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-   -   PBEM - Where is New Button or Scenario List (http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/showthread.php?t=32342)

Bill_Peters December 14th, 2006 01:28 PM

PBEM - Where is New Button or Scenario List
I am trying to start up a PBEM game but after following the instructions I feel that something is missing from the 1.5 version of the game.

There is no NEW option. When I click on Load PBEM as per the manual it takes me to a file selection screen.

I dont have a clue what file to load. I see a bunch of .cst files as I browse through the list but nothing that gives me any indication whether I am fighting a full battle or 1 on 1 action.

I have a friend of mine that is buying the game on my advice. I would like to know how to load a PBEM game before his copy arrives.

Strider December 14th, 2006 09:03 PM

Re: PBEM - Where is New Button or Scenario List
You go through the battle listing as you do per single player. When you get to the one you want, you choose the button at the bottom that says "Start As PBEM".

You'll need to provide a unique file name for your battles. If you haven't done much PBEM turns, the most common format is


where the 001 number is incremented by each player when they save each turn they complete, so you guys can keep track of which file to load for which PBEM game.
You hit the spacebar, when you've finished your turn, and the window for file names will appear. I usually just click on the last file name for the PBEM game, then change the number, and then save it.

Whoever starts the game, will play the side that is normally available when you start it as a single player, so if 'you' want to play the other side, you need to have the other player start the game.

Oh yeah...to load a PBEM game file, you have to scroll to the end of the battle listings to get the button "Load PBEM"...

Bill_Peters December 14th, 2006 09:56 PM

Re: PBEM - Where is New Button or Scenario List
Great. Thanks for the instructions. You might want to read page 53 of your printed manual. Its incorrect. Do you have a PDF version of the manual available?

Bill_Peters December 14th, 2006 10:11 PM

Re: PBEM - Where is New Button or Scenario List
Ok - just went to go do all of this ... I can open a scenario just fine but if I save it and then go back in to re-open the file the name I gave it does not appear.

It has a .cst extension but the name of the file does not show up.

Sorry but this game has one of the hardest interfaces to learn. For something as simple as loading up files its much more complicated than it should be.

Default locations for file saves are in odd locations. The first time I went to save a solo game the path was my desktop where the file was going to be saved!

I am patient though. Please help me along further. Why is the filename I chose not showing up when I try to load up a PBEM game?

FYI - I am a Scenario Designer for John Tiller/HPS as well as a former IT Tech guy. Computers are NOT foreign to me or game interfaces. I have played over 1000 PBEM games (at least) in all sorts of computer games.

Strider December 15th, 2006 12:40 AM

Re: PBEM - Where is New Button or Scenario List
Andrew would be the one better to explain what's happening, so until he does, I'll guess http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/images/smilies/wink.gif
To me, it seems he's using the default Windows scheme. I'm playing both CMAK and CMBB PBEM games, along with one Salvo PBEM, so I'm used to manually switching between folders to get to my files. I'm using XP. It defaults to the last folder I've accessed for all three game types, instead of the one that would be specific for the PBEM file associated with it. In both CM and Salvo, I choose the PBEM folders that each game directory creates. It's just as easy to create a 'central' folder for all PBEM game types, but I've just grown used to changing to where I need for each game. I know some of my programs, whether games or 'work', do default to their specific folders, so I'm guessing it's an API thing that the programmer would have to be able to add into their code, if the complier they use, permits it. I'm a Network Admin for a Jr. college, and even M$ Office products do weird default saving locations. There's the one (I can't remember now what it calls itself) that if you use it, you lose it...sort of. I deal with that user problem a great deal. That's why I think Salvo is using the basic Windows 'last location' scheme.

One bug that Andrew was never able to replicate on his systems was that when you save a file, the .txt extension is tacked onto the end of the file, along with the .cst extension. That's whats happening with the guy's files I'm playing against when I receive them. I have to strip off the .txt extension when I save it, or use Explorer to get to the folder and rename the file. I solved the problem for my system by going into Control Panel | File Options | File Types and associating the .cst extension with CST File. If you don't strip off the .txt, the game won't "see" the file. Not sure if this applies to your problem, since you seem to be seeing the file name somewhere, if you're seeing it has the .cst extension...hmmm, do you have the 'known file extension' option set to not show files with known extensions? You might be seeing the file with the .cst extension, but since .txt is "known", that part of the name might not be showing up...

I can't think of anything else I did. I've done a quick test, and chosen a battle for PBEM play, saved it, and then back to loading it. It's working ok for me. And since the Salve PBEM folder is the last one I've accessed, it's defaulting to it. True, the interface is designed differently, and I suppose I'm just used to it because of beta testing.
The guy I'm currently playing, we're on our second battle. I'll hit him up about his expirence with first dealing with the interface, but he has never commented about it.

Something to bear in mind, is that Andrew is very much open to suggestions. He is currently compling his next 'list' for a patch. Sound off, and he will be listening to you http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/images/smilies/happy.gif

PDF manual : That's an Andrew/Shrapnel question....

Bill_Peters December 15th, 2006 01:41 AM

Re: PBEM - Where is New Button or Scenario List
I will check on the .txt file extension. Thanks.

Andrew Lonon December 15th, 2006 11:43 PM

Re: PBEM - Where is New Button or Scenario List

I think Strider has done an excellent job covering this issue as far as what you need to do to get things going. I hope that the *.txt thing is the problem in this case – if not, please remain as amazingly patient as you have been and let us work with you.

Now – Why Salvo! works this way is something that I can add that may (at least) help explain the situation - FWIW. The essential kink in the system is that the GUI hooks for the FileIO system in the development package do not let you {me the programmer} specify a default location, at least not as far as I know - and I have looked. However, the FileIO code does remember the last directory path, so it is just the first Open and Save that will be pointing to your documents folder – or something like that. The first time you ‘Open’ or ‘Save Special’ a Salvo battle the OS GUI browser will be out of whack, but subsequent accesses should remember the selected location. (Unless, as I think happens for Strider, other games or Apps cause the default path to be set to a different location.)

“Do you have a PDF version of the manual available?” & “PDF manual : That's an Andrew/Shrapnel question....”

No. Including a PDF Manual was strictly forbidden by Shrapnel Games. This is a policy intended to make software piracy harder and to add value to the Shrapnel product.

Bill_Peters December 16th, 2006 04:29 PM

Re: PBEM - Where is New Button or Scenario List
The last location is always where one of the Salvo game or editor last looked.

So if you play a game against the AI then its the Saved folder. If its a PBEM game then the PBEM folder and if a Generator file then its in that folder.

Check around the programming community. I am guessing that someone could get it to where you could have the Generator always default to its own folder and the same for Saved games and PBEM.

A HELP file is included in alot of games nowadays. It makes it easier to learn the game as you can SEARCH for key phrases.

Forget about pirating ... your game doesnt require a CD. All I would have to do is install it on as many PCs as I like.

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