ACM: flight simulation for the X Window System
ACM is a free multiplayer aerial combat simulation. It was designed to be
run on UNIX systems running X-Windows.
The beta release of ACM is a distributed simulation.
That means that separate programs cooperate to render the state of
the world in real-time. The cooperative communication
required among these distributed programs is described by
the IEEE 1278 Distributed Interactive Simulation protocol.
- Multiplayer Aerial Combat
- Each player run the ACM simulator at his or her local
workstation. All applications communicate position information
via UDP broadcasts. This information allows players
to "see" one another in a common environment.
- Distributed Interactive Simulation Support
- ACM's network communication protocol is the IEEE 1278 "Distributed
Interactive Simulation" (DIS) standard. This definition allows
different simulation applications to engage each other in a common
- High Fidelity Flight Simulation Model
- Yeah, right .. doesn't every simulator on the planet claim to have this?
The heart of ACM is a six-degree of freedom model. Aircraft
performance is charaterized using NACA-standard derivatives. While you are
taxiing, the effects of landing gear struts and shocks are accounted for, too.
- Joystick Support
- ACM can interface to joysticks connected to a Unix workstation's
serial port using the "Workstation Gameport" from Colorado Spectrum.
ACM has been tested on SunOS 4.1, Solaris 2.3, AIX 3.5, HPUX 9.
ACM Source Code
Sources to the current version of ACM (version 4.7) are available from the
X Consortium FTP server.
Sources to the latest beta snapshot of ACM (version 4.8 beta 8) are available from
my Netcom FTP account.
You will need an ANSI compatible C compiler, such as
to build ACM.
Hints and Lore
contained in the toplevel source code directory
contains a descripton of how to build ACM on your system.
If you are a seasoned flight simulation enthusiast, you should find ACM
fairly easy to learn. Others will frequently wonder where they are
and where all those enemy planes are sneaking up from. Fighter pilots call
the answers to those questions "situation awareness" and it is something
that takes time to develop.
Discussion about ACM can be found on Usenet in the rec.aviation.simulators
newsgroup. If you are interested in contributing enhancements to ACM, you
can join the ACM developer's internet mailing list by contacting the author
via electronic mail (firstname.lastname@example.org).
History of the Game
ACM was orginally released via Usenet in early 1991. Riley has worked
on enhancing the game on-and-off since then. Others have contributed
significant enhancements and bug fixes over time, too.
About the Author
Riley Rainey wrote his first program ("a simple tank game") in 1974. He
quickly decided that computers made rather boring opponents.
Riley lives in Dallas, Texas with his wife and two daughters. He flies
a Cessna 210 when he isn't at work, babysitting, or writing flight simulators.
Brad Bass maintains a list of ACM Frequently Asked Questions.
Yahoo maintains an excellect index of
aviation-related web sites.
Yahoo also maintains an index of
other games for the X Window System.
Information about the IEEE 1278 protocol
can be obtained from the University of Central Florida's
Institute for Simulation Technology.
Comments to the author are welcome.
February 7, 1996