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Classic Games (Games) Entertainment Games

Perfecting a Tron Game 63

Rock, Paper, Shotgun has a review of an old but entertaining freeware Tron game called Armagetron . The author heaps praise on the game for its "beautiful simplicity" and its exciting multiplayer options. More screenshots and a wiki are available on the game's website. Quoting: "It's all about speed, really. You might think driving in clever geometric patterns would win you the game, but speed is the real the alpha and the omega of Armagetron. See, if you can drive parallel to old enemy trails for long enough to get your speed up to two times, three times or even four times more than your starting speed then you become a hunter of men. It becomes within your power to dart off towards other players, overtake them, and take a couple of quick turns that mean your trail boxes them into a tiny space."
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Perfecting a Tron Game

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  • Make player 1 red and player 2 blue.

  • Excellent game (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01, 2008 @11:38PM (#25228837)

    I discovered Armagetron during college. We used to play it over the LAN. Single player was fun, too. I tried it again not too long ago, and they must have revamped the AI because I got _destroyed_.

    The camera options added a lot to the game, too. You had chase, fix, smart, and in-car which is the most exciting and quite usable once you get used to it.


    • Re:Excellent game (Score:4, Informative)

      by SanityInAnarchy ( 655584 ) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Wednesday October 01, 2008 @11:44PM (#25228879) Journal

      Aside from being very addictive -- and it included splitscreen on a PC, which is occasionally a very good idea -- it was also, for many years, the open source game with which to test your video card.

      More recently, I use Nexuiz, but that's still what I remember it as. If you could run Armagetron fullscreen with decent settings, at least you know your video card is working. If you couldn't, chances are, you'd misconfigured something and thrown yourself into software mode.

      • Isn't that glxgears' job?
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by peter ( 3389 )

          glxgears is such a simple scene (no textures, for one thing) that even software rendering is not slow. Way back in the day on a P200MMX, maybe HW 3D was needed for a fast glxgears...

            These days a core2 can run glxgears _really_ fast. e.g. 3GHz Harpertown gets > 500fps, IIRC.

          • by spike1 ( 675478 )

            I always used tux racer for the GLX test myself.

            • by Bandman ( 86149 )

              I've used ppracer since they closed the source, but the maps seem freaky and inconsistent

          • In fact, that's probably part of the reason why, at one point, glxgears required the commandline switch:


            to enable the FPS display.

            Now, I believe it's changed proportionately. You claim 3ghz gives you 500fps -- I just got over 8000 fps, and for years, multiple thousands has been the norm for me, when accelerated. So you can get a rough idea.

            The point is, since you're not going to notice anything over 100fps -- realistically, anything over 60 -- there's no point in

            • by peter ( 3389 )

              yeah, I don't think I'm remembering the 500fps correctly. I get 550fps with mesa 7.2 on a C2D E6600 (dual core 2.4GHz), Ubuntu pre-Intrepid AMD64. Tested in a Xephyr X server. I get 1170fps on my g965, which is in the same ballpark as software.

              > I imagine a card could be built such that it would never run more than a few hundred FPS, but would render massive scenes at a comfortable 60 (vsync'd).

              glxgears speeds are all about driver overhead, locking/unlocking and stuff like that. So yeah, not

    • Re:Excellent game (Score:4, Interesting)

      by The Master Control P ( 655590 ) <ejkeever&nerdshack,com> on Thursday October 02, 2008 @01:33AM (#25229543)
      If only the original Tron had shown the whole game grid at some point so Armagetron could have a "Recreate Flynn's Escape" option. I'd do nothing but that, all day...
  • Was there something wrong with the way the lightcycles where implemented in TRON 2.0? I always thought it was a decent game and that the lightcycle portion was quite fun... Oh, this is a free version, nm.

    So who it hotter? Ali or Ali's Sister?

  • by the_skywise ( 189793 ) on Thursday October 02, 2008 @12:01AM (#25228983)

    Back in my days we called this game Snafu! We played it on an Intellivision that had a disc for a joystick... except you didn't spin the disc (even though you could)... you pushed on it like a regular joystick.

    And it sucked, but that was the way it was and we liked it that way! (2nded only to the abominable Atari 5200 stick)

    Dagburned Disney steals another idea because they couldn't come up with an original concept and you kiddos call it "Tron" now!

    Now where's my teef...

    • Back in my day, we didn't bad mouth the intellivision! It was awesome. I'd sometimes pretend it was a ultra futuristic phone where you could press buttons instead of using a dial. Plus some games came with special overlays that told you what the numbers did.
    • In my day, the Intellivision was the "rich man's" atari. We all played the Atari 2600, the rich kids got the Intellivision, the poor kids got pong or Sears TeleGames, the weird kids got Odyssey and the Cool kids got Colecovision.


      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by somersault ( 912633 )

        I remember some strange orange console from when I was really young (probably about 3), can't even remember what games it had. Could have been something like this [old-computers.com].

        The first console I remember probably was our Commodore 100 when I was 3 or 4, I used to type in programs from the manual to draw circles and triangles..

    • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) *

      The movie Tron [wikipedia.org] came out in 1982. The Intellivision [wikipedia.org] came out in 1980. Snafu [wikipedia.org] came out in 1981. Seeing how long it takes from script to movie release, I seriously doubt Tron was a ripoff of Snafu.

      Especially considering that Tron was a Disney movie and SNAFU stands for "situation normal, all fucked up". Of course, Disney did miss the drug references in Tron, too, but I seriously doubt it was more than a coincidence.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by randyest ( 589159 )
        You're right, Tron did not rip off snafu, it ripped off the arcade game Blockade [wikipedia.org] from 1976, which started the long line of ripoffs including Worm for the TRS-80 in 1978 (and then for the Apple ][ and the Commodore PET,) a retail version for the TI-99/4A by Milton Bradley in 1980 called Hustle, and Snake for the BBC-Micro.

        Now get off my lawn.
    • The 2600 had "Surround" first and IT was the inspiration for the Lightcycles. So Meh.

      http://www.thelogbook.com/phosphor/atari26/q1-05/s.htm [thelogbook.com]

  • !freeware (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CSMatt ( 1175471 ) on Thursday October 02, 2008 @12:33AM (#25229171)

    Armagetron is not freeware. It's free software that happens to be distributed for zero dollars.

    • Armagetron is not freeware. It's free software that happens to be distributed for zero dollars.

      That's a mouthful. Here, let me paraphrase:

      Armagetron is not freeware. It's free software.

      Still too long. How about:

      Not freeware, it's free software.

      Nice, but not concise enough. We want to get the message through to the kids, and you know what their attention spans are like. I know!

      Not freeware, free warez!

      Nah, too cheesy, better just stick with:

      Not freeware, free 'ware.

      Now, stop being silly.

    • by 4D6963 ( 933028 )
      It's not because all freeware isn't "free software" that "free software" isn't also freeware. What you said is as if you said "London isn't in the United Kingdom, it's in England".
      • by skeeto ( 1138903 )

        The common definition does not place free software inside the freeware category. In fact, they are disjoint sets (no software fits in both categories). Also, the "free" in both names are two completely different words. This [gnu.org] is the definition the parent is referring to:

        The term "freeware" has no clear accepted definition, but it is commonly used for packages which permit redistribution but not modification (and their source code is not available). These packages are not free software, so please don't use "freeware" to refer to free software.

        On a technically oriented computer website like this, the free software and freeware distinction is important. Mixing them up is just confusing.

    • by KatTran ( 122906 )

      It is released under the GPL version 2, which last time I checked is pretty much the definition of "free software". It is a free as in speech, free as in beer, and free as in free software free.

      Clicking on the "About" or "Download" pages on http://www.armagetronad.net/ [armagetronad.net] will clearly show you that it is free.

      Free! Free I say!

  • Tron Arcade Game (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kmahan ( 80459 ) on Thursday October 02, 2008 @12:50AM (#25229269)

    Everybody seems to do Light Cycles. There are 3 other games in the arcade game - Grid Bugs, Tanks and MCP Cone. Anybody doing an update of those?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by slarabee ( 184347 )

      It has tanks and a most Tron-like vibe to the entire game: Tank Universal. Available through Valve's growing Steam empire for the low low price of $9.99, it has virtual world civilizations, politics, factions, and hot tank-on-tank action. Don't be turned off by the dated animations depicting meatspace or the rather lame first few missions. It gets much better.

    • Thank you! A headline of "Perfecting a Tron Game" hardly does Tron justice, especially since the arcade cab definitely did have those other three games. And what about the discs they throw? Where did those go?
    • I miss Discs of Tron [wikipedia.org] and used to be able to play it forever. I also like racquetball so it was very intuitive. It never seemed popular with players or in the arcades. Ah well.
  • 'Nuff said.

    Seriously, I think I got that game for Christmas 2004. First modern FPS I'd ever played, and goddamn if I didn't play it for 20 hours straight. There were obviously some corny aspects, but for a tron nerd it was an eye-candy feast and a wonder to behold.

    Now I just need to get myself digitized and synthesize new voices for everyone. Really, the one thing that really intruded on my suspension of disbelief in that game was the voice acting. They must have made last-minute changes or something,
    • Really? I thought the voice acting in Tron 2.0 was rather decent. Also, Bruce Boxleitner (Alan Bradley/Alan One) is featured throughout the game. His voice, that is. He's in much more of the game than just a cameo at the end.

      • It was kind of odd... In most places (actually, now that I think back nearly everywhere) it was indeed quite good. But there were just a few lines that were like grinding gears in an otherwise clockwork mechanism.

        I particularly remember the scene after escaping the Kernel's lightcycle grid when Jet and Mercury were planning what to do next. I think the other big one was "I'm inside a data transfer node... where are you?" when they're hijacking a transport out of the Kernel's domain.

        S'been too long. I
    • by gknoy ( 899301 )

      Seconded. I enjoyed it a lot. I did NOT like the scavenger hunt for more version points (experience), but ... meh. Still good. Reading snippets of e-mail which gave backstory was neat. I especially liked that they seemed to get the "feel" of it right. Sure, computers don't work that way, but for someone willing to suspend disbelief, it was pretty damned marvelous.

      The first time through, I tried to use the guns and stuff a lot early on. I learned that the disc really DOES reward skill, and once I got th

  • Tron? (Score:4, Funny)

    by mcvos ( 645701 ) on Thursday October 02, 2008 @03:17AM (#25230047)

    Wasn't the movie about more than just riding lightbikes?

    My first thought about a Tron game: if I want to fight my CPU, I'll just install Windows.

  • I used to really be into Armagetron, until I realized that... speed or not... the people who were winning all the time were doing it with keyboard macros to make those tight boxing turns repeatedly.

  • by woqer ( 1376271 )
    Also see here: Full Throttle [questarena.net]
  • Does anyone remember playing this game? I used to have it for my Intellivision as a kid and have never been able to find a ROM or a clone of it. Is there a newer version of this game floating around? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tron:_Deadly_Discs [wikipedia.org]
    • by Devir ( 671031 )

      I remember the arcade "Disks of TRON" which was my all time favorite.

      You were in the Disk arena against one opponent. A joystick would control your character, and a spinner thing would control where on the wall, and elevation you would throw your disk.

      It was moderately challenging and after about a week of playing I could get about 1-2 hours of play off a single quarter. I think that may have been it's downfall in the arcades.

      • I remember that one as well. I wish I could just find the arcade machine sitting in some dusty archive. In T:DD, you sometimes would be pitted against multiple opponents and also the Recognizer as bosses. It was quite intense.
    • by Hatta ( 162192 )

      Yes I do. I have the Atari 2600 port myself. If you do torrents, pm me on racketboy.com and I can get you hooked up. /. could use a PM feature.

If graphics hackers are so smart, why can't they get the bugs out of fresh paint?