Report a new bug

If you have troubles with Liquid War 5, if you think it is a bug, and if it is not described in this file, then just send a (precise...) decription of your problem to the Liquid War user mailing list.

Besides, it happens that now most bug reports come from the Debian tracking system "http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/pkgreport.cgi?pkg=liquidwar". Thanks to the Debian users and maintainers, it's a very valuable feedback source.

Additionnaly, on online bug tracking system has been set up. It uses Flyspray http://flyspray.rocks.cc/. It's accessible on http://www.ufoot.org/bugtracker/ or "http://www.ufoot.org/bugtracker/index.php?project=2". I try to collect everything here : bugs reported on the mailing-list, bugs from Debian, and bugs I found myself. Alternatively you can report bugs directly on it 8-)


Network support in Liquid War is far from being perfect, so there are a bunch of little problems which can appear. Basically, once the game is correctly started on a LAN, you should have no problems, but getting the game started might be difficult.

Mouse does not work

Some users reported that they were unable to control the Liquid War cursor with the mouse. Well, the answer is a typical Microsoftish "this ain't a bug, it's a feature!".

More seriously, you're supposed to move the cursor with the keyboard in Liquid War. There's no way to handle the cursor "like a mouse pointer" (*). This is due to:

  • Severe limitations in the Liquid War core algorithm.
  • The fact that moving the cursor "too fast" would really change the gameplay of Liquid War. As a Liquid War integrist 8-) I can tell you the game would really not be the same if you could move the cursor as fast as you wish. It's part of the game that sometimes it takes you ages to recover from a strategical mistakes. You need to think twice before going to the very end of a level. That's strategy. At least that's how I view things... Anyways as I mentionned above there's a limitation in the core algorithm.

(*) This is not perfectly true, there's a way to control the cursor with the mouse, but it's designed for the case "4 people want to play on the same computer and one single keyboard is not enough". Controlling the cursor with the mouse in Liquid War is possible but yet rather hard to master 8-/ Try it and you'll understand what I mean. This mode can be set up in the "Teams" menu.

Game does not start

On non UNIX platforms such as Windows or DOS, Liquid War is distributed in a .zip file. It's IMPORTANT that you unzip the .zip files with an "unzipper" which preserves the directory structure. Most install problems under Windows come from broken unzipping programs which extract all files in the same directory... WinZip 8.x or the unzip32.exe utility that comes with DJGPP are both able to uncompress Liquid War .zip files correctly.

On Liquid War 5.5.9 and later, the Windows version should detect this problem automatically and warn you with a message which basically says something like "Unable to load datafile. Are you sure Liquid War is correctly installed?". If you get this message, you need to reinstall the game by unzipping it with a "correct" unzipping program which does not wreck directory structrure up.

Interference with other Windows programs

It's been reported that Liquid War can run very slowly on Windows when some other programs (Mozilla for instance) are running. So if Liquid War's menus seem to be really really slow, then try to shut down other applications and run the game again.

This problem does not seem to apply on GNU/Linux - at least if you do not run 300 daemons together on your machine 8-)

Datafile bugs

Sometimes there are some problems when compiling the datafile, this includes:

  • The liquidwarcol, liquidwarmap and liquidwartex utilities might freeze or segfault. Typing "make" again often solves the problem.
  • The background image sometimes ends up using the wrong palette, which has a very nasty consequence: it looks ugly.

These bugs are quite hard to get rid off, since I can not reproduce them easily. The good solution would be to completely rewrite the liquidwarcol, liquidwarmap and liquidwartex utilities.

Midi does not work on OSS


IF your midi music on Liquid War, or indeed any other Allegro game, doesn't work and you are using the OSS (Open Sound System) drivers (these are the sound drivers which come with the standard kernel distribution), this may well be because Allegro only supports "FM synthesis" and not "wavetable" when it is using OSS. FM synthesis is a very old method of making sound from MIDI and has long since been replaced by wavetable synthesis, with the net result that it's quite possible you've got OSS MIDI working nicely in other applications without having FM support set up at all. This is what I found. (It has to be said that I didn't find the FM sound quality quite as bad as people have said, though).

In this situation, it looks to me like you have the following choices:

Hack Allegro...

...to implement wavetable midi on OSS :-)

and for the rest of us...

Use Allegro's DIGMID midi driver...

...which creates audio from MIDI using a set of patches (more info here: http://www.talula.demon.co.uk/allegro/digmid.html) and plays back through your sound card's audio.

Get an FM driver up and running...

...Which is comprised of the following steps:

  • Find out which FM driver is appropriate for your sound card. If you have distribution-specific tools and docs for setting up sound, try those. If not, you will need to be familiar with the knowledge in the Sound-HOWTO and Kernel-HOWTO i.e. know how to compile kernels and modules and deal with sound drivers.
  • Look through the OSS modules in 'make menuconfig' and see if anything catches your eye. See if there is any specific documentation on your sound card on http://www.linuxdoc.org. Do a few web searches. For my AWE64, I use the OPL3 driver.
  • Compile and install the FM driver module, or set up your system to use the new kernel if you want to compile the driver in.
  • Load the module, or boot your new kernel. It is very important that you pay attention to what is said in the 'help' for your FM driver in 'make menuconfig' and read any necessary files in the Documentation/sound/ directory. For example, I just had a nice half-hour wondering why the hell my FM wasn't working now when it had been before - with the OPL3 driver, you have to give the option io=0x388 to insmod. Which is stated nice and clear in the docs, but of course I had forgotten since then. You can prevent such happenings by recording options permanently in /etc/modules.conf - see the manpage etc.
  • Try the game. If it's worked you will hear particularly beepy music. Enjoy!

Opl3 occult FAQ

--IMPORTANT-- If you are using Liquid War, your FM will only work if you go to the map 'Elephant inside a boa' and proceed to chase each other round in circles for at least 10 minutes. This cures a bug in the design of the OPL3 interface which conflicts badly with the core Liquid War algorithms. How the hell the music hardware even knows about the core algorithms I don't know, but that's what I made of the now-defunct opl3-occult-FAQ, from which here is an excerpt:

  Many roads a man must take. Those with one-track minds are DOOMED, I tells ya.

The Liquid War algorithm calculates distances to one place, the cursor.


  Man or machine, face or code, must stand strong and solid; must not just ooze away as slime.

We think it might just take objection to the whole 'slimy' nature of the LW beings. As well as it being LIQUID War.

So, our carefully tailored approach, is to firstly have the players going in all the possible different directions evenly by moving around the map in circles, and secondly to divert the opl3's attention from the general slimy liquidness of it all by emphasizing the solidity, reality, and natural goodness of that classic tapestry: an elephant inside a boa.

That and it's a f***ing ace level.

Checksum errors

The Liquid War server is a "light" servers which - to some extent - has no idea about what is going on in the game. It simply replicates key strokes between clients and each client maintains its own game state. Normally, the game is designed so that given the same user input, it will behave exactly the same.

However, it happens that sometimes 2 clients can behave differently, and this is a (severe) bug. One consequence is that messages reporting "Checksum errors" appear on the server's and on the client's console output. This bug appears when using non-default rules settings. Basically, if someones tweaks his rules, then the checksum errors appear. Of course I double-triple checked that options were correctly sent on the network, but, well, could not fix the bug. Yet. The short term solution seems to play with default factory settings...

I'm highly interested in bug-reports concerning this problem.

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Copyright © 2005 Christian Mauduit. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts.
Updated on Sat May 07 2005.