Space Battle Arena

A Programming Game in Java for AP CS Students.

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Server Configuration

Overview

Space Battle Arena is highly configurable. SBA uses a standard type of configuration file format to set options for how the server should run and behave.

SBA comes with a set of configuration files for different purposes. However, you'll probably want to create your own configuration file to represent the settings of your machine and its display (see the [Application] section below).

As mentioned in the server setup page, the server can optionally take any number of additional config files. This can be handy to use one config to keep your standard options and a second one to use for any game or activity of the day.

In fact the configuration examples provided with the server do just that and setup a 'machine' file to specify the size of the window and then a 'lesson' file to use for the activity of the day in class.

SBA_Serv machine_test.cfg lesson_findthemiddle.cfg

Format

The configuration file is composed of a number of sections with each section containing one or more options. It follows the format:

[Section Name]
option1name = value
option2name = value

[Section 2 Name]
optionname = value

etc...

The rest of this chapter will be comprised of headers for each of the section names and then sub-headers for each option (and its type) and then a paragraph listing its purpose and possible values.

Possible value types include integer, boolean, string, and percent:

You may also see advanced constructs such as Tuples in parenthesis () or Lists in [], but if you are familiar with JSON formatting, then it shouldn't be hard to follow.

See the default.cfg file for the list of default configuration values.

[Application]

This section contains options pertaining to the graphical window created to run the SBA server. It will affect how SBA is presented to you.

fullscreen = boolean | string

Specifies whether or not SBA should run fullscreen or in a normal window. The value 'window' can also be used to run in a special borderless fullscreen window mode. Note: you should make sure that the horizontal and vertical resolutions match your displays resolution values OR you can set both horz_res and vert_res to 0 for your display resolution to be automatically detected.

horz_res = integer

Specifies the horizontal resolution of the SBA window (in pixels). This should match your monitor resolution if you plan to run the game in fullscreen.

vert_res = integer

Specifies the vertical resolution of the SBA window (in pixels). This should match your monitor resolution if you plan to run the game in fullscreen.

sound = boolean

Determines if sounds should be played or not.

showip = boolean

If this option is enabled, the server will start displaying the computer's IP Address at the top of the screen. It can still be toggled manually on/off regardless of this setting with the keyboard shortcut.

showstats = boolean

If this option is enabled, the server will start with some basic GUI options already enabled showing statistics about a player’s ship.

ship_images = integer

This specifies the number of images that can be used for ships in the GUI\Graphics\Ships directory. Use an existing ship image as a template to create more ship images. Each frame of a ship should be contained in a 64x64 pixel square within the image. The top row of images show a normal ship, the bottom a cloaked ship. The first image is neutral, then left thruster firing, front thrusters, right thruster, back thruster, all thrusters (braking), and warping.

[World]

This section contains options for how large the universe is. These options should be set to be at least as large as the Screen options, but can be larger. It is generally recommended that they are each 1.5 or 2 times the value of their corresponding Screen values.

collisions = boolean

Turn collision detection on/off in the physics engine. Useful for introductions to the world without worrying about actual interference. Note: Most non-basic games won't work without this option on.

width = integer

Horizontal length of the universe in pixels. Alternately, you can specify "x" and a number to multiply the horizontal resolution value by your number for the world width.

height = integer

Vertical length of the universe in pixels. Alternately, you can specify "x" and a number to multiply the vertical resolution value by your number for the world height.

radar_include_name = boolean

Determines if the name of the ship can be obtained through a Radar Command or not.

[Server]

This section of options controls how the server should behave and accept connections from clients.

port = integer

The TCP/IP port that the server should run on. If this is changed from the default (2012), then a third parameter of a port number must be passed in when running the TextClient class from a Java client.

multiple_connections = boolean

This option when enabled allows the same client machine to be connected to the server more than once. Otherwise, each IP address is only allowed to connect a single time to a server instance. This can cause issues if a client’s connection unexpectedly terminates.

allow_re-entry = boolean

Can a player join the server again if they had connected previously and disconnected?

disconnect_on_idle = boolean

Determines if a player's ship should be disconnected if it doesn't issue a command periodically (within 10 seconds of the last command being executed finishing). Note: this will not prevent a ship from disconnecting if the actual socket is detected to be closed.

enable_commands = string

Comma separated list of ship commands to enable on the server. All other commands will be disabled. E.g.

enable_commands = ThrustCommand,RotateCommand,IdleCommand

A list of commands can be found in the Command JavaDoc. When a command is invoked that has been disabled, it is simply ignored. A message should return to the client, but they will get a new environment and their ship should continue running. Its state might just not be what was expected.

disable_commands = string

Comma separated list of ship commands to disable on the server. E.g.

disable_commands = WarpCommand,FireTorpedoCommand

A list of commands can be found in the Command chapter. When a command is invoked that has been disabled, it is simply ignored. A message should return to the client, but they will get a new environment and their ship should continue running. Its state might just not be what was expected.

You should specify either enable_commands or disable_commands not both.

Spawn Manager

Spawn Manager itself is not a specific configuration section. It manages the life cycle for all the entities below. Each entity has a set of common properties (listed here) which can be applied to them. Place these properties within the specific [Entity] section for it to apply to that particular one.

E.g.

# Spawns two Asteroids into the Universe, ensures there's always one
[Asteroid]
number = 2
spawn_keep_min = 1

number = integer

The number of [Entity] to generate in the universe.

buffer_object = integer

Amount of space (in pixels) to leave between this object and all others when spawning it.

buffer_edge = integer

Amount of space (in pixels) to leave between this object and the edge of space when spawning it.

spawn_keep_min = integer

Minimum number of [Entity] to keep in the world. If the number falls below this value, more entities will automatically be added instantly to meet this threshold.

spawn_keep_max = integer

Maximum cut-off for spawning new [Entity] types on the timer. If the number of objects has reached this level, no new entities will be spawned using the spawn timing settings below. Games or other events may still spawn entities of this type however.

spawn_time_num = integer

Number of entities to spawn at a time with the timing settings below. If specified, you must also specify the spawn_time_min and spawn_time_max options.

spawn_time_min = integer

Minimum time in seconds before spawning the spawn_time_num of [Entity] unless spawn_keep_max has been reached.

spawn_time_max = integer

Maximum time in seconds before spawning an [Entity] on a timer.

spawn_alive_time_min = integer

spawn_alive_time_max = integer

Specified together in order to cut-short the life span of an [Entity]. The [Entity] will live for a time between the range specified by these two values and then be automatically destroyed.

spawn_on_player_num = integer

Number of [Entity] to add to the universe when a player is added to it.

spawn_on_player_start = boolean

spawn_on_player_respawn = boolean

Specify which scenarios (first created in round and/or whenever re-added) to add the spawn_on_player_num [Entity] to the world.

points_torpedo = int

Number of points for destroying the spawned entity with a torpedo (if applicable). Must specify both points_torpedo and points_ram.

points_ram = int

Number of points for destroying the spawned entity with a ship via ramming (without destroying your ship).

[Asteroid]

Asteroids are flying debris in space. They start off with a set amount of momentum and will continue flying in space until impacting ships or destroyed by torpedos.

move_speed_min = int

move_speed_max = int

Range for the initial speed to start an asteroid's movement.

[Dragon]

Dragons fly around space and will attack (and eat) nearby uncloaked ships.

move_speed_min = int

move_speed_max = int

Range for the initial speed to start a dragon's movement.

range_min = int

range_max = int

Range for the size of the Dragon's visibility radius. It will attack ships that enter this range centered on its head.

attack_speed_min = int

attack_speed_max = int

Range for the amount of speed a Dragon will increase by when it sees a Ship. This is fixed when a Dragon is instantiated.

attack_time_min = float

attack_time_max = float

Range for the interval between times that the Dragon bites a Ship in its jaws. This range is randomized for each attack.

attack_amount_min = float

attack_amount_max = float

Range for the amount of damage every bite causes a Ship. This amount is randomized for each attack.

health_min = int

health_max = int

Range for the amount of health a Dragon will start with.

[SpaceMine]

Space Mines will stay in place, move and explode, or track ships. On contact, they will detonate and create an explosion force around them.

delay_min = float

delay_max = float

Delay in seconds before the space mine becomes active (inactive mines can't be hit and won't explode).

types = list of int

Types of mines to spawn (1 for stationary, 2 for autonomous, 3 for homing).

direction_min = int

direction_max = int

Direction of movement of an autonomous mine. It starts moving after it's initial delay.

speed_min = int

speed_max = int

Speed factor of autonomous mine (1-5).

duration_min = float

duration_max = float

Amount of time an autonomous mine will move after the initial delay before it explodes automatically.

[Planet]

Planets have gravity wells which can pull ships towards them. They are solid and will cause damage to ships that impact them.

range_min = integer

see range_max

range_max = integer

These two range values correspond to the distance away from a planet's center that its gravity field should pull ships in. A random value will be generated between the range_min and range_max values. These are typically 112 and 192.

pull_min = integer

see pull_max

pull_max = integer

These two values correspond to the amount of pull the gravity will have on ships. Larger values mean ships will get pulled in quicker and will have a harder time escaping. A random value will be generated between pull_min and pull_max. These are typically 8 and 24. Setting pull to zero, will turn off gravity.

pull_weapon = boolean

If enabled, Planets', BlackHoles', and Stars' gravity wells will effect torpedos and space mines.

[BlackHole]

Black Holes have stronger gravity wells than planets, but can be passed through their center. They are harder to escape from.

They have the exact same configuration values as Planets. However, the default range values are 64 and 208. The default pull values are 52 and 72.

crush_time = float

Amount of time in seconds before a ship will be crushed (destroyed) when in the center of a black hole. The Ship must be in the center for the whole duration to be crushed. Shields will protect the ship from crushing as long as they are up. Set to 0.0 to turn off crushing. Defaults to 5.0.

[Star]

Stars can be flown into, but cause progressively more damage the closer a Ship is to its center.

They have the exact same configuration values as Planets. However, the default range values are 96 to 224. The default pull values are 12 to 48.

dmg_mod = float

Additional damage modifier for growth of damage caused by approaching Star's center. Defaults to 0.0. Equation for damage calculation is currently in part 18 - (pull / 6.0) - dmg_mod.

[Nebula]

Nebulas are a celestial body which impart a drag effect on ships causing them to slow down or eventually stop if they are not thrusting.

sizes = list of tuples

This is a list of the available sizes of nebulas. The tuple pair is the total length of the major and minor axes of an ellipse. There also needs to be a corresponding image in the GUI\Graphics\Nebula folder with the name NebulaMAJORxMINOR where 'MAJOR' and 'MINOR' are replaced with the values of the size of the Nebula. These values should be placed in a list. E.g.

sizes=[(512,128),(384,256)]

pull_min = integer

see pull_max

pull_max = integer

These two values correspond to the amount of pull the drag will have on ships. Larger values mean ships will slow down faster. It'd best not to make these values higher than the Ship's Thruster force of 3500. A random value will be generated between pull_min and pull_max. These are typically 1750 and 2500. Setting pull to zero, will turn off drag.

[WormHole]

Worm Holes transport ships vast distances instantaneously. Each particular Worm Hole will always behave in the same manner depending on its type. It could always teleport you to a random location, a fixed location, or another worm hole entrance. If exiting near an existing Worm Hole, you must leave its vicinity before entering again.

Extra Worm Holes above the number specified may be generated as two-way 'linked' Worm Holes.

types = list of ints

This is a list of the types of Worm Hole exits which should be generated. The following is a list of numbers and their corresponding type:

  1. Random
  2. Other Worm Hole
  3. Fixed Point

For instance the following would create Worm Holes which transport ships to random or fixed locations only:

types=[1,3]

buffer_exit_object = int

buffer_exit_edge = int

Amount of space between objects/world edge to leave at exit of random/fixed point worm holes. See Spawn Manager's similar properties.

[Game]

Main options for the behavior of the simulation and which tournament rules should be applied.

game = string

Name of the game to be played on the server. See more info in the Competitions chapter about running games.

To just have a standard universe running, use BasicGame.

auto_start = boolean

When set to true the game/round will automatically start when the server is run. Otherwise, it will wait for you to press the space key.

This value is set to false if tournament is set to true.

allow_after_start = boolean

Can players join the server after the game has already started?

disconnect_on_death = boolean

Determines if a player will be completely disconnected from the server when they die.

reset_score_on_death = boolean

Will a player's score reset to 0 when they die.

points_lost_on_death = positive integer

Number of points a player loses when they die. Should be a positive integer or zero.

points_initial = positive integer

Number of points each player should start with. Should be a positive integer or zero.

primary_victory_attr = string

This represents what the primary victory condition should be. For basic games, this will either be score or bestscore. Which either represents their current score or the best score they've achieved between deaths. Other games may have other attributes which can be inspected.

primary_victory_highest = boolean

Represents if the primary victory condition is sorted from highest to lowest (this is usually the case).

secondary_victory_attr = string

This represents what should break ties on the primary victory condition. For basic games, this is usually deaths, but could also be bestscore for instance.

secondary_victory_highest = boolean

Represents if the secondary victory condition is sorted from highest to lowest. For instance, if you wanted least deaths to be the tie-breaker, then you would set the secondary victory condition to be deaths and this value to be false.

[Tournament]

Tournaments are run for more advanced games and divide players into groups to compete for a top score. Then the top player from each round will advance to a final round. This section defines settings related to running tournaments. See more info in the Competitions chapter.

tournament = boolean

Should the game be run in a tournament setting where connected players are split into a number of groups. Each winner of the game in a group proceeds to a final bracket to determine a winner. Each round will automatically be paired, timed, and calculated. Just hit space to start each round.

manager = string

Name of the Tournament Manager to use for controlling the tournament. Current options are BasicTournament or WildTournament. See Tournaments page for more details.

groups = integer

How many groups should the number of clients connected be broken into for the tournament? E.g. Setting this value to 5 and having 30 clients connected would result in 5 rounds of 6 players each and a final round with the winners of each group. Raising this number to higher values requires more vertical real-estate for the tournament display board.

number_to_final_round = integer

How many players from each preliminary round should advance to the final round. i.e. The top X players will be taken into the final round where X is this options value.

round_time = integer

How long each game round should last in seconds.

reset_world_each_round = boolean

Should the world be cleared of all objects and recreated between each round of play?