~ nasty armoured tanks of war! ~


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A 3D (openGL) tank game based loosely on scorched earth (or the newer xscorch), but including a single player element. The goal is to kill the other tanks and as much terrain as possible. A project goal is to add useless objects in that can be additionally destroyed, like buildings, alien artifacts and of course, defenseless baby bunnies.


A long break... Added the plea for help with the Vodoo? bug.

Release 0.2.10, has more efficient and better looking smoke trails. Also improved pointer and background in start menu.

Arrgh! A nasty typo in 0.2.8, so here's 0.2.9.

Seems I introduced more bugs with that last release... BIG fixes, segfault when firing multiple projectile weapons, and non-display of destroyed map. Enjoy.

Released version 0.2.7. Highlights include -- Adding a small tank on the HUD, increases in framerate due to optimisations in lighting and map code, smoke trails are now solid instead of lines.

Released version 0.2.6. Includes better mouse support in the menus, and fixes a bug that causes natow to crash after the second round.

Released version 0.2.5. Along with loads of bugfixes, notable changes are:

  • AI players now fully working (at a basic level)
  • Three textures for each tank
  • New logo
  • Can select some menus with the mouse
  • Game pauses if cursor leaves screen
  • Screen fading
  • About screen
  • Player order now randomized each turn
  • Map reshaded between rounds
  • Added in foot level
Since this release has taken so long, in the future we'll try to release more frequently.

Released version 0.2.4, now has support for GLASS + minor bug fixes.

Released 0.2.3, Improved key-config, disabled blast marks (too slow), fixed blast size bug, added in two new weapons, flea shell, and sparkler shell.

Released 0.2.2, fixes some bugs...

Released version 0.2.1, important changes -- video config bug fixed, tanks can now move _or_ shoot, optimised projectile code, improved tank physics. Note that the keyconfig file format has changed, so remove ~/.natow/keyrc.

Released version 0.2.0, Yannick Perret has joined the team, and we've been doing a lot of work on it. I just hadn't got around to releasing this version so it's ridiculously different from the previous one! Far too much to state here, so see the Changelog... Most importantly, you can play a full game!

Released version 0.1.8, added fading smoke trails, fixed bug from debugging code...

Released version 0.1.7, has tank damage, nice looking explosions that cause the camera to shake...

Released version 0.1.6, now with the munitions system, makes creation of weapons easy, see the munitions file for details.

Released version 0.1.5 (I'm working on NATOW again after taking a break and working on glChess/ GLASS/ glote). Many fixes, it's getting much better!

Applied for project at sourceforge, did website. Decided on name... see the irc session when we came to a decision (reverb = extropy)

The idea behind n.a.t.o.w is to continue the tradition of mindless destruction pioneered by games like scorched earth into the twenty-first century. Sure 2D was fine in the old days, but in 3D there's just more room for larger explosions! And also in the tradition of scorched earth, it's not just about blowing the crap out of your friends. The whole map is destructable, and in the future we'll make use of those annoying stray shots by giving them something to hit... houses, trees, bunnies... anything to keep the amusement high.

neutronium a.k.a Robert Ancell
Other projects by neutronium are glChess, glass (openGL Articulated Structure System), and glote (GLASS Object Three-d Editor).

hexasoft a.k.a Yannick Perret
Joined recently.

extropy a.k.a. Joel Pitt
Other projects by extropy are Biobox (an alife sim similar to soda constructor).

mtl a.k.a David Crompton
No one really nows what this guy does, and no one knows what mtl stands for either. He is also refered to as being "very lazy".
Other projects are... not likely! He's too lazy!

It's really important if you've found a bug that you tell us, otherwise chances are no-one will! Send bug reports the n.a.t.o.w development list , that way you're guranteed a reply.

Remeber open-source is a community thing, your feedback is a lot of help as it's not unknown for us to miss very large bugs!

Include in a bug report as much information as possible, like how the bug occured, if it's repeatable, and how so, what the (text) output of natow was etc. The more the better! For those unfamiliar with programming, "Segmentation fault" is a very common bug, and tells us nothing on its own, so say how you got it.

Any feedback is welcome, not just bugs. Send us your ideas/questions/comments.


If you get a really good screenshot, send it in to us!


To get n.a.t.o.w going you'll need to get four source packages. The first is the source code, you'll then need the images package, which contains the logo textures/fonts etc. You'll then need some levels, and finally some models (if you're using GLASS). Not all these files will be the same version, as the source code changes more often than the images.

About GLASS:
GLASS is by default enabled in n.a.t.o.w.

To disable GLASS, edit the file in the source code package src/Makefile, and remove the words -DUSE_GLASS and -lglass from the lines:
LIBS = -L/usr/lib -lGL -lglut -lGLU -lm -L/usr/X11R6/lib -lXi -lXmu -lglass

Get a version >1.1.2 from glass.sourceforge.net.

Once you've got the packages you need to unpack them. First unpack the source code:
$ tar xfvz natow-VERSION.tar.gz
Unpack the image files:
Note there's an error here, the images and level tarballs will unpack into their own natow-OLD_VERSION dir, so just copy the contents to the natow-VERSION dir
$ tar xfvz natow-images-VERSION.tar.gz
Unpack the level files:
$ tar xfvz natow-levels-VERSION.tar.gz
Change to the directory it makes:
$ cd natow-VERSION/
Unpack the models:
$ tar xfvz natow-models-VERSION.tar.gz
Compile the game:
$ make
And run:
$ ./natow
And that's all there is to it!

There may be a problem with n.a.t.o.w and the Voodoo3... The problem involves the images not being correctly loaded/displayed, and instead drawn as white triangles. If you have a Voodoo and/or are experiencing these problems please send what system you have and any extra info to the mailing list. If anyone knows what the problem/solution is please also contact us. Thanks.

Until we get a working version with game elements in it, we probably won't bother packing n.a.t.o.w. into an .deb/.rpm etc. If anyone wants to package it themselves then that's great, just mail us and we'll make them availiable here.

Note: there's no gurantee that the above files are the latest so it's best to check out the availiable versions from the sourceforge page, and tell us if we haven't updated this page.

Also check out our cvs tree at cvs.natow.sourceforge.net... It may be that the version in CVS is much better than the release!

To access CVS anonymously: (Once you have CVS/ssh)

$ cvs -d:pserver:anonymous@cvs.natow.sourceforge.net:/cvsroot/natow login 
$ cvs -z8 -d:pserver:anonymous@cvs.natow.sourceforge.net:/cvsroot/natow co natow

An appropriate value for YOUR_SOURCES_DIR is ~/cvs for instance.

When prompted for a password simply hit ENTER.


There's a lot of other good 3D open-source game projects out there, some of which I got ideas and code from. If you know of another good one, tell us and we'll add it here.
(descriptions done by Robert)
tuxracer A snowboarding style game with Tux racing down a mountain on his belley. Lots of work done on it, very playable. I got the landscape file loading code for n.a.t.o.w. from here. Requires hardware support
Tuxedo T Penguin - A quest for herring An openGL adventure game with you as Tux (again). The game seems to be well started, but not with elaborate levels. Requires hardware support.
glTron A simple lightcycle game from the movie Tron. Only just playable without hardware support (With all details at minimum).
Another Tron/Lightcycle game. More detailed than glTron. Multiplayer support. More playable than glTron without hardware support.
BZFlag A multiplayer tank deathmatch game. Just playable without hardware support.
Orbit A space combat game. Has a reasonable single player campaign. The first openGL program I looked at the source. Semi-playable with no hardware support (set to ultra low detail).
glChess 3D chess. One of my projects. Playable without hardware support.
Tank Hill eXtreme Another 3D scorched earth. A little ugly, but playable. Includes sound. Is easy on your 3D hardware. Written in C++.