Single Player Mode

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Single Player Mode is a term (misnomer) often used to describe the act of playing BZFlag on a local server using the computer-controlled player (bots) of a client. BZFlag itself is designed to be a multiplayer game.

Overview[edit]

Using bots on a local server is a way to play the game without an internet connection, or to gain experience in playing without the need for other human players. Bots are currently only run by the game client and can be run on any server. The term "Single Player Mode" is most commonly used to describe a single client that is logged in to a local server with a number of bots. It is mostly used to test maps, as the simple robots do not offer any real gameplay challenge.

Bots can be used on remote servers, but many of the owners of public servers do not allow bots to join with players. Use of bots on public servers is not recommended and can lead to being banned from the server.

Starting a Single Player Session[edit]

The basic idea behind starting a single player session is the following.

  1. Start a local server, ether by using the in-game menu, or via the command line.
  2. Start the game client using the -solo command line option.
  3. Join the local server using the client and begin play.

Starting a local server[edit]

The simplest way to start a local server is to use the in-game Start Server menu. This menu is found on the Join Game Menu at the very bottom. This menu gives a number of settings for the server, including shot counts, and world options such as jumping and ricochet. Specific flags or more advanced options can not be set via the Start Server menu.

To set additional options one must run BZFS manually and enter in a number of command line options. See creating a server for more options. To keep the server local, do not use the -public option.

Starting the client with bots[edit]

The game client must be started with a command-line option to enable bots. Bots can not be enabled from within the game menus.

Linux and Unix[edit]

On Linux or other Unix-like systems the game client can be started with command line options directly from the terminal.

bzflag -solo ##

Where ## is the number of bots you want to run.

Microsoft Windows[edit]

Microsoft Windows users can follow the following steps to create a shortcut that starts the game client with bots.

  1. Locate the BZFlag shortcut installed in the programs section of the start menu.
  2. Drag the BZFlag shortcut with the right mouse button on to the desktop.
  3. Pick the "Copy here" item from the context menu that pops up when the drag is complete.
  4. Click on the Copied shortcut with the right mouse button and pick the "properties" item.
  5. Find the "Target" field in the shortcut properties window that is opened, and click in it.
  6. Use the right arrow key to find the end of the text in the target field. It will end in bzflag.exe".
  7. After the last quote(") add a space and then -solo ##. Where ## is the number of bots you wish to have.
  8. Save the changes by hitting the OK button at the bottom.

Running this shortcut will now start the server with bot support.

Mac OS X[edit]

The Mac OS X method for starting the game with bot support is the same as the Linux method, but the path to the bzflag client is required. If you installed BZFlag in your applications folder, then the command that needs to be typed into terminal will be along the lines of:

/Applications/BZFlag.app/Contents/MacOS/bzflag -solo ##

Where ## is the number of bots you want to run.

Joining the Local Server[edit]

Once the client is started with bot support you must do the following to join the local server

  1. Go to the Join Game menu.
  2. Enter "127.0.0.1" in the server name field. This is called "localhost".
  3. Enter "5154" in the port field.
  4. Choose the "Connect" item to join the server.

This will connect to the local server with the number of bots specified to with the -solo option.

Autopilot[edit]

The aforementioned bot method creates what may be called 'simple' bots, which simply shoot and attempt to dodge bullets. A feature called autopilot, is activated when you press the "9" key on your keyboard while in-game, although as stated earlier, many servers do not allow this. Some players may decide they want to open up 5 or 10 clients and place them on autopilot. When they do, it allows them to be able to jump, grab flags, and are slightly smarter than the 'simple' bots.

See also[edit]