XPilot For Windows FAQ

January 23, 1997

Frequently Asked Questions about XPilotNT
  1. Can I play on a 28.8K dialup?
    XPilot and XPilotNT transmit lots of data. You can play on a modem, but its not very good. I can get marginally acceptable results on a fast server like worf.ifp.uiuc.edu when there are 3 other people playing on a good night. If you think Web pages take *FOREVER* to load, then you will probably not have good success with XPilotNT. Some Europeans report very good success running XPilotNT over a modem (Swedes in particular).
    Here is an excellent paper about Modem Latency discussing why your modem is slow.

  2. How do i play without being on the Internet?
    • During the XPilot for Windows installation, you are asked if you want to create an icon for a Server; Answer YES. When asked for the name of the server, enter the TCP/IP name or TCP/IP address of the server. Do not enter your NetBIOS name.

    • If you have already installed XPilot for Windows, do this:
      • Start Menu / Settings / Start Menu Options / Start Menu Programs / Advanced.
      • Navigate to the XPilot folder. On NT, look under the "All Users" tree.
      • Make a copy of the XPilot Shortcut. Ctrl-Ins / Shift-Ins.
      • Rename Copy of XPilot to XPilot my-server. Replace my-server with the name of your server.
      • Select this icon.
      • Alt-Enter to edit the Properties of this icon.
      • Append the name of your server to the end of the Target as an argument (after the C:\XPilot\XPilot.exe).
        so the target looks like this: C:\XPilot\XPilot.exe my-server
      • Ok

    • When you start your server, you will want to disable ReportToMetaServer. This page tells you how to do that.
    • TCP/IP must be running to play XPilot on a local machine. Most dialup web surfers only have TCP/IP installed while actually on the modem.
      Here is a workaround. M$ doesn't get it yet that TCP/IP is a very nice standard for two programs to communicate with each other, regardless of where the two programs are. They are of the mind that two local programs should use something else, preferably of an M$ design. Uh, sorry for the rant.

    • After your server is running, select from the Start Menu, the XPilot my-server item and the game shoud start.

  3. Tips for speeding up XPilotNT
    One of the big factors in XPilotNT is the amount of data to be drawn to your screen. Here's some things to try to get better results.
    • XPilotNT-0.8 introduces a configuration option threadedDraw. If it's on, turn it off. If it's off, turn it on. Press "Save Configuration", exit and restart XPilotNT. You can read more about threadedDraw here.
    • In your XPilotNT.ini, set scaleFactor=1.2. If you are running on a small screen (800x600 or less), this will display more of the playfield. If you have a nice big screen, this will reduce the size of the bitmap that has to be transferred once every frame.
    • In your XPilotNT.ini, set sparkProb=0.05 or 0.10. This reduces the number of sparks objects transmitted from the server and can help a slow network connection significantly. (Especially if you notice worse lag in the heat of battle)
    • I usually set packetDropMeter=Yes and packetLossMeter=Yes to see just how bad the display and network lag are.
    • You can get significant improvements by reducing your Windows system to use 8 bit color (256 colors). On my machines, this can be done without rebooting and is not too painful.

  4. My mouse doesn't work.
    There is no mouse support yet. Soon...

    Actually, i've since decided not to fix the mouse. A couple of people and i have tried in vain to fix the Unix mouse handler to work with Windows. This is the wrong approach and i don't have the time or inclination to fix it because...

    I don't like playing with the mouse. I believe it completely violates the physics laws that have been carefully built into XPilot. You should not be able to rotate your ship 180 degrees in a single video frame regardless of the frame rate. If this was possible then Mir could have avoided that awful collision with Progress.

  5. I start the game and it just sits there and my Windows controls don't work and nothing happens.
    • First, make sure this procedure works.

    • Due to the way XPilot starts its game, i can't easily return to Windows to see if you've pressed a button. I used to feel bad about this until i noticed that Big Bad Netscape also steals control while it is doing a domain name lookup.

The Windows version of XPilot
XPilot is a cool network based game

BuckoSoft, Corp. Home Page
Dick Balaska's Home Page
Send mail to BuckoSoft
XPilot links
BuckoSoft news

Where things are
Help and Preferences
The Main BuckoSoft Pinball Page
BuckoSoft Art Gallery; raytraced pictures, etc.
This page created January 23, 1997. Last touched Sunday September 25, 2016 02:03 EDT