This FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) document is maintained by Michelle A. Hoyle ( email@example.com). It is normally posted on a monthly basis to the IRC Games mailing list maintained by Eingang. Copies are also available on the Games page available at http://games.eingang.org/.
Acrophobia(TM) is a Mach and Eingang game invented by Anthony "Ace" Shubert where players are presented with an acronym between 3 to 7 letters long. Their job then is to form the funniest/most original phrase for that acronym. Like all of our other games, Acrophobia(TM) can be played day or night with people from all around the world through the magic of the Internet Relay Chat. If you do not know about the IRC and how to use is, you can consult the primer which will explain how to connect, obtain clients, and navigate around the IRC.
Acrophobia(TM) as a name and a concept is used on the WWW pages and on the various IRC networks under a licensing agreement with Berkeley Systems (1997).
The scoring and answer display are controlled by a 'bot, which is an independent C program designed to work on the IRC. All of the Acrophobia(TM) game show hosts ('bots) are named "AcroBot" or "Acro" for short.
There are three different places where you can indulge your need to play Acro. DALnet, a splinter network, offers you the chance to play Acro in what was originally a Star Trek like environment. DALnet currently hosts about 45,000 users on about 30 different servers. You can access DALnet at viking.dal.net.
The most common location is on the group of IRC machines known collectively as the EFnet. Most client software for the IRC comes with a list of EFnet server sites to which you can connect. An example of an EFnet server site is irc.bu.edu. EFnet tends to be quite crowded, lagged, and prone to netsplits.
An alternate group of machines form a network known as the Undernet. On the undernet, netsplits, hacked channel operator privileges, and such like are relatively uncommon due to the structure of the network. Your same client software for EFnet will also work wonderfully well for the Undernet. Some common Undernet sites are ca.undernet.org or us.undernet.org.
You're not sure which network you're on? A quick and easy way to tell is by using the /lusers command. If it comes and reports to you that there are over 30 000 users connected on 70+ servers then you're connected to the EFnet. If there are fewer than 30 000 but more than 15 000, you are likely on the Undernet. DALnet will report around 40000 users. To change servers, type /server machine_name, where machine_name is something like irc.ucdavis.edu or viking.dal.net.
Acrophobia(TM) is simple in concept and simple in play. AcroBot randomly generates an acronym from 3-7 letters long. With acronyms of 5 or fewer letters, players then have 90 seconds to create an expansion for that acronym and /msg their answer to AcroBot using /msg AcroBot <Answer>. With acronyms of 6 or 7 letters, players will have 2 minutes to submit an answer. On systems other than DALNet or StarLink, you must preface your answer with "acro" so that AcroBot knows you are not issuing an AcroBot command. AcroBot will acknowledge having received your answer.
Before the voting round takes place, AcroBot issues a 10-second warning to tell everyone that time is almost up for answer submission. At the conclusion of the 90-second answer submission period, AcroBot will randomise the answers and display them for voting. Each player is allowed to choose one acronym expansion submitted by another player. This is done by messaging AcroBot with the number of your choice using /msg AcroBot <Number>.
At the end of the voting period, AcroBot will tally the votes and display the answers and the votes for each answer. Scoring is variable and calculated by adding the number of votes an answer received. If the answer was the first answer to be received and the player submitting the answer has a score less than 25 points, the player is awarded an additional 2 speed points. The players with the highest tally of votes for that round receive bonus points equal to the number of letters in the round's acronym.
The following abbreviated example demonstrates a typical Acrophobia(TM) round.
<AcroBot> The current acronym for this round is: CIC -> *AcroBot* acro Chiron is Cool! *AcroBot* Your answer of "Chiron is Cool!" has been registered. <AcroBot> Ten seconds left. <AcroBot> Voting Round: Choose one of the following. (Use /msg + AcroBot <Number>) <AcroBot> 1. Crazies induce Chaos <AcroBot> 2. Coronary imminent, Candice! <AcroBot> 3. Chiron is Cool! -> *AcroBot* 2 *AcroBot* Your vote has been registered. <AcroBot> Eingang's answer of "Coronary imminent, Candice!" received + 1 vote. <AcroBot> Eingang gets 2 speed points. <AcroBot> Mach's answer of "Chiron is Cool!" received 2 votes. <AcroBot> Loser's answer of "Crazies induce Chaos" receive 0 votes. <AcroBot> Mach receives 3 bonus points.
The game is over when a player is able to score 30 or more points total. Players can start any time simply by submitting an acronym expansion. Players will lose points for submitting an acronym but not voting. Players using multiple accounts or signons to cheat are not appreciated. /msging your friends to vote for you is also discouraged.
Acrophobia(TM) on these networks is slightly different than the other networks. The basis premise of the game remains the same but the interface is slightly changed in its input and output. The following list details changes made to the AcroBot for these networks:
A number of commands can be issued by players to AcroBot. The following list of commands should be sent via a private message to AcroBot. This can be done by typing /msg AcroBot cmd, where cmd is one of the following:
* help This provides the current list of commands to which AcroBot will respond. This may be disabled due to problems with people flooding the robot with help requests.
* show acro Messages you the current acronym in play.
* show answers The bot will message you with the current answers.
* show scores Displays the current points accumulated by the players for the current game.
* show hall of fame Shows the top ten all-time Acro winners, compiled from monthly winners. (This command may be particular to DALnet/StarLink Acro)
* show hof Shows the top ten all-time Acro winners, compiled from monthly winners. (This command may be particular to DALnet/StarLink Acro)
* show top wins Will send you the list of the 10 players with the greatest number of wins during the current month.
* show top scores Will send you the list of the 10 players with the greatest number of points in a single game during the current month.
* show stats nickname Will send you a summary of a given user's number of wins and highest score.
* free channel Will remove +m, +i, +s, or +k modes in case the channel gets stuck in one of these modes.
Channel operators are users entrusted to maintain order on the channel as well as correct errors and notify the administration in the event of errors or mishaps. If you are not on the bot op list and think that you qualify, contact the appropriate game administrator.
People are granted operator status on EFnet/Undernet by Mach (firstname.lastname@example.org). For StarLink/DALnet, you need to contact Eingang (email@example.com). Usually, operator privileges are granted to people who have played the games for awhile so that their behaviour can be evaluated.
We do not find it amusing if people are constantly asking us for operator privileges for the games. Being an operator is not just a status thing, it is also a responsibility. If you just want to be an operator because you think it is cool, please do not even bother to ask. In fact, in general, operator privileges are granted automatically to people deemed capable of assuming the responsibility for managing the channel.
We cannot stress the importance of operators behaving appropriately. With so many games running, it is impossible for the game administrators to monitor all the channels all the time. As such, we rely on the operators to enforce the rules, particularly the rules regarding language and conduct on the channel. The games are designed to be family-friendly. If you are an operator or would like to be an operator, please be sure that you are also committed to this.
If you think someone is abusing their operator privileges or perhaps using them to cheat, please feel free to contact the appropriate game administrator with details of the problem.
Thousands of people have played our games, from countries all around the world, at many different times of the day and the night. In order to make sure that everyone has a good time, we have formulated the following rules which lay out guidelines for proper behaviour from all the users of our game channels. With so many games running, it is impossible to monitor all the channels all the time. Therefore, we rely on the operators to enforce the rules, particularly the rules regarding language and conduct on the channel. The games are designed to be family-friendly, which means we do have restrictions on language and content, for the comfort and enjoyment of all.
Channel operators are users entrusted to maintain order on the channel as well as to correct errors and notify the administration in the event of errors or mishaps. If you think someone is abusing their operator privileges or perhaps using them to cheat, please feel free to contact Eingang with details of the problem.
All interactions are logged and will be monitored in the event of a complaint. Please abide by the guidelines. Repeated violations of the guidelines will likely result in a global banning from all the game channels with little or no warning. Permanent channel bans for any user are the right of the game administrators.
Finally, if you have any complaints or questions about the channel guidelines, please contact one of the channel operators first and then one of the game administrators (See the game FAQs for information on contacting game administrators). We do want the games to be enjoyable for everyone.
Acrophobia(TM) was developed by the team of Mach and Eingang, based on an idea by Anthony Shubert, in 1995. Mach was a Ph.D. student in computer science at the University of California at Davis. He is now working for Intel in Portland, Oregon. Eingang is a Ph.D. student in computer science at the University of Sussex, in Brighton, England. Mach and Eingang also combined to produce some other IRC games such as Chaos, Risky Business, and Boggle.
More information can be obtained from their home pages. Mach's home page is located at http://members.xoom.com/Mach/. More information about Eingang can be found at http://www.eingang.org/.
Mach's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Eingang's e-mail address is email@example.com.
In addition to the IRC Games Information Server (http://games.eingang.org/), a number of other support groups and areas are available for Acro players and people interested in IRC Games.
Eingang moderates an on-topic mailing list devoted to the games on her networks. Announcements of upcoming tournaments, machine problems, game upgrades, new games, etc. are sent to this list. To subscribe to the mailing list, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with "SUBSCRIBE IRCGAMES your_email@address" as the subject of the message. To unsubscribe, send an e-mail to email@example.com with "UNSUBSCRIBE IRCGAMES your_email@address" as the subject of the message. Or use our online form.
Gigi44^ has slaved over her editor and her paint programs to bring the DALnet and StarLink game players the "Ein-Gang Pages", in which you can find pictures and short paragraphs about all your favourite players. The page is located at http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Realm/1936/.
Sker has provided us with a bang-up script to help make your game playing easier when you're using a UNIX-based IRCii client. This script simplifies play on #riskybus (and variants), #acro, #chaos, and #boggle! Check it out at http://members.xoom.com/skerzone/game4irc.html!
Jess and the Bartles have brought you the Acro song. You can check it out at http://members.xoom.com/Mach/textfiles/acrosong.
For Windows users, check out Dwight Duensing's IRC Game Machine (IGM), which provides an interface to all of our games. (His WWW page seems to be missing so the latest version here in .zip file format is stored here at http://www.eingang.org/ Games/Information/igm.zip.)
If you have a page or resource that should be added here, contact Eingang!