Alizarin Tetris: Frequently Asked Questions

All of the questions listed here were submitted by atris users. For more information, see the main atris page or the on-line HTML manual.

Q: Why does my screen saver run extremely slowly while atris is running?
A: Atris contains a number of CPU-intensive computations. When the game is waiting for your input, it typically renders a random flaming background: this can dramatically limit the number of CPU slices given to the screen-saver. Similarly, if you have two AI players playing against each other, their lookahead-based strategies can be a drain on computing resources. Possible solutions:

Q: Why am I having so much trouble controlling the pieces?
A: Atris version 1.0.5 introduced the ability to change the keyboard repeat rate. If you find that the pieces move or rotate too quickly for you, consider changing the setting from within the "Special Options" menu. Let us know if you have any other playability problems.

Q: Why is the speed at which pieces fall when they are no longer under a player's control so slow?
A: Atris versions 1.0.1 and below mistakenly tied the speed of such pieces to the difficulty level, resulting in a "slow-motion" effect for falling pieces at low levels of difficulty. Atris versions 1.0.2 and below had a bug in the routine that draws falling pieces, causing it to update overly large portions of the screen for extra bonus slowness. Beyond that, things can get slow if a large number of pieces are falling at the same time. Let us know if you continue to notice this problem.

Q: Every once in a while when there are two players one of the screens fills up with junk for a bit. What gives?
A: What you are seeing is the multiplayer interference aspect of Atris. Basically, player A is seeing the "junk" because player B has done particularly well by clearing a large number of rows at the same time.

Q: Sometimes the player seems to die before the garbage has reached the top of the board. Why are you so unfair?
A: A player dies or "tops out" when the next piece cannot be placed at the top-center of the board at any rotation. So even if you have plenty of free space on the left and right edges of the board, you will die if you clog up the center all the way to the top.

Q: Why doesn't the screen flip around in Atris?
A: Perhaps you are confusing Atris with a similar game :-). We have future plans for a "screen rotation" variant on the multiplayer interference aspect of Atris. As it currently stands, however, there is no such feature.

Q: How can I make Atris look like this other tetris game I'm thinking of?:
A: You might want to try turning the "Double Difficulty", "Long Settle Delay" and "Upward Rotation" Special Options on and the "Power Pieces" Special Option off.

Kiri Wagstaff and Westley Weimer
Last modified: Fri Nov 10 09:16:08 PST 2000