Rocks’n’Diamonds - A game for Unix/X11
This is a nice little game with color graphics and sound for your Unix
system with color X11. You need an 8-Bit color display or better. It
is not recommended on black&white systems, and maybe not on gray scale
If you know the game "Boulderdash" (Commodore C64) or "Emerald Mine"
(Amiga), you know what "ROCKS’N’DIAMONDS" is about.
You can see eight blue circles on the left side of the eight green menu
texts; these are buttons to activate the menu commands by simply
clicking on them with the left mouse button. The button will then
change to red. (You can control the menues over the keyboard or
joystick, too. Just use the arrow keys and the ’Return’ or ’Enter’ key
or, if you use a joystick, the appropriate direction and the fire
The menu ’name’
When you start the game the first time, your login name will appear in
the ’NAME:’ field. If you want to use a different name for playing, for
example a funny player name or a name for cheating, you can click on
the button and enter a new name.
If you choose a certain special name, you will be in a cheat mode where
you can choose all levels without playing the lower levels before... :)
The menue ’level’
If you have played some levels of this game, you can choose the already
played levels at any time, but you cannot choose the higher levels.
This means, you can choose levels from level 0 to the highest level
that you have ever won. This is known as your ’handicap’.
If the level number is red, you have choosen a ’ready’ level, if it is
yellow, you have choosen a ’user’ level, which is blank and can be
edited by yourself with the built-in level editor (see below).
To choose new level series, click on the button on the left and choose
the new level serie.
Hall of fame
Click on this button to see a list of the best players of this level.
Click again to go back to the main menu.
This brings you to the level editor, if you have switched to a ’yellow’
level, which are empty and can be filled by yourself. See below.
This screen shows you all elements which appear in the game and
presents you the background music loops which you can listen to while
playing the levels (only available on Linux and FreeBSD systems).
This will start the game.
To change some things in the game, use the setup menu. You can
enable/disable "Sound" (enables/disables _all_ sounds in the game),
"Sound loops" (only allowed on Linux and FreeBSD systems with
VoxWare[tm] sound driver; don’t worry if you never heard of it -- it’s
the name of the standard Linux sound driver), "Game music" (can always
be enabled on very fast systems [exception: you don’t like it], on
slower systems it will take some percent of CPU time which will slow
things down a bit) and "Toons", which will forbid/ permit the little
"Buffered Gfx" can be set to "off" on slower systems, "Fading" gives a
nice fading effect when displaying new screens, but unfortunately I
haven’t found a system which is fast enough to display it so far.
(Maybe this works better on highly accelerated X servers.) Better set
this to "off" if you have a normal system...
Set "auto-record" to "on" if you want to automatically record each game
If you have a Linux or FreeBSD system with a joystick, you can choose
the "1st" or the "2nd" joystick port and use "Cal. Joystick" to
calibrate it. Use "Save and exit" after calibration to save it for
later playing sessions.
"Exit" quits the setup menu without saving the changes, "Save and exit"
will save and then return to the main menu.
Exit the game.
How To Play The Game
When the game has started, you can see the playfield on the left side
and a control field on the right side. The control field contains the
Tells you which level you are playing.
Shows you how many emeralds you still need to win the current
Shows you how many dynamite bombs you have.
Keys Shows you which keys you have in your inventory.
Score Shows the current score. In some levels there are some extra
items giving extra score points.
Time The seconds you have still left to play the level.
Game controls to stop the game, pause it and go on playing. If
the tape recorder is recording your game, it is
stopping/pausing/playing as well.
The three music buttons can be used to control the background
music loop, the ’looping’ sounds and all other sounds. The
little red light shows you if it is enabled or disabled. On
slower systems (and a 486DX33 with Soundblaster _is_ a slower
system) it increases the game speed to turn off background
music. You can completely turn off all sound effects in the
setup menu, although it is much more fun to have them enabled
when it doesn’t eats up to much speed.
(A little note: The sound server currently needs about 10% CPU
time on my 486DX/33/SBPro system when playing background music.
I wonder if this would get better with a better soundcard, like
Gravis Ultrasound, or if only pure CPU power helps in this
About the game itself
Of course you know Boulderdash, so you will know how to play the game.
:) If not: You can move your playing figure (the smiley) with the arrow
keys or with the joystick (if you have no joystick and even no arrow
keys on your keyboard, you can use the keys ’i’, ’j’, ’k’ and ’m’ for
the directions. To ’snap’ a field near you without moving to it, you
can use the left fire button on your joystick (hold it down, move the
stick to ’snap’ the field, release the button) or the keys ’e’, ’s’,
’d’ and ’x’. To place a piece of dynamite, use the right fire button on
your joystick or use the ’b’ key (and, after placing the dynamite,
better see to move away from this field...).
Just try the levels from the ’tutorial’ level serie to see what most of
the elements do or have a look at the info screen!
Note: It is *highly recommended* to use a joystick for playing this
game! It is possible to play it with the keyboard, but it is *much more
fun* to play with a joystick, and some levels are very difficult to
solve with the keyboard. So, the best platform for this game is a Linux
or a FreeBSD system (which gives you background music, too).
The Level Editor
To build your own levels, just choose a ’yellow’, empty level. If you
cannot find any ’yellow’ levels, choose a different level serie or
choose the higher level numbers (if you have a small ’handicap’ number,
the higher levels will be skipped to reach the ’empty’ levels.
Another way is to create your own level series. Just add a line to the
file ’levels/ROCKS.levelinfo’ with the following entries:
- the name of the level directory (create this directory under
- the name of the level serie (don’t use any whitespaces within the
- the ’ready’ (red) levels (start with zero)
- the ’empty’ (yellow) levels (set this to some number of blank levels)
To edit a level, you can use all three mouse buttons to draw in the
level window. Click into the elements field with one of the three
buttons to remap it to the new element. Use the arrow widgets to scroll
around in the level. Use the ’flood fill’ field to init exactly ony
flood fill operation in the level field (you will be prompted). Click
on ’control window’ to switch to the control window.
In the control window you can modify different parameters like the size
of the level playfield, the name of the level, the scores for different
elements and something like that. The four 3x3 field on the upper left
can be edited like the level field and indicate the ’contents’ of
smashed crunchers (just try it out with some crunchers in one of your
’Undo & Exit’ leaves the level editor, throwing away all the changes
you have done to the level.
’Save & Exit’ leveas the level editor and saves the new level (the old
one will be deleted).
The Tape Recorder
You can use the tape recorder to record games and play tapes of
previously played games. Just use them like a normal video recorder.
Recording a game on tape:
Just press the ’record’ button (the one with the red point on
it) and either press ’Start Game’ or press on ’record’ or
’pause’ to end the pause mode and start playing and recording.
If you have set "auto record" in the setup menu to "on", you
just have to press ’Start Game’ as usual.
Saving a game tape:
To save a tape to the tape file corresponding to the level (that
means that you can only save one tape file for each level), just
press the ’eject’ button (the very left button). Then you will
be prompted if you really want to replace the old tape (if an
old tape exists).
Playing a tape:
Just press ’play’ and then either ’play’ or ’pause’.
While recording or playing, you can press ’pause’ to stop the
recording or the playing of the tape and continue by pressing
’pause’ again. You can use either the tape recorder buttons or
the game control buttons for this purpose.
And Now Have Fun!
Have fun playing the game, building new levels and breaking all high
If you have any comments, problems, suggestions, donations, flames,
send them to
20 November 1995 ROCKSNDIAMONDS(6)