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Install and customize Tux Racer Apps
Tux Racer is an incredible free racing game originally developed for Linux. You race Tux the Penguin down many courses and collect herring as you go. The whole game is done in 3D with OpenGL. In my opinion, it is more fun than Cro-Mag Rally. You need a fast G3 or G4 and a graphics card supported under OS X (Rage 128, Radeon, GeForce2MX).

Read the rest of the article if you'd like to download and install Tux Racer, and configure it to run well on your OS X box.

[Editor's note: One of my personal fave OS X games; there are also two other Tux games (Kart and Quest for Herring) that have been ported to OS X. You can find them on the Tux Games site.]

First, download Tux Racer. The package will decompress. Run Tux Racer by double-clicking on the icon. The manual is available online if you need instructions. When you have played one track, quit Tux Racer.

You probably noticed that tuxRacer runs in a window with 640 x 480 graphics. It can do better. Open the Terminal (/Applications -> Utilties -> Terminal). You will be in your home directory with a prompt. Enter the command cd .tuxracer and press return. Then enter the command emacs options and press return.

You will see the emacs text editor. The first thing to change is fullscreen mode. Use the arrow keys to get to the end of the line that says set fullscreen false. Backspace and change this to set fullscreen true. Next, arrow to the end of the line that says set x_resolution 640. Backspace and change this to set x_resolution 800. Next, arrow to the end of the line that says set y_resolution 480. Backspace and change this to set y_resolution 580.

The next few changes are optional. I suggest that you do them if you're using at least a 500 MHz G3 or a G4. They will improve tuxRacer's graphics and framerate. Arrow to the end of the line that says set course_detail_level. Change this to set course_detail_level 90. Next, arrow to the line that says set forward_clip_distance. Change this to set forward_clip_distance 105.

Now, you're finished editing the configuration file. While holding down the control key, press "x" and then "c". You will be asked if you want to save. Press "y" and emacs will quit. Exit the Terminal.

When you want to run Tux Racer, set the screen resolution to 800 x 600 in millions of colors. Then double-click the Tux Racer icon. It will run full-screen with excellent graphics.

The tracks included with tuxRacer get boring after a while. More free tracks are downloadable online. Simply download the tracks to the Desktop. They will automatically decompress. Next, find the Tux Racer package (whevever you installed the application), hold down the Control key, and click the package. Select "Show Package Contents".

Double click "Contents", then "Resources", then "Data", then "courses". Drop the folder of the course you downloaded into the "contrib" folder in "courses". Close all of your windows, switch to 800 x 600, and then start Tux Racer. Your new tracks will come up under "Practice".
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Install and customize Tux Racer | 3 comments | Create New Account
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Emacs? + Build Your Own
Authored by: el bid on Jan 04, '02 03:19:19AM

Why send newbies to Emacs and then have to explain to them how to use it? Emacs rules, of course, but to edit the Tuxracer options file the GUI-bound user need only open TextEdit, type ".tuxracer" into Goto: in the File Open dialogue, and then pick out "options" from the file list.

BTW, I'm using 1024x768 fullscreen for Tuxracer on this 867 MHz G4 and it works fine.

BTW2, folks who want to create their own courses can get into the directory and take a look at the contents. Inside each course is a set of four files (ignore preview.rgb for now) that define it. course.tcl is a text file which is fairly self-explanatory, and the rgb files are bitmaps you can edit in something like MacGimp. The bitmaps overlap to create the territory like this:

elev.rgb -- the ups and downs of the terrain (white == high)

terrain.rgb -- the nature of the terrain at any point (black == ice, grey == rock, white == snow)

trees.rgb -- defines the location of different kinds of trees with coloured dots. The individual tree types and their colour codes are defined in ../, and the adventurous can extrapolate from this to create their own new tree (and other object) types.

Initially you might just want to go into the ../contrib directory, copy an entire course, rename it and then start messing with the bitmaps. To get a faster game increase tux_angle in the course.tcl file of any particular course.

el bid

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Sorry about emacs!
Authored by: jazzman15 on Jan 05, '02 10:47:07AM

For anyone about to mess with the tuxRacer config files, you don't have to use emacs if you don't want to. However, if you're ever going to use Linux, BSD, or any other *nix based system, you'll need to know how to use it. It's not any more difficult than TextEdit.

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Sorry about emacs!
Authored by: area51 on Oct 19, '02 10:32:07AM

Yeah, it's not any more difficult than TextEdit EXCEPT for the minor detail of having to memorize lots of key bindings. :)

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