[Linux Games] BZFlag. The War of the Tanks in multiplayer on Linux (part 1)
BZFlag is definitely one of the most popular open source games. It is a multiplatform title (you can download the version for different operating systems, including Linux) that allows you to play multiplayer online or within a LAN to a battle of tanks. In this first article I will show you the operation of the game, whereas in a subsequent occasion I will show you how to set up your own server to be published on the Internet or use within your LAN to play multiplayer with computers you have at home. The hardware requirements are not particularly high, but having a good video card is always better. Also, in the game on the Internet is essential to have an ADSL line and possibly a low ping. In the remainder of this article I'll talk about how to install the game and how to start playing.
- Installing BZFlag
There are two ways to install BZFlag. The first (recommended) requires the use of the package manager of your Linux distribution. In 99% of cases you can install using the classical apt-get, yum, emerge, etc. .. In the event that BZFlag is not available for your distribution, you'll have to fill in the game by downloading the source code from the official website. In my case I will provide to install the game on a Debian Unstable and, therefore, I will just type the following command:
# Apt-get install bzflag
With the command you type will install the game without the extensions to set up a server . For the latter case, I'll talk about how to proceed in the next article dedicated to BZFlag.
After installing the game, we can start immediately or before we can proceed with the registration of one our profile (defined callsign) on the site of BZFlag. Registration to the site, as you may have guessed, is not a prerequisite, however, opens the possibility to record your name in a battle for online gaming, making sure that the same can not be used by anyone else, you will be can register your server in an official manner, will allow you to write on the forum site of BZFlag, will allow you to become part of groups and teams, and finally you will have access to official servers that require registration. My advice is to register if the game you like and if you are going to have fun with other people around the world
- First start of the game and the main menu structure
On Debian Unstable after installing BZFlag with apt-get is not entered into the game no reference to the application menu. So, to start, we can open a terminal and type "bzflag" or launch the executor of commands by pressing the keys "Alt + F2" and type in the command line the usual "bzflag". Here's how the game immediately after it is started:
Of particular importance is the section on the settings. Before you start playing for the first time, you should configure the controls to move the tank and use it and also configure all options related to graphics (resolution, receivables, etc..) To make sure that the game is fluid . Keep in mind that with my Nvidia 8400 GS graphics card with Nvidia proprietary drivers installed I can play to the maximum allowed by my screen resolution (1440 × 900), and with all effects enabled video without any problem of fluidity.
The next step will be to access any of the server that will host the team play. Before proceeding with the show access to the server and the game itself, I want to say a few words on how the game provided.
- The game modes
As I said earlier, BZFlag is a team game and there are a variety of ways to have fun. We start from the first to note that in most cases, this being a team game, there will not be allowed to fire on the tanks forming part of your group except in a particular mode that will explain after That said, let's go over and see what are, in fact, the various game modes.
The standard mode is called "Free for all", often abbreviated as FFA. In this case, the objective is to destroy as many tanks of the opposing team without losing those of our team. Obviously, you have to destroy opponents shoot against them.
A second mode is called "Capture the flag" and it consists in collecting the flags of the opposing team and bring them into their base without losing their own. Also in this case it is possible to destroy the tanks of the opposing teams shooting.
A third mode is called "Rabbit Hunt" and in this case one of the players has a white tank (Rabbit tank) that must escape all the other players who have a tank orange (Hunter tank). To capture the white rabbit will be enough to shoot him, but be careful, because if you hit it you will become the white rabbit that must escape!
There is, then, a fourth game mode (called Non-standard Teams) that fits into another of the game modes listed (usually in the Free For All mode and exceptionally in Capture the flag) where there is a Rogue Team, ie a team that owns the tanks in black (Rogue tanks - yellow on the radar maps) that are allowed to shoot on their teammates and earn points for this action.
Before going any further, you should have some information on the flags. There are 4 types. The first is the one with the flags that have the color of the teams. These are the flags that you will have to capture or defend, depending on the color belonging to your team or teams opponents. A second type of flags is that defined "superflags" and that, if captured, increase the power of your tank for example with new and more powerful weapons. A third type of flags (flags bad) is what limits the functions of your instrument of war such as not allowing you to jump, forcing you to turn only to the left and the like. A fourth and final type of flags (flags antidote) is what allows you to "cure" the tank from the limitations imposed by the flags "bad."
- Access to a server and entered the game
After having explained some aspects of the game very useful, let's see how to make the 'access to the game itself. After starting the game, you must enter the menu "Join Game" and we find ourselves faced with a screen like this:
As you can imagine, we have to click on "Find Servers" in order to download the list of active servers and pick one based on the type of game that we want to do, how many teams have already formed, how many players are present, etc. .. Here's what the server list after clicking on "Find Servers":
From the previous screen, after selecting the server on which we want to play, we will return to the previous screen where we select "Connect":
At this point we just have to select the Connect button and enter the game select:
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