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-   -   Blitzkrieg Banzai? (SP1 Conversion) (http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/showthread.php?t=50700)

MarkSheppard April 12th, 2020 12:01 PM

Re: Blitzkrieg Banzai? (SP1 Conversion)
 
So I think I've figured out what happened with the differing file formats in SP2; after trying to convert a SP2 map in WW2Map -- it gave me an error: "This is not a SP2 version 1.1...file!"

I think now with that, plus some looking in at the SP2 patch history for version 1.1:

PBEM games can now be saved to any open save slot. With this change, the old "E-Mail" folder becomes no longer available from the save menu. A result of the change to the PBEM function is that the "Player Preferences On/Off" switch no longer appears on the preferences screen. Preset player and realism preferences are now automatically locked in when the user selects to play in two player mode, as in STEEL PANTHERS III: Brigade Command.

I think they switched PBEM compression on to everything as a stock function, due to the popularity of PBEM.

Karagin April 12th, 2020 10:48 PM

Re: Blitzkrieg Banzai? (SP1 Conversion)
 
I am giving this scenario a run now. I recall the original, it was fun, well right up to the point of your air-support coming in and NOT hitting anything you selected for it. :smirk:

So far what I have seen, playing as the Germans, is that I have taken the upper VP in the village from the Japanese, who took but didn't leave anything but one tank and one Halftrack to guard it.

The bottom VP village is under contestation and the infantry of both sides is slugging it out in that area.

Overall it's been fun and I am enjoying the contrast of forces.

One thing I do find to be a pain is the game asking if I really want to take my tanks up a hillside of rough terrain that has a road on it. No Karl, I really don't want to, I would rather they fly to where I want or need them, but since they can't...

scorpio_rocks April 13th, 2020 05:50 AM

Re: Blitzkrieg Banzai? (SP1 Conversion)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Karagin (Post 847226)
One thing I do find to be a pain is the game asking if I really want to take my tanks up a hillside of rough terrain that has a road on it. No Karl, I really don't want to, I would rather they fly to where I want or need them, but since they can't...


This "issue" was fixed in the 2018 Version 11 patch - are you sure you are using latest version?

MarkSheppard April 13th, 2020 09:32 AM

Re: Blitzkrieg Banzai? (SP1 Conversion)
 
When SP2 originally shipped, it came with two sets of RAM recommendations:

8 MB of RAM (16 MB for PBEM replay)

The minimum RAM needed was about 6~ MB.

Additionally, they had special unique email-only save slots:

Regular save games got saved in \STEEL2\SAVE\
PBEM save games got saved in \STEEL2\EMAIL\

When SP2 was patched to version 1.1; they removed the "save email games only in special slots" requirement, and made all save game slots email useable.

Also, what I think they did (as an undocumented feature); was they introduced PBEM savegame compression in v1.1 as a result of feedback from PBEM players asking them to please do something about file sizes!

1996/1997 have been so long ago, a lot of us have forgotten modem speed limitations.

But back then at 14.4 kbit/s:

690 kb = 7~ minute download/upload time.
190 kb = 2~ minute download/upload time.

Additionally, AOL (remember them?) and others used to charge by the HOUR of connected time.

Because the SSI programmers were lazy, when they made all save game slots email compatible; they also by default made save game compression the new defacto standard.

The compression routines might been "backported" from the SP3 codebase, which was actively being developed at the time; and some SP3 stuff was actually put in SP2 v1.1 per the README:

The patch automatically provides the user with enhanced infantry and artillery routines much like those used in SSI's new Steel Panthers III: Brigade Command, which, without compromising any of the playability of Steel II, allow a more effective role to both.

Unfortunately for programmers like me, the capability of SP2 v1.1 to read both compressed and uncompressed SP2 save game files meant that SP2 scenario/save files can be of two types (Compressed/Uncompressed) because in pre-internet days, not everyone patched/updated to the latest game; so you had a frankensteined scenario collection, some being compressed, some being uncompressed.

Fred Chlanda's WW2Map.exe only can take SP2 v1.1 compressed files for input; so in order to convert a SP2 map to SPCAMO for use in SPMBT, it has to either be in 1.1 format or converted before hand. Otherwise, Fred's program throws: "NOT A VALID SP2 v1.1 or SPWW2 FILE!"

So I'm looking at having to make a map converter so people don't need to run SP2 v1.1 in DOSBOX to get a map converted over...

Karagin April 13th, 2020 06:24 PM

Re: Blitzkrieg Banzai? (SP1 Conversion)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by scorpio_rocks (Post 847229)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Karagin (Post 847226)
One thing I do find to be a pain is the game asking if I really want to take my tanks up a hillside of rough terrain that has a road on it. No Karl, I really don't want to, I would rather they fly to where I want or need them, but since they can't...


This "issue" was fixed in the 2018 Version 11 patch - are you sure you are using latest version?

I just bought the game, last week since I couldn't get my older version to work with WIN10, so I would think that the lastest patch would be with the full CD version yes?

DRG April 13th, 2020 06:45 PM

Re: Blitzkrieg Banzai? (SP1 Conversion)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Karagin (Post 847238)


I just bought the game, last week since I couldn't get my older version to work with WIN10, so I would think that the lastest patch would be with the full CD version yes?

NO it will not....... you need to patch any game bought they are not automatically updated. Start your game and look on the bottom of the page that appears and will probably be winSPWW2v10-CD...... if you just got it, it won't be V13 which is the update we release at the beginning of the month and that updates any game from Version 9 and up to Version 13

Go here http://www.shrapnelgames.com/Camo_Wo.../WW2_page.html

and DL the winSPWW2 V13 Upgrade (2020) patch. If you installed the game into the recommended directory the patch will go there too but if you put it someplace else the patch needs to go into the same place

There are three patches that update the game right from the first windows version to the most current. You need to check which version you have then apply the patch that falls within that range. In your case because you just bought it the link I provided to the 2020 patch should do it and when you install it you will find you suddenly have twice as many scenarios and a lot of updated graphics and added zoom in levels

MarkSheppard April 17th, 2020 09:44 AM

Re: Blitzkrieg Banzai? (SP1 Conversion)
 
Finally cracked (I think) the leader assignment code in SP1.

Now we have nice pretty lists of:

Code:

Sergeant Skulsky        A0: SO SMG Sqd
Major Boychuk        A Formation Leader

EDIT: Cracked P2 assignment.

Code:

Sergeant Okano        A0: JA Infantry Sq        95        76        21        24
Major Yura        A Formation Leader        69        67        60        68
Sergeant Yojimbo        B0: JA Infantry Sq        85        79        28        25
Sergeant Koyama        B1: JA Infantry Sq        54        65        20        15
Sergeant Tanaka        B2: JA Infantry Sq        39        74        33        18
Sergeant Onishi        B3: JA Infantry Sq        64        71        25        17

God, SP1 had so many "unique" situations. :sick:

MarkSheppard April 17th, 2020 12:13 PM

Re: Blitzkrieg Banzai? (SP1 Conversion)
 
Fixed formation numbering code for SP2 dump:

Code:

Side        UnitNum        FormID        UnitName        MapLoc        Altitude        Status        Speed        XLOC        YLOC        Facing1        Facing2        Exp        Morale
P1        1        A0        Leopard 1A6                Ground/Landed        Ready        0        1        53        0        0        70        50
P2        2        A0        GDR KG HQ                Ground/Landed        Ready        0        26        39        135        135        85        83


MarkSheppard April 17th, 2020 02:37 PM

Re: Blitzkrieg Banzai? (SP1 Conversion)
 
One of the things I'm probably gonna have to do is a translation appendix.

What for?

Well, SP2 was written in the mid 1990s; when fragmentary information was only coming out of the ex-Soviet Union, we knew some information about their stuff, but for the most part it was still the wild west, and such SSI's MOB designers stuck with "known" NATO/ASCC designations:

Example in SP2 encyclopedia:

Mi-24 Hind-A
Mi-24 Hind-E
Mi-24 Hind-D

SPCAMO's OOB has taken advantage of two decades of free exchange of information, to the point that we now know; per Wiki:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...Mi-24_variants

In SP2
Mi-24 Hind-A --> Mi-24A
Mi-24 Hind-E --> Mi-24V
Mi-24 Hind-D ---> Mi-24D

Not in SP2
Mi-24 Hind-F ---> Mi-24P

MarkSheppard April 18th, 2020 01:25 AM

Re: Blitzkrieg Banzai? (SP1 Conversion)
 
So I just figured out and debugged semi-automated CSV editing of SPCAMO DAT files.

Apparently compressed DAT files as handled by the game, allow for one section out of the ordinary to be uncompressed; I guess maybe for debug reasons?

If you try to load more than one uncompressed section out of the ordinary, the game throws an error.

EDIT: Now that I think about it, this is possibly an anti-cheat feature to prevent unscrupulous players from scum-hacking their save games in PBEMs or tournament play; because game data is spread across multiple sections.

So the trick is to load one section at a time and resave each time:

Load/Edit Section 34 (Save as Scenario 998)
load Scenario 998 in SPCAMO engine and resave, copy over

load/edit section 37 (Save as Scenario 997)
load Scenario 997 in SPCAMO engine and resave, copy over

load/edit section 1 (Save as Scenario 996)
load Scenario 996 in SPCAMO engine and resave, copy over

load/edit section 1 (Save as Scenario 995)
load Scenario 995 in SPCAMO engine and resave.

it sounds complicated but isn't that hard-ish in Windows to do.

It's a lot less work and less complicated than hunt-and pecking for the X/Y coordinates of say, 100 units on a spreadsheet or on a printed sheet of paper.


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