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Knowledge Base - Migrating HTTR Scenarios to COTA

 
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Knowledge Base - Migrating HTTR Scenarios to COTA - 7/3/2006 11:15:58 PM   
MarkShot


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Dave,

Could you please sticky this. Thanks.

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RE: Knowledge Base - Migrating HTTR Scenarios to COTA - 7/3/2006 11:57:13 PM   
MarkShot


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Guys,

Let's collect what you have learned about migrating HTTR scenarios to COTA in this thread here so that there can be a single point of reference.

Also, where we have multiple people working on migrating maps and scenarios, perhaps everyone can sign-in here so that duplication of effort (like map conversion) can be avoided and that efforts can be coordinated.

Me I know nothing about map/scenario design, but time permitting I am willing to test the fruits of your labors. :)

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RE: Knowledge Base - Migrating HTTR Scenarios to COTA - 7/4/2006 3:17:01 AM   
Paul Roberts

 

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Great idea for a thread!

I definitely think people should "sign up" for the major conversions (the historical scenarios, for instance).

Also, once someone has (painstakingly) entered a large HTTR OOB into COTA, it should probably be made available to others for cutting and pasting smaller bits.

I'm willing to do my bit as soon as I get back from vacation.

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RE: Knowledge Base - Migrating HTTR Scenarios to COTA - 7/5/2006 6:54:24 PM   
simovitch


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Due to the time commitment involved in updating these old scenarios, I feel that one topic of discussion should be whether or not the community should wait for the updated West Front estabs to come out.

At least those who are choosing to update the HttR scenarios should know if it is intended to bring forward newer, better, and more compatible estabs with the next West Front release. It would be a shame to have a bunch of obsolete "updated" HttR scenarios .

just my $0.02

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RE: Knowledge Base - Migrating HTTR Scenarios to COTA - 7/12/2006 4:02:26 AM   
Paul Roberts

 

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OK, I'm about to start trying my hand at migrating the Arnhem Historical Scenario over to COTA. I've worked with the (HTTR) scenario editor before, but I've never done anything with maps--I also used a stock map.

Could someone get me started by walking me through the process of porting and preparing an HTTR map (Arnhem) for work in COTA?

Thanks!

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RE: Knowledge Base - Migrating HTTR Scenarios to COTA - 7/12/2006 5:59:18 AM   
The Plodder


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Dunno about the maps but here's a couple of things I've noticed as I had a little play at converting the same Arnhem campaign:

1. When adding the forces in COTA-SM, it's not necessary to name them, just follow the exact organisational structure.You can then export both the HTTR and COTA forces to excel,change the HTTR ObjId's to the COTA ones (by cut and pasting),and then import the changed HTTR force list back into the COTA-SM.If you got the force structure right it should overwrite the untitled units with their names and attributes.

Unfortunately you'll still have to manually enter a units estab and bio's.

2.I've found that it's not been necessary to adjust the Strength at all,in fact it's better if you don't open it as the COTA-SM doesn't like zero values in the Qty column,yet the HTTR estabs have some zero values. For example: Irish Guards Group HQ has 0 Firefly(interestingly enough has ammo for it though)and if you hit OK it will give an error message.But if you dont open the Strength tab you wont get an error message when you hit OK.

There is a workaround if you do get the error message though,just change the 0 value to a 1 and hit OK,for some reason the value is not saved and if you opened the strength tab again the value will be 0 again.

(Edit: found out it's to do with the % of Estab value in the summary,some of the HTTR units are at half-strength so of course they'll have some zero-values,lol )

I can see now how laska2k4 said it was a big job.It is.





< Message edited by The Plodder -- 7/12/2006 7:20:03 AM >


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RE: Knowledge Base - Migrating HTTR Scenarios to COTA - 7/14/2006 5:27:01 AM   
Paul Roberts

 

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So... I've been studying up and see that it is indeed possible to migrate OOBs from HTTR to COTA.

Now, though, I have a more basic problem. I can't seem to open most of the maps from HTTR in the COTA map maker. "Son" works fine, but "Arnhem" and others (I haven't tried them all) don't open--the program hangs and I have to kill it manually.

I know that it's possible to use these maps, because others have done it. But how?

Thanks for any advice!

(in reply to The Plodder)
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RE: Knowledge Base - Migrating HTTR Scenarios to COTA - 7/25/2006 4:31:18 PM   
Paul Roberts

 

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Progress Report and Plea:

I've put some time into converting the Arnhem Historical Campaign into COTA, but progress is slow. The map is ready, and (with thanks to The Plodder for his work, which I borrowed!) the OOB is entered into the scenario editor. I have also altered the map textures so that (for this scenario) the colors are precisely those of HTTR rather than the Mediterranean theme of COTA.

However, here's the slow part: although the OOB is in place, each and every unit must have its unit type (from the Estab) entered manually. This is a process of selecting the original unit in HTTR to check its type, then clicking to open the unit in COTA, go to the Estab menu, select its type, drag it to the unit box, set the strength (since the default 0 is unacceptable to the program), and then closing the unit. This is a minimum of eight very precise mouse clicks for each unit.

This must be done for each and every one of the several hundred units in the scenario. If it is to be done, it will take forever, and that's just for Arnhem. The same will need to be done to convert Nijmegen and Eindhoven, since their OOBs are substantially different. I think converting one scenario alone will take a dozen very tedious hours.

Now my plea: the one thing that would be a godsend in this process would be the ability to cut and paste unit types in Excel. Right now the unit type is not represented in the Excel export from HTTR scenarios that can then be imported into COTA--this is why they must all be picked by hand from the Estab editor. Is it possible (or can it be made possible) to access the numbers that are associated with unit type so that we can use Excel cutting and pasting to carry the unit type over?

This is *not* a matter of translating or converting the HTTR Estab file into the numbers used by the COTA Estab file. Remember that these converted scenarios use the HTTR Estab itself, which is thankfully readable in the COTA scenario editor. The problem is just that the HTTR scenario Excel dumps don't include the unit type. I wonder if it's possible to crack open the HTTR scenarios so that their unit type numbers (or whatever is used) can be easily pasting into a COTA scenario Excel import. But I know nothing of these things.

Any advice or help is appreciated...

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RE: Knowledge Base - Migrating HTTR Scenarios to COTA - 7/25/2006 4:57:21 PM   
Robin le guetteur


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Concerning the map for Arnhem, I saw while working on my CoTA mods that no polders tiles where present on the graphic source files of CoTA. Have you got some infos about that ?

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RE: Knowledge Base - Migrating HTTR Scenarios to COTA - 7/25/2006 6:13:30 PM   
Bil H


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Paul Roberts

I've put some time into converting the Arnhem Historical Campaign into COTA, but progress is slow. The map is ready, and (with thanks to The Plodder for his work, which I borrowed!) the OOB is entered into the scenario editor. I have also altered the map textures so that (for this scenario) the colors are precisely those of HTTR rather than the Mediterranean theme of COTA.

However, here's the slow part: although the OOB is in place, each and every unit must have its unit type (from the Estab) entered manually. This is a process of selecting the original unit in HTTR to check its type, then clicking to open the unit in COTA, go to the Estab menu, select its type, drag it to the unit box, set the strength (since the default 0 is unacceptable to the program), and then closing the unit. This is a minimum of eight very precise mouse clicks for each unit.


Paul, are you talking about the % of Estab in the SM?

Bil

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RE: Knowledge Base - Migrating HTTR Scenarios to COTA - 7/25/2006 6:16:50 PM   
blairfw

 

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Paul,  I have gotten to the point of testing a HTTR Estabs based scenario (not all reinforcements are complete) but I can't get it to start the scenario.   I get an uninformative crash.   I have got to the point where it loads without complaint.   It used to complain but the messages were informative,  but now that I got it to load, when I try to actually run the loaded scenario -- crash.   Have tried a small test?  I would like to test if the old Estab bases will:  1- simply cause a crash, 2- give some partial resupply, 3- work just fine.   Are you able to make a small test? 

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RE: Knowledge Base - Migrating HTTR Scenarios to COTA - 7/25/2006 10:31:24 PM   
Paul Roberts

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Bil H

Paul, are you talking about the % of Estab in the SM?

Bil



Hi Bil,

No, it's not that--that can be cut and pasted in Excel. It's the unit type itself. Thus, when you import an HTTR scenario into the COTA editor (which requires having a blank OOB of the same exact structure already in place, by the way), the unit name and other stats will be present, but not what Estab element the unit actually *is*. In other words, you must manually set each unit as an Infantry Company, AT platoon, Battalion Tac HQ, etc. etc. etc.




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RE: Knowledge Base - Migrating HTTR Scenarios to COTA - 7/25/2006 10:35:30 PM   
Paul Roberts

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Robin le guetteur

Concerning the map for Arnhem, I saw while working on my CoTA mods that no polders tiles where present on the graphic source files of CoTA. Have you got some infos about that ?


Polder is present in any HTTR map opened in COTA, but the graphics look funky. (It's only a cosmetic matter; the terrain itself will be there.) This is because the COTA map tile graphics don't use the same structure as HTTR--there are some different terrain types present, so you have to edit the "MapPat" and "MapPatA" files.

I have done this. It took a little trial and error, but I have it working now. In fact, I'll try to send the files to somewhere you can download them.


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RE: Knowledge Base - Migrating HTTR Scenarios to COTA - 7/25/2006 10:36:11 PM   
Paul Roberts

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: blairfw

Paul, I have gotten to the point of testing a HTTR Estabs based scenario (not all reinforcements are complete) but I can't get it to start the scenario. I get an uninformative crash. I have got to the point where it loads without complaint. It used to complain but the messages were informative, but now that I got it to load, when I try to actually run the loaded scenario -- crash. Have tried a small test? I would like to test if the old Estab bases will: 1- simply cause a crash, 2- give some partial resupply, 3- work just fine. Are you able to make a small test?


I thought I ran a small test. I'll try it and get back to you, but it may be a few days.

[edit:]

Oh oh. I just made a small scenario pitting a German regiment vs. a British brigade on the Arnhem map (using the HTTR estab). There was no cutting and pasting; I did it all from scratch. I double-checked all my steps, and I was careful, but the scenario crashes after the "Please Wait, Scenario Loading" phase.

I can send it to anyone who wants to look at it. I would have sworn I did this before with an even smaller scenario and it worked. Hm.


< Message edited by Paul Roberts -- 7/25/2006 11:52:11 PM >

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RE: Knowledge Base - Migrating HTTR Scenarios to COTA - 7/26/2006 5:02:39 AM   
Arjuna


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Paul,

While I wish you well we dare not get distracted by this. We are currently trying to put a patch out for COTA and we are already under the gun to get BFTB out by Xmas. So I will not be able to help you on this I'm afraid.

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RE: Knowledge Base - Migrating HTTR Scenarios to COTA - 7/26/2006 5:09:45 AM   
Paul Roberts

 

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Arjuna,

I understand completely, and there certainly isn't a need to delay any other Panther projects for this one.

Still, if someone figured out how to open (hex editing, perhaps?) the HTTR scenario files for their Estab values, it would make porting those good old Market Garden battles very easy.

Thanks.

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RE: Knowledge Base - Migrating HTTR Scenarios to COTA - 7/26/2006 6:00:39 PM   
blairfw

 

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Paul, Belay my previous question - enjoy your vacation.
I have a HTTR Estab and map based test scenario, loading and running and can now make tests. A small test that Bases would resupply under the COTA Engine seemed to work. By testing different unit types in Lilliputian steps, I found that Engineer units (but not Bridge columns), on map or in reinforcements, caused a crash at scenario start. Still testing different unit types, but if Eng are the only problem - could probably just change them to Inf. Bridges would go up a bit slower. Might even hope that future COTA patches might fix the problem. BFTB by Xmas! I know that one

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RE: Knowledge Base - Migrating HTTR Scenarios to COTA - 7/27/2006 3:59:59 AM   
Arjuna


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RE: Knowledge Base - Migrating HTTR Scenarios to COTA - 8/4/2006 1:56:00 AM   
blairfw

 

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Let me summarize my attempts to bring my custom map and scenario from HTTR to COTA.   

Conversion of my custom map of the northern sector of MG worked, after several self aborts because I thought the program was hung up.  In the end it was less tedious than the other phases.   Remaking the OOB proved very tedious.  The ENG units had to be made NoShows or an uniformative CTD occurred on the attempt to select it for loading but strangely that was the only unit type that seemed to do it.  Having a duplicate unit also cause CTD when starting.  But, absent ENG, I did get my entire OOB and reinforcement schedule to start and run for awhile before CTD.  Tests with limited troops seem to run for quite a long time and proved that the resupply was functioning, with HTTR bases unchanged. 
I think that anything that is ill-formed, unsupported or otherwise in error should result in a informative error message and not a CTD.  Also, programs should not go into a long unresponsive state with warning and preferrably with a progress indicator. Thats just good programming practice, good GUI and good Quality Control.  MapMaker, ScenMaker, and the main program all suffer from these problems with the newest, the main program being the worst.     

Question, do I have any right to think eventually it should work?       

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RE: Knowledge Base - Migrating HTTR Scenarios to COTA - 8/4/2006 2:26:51 AM   
Arjuna


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I am not surprised there are problems but I have said all along that we are not supporting this.

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RE: Knowledge Base - Migrating HTTR Scenarios to COTA - 8/4/2006 2:32:16 AM   
Arjuna


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BTW re the long delay experienced when opening an old HTTR map in the new MapMaker. There are no significant delays when opeing COTA maps in the COTA MapMaker. The delay only occurs when the verification code detects a non-standard map and does it's best efforts to convert it. This was not the intent of that code - ie to convert files. That it survives is testimony to its robustness. So I take umbridge at your implication about our programming practices.

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RE: Knowledge Base - Migrating HTTR Scenarios to COTA - 8/4/2006 5:40:05 PM   
simovitch


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Arjuna

I am not surprised there are problems but I have said all along that we are not supporting this.


Also, I emplore people who want to make these HTTR conversions to wait for the new WF estabs to make their appearance. These include updated Market Garden estabs developed with the supply rules introduced with COTA. See my (apparently ignored ) post above.

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RE: Knowledge Base - Migrating HTTR Scenarios to COTA - 8/4/2006 5:51:50 PM   
blairfw

 

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Dave, I agree that MapMaker proved quite robust. The fact that the unresponsive long delay caused myself and others to give up is more of a shortcomming than a poor programming practice. Furthermore, I am aware of PG's stated limitations and wish to continue to support your advancement of the art. Just keep trying and improving! I don't expect perfection in your current product. The long wait for the COTA supply model and other advances alowed me to get my hopes up and gave rise to unwarrented expectation. I am failable, I even have many poor programming practices under my own belt.

To the extent that the pique was a result of unwarrented criticism you are entitled to your umbrage.




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RE: Knowledge Base - Migrating HTTR Scenarios to COTA - 8/4/2006 7:13:58 PM   
blairfw

 

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simovitch, I recall those posts and believe they were suggestions not restrictions. You seemed concerned that incompatible scenarios would get distributed but not supported. I build for my own amusement so your advice didn't seem to apply.

I am still puzzled why COTA using HTTR Estabs should crash rather than just work badly, i.e. not have enough trucks, or couldn't get up a hill because of mixed-mode movement etc. What capabilities were explicitly removed from the COTA engine? That would be interesting and helpful to know? Removing capabilities, flexability and checks in the interest of speed is a likely reason. Changes to the doctrine to reflect the new setting are things I would need to know for effective play or scenario development. To give a specific for-instance: What has changed about HTTR ENG units that made them so incompatible when other units seemed to be accepted?

When IP based restrictions are the cause for reductions in clarity, and flexability my vendor loyality is reduced.

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RE: Knowledge Base - Migrating HTTR Scenarios to COTA - 8/4/2006 8:24:37 PM   
simovitch


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quote:

ORIGINAL: blairfw

...I build for my own amusement so your advice didn't seem to apply.

Cheers to that

quote:

I am still puzzled why COTA using HTTR Estabs should crash rather than just work badly, i.e. not have enough trucks, or couldn't get up a hill because of mixed-mode movement etc. What capabilities were explicitly removed from the COTA engine? That would be interesting and helpful to know? Removing capabilities, flexability and checks in the interest of speed is a likely reason. Changes to the doctrine to reflect the new setting are things I would need to know for effective play or scenario development. To give a specific for-instance: What has changed about HTTR ENG units that made them so incompatible when other units seemed to be accepted?


These are good discussion question(s) blairfw and ones that I personally have no ansewer to. And since the programmers are not supporting the HTTR-COTA compatibility, these questions are (unfortunately) likely to remain rhetorical.

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RE: Knowledge Base - Migrating HTTR Scenarios to COTA - 8/5/2006 4:29:34 AM   
Paul Roberts

 

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I had high hopes for converting the HTTR scens to COTA simply because I wanted to try them with the new supply rules.  Given that (if I read things rightly) the HTTR scens will be pretty easy to carry over into BFTB, and that BFTB is to be out in less than six months, I'm willing to wait.

For what it's worth, I hope the BFTB team does whatever is reasonably possible to make the scens compatible in that engine.  It would be a shame to lose all that Market Garden research and flavor!

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RE: Knowledge Base - Migrating HTTR Scenarios to COTA - 8/5/2006 4:35:59 AM   
Arjuna


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quote:

ORIGINAL: blairfw

Dave, I agree that MapMaker proved quite robust. The fact that the unresponsive long delay caused myself and others to give up is more of a shortcomming than a poor programming practice. Furthermore, I am aware of PG's stated limitations and wish to continue to support your advancement of the art. Just keep trying and improving! I don't expect perfection in your current product. The long wait for the COTA supply model and other advances alowed me to get my hopes up and gave rise to unwarrented expectation. I am failable, I even have many poor programming practices under my own belt.

To the extent that the pique was a result of unwarrented criticism you are entitled to your umbrage.


OK fair enough. Let's move on.

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RE: Knowledge Base - Migrating HTTR Scenarios to COTA - 8/7/2006 12:06:54 AM   
wodin


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I have my money on a Spring or Summer release for BftB.

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RE: Knowledge Base - Migrating HTTR Scenarios to COTA - 8/7/2006 2:14:21 AM   
Arjuna


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wodin,

Yeh well Xmas is our summer mate!

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Post #: 29
RE: Knowledge Base - Migrating HTTR Scenarios to COTA - 8/23/2007 9:26:53 PM   
wodin


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As the bulge game is delayed its a shame this project wasnt carried forward.

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