xbl - X Window block dropping game in 3 Dimension
xbl [-display display:0.0] [-geometry geometrystring]
[-scoregeometry geometrystring] [-zoogeometry geometrystring]
[-menugeometry geometrystring] [-help] [-verbose] [-colormap] [-visual]
[-bw] [-buffer 0...5] [-font font] [-bigfont font]
[-buttonheight -1...16] [-color 0...6] [-speedtest] [-clearline 0...1]
[-linewidth 0...16] [-time_to_demo 1...999] [-sync] [-stat]
[-keytable String] [-keyboard 0...4] [-zoo] [-score] [-draw 0 or 2]
[-x 3...8] [-y 3...8] [-z 6...18] [-smooth] [-training] [-shownext]
[-level 0...10] [-bloctype 0...2] [-land 0...2] [-volume 0...10]
Xbl is a game involving dropping blocks like Xtetris but in 3
dimensions. As they drop you can move them with numeric key pad (if
you have), cursor key or rotate other 3 axis in 2 directions (6 other
keys). Space key for dropping quickly and ’p’ key for pause. All the
possible keys are displayed in menu window.
Points are scored for each block that comes to rest on the gradually
building up pile of blocks. When the pile reaches the top of the
screen and no further blocks can be dropped the game ends. When a stage
of blocks across the 3D matrix is completely filled, that stage is
removed and all the blocks above are dropped down. As more stages are
deleted the blocks fall faster.
There is one high score table by size of matrix and pieces types.
For your information, another 3D tetris exists, its name is spatial. A
sphere packing game also exists; its name is spheral. For these two
games, contact Andrew Plotkin ( email@example.com ) or you can
retrieve the file threedee.tar.Z somewhere in the world...
An enhanced HTML version of this manual is in our computer (in the same
directory than scores). If you can’t find it, use the networked
The next options can only be set when the game starts.
Gives the display name.
Gives the geometry of the play, score, zoo and menu window.
-help Displays the options, possible values and current values.
Displays various things for debugging.
Creates its own colormap even if unnecessary.
On screen with multiple visual, it search the best one to use.
In this case it does not use the default visual.
-bw Displays in black and white even on color display.
Chooses the buffering method for animation. Each method uses
resources. Speed of buffering method is hardware dependent.
Perfect methods are 2,1 and 3, choose the fast one.
Chooses font for menus, score window...
Chooses a big font for menu (the score and high score)
The height of 3D buttons. If your display is slow use small
button. The -1 choice is half the height of the font.
Background color for menu window.
-sync Uses X Synchronise. Only for debugging.
If 0, clears line with rectangle filling; otherwise with a black
line. It’s useful with some X servers that don’t draw the same
segment with the same pixels. Another method to avoid this
problem is to use a linewidth equal to 1, though in this case
drawing is slower.
Thickness of the moving block lines.
Number of frames by second. If it is set too high, the display
might be jumpy. If set to 0, the game runs at maximum speed.
Number of seconds before the automatic demonstration.
This option helps you to find the fastest buffering mode.
-stat Statistics on launched blocks, they are displayed at the end of
A 19 characters list in the order (D=Down L=Left R=Right U=Up) :
Others: LaunchBloc CancelGame SuspendGame QuitGame
Don’t forgot ’ if there are special characters.
Next options can be changed while game is running.
This switch chooses keyboard type :
0:Use key table, given by -keytable
SPATIAL is the set of keys of the other 3D tetris : spatial
-zoo Displays the zoo (all possible pieces) when game starts.
-score Displays the score table when game starts.
-draw 0 or 2
Draw mode. 0 for wire frame piece and 2 for transparent pieces.
On slow host, 0 is necessary.
-x 3...8 -y 3...8 -z 6...18"
World size : width, height, depth.
Starts game with smooth drawing.
In this mode, pieces don’t fall. By the way scores are not
Next piece is shown. By the way score are multiplied by 0.7
Level 0 is slow, 10 is unplayable. This option chooses the
starting game level. Level game increases during game.
0 : Only flat pieces.
1 : Some 3D pieces.
2 : All possible pieces with less or equal than 5 cubes.
0 : Small land (3x3x15)
1 : Big land (5x5x10)
2 : User land (as defined by options)
If not 0 the game is with real 3D. But you need to cross-eye (or
the opposite). The value is positive if your right eye look the
left image et the left eye look the right one. Indicate a
negative value to swap the two images.
Directory which contains the score tables and COPYING file (FSF
Defaults for Xbl, this file only contains a data: the option
line for Xbl.
xbl*args: -x 5 -y 5 -z 10 -level 0 \
-bloctype 2 -land 0 \
-draw 2 -smooth -buffer -1 \
-keyboard 4 \
-keytable ’14789632azqswx ^[p^C0’
Xbl will search his options in this variable, you can put :
XBLOPTIONS=’-smooth -draw 0’ export XBLOPTIONS
in your .profile or .login file.
If sometime a block fall multiple level at once it indicates that your
fps is set too high.
SOUND isn’t correct on some X server, no possible correction.
FLICKING DISPLAY on some X server that doesn’t handle XSync correctly.
You can turn around using : -buffer 2
DIRTY POINT on screen because some X servers don’t draw the same pixels
for the same segment. You can turn around using : -clearline 0 or
FOCUS WINDOW doesn’t work with OpenWin, so put the cursor in the game
DEMO mode seems to cheat (blocs going through other blocs) but it is
because the visualization show a direct way (it sums all the
transformations up). In fact, the real way could use very complex and
tortuous indirect path.
Thierry.EXCOFFIER@liris.univ-lyon1.fr and I thank all the people who
gave me ideas, help, bugs :
firstname.lastname@example.org (Thomas Chaboud)
email@example.com (Jamie Zawinski)
firstname.lastname@example.org (Mike Hojnowski)
email@example.com (Leung Chung Shing Anderson)
firstname.lastname@example.org (Dave Lemke)
And many others.
Blockout is a registered trademark of Kadon Enterprises, Inc., used by
26 November 2001