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

          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 phone?

          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 manual.

               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

                    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).

        INPUT AREA
               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 journey.

               - 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
                         - <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 versions).

               - 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 airport.

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

          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

          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:,

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

          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 window.