Monopoly Clones

Like chess and Go, Monopoly is a board game that is incredibly popular. Unfortunately for us, Monopoly is indeed owned by Hasbro (which bought Parker Brothers, Inc., which originally developed the game— see www.hasbro.com/monopoly), which has not seen fit to provide a Linux port of an online version of Monopoly. However, fear not, open source fans! An excellent Monopoly-like game called Atlantik is available in the Ubuntu repository, as is a game-playing engine that enables you to play Atlantik against other players over the network. GNOME Ubuntu users will want to install the gtkatlantik package from the resulting list, while Kubuntu users will find that the Atlantik package is preinstalled on KDE 3-based Kubuntu systems (because Atlantik was originally developed for KDE). No KDE 4 version of Atlantik for Kubuntu 8.10 or newer systems was available when this book was written, but I'm sure that's an oversight that will be corrected soon. Regardless of the desktop you are using, you will also want to install the monopd package if you ever want to actually host a game using your machine as a server (which you probably will).

Atlantik is a network-aware game that can use a server, but it does not offer automated game play against a computer opponent. This means that you will either have to contact a remote opponent from a default atlantik server or you will have to install the monopd package and enable users to connect to your server to play the game.

After you install the appropriate packages, you can start Atlantik by selecting it from the Applications C> Games menu on your Ubuntu system or the K Menu C> Games C> Board Games menu on your KDE 3-based Kubuntu system. Figure 20-10 shows Atlantik being played using the gtkatlantik interface.

FIGURE 20-10

A game of Atlantik in progress a. ^^teaw-^riw^-=- Lsllmlfetf

Came Move Settings Llelp

Came Move Settings Llelp

Atlantik 0.7.5 ijame started. Retrieving full qame data

Atlantik normally plays its own version of Monopoly, but you can also play the traditional Monopoly game from within Atlantik. Figure 20-11 shows a game of Monopoly in progress using the gtkatlan-tik interface. There are few play-related differences between this and the Atlantik game shown in Figure 20-10. The primary difference is the game board used—the rules are identical by default, although you can customize them in Atlantik's Game Configuration screen, which is discussed later.

Getting to the point where you actually see a game screen can be slightly confusing. When you first start gtlatlantik, click Enter to get past the splash screen, and a game selection dialog such as the one shown in Figure 20-12 appears.

FIGURE 20-11

A game of Monopoly in progress using Atlantik

FIGURE 20-11

A game of Monopoly in progress using Atlantik

FIGURE 20-12

Creating or joining a networked game of Atlantik

Creating or joining a networked game of Atlantik

Enter the hostname or IP address of the monopd server that you want to contact in the Another server text box. Click Get games, and a list of the games available at that server is displayed. If one is available, select that game from the list, and click CREATE/JOIN GAME, at which point the screen shown in Figure 20-10 or Figure 20-11 appears. The actual game that you see depends on the type of game(s) that the server is hosting and the one that you connected to.

If no game is available and you are running the monopd server, you will need to start one and wait for someone to connect to it. This is almost the same process as joining an existing game, except that you would select one of the Create a new Monopoly game or Create a new Atlantik game entries in the game list. Your system will display a Game Configuration dialog until someone remotely connects to your game, at which point you will see the game board as the game begins.

["d Installing the monopd server package starts the monopd server on your system. If you can-

nSS* not contact a remote monopd server or simply want to run your own, you can check its status using a command like ps alxww | grep monopd. if this doesn't show any monopd processes running, you can start one with a command like sudo -u nobody /usr/sbin/monopd.

If you're a true Atlantik/Monopoly fan, a game board editor for Atlantik, called Atlantik Designer, is also available as a separately installable package. Figure 20-13 shows the initial Atlantik Designer screen with a blank board that you can customize, save, and use.

FIGURE 20-13

Using the Atlantik Designer to create your own game board

FIGURE 20-13

Using the Atlantik Designer in conjunction with Atlantik can be a lot of fun, because you can create your own game boards to reflect the streets and corporate landmarks in your own area. Who doesn't want to rule (or at least own) their neighborhood?

Atlantik is the easiest way to become a capitalist without actually crushing anyone under your boot heels, and it is great fun, just like the original Monopoly board game. Frankly, I wish that Hasbro would release an official Linux version because I believe in rewarding companies for fun games, but until then Atlantik is just all right with me.

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Reasonable care has been taken to ensure that the information presented in this book is  accurate. However, the reader should understand that the information provided does not constitute legal, medical or professional advice of any kind.

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