Dec 072017
 
Mono graphics game, really good!.
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Mono graphics game, really good!.
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Contents of the STARSHIP.DOC file



STARSHIP: Invasion


copyright (c) October 1984 by Thinking Machine Associates.


I. INTRODUCTION: STARSHIP: Invasion is a real time
simulation of starship combat. As the captain of the
H.I.M.S. Stinger, you must intercept an invasion fleet and
delay it as long as possible so that the rest of the Imperial
fleet may have time to prepare against it. At the same time,
you must protect the six starbases in the sector which will
serve as your re-fueling and repair stations.

II. THE H.I.M.S. STINGER: The Stinger is one of the
latest generation starships to come out of the ship-yards of
the Sword Worlds. Like its predecessor, the INTREPID class,
the new EXCALIBUR class uses both a warp engine for long-range
travel, and a sub-light engine for maneuvering and combat.
In the new Excalibur class, the sub-light engine is further
improved for increased speed. In addition, to complement its
phaser and photon torpedo weapons systems, a new anti-matter
missile launcher has been installed. This triad of weapons,
in conjuction with a mark IV Aegis deflector shield generator
should make this starship the match of even an enemy Enforcer
fleet.

III. THE DISPLAY: The display screen of the Stinger
has many components, each of which is by itself very simple.
In practice, however, when all the displays are flashing and
relaying information, it is very hard to concentrate on
fighting. These displays are very important, however, as
they tell the status of each system of the starship. Below
is a schematic representation of the screen:




####### SHIELDS/DAMAGE
LRS -5-4-3-2-1 0 1 2 3 4 5 100 GENERATOR
o o o 000 000 000 5 5 100 # 100 ||||||||||
o o o 000 000 000 4 4 ### oooooooo
o o o 000 000 000 3 3 100 ###### 100 ||||||||||
+-----------+ 2 2 ###
]ooooo | | 1 1 100 # 100 MGe Wdr Sdr
]ooooo | | 0 VIEW 0 100 Shi Dam
]ooooo | SRS | -1 SCREEN -1 WEAPONS DISPLAY
]ooooo | | -2 -2 ]||||||||||||||||||
SrS | | -3 -3 ]ooooo ooooo ooooo ooooo
LrS | | -4 -4 ]OOOOO
+-----------+ -5 -5
-5-4-3-2-1 0 1 2 3 4 5 Pha Pho AMP
+-----------+ BASES
Co-ordinates = 6, 7 Trillum = 32456 | | 1: 8,7
Sector = -10, 6 Energy output = 000000 | | 2: 7,9
Shields = 00000 | MAP | 3: 4,2
Sub-light Drv = 000 | | 4: 2,2
Warp Drv = 00000 | | 5: 5,8
| | 6: 1,9
+-----------+


IV. VIEWS: There are four displays that show you what
is around your ship. The main viewscreen in the center is
where most of the action will take place. Here your ship
will appear in the center as a small triangle pointing to the
left. As your ship moves, the view around it will change,
but the ship will always be in the middle of the screen.
To the left of the viewscreen is the SRS, or short range
scan. Like the viewscreen, your ship is in the center. The
SRS will display all the ships in the quadrant, but will not
show what type of ships they are.
Right above the SRS is the long range scan. Like most
standard LR scans, this one shows the contents of the
quadrants immediately surrounding the quadrant you are in.
The first two digits ( {00}0 ) tell you how many enemy ships
are in that quadrant. The last digit ( 00{0} ) tells you
what starbase is in that quadrant. For example, 050 means
that there are five enemy ships (05), and zero starbases (0).
074 means 7 enemy ships with starbase 4, and 101 means ten
enemy ships with starbase 1. If the LR scan is damaged, you
may get garbage instead of digits.
Finally, the map shows an overall view of the whole
sector that you are in. Your ship (not in the center)
appears as a blinking block. Enemy ships appear in gray
(normal intensity,) and starbases are white (high-intensity.)
Next to the map are the co-ordinates of the six starbases.
If a starbase is under attack, these co-ordinates will start
blinking.

V. MAIN GENERATOR: The main generator powers the
entire ship. The generator display, in the upper-right

corner of the screen, display two things. The bars on top
and bottom indicate the maximum capacity of the generator
and the center bar indicates the present load of the
generator. If the present load ever exceeds the maximum
generating capacity, the generator will overload. At first,
an overload will only damage the generator, but since a
damaged generator will produce less power, a chain reaction
will soon occur, and the reactor will explode.
In addition to this display, the energy board (below the
viewscreen) will tell you how much power is being used. The
energy output is the present load on the generator. Under
normal circumstances, the generator should be able to handle
loads of up to 18500 +/- 500, but this will drop if the ship
is damaged. Underneath, the amount of power currently used
by the shields, sub-light drive, and warp drive is displayed.
NOTE: Most reactor explosions occur because the warp
generator was brought on-line while the generator was already
at maximum with the shields. Because the warp drive
generally requires up to 12000 units, it is important to
lower the shields (which may take up to 14000) before
warping.

VI. SHIELDS: The mark IV Aegis shield generator has
eight separate plates each protecting a different side of the
ship. The shield/damage display shows the value at which
each of the plates is set (in the diagram, 100.) It is
important to realize that each component of the starship is
in a different location. The engines and main generator are
in the back and the weapons systems are in front. Because of
this, and because the shields can not always be kept at
maximum, you should select the shields appropiately. i.e. if
you are about to engage in a frontal attack, raise the front
shields, or if the main generator is damaged, raise the rear
shields.
In addition to shields, this display will also show any
structural damage. If the shields are pierced, and the ships
is damaged, the figure of the ship will blink in the damaged
area.

VII. WEAPONS: The Stinger has three types of weapons
each with its own advantages and limitations. The phaser
weapon is an single omni-directional projector with a range of
five sectors (to the edge of the viewscreen). Although there
is no limit to the number of shots it can fire, the projector
gets hot after repeated shots. The top bar in the weapons
display shows the phaser overload status. The higher it
gets, the hotter the phasers are. In general it is good to
wait until they cool down, as repeated firings will overload
it and possibly destroy the phasers.
The photon torpedoes are roughly twice as powerful as
the phasers, but they move slowly (well below the speed of
light) and in that time their target can move away. Unlike
phasers, the ship only has twenty of them. The middle bar in
the weapons display tell you how many torpedoes you have
left.
The most powerful weapons of all are the anti-matter
pods. These weapons are ten times more powerful than
photons, but there are only five on board, and their range is
very limited. In general, one must be nearly next to a ship
to be in range. The last bar in the weapons display tells
you how many pods you have left.

VIII. DAMAGE DISPLAY: The indicator lights around the
board (MGe, WDr, SDr under the generator display, for
instance.) will give the damage status of all the systems.
If they are blinking, that system is damaged. If they are
on, but not blinking, then the system is destroyed.
The various systems are:
MGe main generator
WDr warp drive
SDr sub-light drive
Shi shields
Dam damage control
Pha phasers
Pho photons
AMP anti-mater pods
SrS short range scan
LrS long range scan

IX. WARP DRIVE: Once the warp drive is engaged it
will have to build up power to approximately 12000 units. If
either the warp drive or the main generator is damaged, it
may take a while to build up. Always watch the generator
display as the power builds up. If the power exceeds the
generating capacity, turn off the shields, or abort the warp.
Once in warp, you will see the blinking block on the map
move from quadrant to quadrant and the LR scan update.

X. COMMANDS: The movement of the ships in sub-light
can be controlled using the cursor keys. The rest of the
commands are entered through the keyboard, but you must make
sure that the keyboard is set to LOWERCASE, and the cursor
keys are active. You have the following commands:

W : Engages the warp drive. Once it is engaged, it
must build up power to 12000. When the signal WARP WHEN
READY appears, hit 'W' again to warp, or the space bar to
abort the warp. Once in warp you can use the cursor keys to
change the direction, or the space bar to end the warp.
T : Once you hit this you must hit a direction with the
cursor keys to fire a photon torpedo. Hitting the space bar
will abort this operation.
P or Y : Same as photons. This command fires phasers.
A : Same as photons. This command fires anti-matter
pods.
S : Raises every shield plate up 100 units.
O : Turns all shields to 0.
R : When followed by a direction (with cursor keys)
this command raises one plate 100 units.
D : This command drops one plate 100 units.
Q : Pass. This lets the enemy ships move, while
repairing some damage in your ship.
X : Self-destruct. Once activated, type '#' (shift-3)
to continue, or any other key to abort.

XI. DOCKING: If you are in the same quadrant as a
starbase you may dock with it to re-fuel and repair damage,
but be aware that your shields are down while in dock, and
that it takes time to repair damages. It is not recommended
to dock while under attack. If your starbase is destroyed
while docked, your ship will be destroyed as well.

XII. THE ENEMY: There are six types of enemy ships,
each progressively more powerful:

'#' ASSAULT SHIPS. These ships are fast and
maneuverable, but not very dangerous.
'@' LIGHT CRUISERS. These ships, mainly designed as
command ships for groups of assault ships, have
photon torpedoes.
- HEAVY CRUISERS. These ships look like small
triangles (like your ship) but they point to the
right. They more heavily armoured than light
cruisers.
'*' ENFORCERS. These ships are fast and powerful.
They generally concentrate on your starbases
first, so its a good idea to destroy them as soon
as possible.
- AVENGERS. These missile ships look like small
boxes. Their phasers are weak, but their photon
torpedoes can track you.
- WORLDKILLERS. The height of technology, these ships
are large and powerful. In addition to tracking
torpedoes, they have powerful phasers and shields.
They sometimes travel in wolfpacks of three.

XIII. HINTS: For the first couple of games get the feel
of the ship. Move around, warp, fire your weapons and make
sure you are familiar will all the displays. This is
particularly important, since the information they provide is
often vital.
The enemy ships come in waves. At first there are only
two groups on the map, then three come, and so on. In
general the enemy fleets move towards your starbases, the
first fleet going after the first base, etc. In practice,
you will not be able to keep all your starbases alive, but it
is imperative that you keep at least one alive. As long as
you have a starbase, you can keep on re-fueling and repairing
your damage.
If you have an undamaged generator, you can usually warp
with all you deflector shields set to about 300 without
overloading the generator. Once you get to an enemy
quadrant you can then raise your shields. Remember that
phasers use up a lot of energy too, so make sure that you do
not set the shields too high.

XIV. ABOUT THE GAME: Originally I came up with this
game because I was very disappointed with the Star Trek
games. Even if they were not in real time, they were not
very complicated. As far as I know, mine is the only version
with multiple shields, overloading generators, and moving
ships. That plus the real time aspect really made a
difference. In general, I like complicated games over simple
(and mindless) arcade games. I don't think STARSHIP:
Invasion can really be called a thinking game, but I know
that if you don't like involved games, you're not going to
like this one.
Admittedly I'm not totally satisfied with the game as it
is now. I definitely have to write a version for the color
card (when I get a color card) and perhaps a version with
more intelligent ships. Certainly a good sequel would be
STARSHIP: Penetrator, in which you must go into enemy
territory and destroy an enemy starbase, or something.
In case you're interested, I wrote the game in TURBO
Pascal (a language for which I have nothing but praise) and
the source code came out to be over 70k. (I had to split it
into two files.) And in case you're really interested, I
will provide you the source code if you register your copy.

XV. ABOUT OTHER THINGS: If you really like this game,
why not support the people who bring you these games and
register your copy for the modest fee (modest compared to $40
for a store bought game) of $15. After all, how can we
continue without user-support? In exchange for registering I
will send you the source code in TURBO Pascal (on disk), and
will be glad to answer any questions which you may have
concerning it.
In any event, enjoy this game in the spirit in which it
is written, and if perchance you should find that my efforts
have not been wasted in its writing, please send me a message
at the Boston Computer Society Bulletin board, I would be
very glad to hear your comments. (Even if you don't like the
game I would like to hear your comments.)

Please register your game by sending $15 to:

George Moromisato
15 Whittier Rd.
Natick MA 01760

Who knows? I may even write a sequel.








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