Blitz VGAP Game

What?
A fast-paced on-line VGAP game, where time to do a turn is measured in minutes, not days. An IRC-bot is used to control the game and provide extra information.

Features

When?
Testing: can be done 24/7, at the moment (game "thost" at chmeee.org:9000)
Next games: Sun Jul 11 2004 (at 14:30 UTC == 16:30 CEST)

Where?
#vgaplanets on efnet (IRC), can also be reached via the echo cluster web interface (real IRC client recommended).

Who?
Kero will host. All players welcome.

Why?
Coz it's Fun!

How?
With your JVC client connected to the running server, all the time! Or, if your favourite client does not support this (likely), with a blitz-client program that stays connected all the time and pops to the front to tell you when to stop editing and make your TRN-file reaaaaallly soon, like NOW!



The Software

Players need either and an IRC client (that's very convenient, at least).

JVC

Click for larger picture

Go to the JVC-page, grab jvc.jar (from the Download section, unzip it) and don't forget the Blitz plugin (from the Addins section, put it in the addins/ dir, see docs on docs on JVC addins page).

Then follow all the steps from question number 5 from the FAQ section

Stand-Alone Client

If JVC is not for you, you can use any other VGAP client in combination with the stand-alone blitz-client. This stand-alone puts itself in front of your other windows, to tell you it is really time to make your turn and submit it.

It works with jdk 1.1 through 1.4, as well as kaffe (and probably more, but I can't test them all). If you need Java, install the appropriate jre package. (If this takes too long, look for the smaller jdk 1.1 or try out kaffe if you can compile it.)

Download blitz.jar and run with:

   java -classpath blitz.jar jvpc.blitz.Blitz [game directory]
, or, if your JVM supports jdk 1.2, you can type;
   java -jar blitz.jar
(and even double click works in that case). It'll popup a window where you can change the directory where RST/TRN should be, the IP and port number, the game name and your race:

and when you press 'Join', this window will show:

This will force itself to the foreground 30 and 10 seconds before hosting. It is advisable not to wait until the last second to press "Submit TRN", because other players might do the same. Due to bandwidth limitations of the network, your turn might not have arrived when the bot thinks it's time to run the host.

Do not forget to make your turn with your regular client/maketurn.exe, the blitz software does not do this for you!

The hosting party will pass xyplan.dat, your RST and util??.dat as well as pconfig.src and race.nm to you over the established connection. You will have to take care of default files like torpspec.dat and planet.nm.

The stand-alone client is released under the GNU LGPL. Sources can be downloaded (from the CVS repository) from the JVPC pages


The Blitzbot

A modified
Ruby bot (I use v0.9.6) with a special blitz plug-in, will allow only the host to control the game and all others to get information about the game.

The bot runs the host, based on deadlines. The bot will warn the clients at predefined times how long till next hostrun.

The stand-alone or JVC will talk to the bot for most of the time, but you can query the bot on he IRC-channel. You do that like this:

   mr-blitz: blitz [command] <game-name> <parameters>
Typically, when the host launched a game with the name "lightning", you'll want to query the bot where the game is running:
   mr-blitz: blitz games
after the bot will respond with the list of games, with the IP number and port number that need to be filled in in the stand-alone or JVC (like lightning (at 62.163.8.5:9000)).

Later on, you'll want to know things about the game, type:

   mr-blitz: blitz status lightning
   mr-blitz: blitz score lightning
and the bot will list various information.

The complete protocol of the bot.

The bot itself plus support scripts.


Kero