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Perfecting a Tron Game

Soulskill posted about 6 years ago | from the right-angles-will-be-your-undoing dept.

Classic Games (Games) 63

Rock, Paper, Shotgun has a review of an old but entertaining freeware Tron game called Armagetron . The author heaps praise on the game for its "beautiful simplicity" and its exciting multiplayer options. More screenshots and a wiki are available on the game's website. Quoting: "It's all about speed, really. You might think driving in clever geometric patterns would win you the game, but speed is the real the alpha and the omega of Armagetron. See, if you can drive parallel to old enemy trails for long enough to get your speed up to two times, three times or even four times more than your starting speed then you become a hunter of men. It becomes within your power to dart off towards other players, overtake them, and take a couple of quick turns that mean your trail boxes them into a tiny space."

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editors.. (0, Flamebait)

FluffyWithTeeth (890188) | about 6 years ago | (#25228795)

I know that editing a news site is a difficult job, but you might have wanted to start by looking up "news" in a dictionary.

Re:editors.. (3, Interesting)

eebra82 (907996) | about 6 years ago | (#25228929)

I know that editing a news site is a difficult job, but you might have wanted to start by looking up "news" in a dictionary.

I just did [reference.com] and it looks like this is valid.

a person, thing, or event considered as a choice subject for journalistic treatment; newsworthy material.

After all, the article on the Tron game was posted just 24 hours ago, which is standard reporting.

Having said that, Slashdot's slogan is hardly something one must follow as anally as you do. After all, we have Ask Slashdot and other pieces that don't count as news.

Re:editors.. (1)

andrikos (1114853) | about 6 years ago | (#25231463)

Are you going for a "-1, Tron" mod?

The answer. (1)

andreyvul (1176115) | about 6 years ago | (#25228811)

Make player 1 red and player 2 blue.

Excellent game (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25228837)

I discovered Armagetron during college. We used to play it over the LAN. Single player was fun, too. I tried it again not too long ago, and they must have revamped the AI because I got _destroyed_.

The camera options added a lot to the game, too. You had chase, fix, smart, and in-car which is the most exciting and quite usable once you get used to it.

END OF LINE

Re:Excellent game (3, Informative)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | about 6 years ago | (#25228879)

Aside from being very addictive -- and it included splitscreen on a PC, which is occasionally a very good idea -- it was also, for many years, the open source game with which to test your video card.

More recently, I use Nexuiz, but that's still what I remember it as. If you could run Armagetron fullscreen with decent settings, at least you know your video card is working. If you couldn't, chances are, you'd misconfigured something and thrown yourself into software mode.

Re:Excellent game (1)

Culture20 (968837) | about 6 years ago | (#25228903)

Isn't that glxgears' job?

Re:Excellent game (2, Informative)

peter (3389) | about 6 years ago | (#25229475)

glxgears is such a simple scene (no textures, for one thing) that even software rendering is not slow. Way back in the day on a P200MMX, maybe HW 3D was needed for a fast glxgears...

  These days a core2 can run glxgears _really_ fast. e.g. 3GHz Harpertown gets > 500fps, IIRC.

Re:Excellent game (1)

spike1 (675478) | about 6 years ago | (#25230557)

I always used tux racer for the GLX test myself.

Re:Excellent game (1)

Bandman (86149) | about 6 years ago | (#25232683)

I've used ppracer since they closed the source, but the maps seem freaky and inconsistent

Re:Excellent game (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | about 6 years ago | (#25254607)

In fact, that's probably part of the reason why, at one point, glxgears required the commandline switch:

--I-acknowledge-that-this-is-not-a-benchmark

to enable the FPS display.

Now, I believe it's changed proportionately. You claim 3ghz gives you 500fps -- I just got over 8000 fps, and for years, multiple thousands has been the norm for me, when accelerated. So you can get a rough idea.

The point is, since you're not going to notice anything over 100fps -- realistically, anything over 60 -- there's no point in a video card letting you go that fast. I imagine a card could be built such that it would never run more than a few hundred FPS, but would render massive scenes at a comfortable 60 (vsync'd).

So, glxgears is still a decent diagnostic tool, as is Armagetron, Nexuiz, and others. It is not a proper benchmark, and absolutely should never be used in e-penis comparisons.

Psst: 8212.271 FPS.

Re:Excellent game (1)

peter (3389) | about 6 years ago | (#25262043)

yeah, I don't think I'm remembering the 500fps correctly. I get 550fps with mesa 7.2 on a C2D E6600 (dual core 2.4GHz), Ubuntu pre-Intrepid AMD64. Tested in a Xephyr X server. I get 1170fps on my g965, which is in the same ballpark as software.

> I imagine a card could be built such that it would never run more than a few hundred FPS, but would render massive scenes at a comfortable 60 (vsync'd).

  glxgears speeds are all about driver overhead, locking/unlocking and stuff like that. So yeah, not at all implausible, esp. with immature drivers that weren't very efficient and were cpu-bound at high FPS.

Re:Excellent game (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25228907)

One more thing I discovered in college:the pleasure of another man's cock and ass. I eventually married a woman, but a few times year, I get a hunger that only gay cock can satisfy.

Re:Excellent game (3, Interesting)

The Master Control P (655590) | about 6 years ago | (#25229543)

If only the original Tron had shown the whole game grid at some point so Armagetron could have a "Recreate Flynn's Escape" option. I'd do nothing but that, all day...

Re:Excellent game (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | about 6 years ago | (#25238401)

Tried Tron 2.0?

Tron 2.0? (1)

Gates82 (706573) | about 6 years ago | (#25228939)

Was there something wrong with the way the lightcycles where implemented in TRON 2.0? I always thought it was a decent game and that the lightcycle portion was quite fun... Oh, this is a free version, nm.

--
So who it hotter? Ali or Ali's Sister?

Re:Tron 2.0? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25228967)

It also predates Tron 2.0 I remember playing this eight years ago at LAN parties...

Re:Tron 2.0? (1)

blool (798681) | about 6 years ago | (#25229081)

Yea, this game is pretty ancient. Lag is a huge problem for their multi-player online play, they do a lot to counter it(like path prediction and a white lag triangle to indicate where your opponent might actually be), but its still just barely playable when everyone is using broadband and there aren't any lag spikes or dropped packets. I imagine this game is a lot funner over a LAN. Also, even though I've always been a game play before graphics guy, the graphics need some TLC.

Re:Tron 2.0? (2, Interesting)

erbbysam (964606) | about 6 years ago | (#25229163)

just a idea, probably has been tried and failed, but anyhow:
I know a lot about how path prediction works through delta timing, but for a game that relies on timing as heavily as Tron wouldn't it be possible to build the reverse of that and instead of predicting where the player is, don't allow them to move until they've registered where the other player is at that time. With a lot of lag though this would definitly make the game unplayable however.
Just out of curiosity, is there any way that anyone can think of that to cure,or make less visible lag, without making a game like TRON unplayable? or for that matter the answer to life, the universe and everything? :)

Re:Tron 2.0? (3, Interesting)

somersault (912633) | about 6 years ago | (#25229879)

It used to be fine for me online unless I was trying to have a Skype conversation at the same time (it was still slightly playable even then though). That was just on 1Mb ADSL a couple of years ago.

I think the summary is wrong personally, speed of your vehicle isn't always the most important factor - at least for online play. I've seen people do some amazing stuff (and done a small amount myself) with the lag buffer thingy: when you run into a wall you don't die immediately - you die after a certain amount of time that is defined by the server. If you are clever about it you can go between 2 trails that seem to be right next to each other, and you can keep turning to face the wall and face away again, creating teeeeeny tiny little walls for your opponents to run into if they try running up the side of your trail, etc. It's great fun, very tactical and skillful all rolled up. I enjoyed the teamplay games the best, with the maps rotating every 10-20 minutes or so into different challenges (some maps were incredibly tiny but with a large time buffer before dying, some maps you could go in 6 directions instead of 4, etc). Standard deathmatch was always fun too of course, and was the best way to hone your skills.

Unfortunately for me the linux version's inputs seemed to be quite laggy compared to the Windows one. Maybe it was just my keyboard driver or something though.

The graphics are excellent IMO! For me this game is mostly about that sound and the great gameplay. What more do you want out of a game that is based on CGI from an 80s movie?

Tron!? This aint no dangblammed Tron! (4, Informative)

the_skywise (189793) | about 6 years ago | (#25228983)

Back in my days we called this game Snafu! We played it on an Intellivision that had a disc for a joystick... except you didn't spin the disc (even though you could)... you pushed on it like a regular joystick.

And it sucked, but that was the way it was and we liked it that way! (2nded only to the abominable Atari 5200 stick)

Dagburned Disney steals another idea because they couldn't come up with an original concept and you kiddos call it "Tron" now!

Now where's my teef...

Re:Tron!? This aint no dangblammed Tron! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25229373)

> Dagburned Disney steals another idea because they couldn't come up with an original concept and you kiddos call it "Tron" now!

It wasn't Disney, it was Dillinger stole it!

Re:Tron!? This aint no dangblammed Tron! (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | about 6 years ago | (#25229383)

Back in my day, we didn't bad mouth the intellivision! It was awesome. I'd sometimes pretend it was a ultra futuristic phone where you could press buttons instead of using a dial. Plus some games came with special overlays that told you what the numbers did.

Re:Tron!? This aint no dangblammed Tron! (1)

the_skywise (189793) | about 6 years ago | (#25229483)

Poppycock! Colecovision kicked its butt! Not only did it have overlays but its stubby mushroom stick was far superior!

Now the Sears Super Video Arcade! Now THERE was a system...

Re:Tron!? This aint no dangblammed Tron! (1)

Megane (129182) | about 6 years ago | (#25230963)

RCA Studio II 4-evah! It didn't need controllers, it had the keypads built into the console! The tag game was awesome! And it had a real cool chirp sound effect too!

Re:Tron!? This aint no dangblammed Tron! (3, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | about 6 years ago | (#25232007)

According to my girlfriend, a stubby mushroom stick is NEVER, in fact, superior to a normal joystick.

Re:Tron!? This aint no dangblammed Tron! (1)

Bandman (86149) | about 6 years ago | (#25232807)

Much love to the Intellivision.

I miss Sewer Sam, Stampede, and Donkey Kong on there.

Re:Tron!? This aint no dangblammed Tron! (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | about 6 years ago | (#25229471)

In my day, the Intellivision was the "rich man's" atari. We all played the Atari 2600, the rich kids got the Intellivision, the poor kids got pong or Sears TeleGames, the weird kids got Odyssey and the Cool kids got Colecovision.

LK

Re:Tron!? This aint no dangblammed Tron! (2, Interesting)

somersault (912633) | about 6 years ago | (#25229925)

I remember some strange orange console from when I was really young (probably about 3), can't even remember what games it had. Could have been something like this [old-computers.com] .

The first console I remember probably was our Commodore 100 when I was 3 or 4, I used to type in programs from the manual to draw circles and triangles..

Re:Tron!? This aint no dangblammed Tron! (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 6 years ago | (#25232805)

The movie Tron [wikipedia.org] came out in 1982. The Intellivision [wikipedia.org] came out in 1980. Snafu [wikipedia.org] came out in 1981. Seeing how long it takes from script to movie release, I seriously doubt Tron was a ripoff of Snafu.

Especially considering that Tron was a Disney movie and SNAFU stands for "situation normal, all fucked up". Of course, Disney did miss the drug references in Tron, too, but I seriously doubt it was more than a coincidence.

Re:Tron!? This aint no dangblammed Tron! (2, Interesting)

randyest (589159) | about 6 years ago | (#25235859)

You're right, Tron did not rip off snafu, it ripped off the arcade game Blockade [wikipedia.org] from 1976, which started the long line of ripoffs including Worm for the TRS-80 in 1978 (and then for the Apple ][ and the Commodore PET,) a retail version for the TI-99/4A by Milton Bradley in 1980 called Hustle, and Snake for the BBC-Micro.

Now get off my lawn.

!freeware (4, Insightful)

CSMatt (1175471) | about 6 years ago | (#25229171)

Armagetron is not freeware. It's free software that happens to be distributed for zero dollars.

Re:!freeware (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25229247)

Armagetron is not freeware. It's free software that happens to be distributed for zero dollars.

So which part of 'distributed for zero dollars' do you fail to understand? Just because it's free software doesn't preclude it being freeware.

Re:!freeware (1)

skeeto (1138903) | about 6 years ago | (#25233521)

This [gnu.org] is the definition the parent is referring to:

The term "freeware" has no clear accepted definition, but it is commonly used for packages which permit redistribution but not modification (and their source code is not available). These packages are not free software, so please don't use "freeware" to refer to free software.

On a technically oriented computer website like this, the free software and freeware distinction is important. Mixing them up is just confusing.

GLTron is foss! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25230099)

and its on sourceforge... I could come up with a link... lets see...

http://www.gltron.org/ [gltron.org]

Hooray!

Re:GLTron is foss! (2, Interesting)

andi75 (84413) | about 6 years ago | (#25232441)

Too bad it's in deep hibernation. Although the author has a ton of slightly unfinished modifications sitting on his harddrive, they haven't made it into CVS (at sourceforge) / subversion (at berlios) yet. Blame marriage, two kids, a new job (math teacher), and possible a bit of WoW for it.

Re:GLTron is foss! (1)

Limburgher (523006) | about 6 years ago | (#25237347)

That includes my gcc 4.3 patches.

armacycles-ad maintainer, Fedora.

Re:GLTron is foss! (1)

Limburgher (523006) | about 6 years ago | (#25237383)

Ignore, this was about gltron, I meant aa.

Re:GLTron is foss! (1)

morari (1080535) | about 6 years ago | (#25234405)

GL Tron, even at its highly unfinished stage, still feels infinitely better than Armagetron and always has. I really just wish that GL Tron would have seen some LAN capabilities before retreating into the land of dead software.

Re:!freeware (1)

Nazlfrag (1035012) | about 6 years ago | (#25230229)

Armagetron is not freeware. It's free software that happens to be distributed for zero dollars.

That's a mouthful. Here, let me paraphrase:

Armagetron is not freeware. It's free software.

Still too long. How about:

Not freeware, it's free software.

Nice, but not concise enough. We want to get the message through to the kids, and you know what their attention spans are like. I know!

Not freeware, free warez!

Nah, too cheesy, better just stick with:

Not freeware, free 'ware.

Now, stop being silly.

Re:!freeware (1)

4D6963 (933028) | about 6 years ago | (#25231671)

It's not because all freeware isn't "free software" that "free software" isn't also freeware. What you said is as if you said "London isn't in the United Kingdom, it's in England".

Re:!freeware (1)

skeeto (1138903) | about 6 years ago | (#25233557)

The common definition does not place free software inside the freeware category. In fact, they are disjoint sets (no software fits in both categories). Also, the "free" in both names are two completely different words. This [gnu.org] is the definition the parent is referring to:

The term "freeware" has no clear accepted definition, but it is commonly used for packages which permit redistribution but not modification (and their source code is not available). These packages are not free software, so please don't use "freeware" to refer to free software.

On a technically oriented computer website like this, the free software and freeware distinction is important. Mixing them up is just confusing.

Re:!freeware (1)

KatTran (122906) | about 6 years ago | (#25232455)

It is released under the GPL version 2, which last time I checked is pretty much the definition of "free software". It is a free as in speech, free as in beer, and free as in free software free.

Clicking on the "About" or "Download" pages on http://www.armagetronad.net/ [armagetronad.net] will clearly show you that it is free.

Free! Free I say!

Tron Arcade Game (2, Interesting)

kmahan (80459) | about 6 years ago | (#25229269)

Everybody seems to do Light Cycles. There are 3 other games in the arcade game - Grid Bugs, Tanks and MCP Cone. Anybody doing an update of those?

Re:Tron Arcade Game (2, Informative)

slarabee (184347) | about 6 years ago | (#25229523)

It has tanks and a most Tron-like vibe to the entire game: Tank Universal. Available through Valve's growing Steam empire for the low low price of $9.99, it has virtual world civilizations, politics, factions, and hot tank-on-tank action. Don't be turned off by the dated animations depicting meatspace or the rather lame first few missions. It gets much better.

Re:Tron Arcade Game (1)

denmarkw00t (892627) | about 6 years ago | (#25230273)

Thank you! A headline of "Perfecting a Tron Game" hardly does Tron justice, especially since the arcade cab definitely did have those other three games. And what about the discs they throw? Where did those go?

Re:Tron Arcade Game (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25230591)

Valve again: "Ricochet" (free official mod for Halflife one, on steam. Interestingly, originally written to demonstrate their "You can run multiple servers on one server" technology (every entity is only transmitted to particular players blah blah) - this technology proved kinda flaky.)

Anyway - the multiplayer servers aren't very populated, there's not many maps...
But the game is incredibly fun.

You can leap from ring to ring, you can throw your disk (shield by throwing it at your opponents disk), you can bounce your disk off corners to try and hit from unexpected directions, you can throw your disk really hard to get a decapitation and... that's all that you can do.

It's fantastic fun. For about a week. But it IS fantastic fun. Play it.

Re:Tron Arcade Game (1)

denmarkw00t (892627) | about 6 years ago | (#25237261)

I did play it, and I don't know why you haven't been modded up any for your comment - I mean, it is informative. You are correct, it was fun for about a week or two, maybe worth playing again.

Re:Tron Arcade Game (1)

FlopEJoe (784551) | about 6 years ago | (#25231943)

I miss Discs of Tron [wikipedia.org] and used to be able to play it forever. I also like racquetball so it was very intuitive. It never seemed popular with players or in the arcades. Ah well.

Tron 2.0 (1)

The Master Control P (655590) | about 6 years ago | (#25229521)

'Nuff said.

Seriously, I think I got that game for Christmas 2004. First modern FPS I'd ever played, and goddamn if I didn't play it for 20 hours straight. There were obviously some corny aspects, but for a tron nerd it was an eye-candy feast and a wonder to behold.

Now I just need to get myself digitized and synthesize new voices for everyone. Really, the one thing that really intruded on my suspension of disbelief in that game was the voice acting. They must have made last-minute changes or something, because it vascillates between decent and "how can anyone this wooden get a job voice acting?" At least Wendy Carlos did the music and they got the real Alan One to do a cameo in the end.

Re:Tron 2.0 (1)

Elrond, Duke of URL (2657) | about 6 years ago | (#25230319)

Really? I thought the voice acting in Tron 2.0 was rather decent. Also, Bruce Boxleitner (Alan Bradley/Alan One) is featured throughout the game. His voice, that is. He's in much more of the game than just a cameo at the end.

Re:Tron 2.0 (1)

The Master Control P (655590) | about 6 years ago | (#25273929)

It was kind of odd... In most places (actually, now that I think back nearly everywhere) it was indeed quite good. But there were just a few lines that were like grinding gears in an otherwise clockwork mechanism.

I particularly remember the scene after escaping the Kernel's lightcycle grid when Jet and Mercury were planning what to do next. I think the other big one was "I'm inside a data transfer node... where are you?" when they're hijacking a transport out of the Kernel's domain.

S'been too long. I need to boot Windows and play again... Tron, oh Tron how I loveth thy glowing lines. Take me away from this stupid world!

Re:Tron 2.0 (1)

gknoy (899301) | about 6 years ago | (#25233989)

Seconded. I enjoyed it a lot. I did NOT like the scavenger hunt for more version points (experience), but ... meh. Still good. Reading snippets of e-mail which gave backstory was neat. I especially liked that they seemed to get the "feel" of it right. Sure, computers don't work that way, but for someone willing to suspend disbelief, it was pretty damned marvelous.

The first time through, I tried to use the guns and stuff a lot early on. I learned that the disc really DOES reward skill, and once I got the improvements for it, I basically didn't even bother to use the other weapons (except on the levels where forced to). Fun game, over all, even if I sucked at light cycles. The immersion was top-notch, especially in the mid-game.

3D Nibbles? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25229687)

...Isn't that what the game basically is?

Tron? (3, Funny)

mcvos (645701) | about 6 years ago | (#25230047)

Wasn't the movie about more than just riding lightbikes?

My first thought about a Tron game: if I want to fight my CPU, I'll just install Windows.

Re:Tron? (1)

catbertscousin (770186) | about 6 years ago | (#25231985)

Your user can't help you now, my little program!

Keyboard Macros, the dirty little secret... (1)

argent (18001) | about 6 years ago | (#25230901)

I used to really be into Armagetron, until I realized that... speed or not... the people who were winning all the time were doing it with keyboard macros to make those tight boxing turns repeatedly.

Nice (1)

woqer (1376271) | about 6 years ago | (#25231229)

Also see here: Full Throttle [questarena.net]

Tron: Deadly Discs (1)

xpuppykickerx (1290760) | about 6 years ago | (#25231845)

Does anyone remember playing this game? I used to have it for my Intellivision as a kid and have never been able to find a ROM or a clone of it. Is there a newer version of this game floating around? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tron:_Deadly_Discs [wikipedia.org]

Re:Tron: Deadly Discs (1)

Devir (671031) | about 6 years ago | (#25233211)

I remember the arcade "Disks of TRON" which was my all time favorite.

You were in the Disk arena against one opponent. A joystick would control your character, and a spinner thing would control where on the wall, and elevation you would throw your disk.

It was moderately challenging and after about a week of playing I could get about 1-2 hours of play off a single quarter. I think that may have been it's downfall in the arcades.

Re:Tron: Deadly Discs (1)

xpuppykickerx (1290760) | about 6 years ago | (#25233355)

I remember that one as well. I wish I could just find the arcade machine sitting in some dusty archive. In T:DD, you sometimes would be pitted against multiple opponents and also the Recognizer as bosses. It was quite intense.

Re:Tron: Deadly Discs (1)

Hatta (162192) | about 6 years ago | (#25235575)

Yes I do. I have the Atari 2600 port myself. If you do torrents, pm me on racketboy.com and I can get you hooked up. /. could use a PM feature.

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