Difference between revisions of "Getting Started Gets Up Close And Personal"

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(Radar: Corrected keystrokes: you use 4 and 5 to zoom in and out of radar, not 1 and 2 (1, 2, and 3 are fixed zoom positions))
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==Getting Started==
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#Redirect [[Getting Started]]
With a few simple steps, you'll get started playing BZFlag right away.
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===Downloading and installing the game===
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First, you need the game software. It's available to [[Download]] in pre-compiled binary form for most major [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operating_system|operating systems]; or, you can obtain the BZFlag source code and compile it yourself.
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====Windows====
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The most commonly-used operating system is Microsoft Windows. There's a Windows Installer at  http://prdownloads.sourceforge.net/bzflag/bzflag-2.0.10.exe?download . Double-click the downloaded file to install the game.
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====Mac OSX====
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The next most popular operating system is Apple's MacOS X, for the Macintosh family of computers. The Mac OS X version is available at http://prdownloads.sourceforge.net/bzflag/BZFlag-2.0.10.dmg. After downloading, double-click the .dmg file to open it, then drag the BZFlag icon to your Applications folder. With BZFlag installed, just double-click to open it.
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====Linux====
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The project does not distribute a pre-built binary package for Linux, but many Linux distributions include BZFlag in their package management systems ( APT, YUM, emerge, etc.. ). You can also build the game from the source code. Please see the [[Download|downloads]] page for more information.
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===Registering a callsign(Optional)===
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It is not mandatory to register a callsign (your in-game "handle"), but it is highly recommended. (And it's free!)
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The benefits of registering include:
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* Once you register your callsign, it cannot be used by any other player.
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* Only Registered players can post on the BZFlag forums
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* Only Registered players can join global groups, and leagues.
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* Many servers allow only Registered players to connect.
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To register, just visit the BZFlag forums at [http://my.bzflag.org/bb/profile.php?mode=register my.bzflag.org/bb]
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===Running the game===
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Once the game is installed, you can just start running it to play.
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====Windows====
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If you installed the game with the provided Installer, you'll find a shortcut to the game in the Start menu, under Program Files. Just select this shortcut to start the game.
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====Mac OS X====
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Double-click the BZFlag icon that you dragged to your Applications folder earlier.
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====Linux====
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With Linux, and other UNIX-based platforms, you can start the game by typing the command '''bzflag''' in a terminal.
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===Joining a game===
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When BZFlag first opens, it shows the main menu screen. You can navigate the menu by using Up and Down Arrow keys to highlight a menu command, and pressing Enter to activate the highlighted command.
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====Main Menu====
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The main menu includes several menu items that lead to sub menus. The most important menu for new players is the '''Join Game''' command.
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|[[Image:MainMenu.png|right|thumb|300px|The Main Menu]]
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====Join Game Menu====
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To join an internet game in progress, choose the '''Join Game''' command from the main menu.
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The first time BZFlag runs, all fields in the Join Menu are empty. Use the arrow keys to select the '''Callsign''' item, and enter your player name. This name will be how other players see you. If you have already registered, enter the same callsign that you registered with. Next, enter your password in the following field marked '''password'''. This password is used only to verify your identity, and is NEVER sent to the game server.
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The email string is optional, and many players prefer to leave it blank.
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With this information entered, you can now find an available server to play on. Servers are games of BZFlag that are hosted on the internet. At present, there are over 200 servers to choose from; you can get a listing of all servers by choosing the '''Find Server''' menu item to see the server list.
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|[[Image:JoinGame.png|right|thumb|300px|]]
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====Server List====
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Use the Server List command to see a listing of all publicly-available internet games.
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The list is sorted by the number of players connected to each server at any given moment, and changes continually.
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You can scroll through the list with the Up and Down arrow keys. Information about the currently selected server appears at the top of the screen.
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When you've found a server you'd like to join, press the Enter key to select it.
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|[[Image:ServerList.png|right|thumb|300px|The Serverlist]]
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====Entering a Game====
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Once you have selected a server, its information is automatically entered in the appropriate fields in the Join Game menu. You can either choose your preferred team color; or, just leave the setting on Automatic and the server will assign you to a team.
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Now, choose the Connect menu command to connect to the server and join the game.
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On connecting, if additional maps, textures or other resources are needed to play the particular game, BZFlag will download them automatically from the server before you join the game.
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====Playing BZFlag====
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Once you have joined the game, you'll be able to enjoy the high-intensity gameplay that makes BZFlag one of the most popular Open Source games in history!
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=====Controls=====
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The basic controls for BZFlag are simple and easy to learn.
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By default, you control your tank's movement with the mouse. (BZFlag also supports joystick or keyboard control.)
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With mouse control, to move your tank forwards or backwards, push the mouse forward or backward;  to turn your tank in that direction, move the mouse left or right. To stop, center the mouse. To fire, click your left mouse button. In most cases, one shot is all it takes to kill an enemy tank.
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Joystick control works similarly to mouse control.
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If you prefer to use the keyboard, your Arrow keys control movement in the same way; to fire, press the Space bar.
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Some servers allow your tank to jump. To jump, press the ''Tab'' key. Your tank's initial speed and direction are preserved during the jump. Depending on the map, it may be possible for tanks to land on various objects and continue to fight.
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=====Objective=====
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BZFlag is a team game, with objectives varying by game type.
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The default game type is '''Free For All''', commonly abbreviated as ''FFA''. This mode is similar to a team death match in other First Person Shooter games. The objective is to destroy as many tanks as possible on other teams, while minimizing your own team's losses.
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'''Capture the Flag''' is another popular game type. Your team's objective is to pick up a flag from an opposing team's territory and return it to your base before the other team can do the same with yours. Tanks are destroyed the same way as in FFA games.
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The most unusual type of game is '''Rabbit Hunt'''. In this game mode, one player drives a white-colored  '''rabbit''' tank; everyone else drives an orange-colored '''hunter''' tank. The '''hunter''' tank(s) must chase and kill the rabbit tank. When a '''hunter''' tank kills the '''rabbit''', it immediately becomes the '''rabbit''' in turn.
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=====Rogue Teams=====
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Usually, you may only shoot members of an opposing team. But there is an exception to this rule: the '''Rogue''' team.
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'''Rogue''' tanks appear in black in the main view window; they are marked in yellow on your radar display. '''Rogue''' players can shoot all other players, and gain points for killing them. Each '''Rogue''' tank, in effect, is a one-player team. '''Rogue''' tanks are usually found on '''Free For All''' maps, but are occasionally found on '''CTF''' maps.
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=====Flags=====
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There are four different kinds of flags on an average server:
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* Team flags are colored to correspond with the teams on the map. Grab the other team's flag, and return it to your base.
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* Superflags provide "power ups" for your tank. Superflags include
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* '''Guided Missile''' (your tank can lock onto and shoot others; during flight, your round actively tracks its target)
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* '''Laser''' (your tank's gun is replaced by an instant-fire, infinite-range laser cannon)
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* '''Stealth''' (your tank does not appear on other players' radar)
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* Bad Flags limit the movement or actions of your tank. Bad flags include:
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* '''No Jumping'''
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* '''Obesity'''
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* '''Trigger-Happy'''
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* '''Left Turn Only'''
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* Antidote flags appear only when you are undergoing the effects of a Bad flag. Driving over an Antidote flag removes the bad flag from your tank.
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=====Customizing Controls=====
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You can alter most of the controls in the GUI settings menu (or, if you prefer, by editing the BZFlag config file.)
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To assign a keystroke, mouse button or joystick button to a particular command:
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* select the command with Up or Down arrows;
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* press Enter;
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* finally, press the keystroke or button you wish to associate with that command.
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You can assign two different keystrokes/buttons to a given command, by repeating the assignment process.
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Note: you cannot assign a keystroke or button already in use for a different command, until you have deleted its current assignment.
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To delete an assignment:
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* select the command with Up or Down arrows;
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* press Delete.
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If the command has two assignments, the first (leftmost) assignment is deleted, and the second (rightmost) assignment takes its place.
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======Scoreboard======
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Once you join a server, you'll want to quickly check a number of things, including the scoreboard.
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Games commonly feature between 5 and 20 players.
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* Player's names are listed in the scoreboard to the left of the screen. (To hide or restore the scoreboard, press the ''S'' key.)
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* The scoreboard also shows each player's name, score, teamkill count, email string, current flag, total kills/deaths ratio, and the amount of kills/deaths you have scored against that player.
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* Superflags and Bad flags are shown in white.
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* Team flags appear in the color of their respective team.
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* Other flags are shown in the same color as the player using them.
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For example, this scoreboard shows that player "Andrey" has scored: 2 kills (since he was last killed); 0 teamkills; has an email string of "Andrey@andreypc"; is carrying the SW (Shock Wave) flag; has made a total of 8 kills for 6 deaths; has been killed by player "me1" 0 times; and has killed player "me1" once.
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|[[Image:Scoreboard.jpg|right|thumb|300px|The Scoreboard]]
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You'll also want to check out other server-specific game settings, such as the number of rounds you may have in-flight at a time.
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======Team Scoreboard======
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There is also a Team Scoreboard, showing:
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* FFA: each team's kills; deaths; overall score.
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* CTF: how many flags the team has successfully captured; number of times their own flag has been captured; their overall score.
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The number of players on the team appears to the right.
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The Rogue team is not included on the Team scoreboard.
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|[[Image:Teamscoreboard.jpg|right|thumb|300px|The Team Scoreboard]]
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======Radar======
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The [[Radar]] (at bottom left), shows a "bird's eye" overhead view of the map, with your tank's position at the center, marked in white. You can zoom the radar range in and out with the 4 and 5 keys. The two radial lines drawn outward from your tank's central "blip" to the edge of the radar show your forward field of view (FOV) -- i.e. they enclose the area you see directly ahead of you on the main screen.
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The radar is extremely useful for seeing the present location of other players, relative to your own position and heading; and for dodging incoming rounds currently in flight.
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* Other tanks appear on the radar in their respective colors: Red players are shown in red, Green players shown in green, etc. Rogue tanks appear in yellow.
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* Rounds in flight are shown as small, rapidly-moving dots. Your rounds are displayed in white.
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* Flags are shown as little x's; Team flags are colored appropriately.
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* Tanks carrying flags are shown as a "blip" marked with an X.
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* A shaded square appears around each radar echo, representing the height of the object. The larger the square, the higher the object.
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|[[Image:Radar.jpg|right|thumb|300px|The Radar]]
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====Sportsmanship====
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When you play BZFlag, keep a few simple rules in mind:
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* Players should never shoot tanks on their own team (except, of course, for Rogue players). Accidents do happen in the heat of battle; but deliberate teamkills will rapidly make you very unpopular. The BZFLag moto is "Be Bold!", not "Be a jerk!".
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* Players should be civil to other players at all times.
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|[[Image:Screenshot1.jpg|right|thumb|300px|A Screenshot of a standard 2.0.9 client playing on Missile War 2]]
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|}
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Latest revision as of 23:58, 9 April 2009

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