FAQ-Answered Questions

1   General

1.1   Where can I get Antares?

1.2   Who wrote Antares?

See Antares’s AUTHORS file. Most of the work was done by Nathan Lamont, who wrote the original game for Mac OS Classic, Ares, and Chris Pickel, who ported it to Mac OS X as Antares.

1.3   When will Antares 1.0 be released?

As soon as multiplayer is (re-)added.

1.4   How similar is Antares to Ares?

Very near to pixel-perfect. In general, there are three reasons Antares may not be a pixel-perfect match to Ares in a given situation:

  • Ares used a custom software renderer when zooming in and out, whereas Antares uses an OpenGL hardware renderer.
  • Antares incorporates fixes for minor bugs that were present in Ares.
  • Antares is not yet a complete replacement for Ares.

1.5   What platforms does Antares run on?

Antares currently builds and runs on:

  • Mac OS X (10.7+)
  • Linux

In the future, it may also run on:

There are no plans to port it to Mac OS Classic, or to any mobile platform.

1.6   Where does the name “Antares” come from?

Antares is the common name for α Scorpii. Its name means “anti-Ares”, because although it is a bright red star similar in appearance to Mars (Ares), it is something very different.

2   Plugins

2.1   What is the status of plugins in Antares?

Plugins are fully supported. However, the format is different from the format used in Ares. Several plugins are available on the Plugins page.

2.2   What format does Antares use for plugins?

An Antares plugin is a Zip archive with the extension “.antaresplugin”. It contains text configuration files, along with images and sounds.

Full details on the format are in the plugin documentation.

2.3   How do the Antares and Ares plugin formats differ?

There are three main ways:

  • Ares plugins use the resource fork. Antares plugins are Zip archives.
  • Ares plugin data is mostly binary. Antares plugin data is mostly text.
  • Ares plugin data is numbered. Antares plugin data is named.

For example, in Ares, the Ishiman Cruiser is the first 318 bytes of ‘bsob’ 500. In Antares, it is the file objects/ish/cruiser.pn.

2.4   How do I use plugins written for Ares with Antares?

There is no tool for converting a plugin from one format to another. If a plugin you want to play is not available for Antares, you can send a request for it to be converted manually.

2.5   What tools exist for plugin development?

Currently, there are no tools for developing Antares plugins. Since the files are readable text, building a tool is not a priority, but if you are interested in developing one, talk to the developer.

3   Multiplayer

3.1   What is the status of multiplayer in Antares?

None to speak of at present. When it eventually exists, Antares multiplayer will likely look very different from Ares multiplayer. Some things that will probably change are:

  • Multiplayer will support more than 2 players.
  • In order to support 3+ players, the lobby will look completely different, with a more traditional chatroom interface.
  • Players playing the same race as an opponent will choose their own tint, instead of a tint for each such opponent (Issue 6).
  • If custom avatars are supported, the mechanism will be different.
  • The networking protocol will use state synchronization over UDP instead of input sychronization over NetSprockets.
  • GameRanger will not be supported. Another metaserver may replace it.

3.2   When will multiplayer support be released?

There is no expected timeline for multiplayer support.

4   Windows

4.1   What is the status of Windows support in Antares?

Antares is not available for Windows.

However, on Linux, some parts of the game can be compiled with mingw and run under WINE.

4.2   When will Windows support be released?

There is no expected timeline for Windows support.

4.3   Why compile with mingw instead of on Windows?

The main Antares developer doesn’t have a Windows machine and doesn’t really know anything about developing for Windows. Compiling with mingw was possible without any of that equipment or knowledge.

There’s no real reason it needs to use mingw. As long as Travis can continue to run the tests, it would be fine to compile natively on Windows. However, it’s probably necessary to continue to compile with clang, and to use MSYS2 for that.

4.4   What steps need to be taken?

A general overview might be:

  • Choose paths for installed application data (win-dirs.cpp), so that it’s possible to build antares-install-data.exe.
  • Implement the offscreen OpenGL driver (Issue 324), so that it’s possible to build build-pix.exe, offscreen.exe, and replay.exe.
  • Implement the real video driver (Issue 323) and sound driver (Issue 322).
  • Compile antares-glfw.exe.
  • Package it properly as a Windows application.

More specifically, in BUILD.gn, there are a bunch of places that something like the following appears:

if (target_os == "win") {
  group -= [ entry ]

Any place that appears, it indicates a gap in Windows support.