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Xr0w - a simple and challenging board game.
For  Symbian®  OS (Nokia® 9200 and Quartztm)

User Manual






Version 1.0.1,  22 July, 2002

(C) 2002, Michael Glickman <palmcrust@yahoo.com>
 
 


Content:
About this release
How to Play
Objective
Playing the game (Main Screen).
Database Operations
Save Game
Restore Game
Statistics
Options
Preferences
Who Plays
Rules
Moves
Support

About this release.

Originally the game was released for Palm handheld computers and available fromXr0w PalmOS site.
This manual refers to Symbian® OS implementation of the game designed for Nokia® 9200 (Crystaltm),  and  Symbian Quartztm - compatible devices.
 

How to play

Objective

One plays X, another Y.  A player who succeeds in making a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal row of consecutive pieces wins. The game ends with a draw, if the board is nearly full, so that neither of players can complete a row.
The application keeps complete move history for the current game, therefore you can take back unlimited number of moves and replay previously taken back moves, the previous game is automatically restored when application restars. You can also save unlimited number of games (as far as storage allows) and restore any game at any time.

The application keeps game statistics.  It  provides a range of options to suit your preferences.
 

Playing the game (Main Screen)


The main screen contains the game board, status board, score board and 10 soft buttons,

On Nokia 9200 use arrow keys to place the marker on an empty cell,  and press "Enter" key.

If you use a Quartz device, just tap the cell you want to make a move. Alternatively you might prefer using arrow keys and Fire for making a move (you need to enable show cursor in Preferences for that).
 

The status board shows:
 

current turn (X, or O),

number of previous moves, or  previous+taken_back,  in case there are taken back moves
computer skill: Novice, Average, or Expert (see also Who Plays).
The score board shows number of games won by human, computer and number of draws during the current run.
For the cumulative data (including previous runs), refer to Statistics. .
The right 10 soft buttons implement the following functions:

 
New Game*
Exchange Sides*
Take back*
Replay move*
Take back all moves*
Replay all moves*
Toggle Auto Fwd/Back**
Change Computer skill**
Save game***
Restore a game***
*)  See Moves for details
**) Auto Fwd/Back is discussed in Preferences,for computer skills see Who Plays.
(***) Refer to Save Game and Restore Game for more details

 

On Nokia 9200 use Tab key to tab through the buttons and back to game board,  Shift+Tab tabs in the opposite direction. Press "Enter" to activate a button.

On a Quarz-compatible device you simply tap the buttons.

Nokia 9200 command buttons:

New- new game,
Back - take back last move
Replay - replay move,
Close - quit the application

 

Database Operations

Save Game

To save a game, select Save button from the main screen, or a menu option: File/Save on Nokia 9200,  Xr0w/Save on Quartz.
You can either enter a new saved game name, or select an existing saved game to overwrite it.
Click Save (press Save command button on Nokia 9200) to do saving, Cancel - to return to main screen without saving.
The application automatically saves current game before quit under name $$Startup$$.  This game is automatically activated when the application restarts.

 

Restore Game

This screen allows to restore a previously saved game, view saved game details, delete or rename saved game,
Activated by Restore button from the main screen, or a menu option File/Restore (Nokia 9200),or Xr0w/Restore (Quartz).
The list starts from $$Startup$$, This is a reserved name used for auto-saved game (see Save Game). You can't delete or rename the auto-saved game, but you can restore it and view its details.
The restore a game, highlight the game name from the list (use Down and Up keys on Nokia 9200), and click Restore.
Alternatively you can press Details to view highlighted game details or Close for returning to main screen game without restore.

 

The details screen shows:

Name of saved game
New name, in case you wish to change the name
Date and time when it was saved
Players:   type (Human or Computer) and token (X or O)
Computer skill (see Who Plays)
Number of moves in saved game
State: `In Progress', `Won by X', `Won by O', `Draw'.
To delete the game press Delete, to rename the game enter the new name and press Rename, or press Close for return to game list.

 

Statistics

Statistics stores total number of games by player types and game outcome. As opposed to score board values (on the main screen) the statistic values are cumulative: stored in the data base and retrieved, when the application restarts.
To view statistics, select File/Statistics or Xr0w/Statistics
You can clear statistics (i.e. set all values to zero) by pressing Clear button (you will need to confirm the operation).
Clearing statistics sets started date to current.

Press Close to leave statistics.
 

Options

Preferences

The bring up Preferences screen, select Options/Preferences (Nokia 9200) or Edit/Preferences (Quartz) menu item.

The following preferences can be set (default values are in bold):
 
Preference Name Values Comment
Sound after each move: Yes / No  
Sound after end game: Yes / No  
Sound on error: Yes / No  
Auto Fwd/Back: Yes / No If Auto Fwd/Back is enabled, a take back and replay action in a Human-vs-Computer game applies also to the computer opponent. If disabled, only a single move is taken back, which in particular allows you forcing a desired move for the computer.  There could be other reasons why you may dislike Auto Fwd/Back
Auto-repeat: Slow/Norm/Fast How long a key should be kept pressed before its action is repeated. Slow auto-repeat corresponds to the longest interval. 
Show cursor (Quartz only) Yes/No On a Quartz device you normally use stylus, so that the marker might by annoying. Disabling show cursor also disables tabbing.

To change preferences:

Nokia 9200: Use Tab and  Shift+Tab to select an item, then use use arrows to change the value of selected item: Right - choose next value, Left -choose previous value.

Quartz: Tap a button surrounding the value you want to change.

Select OK to activate new preferences, Cancel to discard changes

Who Plays

Use Who Plays to selects player type and computer skill, and computer speed.

To activate it, select Options/Who Plays or Edit/Who Plays menu item.

Selections (default values are in bold):
 
Name Values Comment
1-st Player: Human/Computer Type of the player who starts the game
2-nd Player: Human/Computer Type of the player who plays next
Computer skill: Novice/Average/Expert How strong is the computer player
Computer speed: Fast/Normal/Slow How long you need to wait for computer response (this does not affect the skill).

Change Who Plays values in the same way you change preferences.
Select OK to activate new settings, Cancel to discard changes

Rules

The rules apply to a game, and can't be changed in the middle of it.
The Rules form appears after you select Options/Rules or Xr0w/Rules
The rules include:

 
Name Values Comment
Board Width: 10-25,  less for a small screen. Default: 12 or max. available Number of board columns
Board Height: 10-25,  less for a small screen. Default: 12 or max. available Number of board rows
Winning Size: 5-8, less for a small board. Default: 5 Number of consecutive pieces needed to win
First Move: X orO Default: X Which token is used for the first move.

Change Rules values in the same way you change preferences.
Select OK to activate new values, Cancel to discard changes

Moves

Moves top menu allows to control the game. You might find using main screen soft buttons more convenient though.
The following sub-items are available:

 
Item
Description
Exchange Sides
Who played X now plays O and vise versa. This causes computer to move in Human-vs-Computer game
Take Back
Take back last move. For a Human-vs-Computer game with Auto Fwd/Back enabled, this will also take back the computer move
Take Back All
Back to start of the game, so that you can replay all moves
Replay
Replay next move, For a Human-vs-Computer game with Auto Fwd/Back enabled, this will also replay the computer move
Replay All
Replay all taken back moves

Support

The latest release of is available from http://palmcrust.tripod.com/Xr0w/symbian/


The author can be contacted at palmcrust@yahoo.com  (Michael Glickman)