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BZFlag Ideas

Any and all ideas for BZFlag!

Feel free to make changes and updates to this page whenever possible. If you have any questions, feel free to ask for help. If you wish to make major changes to this page, please warn me ahead of time.

On this page, I'll post what people are doing, as well as what new features are planned and how they are coming.

NOTE: These are just possiblilities. We won't be implementing everything here.

NOTE: Flag ideas should be placed on Flag List. Any other ideas can be placed here.

This page has gone through a few changes; people have had troubles with editing this page, so a lot of content is missing. I will be merging this page with the backup from my webpage soon, and making a new backup. I will also be going through some E-mails I have received for ideas.

The BZFlag homepage is located at, and the SourceForge group page is located at

Status may include personal comments by Jeremiah.

Ideas include:

* Add support for 5 (or more) button mice Status: Great Idea
* Sort player list by team Status: Idea
* Make option to show previous players list Status: Idea
* Anti-cheating measures detecting cheating clients/servers, kicking them out automatically or by vote, etc. I will push to have this implemented in version 1.8. Status: Some anti-cheating measures are in 1.7G2, more work to follow. Great Idea
* More flags (listed below) Status: See Table
* Better network handling Status: Work in progress.
* Better physics Status: Planning, some changes in CVS.
* Map editor Status: Windows, Linux and Java2 editors are working, Linux editor in CVS, I want one using BZFlag's own engine.
* server-side respawn position Status: Good Idea
* 2 or 3 teams as well as the current 4 Status: Idea
* Tounament mode Status: Idea (Great Idea?)
* Ability to define flags allowed / not allowed in world file Status: Idea
* ""Materials"" that don't allow OO and PZ to go through Status: Would be nice for multilevel worlds made with the new ability to have objects above the ground.
* Better robot AI Status: Idea, don't know if players would like it or not in multiplayer game. Pluggable or scriptable robot AI , maybe? - Code must be restructred first

Idea from Spazzy McGee:

* Option to search for servers in list. It gets really annoying if you want to find a server and you have to go thru all the pages, as there are over 10 now.

One Idea from Trigger Happy Nerd:

* When you shoot someone on your own team, instead of both of you blowing up, neither is destroyed, and their score goes up one, while your's goes down one. This would make teamkilling impossible and greatly discourage traitors as well. | But then couldn't cheaters spawn two clients and ramp up their scores by teamkilling their other login? --YHARG

3 Ideas from BearRiver:

* SELF-DESTRUCT BLAST RADIUS: Self Destruct (delete key) should have a blast radius similar to Shock Wave, perhaps larger.  If you get shot during the self-destruct count down, that should also trigger the same blast.  If I gotta go, I want to take someone with me.  
* SUPERBALL FLAG: Fires a standard shot that drops with gravity instead of hovering as it goes.  Allows you to target burrow tanks and bounce shots over walls if you fire while jumping.
* SUPERJUMP FLAG: Doubles the height of your jump.  Requires some skill to use because your a sitting duck on the way down.

Ideas from MORPH:

* Make ALL server options available from the menus status: Idea
* Ability to toggle display of player addresses (some are so long they mess up the score display) status: Idea
* Word wrap long messages - they get cut off for those with low-resolution displays status: Done??
* Improvements to radar: Color-coded bullets, brighter bullets (may have to be larger if already using brightest color), better distinction between blue players and pyramids status: Done
* Better positioning of tanks status: BZFlag already does this, but the algorithm is bad. Needs work.
* 3-second (or however long) 'invulnerability' for incoming tanks - but they can't shoot status: Idea.
* Ability to turn off ricochet for laser flag but allow ricochet for bullets status: Idea Please.. or let them bounce only n times.. OR implement mirror buildings/walls. Should go for some interesting self-kills when combined with the no-radar/bullet bounce idea's..
* Smart LockOn for GM - won't lock on to your teammates (configurable in server) status: Idea. (M. Jetleb -> I don't like this idea, there should be at least *some* risks to using this weapon. Personally, I think there should be more (not fewer) risks to holding this weapon; I'd like to see the thing overheat and explode (killing the holder) if it's fired too often in a short period of time)
* Small jumps status: Idea
* Differently-shaped teleporters (circles, triangles, etc.) status: Idea, probably low priority
* 360 degree teleports - hit a spot on the ground or in the air from any direction and you teleport status: Idea
* Configurable random teleporters - teleports to a different location every time status: Idea
* Allow different physical properties on top of buildings (momentum, etc.) status: Idea, goes with my ""materials"" idea.
* Allow higher wall-height around arena (ricochet at higher heights) - or no walls defining the boundaries - just a line. (ricochet only off buildings & pyramids) status: Idea
* Server option for genocide flag - if you're killed while you have it, your team dies :^) status: Idea
* for broadband or LAN connections - voice chat for teams status: Idea, but I really think that you can do this with another service; I'm not sure if being part of BZFlag would be a good idea due to size and bandwidth issues.
* Separate windows for player messages & server messages status: Good idea.
* Message log status: Good idea.
* Serious multithreaded design - shouldn't lock up interface while looking for servers, or doing anything else. This program is way-unstable on Windows status: We're working on these problems; many complaints are due to people still using old servers/clients.
* Ability to configure server to turn somethings off or on depending on number of players - for instance, turn off ricochet after a certain number of players are connected, turn off GM & laser if a certain number of players aren't playing (GM & Laser with 2 players is kinda ridiculous) status: Idea
* 'Fox & Hound' scenario - highest player automatically becomes own team, all other plays on another team - kill the 'fox' (play with highest score). status: Good Idea, I'd like to see more ways to play BZFlag. (bhtooefr: Rabbit is very similar to this)
* Higher score(s) players lose abilities (bigger tanks, can't pick up flags, momentum, whatever) status: Idea
* Some type of BZFlag GUID to ban players who cheat - won't accept players who disable their GUID, etc. status: What is a GUID??

--- Global Unique Identifier, sort of like an IP addrss, but permanent. Usually a number. Problem occurs when you loose your GUID (have to reformat your HD, etc. How do you keep someone from hacking their GUID, or setting up a modified BZFlag server for identity theft, etc. ---

* Single/multiple-use flags (or they instantly change type after being used) (configurable on a flag-by-flag basis: e.g. laser & GM one-use only before they drop/disappear) status: Good idea, especially with the more powerful flags.
* Change graphic format to PNG so new 'skins' can be created. Optional use of server-defined skin. Client can use it or not (wouldn't really matter). status: In CVS for 1.8.
* Tank avatars (uploadable tank images) - have to think about shapes, though - someone could make a 1x1x1 pixel tank - that would suck - or a tank that looks like a building or pyramid. Clients don't have to accept downloading of avators (just view other tanks in default mode). Or just s-e-l-e-c-t from a certain number of predefined avatars that could come with the bzflag distribution. Or client provides a URL to download their avatar (saves server bandwidth). status: Idea, but might not be implemented. Requires discussion; we may want to consider making the computer force a minimum size or something similar. *How about uploadable flag graphics?
* To prevent cheating - the server determines what flags & abilities each tank has (possible?) status: Idea, but seriously being considered. This would also have the advantage of allowing different versions of clients and servers to work together. Yes, it's possible, but this type of change will mean a change in the network protocols.
* Send message to an individual, even if they're not on your team status: done
* Ability to change elevation of tank barrel & direction of turret (without jumping up or turning tank) (complex interface issues - super-low priority) status: Idea. Turret rotation rejected: The game is too fast for this to be useful, and would probably kill the game. *How about a new gameplay mode? Takes two to tank. One to ride turret, the other drives. KIA switches positions. "Teamplay" but all in one tank.
* Much better arena design capabilities - bridges over ditches, etc. status: Good idea. This along with some new physics (which I hope to propose soon -Jeremiah), and BZFlag will be much more interesting.
* Concept of a tank that can take damage without being destroyed immediately - slows down, takes a hit in a tread and turns slowly in whatever direction, etc. status: Good idea, but must be optional (server option). Might be rejected, since BZFlag is, by nature, a fast paced game. *Loses ability to shoot, runs and grabs a restore flag?
* 'Kamikaze' option for players - can take someone out by suicide status: Idea. Server option if implemented.
* Server option: everyone is radar-stealthed by default unless you get a 'radar' flag. You can still see all buildings, pyramids, teleports, and arena walls, though. status: Good idea. Make them use their window. ;)(M. Jetleb -> Given the fairly narrow field of view out the window and the time it takes to turn a tank all the way around for a look-see, I think this could be frustrating. How about everyone starts out with minimum range radar instead and gets longer ranges with an appropriate flag?)
* Option for above: if you pick up GM or Laser, you're visible on radar to everyone whether they've got a radar flag or not status: Good idea
* Selectable 'ricochet' fire - hold down shift key or something and your bullets won't ricochet status: Idea.
* Server option - tanks only have a certain number of times they can jump (gets reset when you get killed) status: Idea.
* Multiple-shields (server option for shield flags, or can be random - can get hit x number of times) status: Idea
* Ability to damage or destroy buildings/pyramids/teleporters status: Idea (M. Jetleb - probably a good idea for timed games, where the building can be reset after a reasonable amount of time, but can you imagine what the field would look like for a perpetual game that's been running for days? There has to be some way to reset this. Also what happens if someone shoots the bottom out of a building? Does the building collapse or just remain suspended? This could get complicated.)
* Server config to make bullets NOT go through teleporters status: Idea
* Holographic buildings - can't see what's behind them, but can shoot through them (great for the radarless-option above)[M. Jetleb -> how does not being able to see through a building help when you're radarless?]. Can't tell the difference on radar between them and regular buildings status: Idea, could be a materials property.
* SandTraps - tank gets stuck there status: Idea (aren't there enough incredibly annoying ways for tanks to get stuck on pyramids etc. already? --pediddle)
* Configurable 'radarless' and/or 'blind' zones in the arena - can't see what's in there on radar or via visuals status: Idea
* 'Fog' area in arena - impairs use of laser status: Idea
* Connection-quality restrictions - restriction players based on connection quality - if they're having connection problems, server can drop them (after informing them what's going on) status: Implemented - also, throttling is implemented; people with high framerates were sending a lot of messages, clogging things up for people with slower connections.
* Ability for a team to vote to 'banish' someone from their team status: Idea
* dispossition flag. See the tank somewhere else than it realy is: Idea
* Send message to everyone 'but' specified player (crosses team boundaries, or not) (morph) status: Idea. Hmm. Everybody BUT a specified player? [M. Jetleb -> as in: "Let's all get the GM guy" without the GM guy knowing he's facing a co-ordinated attack - I like this idea)
* Non-solid buildings - ability to make tunnels through buildings, etc. status: Idea.
* Tank collisions - why can tanks drive through each other? Weird. status: Good Idea.
* When tanks collide - great opportunity to implement tank damage concept, especially if one of them is moving especially fast, or has momentum flag, etc. Can push a tank off a building if your pushing them from their side. status: Idea
* If a tank explodes right next to another tank, the other tank can be destroyed or get damaged status: Idea
* Randomly changing arena - buildings grow, shrink, move,
* Server option: Cause a player to die if they shoot a teammate (accidentally or otherwise). This would discourage team killers and affect strategy (players are more cautious when shooting near teammates). (how about if you die after you kill teammates n times, and n is reset whenever you die. this will protect people who just do it accidently)
* Server option: Make all good flags (except for ID flag) permanent (i.e. you cannot drop a flag unless you are killed). This discourages flag hunting (for GM flag or whatever) and forces players to play (build skill with?) the first flag they pick up until they die.
* Server option: Have finite ammo for the GM and Laser.
* Damage status- getting hit three (3) times kills you.
* Skins or views- In-tank mode, bumper mode, out-of-cab mode, chase mode.
* customizable sounds and/or models.

Idea from iPod: items marked with !!! are the ones i want most

*A usable world editor for mac and windows so that more servers are avalable.!!!
*Better Textures on the buildings and pyramids and more variety of structures.
*Ramps and slopes which tanks can drive up.
*There should be a game of cops and robbers.  The teams can change after about 10 mins or so.!!!
*BZFlag for mac in seperate data and application files.
*Weapon extention packs.
*The ability to choose tanks, but they all die at one shot.  maybe the jump height, speed, turn speed, acceleration, size can be preset. 
*The ability to see what the world is like before connecting to the server.
*Sounds of tanks moving.

One small idea from XPenguin:

* Have more than one flag to be carried at a time, but no more than two, more than that would almost be unfair to the other players.!!!

Idea from JavierMM:

* Handicap. Allow to bad players have better properties than best players (like velocity), so it's an more interesting play for everybuddy. It'll be server optional and the handicap players are marked in player lists

Additional Idea to Handicap from Amoc:

* Autobalance option. If activated it adds an additional scale factor to the tank wich depends on the score. If the score rises the tank gets bigger and if the score is negative the tank gets smaller then the normal one (The hight of the tank will not be scaled). The strength of the effect should be defined by the server. The tank of an extreme good player will at one point no longer fit trough the teleporters and this will give an additional handicap until his score comes down again.

Idea from Robi:

* Have different tank death scenes for the dying tank point of view. I realize there is some time needed for one to die and respawn, but the jumping effect one sees when killed irritates me to no end! I'd be happier if all faded to black or white or orange and had text across the screen saying ""respawning... please wait"" :) Also, when killed and your tank was moving toward a building, it just falls right thru it until it hits the ground.. wrong physics there! Splatter or tumble or shatter or something :)

Idea from Agonizer:

* A special FFA Game mode "Team by Flags". This means, same Flag = same Team, so if there is a Tank with Rapid fire, and you pick up Rapid fire, you are automatically handled as Team member (this means, killing the other Tank with Rapid fire will be handled the same way as when killing a team member). YHARG: Funky idea: what about a game mode where teams shared flag abilities? Like, each player on a team's flag applies to the whole team. This could make for some interesting combos...

Idea from NickGrim:

* Make life trickier for the Rogue Team; with a mix of Rogues and Colored Teams, the Rogues have more targets. This should also change the effect of the Masquerade flag - perhaps your tank is invisible to Rogues (like Cloaking)?

Ideas from LionsPhil:

* A server option to make deaths not affect your score unless they were self-inflicted/team (the method used by many online games). This would encourage more aggressive play, because it's worth going out and blasting. As it is, you've got a very good chance by just phantoming/OOing out of the way and keeping you score at zero to stay in the top three places! It would also help fix the rather unfair situation of spawning just below a building on which someone is GM-camping...there's pretty much no way to escape, so you lose a point.
* Custom color schemes for rogue players. The turret and body components can be chosen to be one of a predefined set of colors (e.g. red, yellow, black, white, blue, green, purple...). The game prohibits choosing a color scheme that matches a team scheme (e.g. red turret with red body) and the limited set stops someone choosing a shade which is nearly a team color (e.g. 0xFE0000 instead of 0xFF0000) (and also save texture memory, I think).
* Allow a small decal on the back of the top of the tank. (think Half-Life's customizable spraypaint). Possibly also apply it to any held flag?
* Allow ramps in level designs, so tanks can move to certain other platforms without having to jump. This would require adjusting the engine to allow tanks to angle on the ramps. Reduced speed depending on gradient?

Idea from K'limero:

* What about a radar that only covers visible areas (don't passing through buildings/pyramids) ? This would leads to more placement tactics).

Idea(s) from Yohan:

* Spread Fire (SF) Flag which fires three shots at the same time.  One on the centerline, the other two angled at a quarter degree along either side of the centerline.
* World configuration of server options.  Sometimes a map is designed for use with specific flags, or perhaps certain flags could be too powerful and you would want to turn them off.
* Extending an idea from above regarding teleporters:  Make teleporters configurable so that the map designer decides whether bullets or tanks or both can pass through the teleporter.  Also, an option which changes the angle at which a bullet or tank will pass through a teleporter.  Currently, if a teleporter links back to itself, the shot always returns back at the tank which fired it rather than reflecting.
* HUD radar.  (We are using this with our local games and love it).
* Allow ramps and ability of tanks to drive up ramps.  I guess this is a duplicate, but I still like it. (Dragonstar agrees with this too) Please do this!

Idea from morfie

* Add ice as a terrain feature

Idea(s) From Dragonstar. Items marked with a !!! are what I want most

* Server ccreation option: # of flags holdable at a time
* Allow custom-made weapons with a Object-Oriented scripting language (sorta like Liero AI uses:!!!
* Custom-made graphics/objects for weapons and levels
* Triggers in levels!!!
* Water Terrain
* Custom Terrains (select a image to tile, slipperyness, etc.)

More coming later :-)

Ideas From Cue:

* Option to choose different kinds of tanks.  Different tanks could be weighted with different strengths and weaknesses.  (almost like having a default flag).  Would also need some form of health/damage status measurement, not just single hits.  For example, there could be a larger, heavily armored tank that has powerful weapons, but moves slowly, versus a small, light, fast tank which is difficult to hit, but very low armor to protect from hits.  
* Land mine flag?

Ideas from abli:

* Multiple list servers, in case goes down (as it happened around feb. 15. 2004)
* Allways random respawn. Currently in CTF games first respawn is at own base. This can be abused by leaving and rejoining to get near base. This leave/rejoing trick is considered to be a mild form of cheating by many. Always random respawn would make it useless.
* Don't show invidual score in CTF games. This might help teamplay as it reduces the incentive to run around as if it would be FFA.
* Give points to the player how captures flag in CTF. (Say, around 4 or so) After all, it is often a bigger job than killing someone.

Idea from kitchen:

* volcano (growing red pyramid) that's death to touch and grows during the course of a round and occasionally gives off 'pyroclast flows' aka super bullets.  perhaps red-orange color.
* multiple (3?) jump stengths mini, normal, max...just the thing to confuse the opponents that expect one and you're off doing the other. 

Idea from bhtooefr:

* J2ME client (allows one to play on a cell phone), would use radar
* Multi-monitor support (i.e., radar on one screen, window on another, chat/event log on a third)

Idea from nsayer:

* wraparound world - radar remains centered on your current position. Internally, objects leaving the north border reappear to the south, but from the user's radar / visible perspective, you just see to the horizon. I believe this is how the original Battlezone worked. There are some implications: laser would need a range limit.

Idea from rjbs:

* wireframe mode!  man, this would make the game ten times cooler for nostalgia

Idea from Colin:

* Make a part in bzflag to put up a real server. 1st screen has the flags you want, next page is to find the MAP file that you created on your hard drive, next page pick if you want jumping etc.
* Have part in BZflag so that you can have bots.
* Toggle radar and message bar on and off with a key on your keyboard.

Idea from Dan:

* Health, like in a fps. If you get shot from a closer range, you take more damage. When you run out of health, you die. Health pickups in places - not a flag. Although there might be a health generator flag.
* For above: a "Doctor" flag - shooting someone (similar to thief) either fixes them or, like the above health generator flag, except faster, heals them. Don't shoot the other team!

Idea from pherris:

* Anti camping. The ability to add "no camping zones" to areas of a map or to the entire map. Campers would be messaged that they're in a no camping zone, better start moving and have a prescribe number of seconds to move away or die. If a player returns to the same NCZ (no camping zone) and receives x warnings then he's disconnected. NCZs could be marked by a different color shade from a "normal" spot and could be exempt to a single team (like at their flag base). It's just a rough idea.

Idea from Orca

* Special 'open source' BZFlag version (server and client) which is guaranteed to be compatible with all other BZFlag versions.

Idea from Dogbert

* Trajectory flag and option on servers (Causes bullets to fall (But very slowly)). Bullets will go no lower than standard level, so trajectory is only active if you are jumping, or on a block.
* Moving blocks, so when people put things like the USS Enterprise at the top of their map, it can move around.
* Turret mode, If enabled by the server (Can be manditory with automatic grouping). One user drives and the other shoots, Turret mode tanks get double points (But onyl take one from the target). lost double points if killed. Have double ammo, And controllable speed (Max = _tankSpeed * 2 Min = _tankSpeed). Plus it takes 2 shots to kill a turret mode tank. Points gained and lost by turret tanks are divided evenly between the users, Unless the server is all turret mode, in h which case two users are displayed as one.

Ideas from YHARG:

* I'd like to see something more interesting done with the sky... maybe there could be a little ufo (easter egg) that would fly around occasionally? Tux on a ufo! ;)
* "Super smash bros" style jumping: a server-side option to let tanks jump a second or third time while in the air... changing direction would be possible by jumping with the pointer moved to what direction you'd like to doublejump. The direction change would probably be much less than the maximum tank speed, but maybe that could be a variable too. This would be great for platform maps. and add a way to mix up the classic jump killing that goes on in regular games.
* Flag decals: Each flag would have a little icon/decal showing it's type ONLY when held by a player. It's kind of nice to be able to surprise people with an undercover shockwave, but doesn't make sense to have to right click (identify) or check the user list to see what flag someone has.
* Ducati/Freestyle "Roles" mode: Make a game mode where players are presented with a list of flag choices (limitable to a few roles, if wanted) at respawn or connect time, and are forced to use this flag for the remainder of their connection/tank life. This would be really useful in the case of stealth vs. seer, where you could choose to be stealth or seer, but couldn't switch between them. Another idea would be high speed vs. quick turn. Or steamroller vs. machine gun... Team play would have the interesting effect of people banding together and people with each role on the team. Especially in stealth vs. seer, where a seer team member could warn the team about enemies! There would be no team flags/bases.
* Background music! : (This can be done with an external media player so it shouldn't be the heighest priority, It would be nice to be able to control your music from within BzFlag)
* Teleporter flag: Dropped twice, and makes a temporary teleporte on the map (for a set amount of time)
* BeamMeUp flag: Tab makes the tank teleport to the highest object directly above it. This would be very useful with high maps, but could encourage camping, and cheating.
* Tall tank flag: Like obesity, only makes the tank too tall to maneuver under low objects.
* Triplicate/Duplicate/MagicHat flag: Tank gets one or two bot duplicates whose shots do no damage, spawned where it is. They could possibly be respawned when killed. They would tend to stay near the tank.
* Sleepwalker Bad Flag: Your tank becomes controlled by a bot. Does not drop until tank is killed. Player's score is changed by bot's performance.
* Shield Flag Changes: Give Shield flag a radius, and draw it like a moving less opaque blue shockwave. Any tanks inside the shield radius would be protected, until the shield got hit a certain number of times.

Idea from Efitu:

* 7 words: user freindly bult-in map editor and viewer.

Ideas from Dogbert.

* More documentation on scripting world weapons.

* Preset world weapons that can be fired manually by admins from within BzFlag.
* Regicide flag, kills both the tanks you hit and the tank with the highest score on the same team as        the tank you hit (Thus giving double points)

Idea from Supermatthew:

* Tank Turret Rotation sideways and up and down(controlable with a "Point of View" on a joystick and keyboard for those who don't have joystick with it)
* Like Efitu's idea, user freindly built-in map editor and viewer, the current map editor isn't so good, expesaly when you delete stuff it does weard things.
* The ability to add texture to blocks like if tou wanted to add a street texture and make a road or a weard wall or whatever.
* more objects ot build with like a ball and cone and cylender and incline planes (/ or \) that tanks can drive up.
* Moving objects like a wall that could spin on its X Y or Z axis and chose the point were it spins like 5X, 3Y, 0Z away from its center
* New game called tag were someone is it and they shoot someone else and there it and ect.
* Also a new game called "Hide and seek" were everyone is clocked(think thats it, were you don't see them on radar) except one who is it. he needs to find someone and shoot them then hese cloked and who was shot is not. Also when someone is shot there sent back to Ground zero( 0X, 0Y, 0Z ) so they can't shoot who ever just shot them.
* Editable ground hight like hills or something
* another game called dodge ball were one person can shoot and when someone is hit then they become an observer till the next game and when theres only one person(other than the one whose it) they become it.

Idea from TomMatelich:

* At our company, we instituted a voluntary policy of dropping flags after 1 kill.  Prevents slaughters and keeps things rolling more.  It'd be great to be able to have the game do this for us, plus I'd love to see it turned on at external sites.

Ideas from NebNamwen:

 * Server option: default powers -- flag(s) that everyone in the game automatically has (this wouldn't count as holding a flag).  For example, the current Jumping option would == including Jumping as a default power.