ATC(6)                           Games Manual                           ATC(6)

       atc - Air Traffic Controller Game

       atc -[u?lstp] [-[gf] game_name] [-r random seed]

       Atc lets you try your hand at the nerve wracking duties of the air
       traffic controller without endangering the lives of millions of
       travelers each year.  Your responsibilities require you to direct the
       flight of jets and prop planes into and out of the flight arena and
       airports.  The speed (update time) and frequency of the planes depend
       on the difficulty of the chosen arena.

       -u      Print the usage line and exit.

       -?      Same as -u.

       -l      Print a list of available games and exit.  The first game name
               printed is the default game.

       -s      Print the score list (formerly the Top Ten list).

       -t      Same as -s.

       -p      Print the path to the special directory where atc expects to
               find its private files.  This is used during the installation
               of the program.

       -g game Play the named game.  If the game listed is not one of the ones
               printed from the -l option, the default game is played.

       -f game Same as -g.

       -r seed Set the random seed.  The purpose of this flag is questionable.

       Your goal in atc is to keep the game going as long as possible.  There
       is no winning state, except to beat the times of other players.  You
       will need to: launch planes at airports (by instructing them to
       increase their altitude); land planes at airports (by instructing them
       to go to altitude zero when exactly over the airport); and maneuver
       planes out of exit points.

       Several things will cause the end of the game.  Each plane has a
       destination (see information area), and sending a plane to the wrong
       destination is an error.  Planes can run out of fuel, or can collide.
       Collision is defined as adjacency in any of the three dimensions.  A
       plane leaving the arena in any other way than through its destination
       exit is an error as well.

       Scores are sorted in order of the number of planes safe.  The other
       statistics are provided merely for fun.  There is no penalty for taking
       longer than another player (except in the case of ties).

       Suspending a game is not permitted.  If you get a talk message, tough.
       When was the last time an Air Traffic Controller got called away to the

       Depending on the terminal you run atc on, the screen will be divided
       into 4 areas.  It should be stressed that the terminal driver portion
       of the game was designed to be reconfigurable, so the display format
       can vary depending the version you are playing.  The descriptions here
       are based on the ascii version of the game.  The game rules and input
       format, however, should remain consistent.  Control-L redraws the
       screen, should it become muddled.

              The first screen area is the radar display, showing the relative
              locations of the planes, airports, standard entry/exit points,
              radar beacons, and "lines" which simply serve to aid you in
              guiding the planes.

              Planes are shown as a single letter with an altitude.  If the
              numerical altitude is a single digit, then it represents
              thousands of feet.  Some distinction is made between the prop
              planes and the jets.  On ascii terminals, prop planes are
              represented by a upper case letter, jets by a lower case letter.

              Airports are shown as a number and some indication of the
              direction planes must be going to land at the airport.  On ascii
              terminals, this is one of '^', '>', '<', and 'v', to indicate
              north (0 degrees), east (90), west (270) and south (180),
              respectively.  The planes will also take off in this direction.

              Beacons are represented as circles or asterisks and a number.
              Their purpose is to offer a place of easy reference to the plane
              pilots.  See 'the delay command' under the input section of this

              Entry/exit points are displayed as numbers along the border of
              the radar screen.  Planes will enter the arena from these points
              without warning.  These points have a direction associated with
              them, and planes will always enter the arena from this
              direction.  On the ascii version of atc, this direction is not
              displayed.  It will become apparent what this direction is as
              the game progresses.

              Incoming planes will always enter at the same altitude: 7000
              feet.  For a plane to successfully depart through an entry/exit
              point, it must be flying at 9000 feet.  It is not necessary for
              the planes to be flying in any particular direction when they
              leave the arena (yet).

              The second area of the display is the information area, which
              lists the time (number of updates since start), and the number
              of planes you have directed safely out of the arena.  Below this
              is a list of planes currently in the air, followed by a blank
              line, and then a list of planes on the ground (at airports).
              Each line lists the plane name and its current altitude, an
              optional asterisk indicating low fuel, the plane's destination,
              and the plane's current command.  Changing altitude is not
              considered to be a command and is therefore not displayed.  The
              following are some possible information lines:

                   B4*A0: Circle @ b1
                   g7 E4: 225

              The first example shows a prop plane named 'B' that is flying at
              4000 feet.  It is low on fuel (note the '*').  It's destination
              is Airport #0.  The next command it expects to do is circle when
              it reaches Beacon #1.  The second example shows a jet named 'g'
              at 7000 feet, destined for Exit #4.  It is just now executing a
              turn to 225 degrees (South-West).

              The third area of the display is the input area.  It is here
              that your input is reflected.  See the INPUT heading of this
              manual for more details.

              This area is used simply to give credit where credit is due. :-)

       A command completion interface is built into the game.  At any time,
       typing '?' will list possible input characters.  Typing a backspace
       (your erase character) backs up, erasing the last part of the command.
       When a command is complete, a return enters it, and any semantic
       checking is done at that time.  If no errors are detected, the command
       is sent to the appropriate plane.  If an error is discovered during the
       check, the offending statement will be underscored and a (hopefully)
       descriptive message will be printed under it.

       The command syntax is broken into two parts: Immediate Only and
       Delayable commands.  Immediate Only commands happen on the next update.
       Delayable commands also happen on the next update unless they are
       followed by an optional predicate called the Delay command.

       In the following tables, the syntax [0-9] means any single digit, and
       <dir> refers to the keys around the 's' key, namely ``wedcxzaq''.  In
       absolute references, 'q' refers to North-West or 315 degrees, and 'w'
       refers to North, or 0 degrees.  In relative references, 'q' refers to
       -45 degrees or 45 degrees left, and 'w' refers to 0 degrees, or no
       change in direction.

       All commands start with a plane letter.  This indicates the recipient
       of the command.  Case is ignored.

              - a Altitude:
                     Affect a plane's altitude (and take off).
                     - [0-9] Number:
                            Go to the given altitude (thousands of feet).
                     - c/+ Climb:
                            Relative altitude change.
                            - [0-9] Number:
                                   Difference in thousands of feet.
                     - d/- Descend:
                            Relative altitude change.
                            - [0-9] Number:
                                   Difference in thousands of feet.
              - m Mark:
                     Display in highlighted mode.  Command is displayed
              - i Ignore:
                     Do not display highlighted.  Command is displayed as a
                     line of dashes if there is no command.
              - u Unmark:
                     Same as ignore, but if a delayed command is processed,
                     the plane will become marked.  This is useful if you want
                     to forget about a plane during part, but not all, of its

              - c Circle:
                     Have the plane circle (clockwise by default).
                     - l Left:
                            Circle counterclockwise.
                     - r Right:
                            Circle clockwise.
              - t Turn:
                     Change direction.
                     - l Left:
                            Turn counterclockwise (45 degrees by default).
                            - <dir> Direction:
                                   Turn ccw the given number of degrees.  Zero
                                   degrees is no turn.  A ccw turn of -45
                                   degrees is 45 cw.
                     - r Right:
                            Turn clockwise (45 degrees by default).
                            - <dir> Direction:
                                   Same as turn left <dir>.
                     - L Left 90:
                            Turn counterclockwise 90 degrees.
                     - R Right 90:
                            Turn clockwise 90 degrees.
                     - <dir> Direction:
                            Turn to the absolute compass heading given.  The
                            shortest turn will be taken.
                     - t Towards:
                            Turn towards a beacon, airport or exit.  The turn
                            is just an estimate.
                            - b/* Beacon:
                                   Turn towards the beacon.
                                   - [0-9] Number:
                                          The beacon number.
                            - e Exit:
                                   Turn towards the exit.
                                   - [0-9] Number:
                                          The exit number.
                            - a Airport:
                                   Turn towards the airport.
                                   - [0-9] Number:
                                          The airport number.

       The Delay (a/@) command may be appended to any Delayable command.  It
       allows the controller to instruct a plane to do an action when the
       plane reaches a particular beacon (or other objects in future

              - a/@ At:
                     Do the given delayable command when the plane reaches the
                     given beacon.
                     - b/* Beacon:
                            This is redundant to allow for expansion.
                            - [0-9] Number:
                                   The beacon number.

       Planes are marked when they enter the arena.  This means they are
       displayed in highlighted mode on the radar display.  A plane may also
       be either unmarked or ignored.  An unmarked plane is drawn in
       unhighlighted mode, and a line of dashes is displayed in the command
       field of the information area.  The plane will remain this way until a
       mark command has been issued.  Any other command will be issued, but
       the command line will return to a line of dashes when the command is

       An ignored plane is treated the same as an unmarked plane, except that
       it will automatically switch to marked status when a delayed command
       has been processed.  This is useful if you want to forget about a plane
       for a while, but its flight path has not yet been completely set.

       As with all of the commands, marking, unmarking and ignoring will take
       effect at the beginning of the next update.  Do not be surprised if the
       plane does not immediately switch to unhighlighted mode.

              atlab1          a: turn left at beacon #1

              cc              C: circle

              gtte4ab2        g: turn towards exit #4 at beacon #2

              ma+2            m: altitude: climb 2000 feet

              stq             S: turn to 315

              xi              x: ignore

       Jets move every update; prop planes move every other update.

       All planes turn a most 90 degrees per movement.

       Planes enter at 7000 feet and leave at 9000 feet.

       Planes flying at an altitude of 0 crash if they are not over an

       Planes waiting at airports can only be told to take off (climb in

       The Game_List file lists the currently available play fields.  New
       field description file names must be placed in this file to be
       'playable'.  If a player specifies a game not in this file, his score
       will not be logged.

       The game field description files are broken into two parts.  The first
       part is the definition section.  Here, the four tunable game parameters
       must be set.  These variables are set with the syntax:

              variable = number;

       Variable may be one of: update, indicating the number of seconds
       between forced updates; newplane, indicating (about) the number of
       updates between new plane entries; width, indicating the width of the
       play field; and height, indicating the height of the play field.

       The second part of the field description files describes the locations
       of the exits, the beacons, the airports and the lines.  The syntax is
       as follows:

              beacon:   (x y) ... ;
              airport:  (x y direction) ... ;
              exit:     (x y direction) ... ;
              line:     [ (x1 y1) (x2 y2) ] ... ;

       For beacons, a simple x, y coordinate pair is used (enclosed in
       parenthesis).  Airports and exits require a third value, a direction,
       which is one of wedcxzaq.  For airports, this is the direction that
       planes must be going to take off and land, and for exits, this is the
       direction that planes will going when they enter the arena.  This may
       not seem intuitive, but as there is no restriction on direction of
       exit, this is appropriate.  Lines are slightly different, since they
       need two coordinate pairs to specify the line endpoints.  These
       endpoints must be enclosed in square brackets.

       All statements are semi-colon (;) terminated.  Multiple item statements
       accumulate.  Each definition must occur exactly once, before any item
       statements.  Comments begin with a hash (#) symbol and terminate with a
       newline.  The coordinates are between zero and width-1 and height-1
       inclusive.  All of the exit coordinates must lie on the borders, and
       all of the beacons and airports must lie inside of the borders.  Line
       endpoints may be anywhere within the field, so long as the lines are
       horizontal, vertical or exactly diagonal.

              # This is the default game.

              update = 5;
              newplane = 5;
              width = 30;
              height = 21;

              exit:     ( 12  0 x ) ( 29  0 z ) ( 29  7 a ) ( 29 17 a )
                        (  9 20 e ) (  0 13 d ) (  0  7 d ) (  0  0 c ) ;

              beacon:   ( 12  7 ) ( 12 17 ) ;

              airport:  ( 20 15 w ) ( 20 18 d ) ;

              line:     [ (  1  1 ) (  6  6 ) ]
                        [ ( 12  1 ) ( 12  6 ) ]
                        [ ( 13  7 ) ( 28  7 ) ]
                        [ ( 28  1 ) ( 13 16 ) ]
                        [ (  1 13 ) ( 11 13 ) ]
                        [ ( 12  8 ) ( 12 16 ) ]
                        [ ( 11 18 ) ( 10 19 ) ]
                        [ ( 13 17 ) ( 28 17 ) ]
                        [ (  1  7 ) ( 11  7 ) ] ;

       Files are kept in a special directory. See the OPTIONS for a way to
       print this path out.

       ATC_score       Where the scores are kept.

       Game_List       The list of playable games.

       Ed James, UC Berkeley:, ucbvax!edjames

       This game is based on someone's description of the overall flavor of a
       game written for some unknown PC many years ago, maybe.

       The screen sometimes refreshes after you have quit.

       Yet Another Curses Bug was discovered during the development of this
       game.  If your curses library clrtobot.o is version 5.1 or earlier, you
       will have erase problems with the backspace operator in the input

3rd Berkeley Distribution        June 23, 1990                          ATC(6)