How to play Acorn

This is a basic guide on how to play Acorn using uclient.

When uclient starts, you should see a menu like this:

Uclient screenshot

To connect to the server, click on the Connect button, and you will be offered a list of running servers. Click on one of them to connect, or click on the Specify Host button to pick a server you know. There is no need to register to access a server, you simply enter a username and password, and create a new account. If you are revisiting a server, use the login button. Once you are logged in, you can create a new character, or if you have played on this server before then you can create a new one. Pick a name for you character, and use Change Gender button to chose whether your character is male or female.

This screenshot shows uclient shortly after a player has joined the game. The main viewport currently shows the market place in agrilan, which is near where all characters start. The area to the right shows what the character currently has in her backpack, and the main area at the bottom shows up any speech that happens in the world.

Uclient screenshot

Roxie

You should now see your character standing somewhere near the middle of the screen. There will be a delay now is the client loads information from the server about all the objects in the game, and loads all the graphics it needs to display them. Once this has finished you should be able to move about. The cursor keys control your character. Up makes her start moving or speed up, Left and Right make her turn, and Down makes her slow down or stop. You can also move your character to a specific location on the screen by right clicking on that location. The screen shows the world using an isometric view which means that North is to the top left of the screen. To get to the village market place head West, which is down and to the left.

Map button

You can get a map of the whole game are at any time by pressing the map button shown above. The area you are currently able to view on the main screen will show up as a blue rectangle on the map. Animals and other players will show up as red dots, and static objects will show up as blue dots. The market place is the grey patterned area below and to the left of the centre of the map. Most of the woodland is to the South (bottom right), and the lake is to the North.

Map of agrilan Backpack

The area to the right of the screen shows the items your character is carrying in her backpack. You can pick something up by using CTRL-leftclick. An entry should then appear in your backpack to show you have picked it up. You can only pick something up if it weighs less than you. This will include small pigs and acorns, but not large pigs. To find out how much a pig weighs, SHIFT-leftclick on it. Information including the pig's weight should appear in the text area. To drop something from your backpack, simply click on it.

Inventory button

The backpack view only shows a subset of what you are carrying. For a complete browsable list, click on the inventory button shown above.

Pig Seller

The best thing to do at this stage in the game is to buy a pig. Go over to the pig seller and ask for a pig. You can speak by typing what you want to say into the strip a the bottom of the text area, and then pressing return. To buy a pig say "I would like to buy a pig". If the pig seller has any left, he will tell you how much a pig costs. The normal price is 5 coins. If you return to the area where your character first appeared, you may find some coins on the ground. If not then they must have all been taken by other players. If you can't find any money here then you will have to find other ways of getting some, or steal a pig from someone else. If you can find 5 coins, take them and give them to the pig merchant by clicking on the coins in your inventory, selecting give, moving the slider to select 5 coins, and then clicking on the merchant. He should then place a pig into your inventory. If you wish you can carry your piglet to wherever you want to take it, but the market place should be a nice safe area to learn how to control your pig. Drop the pig by clicking on its entry in your backpack, selecting Give, and then clicking on the ground. You can get the pig to stop to at any time by calling "Sowee", the traditional pig farmer's call. Beware however. If any other pigs hear your call, they will also stop, and this will anger other pig farmers in the area, and you may be accused of the heinous crime of pig theft. A more direct way to control your pig is by prodding it to make it move. To prod the pig, click on it, and it will grunt and start to move away from you. You can keep doing this until you get the pig to where you want it to be. To stop it, call "Sowee" as described above. Once you get the pig to an oak tree, it will spot the acorns on the ground, and immediatly start to eat.

Most of the oak trees on the map can be found to the South and South West of the map. Take your pig to one so it can feed. Make sure you keep your pig in sight at all times. There are pig nappers all around, and other more dangerous predators. You can encourage an oak tree to drop more acorns by prodding its trunk, but you can only do this a few times before all the loose acorns will have fallen. Piglets can't eat too much all at once, so don't be concerned if your pig stops eating for a while. He is just digesting. Before long your pig should start to put on weight. You can tell how much a pig weighs by holding down and clicking on the pig.

Once the pig has put on some weight, you can take it back to the village and sell it. The butcher is standing by his stall full of fresh meat. To sell the pig, click on the pig in your inventory, and select "Sell". If the butcher can afford to buy the pig from you, he will give you the money. The butcher can't remove things from your backpack, so you should now drop the pig, so he can proceed. You can't make an omelette without breaking eggs, and the butcher can't make ham without killing pigs. The butcher will now kill the pig, and cut it up into hams. You can buy hams from the butcher in the same way as you would buy a pig from the merchant, and you can use these hams to distract a wolf and prevent it from attacking your pigs, should it come near. At this time of year, the oak grove near the village is busy with pig farmers, and wolves do not dare come too near, but there are wolves around, and as winter sets in, they will become more and more hungry and bold.

Acorn is currently development in progress, and many of the hazards of pig farming are not yet implemented. Game performance also needs to be improved, and lots of artwork is needed to make the game complete. If you think you can help out in any of these areas, or are more interested in the more advanced games WorldForge has planned for the future, please look at the "Join Us!" link on the front page of our website at http://www.worldforge.org/

Thank you for playing Acorn