DeathSnake 2000 User's Manual

Background story
Starting the game
Configuring gameplay
Object of the game
Controls - Snake
Controls - Ship
Using the editor
About 3B.CS
ship_big.1.jpg (12046 bytes)
DeathSnake 2000 Arena

Background Story

In the future, champion gladiators from all known planets will meet and do battle. The venue for battle will be a specially- constructed grid that allows for frictionless motion across its surface. On these grids, called "battle platforms," the quickest and most savvy warriors will showcase their abilities.

Every year, a new champion will be crowned. Year after year, the worthiest gladiators from each planet will be chosen and sent up against the other planets’ most worthy knights. Soon it will become apparent that most of the planets’ warriors cannot compete against the warriors from two planets: Earth, and a planet from the other side of the Milky Way. This planet is known on Earth as Rygus-4, or the fourth planet in the Rygus system.

The inhabitants of Rygus-4 are large, serpent-like creatures that dwarf their human opponents. The Rygullian snakes often range up to 40 meters in length and have metallic skins that act like armor. The Rygullians have extraordinarily rapid metabolisms; they must constantly consume sustenance, especially in battle, or they will wither and die. Thus the battle platform is randomly strewn with Rygullian foodstuffs before and during the battle.

In order to level the playing field (so to speak) for the human warriors, the humans drive small, one-person hovercraft over the battle platform. On foot, a human would stand no chance against a Rygullian warlord. Thus the hovercraft gives the ability to move quickly enough to escape the snake’s clutches. It is equipped with weapons only strong enough to destroy the snake’s food, not the snake itself. For the human to win the battle, then, he must destroy the snake’s food before the snake can eat it, thus causing it to starve to death. For the snake to win, it must cause the human’s hovercraft to run into a hard surface and crash. The only surface on the battle platform hard enough to damage the hovercraft is the Rygullian itself.

Who will win this year’s championship? Will the Rygullian claim the crown once again? Or will the human outmaneuver it? Play the game and find out!

Starting the Game

1. To install and configure the game, see the Installation and Configuration Guide.
2. DeathSnake 2000 can be played on any Java-compatible platform.  Simply click on the 'run' file from the game directory, or type 'run' at the prompt.  The game will review its configuration settings, and a "Loading Game Data" window will appear, showing the load progress. 
3. To start playing, simply click "New Game."  A new-game dialogue box will ask you to set player preferences.  See the section on Configuring Gameplay below for more information about setting preferences.

3. To start a new game, simply click "New Game
    Or, to pause the game, select "Pause
    Or, to quit, select "Quit"
    Or, to view this help manual, select "Help"
left_buttons.jpg (8549 bytes)  right_buttons.jpg (9115 bytes)
4. Level, time and score info will appear at the top of the arena. 
The level will continue until either the ship or the snake has died.
level_bar.jpg (10615 bytes)

Configuring Gameplay

The game is designed to allow for different ships, snakes, and arenas.   It also allows for two human players, or for the computer to control the snake.

Upon selecting "New Game," a dialogue box will appear, giving you configuration options for the two "players." 

dialogue_box.jpg (25319 bytes) Player 1 is the ship.  Currently, the game can only support a human player for the ship.  Choose a ship color in the second field.

Player 2 is the snake.  Either a human or computer can operate the snake.  Choose the snake's appearance in the second field.

To begin with the current set of arena maps, simply choose "Start Game!"   To use other maps, choose "Start Custom Map."  For more information about custom maps, see "Using the Editor" below.

Object of the Game

Snake - To hit the ship enough times to destroy the ship's armor, while collecting enough food to stay alive.
Ship - To shoot the snake's food so that it starves to death, while avoiding hits from the snake.

Ship Snake Fly

Controls - Snake

The snake moves continuously.  The player may turn the snake west, east, north, and south.  These keys may be changed in the file.  For more information about changing keyboard input, see the Installation and Configuration guide.

Turn West:     D
Turn East:      G
Turn North:    R
Turn South:    F

To swallow food, simply run the snake's head into it.

Controls - Ship

The ship moves using thrusters with real physical motion.  Therefore, the ship will continue to move forward for a short distance even after the thrusters are stopped, depending on acceleration.  The player may ignite the forward or rear thrusters, rotate the ship clockwise or counterclockwise, slide left or right, and fire bullets.   These keys may be changed in the file.  For more information about changing keyboard input, see the Installation and Configuration guide.

Forward Thrusters:                   [Up Arrow]
Rear Thrusters:                         [Down Arrow]
Rotate Clockwise:                    [Left Arrow]
Rotate Counterclockwise:        [Right Arrow]
Slide Left:                                          K
Slide Right:                                        L
Fire Bullets:                               [Insert Button]

To destroy food, simply fire bullets at it.  Flies wear protective shields which need to be shot several times to be penetrated.

Using the Editor

DeathSnake 2000 comes with a level editor that allows the player to create customized arenas.  To open the editor, type 'editor' at the prompt, or select the 'editor' icon in the game directory.

editor_menu.jpg (18989 bytes)
    Editor menu
To create a new map (arena), select File -> New Map.  To create a new map with a particular border pattern, choose a pattern tile and then select File -> New Map.   A blank map will appear on the editor canvas, ready to have tiles added.

To have a new background on the arena, click "New background" and choose a JPEG for the background. For best results, the JPEG must have the following dimensions:  560 x 352 pixels.

Each map can have a viscosity between 0 and 100.  The higher the number, the more difficult the movement across the arena will be.


To draw blocks (as obstacles) on the arena, make sure "Draw Normally" is selected, choose a pattern tile, and click the location on the arena where you would like to place the block.  To cover larger areas faster, select "Draw Rectangles" and drag a rectangular area across the canvas.

To remove a block, choose the white (blank) pattern tile and place it over an unwanted block on the canvas.

editor_canvas.jpg (20323 bytes)
Editor canvas - building a map

Save your map with a ".map" extension via the File -> Save map option. To use a customized map in the game, select the "Start Custom Map" from the New Game dialogue box (see above).  Doing this will allow you to play your cusotmized map, but it will not let you move from level to level.  To use customized maps for each level, you must alter the gamelevels.txt file, found in the Data\Maps directory.  Each line corresponds to a new level, so insert a customized map in a line to use that map for the corresponding level.  When the game reaches the last map in the gamelevels.txt file, it wraps around and begins play with the first map.  To use the gamelevels.txt file, choose the "Start Game!" button rather than the "Start Custom Map."

About 3B.CS

3B.CS is a group of Computer Science students at the University of Oregon.   DeathSnake 2000 is a project for CIS 422 in the Spring of 1999.  The name comes from parts of our names:

John Bates - GUI design, 3D graphics
Moira Burke - Documentation, testing
Brendan McMahan - AI, physics, Game Engine design
Greg Cipriano - Graphics module, 3D art
Scott Tucker - Documentation, testing