of his computer.

       General information

       Network support in 5.4 and 5.5 is still experimental in many ways, so you might get  weird
       behaviors. Basically, if you have a problem, just do the following:

       *  Stop and restart the server when something goes wrong. To stop it, use CTRL-C.

       *  Check out that you have entered the correct IP addresses.

       *  Try  and  start  the  client  and the server using the "-netlog" option to have an idea
          about what's happening.

       Bugs in 5.4.x corrected in 5.4.2

       Liquid War 5.4.0 and 5.4.1 were very hard to play over the Internet. The  reason  is  that
       the network routines did not do enough error checking, and therefore there were very often
       errors when sending and/or receiving the map to the server. Hopefully, this bug should not
       appear anymore in 5.4.2 or any other recent release.

   About security
       Network games passwords

       As you might have noticed, under the box where you can enter the password, a little notice
       explains that you must choose a "weak" password. Now you'll tell  me  ->  people  keep  on
       explaining me that passwords must be something complex like "aS\r!Y9p" and now I'm told to
       use "hello", what's up?

       OK, keep in mind Liquid War is a game. This password stuff is just a way  to  be  able  to
       play  with your friends only and keep on using the meta-server's services. Liquid War does
       not encrypt data and I can see no good reason to do it for, so the password is stored  and
       sent to the server in clear, as plain text.

       The  consequence  is that if you use a valuable password - for instance the one you use to
       log in on your computer - the guy who runs the server will see your password  in  the  log
       file  if he wishes to. Therefore, use something weak, something that if someones finds out
       what it is, you won't really care. So "hello" is a wise choice.

       Is Liquid War likely to have security holes?


       Any program is likely to have security holes, especially when it's networked.  However,  I
       have  good  reasons to think that Liquid War is safe enough for a game. At least I find it
       safe enough to run a permanent public server on my personnal computer 8-)

       FYI, here are some things which I think make Liquid War rather safe to run:

       *  Liquid War does not store anything on your hard drive that  would  have  been  received
          from  the  network.  The  maps are kept in RAM. So you won't download any virus playing
          Liquid War on Internet.

       *  Liquid War does not transmit any sort of code on the network. All the transmitted bytes
          represent  plain data. So you're not likely to execute any arbitrary code - virus, worm
          - when playing on the Net.

       *  Liquid War receives network packets in static buffers, and if the received data is  too
          big,  it  is truncated. One consequence is that Liquid War has a bunch of "limits". You
          can't send hudge maps over the network, you can't have long nicknames, and so  on.  But
          another  consequence  is  that  if  you  try  to send garbage in the buffer, it will be
          truncated. Liquid War will protest with a "network error" message  and  the  connection
          will be closed, but there will be no easy exploit possible here.

       *  Liquid  War  does  not use the sprintf, strcpy and strcat functions, which are known as
          being rather unsecure since they can lead to buffer overflows.  Instead,  it  uses  the
          equivalent  functions snprintf, strncpy and strncat. On platforms where these functions
          are supported natively, the game will use the default system  functions,  otherwise  it
          will  use  a  free  implementation  by  Mark  Martinec.  FYI,  Windows does not support
          snprintf-like functions natively, that is, it's a piece of crap.

       *  Liquid War is Free Software, so I'm not likely to have  put  backdoors  in  it  myself,
          since anyone can look at the source code 8-)

       However,  I  have not - and I know nobody who has - audited Liquid War for security holes.
       So there might be some. Therefore you should respect a few  things  while  running  Liquid

       *  Never  run Liquid War as root or administrator. This is obvious but I still mention it.
          If you want to run a Liquid War daemon on UNIX, run it as user  "nobody"  or  something
          approaching.  If  "root"  or  "administrator"  does not make sense on your system (DOS,
          Win98...) then I assume you're not _really_ concerned about security anyway 8-P

       *  If you run a server 7/7 24/24, use the "-log" option to log everything in a file.  This
          way you'll keep a trace of network activity, and if something goes wrong, you might get
          a chance to see it.

       *  If you use passwords  in  network  games,  *never*  choose  a  valuable  password.  Use
          something simple like "hello" or "goodbye".

       *  Keep in mind that Liquid War is a game, and not a bullet proof professionnal server.

       Last  point:  you  should  be aware that version 5.4.5 of Liquid War has been proved to be
       vulnerable to a local buffer overflow, and one should run at least 5.5.9  to  get  rid  of
       this  problem.  FYI  by the time the exploit was found on 5.4.5, 5.5.9 was already out 8-)
       See  and  for
       more informations.

       Can people cheat when playing on the Net?


       Or at least, not really. In fact, you can still find the following types of lamers:

       *  A  guy  who  lets  the  CPU  play  at  his place. He'll loose anyway because the CPU is
          definitely not a great Liquid War Master 8-)

       *  A guy who tweaks the game and gets all his bots fight anyone he wishes. That's mean.

       *  A guy who manages to let you have a 500msec lag while he does not have any lag at all.

       Apart from this, I can hardly see any way to cheat. Why? Because  the  Liquid  War  server
       does  not store any information about the game. It's not aware of who wins, who looses, it
       knows nothing. The only thing it does is to transmit key presses between client computers.

       This way, if someone plays with a tweaked release of Liquid War,  thinking  he  will  fool
       you,  then  he  will fool you on his computer only... On your computer, everything will be
       fine. After some time, your screen and his screen will have nothing in  common,  and  both
       players are likely to think they have won. Except the lamer will stay a lamer.

       This  also  explains  why  it's  required  to play with the very same versions of the game
       during network games. If you plug a 5.5.2 with a 5.5.1, after a minute the screens will be
       completely  different on each client, since there are subtle differences between the 5.5.1
       and the 5.5.2 engine. However, you shouldn't be able to do this,  since  a  network  error
       will stop you before you can start to play.

       Additionnally,  versions  5.5.5  and higher have a checksum system. Every 100 rounds, each
       client calculates a checksum with its local map, and  sends  it  to  the  server.  If  the
       checksum is incorrect, the server will log a message like:

       Checksum error on client ""

       If you see this, then you're in one of the following situations:

       *  There's a bug in the game

       *  A lamer tries to cheat

       FYI,  all  releases  from  5.4.0 to 5.5.4 have a bug which causes clients to desynchronize
       after a while...

Command line parameters

       When you launch Liquid War 5, you can use command line options. If you  have  no  problems
       launching Liquid War, this section should not interest you very much.

       You  can  use  several  options  at the same time. The basic syntax for options looks like

       lw -option1 -option2 parameter2 -option3 parameter3 -option4 -option5

       Note that most of the options are legacy options which  where  usefull  with  the  initial
       releases  of  Liquid  War,  when  you had to run in a Windows DOS box, and when there were
       still plenty of 486 computers with only 8Mb ram...

   Version checking
       These are basic options which can be usefull to figure out which release of Liquid War  is

       *  "-v" : returns the version number of the program.

       *  "-h" : displays a short description and copyright information.

   Changing default paths
       Very  usefull options, especially if you can not install Liquid War in default directories
       or want to put the game in a special place.

       *  "-cfg myconfigfile.cfg" : causes Liquid War to use the specified config file.

       *  "-dat mydatafilefile.dat" : causes Liquid War to use the specified datafile. This might
          be  a very interesting option if you run Liquid War on a GNU/Linux box where you do not
          have root access and therefore can not put the datafile in /usr.

       *  "-map mycustommapdir" : causes Liquid War to use the specified directory  as  the  user
          map  directory. The user map directory is where you can put plain bitmaps to be used as

       *  "-tex mycustomtexturedir" : causes Liquid War to use the  specified  directory  as  the
          user  texture  directory. The user texture directory is where you can put plain bitmaps
          to be used as textures.

       *  "-mid mycustommusicdir" : causes Liquid War to use the specified directory as the  user
          music  directory.  Any  midi file placed in this directory will be added to the list of
          available musics.

       *  "-server myliquidwarserverfile" : causes Liquid War to use the specified  file  as  the
          server  executable.  This option has no effect for now since the server is not launched
          by the client.

       *  "-mapgen mylwmapgenfile" :  causes  Liquid  War  to  use  the  specified  file  as  the
          "lwmapgen"  executable. "lwmapgen" is an utility by David Redick which generates random
          maps automatically for Liquid War. You might wish to change this option if  random  map
          generation does not work for some reason, or if you want to use your own map generator.

   Troubleshooting switches
       These  options  give  you control on how Liquid War treats initialisation errors, how much
       memory it should reserve, what kind of video mode sit should not choose etc...

       *  "-vga" : This option forces Liquid War to use your video card as if it was only a basic
          VGA card. This option is required if you play Liquid War from Windows NT.

       *  "-no400300"  :  This option disables the VGA 400x300 video mode. I created this options
          for I know that some video cards/monitors don't support the 400x300 mode.

       *  "-silent" : With this option, Liquid War will not play any sound. It  will  not  search
          for  any  sound  card.  This  can be interesting if you don't have any sound card or if
          Liquid War doesn't handle your card correctly.

       *  "-nowater" : Causes Liquid War not to load any water sound. Use this if Liquid War runs
          short of memory, and you should gain about 850kb.

       *  "-nosfx"  :  Causes  Liquid  War  not to load any sound fx. Use this if Liquid War runs
          short of memory, and you should gain about 150kb.

       *  "-nomusic" : Causes Liquid War not to load any midi music.

       *  "-mem n" : The parameter "n" sets the amount of memory (in Mb) Liquid War will allocate
          to  do  all its calculus. If this number is too small, you won't be able to play on all
          the levels. If it is too high, Liquid War may not start at all or crash while  you  are
          playing.  The  default  value  is 8. If you play Liquid War from Windows and Liquid War
          refuses to run because this parameter is too high, then try and give more  dpmi  memory
          to Liquid War.

       *  "-nojoy" : This option disables joystick support.

       *  "-noback"  : Causes Liquid War not to load the background image. Use this if Liquid War
          runs short of memory, and you should gain about 300kb.

       *  "-notex" : Causes Liquid War not to load any texture. Use this if Liquid War runs short
          of memory, and you should gain about 750kb.

       *  "-auto"  : If you set this option, Liquid War won't generate any error while allocating
          memory or loading data.

       *  "-safe" : With this option, you will play with a very reduced version of Liquid War. It
          looks  rather  ugly but should work in a DOS box with only 4Mb of DPMI memory. Use this
          if you experience serious memory or device problems. If Liquid War doesn't  start  with
          this option turned on, I really don't think I can do anything for you...

       *  "-nice"  :  With  this  option, Liquid War will use a mode which is between the default
          mode and the "safe" mode.

       *  "-check" : With this option, Liquid War will stop  as  soon  as  it  detects  something
          strange while initializing.

       *  "-stop"  :  If  you set this option, Liquid War will prompt you for a key when the init
          process is completed.

       *  "-c" : This is a weird option, if you turn it on, the  game  will  only  use  fonctions
          which  are  programmed  in  C langage. The default behaviour is to use some functions I
          rewrote in assembly langage, so that the game is a little faster.

   Debug options
       These options are usefull if you want to debug the game and trace what's happening.

       *  "-netlog" : Dumps all the network traffic on the standard output. This can help finding
          problems when trying to connect to the server in a network game.

   Server options
       The  server  command  line  options are described in the section which deals which network
       games in general. IMHO you need to understand how network works in  LW  before  trying  to
       tweak the server 8-)

   Other options
       Everything else 8-)

       *  "-capture"  :  Activates the capture mode. In this mode, the game will dump a .bmp file
          on the disk several times per second, which is usefull if you want to  create  an  mpeg
          movie of your game session afterwards. You can also activate this mode interactively by
          pressing F9 within the game.

       *  "-metaserver url" : redefines the URL of the meta-server. Usefull if you  want  to  use
          your own meta-server.

       *  "-nobeep"  : Disables the system beeps that the application might fire. These beeps are
          mostly used on the server to notify clients connections.

       *  "-tombola" : Activates a special mode where scores are not displayed normally. Instead,
          the game displays 3 random numbers between 1 - 500.

   lwmapgen options
       The  external  lwmapgen  program by David Redick accepts a number of command line options.
       You can type:

       liquidwar-mapgen --help

       to get a list of all available options under UNIX. Under Windows the command would be:

       lwwinmap --help

       Note that lwmapgen is called automatically by Liquid War when you  click  on  the  "Random
       map" button.

       The  idea  behind  lwmapgen  is  that  you  choose  a  function which sets the type of map
       generated, and then pass various arguments to this function.  If  you  do  not  explicitly
       choose  a  function, one will be picked up for you randomly, and all other parameters will
       use default values.

       The most usefull and common options are:

       *  "--help" : displays help.

       *  "--out filename" : save bitmap to filename.

       *  "--size n" : bitmap size (an integer between 0 and 5).

       *  "--list" : list all available functions.

       *  "--function function_name" : which function to use.

       Here's a typical use of lwmapgen:

       liquidwar-mapgen --size 3 --function hole --out test.bmp

Platform specific issues

   General remarks
       Liquid War is now a cross-platform game, thanks to Allegro. So  now  you  can  play  under
       different OS.

       The  same source tree will compile on all supported platforms, but with slight differences
       when running. C preprocessor #defines are used to code some platform specific  stuff,  and
       in some cases there are different files for the DOS, Windows and UNIX versions.

       As I said, I try to use the same code for all platforms. This is in the long term the best
       choice. Otherwise there would different branches of the source tree,  and  I  don't  think
       this is a very good solution.

       Therefore  some  optimizations  that  were performed in the old DOS-only version have been
       totally removed, for they were 100% platform dependent (ie mode-X asm coding). So the  new
       versions  are all a little slower than the old 5.1 stuff, but the performance loss is only
       about 20%, which is not significant with today's PCs. And anyways the performance loss  is
       most  of the time limited to the goog old VGA 320x200x8 mode-X, which starts being kind of

       This is the original version. It's the fastest one as far as I know, the safest one and it
       will  always  be  I think, since Allegro was first designed for DOS, and DOS allows a full
       unconditionnal access to all the hardware ressources  LW  requires.  LW  doesn't  use  any
       hardware  acceleration  and  it's  not  been  designed  to do so. Unfortunately there's no
       network support for the DOS version of Liquid War.

       When running under a Windows box, the DOS release used to be safer than the native Windows
       port.  Now  that  DOS  support is getting really poor with recent versions of Windows, the
       native Windows release of Liquid War starts begin the good choice for Windows  users.  And
       Allegro for Windows is getting quite stable in the 4.x series.

       The other reason to choose this release rather than the DOS release is that it has network

       If  you  have  problems  running  Liquid  War  under  Windows,  please   check   out   the
       "data\lwwin.log"  file which should be written each time you run the game. It contains the
       information which is displayed on the console under other platforms, and might give you  a
       clue about what's going wrong.

       This port is the most recent one, and also the one I prefer. Paths have been changed to an
       UNIXish style, ie the data is stored in:


       the executable in:


       and the configuration file is


       Since not all GNU/Linux distributions have /usr/local/games in their path, I  also  put  a
       symbolic  link  to  the  binaries  in  /usr/local/bin.  I  believe Liquid War is quite FHS
       compliant, so if its default directories do  not  match  your  configuration,  blame  your
       distro   for  not  following  the  standards  8-)  AFAIK  the  only  touchy  directory  is
       /usr/local/share/pixmaps which I've seen on many distribution but  does  not  seem  to  be
       referenced in the FHS.

       With the latest releases of Allegro, Liquid War is becoming pretty stable under GNU/Linux.
       You should also know that the GNU/Linux port is usually the most up to date, since I  very
       very seldom boot Windows at home and do most of the coding under GNU/Linux.

       This  is  the  latest port, so I expect it to be a little touchy to install and/or run for
       some time.

       Note that to compile the game you'll need to install GNU tools like gmake and gcc.  Liquid
       War won't compile with the genuine make and cc commands.

       One  thing you might ask is: "why do you provide the binary as a plain .tgz file, it would
       be much nicer if a standard FreeBSD port was provided instead!". The answer  is  that  the
       statically linked binary should work flawlessly and does not raise any dependency problem.
       Also I don't know how to make a BSD port and I'm not really interested  in  doing  it.  If
       it's easy to do, then someone can simply do it and send it back to me. If it's hard to do,
       then I do not really have the time nor motivation to do it. What I did is  make  the  code
       and  install  scripts  FreeBSD  friendly  so that it would be possible to compile the game
       under FreeBSD. Packaging is another story.

   Mac OS X
       There's currently a beta version of a Mac OS X port for Liquid War. Ryan D.  Brown  nicely
       managed  to  compile and run the game under Mac OS X, and the latest news was that it does
       basically work. Still, this port did not go through  intensive  testing,  so  there  might
       still be some bugs, expecially concerning networking.

       There  were  some  byte  endianess  problems in previous ( <=5.5.8 ) releases of LW, but I
       tried to fix them and they should be gone now.

       As of today, we're trying to find out a convenient way to package and release the Mac OS X
       version of LW. You can contact us on the mailing list if you're interested in this port.

User levels

   A piece of advice
       You  can  use  your own levels whith Liquid War 5. The only thing you have to do is to put
       your own 256-colors vbitmap files in a special directory, and the program will  use  them.
       Currently,  BMP,  LBM,  PCX,  and  TGA  files are supported. It is a good thing to use 256
       colors bitmaps, for they waste less disk space than truecolor bitmaps, and  Liquid  War  5
       converts  all  bitmaps  to 32 colors bitmaps. Additionnally, truecolor bitmaps might cause
       the DOS version to crash randomly... 2-color bitmaps will also cause the program to crash.
       I warned you!

       The  best  thing  you  can do to create your user levels is to have a look at the few user
       files I put in the .zip file and try at first to do something that looks about the same!

       Liquid War 5 does many checks on user levels and is much safer than Liquid War  3.  Still,
       try and help the program not to crash, if possible.

       Liquid  War  considers  that dark colors are walls and bright colors are associated to the
       playable area. So you can draw your walls in black, dark blue, etc... And the rest of  the
       map can be of any bright color such as white or yellow.

       You  can  draw  a small map on a big bitmap, as long as you use a bright background color.
       Liquid War will autodetect the range of your map and add the border line if necessary.

       Liquid War re-orders all the maps, so that the smallest ones are on the left and the  most
       complicated  ones  on the right when you choose them with the slider in the "map" menu. So
       if you can't find the map you just draw, don't worry, it is probably just mixed  with  the
       levels from the .dat file.

       The     default     path     for     maps     is    "custom\map\"    on    windows,    and
       "/usr/local/share/games/liquidwar/map" on GNU/Linux.

       All you have to do is put a bitmap in the default directory which is "custom\texture\"  on
       windows, and "/usr/local/share/games/liquidwar/texture" on GNU/Linux.

       As  of  Liquid War 5.6.x, it's possible to associate a map with a texture. All you need is
       to call the maps with the same name (case is important, lowercase  recommendend...).  Look
       at the "meditate" custom map which is shipped with Liquid War for instance.

       This  also works with internal builtin maps (those stored in the datafile) so for instance
       if you name a custom texture "world1.bmp" it  will  automatically  be  associated  to  the
       builtin  map  world1  (to  figure  out  internal  names  you  have  to  unpack  the source
       distribution and look in the ./data directory). This also works the other way, if you name
       a map "wood2.bmp" it will be automatically associated with the builtin texture wood2.

       Associating  a  texture with a map requires more work than designing a simple map, but the
       results is usually much nicer. See the "Kasper - ..." series of maps for instance.

   Send your levels
       Maybe you will find that the original levels are ugly and unplayable. Well,  if  you  have
       made  user  levels and think they are great, just send them to the Liquid War user mailing
       list. Please use only 256 colors bitmap and zip them before sending  them,  or  else  they
       might be blocked by my provider...

       As  of  today,  dozens of user maps have already been included in Liquid War, this is very
       nice for it happens that every map designer has his own personnal tastes, so the maps  all
       look different.

       Still,  to  be included in Liquid War's mainstream distribution, your maps will need to be
       placed under the terms of the GNU  General  Public  License,  or  at  least  a  compatible
       license.  You  should have received a copy of this license with Liquid War anyway. Read it

       Of course, you can use *any* map when playing. You can even play with  a  bitmap  you  got
       from  a  proprietary  source  -  such a proprietary game you bought for instance - but the
       point is that I can't - and you can't either - distribute such a  map  along  with  Liquid

       However,  this  is  enough  legal  boring  stuff! What you should keep in mind is that I'm
       always happy when I receive maps from players, and it's a pleasure for me to include  them
       in the mainstream distribution.

Core algorithm

       General remarks

       If  you  have  played  Liquid  War,  you must have noticed that your army always takes the
       shortest way to reach the cursor. So the fundamental stuff in Liquid War is  path-finding.
       Once  you've  done that the game is quite easy to code. Not harder than any other 2D game.
       Still the path finding algorithm is an interesting one, for it's not a common method  that
       we used.

       Basically,  at  each  round  (by round I mean a game logical update, this occurs 10 or 100
       times/sec depending on the level and/or your machine), the distance from all the points of
       the  level  to  your  cursor  is calculated. Now the point is to calculate this fast, real
       fast. In fact, a "gradient" is calculated for all the points of the level, and  the  value
       of this gradient is the distance required for a little pixel/fighter to reach your cursor,
       assuming that he takes the shortest way. Liquid War does this with a 10% error  tolerance,
       and it's enough for keeping the game interesting.

       Once  you  have  this gradient calculated, it's not hard to move your fighters. Basically,
       you just have to move them toward the adjacent point that has the lowest  gradient  value,
       ie is the closest to your cursor.


       The  Liquid  War  algorithm  has  been  invented by my friend Thomas Colcombet In fact the
       Liquid War algorithm has been invented  before  the  game  itself.  The  game  came  as  a
       consequence  of  the  algorithm,  he  just  thought  "mmm, cool, we could make a game with

       Later, I enhanced the algorithm, as I  coded  it.  The  consequences  were  a  performance
       increase,  especially on simple but big levels. I mean levels with wide areas for teams to
       move. Still the basis of the algorithm remained the same.


       The Liquid War algorithm for path-finding is very efficient:

       *  When you have to move lots of different points toward  one  single  point.  Good  thing
          that's the rule of Liquid War!

       *  When  you  have no clue about how your map will look like, ie if the walls are randomly
          placed. The complexity of the level doesn't influence much the speed of the  algorithm.
          The size does, but the complexity, ie the number of walls, is not so important.


       The Liquid War algorithm is very poor compared to other algorithms when:

       *  You  have several target destinations, that's to say Liquid War would be really slow if
          there were 100 teams with 10 players only.

       *  You want to move one single point only.

       *  > You want the exact (100% sure) path. In fact, this algorithm  finds  solutions  which
          approach  the  best  one  but you can never figure out if the solution you found is the
          best, and the algorithm never ends. In the long term, the algo  will  always  find  the
          best  solution  or  something  really close but I don't know any easy way to figure out
          when you have reached this state.


       The first Liquid War algorithm used to calculate the gradient (the distance from  a  point
       to your cursor) for every single point of the map.

       With  Liquid  War  5,  I  used  a  mesh system. This mesh system is a structure of squares
       connected together. Squares may be 1,2,4,8 or 16 units large or any nice value like  that,
       and the gradient is only calculated once for each square. Squares have connections between
       them, and each connection is associated to a direction.

       There are 12 directions:

       *  North-North-West (NNW)

       *  North-West (NW)

       *  West-North-West (WNW)

       *  West-South-West (WSW)

       *  South-West (SW)

       *  South-South-West (SSW)

       *  South-South-East (SSE)

       *  South-East (SE)

       *  East-South-East (ESE)

       *  East-North-East (ENE)

       *  North-East (NE)

       *  North-North-East (NNE)


       Well, let me give you an example, supposing that you level structure is:

       *        *
       *        *
       *       **
       *        *

       The * represent walls, that's to say squares where fighters can not go.

       Then the mesh structure would be:


       In this mesh, there are 7 zones:

       *  zone 1 has a size of 4. It's linked with zones 2 (ENE) and 4 (ESE).

       *  zone 2 has a size of 2. It's linked with zones 3 (ENE,ESE), 5 (SE), 4 (SSE,SSW)  and  1

       *  zone 3 has a size of 2. It's linked with zones 5 (SSW), 4 (SW) and 2 (WSW,WNW).

       *  zone  4  has  a size of 2. It's linked with zones 2 (NNW,NNE), 4 (NE), 5 (ENE), 6 (ESE)
          and 1 (WSW,WNW,NW).

       *  zone 5 has a size of 1. It's linked with zones 3 (NNW,NNE,NE), 7 (SE), 6  (SSE,SSW),  4
          (SW,WSW,WNW) and 2 (NW).

       *  zone  6  has  a  size  of  1.  It's  linked  with  zones 5 (NNW,NNE), 7 (ENE,ESE) and 4

       *  zone 7 has a size of 1. It's linked with zones 5 (NW) and 6 (WSW,WNW).

       Why such a complicated structure?

       Because it allows the module which calculates the gradient to work much faster. With  this
       system,  the  number of zones is reduced a lot, and calculus on the mesh can go very fast.
       At the same time, this mesh structure is complicated to understand by us humans  but  it's
       very easy for the computer.


       For each zone defined in the mesh, LW calculates an estimation of the distance between the
       cursor and this zone.

       The algorihm is based on the fact that to cross a zone which size is n,  n  movements  are
       required. Easy, eh?


       Here's the way the algorithm works:

       for each turn of the game, do:

       *  pick  up  a  direction  between  the 12 defined directions. They have to be chosen is a
          peculiar order to avoid weird behaviors from fighters, but let's suppose we  just  pick
          up the "next" direction, ie if WSW was chosen the last time, we pick up WNW.

       and then for each zone in the mesh, do:

       *  Compare  the potential of the current zone with that of its neighbor zone. The neighbor
          zone to be chosen is the  one  which  corresponds  to  the  direction  which  has  been
          previously picked up, and by potential I mean "the distance to the cursor, estimated by
          the algorithm's last pass".

       *  If     potential_of_the_neighbor_zone      >      (potential_of_the_current_zone      +
          size_of_the_current_zone)         then         potentiel_of_the_neighbor_zone         =
          potential_of_the_current_zone + size_of_the_current_zone

       How can this work?

       Well, just ask my friend thom-Thom, he's the one who had the idea of this algorithm!

       The basic idea is that by applying this simple rule to all  the  zones,  after  a  certain
       amount  of  time,  it's  impossible  to  find  any place in the mesh where the rule is not
       respected. And at this time, one can consider the potiential is right in any point.

       Of course when the cursor moves the potential has to be recalculated, but you see, cursors
       move really slowly in Liquid War, so the algorithm has plenty of time to find a new stable


       It's possible to see this algorithm working by typing:


       while playing, where [n] is the number of the team the gradient of which you want to view.
       The  game  is  still  running but you view a team's gradient being calculated in real time
       instead of seeing the fighters.

       If you type ufootgrad0 the display comes back to normal mode.


       Once the gradient is calculated for any zone on the battlefield, it's quite easy  to  move
       the fighters, hey?

       The following method is used to move the players:

       *  A  "main  direction"  is  chosen  for  the  fighter, this direction is chosen using the
          gradient calculated on the mesh.

       *  Knowing which direction is the main one, a "level of interest" is  applied  to  the  12
          defined directions.

       There are 4 "level of interest" for directions:

       *  Main directions: the direction calculated.

       *  Good directions: these directions should lead the fighter to the cursor.

       *  Acceptable  directions:  ok,  one  can  use this direction, since the fighter shouldn't
          loose any time using it.

       *  Unpossible directions: wether there's a wall or using this direction means the  fighter
          will be farer from his cursor than before, it always means that this direction will not
          be used, never.


       The fighters will try to find any matching situation in this list,  and  chose  the  first

       *  The main direction is available, no one on it, OK, let's follow it.

       *  There's a good direction with no one on it, OK, let's follow it.

       *  There's an acceptable direction with no one on it, OK, let's follow it.

       *  The main direction is available, but there's an opponent on it, I attack! By attacking,
          one means that energy is drawned from the  attacked  fighter  and  transmitted  to  the
          attacker. When the attacked fighter dies, he belongs to the team which killed him.

       *  A good direction is available, but there's an opponent on it, I attack!

       *  The  main  direction  is available, but there's a mate on it, I cure him. That's to say
          that energy is given to the mate. This way, when there's a big pool  of  fighters  from
          the same team, they re-generate each other.

       *  None of the previous situations found, do nothing.

       Tips and tricks

       The  behavior of the armies is quite tricky to set up. I had myself to try many algorithms
       before I came to something nice. In fact, I had to introduce some "random" behaviors. They
       are  not  really  random  for  I  wanted  the  game to behave the same when given the same
       keyboard input, but for instance, fighters will prefer NNW to NNE sometimes,  and  NNE  to
       NNW  some other times. By the way, I think Liquid War could stand as a nice example of the
       thoery of chaos.

Source code

   General remarks

       Liquid War 5 is basically a big C program. I've splitted the source  code  in  many  small
       files  for  I do not like to have to handle big monolithic sources, but this does not mean
       Liquid War is very modular. In fact Liquid War 5 is quite bloated  with  global  variables
       and other ugly stuff 8-(

       Coding style

       To  be  honest, it's a big mess. You won't find 2 files coded in the same maner... OK, I'm
       exagerating a bit. From now I try to make an effort and stick to basic rules such as:

       *  use the GNUish-style indentation - the default Emacs mode in fact

       *  prefix global functions / variables / constants /  types  with  lw_<NAME_OF_THE_file>_.
          For instance, a "do_it" function in myfile.c will be called lw_myfile_do_it

       *  use capitals for constants, globals and types only. All functions are in lowercase with
          "_" to separate words

       *  keep on using 8.3 filenames for .c source files. This is for  better  DOS  integration.
          DOS version of Liquid War is still maintained, you know 8-)

       *  use English only for code and comments

       I  might  decide to rename and cleanup everything some day, for it would help other coders
       to understand what I wrote, but well, this is certainly not a thrilling task 8-/

   Source files organization
       Main game code

       Here you'll find the main() function, the main game loop, application-wide  constants  and
       other global stuff.

       It might be a good start if you want to hack the code.

       *  base.h: contains global constants used in many different files.

       *  game.c / game.h: contains the main game loop.

       *  main.c  /  main.h: the file where the main C function is declared. Doesn't contain much
          except calling init functions and running the GUI.


       The menus are coded using the Allegro GUI system. While this  system  is  very  powerfull,
       it's  IMHO  not adapted to very complex GUIs, and one of its drawbacks is that it's not so
       easy to redesign something once you've coded it.

       Besides, when I started coding the GUI in 1998, I did it in a rather ugly way, and now I'm
       paying  for  my  being lazy at that time, since I spent hours coding when I want to change
       something 8-/

       *  about.c / about.h: contains the code for the about menu.

       *  advanced.c / advanced.h: contains the GUI advanced options menu.

       *  connect.c / connect.h: contains code  for  the  "connect"  menu  which  displays  which
          players are connected to the server, before the game actually starts.

       *  controls.c / controls.h: contains the code for the controls menu.

       *  graphics.c / graphics.h: code for the graphic options menu.

       *  internet.c  /  internet.h:  contains the code for the "Search for Internet games" menu,
          where one can pick up a running server automatically with the help of the meta-server.

       *  language.c / language.h: contains the code for the "Language" menu.

       *  level.c / level.h: contains code for the menu where the player can select a  level  and
          its options (texture or color).

       *  menu.c / menu.h: contains the code for the main menu.

       *  netgame.c / netgame.h: contains the code for the net game menu.

       *  options.c / options.h: contains the code for the options menu.

       *  play.c / play.h: contains the code which ties the menu to the main gameloop.

       *  rules.c / rules.h: code for the rules menu.

       *  score.c / score.h: functions to display the scores at the end of the game.

       *  speeds.c / speeds.h: contains the code for the speeds menu.

       *  team.c / team.h: code for the team menu, where one choses which teams will play.

       *  volume.c / volume.h: code for the sound menu.

       *  wave.c / wave.h: code for the wave menu.

       GUI tools

       These files contain various utilities which are used in the menus.

       *  alleg2.c  /  alleg2.h: contains some tweaked allegro functions. I wanted to use bitmaps
          with sevral colors for my fonts, and change some of the allegro  default  behavior.  So
          rather  than modifying the allegro source code right in the library I copied it in this
          file and then modified it.

       *  back.c / back.h: this modules displays the background image.

       *  dialog.c / dialog.h: contains code for standard dialog boxes.

       *  error.c / error.h: contains functions to display error messages once  the  game  is  in
          graphical mode.

       *  help.c / help.h: generic functions to display the various help pages.

       Core algorithm

       Here's  *the*  interesting  part.  All  the rest of the code is just sugar coat to display
       stuff, receive players commands, communicate with other computers, handle  errors,  etc...
       But the real thing is here!

       It's funny to note that these files have almost not been modified since Liquid War 5.0.

       It's  also  interesting to note that they represent a small percentage of the total amount
       of code in the game. This tends to prove - and I'm convinced of it - that game programming
       does  not  only  consists  in  having  great ideas, but also requires a lot of "dirty" and
       boring work. Honestly, coding an option menu is as boring as coding Liquid  War  algorithm
       is fun.

       *  fighter.c  /  fighter.h:  contains  code to move the armies, once the gradient has been

       *  grad.c / grad.h: this module calculates the gradient for each team. One could say  it's
          the "kernel" of the game, since most of the CPU time is spent in this module (except if
          you have a slow display...).

       *  mesh.c / mesh.h: contains  code  to  set  up  a  usable  mesh  with  a  map.  Mesh  are
          re-calculated at each time a new game is started, the reason for this being that meshes
          are *very* big so it would not be reasonnable to save them directly on the HD.

       *  monster.s / monster.h: assembly functions to speed-up the game. It's a replacement  for
          some fighter.c functions.

       *  spread.s / spread.h: contains assembly replacements for some functions of grad.c. These
          replacements do the same than the original ones from grad.c, but faster. Could still be

       Moving cursors

       It  looks  like  nothing, but moving a cursor and deciding where it should go if there's a
       wall in front of it is not that easy, especially if you want things to work nicely.

       *  autoplay.c / autoplay.h: contains the code for the computer AI. This  module  simulates
          keypresses from the computer, then the computer is handled as any other player.

       *  move.c / move.h: provides an API to move the cursors.

       User input

       Until 5.4.0, Liquid War did not have network support. As it is designed to be multiplayer,
       one needed to have several players on the same computer.  The  mouse  also  needed  to  be
       handled  in a special way since cursors can *not* pass walls in Liquid War. Additionnally,
       I wanted all input channels (keyboard mouse and joystick) to be handled in a unified way.

       This explains why there's so much code for user input, when one would think at first sight
       that "polling the keyboard is enough".

       *  joystick.c  /  joystick.h:  contains  code to support joystick input. It wraps joystick
          buttons to virtual keyboard keys, so that joystick  and  keyboard  behave  exactly  the

       *  keyboard.c / keyboard.h: contains code to handle key presses.

       *  mouse.c  /  mouse.h:  wraps  the mouse movements to virtual keyboard keys. This way the
          mouse can be used to control the players.


       These files contain functions to intialize various game components. 100% boring code.

       *  area.c / area.h: contains functions to create the  game  area.  Basically  it  contains
          functions to create the data structures in which the level is stored during the game.

       *  army.c / army.h: functions to create the armies, and place them on the battlefield.

       *  asm.c  /  asm.h:  various  constants,  macros and utilities to ensure that asembly code
          works correctly.

       *  bigdata.c / bigdata.h: I had a really hard time with the  malloc  function  with  DJGPP
          under Win95 dos box. I tried to have it working for hours and hours but my program kept
          being buggy. So I decided to allocate the memory myself, in a memory zone I  create  at
          startup.  This  is what this module does: create a huge memory zone and then give parts
          of it to the rest of the program.

       *  config.c / config.h: contains everything that is related  to  the  game  configuration.
          This  module  contains  in  global  variables all the parameters that are stored in the
          config file.

       *  cursor.c / cursor.h: contains the code to init  the  cursors  and  place  them  on  the
          battlefield at the beginning of the game.

       *  decal.c  / decal.h: This module makes the link between teams and players. Its coding is
          quite ugly, for some modules in LW assume that when 2 teams are playing they are always
          teams  0  and 1. So when 3 teams are playing are playing and the second team loses, one
          has to make team 2 become team 1. That's what this module is for.

       *  exit.c / exit.h: contains code that is executed when  the  game  ends,  it  shuts  down
          Allegro and displays messages on the console.

       *  gfxmode.c  /  gfxmode.h:  contains  code to set up the various video modes, and defines
          which modes are available for each platform.

       *  init.c / init.h: contains code to initialize Allegro with proper  options  and  analyze

       *  palette.c  /  palette.h:  contains function to set up the current color palette. Liquid
          War uses different palettes, depending on what colors are chosen for teams.


       Here lies most of the graphic functions in Liquid War. There's not that  much  code  since
       Liquid War's strength is not its visual effects, but rather its gameplay.

       The  only  "funny"  thing  is the wave effect. I'm quite happy with it, and honestly, I do
       think it is rather fast, given the fact that it uses no 3D hardware at all.

       *  disp.c / disp.h: contains functions to display the battlefield.

       *  distor.c / distor.h: this module contains code to create the "wave effect". It  uses  a
          lot of data tables, and is quite complicated to understand...

       *  glouglou.s  /  glouglou.h:  assembly  module, it is a replacement for some functions of
          distor.c. It goes much faster but does the same.

       *  info.c / info.h: contains code to display the info bar. The info bar is the  bar  which
          display  the  time  left  and  the  amount  of  players for each team while the game is

       *  message.c / message.h: provides an API to display messages during the game. Very useful
          if you want to debug the game: you can trace and display anything.

       *  pion.c / pion.h: contains code to display the cursors.

       *  viewport.c  /  vieport.h:  code  to  allocate  and  resize  the  zone  where the map is
          displayed, also called "viewport".

       Sound and music

       Sound and music routines required some encapsulation, since the game must be able  to  run
       even if the sound and/or music did not load correctly.

       *  music.c / music.h: contains the code to control MIDI playback.

       *  sound.c / sound.h: functions to play sound.

       Data management

       These functions handle the datafile contents and also the custom data.

       Note that the various utilities such as liquidwarcol, liquidwarmap and liquidwartex do not
       share code with the main executable. This is obviously a design  error,  for  liquidwarmap
       will  handle  maps  in a very poor way and is unable to autodetect map errors, whereas the
       game does it rather well. Blame the programmer.

       *  disk.c / disk.h: contains all the code to access data from the hard drive. In fact, all
          the HD access is done at startup.

       *  map.c  /  map.h:  contains  code  to  load  the maps from a datafile raw data or a user
          defined bitmap to a usable structure in RAM.

       *  maptex.c / maptex.h: contains code to handle the  "use  default  texture"  option,  and
          associate a map with a given texture automatically.

       *  texture.c  /  texture.h:  contains  code  to  handle textures. Textures are stored in a
          special format which uses 5 bits per pixel.

       Random map generator

       Liquid War has a "generate random map" feature which is available within the game and also
       as an external program. The source code for the external program is in ./utils/lwmapgen in
       Liquid War source distribution. This program has been  coded  by  David  Redick,  is  also
       available   on   and  works  on  GNU/Linux.
       Compiling this program under DOS and/or Windows is untested and unsupported.

       The random map generator within Liquid War - which of course works on any platform support
       by LW - uses for its greater part the same source code as the external lwmapgen program.

       *  random.c  /  random.h:  wrapper  for  the  map  generator  written  by David Redick. It
          basically does the same as ./utils/lwmapgen/main.c except that it does it within Liquid
          War as it is running and not in an external independant program.

       Time handling

       Time  handling is fundamental in a game. Time is used for visual effects (waves...) during
       the game, it's used to generate some pseudo random stuff, well, it's used everywhere!

       Note that on the client, I use 2 "different" clocks. The first counts the "real" time,  in
       seconds. The second one is counts "rounds" and is incremented by 1 at each game round.

       *  srvtime.c  /  srvtime.h:  code  used  to  handle  time  on  the server, where Allegro's
          functions are not available.

       *  ticker.c / ticker.h: sets up a timer callback.

       *  time.c / time.h: functions to know how long the game has been running, knowing that  it
          can be interrupted.

       In-game utilities

       These are various utilities use to monitor and control the game while one's playing.

       *  capture.c  /  capture.h: code used to capture the video output of the game and store it
          in .bmp files while playing.

       *  checksum.c / checksum.h: utilities to generate a checksum from a given game state. Used
          in network code to make sure all the clients stay synchronized.

       *  code.c  /  code.h:  This  file contains the code to handle key presses during the game.
          That's to say the pause key for instance.

       *  profile.c / profile.h: provides tools to calculate how fast the game  is  runnning  and
          what operations slow it down.

       *  watchdog.c  /  watchdog.h:  this  module waits for "secret codes" to be typed while the
          game is running, and traps them.

       Command line handling

       OK, now to all the UNIX guys, I *know* there are many ways to do things in  a  better  and
       simple  way  than  I did. But keep in mind that in 1998, under DOS, I had a rotten command
       line and even now I need everything to work on both UNIX and Microsoft platforms.

       These utilities are not perfect, but they work, that's all I ask them.

       *  basicopt.c / basicopt.h: handles basic command line parameters such as "-v" or "-h".

       *  parser.c / parser.h: contains code to parse and analyze the command line parameters.

       *  startup.c / startup.h: analyzes the command line parameters and stores them into global

       Locale support

       Liquid  War  now  has  locale  support.  Basically, all the labels and texts in the UI are
       stored in constants. There's simply file per language.

       Note to translators: if you decide to translate the menus in  another  language,  keep  in
       mind  that  all  the  translations must fit in the various buttons and textboxes. The best
       resolution to test this - the one where letters take most place - is 640x480.

       *  lang.c / lang.h: contains code to handle language dependant stuff.

       *  langen.c / langen.h: contains code to handle English specific stuff.

       *  langfr.c / langfr.h: contains code to handle French specific stuff.

       Log and various messages

       OK, the API of the log routines is a piece of crap. Now I'm simply too lazy to change  it.
       It works, that's all I ask.

       BTW,  there's  a clear advantage in using custom-made log functions instead of plain calls
       to "fprintf(stderr,...". It might not be obvious for UNIX users, but think about  Windows.
       Nothing like a "tail -f" there, nor a proper output redirection system. When a user clicks
       on the Liquid War icon, I want "console" information to be logged in a file!

       *  log.h: common header for logcli.c and logsrv.c.

       *  logcli.c: contains code to display messages on the console. It's  usefull  for  console
          may  have  different behaviors when the games is used on different platforms. This file
          is used to compile the client.

       *  logsrv.c: contains code to display messages on  the  console.  This  file  is  used  to
          compile the server, which does not use Allegro at all.

       *  popupgen.h: common header for popup functions.

       *  popupw32.c:  code  to  handle popup on the Win32 platform. Popups are a must-have under
          Windows for error diagnostics, since the average Windows user never gives any  look  at
          any log file...

       Macros, utilities and string support

       As usual, I needed to prepare a small set of usefull macros.

       *  macro.h:  contains  basic  wrappers/macros  for snprintf like functions. This mostly to
          ease up string manipulation which is - as always - a nightmare in standard C.

       *  path.c / path.h: code used to handle filenames and paths, for instance remove path  and
          file extension from a filename.

       It's  also  important  to note that Liquid War uses snprintf instead of sprintf, for using
       the latter is very likely to cause buffer  overflows.  Under  Linux  glibc  provides  this
       function  but  Microsoft does not provide it natively on Windows. Therefore I used a third
       party snprintf implementation by Mark Martinec:  and
       its source is available in the ./utils directory of Liquid War source distribution.

       Byte order and endianess

       As  you  might know, PC Intel based computers are "little-endian" while Sun Sparc stations
       and Mac computers are "big-endian". This is an issue for LW since in  network  games  maps
       are  transmitted  in  binary  format.  Therefore I needed to set up some (un)serialization

       *  serial.c / serial.h: code used to transform integers and map headers  into  an  uniform
          cross-platform byte stream which is readable by both little and big endian machines.

       Thread support

       Liquid War does have thread support, but it is a "limited" thread support. I mean that the
       game is generally monothreaded, but a few functions use threads. For  instance,  calls  to
       the meta-server are done within threads.

       Basically,  I  do  not  really enjoy programming in a multithreaded environnement. So when
       possible, I chose the monothread path, and used threads only where I simply would  not  be
       able to find another acceptable solution.

       I also needed to use some mutexes to prevent crashes in the user interface.

       *  mutxdos.c:  provides  fake  mutex  support  under DOS. This module is here only to make
          compilation easier.

       *  mutxgen.h: header for mutxdos.c, mutxunix.c and mutxw32.c.

       *  mutxunix.c: provides mutex support on UNIX.

       *  mutxw32.c: provides mutex support on Win32.

       *  thrddos.c: provides fake thread support under DOS. This module is  here  only  to  make
          compilation easier.

       *  thrdgen.h: header for thrddos.c, thrdunix.c and thrdw32.c.

       *  thrdunix.c: provides thread support on UNIX.

       *  thrdw32.c: provides thread support on Win32.

       Launching external programs

       Liquid  War  might sometimes launch external programs. This is (for security reason) not a
       default behavior and has to be activated and configured by yourself, using the "-callback"
       command line option on the server for instance.

       *  execgen.h: header for execunix.c and execw32.c.

       *  execunix.c: code to launch external programs on UNIX.

       *  execw32.c: code to launch external programs on Win32.

       *  exec2.c:  code  to  launch external programs within the client, without any interaction
          with the user, ie no unwanted popping window for instance.

       Low-level network code

       There are network packages for Allegro, but I decided not to use them. Socket  support  is
       not  that  hard  to  implement  under  UNIX and Win32 and besides, I've done it for my job
       recently, so I just knew how to do it.

       Another reason which decided me to code my own toolbox is that I did not want  Liquid  War
       to  have  external  dependencies  - except Allegro of course. This way, UNIX gamers to not
       have to set up and/or download a specific network library. It's also easier  to  integrate
       the game in projects like Debian if it has few dependencies.

       This  network  code is not a masterpiece, it's just a little set of tools that have proven
       to work. That's all.

       BTW, it's important to notice that when linking with Allegro,  most  blocking  UNIX  calls
       ("sleep"  or  "recv" for instance) stop working: they alwasys return immediately. This led
       me to implement weird ugly hacks, like calling "recv" in a loop  until  it  gets  what  it
       wants...  This  is  theorically and practically a performance killer, but I found no other
       way to fix this. And FYI, this is not an Allegro bug, it's a feature 8-)

       *  dnsutil.c / dnsutil.h: wrapper code to issue DNS requests, without having to handle the
          hostent struct.

       *  sock2cli.c: sode used to wrap low-level network function on the client.

       *  sock2gen.h: header for sock2cli.c and sock2srv.c.

       *  sock2srv.c: code used to wrap low-level network function on the server.

       *  sockdos.c: network API for DOS.

       *  sockex.c: netowrk routines shared by sockunix and sockw32.

       *  sockgen.h: header for sockdos.c, sockunix.c and sockw32.c.

       *  sockunix.c: network API for UNIX.

       *  sockw32.c: network API for Win32.

       High-level network code

       These files contains network utilities which are Liquid War specific.

       *  chat.c / chat.h: functions used to handle chat messages in network games.

       *  keyexch.c  /  keyexch.h:  functions to send and receive keys to the server. Used on the

       *  netconf.c / netconf.h: code to send and receive the config  of  the  clients  over  the

       *  netkey.c / netkey.h: contains some tools to manipulate key strokes over the network.

       *  netmap.c / netmap.h: code to send and receive the maps over the network.

       *  netmess.c  /  netmess.h:  contains a parser to interpret plain text messages. Used when
          exhanging information over the network.

       *  netplay.c / netplay.h: contains the code to set up and start network games.

       *  network.c / network.h: contains some network related functions and  constants  used  on
          the client.

       *  ping.c  /  ping.h:  code  used  on  the client to estimate the average ping time with a

       *  protocol.c / protocol.h: contains the sequence of messages send  and  recevied  by  the
          client when connecting on the server.

       *  startinf.c  / startinf.h: contains struct and tools to handle some network informations
          while starting a network game.

       Communication with the meta-server

       The meta-server is called by both client  and  server.  Basically,  the  server  registers
       itself, and the client asks for a list of servers.

       The meta-server itself is just a set of simple PHP scripts with a simple MySQL database. I
       chose PHP because my provider allows execution of PHP pages, that's all.

       The protocol is *very* basic, and uses HTTP 1.0 for  requests.  Answers  are  received  in
       plain  text,  with one information per line. There's no garantee that this would work with
       any HTTP server, but experience proved that it works with my provider 8-)

       *  httputil.c / httputil.h: low level functions to handle http requests.

       *  wwwcli.c / wwwcli.h: code used on the client to communicate with the meta-server.

       *  wwwsrv.c / wwwsrv.h: code used on the server to communicate with the meta-server.

       Server code

       The Liquid War server is a rather small program. The only thing  it  does  is  accept  new
       players, transmit map and game parameters between them, and then "replicate keys".

       By  "replicate  keys"  I mean that the server asks each client what keys have been pressed
       during the last round, and then dispatches this informations to all clients. This  implies
       that the server has absolutely no idea of who's loosing, who's winning, etc...

       All  the  "logic"  of  the  server is coded in these files, the rest is only utilities and
       helper functions.

       *  server.c / server.h: main code for the server (equivalent of main.c for the client).

       *  srvchan.c / srvchan.h: code used to handles  channels  on  the  server.  A  channel  is
          associated to a given computer and may manage several teams.

       *  srvcont.c / srvcont.h: global network controler used on the server.

       *  srvteam.c / srvteam.h: code used to handle teams on the server.


   Report a new bug
       If  you  have  troubles  with  Liquid  War  5,  if you think it is a bug, and if it is not
       described in this file, then just send a (precise...) decription of your  problem  to  the
       Liquid War user mailing list.

       Besides,  it  happens  that  now  most  bug  reports  come from the Debian tracking system
       "". Thanks to the  Debian  users
       and maintainers, it's a very valuable feedback source.

       Additionnaly,   on  online  bug  tracking  system  has  been  set  up.  It  uses  Flyspray  It's   accessible   on   or
       "".  I try to collect everything here :
       bugs  reported  on  the  mailing-list,  bugs  from  Debian,  and  bugs  I  found   myself.
       Alternatively you can report bugs directly on it 8-)

       Network  support  in  Liquid War is far from being perfect, so there are a bunch of little
       problems which can appear. Basically, once the game is correctly started  on  a  LAN,  you
       should have no problems, but getting the game started might be difficult.

   Mouse does not work
       Some users reported that they were unable to control the Liquid War cursor with the mouse.
       Well, the answer is a typical Microsoftish "this ain't a bug, it's a feature!".

       More seriously, you're supposed to move the  cursor  with  the  keyboard  in  Liquid  War.
       There's no way to handle the cursor "like a mouse pointer" (*). This is due to:

       *  Severe limitations in the Liquid War core algorithm.

       *  The  fact  that moving the cursor "too fast" would really change the gameplay of Liquid
          War. As a Liquid War integrist 8-) I can tell you the game would really not be the same
          if  you could move the cursor as fast as you wish. It's part of the game that sometimes
          it takes you ages to recover from a strategical  mistakes.  You  need  to  think  twice
          before  going  to  the very end of a level. That's strategy. At least that's how I view
          things... Anyways as I mentionned above there's a limitation in the core algorithm.

       (*) This is not perfectly true, there's a way to control the cursor with  the  mouse,  but
       it's  designed  for  the  case  "4 people want to play on the same computer and one single
       keyboard is not enough". Controlling the cursor with the mouse in Liquid War  is  possible
       but  yet rather hard to master 8-/ Try it and you'll understand what I mean. This mode can
       be set up in the "Teams" menu.

   Game does not start
       On non UNIX platforms such as Windows or DOS, Liquid War is distributed in  a  .zip  file.
       It's  IMPORTANT  that  you  unzip  the  .zip  files with an "unzipper" which preserves the
       directory structure. Most install  problems  under  Windows  come  from  broken  unzipping
       programs  which  extract  all files in the same directory... WinZip 8.x or the unzip32.exe
       utility that comes with DJGPP are both able to uncompress Liquid War .zip files correctly.

       On  Liquid  War  5.5.9  and  later,  the  Windows  version  should  detect  this   problem
       automatically  and  warn you with a message which basically says something like "Unable to
       load datafile. Are you sure Liquid War is correctly installed?". If you get this  message,
       you  need  to  reinstall the game by unzipping it with a "correct" unzipping program which
       does not wreck directory structrure up.

   Interference with other Windows programs
       It's been reported that Liquid War can run very slowly on Windows when some other programs
       (Mozilla  for  instance)  are  running.  So if Liquid War's menus seem to be really really
       slow, then try to shut down other applications and run the game again.

       This problem does not seem to apply on GNU/Linux - at least if you do not run 300  daemons
       together on your machine 8-)

   Datafile bugs
       Sometimes there are some problems when compiling the datafile, this includes:

       *  The  liquidwarcol,  liquidwarmap  and  liquidwartex utilities might freeze or segfault.
          Typing "make" again often solves the problem.

       *  The background image sometimes ends up using the wrong palette, which has a very  nasty
          consequence: it looks ugly.

       These  bugs are quite hard to get rid off, since I can not reproduce them easily. The good
       solution would be to completely rewrite the liquidwarcol,  liquidwarmap  and  liquidwartex

   Midi does not work on OSS

       IF  your  midi music on Liquid War, or indeed any other Allegro game, doesn't work and you
       are using the OSS (Open Sound System) drivers (these are the sound drivers which come with
       the  standard  kernel  distribution),  this  may well be because Allegro only supports "FM
       synthesis" and not "wavetable" when it is using OSS. FM synthesis is a very old method  of
       making  sound  from MIDI and has long since been replaced by wavetable synthesis, with the
       net result that  it's  quite  possible  you've  got  OSS  MIDI  working  nicely  in  other
       applications  without having FM support set up at all. This is what I found. (It has to be
       said that I didn't find the FM sound quality quite as bad as people have said, though).

       In this situation, it looks to me like you have the following choices:

       Hack Allegro...

       and for the rest of us...

       Use Allegro's DIGMID midi driver...

       Get an FM driver up and running...

       *  Find  out  which  FM  driver  is  appropriate  for  your  sound  card.  If   you   have
          distribution-specific  tools and docs for setting up sound, try those. If not, you will
          need to be familiar with the knowledge in the Sound-HOWTO and  Kernel-HOWTO  i.e.  know
          how to compile kernels and modules and deal with sound drivers.

       *  Look through the OSS modules in 'make menuconfig' and see if anything catches your eye.
          See   if   there   is   any   specific   documentation   on   your   sound   card    on
 Do a few web searches. For my AWE64, I use the OPL3 driver.

       *  Compile  and  install the FM driver module, or set up your system to use the new kernel
          if you want to compile the driver in.

       *  Load the module, or boot your new kernel. It is very important that you  pay  attention
          to  what  is  said  in  the 'help' for your FM driver in 'make menuconfig' and read any
          necessary files in the Documentation/sound/ directory. For example, I just had  a  nice
          half-hour  wondering  why  the  hell my FM wasn't working now when it had been before -
          with the OPL3 driver, you have to give the option io=0x388 to insmod. Which  is  stated
          nice  and  clear in the docs, but of course I had forgotten since then. You can prevent
          such happenings by recording options permanently in /etc/modules.conf - see the manpage

       *  Try the game. If it's worked you will hear particularly beepy music. Enjoy!

       Opl3 occult FAQ

       --IMPORTANT--  If  you  are  using Liquid War, your FM will only work if you go to the map
       'Elephant inside a boa' and proceed to chase each other round in circles for at  least  10
       minutes.  This  cures a bug in the design of the OPL3 interface which conflicts badly with
       the core Liquid War algorithms. How the hell the music hardware even knows about the  core
       algorithms  I  don't know, but that's what I made of the now-defunct opl3-occult-FAQ, from
       which here is an excerpt:

       Many roads a man must take. Those with one-track minds are DOOMED, I tells ya.

       ---- The Liquid War algorithm calculates distances to one place, the cursor.


       Man or machine, face or code, must stand strong and solid; must  not  just  ooze  away  as

       ----  We  think it might just take objection to the whole 'slimy' nature of the LW beings.
       As well as it being LIQUID War.

       So, our carefully tailored approach, is to firstly have  the  players  going  in  all  the
       possible  different directions evenly by moving around the map in circles, and secondly to
       divert the opl3's attention from the general slimy liquidness of it all by emphasizing the
       solidity,  reality,  and  natural  goodness of that classic tapestry: an elephant inside a

       That and it's a f***ing ace level.

   Checksum errors
       The Liquid War server is a "light" servers which - to some extent - has no idea about what
       is  going on in the game. It simply replicates key strokes between clients and each client
       maintains its own game state. Normally, the game is designed so that given the  same  user
       input, it will behave exactly the same.

       However,  it  happens  that  sometimes  2  clients  can  behave differently, and this is a
       (severe) bug. One consequence is that messages reporting "Checksum errors" appear  on  the
       server's and on the client's console output. This bug appears when using non-default rules
       settings. Basically, if someones tweaks his rules, then the  checksum  errors  appear.  Of
       course I double-triple checked that options were correctly sent on the network, but, well,
       could not fix the bug. Yet. The short term solution seems to  play  with  default  factory

       I'm highly interested in bug-reports concerning this problem.

To do

       In  its  latest  releases  Liquid  War  is quite stable IMHO. However there are still some
       issues with network under Windows for instance. I'm aware of these bugs and I'm trying  to
       fix them but this does really take time.

       I  always  welcome  bug-reports  and  patches,  as making Liquid War W 5.x.x as stable and
       bug-free as possible is really important to me  -  and  most  of  the  time  players  also
       appreciate stable programs 8-)

       The  most important bug-fixing area is probably cross-platform support. That is, make sure
       that the game runs fine on every supported OS. For instance, it's  quite  common  for  Mac
       OS/X  and/or  FreeBSD  users  to  "crash" the game. This rarely happens on GNU/Linux, just
       because it has been so much more tested on this  platform.  This  applies  to  Liquid  War
       itself and also, to some extent, to Allegro.

   New features
       Let's  be  clear:  no  new  features  in  Liquid  War  5.  It's bloated, complicated, old,
       uninteresting to hack. All new features should be found in Liquid War 6.

   Liquid War 6
       Since summer 2005, Liquid War 6, a complete rewrite of Liquid War,  is  on  its  way.  See   or  for  more

Work in progress

   Note on releases
       Whenever  Liquid  War  is  released,  I  usually  pass  the  good  news  to  Freshmeat   ( ). Then all releases are accessible from the main
       download page, which is

       Releasing the game takes time, for I want all binaries to install properly and sources  to
       compile  cleanly.  Therefore  there might be some delay before the time coding is over and
       the time a release is actually ready. So for impatients and/or for people who need to test
       out the very latest versions (eg someone who wants to compile the game on a new platform),
       it's possible to access the source repository directly.

   About GNU Arch
       I use GNU Arch (Tom Lord's Arch in fact,  )  instead
       of  the  previously  used  CVS.  Indeed,  tla has some very fancy features such as signing
       patches with gpg, and I'm tired of suffering CVS limitations.

       So FYI the previously active CVS repositories, on Sourceforge and Savannah, are  currently

   How to get latest releases
       *  Step         1:         read         the         excellent         Arch        tutorial
 if you are  not  familiar  with
          tla. I admit there's a steep learning curve, but it's yet clear and understandable.

       *  Step   2:   point   on   the   repository,   which   is   accessible   (read-only)   on

       A typical set of tla commands would be:

       tla register-archive
       tla get -A liquidwar6--stable

       If you are interested, I can open this repository in read/write mode, however one  of  the
       points  of  GNU  Arch is that it allows cooperative developpement with multiple depots, so
       this isn't mandatory. And anyways, importing myself patches received by  email  has  never
       been a real burden.

       Besides,    most    developpement    is    now    done    on    Liquid    War    6.    See  or  for   more


       Liquid War is a multiplayer wargame.

       Copyright (C) 1998-2007 Christian Mauduit (

       This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of
       the GNU General Public License as  published  by  the  Free  Software  Foundation;  either
       version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

       This  program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY;
       without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A partICULAR  PURPOSE.
       See the GNU General Public License for more details.

       You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program;
       if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 51 Franklin St, Fifth Floor,  Boston,
       MA 02110-1301 USA


       Christian Mauduit <>

                                              v5.6.4                                Liquid War(6)