An old, little-maintained computer game for X, apparently
once ported to work on the Amiga, too.
The Game, Itself
XTank is a multi-player, or
single-player overhead-view shooter, primarily.
However, xtank can also be played as a racing game,
tank-based ultimate or capture the
Before the game, tanks can be choosen from
designed from an assortment of: bodies,
engines, weapons, armor,
heat sinks, bumpers, and have the option to
add a few other add-ons to their tank.
There are five types of games
- Combat -- Just a shoot-everyone-not-on-your-team game.
- War -- A game based on taking over territory for your team.
- Ultimate -- According to some documentation: "Sort of a cross between ultimate frisbee and hockey." There's a
disc, and the idea is to catch it in the other tank's goal.
- Capture -- Capture the Flag; except they're
disks. Objective is to get them to your team's "goal".
- Race -- Yeah, it's a race. Be the first to get
to a "goal".
Money and Resources
To help keep a balance in the game tanks,
ammo, fuel, and repairs cost "money".
Scoring is based on the ratios of the values of the
tank that was destroyed and the tank that destroyed it.
Thus, in addition to the loss of money expensive
tank users suffer from, it is also harder for them to
gain points, and because money is earned when another
player is killed based on the number of points earned.
Not to mention that putting too much on one tank will
slow it down, or the attempt would just be denied for
making the tank too heavy.
XTank, not only comes with a vehicle editor, but it
comes with an editor for the game maps built-in. Thus
game maps can be choosen from the variety with the program,
or be made in great spurts of free time.
Xtank multi-player games work entirely by running the
game on one machine and transmitting to the X displays
on the other over the network. Xtank is not well-suited
for playing over the internet.
Xtank itself is listed as being
"copyright 1988" (though
freely redistributable and modifiable.)
The Xtank source is written to use only
raw Xlib under X, and the Amiga stuff
is not known to work.
Xtank includes code designed to handle
threading and dynamic loading (of robots).
The threading code (needed to run robots)
can be made to run on many systems with little modification.
Otherwise one could try to modify
xtank to use GNU pth, which is not very hard
Xtank uses user-level threads and depends on being
able to switch contexts itself.
The dynamic loading code in most versions of Xtank
found floating around online is, at the author of this node's last check, not very portable,
being highly dependent on object file format. It loaded
directly from .o files into memory.
To make this work on newer
systems, a complete re-write of the dynamic
loading code, using the more modern
dynamically loaded libraries, is probably needed.
The author of this node has done this sort
of thing on his
a private copy of xtank but does not his consider
his work very presentable.
Best bet for finding the source is to use your favorite
search engine to find a .tar.gz. floating around
somewhere. Even though xtank is now in decline
and relatively rare,
there are a few versions of the game, some of which
may be workable.
Authors of Xtank
The original author of xtank is "Terry Donahue".
The most common versions of xtank out there have been
enhanced by people apparently who are, or were, at
the University of Maryland's Engineering department.