matanza - space war multiuser ascii game
Matanza is a multiplayer game. In it, every player controls a ship
cruising in space, aiming to destroy the other players (and,
eventually, ships controled by the computer). You connect to the server
using a telnet client.
The first thing you must do is connect to the server.
You must connect to the TCP port ‘7993’ (unless you specified a
different port when you ran the server) of the host running the
I won’t tell you how to do this, Luke.
Don’t look at me like that!
Ok, you win.
It’s probably ’telnet localhost 7993’.
Once connected, you’ll see some nice (c’mon give us some credits)
You must hit <RET> (that’s <Enter>) to go to the game’s main screen.
At the main screen, you must enter your name.
That’s right, it can’t have more than 8 letters. Oh, and it can
not begin with a number. Enter your name and hit <RET> a few
If you are in Windows’ stupid telnet client, the widgets there will
look awful. No colors or anything. We are going to fix that
eventually, but... well, you’ll have to learn to live with that for
the moment. I’m sure you can, Luke. After all, you could stand it
when that stupid kid at school used to beat you, remember?
But back to our game, you’ll see a ship in the middle of screen.
Yes, I said ship. Okay, I know it looks more like fire effects
than a ship, but with a couple of practice it’s going to look
better. You just need to train your self to recognize it.
Or you could think of it as a big moth and of the bullets as moth-spit
and the goal of this game would be to cover your enemies in your spit.
Now, that thing in the middle of the screen is YOUR ship.
To control it you can use the following keys:
`h’ and ‘l’
Make the ship rotate. If you are wondering why I used ‘h’ and
‘l’, get a life (in other words, learn to use Vi). It’s a
matter of style. Actually, I got so many complaints from lukes
like you that I added support for arrow keys.
`+’ and ‘-’
These allow you to zoom in and out.
`j’ and ‘k’
Accelerate the ship. Yes, it can move! Yes, at different
speeds! Okay, ‘j’ may not work (see --brake and --fly-back).
More on that latter. Again, arrows key works as well.
‘ ’ (that’s space, dude)
Shot. Yay! Bullets! Or (depending on your point of view)
Moth-Spit! Sorry, dude, the telnet protocol doesn’t support
sound so there’s no BZZZING when you shot.
`b’ Shot bullets backwards. Sometimes this doesn’t work. More on
that in section 6.
`m’ Do you see two little imperfections on your ship’s wings? Those
are the MISSILES. Yoy can shot them with ‘m’. They do a lot
more damage than the bullets, but you have only two, so be
‘n’ You can also shot SMALLER missiles. You have ten of these.
<Ret> If you hit <Ret>, you’ll be able to write a message to send it
to all the other players. That’s correct, you can use Matanza
as a full featured chat and all. You could even have net.sex
using it, but don’t even get me started on the subject.
`z’ Shows you stats about the game.
‘c’ Removes the last message from the list of messages.
‘C’ Cleans the list of messages.
‘s’ Swaps the position of the list of messages.
‘p’ Pauses the game.
‘v’ Toggles whether or not you see the messages. Sometimes you’ll
want to disable them.
‘i’ Make your ship invisible! But beware, you may only make it
invisible for a short period of time, after that it becomes
visible again and you can’t become invisible anymore.
‘q’ Quit the game.
The following is a list of important command line arguments; this was
updated for version 0.12, though some are still missing.
--help This shows the list of command line arguments and exits.
Use this to know the version of the server.
If you want to make it so the server will allow at most NUM
players to enter the world at any given moment, use this option.
--bold This instructs the server to use bold characters when rendering
images to ASCII art. It improves the quality of the rendering
(as of version 0.9 it still has some bugs).
This changes the default image width (for the zoom). The
default is 320.
Use this option to set the maximum damage a ship can take before
it is destroyed. It defaults to 1000.
These options allow you to change the map size. If you make it
smaller, players will come across each other more often. On the
other hand, if you plan to have a lot of players, you might want
to increase the size. The default is 1200 x 1000.
With this option you can change the number of lives each player
(or team: see --no-share) gets at startup.
During its initialization, Matanza calculates rotations for all
its images (ships, missiles, asteroids, etc.). It uses 64
different angles by default. You may change this number to
increase its quality or decrease its memory consumption.
If you use this option, you will disallow the chat feature. The
only reason I can think why someone would want to do that would
be to keep newbies from entering the chat buffer and becoming
unable to control their ships. Or perhaps to make some team
games more exciting by preventing the players to exchange
information (though I know it would be very easy to cheat).
If you want to play in teams mode, you will use this option once
for every team, specifing its name. Before joining the game,
all players must select the team they will play in.
You can instruct the server to only accept players who know the
password. This might be good for some tournaments.
This option is only meaningful in teams mode. By default,
bullets from a given player hurt everyone, not only players from
the other teams. This option changes that behaviour and makes
it so bullets from a given player won’t hurt players in the same
This option is only meaningful in teams mode. By default, all
the teams have a pool of lives; when a player dies, he comes
back to play and the team has one life less. When this option
is specified, the lives are no longer shared so each player has
its own pool of lives.
Maximum angular speed for ships (try 0)
If this option is specified, players will be acelerate
Players will be able to brake using ‘j’ (or the down arrow).
--air Ships’ speed depend on their direction.
Set the maximum speed for the ships to NUM. A value of 0 makes
With this option you can specify how many asteroids you want at
a given moment. If you use ‘0’, you will disable this feature
and the memory requirements will decrease.
Give the world limits; make it end
When enemy is away, don’t show the direction
Allow players to become invisible for NUM rounds
PPC stands for Players Per Connection. With this option, you
will be able to set the number of ships each connection will
have. For the moment, the only supported values are 1 and 2.
The keyboard bindings change and those for a value of 2 are not
PATH should be the path to a JPEG file. Matanza will load the
information in the file and use it as the background, rather
than showing the dots. This will only work if libjpeg was
installed when you compiled Matanza.
This option will be ignored unless ‘--bg’ is also used. It
tells Matanza to set the map’s size to be the width and height
of the background image. When used, the options ‘-x’ and ‘-y’
Through this option you can specify a file name for Matanza to
load the images for the ships from it. The format for the file
is very simple, consult ship.txt for more details.
Please read the extensive README file for more documentation.
Alejandro Forero Cuervo <email@example.com>