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Man Pages

Manual Reference Pages  -  SDLROIDS (6)


SDLRoids - an enhanced shoot-the-asteroids game for X




sdlroids [options]


SDLRoids is essentially an Asteroids clone, but with a few extra features, and some nice game physics.

You can run in either windowed mode (default) or in fullscreen mode. You can (usually) switch between them during play by pressing Alt-Enter.

The play area (apart from the score/lives/etc. display) is a square, centred playing area, as the original Hyperoid did. This is a feature, not a bug. :-)


-f, --fullscreen
  Start in fullscreen mode.
-g, --geometry WxH
  Open a window W pixels wide and H pixels high instead of the default 480x480.
-b, --benchmark FRAMES
  Run in benchmark mode. Display FRAMES frames without delay and quit, printing the resulting FPS.
-s, --nosound
  Don’t initialize the sound.
-l, --list-joysticks
  List all available joysticks and exit.
-n, --joynr NR
  The index of the joystick to use. All found joysticks should be listed when SDLRoids starts.
-j, --joystick PATH
  Use the specified device as the primary joystick. If the path is correct, this joystick will become number zero.
-0, --fire NUM
  The number of the joystick button to use for firing the main guns. Default = 0.
-1, --shields NUM
  The number of the joystick button to use to turn on the shields. Default = 1.
-2, --bomb NUM
  The number of the joystick button to use for detonating smartbombs. Default = 2.
-h, --help
  Print usage information and exit.
-v, --version
  Print version number and exit.


These are the environment variables you can set to change the behavior of SDLRoids.

  SDLRoids looks for datafiles in the same directory as the binary, the current directory and the compiled in path. You can override the location using this environment variable.
  The joystick device to use as your main joystick. This environment variable is overridden by the --joystick argument.


The object of the game is intuitive - shoot everything that movies, except the stars (which are powerups or other good stuff).

You have 3 lives, unlimited fuel and firepower, 150 shield energy and 3 smartbombs. Your ship gets darker when you lose a life, but you keep on playing (unless you hit an asteroid). You get an extra life every 100,000 points. When you lose the game, you start over immediately at level 1 (there is no waiting around between games). Alternatively, you can press F1 to get a new game starting on level 1.

In addition to the asteroids and yourself, there are four other things you’ll encounter in the game:

  The ‘UFO’ equivalent. Can take one or more hits, the colour gives you a hint how many - they start off light cyan, but if they initially needed two or more hits, they’ll turn dark cyan when they only need one more hit.
  These spinning kamikaze baddies chase you and try to crash into you. The colour indicates how many hits are left before you destroy it - 1=dark purple, 2=cyan, 3=dark cyan, 4=yellow, 5=dark yellow, 6=blue, 7=dark blue, 8=green, 9=dark green. And if you get far enough into the game, they can take more hits than even that. :-) When they crash into you, the number of hits left is how many hits they take out on your ship - if a dark cyan one hits you, that’s three lives gone. So for yellow or worse, which can be hard to hit enough, using a bomb to get them is often the best/safest bet. (Shields are worth a try in emergencies, but it’s hard to time it right.)
  These green squares are basically inert, but recursively split up several times unless you catch them early (before they’ve ‘swarmed’ much).
  Spinning stars which chase you like Spinners (be careful not to confuse the two) and give you a bonus when they hit you. They are always in ‘light’ colours, and the colour indicates the type - red=score (the amount depends on which level you’re on), green=extra shield, blue=extra bomb, yellow=extra life. The bonus type works its way backwards through that list over time, so (most notably) extra life bonuses have to be caught as quickly as possible to avoid merely getting a bomb.


The following keys control your ship:
Cursor Left/Right
  Spin your ship to the left or right. Self explanatory, really. :)
Cursor Up/Down
  Forward or reverse thrust. Since this is a game that takes place in space, you only use the thrust to change speed / direction. If you don’t use the thrust, you’ll continue gliding in the same direction even if you steer.
Space Fire your main guns (you can, and should, hold this one down - the wonder of autofire). You can get double or triple powerups as well as a powerup that increase the range of your guns.
Tab Turn on your shields while pressed down. When your shields are on, you can’t be hurt but enemy craft will be. You have limited shield power, so make sure to keep a look on the shield counter.
s Detonate a smartbomb. This will kill all enemies ships (i.e everything xcluding asteroids and bonuses).
Other keys:
Esc Exit the game.
Pause Key
  Pause / unpause the game.
F1 Quit your current game and start new game from level 1.
  Toggle between fullscreen and windowed mode (if supported).
  Iconfify and pause the game.
Ctrl-g When running in windowed mode, this grabs/releases the mouse and keyboard focus and hides/shows the mouse pointer. It has no effect in fullscreen mode.


Since version 1.3.3 you can also play with a joystick or gamepad (if supported by your computer). You can use both analog and digital joysticks / gamepads. When using an analog controller there is a small deadzone. These are the default bindings (buttons can be remapped with command line options):
X-Axis Turn your ship left or right.
Y-Axis Forward or reverse thrust.
Button 1
  Fire main guns.
Button 2
  Activate shields.
Button 3
  Detonate a smartbomb.


Bonuses currently only come in one color. This is a bug and it will be fixed eventually.

The sound is only 8-bit 8kHz mono.


Edward Hutchins wrote the original Hyperoid, for Windows 3.x.

Russell Marks ( ported it to Unix/Linux and added sound, and wrote this man page (partly based on the original version’s help dialog, but mostly based on game experience and RTFS :-)).

David Hedbor ( ported the game to SDL (both for graphics and sound) and has since added lots of features. See the ChangeLog for details.

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Version 1.3.4 SDLROIDS (6) March 27th, 2001

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