.TH flying 6 "18 July 1995" "X Version 11"
flying \- pool/snooker/carrom/hockey/curling simulator
was actually meant to be a test program to implement some classes
to control flying objects on the screen. After the classes were implemented
there was the need of some real tests and a game of billard was just
the first idea. By now, many subgame-classes are already more or less
completely defined. They can either be selected by the options or by making
a link to the original with a special name. Unfortunately having so many
subclasses means that the classes themselves can't be too complicated. (There's
just too less time in the world :( ) Therefore the games don't have any rules
yet. This means you have to play fair and watch your opponent.
Anyway, the main thing was animation and controlling and that works fine,
especially with the
version of pool-billard. Since the main intention was to get an excellent
billard game, I will mainly describe the pool-version in the following
pages. The other subgames are similar to control (and there are no special
The flying package contains many subgames, that are more or less in an
experimental stage. Here is a tiny summary of version 6
.SS Pool, Snooker, Cannon
As already mentioned above, pool is the most comprehensive subgame, especially due to the
deluxe version. It is very playable even though spin is not implemented. Rules
will have to be added in later revision.
Very similar to pool, just with another background (and more friction)
experimental air-hockey implementation (see option \fI-in2\fP to
set the display for the input-pointer for the second player), which is worth
looking at because of the unconventional control mechanism. The players
have to select one of the big discs before they can play.
experimental curling implementation, which is even more worth to look at
because of the control: Hold the \fIleft\fP button to take one curl.
Move it in the right direction and let it go...
The pointer (or pointers) run fully simultaenously and are like the hand of the
players. At every time it's possible to pick one of the objects to select
it as the cue-object (It should better be the cueball, if you don't want
to lose some friends). After you have aimed in the desired direction there
are 2 ways to play the ball:
.IP easy: 10
Press and hold down the \fIleft\fP button to increase the strength of your shot.
Release the button to shoot. There is a maximum power! If you hold down the
button too long, you will just make a very poor shot as a penalty.
.IP tricky: 10
You might notice on that the queue stays on the table for a moment. This
is a problem, if you are very close to the cushion. Then, the cueball
might hits the queue again. Therefor you can alternatively gather power by
pressing the \fIright\fP pointer button and shot by simultaenously pressing
the \fIleft\fP button. When you release the \fIleft\fP button after the shot,
the queue is removed from the table and you can therefore remove it earlier.
After shooting, you can only wait and see what will happen. By the way, there
actually are some tiny rules implemented. The billard classes know, that
cueballs shouldn't stay in the pocket after a shot. When they are back
on the table, you can roll them to the position you like by using the
\fIright\fP pointer button.
By the way, if you picked the wrong ball as the cue-object, you can get rid of
it by just clicking the \fIright\fP button once.
To overcome the hurdle of the mouse resolution, you can use the \fImiddle\fP
pointer button for fine adjustments. With that help, you can actually position
the mouse in fractions of pixels. To make shoting a thrill, you've got to
release the button again for shoting. (The fraction is stored in that case)
.IP left 8
introduce easy shot
pick ball from pocket
.IP middle 8
fine adjustment via interpixel motion
.IP right 8
introduce tricky shot
.SS Additional Key-Controls
.IP SPACE 8
.IP Q,Esc 8
.IP R 8
.IP ^L 8
.B -size \fIn\fP
full screen (the default)
don't use OverrideRedirect for the background window, when the
-root option is used.
don't grab the server, when problems with the colormap occur.
.B -display \fIname\fP
the output-display (default is contents of $DISPLAY)
.B -in1 \fIname\fP
name of the main display for input (default is: same as the output display)
.B -in2 \fIname\fP
name of a second input display. If given, a second pointer object will
be installed in the program and can be controlled by the pointer of
the given display. (The pointer will get invisible on that display as it
is grabbed anything)
As for every display connection, you have to make sure that all displays
are accessible from your host. (by using \fIxhost\fP ...)
a subprocess is started, which gives some clicks when balls hit together,
but the smooth motion gets distorted in that way, at least
on my workstation.
a special version of the pool with animated balls by using hundreds of
precalculated pixmaps. The construction of the pixmaps at game start
is very time consuming. Therefore the computed pixmaps are cached in files
\fIfly*-*.dta\fP in a special data-directory (usually just /tmp) for
since the deluxe-option is default, this can be used to switch back to the
set of TV-balls.
.B -ft \fIn\fP
sets the size of the table in pool-billard to \fIn\fP foot. The value
should be in a range of 6 to 9 feet. If not given, the size is selected
randomly, except in the deluxe-version, where it default to 8 feet.
This was done because every size would need other pixmaps for the balls.
.B -mode \fIn\fP
selects the update mode for the animation in the deluxe version of pool.
There are 3 (internal) different implementations of the ball animation, which
depend on the implementation of some specific routines of the x-server. Since
mode 2 is usually the fastest one, it is turned on by default.
runs a small benchmark with the available update modes. If a mode other
than the second is the fastest on the current machine, you should use the
mode-option to select it.
.B -time \fIs\fP
stop process after \fIs\fP seconds
demonstration (without pockets). By the way, there are some tiny meters on the
bottom of the screen (when using the full screen and the binary was compiled
with statistic features), which have the following
shows the number of cycles per second. A cycle means the loop for doing
collision detection and recomputing the corrent position of all objects.
show the number of ball moves, that were neccessary in one seconds. If all
objects are moving, this would be <object number> x <rate>
if shown, it tells you, how much the real time has gone ahead of the current
internal calculation time. It should never light up during the game, except
probably at the first shot into the triangle.
the collision calculation is done only in those moments, when a collision
takes place. In the intermediate time, only the motion graphics are updated as
fast as possible. The switch disables that intermediate calculation to get
measures for the speed of the collision calculation.
(Good combinations to check the speed of your machine would be: -demo -maxspeed -time 10)
shows the current internal values of static variables on stdout.
The values can be dynamically altered by setting them in the file
\fIpresets.txt\fP with the same syntax as in this output.
There are many additional debugging options, when the executable was compiled
for debugging. They are shown when no argument or -h is given at the
commandline. You can try flying -pool -deluxe Intro (if you're lucky) to see
the some information about the pixmap-usage.
file to overwrite internal static values
files containing the pixmaps for the ball animation in deluxe-pool.
They are created automatically when they are missing.
.SH "SEE ALSO"
As I told, this is a very uncompleted version without any rules, but
you can perfectly play billard, so why worrying ...
The friction is not exactly integrated in the computations, since
that would have cost too much performance. Instead the objects move without
friction for a given amount of time. Then their speed is re-adjusted. When the
granularity gets smaller, the friction gets more exact. But that works against
a caching-mechanism and therefore would extremely increase computation time,
if many objects are on the table.
Spin is not implemented
There seem to be problems, when moving objects directly with the pointer (like
in hockey or curling or with the right button in billard) when the host
is not fast enough. At least I can not use it on my 386.
There are some minor problems when drawing static parts of the screen.
Sometimes they are misplaced for 1 pixel, e.g. there is a one pixel gap below
the line representing the pocket
There is a problem in the start-shot of carrom. Due to the weight of the
striker, the other stones might get pushed so close together, that the
collision detection will fail and objects will overlap (or the algorithm
gets stuck in a loop, only to be escaped by entering 'q'). Sorry for that.
Usually, the program needs it's private colormap. To get a nicer appearance,
a black OverrideRedirect window is placed above everything else when the
-root option is given. This confuses some window managers and a struggle for
begins. If anythings else fails, flying will grab the server and installs the
map on it's own ...
Copyright 1995, Helmut Hoenig, Mettmann/Bad Camberg
email (for any comments):
smail (for gifts):
65520 Bad Camberg
By the way, I am collecting banknotes! If you want
to join into my collection, get any bill of your
country, sign it on the backside and send it to me
so I will pin it on my world map.
(Don't forget the exact location for the pin :-)
But you can also just send me a picture postcard ...
Permission to use, copy, modify, and distribute this
software for any purpose and without
fee is hereby granted, provided that the above copyright
notice appear in all copies.