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Does WPP need a "Tracker"? - 6/5/2021 9:58:22 PM   
larryfulkerson


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I notice that WPP is written using the Unity Game Engine and I'd like to see if I can't be more useful to the community using my computer skills. The last time I wrote any code it was a mix of C++ and Java so I think I may be able to teach myself C#. I've downloaded the Unity Hub software package and I'm installing it now as we speak. I've had a peak at the saved game file and was surprised to find it over 7M big. I surmise that it's not zipped up which gives me the courage to try to pick it apart and use it's info to feed some kind of "Tracker" for WPP. I have no idea if it's possible or not and I have no idea what this "Tracker" can do for us in the way of useful functions so I'd really welcome some ideas from you veterans in the community.

The Unity installer tells me that it's going to need at least another 43 minutes so it must be an elephant of a package. I watched a YouTube video about how to use Unity and it seems rather straightforward so the main problem might be my ignorance of C#. I'm told that it's a lot like C++ and I have used that more than any other language.

There's a structure to the binary code in the saved game files so I'm guessing that my first task will be to break out the blob into manageable chunks. I guess the FIRST thing I need to do is query the developer of this bad boy to see what's possible and pick his brain. I'll do that right after I post this.

Wish me luck.





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RE: Does WPP need a "Tracker"? - 6/5/2021 10:04:48 PM   
Cheeks

 

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A tracker would be great, similar to the one for WitP:AE ?

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RE: Does WPP need a "Tracker"? - 6/5/2021 10:12:06 PM   
larryfulkerson


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Cheeks
A tracker would be great, similar to the one for WitP:AE ?

Yes, and I'm putting together an email to Alvaro for permissions, possibilities, collaborations, etc. There may be an NDA involved here as well.

One of the things I'd like to see happen for WPP is sorting the columns of data on the various panels. TOAW has the ability to sort a column of numbers by clicking on the column label. Biggest at the top, click again and the smallest shows up at the top. As it is now there's no sorting going on in WPP anywhere. I'd like a change. If I write my own app, use a saved game file as it's input, I can do whatever my fiendish mind can think up. Plus whatever ideas you guys might have for features you'd like to see. Maybe I can learn how to do database programming and maintain some sort of expandable database so we can track where TF's have been in the past, etc. Track the growth of the amount of supplies at all the bases, etc.

Some help with this project is always welcome by the way. I'd hate to have to tackle this kind of thing by myself.





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RE: Does WPP need a "Tracker"? - 6/5/2021 10:22:05 PM   
larryfulkerson


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open letter to Alvaro:



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RE: Does WPP need a "Tracker"? - 6/5/2021 11:00:07 PM   
eskuche

 

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Don’t think it’s needed. There’s not THAT much to keep track of. The unit effectiveness and experience are pretty direct. An export or track-over-time function would be plenty, I think.

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RE: Does WPP need a "Tracker"? - 6/6/2021 1:00:28 AM   
Cheeks

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: eskuche

Don’t think it’s needed. There’s not THAT much to keep track of. The unit effectiveness and experience are pretty direct. An export or track-over-time function would be plenty, I think.


Everyone has different opinions (as seen by the forum lately). I would encourage Larry in his endeavor..., giving options to new players can only expand WPP. Use it or don't.

On another subject..., holy cow Larry - 72 years and still enjoying punishment by programing! You rock Sir!

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RE: Does WPP need a "Tracker"? - 6/6/2021 1:16:52 AM   
larryfulkerson


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Alvaro says:
"Thanks. No game is perfect and always needs adjustments.

But first you have to tell me what WITP-AE "Tracker" is?
Why does the game need one?
How does it benefit players?
"
So it's obvious to me that I need to do a full report on "Tracker". What it is, how to use it, etc.

Edit: I thought you guys might like to play around with Tracker so I went to the WITP-AE section of
the forum and downloaded the package for you guys and attached it to this post. You can get it below:

By the way, it needs Java to run. You can get Java at Oracle's website:
https://www.oracle.com/java/technologies/javase/jdk11-archive-downloads.html

You will also need a WITP-AE saved game file to input some data into Tracker.
I'll post a WITP-AE saved game file on the next post below.


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< Message edited by larryfulkerson -- 6/6/2021 1:28:25 AM >


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RE: Does WPP need a "Tracker"? - 6/6/2021 1:34:28 AM   
larryfulkerson


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I ran a turn on WITP-AE to produce this fresh saved game file. It's the input file for Tracker. Just drop it in the
Tracker folder. That's what I do.

You're going to need to adjust the witptracker.properties file to say this:

# WitPTracker AE properties file ( witptracker.properties )
# Directory of the game
Dir=[C:\Matrix Games\WITP-AE anti-AI games\]
# Type of game. 0=AI, 1=PBEM
GameType=[0]
# Side you are playing. 0=Japan, 1=Allies
Side=[1]
# Password. Only needed for PBEM
Password=[password]
# Name of the base save file
SaveFile=[wpae005.pws]
# Mode the program will look for save files.
# 0 = just in the local folder
# 1 = just in the game folder: [Dir]/SAVE
# 2 = local and then if not found there, the game folder
SaveMode=[0]
# Text to put in the header of the main window
Header=[Jap computer Ironman scen #10]
# Turn cycle (days per turn). 1 or 2 are supported
TurnCycle=[1]


This saved game file holds only "Allied" data.

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RE: Does WPP need a "Tracker"? - 6/6/2021 1:48:24 AM   
larryfulkerson


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Here's the Tracker directory on my machine. It's a subfolder inside my WITP-AE "Saves" directory. At first there will be no Trackerdb.* files and a saved game file will have to be supplied to feed it data to populate it's tables. Once the database is created it's kept up to date by reading in the very next saved game file.

Once the database get's really big ( over a gig ) it will probably take over a full minute to load. So you can store off those four database files for safe keeping and delete the old ones from the directory, supply tracker with a fresh saved game file and upon running Tracker it will sense there's no database available and will automatically read your saved game file thus producing a fresh database.

I used to keep all my old databases for research purposes. You may also want to keep the old saved game files somewhere as well.

I had trouble getting my system to accept a change in my Path environmental variable so my workaround was to copy the Java.exe and the Java.dll into this directory and all my problems with Java went away.




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< Message edited by larryfulkerson -- 6/6/2021 1:50:51 AM >


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RE: Does WPP need a "Tracker"? - 6/6/2021 2:01:22 AM   
larryfulkerson


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This is the opening page of Tracker....what you see when it awakes. Use the "Turn->Read Turn" menu option to read your saved game file into Tracker. It usually takes about 20 seconds or so. YMMV. I like to read the Alerts first to see what's going on in the game as an overview.




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< Message edited by larryfulkerson -- 6/6/2021 2:05:17 AM >


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RE: Does WPP need a "Tracker"? - 6/6/2021 2:07:24 AM   
larryfulkerson


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Here's what it looks like as it's reading my saved game file:




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RE: Does WPP need a "Tracker"? - 6/6/2021 2:12:33 AM   
larryfulkerson


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After the file loads I like to look only at the current data and not all of it.




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RE: Does WPP need a "Tracker"? - 6/6/2021 2:27:56 AM   
larryfulkerson


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Here's me looking at the bases tab. I changed the owner to Allied and for a special search I asked for a list of the bases that had insufficient air support
and then sorted the smallest to the top. None of the bases had 0 air support but there are lots of bases that are deficient in air support as indicated by
the red numbers.

I chose Melbourne and then clicked on "Resource History" and got this panel that says that Melborne has been low on oil for a while now. It doesn't have
enough oil to feed it's refinery so I'll have to shut it off for a while. But the supply level has been growing for the past 10 days or so. Resources
have been up and down during the same time period.



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< Message edited by larryfulkerson -- 6/6/2021 2:28:52 AM >


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RE: Does WPP need a "Tracker"? - 6/6/2021 2:33:47 AM   
larryfulkerson


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Here's a screen that we may never need. It shows all the TF's, their current location, their destination, etc.




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RE: Does WPP need a "Tracker"? - 6/6/2021 2:36:23 AM   
larryfulkerson


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Here's the Signals Intelligence Report:




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RE: Does WPP need a "Tracker"? - 6/6/2021 2:38:22 AM   
larryfulkerson


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Here's the Operations Report:




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RE: Does WPP need a "Tracker"? - 6/6/2021 2:42:55 AM   
larryfulkerson


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You can get an idea how fast the ships are repairing by just clicking on one of them. I see BB California hasn't
been repairing for a while now. I need to look into that. If it's not repairing I may need to move it to
SFO or Seattle.




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RE: Does WPP need a "Tracker"? - 6/6/2021 2:49:35 AM   
larryfulkerson


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There isn't much for the Allied player to do for his economy except to not run out of something important.
The Jap player on the other hand has to build each ship, each plane, each engine for those planes, and
monitor the transfer of goodies into the home islands. In one game I was playing as the Jap and ran my
country completely out of fuel in mid-'43. I had to shut down a lot of my factories and park the ships
and lost the game shortly thereafter.




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RE: Does WPP need a "Tracker"? - 6/6/2021 2:53:29 AM   
larryfulkerson


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Here's a chart showing the flow of the economy currently. A lot of ink have been spilled about this chart.




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RE: Does WPP need a "Tracker"? - 6/6/2021 3:02:35 AM   
larryfulkerson


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Here's a list of all the LCU's and a report on one of them.




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RE: Does WPP need a "Tracker"? - 6/6/2021 3:04:02 AM   
larryfulkerson


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We may need a Tracker for WPP if only because you can sort the columns using it.

No it's not the National Afgan Army, but they perform that way:




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< Message edited by larryfulkerson -- 6/6/2021 3:05:20 AM >


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RE: Does WPP need a "Tracker"? - 6/6/2021 3:16:29 AM   
larryfulkerson


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Here's a look a the saved game file from WPP. It looks a lot like XML but different. I have no idea where one data block starts and ends
and where the next one begins. This is the file I need to use as input for the WPP Tracker so I'll have to figure it out somehow.




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RE: Does WPP need a "Tracker"? - 6/6/2021 5:43:35 PM   
eskuche

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: larryfulkerson

We may need a Tracker for WPP if only because you can sort the columns using it.

No it's not the National Afgan Army, but they perform that way:





Just for the record, I completed applaud your efforts! The difference for WPP is that the developer is here and responsive. If a lot of the necessary functions could simply be done by him, then it saves you a lot of time. Perhaps it would be helpful if Alvaro dropped in and clarified how much work he is planning on doing for the current unit lists and how much he is willing to explain the code, for example.

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RE: Does WPP need a "Tracker"? - 6/6/2021 5:50:45 PM   
larryfulkerson


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quote:

ORIGINAL: eskuche
quote:

ORIGINAL: larryfulkerson
We may need a Tracker for WPP if only because you can sort the columns using it.

Just for the record, I completed applaud your efforts! The difference for WPP is that the developer is here and responsive. If a lot of the necessary functions could simply be done by him, then it saves you a lot of time.

Perhaps it would be helpful if Alvaro dropped in and clarified how much work he is planning on doing for the current unit lists and how much he is willing to explain the code, for example.

That might be very useful. If I could hazzard a guess, I would guess that Al is busy working on something all the time. He's probably got more than one project on his plate. I've never met him face to face but I like him a lot. He has my respect for what he's done and what he's doing. Maybe we should start a thread containing a wish list of things we'd like to see as features, or things we'd like changed?





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RE: Does WPP need a "Tracker"? - 6/6/2021 11:44:15 PM   
larryfulkerson


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Hey you guys: Alvaro and I talked about it at length and came to the mutual agreement that there's no need for a Tracker at this time. There would be a lot of work that Al would have to do to make it work and he hasn't the time for that just now. Plus, very few people would use it, probably. And I have no idea how to do database programming, yet. So it's been moved to the back burner for now. I'll find some other way to be helpful.





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RE: Does WPP need a "Tracker"? - 6/7/2021 12:12:51 AM   
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If it ever is made please make it work with the latest Java version. It was a PITA to have to have a version that was way, way old in addition to the latest version for everything else.

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RE: Does WPP need a "Tracker"? - 6/7/2021 12:17:19 AM   
larryfulkerson


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Actually I was planning on avoiding Java altogether. I'm in the process of learning how to make Unity ( C# ) do some cool stuff. And it's my understanding that the Microsoft .Net framework is involved and almost everybody has that on their windows machine. It comes with the WIN10 OS after all. I plan on making it very easy for the user to use. No fancy cutting and pasting, no renaming of files, no confusion about directories, etc. Just download it and run it. Something like that.





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RE: Does WPP need a "Tracker"? - 6/7/2021 2:07:08 AM   
eskuche

 

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I’ve been screenshotting my unit info. You could probably automate that and then use a text detector to mine the data.

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RE: Does WPP need a "Tracker"? - 6/7/2021 3:09:49 AM   
larryfulkerson


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quote:

ORIGINAL: eskuche
I’ve been screenshotting my unit info. You could probably automate that and then use a text detector to mine the data.

I have no idea what it is that you are doing or how I might be able to automate it. What in the world is a text detector?





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RE: Does WPP need a "Tracker"? - 6/7/2021 3:13:37 AM   
eskuche

 

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Here's me taking screenshots of the entire list of units piecemeal (by scrolling down multiple times). This can be automated using programs that perform set actions, e.g., take screenshot of a certain screen area, scroll down with the mouse, repeat x number of times.

Edit: oops I didn't unstack them here, but you get the point

There are programs or algorithms that you can run on images to extract the text in them. Doing so here would get you raw data that you can import into a CSV file through some programming magic. Hence you could create a sortable tracker every turn.




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< Message edited by eskuche -- 6/7/2021 3:14:32 AM >

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