Copyright (C) 1997 by Richard Theil
Warnings and disclaimer (VERY IMPORTANT)
You know the usual stuff and I'm not going to repeat legal blah-blah in here! Use this software at your own risk or don't use it. I won't take any responsibility for degaussing your hard drive or erasing your life support medical data. While I try to provide bug free software, one very rare situation is unidentified that may cause your machine to misbehave during video mode switching after the game has quit. See the section at the end of this document for details.
Setting up your machine (IMPORTANT)
Xenia will basically run on any 32-bit clean color Macintosh (and even on PCs under Executor emulation), and tries do adapt itself to the environment it finds. It does neither switch color depth or resolutions as many other games do, nor has it audio controls, but you may set these up using the standard control panels or strip.
* For best performance, set the color depth to 256 colors! The game will work happily in true color. This might be annoyingly slow on older Macs, but is not a real issue on a PPC604.
* If you want the game to be silent, turn down the volume of the Macintosh sound output.
What is Xenia?
Xenia is a classic "Shoot 'em up"-style arcade game modeled somewhat after the great classic "Xevious", the first "vertical scroller" (and still the best. 1942 sucks, and so do all the ripoffs!). Your goal is to shoot everything that moves and to bomb everything that sits on the ground. Well, it actually is a bit more complex. Power pills show up from time to time - you can't shoot these, but expect a goodie if you catch 'em.
Setting it up
The Escape key brings you to the setup dialog. You may look at the key settings (or change them) in here. Click OK to save the setup and resume the game, Cancel to resume without saving the setup you have made. A third button "Quit" exits the game (as you would expect, and, sorry, no command-Q). The setup dialog also has an option to give CPU time to background tasks, just in case you experience some incompatibility. THIS IS REQUIRED with Executor.
Press the "Fire" key to start the game.
For maximum enjoyment, I recommend to play Xenia on a 17 or 20 inch Trinitron monitor, set to 832x624 pixels at 75Hz (640x480 sucks, because it flickers along at 67Hz), in a dim light environment (as found in arcades). Gameplay on any PCI Mac set to 256 colors should be totally fluent. Turn up the sound volume. I don't have one connected to the Mac, but I imagine that either a PlayStation-style handheld controller or a commercial-arcade-grade joystick panel will add even more fun!
Use modifier keys (control, shift, command, option) for weapon controls, because many keyboards are 2-key-rollover, and this may cause your guns to jam when moving diagonally.
Xenia is free! I just ask you to send me a postcard (picture postcards from your area preferred :-) if you are using the game beyond checking it out once or twice. Send it to:
Richard Theil Computertechnik
and tell me how you like Xenia, and name your favorite(s) in the areas: Arcade, Simulation, Other Games, and Gaming Category. Thank you in advance for your efforts. They will help me to see if there is something like a reasonable Macintosh game market for which further (and more professional) development makes sense.
Nuff said... and now, Have fun!
(If you're really into reading this stuff, check "Further Reading").
Copyright and Distribution
Xenia, including all graphics and music contained, is Copyright (C) 1997 by Richard Theil. All rights reserved worldwide. It is provided to you free of charge as a courtesy of my company, Richard Theil Computertechnik under the name of its entertainment label "Neon Skyline". A few bytes included come from Metrowerks or Apple glue code and are protected under their licenses (which in fact state that you can't write PD software with Metrowerks).
You may distribute it freely, as long as it is kept in its original, complete, unmodified form, and no charge is taken. Offering it for download is okay, as long as no charge beyond the basic connection rate is taken. Including it into a package where it is not a major part (Shareware CD-ROM, Graphics Card, Personal Computer) is okay, as long as I am sent two pieces of the completed package within 8 weeks of its release (hehe!). Offering it for profit alone or as major part of a package is not permitted.
A for-profit nonexclusive distribution license can be obtained for $7/DM 10,- per unit at a quantity of 1000. By distributing Xenia for profit in a way not permitted above, you agree to conditions and fee of this licence and all of my business conditions which are available on demand. The payment will be legally enforced to the maximum possible extent. (Sorry, this may sound somewhat silly from my side, but I HAVE seen assholes selling freeware single-program-wise for real cash as "latest top releases" to clueless newcomers, and this is one thing I certainly don't want to happen!)
Me and my folks are good enough not to care about "trade secrets", because, if others copy us, we are ahead by the time they do it. So feel free to disassemble, or do whatever you like to learn from it, just don't spread modified copies. (Oh, well. Don't disassemble the compiler glue! Metrowerks require me to prohibit this. :-)
Known Incompatibilities (somewhat technical, so those of you who know, get the idea).
If you don't want to go into the tech stuff:
DO NOT SWITCH RESOLUTIONS AFTER XENIA RAN ON YOUR MACHINE UNTIL YOU HAVE REBOOTED.
Xenia has been extensively tested and has no known internal bugs. I have experienced very rare "hangups" when trying to switch resolutions using either the control strip or the Monitors control panel, long *after* the game has finished. Video is shut down to black and the screen goes into energy saving. The machine apparently continues to work. If this behavior was somehow reproducible, I would have fixed it. I observed two real crashes under these circumstances when OpenDoc was installed. Strange, huh? No hangup but dead video without, but a crash with OpenDoc. Once on a PowerComputing machine provided by Bayshore Technologies (thanks, and sorry, again), and once on an 8200/120 under Harmony a3. This last time though, I got into MacsBug with a crash at ROM address $FFC19586 in 68K mode at an RTE exception return opcode. It looks like if somehow a special kind of interrupt occurs during mode switch, the machine goes down. I have cross checked my code many times. I use only one interrupt, which is for the one double buffer sound channel that I allocate. I DO relase it on shutdown and this works well even during music playback. I do not have ANY further hardware dependency. I don't fade palettes, I don't touch anything else (intentionally). The only other lower-level operations I perform are to allocate a few GWorlds with fixed 8-bit width (but I release these as well) and a write to low memory $BAA (hey, the IIGS had HideMenuBar()) to get rid of the menu bar as demonstrated by DTS. The problem existed before I did the latter, so I don't suspect this. Any Ideas? You're welcome!
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