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XML Export from Trusted PBEM Games? - 5/27/2018 1:36:44 AM   
76mm


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I've finally got a bit more time now and want to start playing around with the editor.

On page 11 of the manual (Section 3.3.1), it says that if "Trusted PBEM" is turned on, you can export an XML file for loading into the editor. How exactly do you do that, I can't figure it out... Also, what exactly is exported, the current state of the game?

Two other issues:
1) In the editor, for some reason often when I hit "Open Scenario" absolutely nothing happens, and I have to exit the editor and re-enter before I can open a scenario--what might be going on there?

2) I am having trouble scrolling to the south for some reason, the other directions seem to work OK--any idea what I could be doing wrong here?
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RE: XML Export from Trusted PBEM Games? - 5/27/2018 12:31:25 PM   
Lobster


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quote:

ORIGINAL: 76mm

I've finally got a bit more time now and want to start playing around with the editor.

On page 11 of the manual (Section 3.3.1), it says that if "Trusted PBEM" is turned on, you can export an XML file for loading into the editor. How exactly do you do that, I can't figure it out... Also, what exactly is exported, the current state of the game?

Two other issues:
1) In the editor, for some reason often when I hit "Open Scenario" absolutely nothing happens, and I have to exit the editor and re-enter before I can open a scenario--what might be going on there?

2) I am having trouble scrolling to the south for some reason, the other directions seem to work OK--any idea what I could be doing wrong here?



I would wager for the trusted PBEM thingy there's a hot key to make the XML file once the trusted PBEM game is loaded into your TOAW game. Then you would open the editor and load the XML file from there. Just guessing, never did this meself. Also it indicates both players have to have Trusted PBEM game turned on when the game is started, not after.

Not having either issue 1 or 2. Maybe Bob could help you out there?

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RE: XML Export from Trusted PBEM Games? - 5/27/2018 1:43:43 PM   
76mm


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Lobster
Also it indicates both players have to have Trusted PBEM game turned on when the game is started, not after.

Ooops, I think I only turned it on for the first player.

Another note/question: to test this, I'm playing a "PBEM" game vs myself, and every time I open the name I get a message that I or my opponent may be playing with a pirated version... Any way to get that to stop?

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RE: XML Export from Trusted PBEM Games? - 5/27/2018 4:59:04 PM   
76mm


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OK, I just tried again from a hotseat game. "Trusted PBEM" is a game option, not a player option, so you only need to select it once as far as I can tell. In the game, the only option to save or export is to save it as a .sal file. If I do so, rename it as an .sce file, and open it in the editor, it opens but all of the game data seems to be encrypted. What am I doing wrong here?


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RE: XML Export from Trusted PBEM Games? - 5/27/2018 9:17:16 PM   
76mm


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OK, making some progress... I figured out that I could open the xml file of a save game by:
1) turning on Trusted PBEM;
2) saving a turn as a .sal file;
3) changing the extension from .sal to .sce;
4) opening the .sce file in the scenario editor;
5) exporting the scenario as an XML (.gam) file; and
6) using Notepad++ to open the .gam file.

I could make simple changes to the .gam file, re-import in the scenario editor, save as an .sce file, and open the scenario. So far I just revised equipment numbers and dates, have not tried to add any units, etc. As many have pointed out, one problem with this aproach is that the turn is reset to 1; I thought that I could fix this by revising the turn number (and date) in the .gam file, but whatever I change it to there, the scenario opens on Turn 1, although the date changes are recognized.

This is a fairly clunky process, please let me know if I've missed some more streamlined process.

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RE: XML Export from Trusted PBEM Games? - 5/31/2018 9:02:51 PM   
larryfulkerson


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quote:

ORIGINAL: 76mm

OK, making some progress... I figured out that I could open the xml file of a save game by:

1) turning on Trusted PBEM;
2) saving a turn as a .sal file;
3) changing the extension from .sal to .sce;
4) opening the .sce file in the scenario editor;
5) exporting the scenario as an XML (.gam) file; and
6) using Notepad++ to open the .gam file.

I could make simple changes to the .gam file, re-import in the scenario editor, save as an .sce file, and open the scenario. So far I just revised equipment numbers and dates, have not tried to add any units, etc. As many have pointed out, one problem with this aproach is that the turn is reset to 1; I thought that I could fix this by revising the turn number (and date) in the .gam file, but whatever I change it to there, the scenario opens on Turn 1, although the date changes are recognized.

This is a fairly clunky process, please let me know if I've missed some more streamlined process.

I found this in the KeyCommands.txt file in the Manuals folder:

F11 - Creates a NewGameText.xml file

And I assume that's the key you used and you already know about it.

Thanks for your help with this because I'd like to use your method myself. I know of no other way.

< Message edited by larryfulkerson -- 5/31/2018 9:04:35 PM >

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RE: XML Export from Trusted PBEM Games? - 6/1/2018 10:22:19 AM   
76mm


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quote:

ORIGINAL: larryfulkerson
I found this in the KeyCommands.txt file in the Manuals folder:

F11 - Creates a NewGameText.xml file

Hey Larry, actually I hadn't noticed that hotkey--I just saved from the normal menu and then renamed the file. But I will try this later today. I've also been playing with exporting/importing .oob files, will try to post about that as well.


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RE: XML Export from Trusted PBEM Games? - 6/1/2018 2:38:13 PM   
76mm


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Larry, it looks like from an ongoing scenario the F11 hotkey saves equipment files (.eqp and .nqp) to the C:\Users\...\Documents\My Games\The Operational Art of War IV folder.

Not sure yet what, if anything, you can do with these files other than review them.

Also, you probably already know this, but you can also use the SHFT-CTRL-F4 keys to save each side's OOB during an ongoing scenario, with these OOBs showing current losses, etc. The problem is that it is not clear what, if anything, you can do with these files either.

For instance, in the scenario editor, if you go into the Force Editor and select "Open OOB" from the menu, it asks for an .ool file, not an .oob file. But if you go to the Force Editor and press the F5 key, it asks for an .oob file. But I have had two problems when I try to load an .oob file into a scenario:
1) when starting from a new scenario, sometimes I get an error "Parent Unit is invalid. Check the log for details." I have not been able to find the relevant log, but if I press OK for each of these errors (one for every unit in the OOB), the OOB actually seems to work; or
2) when starting from a new scenario, with some .oob files, they just don't work, nothing happens when I try to load them.

Trying to load the .oob file into the scenario from which it was extracted is even worse---every time I have tried it, the program hangs.

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RE: XML Export from Trusted PBEM Games? - 6/1/2018 2:53:10 PM   
76mm


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One more weird thing I've noticed: if you save a Trusted PBEM game as a .sal file, change it to a .sce file, and export it to a .gam file, in which case the Turn Number is always converted to 1. You can, however revise the Turn Number in the .gam file to whatever turn you want, but the results will be slightly weird: when you reimport the .gam file, save it as a .sce file, and open the scenario, the game will say that it is Turn 1, whatever turn you revised the .gam file to say. BUT the event engine will recognize whatever turn you have inserted into the .gam file. Note that if you change the turn number in the .gam file, you should change the game date accordingly.

I'll see if I can upload a scenario file showing what I mean...

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RE: XML Export from Trusted PBEM Games? - 6/1/2018 2:55:27 PM   
larryfulkerson


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quote:

ORIGINAL: 76mm
Larry, it looks like from an ongoing scenario the F11 hotkey saves equipment files (.eqp and .nqp) to the C:\Users\...\Documents\My Games\The Operational Art of War IV folder.

Not sure yet what, if anything, you can do with these files other than review them.

Also, you probably already know this, but you can also use the SHFT-CTRL-F4 keys to save each side's OOB during an ongoing scenario, with these OOBs showing current losses, etc. The problem is that it is not clear what, if anything, you can do with these files either.

For instance, in the scenario editor, if you go into the Force Editor and select "Open OOB" from the menu, it asks for an .ool file, not an .oob file. But if you go to the Force Editor and press the F5 key, it asks for an .oob file. But I have had two problems when I try to load an .oob file into a scenario:
1) when starting from a new scenario, sometimes I get an error "Parent Unit is invalid. Check the log for details." I have not been able to find the relevant log, but if I press OK for each of these errors (one for every unit in the OOB), the OOB actually seems to work; or
2) when starting from a new scenario, with some .oob files, they just don't work, nothing happens when I try to load them.

Trying to load the .oob file into the scenario from which it was extracted is even worse---every time I have tried it, the program hangs.

Hey there 76mm dude. Thanks for your observations. They sound like bugs, to me all of them. I've never heard of an OOL file and I've never started from a new scenario so of course I wouldn't have found what you've found....good job. They both sound like there's something seriously wrong. If I were you I'd cut and paste this report into the tech help section and see if the DEV can look into it.
A saved game file or a scenario file might help out the process. I hope there's a fix for this because you and I can't create a new scenario with what we've got.

< Message edited by larryfulkerson -- 6/1/2018 2:56:10 PM >


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RE: XML Export from Trusted PBEM Games? - 6/1/2018 2:58:41 PM   
76mm


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You can download and unzip this scenario, for which I've revised the .gam file to Turn 11, and inserted an event announcing "This is Turn 11". When the scenario starts, the game says it is Turn 1, but also fires the Turn 11 event. Moreover, the Turn 1 events are not fired.

Also, while it won't be obvious to anyone but me, I've also revised the OOB in this file by changing assigned equipment numbers and inserting a new unit. No problems with that so far...

Anyway, from what I've seeing it might indeed be possible to modify various parts of an ongoing scenario being played under Trusted PBEM settings and continue to play the scenario. So far the process is rather fiddly but I expect it could be automated by someone with more programming skills than me without much difficulty, if the interest is there.



Attachment (1)

< Message edited by 76mm -- 6/1/2018 3:09:16 PM >

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RE: XML Export from Trusted PBEM Games? - 6/1/2018 3:01:58 PM   
76mm


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quote:

ORIGINAL: larryfulkerson
They sound like bugs, to me all of them. I've never heard of an OOL file and I've never started from a new scenario so of course I wouldn't have found what you've found....good job. They both sound like there's something seriously wrong. If I were you I'd cut and paste this report into the tech help section and see if the DEV can look into it.

Hey Larry, I'll try to post this into the tech forum later today, but in all fairness, I'm not sure if these are bugs, or if I'm just torturing the editor by using it for stuff for which it was not really designed--modifying saved game files and then re-importing them into the game.

But at the very least there is some weird and not very consistent stuff going on...



< Message edited by 76mm -- 6/1/2018 3:17:08 PM >

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Post #: 12
RE: XML Export from Trusted PBEM Games? - 6/1/2018 4:34:00 PM   
larryfulkerson


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It was my understanding that you indeed
COULD change the file extension and edit
a PBL file ( or a SAL file too ) as if it
were a scenario and then save it and change
the SCE back to a PBL and load it. But I
could be wrong. It would be a lot easier
to monkey with these games if you COULD
just change the file extension.

EDIT: I changed the SAL file I was working
on to an SCE file and loaded it in the
editor and edited it by moving one unit
to a different spot and then saved the
scenario with a different name than the
SAL file. Then I changed the file name of
the saved editor file to an SAL file and
then tried to load it in the game and
got an error message. Evidently you
CANNOT do that after all.




Attachment (1)

< Message edited by larryfulkerson -- 6/1/2018 4:46:01 PM >


_____________________________

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RE: XML Export from Trusted PBEM Games? - 6/1/2018 6:09:20 PM   
76mm


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quote:

ORIGINAL: larryfulkerson
It was my understanding that you indeed
COULD change the file extension and edit
a PBL file ( or a SAL file too ) as if it
were a scenario and then save it and change
the SCE back to a PBL and load it.

Larry, I am pretty sure that you CAN do this, but directly in the editor, and you don't change it back to a .pbl, but start it over as a new scenario (.sce) based on your .sal file. I am trying to see if you can modify the xml (.gam) file for a saved game outside of the editor. As far as I can tell, this is also possible, but a bit cludgy at the moment. I guess you could actually get back to a .sal file by opening the new .sce file and immediately saving it--resulting in a .sal--but I've never tried this...

quote:

ORIGINAL: larryfulkerson
EDIT: I changed the SAL file I was working
on to an SCE file and loaded it in the
editor and edited it by moving one unit
to a different spot and then saved the
scenario with a different name than the
SAL file. Then I changed the file name of
the saved editor file to an SAL file and
then tried to load it in the game and
got an error message. Evidently you
CANNOT do that after all.

Larry, as explained above, what you need to do is change the .sal file to a .sce file, and then use the .sce file, not change it back to a .sal file. You can do this, the only downside is that the turn is set back to 1, unless you monkey with it as described in one of my previous posts in this thread.

< Message edited by 76mm -- 6/1/2018 9:57:00 PM >

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RE: XML Export from Trusted PBEM Games? - 10/14/2020 6:16:36 PM   
golden delicious


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Oh hey a really old thread- very useful:

I've been testing this feature myself:
1. I can convert a Hotseat .SAL into an .SCE no problems- just like it was in TOAW III
2. If I try this with a .PBL or a .SAL from a PBEM game, I get a "this version cannot load" error regardless of the "Trusted PBEM" setting
3. The F11 export (thanks Larry) comes out as a .XML file but the editor wants a .GAM file. Changing the file extension here and trying to import gives me some other error

Is there some step I'm missing when converting a save (of either type) from a PBEM save (with the Trusted PBEM flag "ON") to a .SCE so I can start editing it?

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RE: XML Export from Trusted PBEM Games? - 10/14/2020 6:39:41 PM   
76mm


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I was able to convert a Trusted PBEM gam file to a .sce file as described above when I first started this thread, but since then have been working with hotseat files, so not sure if anything has changed. I will try a Trusted PBEM file in the next day or two, or if you have one handy send it over to me and I'll check it out.

One error I see with what you're doing is with the F11 key: AFAIK it does not generate a scenario file, but rather eqp and nqp files--see Sections 6.1.4 and 17.3.2 in the manual, for whatever it is worth, although from what I've seen the manual is riddled in inaccurate and/or outdated info.

The only way I'm aware of to create a gam file (an xml file of a scenario) is to use the File=>Save Game (XML) As... menu item in the Scenario Editor. So to change a sal to a sce to a gam, you should take the save game file, rename it as an sce, open it in the editor, then export it as a gam.

If anyone is interested, I'm about to start looking at the details of editing save game files, to allow for the use of tactical wargames to resolve battles in the TOAW layer. My main questions are whether things like time stamps, remaining MPs, and other "mid-turn" data is retained in the scenarios converted from saved game files. If things work more or less normally, I'll create a tool to automate as much of this as possible, including to renumber event turn numbers so that they'll still work in the edited save (now scenario) file, etc. If anyone has any thoughts, suggestions, or questions on this issue, please let me know.

[EDIT]Also, not sure if you've seen the XML editor I've created for TOAWIV:
https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4547880

Depending on what you're trying to edit, you might find that it's easier than working with the built-in editor.

< Message edited by 76mm -- 10/14/2020 6:43:26 PM >

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RE: XML Export from Trusted PBEM Games? - 10/14/2020 9:14:37 PM   
Curtis Lemay


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Be sure you're using the old, e-mail, type PBEM. Trusted PBEM will not work under PBEM++.

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RE: XML Export from Trusted PBEM Games? - 10/14/2020 9:53:05 PM   
76mm


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Curtis Lemay
Be sure you're using the old, e-mail, type PBEM. Trusted PBEM will not work under PBEM++.

Yeah, as far as I know PBEM++ does not even leave the save game on your computer, only on the server.

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RE: XML Export from Trusted PBEM Games? - 10/15/2020 12:37:09 PM   
golden delicious


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quote:

ORIGINAL: 76mm

One error I see with what you're doing is with the F11 key: AFAIK it does not generate a scenario file, but rather eqp and nqp files--see Sections 6.1.4 and 17.3.2 in the manual, for whatever it is worth, although from what I've seen the manual is riddled in inaccurate and/or outdated info.


It generates these files, but it also generates a .XML file in the same folder with a name like "NewGameFile" (on another machine now so I can't check). I didn't look in too much detail at what this file consists of.

quote:

If anyone is interested, I'm about to start looking at the details of editing save game files, to allow for the use of tactical wargames to resolve battles in the TOAW layer.


I'm definitely interested- but for the opposite reason. I'm interested in inserting a strategic layer over the top which would handle supply levels, replacements and reinforcements etc. I've run several of these strategic level games over the past (oh God has it really been) 20 years using TOAW and mostly MS Excel, but without Trusted PBEM this is a non-started in TOAW.

quote:

[EDIT]Also, not sure if you've seen the XML editor I've created for TOAWIV:
https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4547880

Depending on what you're trying to edit, you might find that it's easier than working with the built-in editor.


Haven't- I was aware something like this existed but thankyou very much for the direct link.

_____________________________

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"War Studies"
"War? Huh. What is it good for?"
"Absolutely nothing."

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RE: XML Export from Trusted PBEM Games? - 10/18/2020 6:06:31 PM   
golden delicious


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quote:

ORIGINAL: 76mm


[EDIT]Also, not sure if you've seen the XML editor I've created for TOAWIV:
https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4547880


I had a bit of a go at this. After 22 years I'm pretty quick with the classic editor, but there are some things in here which will be lifesavers:
1) switching unit formations quickly and without having to reset the deployment status
2) making sure everyone is a veteran (the proficiency variability range for untried units is just too large for most situations)
3) setting "ignore losses" for all static units

For 2 and 3 I normally try to set the unit right before making five thousand copies of it, but sometimes you miss something. In this regard it would be good to be able to set the Reconstitution option for units in the same way.

...however 1) on its own makes this a killer app for me. I had basically decided that for campaigns I would have to give up moving units between formations because it is such a bloody nightmare. You just brought back a feature.



< Message edited by golden delicious -- 10/18/2020 6:07:12 PM >


_____________________________

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"War Studies"
"War? Huh. What is it good for?"
"Absolutely nothing."

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RE: XML Export from Trusted PBEM Games? - 10/18/2020 6:09:41 PM   
golden delicious


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quote:

ORIGINAL: golden delicious

It generates these files, but it also generates a .XML file in the same folder with a name like "NewGameFile" (on another machine now so I can't check). I didn't look in too much detail at what this file consists of.


I cracked open this file (NewGameText.XML), and sadly it's just a dump of all the text strings used in the game for some reason. It was generated with the same timestamp as the equipment file so it must be part of this procedure.

_____________________________

"What did you read at university?"
"War Studies"
"War? Huh. What is it good for?"
"Absolutely nothing."

(in reply to golden delicious)
Post #: 21
RE: XML Export from Trusted PBEM Games? - 10/18/2020 6:41:05 PM   
76mm


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quote:

ORIGINAL: golden delicious
It generates these files, but it also generates a .XML file in the same folder with a name like "NewGameFile" (on another machine now so I can't check). I didn't look in too much detail at what this file consists of.

I'd forgotten about that one; I think it contains all of the text used in the game, which can in theory be changed. For instance, I'd like to replace "urban" and "dense urban" with "town" and "city". But I can't figure out how to incorporate changes in this file back into the game...

quote:

ORIGINAL: golden delicious
I'm definitely interested- but for the opposite reason. I'm interested in inserting a strategic layer over the top which would handle supply levels, replacements and reinforcements etc. I've run several of these strategic level games over the past (oh God has it really been) 20 years using TOAW and mostly MS Excel, but without Trusted PBEM this is a non-started in TOAW.

Actually I will include a strategic layer as well. Basically what I'm trying to do is create a layer that will allow me to make decisions about production, OOB, command changes, etc. at the TOAW level, and then fight the battles (or at least some of them) with a tactical game.

I've been doing this for decades, I find gaming any other way incredibly boring at this point. First time I did this with Squad Leader and a hand-drawn paper map, then with Combat Mission: Barbarossa to Berlin and VASSAL, now hopefully something with TOAW, although a lot of TOAW issues will make this difficult. Also trying to set it up so that tactical battles can be resolved with tactical such as ASL, CMBB, or Steel Panthers. Not very easy, and not sure I'll be able to figure things out.

Anyway, let me know if you have any ideas about strategic stuff.

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RE: XML Export from Trusted PBEM Games? - 10/18/2020 6:48:56 PM   
76mm


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quote:

ORIGINAL: golden delicious
...there are some things in here which will be lifesavers:
1) switching unit formations quickly and without having to reset the deployment status
2) making sure everyone is a veteran (the proficiency variability range for untried units is just too large for most situations)
3) setting "ignore losses" for all static units

I actually forget if I included 2 & 3...are you saying those are in and helpful?

quote:

ORIGINAL: golden delicious
In this regard it would be good to be able to set the Reconstitution option for units in the same way.

This would probably be simple if it is exposed in the XML; is the Reconstitution option shown at all in TOAWxml? If so I'll try to add it for propagation.

quote:

ORIGINAL: golden delicious
...however 1) on its own makes this a killer app for me. I had basically decided that for campaigns I would have to give up moving units between formations because it is such a bloody nightmare. You just brought back a feature.

I've tested moving units and it seems to work...but please test it with your scenario before doing a ton of work. For old scenarios in particular, it is impossible to know what XML formatting quirks can sneak in...

By test it, I mean load the gam file back into the scenario editor, save it as a sce file, and then load the game. Again, I've done this with no issues, but I haven't gotten a lot of feedback in general other than occasional bug reports...don't hear much about what does work. Please read the instructions as well, it mentions a few things that will break your scenario in TOAWxml.

Also, I'd be interested in your thoughts on the Event Editor in TOAWxml...I've gotten zero feedback on it other than from my own limited testing.



(in reply to golden delicious)
Post #: 23
RE: XML Export from Trusted PBEM Games? - 10/19/2020 9:26:13 AM   
golden delicious


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quote:

ORIGINAL: 76mm

Anyway, let me know if you have any ideas about strategic stuff.


I've already run several of these games, although the problem with them is that waiting for multiple people to turn back orders, then to understand what they're asking for, then to process those orders, means that the game takes incredibly long. I ran a game from about 2005 (?) to 2010 with 7 players and we only covered about two years of game time in that duration before my life went haywire and I wound it up. Another guy is running a game with my old ruleset at the moment which 6 of us are playing, again very slowly (about 1/3 real time).

Anyway, various points on the map are industrial cities which come with a population which generates manpower, and a production cap which can be used to generate equipment and supplies. The player can then form the equipment into units, which then need to be trained. There's a tech tree and units can swap out their old equipment for new etc.. The whole thing is handled by an Excel file which has gone through various iterations, with the general trend towards automation and simplification as time goes on, to reduce the amount of overhead for players and GM both. At different times there have been bells and whistles for guerrilla warfare, arms trading, mobilisation, limitations on supply networks, strategic bombing, nuclear research etc. etc. etc. Unfortunately due to the long duration of the games one can invest a lot of time before it becomes apparent that the ruleset is fatally flawed, and fixing it in flight is a delicate business.

Ironically the most intractable problem has been naval warfare as most of the rest is just beancounting. I have an issue with Naval Warfare in TOAW IV: if you look at the various naval scenarios the turn length is incredibly short- a few minutes in some cases- and so obviously totally incompatible with land warfare in the same scenario. In theory you could put naval units in a scenario with week long turns but there's no Interdiction setting for naval units, so for example a naval squadron can get from Gibraltar to Malta without any risk of being intercepted by enemy naval units (though the planes will at least take a shot). I haven't experimented with this on a large scale, now sure what scenarios are out there which would be a good testbed for it.

The other problem is that everyone wants to refight WWII but it's such a worn over subject that everyone brings their own hindsight assumptions to it and act in very ahistoric ways. As such I've been running fictional or hypothetical settings since 2005. A major factor for me is to let players choose their own alliances and their own wars, so one ends up with a sort of hybrid between TOAW and Diplomacy

< Message edited by golden delicious -- 10/19/2020 9:38:52 AM >


_____________________________

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Post #: 24
RE: XML Export from Trusted PBEM Games? - 10/19/2020 9:35:30 AM   
golden delicious


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quote:

ORIGINAL: 76mm

quote:

ORIGINAL: golden delicious
...there are some things in here which will be lifesavers:
1) switching unit formations quickly and without having to reset the deployment status
2) making sure everyone is a veteran (the proficiency variability range for untried units is just too large for most situations)
3) setting "ignore losses" for all static units

I actually forget if I included 2 & 3...are you saying those are in and helpful?


Yes and yes

quote:

I've tested moving units and it seems to work...but please test it with your scenario before doing a ton of work. By test it, I mean load the gam file back into the scenario editor, save it as a sce file, and then load the game.


OK I loaded it back to the editor but I didn't start a game. I'll do that tonight.

If this works then anything should, as this was a pretty big scenario (10MB in XML) and the legacy of it goes back twenty years or so (new map with old OOB)

quote:

Also, I'd be interested in your thoughts on the Event Editor in TOAWxml...I've gotten zero feedback on it other than from my own limited testing.


I only glanced at it. I can second the comment elsewhere that if you can allow the user to easily see the chain (event 1 triggers event 273 which triggers event 56 but is cancelled by event 902 etc.) then that would be astounding. This sort of thing needs to be tracked in a separate document today.

_____________________________

"What did you read at university?"
"War Studies"
"War? Huh. What is it good for?"
"Absolutely nothing."

(in reply to 76mm)
Post #: 25
RE: XML Export from Trusted PBEM Games? - 10/19/2020 4:04:43 PM   
76mm


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quote:

ORIGINAL: golden delicious
...the problem with them is that...the game takes incredibly long.

Yes, but I view that as an advantage, because if a game is good I'm in no hurry for it it end. I played my VASSAL/CMBB campaign for several years before one side won. Plus I play myself, so I can always keep busy with one thing or another!

quote:

ORIGINAL: golden delicious
Anyway, various points on the map are industrial cities which come with a population which generates manpower, and a production cap which can be used to generate equipment and supplies. The player can then form the equipment into units, which then need to be trained. There's a tech tree and units can swap out their old equipment for new etc.. The whole thing is handled by an Excel file which has gone through various iterations, with the general trend towards automation and simplification as time goes on, to reduce the amount of overhead for players and GM both. At different times there have been bells and whistles for guerrilla warfare, arms trading, mobilisation, limitations on supply networks, strategic bombing, nuclear research etc. etc. etc. Unfortunately due to the long duration of the games one can invest a lot of time before it becomes apparent that the ruleset is fatally flawed, and fixing it in flight is a delicate business.

This is pretty similar to what I plan to do, although I planned to use generic resource points rather than separate manpower and production points. I don't think it would be very hard to create a front end that would do most of this by manipulating save game XML files. For instance, one of the next things on my plate will be to create something that will count every place name and calculate resource points for each side based on their possession. Then add things like "buying" more units, recon planes (theater recon), sea transport, etc.

That should all be pretty easy. What I'm struggling with now is how to add more depth...leaders for every unit, unit histories, etc. That will require joining two XML files, not sure how to do that...

quote:

ORIGINAL: golden delicious
Ironically the most intractable problem has been naval warfare...I have an issue with Naval Warfare in TOAW IV: if you look at the various naval scenarios the turn length is incredibly short- a few minutes in some cases- and so obviously totally incompatible with land warfare in the same scenario.

Yeah, naval warfare doesn't work great, and I don't expect it to. I've thought about using a different game such as CMANO to resolve naval stuff, but it doesn't have enough WWII naval stuff.

quote:

ORIGINAL: golden delicious
As such I've been running fictional or hypothetical settings since 2005. A major factor for me is to let players choose their own alliances and their own wars, so one ends up with a sort of hybrid between TOAW and Diplomacy+

This is pretty much what I do, but then fight out the battles with a tactical game. One problem with my past systems is that I've had to fight out *every* battle tactically because there was no other way to resolve battles. The main reason I want to use TOAW or some other operational game as the "strategic" layer is so that I can fight out some/most battles there and only play out the more interesting tactical scenarios.

(in reply to golden delicious)
Post #: 26
RE: XML Export from Trusted PBEM Games? - 10/19/2020 6:31:01 PM   
golden delicious


Posts: 5314
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quote:

ORIGINAL: 76mm

Yes, but I view that as an advantage, because if a game is good I'm in no hurry for it it end. I played my VASSAL/CMBB campaign for several years before one side won. Plus I play myself, so I can always keep busy with one thing or another!


This is fine and everything... but the gaps between strategic turns can stretch to months or in extreme cases years when you have to deal with multiple human players. I shifted the strat turns from months to quarters to speed up the pace of the game but it's still hard to even keep up with real time.

quote:

This is pretty similar to what I plan to do, although I planned to use generic resource points rather than separate manpower and production points. I don't think it would be very hard to create a front end that would do most of this by manipulating save game XML files. For instance, one of the next things on my plate will be to create something that will count every place name and calculate resource points for each side based on their possession. Then add things like "buying" more units, recon planes (theater recon), sea transport, etc.


Well, I'm into my realism hence there's more to it under the hood than just buying a unit and plopping it onto the map. One sets up a production line for Panzer-IIIs, after a little while they start rolling off and one can then assign them to units.

To be honest I'd be pretty interested in putting our heads together, but since you're the one with the technical knowledge to automate this stuff, you might prefer to stick to your design ideas instead of mine.

However if you're game, we could put together something really interesting- I'd be happy to GM (handling weird stuff like politics and whether a small fishing village can be used to supply eight panzer divisions) and help with the ruleset if you can make the magic happen in XML, then find half a dozen suckers to be our players.

quote:

Yeah, naval warfare doesn't work great, and I don't expect it to. I've thought about using a different game such as CMANO to resolve naval stuff, but it doesn't have enough WWII naval stuff.


If you're doing it outside the game you could just use... another TOAW scenario. I think naval is probably OK provided you're not mixing it with land warfare in the same scenario, when the scales clash. The problem with this is it means stopping TOAW every couple of turns to insert the results of the naval action. I'd rather just abstract it if I can.

_____________________________

"What did you read at university?"
"War Studies"
"War? Huh. What is it good for?"
"Absolutely nothing."

(in reply to 76mm)
Post #: 27
RE: XML Export from Trusted PBEM Games? - 10/19/2020 7:16:33 PM   
76mm


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I just drafted a long, detailed response, but got an error when I tried to post it...gone. Thanks Matrix!

I'll try to send you an e-mail.

(in reply to golden delicious)
Post #: 28
RE: XML Export from Trusted PBEM Games? - 1/21/2021 7:09:41 PM   
76mm


Posts: 4639
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From: Washington, DC
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quote:

ORIGINAL: golden delicious
I've been testing this feature myself:
1. I can convert a Hotseat .SAL into an .SCE no problems- just like it was in TOAW III
2. If I try this with a .PBL or a .SAL from a PBEM game, I get a "this version cannot load" error regardless of the "Trusted PBEM" setting
3. The F11 export (thanks Larry) comes out as a .XML file but the editor wants a .GAM file. Changing the file extension here and trying to import gives me some other error

I finally got around to playing around with PBEM file and have encountered the same problems as you did. Did this feature used to work? Could you export a gam file from a Trusted PBEM game?

(in reply to golden delicious)
Post #: 29
RE: XML Export from Trusted PBEM Games? - 1/22/2021 9:06:38 AM   
golden delicious


Posts: 5314
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From: London, Surrey, United Kingdom
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quote:

ORIGINAL: 76mm

I finally got around to playing around with PBEM file and have encountered the same problems as you did. Did this feature used to work? Could you export a gam file from a Trusted PBEM game?


Prior to TOAW III, one could simply convert any SAL, PBL (or SAV or PBM) file back to .SCE and it would open in the editor- no questions asked. Then some spoilsport suggested that unscrupulous players would use this to cheat and they took the feature away. There was no concept of "Trusted PBEM" which was only introduced in one of the recent releases of TOAW IV.

_____________________________

"What did you read at university?"
"War Studies"
"War? Huh. What is it good for?"
"Absolutely nothing."

(in reply to 76mm)
Post #: 30
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