Matrix Games Forums

To End All Wars: Artillery Battle Academy 2: Eastern Front - End of Early Access Space Program Manager unveils its multiplayer modes Another update for Commander: The Great War!Distant Worlds: Universe gets a new updateDeal of the Week: Eagle Day to Bombing the Reich Advanced Tactics Gold is coming to SteamMatrix Games now speaks German!A little bit of history with To End All WarsBattle Academy 2 gets a release date!
Forums  Register  Login  Photo Gallery  Member List  Search  Calendars  FAQ 

My Profile  Inbox  Address Book  My Subscription  My Forums  Log Out

RE: When?

 
View related threads: (in this forum | in all forums)

Logged in as: Guest
Users viewing this topic: none
  Printable Version
All Forums >> [New Releases from Matrix Games] >> World in Flames >> RE: When? Page: <<   < prev  82 83 [84] 85 86   next >   >>
Login
Message << Older Topic   Newer Topic >>
RE: When? - 12/27/2011 5:08:32 PM   
macgregor


Posts: 968
Joined: 2/10/2004
Status: offline
I know this much; somewhere Harry Roland is smiling down on this. I find it fascinating to the degree matrix WIF has avoided trying to make a game based on wif -using whatever advantage the computer would offer to redesign it with more detailed combat and events, and instead, making wif; the boardgame experience on the pc. I'm hoping for a virtual beverage(coke no ice) and maybe some virtual non perils(though pistachios would probably make for better graphics with sound.)

(in reply to NickStone)
Post #: 2491
RE: When? - 1/2/2012 8:14:26 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 18241
Joined: 5/19/2005
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Status: offline
January 1, 2012 Status Report for Matrix Games’ MWIF Forum

Here is 2011 in review.

Accomplishments of 2011

Project Management
I monitored all the threads in the MWIF World in Flames forum daily.

I had two major health issues in 2011: surgery in August in Philadelphia for an ocular melanoma and surgery in October in Honolulu for a kidney stone. All-in-all I lost a couple of months of productive time due to those problems. My vision is still impaired, which limits the number of hours I can work on the computer each day to 6-8, down from 10-12.

Mitchell and Rolf joined the programming team at the beginning of the year. Mitchell had a serious health problem in July and was unable to work on MWIF thereafter, so we only had the benefit of his expertise for the first 6 months of 2011. During that time he did timing studies on why Theme Engine took so long to switch between major powers (3 seconds). Based on his analysis, he was able to reduce the elapsed time to effectively zero. With that accomplishment behind him, Mitchell turned his attention to NetPlay and completed refinements to NetPlayComTest, which will be included as part of the released MWIF product. NetPlayComTest lets players test their internet communications without having to run a MWIF game.

Rolf converted a couple dozen record types in the CWIF’s Windows Messaging code for communicating over the internet to MWIF’s Game Record Logs. Those record types were some of the most complex, which involve moving units. Rolf also did some work on the LAIO (Language for Artificial Intelligence Opponent) parser, which reads scripts written in LAIO. Later Rolf worked on fixing bugs in the sequence of play. His availability was limited, since he was holding down two other jobs at the time.

Hardware and Software
Delphi 2010 continued to misbehave badly during 2011. Delphi is the software development package I use to edit, compile, and link the source code into the executable program MWIF.exe. I successfully work around Delphi’s more serious problems but in the last quarter of 2011, it developed the nasty habit of simply not starting. After losing 5-6 days trying to figure out why the application wouldn’t start (when I clicked on the Delphi icon to run it, it went into an infinite loop trying to load a JPG). I finally found a writeup on the internet by someone who had had the same problem and documented a solution: remove the browsing history files created by Internet Explorer! That worked like a charm. Why the existence of those files should confuse the Delphi application baffles me; perhaps because Delphi executes a Java script when it starts up?

The open items for Theme Engine remain unchanged: (1) scroll bars for the detailed map, and (2) its inability to display detailed listings of file directories (i.e., the dates and stuff when opening or saving a file). In my opinion, neither of these is important. Theme Engine is the software library I use to transform all the forms and buttons into something other than the bland gray backgrounds and images that are the Microsoft defaults. Early in the year I converted the Main from standard Windows style to Theme Engine. So, aside from the just mentioned two problems, Theme Engine is now in use for all 160+ forms and runs cleanly under Win XP, Vista, and Win 7.

Beta Testing
I released 85 new versions of the program with 1144 fixes to the beta testers during 2011. The version numbers ran from 7.01.02 through 09.03.01. For most of the year I focused heavily on fixing bugs in the sequence of play, hence the large number of new versions and bug fixes. In November and December I devoted almost all my time to rewriting the routine for determining supply. In the last week of December I also worked on NetPlay. Both of these mini-projects required all of my focus just to keep straight in my head what the code was suppose to do and how it did it. I’ve compared the complexity of coding the supply for World in Flames to solving Rubik’s Cube blindfolded. As you can see below, for those two months I effectively stopped working on fixing bugs reported by the long-suffering beta testers.

Here is a breakdown by month of the new releases and fixes:
• January - 10 new versions and 168 fixes
• February - 7 new versions and 118 fixes
• March - 8 new versions and 103 fixes
• April - 9 new versions and 128 fixes
• May - 9 new versions and 115 fixes
• June - 10 new versions and 79 fixes
• July - 6 new versions and 109 fixes
• August - 5 new versions and 69 fixes; surgery for ocular melanoma.
• September - 9 new versions and 117 fixes: surgery for kidney stone.
• October - 10 new versions and 128 fixes
• November - 1 new version and 9 fixes; supply rewrite.
• December - 1 new version and 1 fix; supply rewrite.

Aaron took over my master task list of bugs in August. He converted the simple text file I had been using to a spreadsheet and did an excellent job of synthesizing the disparate files from beta tester posts, saved games, and MadExcept reports, into a coherent mass. He prefaced the name of each file with MTL xxxx where xxxx was the Master Task List number for the bug. Working from his spreadsheet (which he updated daily) I was able to read about each bug, find the associated saved game, and reproduce the problem. In my opinion, the work he did on this offset the reduced number of hours I was able to work after my eye surgery, so my productivity remained about the same. Unfortunately, he came down with pneumonia in early November, after which I was once again left to my own devices. I learned from what he did and now use his system for naming files. However, maintaining the spreadsheet would take me more time than I would gain by its use.

Rob W. ran a complete set of tests on land movement for all unit types in all hex and hexside terrain types, under all weather conditions. That was hundreds of cases. I corrected the only bug he found in calculating land movement costs: when moving from a desert hex to an all lake hexside during snow.

Then Rob went through all the US Entry Options and US Entry Actions to make sure the code functioned correctly. As any experienced WIF player would expect, several questions about rule interpretations arose. After adjudication, Rob ended up identifying about a dozen bugs that needed to be fixed; only a couple of which concerned US Entry Actions. What was really impressive about Rob’s work here was getting the game to the point where each of these could be tested. He now has a saved game for each of them so he can determine whether my corrections work or not. I have fixed most of those bugs, with only a couple lingering on my task list.

Lastly, Rob ran a thorough set of Vichy tests: creating, playing, and collapsing Vichy France. I was able to fix some of them as he reported them but his final list in November added 17 new items to my task list.

I made good progress on Head2Head (a.k.a., HotSeat) play with the help of Orm. I believe that mode of play now executes cleanly.

As of today 132 of the 152 phases/subphases/sub-subphases/digressions that constitute the sequence of play are bug-free. In fact, during 2011 I was able to reduce all but a half dozen of those to zero bugs outstanding. Sadly, fuller testing revealed more bugs. The most recalcitrant areas were: Supply, Naval Combat, Production Planning, Conquest, and Vichy.

I’ve fixed all but one of the bugs concerning nested digressions. This last bug is when a naval unit aborts from a naval combat and is intercepted before it reaches port. Other than that, I have the 7 digressions working as intended, with normal processing of the sequence of play interrupted by a digression, or a series of nested digressions, and ultimately returning to the point in the sequence of play where the first digression occurred.

Most of the beta tester bug reports in the last half of the year arose from: (1) rigorous testing of how the program performs under a variety of obscure circumstances, and (2) going over the rules with a fine tooth comb. See the section on Rules Precision below for some examples of the modifications I made to fix bugs.

In July (I think) I added code to enable the beta testers to change many of the optional rule settings on-the-fly. This will not be part of the released product but it gives the beta testers another tool when setting up saved games for testing how the game performs with various optional rules On/Off.

Saved Games
Saving and restoring games was stable throughout the year. I added the name of the current major power to the label for automatically saved games during 10 additional phases. This makes it possible to restore a game to a more precise point in the sequence of play.

Michael created 5 Fast Start saved games. Many people like to jump into a new computer game as soon as it is installed, picking up the rules as they go. To facilitate this, MWIF comes with Fast Start saved games for 5 of the most commonly played scenarios: Barbarossa, Guadalcanal, Fascist Tide, Global War, and Missed the Bus. All the Fast Start games use the solitaire mode of play and the Novice set of optional rules. The Fast Start games begin at the first major decision of the scenario. For instance, Barbarossa starts with Germany deciding whether to align Hungary or Finland.

Starting in August, Aaron began building a large library of saved games for testing the numerous phases in the sequence of play. Of course this is complicated by the number of different scenarios and optional rules, as well as modes of play (e.g., solitaire, head-to-head, NetPlay). But with the help of many other beta testers, he generated a large library of saved games. From my perspective, the best part of this are the saved games related to specific bugs. Those let me immediately reproduce bugs so I can both fix them and prove to myself that my changes work.

Map and Units
The data and graphics for the map and units were mostly unchanged in 2011. I added a graphic to visually indicate when captured red factories are not producing. I still need to figure out how to indicate visually that a factory has lost a production point. There was a small data correction for a couple of City Based Volunteer units.

Throughout 2011 Rob continued to create new and update old naval unit writeups. For the land unit writeups both Adam and Jimm returned to work and did a batch of new writeups. In early summer, Aaron took over responsibility for maintaining the master files for all the unit writeups , which meant less work for me.

Scenarios
Barbarossa
I added code so the legal sea areas for this scenario are limited to the Black, Baltic, and Arctic Seas. I made an adjustment to the Production form to handle the fact lend leasing air units isn’t permitted.

Fascist Tide and Day of Infamy
These are the two half-map scenarios. For each scenario I made half the sea areas illegal to enter. For instance, when playing Fascist Tide (the war in Europe), entering the Indian and Pacific Oceans is not permitted. I also made corrections for the rules uniquely associated with the half map scenarios. In particular, I intend to use the Azanian Sea (for Fascist Tide) and the Eastern Med (for Day of Infamy) as holding areas for the “Transfer Pool”. This way when a naval combat has to occur in the Transfer Pool, the players will be able to see the units therein just as for any other naval combat.

The victory cities for these scenarios are now correct and so are the lists of which countries are legal. I fixed a couple of bugs when setting up Day of Infamy: New Caledonia now goes to Free France and Vichy France gets French Polynesia and aligns Madagascar. Japan is then able to align Madagascar as long as Madagascar is controlled by Vichy France. What was so difficult about getting this code correct (almost a full day) was that Vichy France doesn't officially exist in the scenario. I still need to add code for the external/European event of Germany collapsing Vichy France so it occurs at a fixed point in the game.

Optional Rules
Partisans
I fixed a few bugs related to setting up partisan units behind enemy lines after all the major powers have been set up. This subphase of Setup was tricky to code. Annoyingly, it has to perform a preparatory check to see if there is enough room for the units to be placed on the map. If, prior to placing the partisans on the map, the enemy player positions his units well, he can sometimes cover all possible placement locations with zones of control. That results in zero partisan units being capable of setting up.

Warlords
I fixed all reported bugs related to Warlords.

Off City Reinforcements and Territorials
I did quite a bit of work to fix bugs in the intersection of these two optional rules. Both are now bug free.

7 Unfinished Optional Rules for Initial Release
I worked on 7 incompletely coded optional rules that I want to include in the first release. To accommodate the associated rules I added 4 subphases to naval combat: Voluntary Abort by Walther Submarines, Kamikazes, and 2 ASW Pre-fire Attack subphases. All 7 of these optional rules still need work. They are listed below.

Convoys in Flames
This is difficult to code because it has so many pieces. I’ve added the code for the +2 penalty when trying to intercept auxiliary cruisers. That was a bear to get correct because of the complexity of search roll modifiers and search numbers. I changed the production form selection of repaired Auxiliary Cruisers so which one is repaired is randomly selected. In all other cases, the player can choose which naval unit to repair.

City Based Volunteers
I made some progress on City Based Volunteers.

Unlimited Breakdown
I made some preliminary changes to support Unlimited Breakdown.

Kamikazes
This optional rule requires a tailored variation of the ubiquitous Unit Dialog form. For instance, when the Japanese player chooses whether his naval air bombers are flying as kamikazes, a Unit Dialog form appears listing all the bombers so the player can select which ones should wear head scarves.

Guard Banner Armies
This optional rule also needs a tailored Unit Dialog form so the player can select individual units for upgrades.

Rough Seas
No work done towards this in 2011.

Naval Supply Unit
No work done towards this in 2011.

Rules Precision (a.k.a. MWIF Game Engine and CWIF Conversion)
In the beginning of the year I spent a lot of time trying to debug the code for naval movement and naval combat. That became so tedious that I stepped back and revised the code for the internal record formats to determine into which sea areas/ports the units-in-hand can move. That is, once you select a group of naval units to be moved, the program has to check each hex the cursor moves over to determine if it is a viable destination. CWIF used the same record layouts for air rebases, all land unit moves, and all naval moves. I split those into 3 different record types (air, land, naval) since different information was needed for each record type. That let me clarify the names of the fields in each record so they explain the data better. The changes for the air and land moves had zero effect - since they effectively were just cosmetic. My main motivation was to make it easier to debug the naval movement code. I

The primary effect on game play of these changes to the naval movement code is that the program now assumes the player wants to avoid sea areas where the enemy can attempt to intercept the moving units, even if it takes more movement points. The player can always move directly to sea areas where the enemy can intercept thereby ‘daring' him to do so. If the enemy declines (or fails), the player can continue moving and perhaps reach his destination using fewer movement points and range.

I created a new ‘pool’: the Destroyed Units Pool. This is another off-map ‘location’ for units. It replaces the Destroyed Stack variable that I had been using. Besides maintaining standardization with all the other off-map pools, this addition makes it clear ‘where’ the unit currently resides. When players access the Pools form to review the units in the off-map pools, the Destroyed Pool is like all the others (e.g., Force Pool, Production Pools). At the end of the turn each player reviews his units in the Destroyed Units Pool and decides whether to scrap them or not.

Did some work on getting Search and Seizure to function. It can now identify when a search and seizure is possible and which major powers get to make those decisions. I still need to write new code to effect the results of search and seizure. Because that is closely related to Production Planning, I am waiting on coding the rest of S & S until I have PP bug-free.

I added some new code for the factory destruction phase. That was a little tricky because there are rarely occasions when a player wants to destroy his own blue factories. The two that come up are: France destroying a factory in Vichy France before Vichy France is declared, and the USSR destroying a factory in the Ukraine before Germany declares the Ukraine as a separate country. Most of the time the program ‘knows’ that destroying your own blue factories is senseless and can skip the phase completely.

At one point I had killed off most of the bugs related to creating Vichy France. In doing so I created a small new form so the Vichy France controller can allocate countries that were aligned or conquered by France to Axis major powers. But then Rob went through the rules about Vichy line by line and word by word. In November he found 17 more bugs related to Vichy, that are a lump in my task list.

As you can tell from the following, many of the ‘bugs’ reported by the beta testers in the last 4 months of the year were due to them either: (1) rigorously testing how the program performs under a variety of obscure circumstances, or (2) going through the rules with a fine tooth comb. I made changes for:
• Imposing a setup restriction on the Communist Chinese units so they have to be within 9 hexes of a Communist controlled city. This number of hexes is greater than what is stated in WIF FE because of the MWIF change in scale for China.
• Overrun naval units in iced-in ports, although having rolled well and being permitted to escape, are instead destroyed.
• Which major power decides about continuing to fight or abort from a naval combat is redetermined at the end of each round, and is decided by the major power on each side that has the most units still capable of fighting in the sea area.
• The WIF FE rules weren’t clear as what should happen when the Collapse of Vichy France causes Vichy France controlled minor countries to become owned by an Axis major power which has a unit present in the minor country. For instance, if Italy has a unit in Tunisia (which is controlled by Vichy France), then the rules state that Tunisia goes to Italy. But the rules say nothing about if there are both German and Italian units present. I decided to count the number of units and ‘give’ the country to the Axis major power with the most units present.
• Vichy France can be both hostile to and/or at war with Allied major powers. I revised the Relations form so those conditions are shown accurately.
• I fixed a bug in declaring Vichy France when non-French naval units are forced to rebase. This is the one place in the rules where ‘overrun’ naval units have to rebase to the nearest port, but can be intercepted when doing so. In all other cases the units either can not be intercepted, or else they have the freedom to choose any port within twice their range.
• I fixed a bug where liberating France while Vichy France still exists wasn’t converting all Metropolitan Vichy France hexes to French control.
• I fixed a bug so Vichy units can only move into hexes controlled by Vichy or by a country with which Vichy is at war.
• If France is liberated while Vichy France still exists, the major ports previously held by Vichy are undamaged when converted to French control. Usually when a major port changes control from one side to another, it becomes damaged. The problem this rule ‘interpretation’ avoids is having newly acquired French naval units overstacked in, say, Toulon.
• I added code so Vichy France can not build pilots or offensive chits.
• Minor country units are not permitted to enter the home country of another minor country on the same side unless Foreign Troop Commitment requirements have been met. That rule stops Hungarian units from entering Rumania, as one example. But in the case where the second minor country has been completely conquered, it seems that entry should be permitted. In one of the beta testers’ games the USSR had conquered Persia (which had been aligned to Japan) and then Italy aligned Iraq and had Iraqi units ready to enter and liberate Persia. Here the general rule would prohibit Iraqi units (minor country aligned to Italy) from entering Persia (minor country aligned to Japan, on the same side as Italy). But since Persia is completely conquered, it is now ‘owned’ by the USSR, with which Italy is at war, hence the Iraqi units are free to enter Persia. At least that is how I have coded it. My change is that if a minor country on your side has been completely conquered, then the FTC requirements no longer apply.
• Land units can now only be loaded on air transports if they are organized (Harry Rowland clarified this rule).
• I changed the code so when the US claims Greenland/Iceland/Northern Ireland, units belonging to other Allied countries therein are relocated to the nearest hex, rather than rebased. As part of claiming Northern Ireland, the US is permitted to place convoy reinforcements in Ireland - but not any other type of unit.
• I fixed a bug where the US was being permitted to DOW another major power after failing in an attempt to DOW a major power during the same impulse.
• When the US DOWs both Germany and Italy in the same impulse, two separate die rolls for US Entry are made. Furthermore, those die rolls and the associated mandatory movement of US Entry markers from the Entry Pool to the Tension Pool are made prior to the implementation of the optional movement of markers due to the automatic execution of US Entry Options. The automatic execution of US Entry Options only occurs if the US is at war with both Germany and Italy (or those countries have been completely conquered). This is another instance where Harry Rowland clarified the rule. There are a couple of more subtleties to this rule which are now coded correctly in MWIF.
• I implemented the following rule interpretation: Unit U is not permitted to fly to a naval combat sea area if:
(1) U's controlling major power is surprised by all the enemy units in the sea area, or
(2) all units friendly to U in the sea area are neutral or surprised [by all enemy units in the sea area].
• I fine tuned the code so land based air units that voluntarily abort from a naval air combat are handled differently from those that abort under any other circumstance. If they voluntarily abort from an air-to-air combat, then they return to the sea box section from which they entered the naval combat. If they otherwise abort, they must return to base (i.e., to a land hex) where they are disorganized.
• I removed the ability of land attacks being declared against a hex containing only enemy supply units.
• I enabled conducting ground strike and carpet bombing missions against a hex containing units with which you are not at war, if the hex is controlled by a country with which you are at war.
• AA units that fire during the ground support phase are not disorganized until after the Advance After Combat subphase.
• I fixed a bug where attacked partisan units were able to receive ground support from countries other than their controlling major power.
• I changed the test for conditions under which the Nazi-Soviet pact can be broken. Specifically, setting up or moving units within one of the countries listed for breaking the pact (e.g., Turkey, Sweden), no longer qualifies for breaking the pact, regardless of to whom the minor country is aligned. Basically, as long as the only units you move in the specified minor countries belong to the minor country itself, then the conditions for breaking the pact are not met. But if you move a unit from a different country into one of the listed minor countries, then the other side can break the pact. For example, if the USSR DOWs Turkey, which is then aligned to Germany, and Germany moves the Rumanian HQ into Turkey, then the USSR can break the pact. However, moving an Italian unit into Turkey would not affect the status of the pact, since Italian units are not controlled by Germany. This applies not only while setting up units, but throughout all phases of the game (e.g., including air units returning to base).
• When the US player has the option to move, or not to move, markers from the Entry Pools to the Tension Pools and there is more than one marker to be moved for an entry option, he has to either move all the markers for the entry option or none. The US player gets this choice when US Entry Options are made automatically after the US goes to war with Axis major powers.
• The requisite conditions have to be met before the US can occupy Greenland and Iceland even when that US Entry Option is ‘automatically’ selected due to the US going to war with both EuroAxis major powers.
• Allied units in Italy that count towards the conquest of Italy garrison value must be controlled by a country at war with Italy (clarification from Harry Rowland).

Failures in the CWIF code for determining supply was something I discovered within the first 15 minutes I had access to a copy of the game. That was a month before I became involved in this project. I ignored that bug, and other supply bugs, for over 6 years but finally bit the bullet and tackled rewriting supply in earnest on November 1st. Actually, I had done a significant portion of the ground work for the rewrite back in 2009, but there was a lot left to do. I won’t go into the gory details here but there are many rules concerning supply sources and paths that increase the level of difficulty in writing the code. In particular, differences between major powers and minor countries, and cooperation between countries was a pain. I have supply mostly working now and will hand it off to the beta testers this week. Still remaining is the problem of getting the program to update the supply status of all units instantaneously and continuously during the land and naval movement phases (i.e., after each unit is moved).

Player Interface
I created 6 new forms in 2011:
• Supply Sources and Paths. This identifies all the supply sources, primary and secondary, and shows how many units are being supplied by each. When you click on a supply source, the supplied units are shown in a list at the bottom of the form. For secondary supply sources, the supply path it uses to reach a primary is shown. Clicking on a unit image causes the supply path for the unit to appear. There is a special button for displaying all the units and secondary supply sources that are out of supply.
• Liberation. This tiny form simply asks a player if he wants to liberate, revert, or ‘neither’ when he controls the capital of a country that was on his side originally. The change here is to include the option to revert. Liberation of a minor country means it is aligned to its liberating major power. Reversion means it is aligned to the major power to whom it was originally aligned. If you do neither, then it is conquered by the major power controlling the capital. This is a ‘nag’ form, since if you choose neither, then you will be asked the same question again at the end of the next turn. I really dislike having ‘nag’ forms in the sequence of play but I couldn’t come up with another solution and remain true to WIF FE, where you can liberate/revert a minor country during any later turn if you so desire.
• US Entry Actions. This form is purely informational but I think compared to RAC it is a much cleaner presentation of the information. Hopefully having this accessible from within a game will make these concepts easier for new players to understand.
• Private NetPlay Forum. This form is used by players to find opponents for NetPlay (i.e., playing over the internet). It is only available to players who have purchased the game, and is accessed from the Opening MWIF screen. It is also used for each game session, letting players restart/join their game in progress.
• Keyboard and Mouse Commands Help.
• About the Current Game. This reports which scenario is being played, mode of play, and which players are playing. It is of minor importance for game play but is helpful for debugging purposes.

I substantially modified 7 existing forms:
• OverStacked. I revised where in the code checks for overstacking occur. When overstacking is detected, this form appears.
• Choose Naval Combat. The changes I made here give more emphasis to the list of sea areas. These modifications were part of a general revision of the form to fix a few bugs.
• Drop Off Units. The changes here clarified what happens when a group of naval units enters a port. It was easy to get confused when some of the naval units stopped in the port, while others in the moving group picked up cargo and continued moving.
• Select Units. The change was the addition of filters for movement points and range. For example, when examining a large stack of naval units, you can quickly select just those with 6 movement points. I also increased the size of the form so more units are visible.
• UnitData. This data summary panel now shows if a unit is flying a night mission and/or at extended range. This helps when returning air units to base after an air mission since now you know which ones flew at extended range. It also is of value when choosing targets in an air-to-air combat and for anti-aircraft fire.
• Status Indicators Help. This needed to be updated, especially the graphics, because it was a year out-of-date.
• Chat. CWIF had 3 forms for sending a message: Chat, New Message, and Recipients. I reduced that to a single form. The list of who receives a message isn’t very long, since is a maximum of 6 players in a game. The form now just has a checkbox for each player.

Within 9 minor forms I replaced a CWIF component for grids (TSimpleGrid) with one from the JEDI library (TJvStringGrid). The former was generating program crashes when the mouse wheel was touched while the grid was displayed. Visually there is no apparent difference. But TJvStringGrid does not crash the program, so the day I spent making the changes was well spent. I’ve now standardized on the use of TJvStringGrid throughout MWIF; it appears in 85 places.

I updated the Unit Status Indicators because there was a ‘hole’ in the design logic. Land based air units at sea during naval combat, which were not participating in the combat, were shown without any status indicator. I added a new value for these units to indicate that they are ‘flying’, even if they are not part of the naval combat. Another set of changes I made to the unit status indicators was to clarify when a unit was receiving HQ support and/or engineer support in a land combat. And to accompany the changes made to the UnitData panel mentioned above, I added indicators for units flying night missions and/or at extended range.

I added a couple of shortcut keys to access the US Entry Pools and US Entry Action forms. The third form in this group is the new US Entry Options form mentioned above. Together with the new section on US Entry that Aaron put together (see Players Manual below), these 3 forms should make it easier to learn this crucial game concept.

I imposed a restriction on moving land units so you are no longer able to partially move a unit, move a second unit, and then go back and continue moving the first unit. Doing this would violate the WIF rules. However, you are permitted to continue moving a stack of units that performed an overrun if you do so immediately after any overrun air and/or naval units have finished rebasing.

Internet - NetPlay
Rolf and I finished the conversion of CWIF’s Windows Messaging code for communicating over the internet to MWIF’s Game Record Logs. Rolf did a couple dozen, including some of the most difficult items which involve moving units. I did the final 80. The code now exclusively uses Game Record Logs and Indy10 (a Delphi software library that employs TCP/IP for internet communications).

The number of unique record types is around 400, one for each decision/event that occurs in the sequence of play. That number will probably increase slightly once we get heavily into testing NetPlay. For example, there are a bunch of optional rules which will need their own personal GRLs (e.g., Guard Banner Armies, Kamikazes, and Naval Supply Units). On average, each conversion required about 50 edits, spanning a dozen different modules. Making those 20,000 edits was spread out over several years, since I knew they would be onerous to do and had been chipping away at them off and on since way back when. With Rolf’s help I was able to finally finish them off.

The conversions to GRLs were essential for NetPlay and PBEM (that is: whenever more than 1 computer is being used). The most difficult were for moving units, especially naval moves, because of all the information required to keep track of exactly which units are moving through which hexes to reach their destination. Another reason behind creating the GRLs is that I am a firm believe in compartmentalized software. The GRLs isolate and completely remove NetPlay and Message Control code from all the details of how the game/simulation operates. NetPlay gets a simple string value with an identifier (ID number). It then sends it to its twin on another computer. That the game being played is World in Flames never impinges on the NetPlay code. To be clear about this, the code for NetPlay and the code for the game’s simulation of WW II are mutually exclusive.

As stated at the beginning of this report, Mitchell completed NetPlayComTest, version 2.0 which I then integrated into MWIF. It can be called either as a stand alone program or from within MWIF when a game is in progress. For those of you who don’t know, NetPlayComTest uses Indy10 to send and receive messages over the internet. It deals with all the issues of establishing communications between two or more computers. Then it permits the users to send messages back and forth. Its original purpose was to test the software for use by MWIF proper. But it will be included in the released product so players can test their communication links without having to run the game itself. If as a player you get NetPlayComTest to work for communicating between all the players in your game, then MWIF should run NetPlay without problems. Some of the issues it needed to deal with are IP addresses, port numbers, and firewalls - all that good stuff.

In December I added the ability of MWIF to access the Private MWIF NetPlay Forum. This forum is used by players to find opponents for NetPlay (i.e., playing over the internet). It is only available to players who have purchased the game. Access to the forum is via a button on the Opening MWIF screen. Besides finding opponents, it is used to start each game session, letting players restart/join their game in progress.

PBEM
Nothing new other than the decision to use the MultiPlayer++ system developed by Slitherine/Matrix Games for locating a PBEM opponent. This is the same underlying system used by the Private MWIF NetPlay Forum.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Peter finished the geographic breakdown for the AI Opponent. To go with that, I revised the documentation on the AIO command structure so each element of the geography has a corresponding decision maker. There are 16 Theaters of Operation (TOs) that span the global map. Within each TO there is a breakdown for naval units into Sea Area Groups (which contain individual Sea Areas) and for land units into Areas of Operations (which contain Land Regions).

I changed the fundamental map data structure to include information on the geographical breakdown. This should have zero effect on game play as far as human players are concerned. The change to the Terrain data adds a new field to each land hex to store the Land Region ID #. Along with this I added a new field to the Sea Area data to store the Sea Area Group ID #. And as the final pieces, I created simple files listing the Theaters of Operation, Areas of Operation, Land Regions, and Sea Area Groups which hold the details on each of those elements, including cross references. In practice, this means that the AI Opponent code can trace any land hex back to its LR, AO, and TO, and can trace an all-sea hex back to its sea area, SAG, and TO. In order to validate the new data I added a (debug) line under the Main form that shows and updates the TO, AO, LR, and SAG values as the cursor is scrolled across each hex.

The 16 TOs are: Western Europe, Eastern Europe (up to Siberia), Mediterranean, East Africa, West Africa, Middle East, North Asia (i.e., Siberia), South Asia (i.e., India), East Asia (i.e. China & Japan), Southeast Asia, Oceania (i.e., Australia), Pacific Ocean (central), Atlantic North America, Atlantic South America, Pacific North America, and Pacific South America. There are 126 AOs and 320 LRs. The major task remaining is to change the data file for the terrain, adding a digit to the end of the row of data for each land hex. There are 70,200 hexes, each of which has its own row of data. Mercifully, the all-sea hexes do not need to be edited (they use the default value).

The greatest advantage that a human player has over the AIO is the ability to literally ‘see’ the map. For the AIO it is just a bunch of incohesive data. Using the geographical data, the AIO can now assess the strength of the forces on both sides in a land region and decide whether to attack, maneuver, defend, or retreat. The same applies to AOs, SAGs, and TOs. This is my best attempt to mimic a human player simply looking at the map and making a quick assessment of the relative strengths of the two sides.

Another goal here was to provide a hierarchy of decision makers for strategic and operational decisions and a different decision maker for tactical decisions. For instance, decisions about convoy routes span multiple sea areas and are made higher up in the chain of command, while decisions concerning a specific naval combat are made by the Fleet Admiral responsible for the sea area in which the combat is taking place. Likewise army reinforcements are shipped off to various TOs, whose commander designates which AO gets them; the AO commander then designates a Land Region, whose Commanding General decides in which hex to place the new unit.

After completing the geographic breakdown of the entire global map (a massive task which required assessing all 70,200 hexes), Peter worked on the data structures for AIO strategic plans. I had already done some preliminary work on that. The goal is to design variables for holding all the information necessary to define a strategic plan for a major power. The 3 main elements are: (1) objectives to hold/take, (2) geographical areas to defend/attack, and (3) time lines for declarations of war/offensives, with accompanying production schedules.

Some of the strategic plan data defines conditions for when something should happen (e.g., when to start building garrison units). Defining data structures for conditionals is always difficult, but Peter and I already did some of that when we were working on setup scripts. It isn’t easy to take the amorphous advice provided by the forum members and render it into a rigidly structured outline for processing by a computer program. For instance, late in the year he was grinding out the precise conditions under which France should surrender.

Rolf made some progress on completing the parser for LAIO (Language for an Artificial Intelligence Opponent) scripts.

Rules as Coded (RAC)
I made a couple of changes to bring RAC up-to-date with MWIF deviations from Rules as Written (RAW). For instance, I added a description of the Naval Abort Queue. On August 1st I uploaded the final version (number 46!) of RAC for the Matrix Games Editor.

Player’s Manual
After querying forum members, Aaron wrote up a new subsection for section 3.4, Advice to Players: Understanding US Entry Options, Actions, and Pools. Composer99 provided the heart of this material. I made some final edits and now new players should have a better chance of understanding this crucial aspect of the game.

I added a subsection on Dropping Off Units to the Players Manual. That form is used for both dropping off units and, when in port, picking up cargo while passing through. I reviewed and updated section 10 of the Players Manual so it accurately lists all the RAC deviations from Rules as Written (RAW).

Aaron read through and made numerous changes/suggestions to the largest section of the Players Manual: 8 Players Interface. Equally important, he updated all the screenshots (~250) in the Players Manual. In many cases they had become woefully out of date.

The biggest editing changes Aaron made were for Production Planning. That form is very complex, since the tasks of fulfilling trade agreements, routing resources to factories, and saving oil/build points can potentially span the world map. Those are also critical tasks, since they directly affect production. Every player wants maximum control over these decisions, and a clear understanding of what is happening for his major powers, as well as for those commanded by other players.

What Aaron and I decided upon was to add a dozen or so small insert figures that are pieces of the overall Production Planning form. This means that when the text discusses, say, Filters for the resources and factories list, a little picture of the set of Filter radio buttons is shown. The overall effect is that it is much easier to understand the text by referring to the little figures instead of having to look back to a previous page and locate where the Filters are on the full-page form. I am now real happy with how this section reads, instead of being anxious about it being incoherent.

The beta testers were provided with the latest and greatest version of the Players Manual after Aaron’s revisions, and given the opportunity to make suggestions over a 2 week period. Aaron collected their comments and added another bunch of his own. While integrating that input into the draft, I read through all 400 pages of the Players Manual and made over 500 edits of my own. After typing in all these changes, on August 1st I uploaded the Players Manual with the up-to-date screenshots for the Matrix Games Editor.

I have a handful of small edits waiting the Matrix Games editor that I have accumulated since August 1st. There is only 1 glaring hole remaining in the text for the Players Manual: NetPlay instructions for starting, joining, and resuming a NetPlay game. There are a couple other bits associated with that too: chatting with other players and monitoring internet communication links.

Tutorials, Training Videos, and Context Sensitive Help
There is one missing screenshot for the Picture and Text Tutorials: Starting NetPlay game. The other 120+ pages are done and final.

This year I finished the design and code for the Interactive Tutorials. Each of the 10 tutorials will have a dozen or so ‘pages’ with 6 lines of instructions on the ‘front’ of each page and 7 lines of commentary on the ‘back’. The player can toggle between the front and back of each page, seeing either very terse instructions for entering keyboard and mouse commands, or commentary. The latter is the equivalent of a “voice over”. After performing the actions indicated by the instructions, the player clicks on the Next button to advance to the next page. I wrote a few sample pages to test the code and system design, but another 100+ pages of instructions with commentary need to be authored.

Throughout the year I made changes to the context sensitive help messages based on feedback from the beta testers. These are roughly 80% complete. The remaining 20% is not that difficult to do, since creating the missing content is done by cutting text from the Players Manual and pasting it into a TXT file.

I reviewed the training videos I made about 2 years ago. All 9 of the chapters I recorded have small discrepancies when compared with the current version of the game. But to my eye those are minor differences, and not worth re-recording an entire chapter. However, I need to redo chapter 6, since it references the production planning form and uses a completely out-of-date screenshot of that form. And chapter 9 also need to be redone because the Land Combat Resolution form has been substantially modified. But the other 7 chapters I think I’ll leave as is. I still have 3 more chapters to do: 10, 11, and 12, which cover naval movement, naval combat, and production & politics (i.e., declarations of war et al).

Here are the 12 chapters of the training videos.
Chapter 1 Introduction (4 minutes :10 seconds)
Chapter 2 Map Basics (20:27)
Chapter 3 Unit Basics (28:27)
Chapter 4 Sequence of Play (33:56)
Chapter 5 Turns, Impulses, Weather, & Supply (25:28)
Chapter 6 Main Form, Screen Layouts, & Map Views (46:31)
Chapter 7 Starting a New Game & Setting Up Units (55:40)
Chapter 8 Air Movement & Combat (23:43)
Chapter 9 Land Movement & Combat (43:46).
Chapter 10 Naval Movement (TBD)
Chapter 11 Naval Combat (TBD)
Chapter 12 Production & Politics (TBD)

Historical Video, Music, and Sound Effects
David Heath sent me the (nearly) complete set of music and sound effects files. I still need to insert ‘calls’ in the code to play these files at the appropriate points in the sequence of play. My design lets the player set how often the sound effects et al are played. That can range from never, to periodically, to always. Periodically would be something like: “every 10th time an armored vehicle moves play the sound effect.”

Marketing
Aaron worked with Sean Drummy of Matrix Games on updating the World in Flames screenshots displayed as part of the game’s description in Matrix Games’ list of products. Virtually all of them had been out-of-date.

_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to macgregor)
Post #: 2492
RE: When? - 1/3/2012 1:06:46 AM   
composer99


Posts: 2158
Joined: 6/6/2005
From: Ottawa, Canada
Status: offline
Looking good.

_____________________________

~ Composer99

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 2493
RE: When? - 1/4/2012 2:51:48 AM   
brian brian

 

Posts: 1649
Joined: 11/16/2005
Status: offline
movement on desert lake hexes in blizzards - nice catch! (among scores upon scores this year it sounds like)

(in reply to composer99)
Post #: 2494
RE: When? - 1/4/2012 2:57:49 AM   
brian brian

 

Posts: 1649
Joined: 11/16/2005
Status: offline
oh, and forgot .... destroying your own blue factories. you learn something new about WiF all the time, had never heard of / thought of such a move.

(in reply to brian brian)
Post #: 2495
RE: When? - 1/4/2012 11:29:24 AM   
Red Prince


Posts: 3572
Joined: 4/8/2011
From: Bangor, Maine, USA
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: brian brian

oh, and forgot .... destroying your own blue factories. you learn something new about WiF all the time, had never heard of / thought of such a move.

We've been trying to figure out anything and everything that the rules seem to allow. Since this is a computer program, and there is no referee or "house rules" negotiations, we want to cover as many possibilities as we can.

Particularly when playing Solitaire, you can test out tons of crazy strategies that would probably never come up in a real game. For example, when I was testing to see if a completely conquered Minor which had its own "governed areas" (territories without cities, like the Azores or Galapagos Islands) ended up reverting those areas to Neutral status as "new" minors, I had situations set up which had Italy invade Mexico, France invading Argentina and Spain, and Japan invading Peru, among others. This test led to the fix that allowed those territories to become Neutral, but it also showed me a lot of possibilities that the rules don't really deal with -- since they are extremely unlikely to happen.

This is pretty much what Steve means by his "fine tooth comb" references. There is, in fact, a thread in the development forum specifically for these kinds of ideas to be posted, and many of them have been solved, once the realization that they needed a solution was made.

Jimm nearly worked himself into insanity getting all of the Italian conquest possibilities to play out correctly, and as Steve mentioned, Rob W. has worked extensively on several different projects which have resulted in clarifications and a more "complete" application of the RAW and RAC.

This work has been amazing and outstanding, and extremely valuable. Thank you for the time you put in. And all the other beta-testers, too, have done similar (sometimes tedious) tasks. There are just too many to mention them all.


_____________________________

Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done and why. Then do it!
-Lazarus Long, RAH

(in reply to brian brian)
Post #: 2496
RE: When? - 1/4/2012 7:06:19 PM   
Centuur


Posts: 3022
Joined: 6/3/2011
From: Hoorn (NED).
Status: offline
I noticed this in the review:

"I added a graphic to visually indicate when captured red factories are not producing. I still need to figure out how to indicate visually that a factory has lost a production point"

I would suggest to use four kinds of graphics:

Factories capable of production: smoke out of the stacks.
Non producing red factories: no smoke out of the stacks.
Attacked factories with loss of production point: a yellow flame symbol on the non-smoking stack (yellow stands out of both blue and red). This indicates an succesfully attacked working factory which isn't destroyed, but has lost it's production capability for this turn, due to the damage done by the enemy attack. Imagine the firefighters and repair crews crowding over the place...
Destroyed/damaged factories: pile of rubble (in the right colour of course)...

Is that an idea?

Also: I've stumbled on the map on an empty square, indicating a railed out factory. I don't like the way that's looking (it isn't nice looking, and everything else on the map is so, so very good looking, that that white square is awful to my eyes...). Isn't it possible to indicate a railed away factory by using a white stack in such a square (since only the shell of the factory is still standing, and everything else what was in there has left)?

Edit: I'm just curious: how are you indicating a damaged Major Port on the map?


< Message edited by Centuur -- 1/4/2012 7:14:40 PM >


_____________________________

Peter

(in reply to Red Prince)
Post #: 2497
RE: When? - 1/4/2012 8:17:10 PM   
Red Prince


Posts: 3572
Joined: 4/8/2011
From: Bangor, Maine, USA
Status: offline
quote:

Edit: I'm just curious: how are you indicating a damaged Major Port on the map?

Unfortunately, I don't have an image of it to show you, because I'm not using that option in my current game, but basically it is a surrounded by a red circle with a line through it . . . kind of like a "No Smoking" sign.

_____________________________

Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done and why. Then do it!
-Lazarus Long, RAH

(in reply to Centuur)
Post #: 2498
RE: When? - 1/4/2012 8:38:18 PM   
Orm


Posts: 5765
Joined: 5/3/2008
From: Sweden
Status: offline
quote:

Edit: I'm just curious: how are you indicating a damaged Major Port on the map?





Attachment (1)

_____________________________

Ladies and Gentlemen, this is your Captain speaking. We have a small problem. All four engines have stopped. We are doing our damnedest to get them going again. I trust you are not in too much distress. - Captain Eric Moody

(in reply to Centuur)
Post #: 2499
RE: When? - 1/4/2012 8:42:15 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 18241
Joined: 5/19/2005
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Centuur

I noticed this in the review:

"I added a graphic to visually indicate when captured red factories are not producing. I still need to figure out how to indicate visually that a factory has lost a production point"

I would suggest to use four kinds of graphics:

Factories capable of production: smoke out of the stacks.
Non producing red factories: no smoke out of the stacks.
Attacked factories with loss of production point: a yellow flame symbol on the non-smoking stack (yellow stands out of both blue and red). This indicates an succesfully attacked working factory which isn't destroyed, but has lost it's production capability for this turn, due to the damage done by the enemy attack. Imagine the firefighters and repair crews crowding over the place...
Destroyed/damaged factories: pile of rubble (in the right colour of course)...

Is that an idea?

Also: I've stumbled on the map on an empty square, indicating a railed out factory. I don't like the way that's looking (it isn't nice looking, and everything else on the map is so, so very good looking, that that white square is awful to my eyes...). Isn't it possible to indicate a railed away factory by using a white stack in such a square (since only the shell of the factory is still standing, and everything else what was in there has left)?

Edit: I'm just curious: how are you indicating a damaged Major Port on the map?


You're on the right track. Destroyed factories are shown as Black - they can be repaired in some instances. I also use Green factories for those that are newly built (they can not be repaired when destroyed so they simply disappear if that happens). But playing with the color of the smoke is a possibility. Red versus Black, for instance.

These are tiny icons so nothing too subtle will work.

_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to Centuur)
Post #: 2500
RE: When? - 1/5/2012 3:07:05 AM   
morgil


Posts: 114
Joined: 5/9/2008
From: Bergen, Norway
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Shannon V. OKeets
The WIF FE rules weren’t clear as what should happen when the Collapse of Vichy France causes Vichy France controlled minor countries to become owned by an Axis major power which has a unit present in the minor country. For instance, if Italy has a unit in Tunisia (which is controlled by Vichy France), then the rules state that Tunisia goes to Italy. But the rules say nothing about if there are both German and Italian units present. I decided to count the number of units and ‘give’ the country to the Axis major power with the most units present.


I dont think this is possible...

quote:

ORIGINAL: RAW

17.3 Units
Non-French units
The owning player moves every non-French controlled land and aircraft unit in a Vichy French hex to the nearest hex they can stack in controlled by its major power, or a co-operating major power, or their aligned minors.

Access to Vichy territory

No Axis units may enter Vichy controlled hexes while Vichy France is neutral (except to collapse her administration, see below).
While Vichy France is active, only units belonging to the major power which installed Vichy France may enter Vichy controlled administration groups, and even then must satisfy the foreign troop commitment rules (see 18.2) to enter each administration group.
If Vichy France is active and hostile to any major power, units controlled by the major power that installed the Vichy government can enter any Vichy controlled hex without having to satisfy the foreign troop commitment limits.


I could ofc be missing something, but it seems that when installing Vichy, all non-french units has to move out of Vichy, and if they move back in, Vichy is instantly collapsed, thus making this impossible..

Ohh and btw. AWESOME work

Edit;
Unless the unit that doesn't cause the collapse is a HQ ofc...
/duh me


< Message edited by morgil -- 1/5/2012 3:09:57 AM >


_____________________________

Gott weiss ich will kein Engel sein.

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 2501
RE: When? - 1/5/2012 4:33:41 AM   
brian brian

 

Posts: 1649
Joined: 11/16/2005
Status: offline
On the factories, I hope MWiF could make something consistent with the use of the words damaged/destroyed. I read a very, very early draft of Factories in Flames once and the whole thing was shot through with the problem of using those two words too loosely interchangeably. 'Damaged' implies it can be fixed, 'Destroyed' doesn't necessarily imply that it can't, but when you later see the word 'Damaged', you begin to wonder if a 'Destroyed' factory can be fixed. I would either never use one of the two or be very specific when using both words.

Using green factories for the built ones might become regrettable when MWiF 3.0 : Patton in Flames comes out some day as the PaTiF maps use green factories for some reason that I'm not quite sure about, not owning that game myself. I think it is just so you can use those maps playing 39-45 WiF and a computer version could just use standard red and blue...but perhaps there is some reason why they are different...and what happens when you want to take a 39-45 game on into PaTiF action? Maybe this isn't important, I don't know.

(in reply to morgil)
Post #: 2502
RE: When? - 1/5/2012 8:38:44 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 18241
Joined: 5/19/2005
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: brian brian

On the factories, I hope MWiF could make something consistent with the use of the words damaged/destroyed. I read a very, very early draft of Factories in Flames once and the whole thing was shot through with the problem of using those two words too loosely interchangeably. 'Damaged' implies it can be fixed, 'Destroyed' doesn't necessarily imply that it can't, but when you later see the word 'Damaged', you begin to wonder if a 'Destroyed' factory can be fixed. I would either never use one of the two or be very specific when using both words.

Using green factories for the built ones might become regrettable when MWiF 3.0 : Patton in Flames comes out some day as the PaTiF maps use green factories for some reason that I'm not quite sure about, not owning that game myself. I think it is just so you can use those maps playing 39-45 WiF and a computer version could just use standard red and blue...but perhaps there is some reason why they are different...and what happens when you want to take a 39-45 game on into PaTiF action? Maybe this isn't important, I don't know.


I have taken pains to not change RAC when I copied it from RAW. Only really essential changes were made (e.g., flipping units).

Green factories in Patton in Flames are just for using the maps for both versions of the game (as I recall). If I ever get to Patton for the computer, I'll make all printed factories either red or blue, and keep green for newly built factories. That was a decision I made a long time ago when I decided on green for newly built factories.

_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to brian brian)
Post #: 2503
RE: When? - 1/5/2012 8:39:45 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 18241
Joined: 5/19/2005
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: morgil

quote:

ORIGINAL: Shannon V. OKeets
The WIF FE rules weren’t clear as what should happen when the Collapse of Vichy France causes Vichy France controlled minor countries to become owned by an Axis major power which has a unit present in the minor country. For instance, if Italy has a unit in Tunisia (which is controlled by Vichy France), then the rules state that Tunisia goes to Italy. But the rules say nothing about if there are both German and Italian units present. I decided to count the number of units and ‘give’ the country to the Axis major power with the most units present.


I dont think this is possible...

quote:

ORIGINAL: RAW

17.3 Units
Non-French units
The owning player moves every non-French controlled land and aircraft unit in a Vichy French hex to the nearest hex they can stack in controlled by its major power, or a co-operating major power, or their aligned minors.

Access to Vichy territory

No Axis units may enter Vichy controlled hexes while Vichy France is neutral (except to collapse her administration, see below).
While Vichy France is active, only units belonging to the major power which installed Vichy France may enter Vichy controlled administration groups, and even then must satisfy the foreign troop commitment rules (see 18.2) to enter each administration group.
If Vichy France is active and hostile to any major power, units controlled by the major power that installed the Vichy government can enter any Vichy controlled hex without having to satisfy the foreign troop commitment limits.


I could ofc be missing something, but it seems that when installing Vichy, all non-french units has to move out of Vichy, and if they move back in, Vichy is instantly collapsed, thus making this impossible..

Ohh and btw. AWESOME work

Edit;
Unless the unit that doesn't cause the collapse is a HQ ofc...
/duh me


I think you are right. Only one Axis major power can have units present. I'll leave the code as is though (just in case).

_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to morgil)
Post #: 2504
RE: When? - 1/12/2012 1:50:24 AM   
bk19@mweb.co.za

 

Posts: 258
Joined: 7/26/2011
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Shannon V. OKeets

PBEM
Nothing new other than the decision to use the MultiPlayer++ system developed by Slitherine/Matrix Games for locating a PBEM opponent. This is the same underlying system used by the Private MWIF NetPlay Forum.



Hi,

I have just a brief comment to add to this remark. I have just been exposed to this PBEM interface as built within War in the East. A cool idea which works well in the main I think bar the following concerns.

Given the expected data volume of this game when playing a campaign :
1. Will the transfer time between the Multiplayer++ server not be inordinately long when fetching or saving game state?

2. Currently it appears that it is not possible to save a turn midway. Today I attempted this action and the game behaved as if I had pressed the end of turn button. This may not be such a cool feature when playing a large scenario of MWIF I would venture.

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 2505
RE: When? - 1/12/2012 2:45:52 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 18241
Joined: 5/19/2005
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: bk19@mweb.co.za


quote:

ORIGINAL: Shannon V. OKeets

PBEM
Nothing new other than the decision to use the MultiPlayer++ system developed by Slitherine/Matrix Games for locating a PBEM opponent. This is the same underlying system used by the Private MWIF NetPlay Forum.



Hi,

I have just a brief comment to add to this remark. I have just been exposed to this PBEM interface as built within War in the East. A cool idea which works well in the main I think bar the following concerns.

Given the expected data volume of this game when playing a campaign :
1. Will the transfer time between the Multiplayer++ server not be inordinately long when fetching or saving game state?

2. Currently it appears that it is not possible to save a turn midway. Today I attempted this action and the game behaved as if I had pressed the end of turn button. This may not be such a cool feature when playing a large scenario of MWIF I would venture.


I am unfamiliar with how this feature is implemented in other Matrix/Slitherine games.

For MWIF, very little data is exchanged and certainly NOT the entire game state (i.e., a complete saved game). In a PBEM game each email would consist of set of transactions (e.g., land moves), which requires sending the entire path for a moving unit, but that would be a quite small amount of data.

In an internet game each decision (e.g., move) would be sent as soon as it is completed. So the other players would be able to track the movement of individual units virtually simultaneously with the units being moved on the originator's computer.

As an example, as one player sets up his units, the other players would see on their monitors each unit being placed on the map, one by one.

The saved games would be kept on each player's computer. That they are identical will be assured through numbering each transmission, each group of decisions (a.k.a., transaction) and each individual decision (a.k.a., entry). When a group of naval units move as a stack, that would be one transaction with the movement of each unit an entry. Everything will be numbered to make sure nothing is lost in transmission.

< Message edited by Shannon V. OKeets -- 1/12/2012 2:46:13 AM >


_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to bk19@mweb.co.za)
Post #: 2506
RE: When? And Vichy France - 1/19/2012 9:41:44 AM   
palad1n

 

Posts: 20
Joined: 1/19/2012
From: Australia
Status: offline
A clarification re units in vichy france. While clause 17.3 of the rules are as stated by Shannon, one needs to take the whole into account. Specifically, the second last sentence before clause 17.2. This states "French territories and minor countries already conquered by the Axis remain conquered by them." So, if Tunisia is conquered by Italy or Germany when Vichy is declared, they retain control of Tunisia and it is no longer a consideration for the Vichy dice roll determine control phase (clause 17.2). Vichy France only collapses when a unit from the contolling major power (usually Germany) enters mainlad Vichy. Axis units can enter any Vichy territory at any time without causing the collapse of Vichy France, but they must comply with the foreign troop rules - ie at least a HQ unit.

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 2507
RE: When? And Vichy France - 1/19/2012 11:42:38 AM   
michaelbaldur


Posts: 3715
Joined: 4/6/2007
From: denmark
Status: online

quote:

ORIGINAL: palad1n

A clarification re units in vichy france. While clause 17.3 of the rules are as stated by Shannon, one needs to take the whole into account. Specifically, the second last sentence before clause 17.2. This states "French territories and minor countries already conquered by the Axis remain conquered by them." So, if Tunisia is conquered by Italy or Germany when Vichy is declared, they retain control of Tunisia and it is no longer a consideration for the Vichy dice roll determine control phase (clause 17.2). Vichy France only collapses when a unit from the contolling major power (usually Germany) enters mainlad Vichy. Axis units can enter any Vichy territory at any time without causing the collapse of Vichy France, but they must comply with the foreign troop rules - ie at least a HQ unit.


it is not only the controlling major power that can collapse. any axis units can collapse Vichy

but the installing major power gets any BP saved in Vichy..

< Message edited by michaelbaldur -- 1/19/2012 11:47:00 AM >


_____________________________

Peyton manning is a God and the wif rulebook is my bible

I work hard, not smart.

beta tester and Mwif expert

(in reply to palad1n)
Post #: 2508
RE: When? And Vichy France - 1/19/2012 5:51:32 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 18241
Joined: 5/19/2005
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: palad1n

A clarification re units in vichy france. While clause 17.3 of the rules are as stated by Shannon, one needs to take the whole into account. Specifically, the second last sentence before clause 17.2. This states "French territories and minor countries already conquered by the Axis remain conquered by them." So, if Tunisia is conquered by Italy or Germany when Vichy is declared, they retain control of Tunisia and it is no longer a consideration for the Vichy dice roll determine control phase (clause 17.2). Vichy France only collapses when a unit from the contolling major power (usually Germany) enters mainlad Vichy. Axis units can enter any Vichy territory at any time without causing the collapse of Vichy France, but they must comply with the foreign troop rules - ie at least a HQ unit.

Welcome to the forum!

The rules on Vichy France are one of the biggest nests of confusion in the game. Many have tried to elucidate them with at best partial success. I count myself among that number. Cad908 (Rob W.) has performed yeoman's work testing every facet of them. Just for chuckles, here is what I still have remaining on my task list concerning Vichy France rules. Most of these are from Rob.

Just to be clear here, Aaron's spreadsheet shows I fixed 13 Vichy bugs in the period from August 1 - November 1, 2011. And I fixed a lot more before that and at least 3 more this month. It's an infestation!

===

1003 Vichy Posts #105 & #106 Rob W. #60 09.02.05 12/3/2001
Commonwealth naval and air units in minor countries aligned to France when Vichy is declared and the minor subsequently conquered are correctly overrun, but the overrun can not be performed because the units have no viable hexes to which to rebase.
Files: zipped with GAM, 2 jpg
1004 Vichy Posts #112 & #113 Rob W. #61 & #62 09.02.05 12/3/2001
Assuming Spain is aligned to Germany and then conquered by France, the declaration of Vichy results in the disposition of Spain depending on the administrative roll for “All other territories and minors”. However, regardless of the die roll, Spain goes to Free France. On lower die rolls it should become aligned to whichever Axis major power the major power installing Vichy chooses. The same thing happens to Libya.
Files: 2 jpg. Also see RobW Summary.txt.
1005 Vichy Post #114 Rob W. #63 09.02.05 12/3/2001
Assuming that Portugal was aligned to France and Vichy declared, if the administrative die roll is low for “All other territories and minors”, the installing Axis major power chooses which Axis major power conquers Portugal (in this case Italy conquers Portugal). That proceeds correctly but the control of individual hexes in Portugal is computed incorrectly. A previous controlled German hex should become Italian controlled. Also, the hexes occupied by Commonwealth units should become controlled by the Commonwealth.
Files: 1 jpg. Also see RobW Summary.txt.
1006 Vichy Post #115 Rob W. #64 09.02.05 12/3/2001
Assuming that Spain was conquered by France and Vichy declared, if the administrative die roll is high for “All other territories and minors”, Spain show to go Free France. That proceeds correctly but hexes controlled by the Commonwealth should become controlled by the Free French.
Files: 1 jpg. Also see RobW Summary.txt.
1007 Vichy Post #117 Rob W. #65 09.02.05 12/3/2001
Message for Allied major power Destroy French Units when Vichy is declared could be made easier to read.
Files: 1 jpg
1009 Vichy Post #125 Rob W. #68 09.02.05 12/3/2001
Lending build points to Vichy France by the installing major power is only possible after a delay (e.g., restoring a saved game). The way to fix this is to examine the code for what variables are controlling whether the installing major power can/cannot lend to Vichy France. One of the conditions is not being satisfied as soon as Vichy is installed, but becomes satisfied by restoring a saved game. That should be enough information to identify and fix this bug.
Files: 1 jpg
1010 Vichy Post #129 Rob W. #70 09.02.05 12/3/2001
French New Caledonia Territorial, on-map in New Caledonia, is not processed correctly when Vichy is Declared. It should be processed as part of the administrative group “All Pacific Ocean Minors and Territories”. The Dakar Militia unit is also processed incorrectly; it should have gone into the Free French force pool because it is a militia unit.
Files: 1 jpg
1011 Vichy Post #130 Rob W. #71 09.02.05 12/3/2001
French land and air units located in Allied controlled hexes after Vichy has been declared can not be moved into administrative groups that have gone Vichy (e.g., Syria). The problem here is that the check for the destination country not be neutral has to be by-passed (i.e., add a conditional clause). Locate the error message about Neutral Country and backtrack to the place in the code where it is generated.
Files: 1 jpg
1012 Vichy Posts #131 & #137 Rob W. 09.02.05 12/3/2001
Convoy units at sea are not split into individual units in advance of the Move French Units At Sea subphase of Vichy France creation. The solution here is to enable the player to use the popup Units Menu to split the convoys. That is normally possible but there must be a conditional clause that is preventing that from occurring during Vichy formation.
January 3, 2012 - There appears to be a problem with displaying the Naval Units menu. A similar problem occurs with the Splitting convoys in the Setup tray at times.
1013 Vichy Posts #132, #139, #140, #141, ’ Rob W. #51, #72, & #75 09.02.05 12/3/2001
Assuming that the Netherlands, aligned to France, is incompletely conquered and chooses France as its new home country, during Vichy creation Netherlands naval units in Occupied France should be forced to rebase. That does not happen. The program logic should include these units in a forced rebase because they are Allied units in German controlled hexes. Note that if these units were stacked with a Commonwealth land unit, the hex would be controlled by the Commonwealth and the units would not have to rebase. There is an existing bug similar (identical) to this for Belgian naval units (Rob #51). See point #4a and make sure that NEI goes to an Axis major power if the stated conditions occur. The same point occurs in a slightly different form in posts #140 and #141.
Files: 2 jpg (#72 and 75)
1014 Vichy Posts #133 & #138 Rob W. #73 09.02.05 12/3/2001
Allocation of pilots in production by France when Vichy is declared is based solely on the air unit in production. It should include those in the Reserve Pool and the major power declaring Vichy France should be able to select to which air units the pilots are assigned. Any excess pilots (more than there are available air units) should be lost. It appears that the pilots available to France are not being processed here but instead are simply being passed along to Free France, which is completely wrong.
Files: 1 jpg
1015 Vichy Post #143 Lars 09.02.05 12/3/2001
Iraq oil is going to Free France after Vichy is declared, even though Syria went Vichy.
1016 Vichy Post #147 Rob W. 09.02.05 12/3/2001
PM 7.12.10 state that French Oil Points should go to Vichy, but go to the installing major power instead. This might be ok. It should depend on who controls the hex in which the oil point resides.


_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to palad1n)
Post #: 2509
RE: When? And Vichy France - 1/20/2012 12:24:51 PM   
palad1n

 

Posts: 20
Joined: 1/19/2012
From: Australia
Status: offline
Some interesting points. For France to control the Netherlands means that the CW refused control; as an aside the Netherlands is generally always a incompletly conquered country until/unless the Japanese take out NEI. The probability of Spain and/or Portugal being aligned/conquered by France approaches the infitisimal. France has far too much on its plate to worry about these minor countries. These are events that may only occur if Germany decides to not invade France. I have only played one game where this happened and Spain/Portugal were still not anywhere the game plan - sort of WWI all over again.

Want to see the game being played? The Australian WiFCon starts late Feb (24th Feb to 4 Mar). E-mail Robin Walters auswifcon@gmail.com for details. Harry will be there.

Seeing is believing.

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 2510
RE: When? And Vichy France - 1/20/2012 4:34:18 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 18241
Joined: 5/19/2005
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: palad1n

Some interesting points. For France to control the Netherlands means that the CW refused control; as an aside the Netherlands is generally always a incompletly conquered country until/unless the Japanese take out NEI. The probability of Spain and/or Portugal being aligned/conquered by France approaches the infitisimal. France has far too much on its plate to worry about these minor countries. These are events that may only occur if Germany decides to not invade France. I have only played one game where this happened and Spain/Portugal were still not anywhere the game plan - sort of WWI all over again.

Want to see the game being played? The Australian WiFCon starts late Feb (24th Feb to 4 Mar). E-mail Robin Walters auswifcon@gmail.com for details. Harry will be there.

Seeing is believing.

Welcome to the forum.

Yes, the whole issue with France aligning/conquering countries is obscure at best. But if the product is released to thousands of new players, they are going to do really unusual things vis-a-vis DOW et al. The code has to handle those circumstances. Even experienced players might leave France alone and take on the USSR first, which gives France little to do, except get into trouble somewhere.

When starting a new game from scratch only takes 10 minutes to set up all the units, the penalty for trying out really dumb things is a lot smaller. Add the ability to restore saved games from any point you desire in under 10 seconds, and the likelihood of players going far afield from what is usual/reasonable is going to happen a lot.

The MWIF beta testers have proven this to be true over the years, and there have been only 100 or so of them.

_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to palad1n)
Post #: 2511
RE: When? - 1/31/2012 5:23:56 AM   
NeverMan

 

Posts: 1716
Joined: 2/24/2004
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: macgregor

I know this much; somewhere Harry Roland is smiling down on this. I find it fascinating to the degree matrix WIF has avoided trying to make a game based on wif -using whatever advantage the computer would offer to redesign it with more detailed combat and events, and instead, making wif; the boardgame experience on the pc. I'm hoping for a virtual beverage(coke no ice) and maybe some virtual non perils(though pistachios would probably make for better graphics with sound.)



They learned their lesson from EiA, where they tried to make an EiA-based computer game and ended up with poo on a plate.

(in reply to macgregor)
Post #: 2512
RE: When? - 2/3/2012 1:59:59 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 18241
Joined: 5/19/2005
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Status: offline
February 1, 2012 Status Report for Matrix Games’ MWIF Forum

Accomplishments of January 2012

Sorry for the delay in posting this but I have been hip deep in reinstalling Indy10 for the past couple days.

Project Management
I monitored all the threads in the MWIF World in Flames forum daily.

My retina specialist says there is measurable improvement in my eye: the melanoma has shrunk by 20%. Enough of the excess retinal fluid has been reabsorbed that the before and after pictures show a clear image where previously it had been cloudy to the point of being opaque. While all of this is definitely good news, I still can’t really use my left eye for much except avoiding walls. And it still messes up my ability to see out of my right eye. As for my other malady, I sent off a new sample to Chicago for urinalysis, so I should know in the next couple of weeks if the changes I have made in my diet have eliminated the risk of a second kidney stone. Life without chocolate is just so sad.

Hardware and Software
I have discovered bugs in the Indy10 library when sending HTTP requests that include cookies. Specifically, Indy10 successfully captures the cookie returned by the HTTP Server in the response to the first request, but does not insert the cookie into subsequent requests to the HTTP Server. This has caused me difficulty in trying to access the Netplay Private Forum for World in Flames. There is more on the later below.

After looking around on the web and asking for help, I learned the Indy10 version that ships with Delphi 2010 is 10.5.5. The most recent version is Indy 10.5.8, so I am in the process of upgrading to that, since the routines for handling cookies were substantially rewritten early in 2011. Yesterday I downloaded over 300 files, one at a time - arrgh. I’ve got clean compiles on the 5 libraries and was able to add them to the list of MWIF project packages. But when I try to compile MWIF itself, I get an E2202 fatal error: Required package not found (IndyCore). I’ve got a request in to the person who has been helping me with this. Hopefully he can tell me how to circumvent this error.

The open items for Theme Engine remain unchanged: (1) scroll bars for the detailed map, and (2) its inability to display detailed listings of file directories (i.e., the dates and stuff when opening or saving a file).

Beta Testing
I released versions 9.03.02 (11 fixes), 9.03.03 (9 fixes), 9.03.04 (1 fix), 9.03.05 (7 fixes), 9.03.06 (19 fixes) and 9.03.07 (9 fixes) in January. I have version 9.04.00 ready to go (12 fixes), once I successfully install Indy 10.5.8. That’s 7 new versions and 70 fixes for the month. One of my changes in 9.03.03 caused the Land Combat Resolution phase to be skipped, so I hurried out the new version 9.03.04.

I spent a lot of my time on NetPlay. The fixes were scattered over the places in the code that have a history of being problematic. Here is where I fixed more than 1 bug:
• Naval combat - 11
• Reinforcements - 5
• Naval movement - 4
• Air rebase - 4
• Land combat resolution - 3
• Supply - 3
• Vichy - 3
• Conquest - 3
• Surrender - 2
• Victory - 2
• Reserves - 2
• DOW - 2
• US Entry - 2

Rob W. ran a complete set of tests on air missions involving carrier air units (with the optional rule for them both On and Off). Basically, he went through Rules As Coded section 14.4 and tested to see if the code performs in accordance with those rules. For the most part it does. I fixed some of the problems he found and I have about 10 left to do.

Saved Games
I fixed one bug that I discovered in restoring a game - it hadn’t occurred in any of the beta testers games.

Map, Units, and Scenarios
I fixed a couple of odd setup issues. But mostly this code remained intact.

Optional Rules
Nothing new.

Rules Precision
With the quasi-consent of the beta testers, I set the maximum production multiple for the US at 2.25. According to RAW it could get higher if the US enters the war early and the game goes past 1945. This limit prevents the US production from getting astonishingly high.

Player Interface
Private NetPlay Forum. This form is used by players to find opponents for NetPlay (i.e., playing over the internet). It is only available to players who have purchased the game, and is accessed from the Opening MWIF screen. It’s also used for each game session, letting players start/restart/join a game in progress. Because this form performs so many tasks, I split it into 5 layouts. This is a common design solution choice by me to deal with busy forms. The player simply clicks on one of the radio buttons in a list of 5 and the form is transformed into the selected layout.

Registration and posting a new request for Seeking Opponent are two of the layouts. The others are for: sending and receiving messages from other players, reviewing the post in the Seeking Opponent database, and reviewing games-in-progress. The last serves a second purpose: starting/restarting/joining a NetPlay game.

Internet - NetPlay
I did a lot of work on the World in Flames NetPlay Private Forum. The paragraphs that follow are from my current draft on the documentation for that. Following the text are screenshots of the Registration and New Post forms. All these sections currently work except for posting to the Seeking Opponent database. For that I need to get Indy10 Cookies to function correctly. I would welcome comments on my draft. This is complicated stuff and I would like the text to provide a lot of help for players who have no experience playing games over the internet.

Introduction
Matrix Games/Slitherine Games provides a dedicated server to host a private forum for World in Flames NetPlay games. Herein the abbreviation NPF is used to reference the NetPlay Private Forum. The purpose of NPF is to enable players to find opponents, chat with other players about NetPlay games, and begin NetPlay game sessions.

Besides the obvious advantage of encouraging the creation of a community of World in Flames internet players, the NPF also simplifies setting up an internet session by automating some technical details. For example, the players don’t need to type in their own or other players’ IP (Internet Protocol) addresses.

The NPF is only accessible by clicking on the button labeled Private WIF NetPlay Forum on the Opening Splash Screen. When you click on that button, the program validates your serial number. The first time you log in, the program then displays the registration form.

Registration
Registration is required for using the NPF. It is a fairly painless process since the program looks up the serial number. Note that the serial number data field can not be edited.

Be careful when choosing your user name and password, since you will not be able to modify them later. The program records all the registration information in the data file NetPlayRegistration.txt so you do not need to type it in each time you access the forum. You can always call up the registration form (using Change Port, described in the next section) to modify the other 3 data fields: residence, email address, and port number. Getting back to the user name and password, very few special characters are permitted. You may only use: a-z, A-Z, _ (underscore), and 0-9. Specifically, blanks are not allowed. The user name must be between 4 and 20 characters and the password between 5 and 20.

The tricky data field is the port number. To start with, MWIF sets it to a default value of 5950. Try using that. If you are able to receive messages from other players, then you can forget about the port number and ignore all the information in the next section. If you do change the port number, please use a value between 5950 and 5959.

Port Number
To set the value for your port number, you need to understand how MWIF uses ports. Unfortunately, that requires understanding some background information. Perhaps you already know a lot about port numbers, but for those readers who haven’t acquired that knowledge, I am going to go into some detail here. I have found that the best way to communicate technical information is by example. So, for explaining about port numbers, I am going to describe how I set the port numbers for my home computers.

I own 3 computers: a desktop running Windows 7, a laptop running Vista, and a Mac running the Mac operating system. Those systems go through my router to connect to the internet (via my phone’s land line). Although it doesn’t have a mouse, keyboard, or monitor, the router is also a computer. These 4 computers form a LAN (Local Area Network), with the router in charge of transferring messages between the computers. Because the router is my only access point to the internet, it handles all outgoing and incoming messages between my computers and the internet.

Each computer on my LAN is assigned a LAN address by the router. The router always uses 192.168.0.1. The other 3 computers get a similar LAN address, with only the last digit changing: to 2, 3, or 4. Which computer gets which LAN address depends on when they are powered up: first come first served. The important point here is that the LAN address is dynamically set by the router as computers connect/disconnect. The laptop usually gets either 192.168.0.3 or 192.168.0.4.

When one of my computers sends a message out to a website on the internet, the router notes which computer did so. That lets the router take the website’s response and send it back to the correct computer. As long as the connection originates from one of my computers, the router knows what to do with the response messages it receives. But if a message arrives unexpectedly from somewhere in the world, the message itself has to have sufficient information for the router to know to which computer to direct the message. That is where port numbers come in.

A port number is comparable to an extension on a phone line. When a message comes into the router, the router uses the port number to identify which of my computers should get the message. If I only had one computer, then I would not need a specific port number to play MWIF over the internet. The default port number would be fine. But because I have multiple computers, I need to have a different port number for each of my computers. The port number is associated with the LAN Address. I set those up using my router’s software. After I have the associations between port numbers and LAN addresses in place, the router can translate a port number into a LAN Address, and knows to which computer to send the incoming message.

Each LAN Address has its own set of port numbers for MWIF. I’ve assigned ports 5950, 5951, 5952, and 5953 to 192.168.0.2 (a LAN Address), ports 5954-5956 to 192.168.0.3, and 5957-5959 to 192.168.0.4. Theoretically, I could assign just 1 port number for each computer on my LAN. But since I have 10 available, I used them all. If I buy another computer someday, I’ll have to revise which port numbers are associated with which LAN Address.

Continuing the analogy of a port number being an extension, the router’s IP (Internet Protocol) Address is comparable to a phone number. When my router is turned on, it connects to my ISP (Internet Service Provider) which assigns my router an IP Address. The value of the IP Address is dynamically assigned, so I can not depend on it being the same from day to day. Because all my computers go through the router, they have the same IP Address. In order to play MWIF over the internet, the players’ computers need to know the IP Addresses and port numbers for the other players’ computers. The IP Address acts as the phone number and the port address acts as the extension. This combination lets the Internet direct the message to my router (using the unique IP Address) and the router to direct the message to the correct computer (using the port number to look up the associated LAN Address).

Mercifully, NPF takes care of figuring out everyone’s IP Address so you never need to worry about that.
NPF records each player’s IP Address every time he logs in and stores the current value as part of the data it has for the player. Although IP Addresses can be dynamic, NPF always has on hand each player’s current IP Address when a game session starts. It sends that information out to all the players automatically: no typing required.

You might need to change your port number from time to time (see section 6.1.3.7). I do that when my laptop LAN Address changes. If it has the LAN Address 192.168.0.3, I use port number 5955. When it is given the LAN address 192.168.0.4, I use 5957. Clicking on the Change Port radio button lets me do that easily. After I change my port number, MWIF logs me out of the NPF and immediately logs me back in again, sending my new port number to the NPF so its data about me is up-to-date.

Messages Layout
After you have registered your game, (and when you log in after you have registered), MWIF brings up the NPF form so you can see what if happening in the forum. There is a slight delay at this time while the program connects to the forum and downloads data on the current status of the forum. Figure 6.3.1.C shows the layout for sending messages and reviewing those that you have received. The program will also ‘ping’ the NPF every 2 and a half minutes so the NPF doesn’t ‘drop’ you from the list of on-line players.

You can create a new message at the bottom of the form and then click on the Send Message button to send it to all the players currently on-line. The list of players currently on-line is displayed in the upper left. You might want to refresh that list from time to time. Whenever you desire, you can clear all the text from the New Message and Messages Received panels by selecting all the text (Ctrl-A) and then pressing Delete on your keyboard.

Seeking Opponent Layout
Players who are seeking opponents can post information about what they would like to play, where they live, and when they would like to play. Let’s call this ‘Requests’. Those requests are collected in a database and remain active for 1 month, or until they are removed by the original poster. The complete list of Seeking Opponent requests is displayed in a grid in the upper right of this layout. See section 6.3.1.5 for a description of each of the fields in this grid.

By clicking on a request in the Seeking Opponent grid, you can review all the replies to the request in the bottom right corner (see figure 6.3.1.D). You can send your own reply by entering it in the lower left corner and clicking on Seeking Opponent - Reply. If you want to review the proposed optional rules from the original post, click on the Optional Rules column in the Seeking Opponent grid. That will bring up the standard Optional Rules Help form (see figure 6.3.1.E).

New Post Layout
When you want to add a new post to the list of Seeking Opponents, click on the radio button labeled New Post. That brings up the form shown in figure 6.3.1.F. The data fields for this form are described fairly well in the form itself. Please only enter the name for one of the scenarios. If you have an interest in playing other scenarios, then create a separate post. The program stores the values you type in, so the next time you access this form, the form is preloaded with the values you used last time.

Side is the side you want to play. If you have no preference, you should enter Either in that data field.

Optional rules has a label that provides a general description of the optional rules you want to use. The purpose of the label is to communicate quickly to other forum members how you would like to play the game vis-a-vis optional rules. If you want to use a lot of optional rules in the Advanced Set, then that is what you should enter. Novice players will then know to avoid playing against you. But more experienced players may express an interest in being your opponent.

You can craft exactly which optional rules you want to use by clicking on the Specific Optional Rules button and using the Optional Rules Help form (see figure 6.3.1.D). Notice that this form has 4 buttons on the middle right which let you start from something close to what you want to use: Novice, Standard, Advanced, and Personal. From those starting points you can tweak individual rules On/Off by right clicking on them. Left clicking on an optional rule brings up a description of the rule; it is the same text that appears in the Players Manual. Your Personal Set of optional rules can be created using the Start New Game form (see section 4.3).

Days of the week is simply when you would like to play. This is a free form field so you could type in: “any day except Mo or Tu”. Hours per session is simply how long you want to play each time you start a session with your opponent. What you enter in these two fields has no effect on the game itself. Their sole purpose is to start a discussion with your prospective opponent about when and for how long you would play.


PBEM
Nothing new.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Nothing new.

Rules as Coded (RAC) & Player’s Manual
I uploaded a half dozen changes to RAC for the Matrix Games Editor. These were all clarifications from Harry that I hadn’t inserted into RAC previously. A couple were recent, from November, but most were from the first half of 2011.

I wrote my first draft of section 6.3.3 (see above), which describes setting up a NetPlay game. Because of the introduction of the NetPlay Private Forum (NPF) into that sequence, most of the text and the screenshots are about the NPF.

Tutorials, Training Videos, and Context Sensitive Help
I decided to eliminate the one missing page in the Picture and Text tutorials. It was suppose to describe bidding for major powers, but that topic is a little too complex to describe in a half page of text. I simply cut it off my task list. Other than that, nothing new here.

Historical Video, Music, and Sound Effects
Nothing new.

Marketing
Nothing new - unless you count the After Action Report that Aaron worked on diligently throughout January.




Attachment (1)

_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to NeverMan)
Post #: 2513
RE: When? - 2/3/2012 4:41:37 AM   
Taxman66


Posts: 132
Joined: 3/19/2008
Status: offline
Thanks Shanon, that's a big help in regards to understanding the port numbers and their association to the dynamic IP Addresses. But where do you assign the ports to the IP address? And how do you determine your own base IP address (if that's necessary).

_____________________________

"Part of the $10 million I spent on gambling, part on booze and part on women. The rest I spent foolishly." - George Raft

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 2514
RE: When? - 2/3/2012 5:27:21 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 18241
Joined: 5/19/2005
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Taxman66

Thanks Shanon, that's a big help in regards to understanding the port numbers and their association to the dynamic IP Addresses. But where do you assign the ports to the IP address? And how do you determine your own base IP address (if that's necessary).

Well, there is a smaller second button on the Opening Splash screen, right next to the one for going to the NPF. The 2nd button goes to Test NetPlay Communications. That form lets you find your computer's IP Address and also its LAN Address. You can then test sending and receiving messages to/from another player. The purpose of the Test form is to let players see if the default port number works, and to try others if it doesn't. A later section of the Players Manual (6.6 I think) describes how to use that form.

---

You don't assign a port to an IP Address; you assign it to a computer. The router (I am assuming you have a router here) has to assign the port numbers to the LAN Address. It also assigns the LAN Address to the computers - dynamically.

The process for assigning port numbers to LAN Addresses probably varies depending on the router manufacturer. I can only tell you what it is for my NETGEAR router, but all the other routers have to be doing something similar. The vocabulary they use might differ.

[I'll add the following to the Players Manual, but right now I am not sure exactly where.]

I access the router (remember it is a computer) using IE Explorer or Firefox by typing in the LAN Address for the router (192.168.0.1) where I typically type in a WWW address. That brings up the NETGEAR Settings page. There's a lot of stuff there. One of the indices is for Port-Forwarding/Port Triggering. Using that I add or edit a Service to assign port numbers to LAN Addresses. The screenshot explains it better than I can.




Attachment (1)

_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to Taxman66)
Post #: 2515
RE: When? - 2/3/2012 9:15:04 AM   
Joseignacio


Posts: 919
Joined: 5/8/2009
From: Madrid, Spain
Status: offline
Steve, sorry to come up with the dreaded question but, after so many months from a predicted date, I cannot see the end close.

I know you wont give a date. Could you speak about a certain year as a prospective date?

I am pretty shy to ask this, and I totally understand if you are still not prone to do so. Just I was wondering, in order to check the advances of the game as frequently or less frequently (if it's going to last for several yers still).

Glad to hear your health improves, I hope Red Prince is also 100% recovered.

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 2516
RE: When? - 2/3/2012 4:32:35 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 18241
Joined: 5/19/2005
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Joseignacio

Steve, sorry to come up with the dreaded question but, after so many months from a predicted date, I cannot see the end close.

I know you wont give a date. Could you speak about a certain year as a prospective date?

I am pretty shy to ask this, and I totally understand if you are still not prone to do so. Just I was wondering, in order to check the advances of the game as frequently or less frequently (if it's going to last for several yers still).

Glad to hear your health improves, I hope Red Prince is also 100% recovered.


I'll go out on a limb here and say before July 1 of this year. As to what will be included in the first release - I will not comment on that at this time.

_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to Joseignacio)
Post #: 2517
RE: When? - 2/3/2012 4:58:21 PM   
bo

 

Posts: 2668
Joined: 5/1/2009
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Joseignacio

Steve, sorry to come up with the dreaded question but, after so many months from a predicted date, I cannot see the end close.

I know you wont give a date. Could you speak about a certain year as a prospective date?

I am pretty shy to ask this, and I totally understand if you are still not prone to do so. Just I was wondering, in order to check the advances of the game as frequently or less frequently (if it's going to last for several yers still).

Glad to hear your health improves, I hope Red Prince is also 100% recovered.


Jose, ole, ole. How are you. Are you playing adg's WIF or should I say using it to gear up for MWIF? Tough to play yourself isn't it. Good question for Steve glad I didn't ask it
Just emailed Red and he is starting to feel a little better but it has been a rough winter for him. Please send over one of Madrid's finest doctors and get Red up and going again because Steve sure could use him [ not a dig Steve its the new me] Read his Feb report and I did not fine it encouraging but his answer to you picked up my spirits somewhat. Hurry Steve so I can stop playing this stupid COD2 because I am getting crushed by 10 year olds.

Bo

(in reply to Joseignacio)
Post #: 2518
RE: When? - 2/3/2012 5:29:06 PM   
Red Prince


Posts: 3572
Joined: 4/8/2011
From: Bangor, Maine, USA
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: bo


quote:

ORIGINAL: Joseignacio

Steve, sorry to come up with the dreaded question but, after so many months from a predicted date, I cannot see the end close.

I know you wont give a date. Could you speak about a certain year as a prospective date?

I am pretty shy to ask this, and I totally understand if you are still not prone to do so. Just I was wondering, in order to check the advances of the game as frequently or less frequently (if it's going to last for several yers still).

Glad to hear your health improves, I hope Red Prince is also 100% recovered.


Jose, ole, ole. How are you. Are you playing adg's WIF or should I say using it to gear up for MWIF? Tough to play yourself isn't it. Good question for Steve glad I didn't ask it
Just emailed Red and he is starting to feel a little better but it has been a rough winter for him. Please send over one of Madrid's finest doctors and get Red up and going again because Steve sure could use him [ not a dig Steve its the new me] Read his Feb report and I did not fine it encouraging but his answer to you picked up my spirits somewhat. Hurry Steve so I can stop playing this stupid COD2 because I am getting crushed by 10 year olds.

Bo

I happen to know who the 10 year old is, and I think you're going easy on him. (I did the same with my niece when she was younger -- she hates to lose )

_____________________________

Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done and why. Then do it!
-Lazarus Long, RAH

(in reply to bo)
Post #: 2519
RE: When? - 2/3/2012 6:02:18 PM   
bo

 

Posts: 2668
Joined: 5/1/2009
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Red Prince

quote:

ORIGINAL: bo


quote:

ORIGINAL: Joseignacio

Steve, sorry to come up with the dreaded question but, after so many months from a predicted date, I cannot see the end close.

I know you wont give a date. Could you speak about a certain year as a prospective date?

I am pretty shy to ask this, and I totally understand if you are still not prone to do so. Just I was wondering, in order to check the advances of the game as frequently or less frequently (if it's going to last for several yers still).

Glad to hear your health improves, I hope Red Prince is also 100% recovered.


Jose, ole, ole. How are you. Are you playing adg's WIF or should I say using it to gear up for MWIF? Tough to play yourself isn't it. Good question for Steve glad I didn't ask it
Just emailed Red and he is starting to feel a little better but it has been a rough winter for him. Please send over one of Madrid's finest doctors and get Red up and going again because Steve sure could use him [ not a dig Steve its the new me] Read his Feb report and I did not fine it encouraging but his answer to you picked up my spirits somewhat. Hurry Steve so I can stop playing this stupid COD2 because I am getting crushed by 10 year olds.

Bo

I happen to know who the 10 year old is, and I think you're going easy on him. (I did the same with my niece when she was younger -- she hates to lose )

No Red not my grandson but every other 10 year old in Cod2, I swear they have 9 fingers on their left hand to do the fantastic moves they do, my computer is about a full one half second behind because the server is 3000 miles away in San Jose. Thats San Jose California, Jose, not Spain. I shot at one of them yesteday and he jumped left and spun and my bullets went under him and he spun again to the right and blew me away and I got a hehe from him on the screen. STEVE HELP!

Bo

(in reply to Red Prince)
Post #: 2520
Page:   <<   < prev  82 83 [84] 85 86   next >   >>
All Forums >> [New Releases from Matrix Games] >> World in Flames >> RE: When? Page: <<   < prev  82 83 [84] 85 86   next >   >>
Jump to:





New Messages No New Messages
Hot Topic w/ New Messages Hot Topic w/o New Messages
Locked w/ New Messages Locked w/o New Messages
 Post New Thread
 Reply to Message
 Post New Poll
 Submit Vote
 Delete My Own Post
 Delete My Own Thread
 Rate Posts


Forum Software © ASPPlayground.NET Advanced Edition 2.4.5 ANSI

0.271