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Maps Vanished from Play List


jeffryfisher
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I've been working off and on to develop a new US History map. From time to time, I have saved it as a test name so I could fiddle with things to test without messing up my main development chain.

Today I discovered that neither the "test" mp2 nor the primary mp2 show up in the list of maps to play. I can still see and edit them in the editor, so RT2 knows that they're in the directory. I can save under new names, but the new name maps are likewise invisible when I start a new scenario.

I checked to be sure that the "campaign" checkbox is clear. I opened every event and "okayed" it to see if there were any error messages (none). I'm out of ideas. What could cause a map edited by my own RT2 and recently playable by it to now be invisible and unavailable to play?

I've attached the test version mp2 in case anyone would like to investigate it.

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If you can see the map in the editor, try changing the extension .mp2.

Back space and retype it.

You might try changing the name, keep it short.

But, I doubt the problem is in the map. 

Can you see other maps.  Or, are all invisible.

If the problem is in the installed RT2, try copying individual parts from a newly installed RT2 over the top of the old RT2 parts.  If you already installed in the other direction, as in the last post,  then re-install a new RT2 again before you do the above.

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JSS, I finally got my passport so I don't have to swim the river.    8) 

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If you can see the map in the editor, try changing the extension .mp2.

Back space and retype it.

The editor does not offer control of the extension.

You might try changing the name, keep it short.

Tried that earlier, no help.

But, I doubt the problem is in the map.

Since another player on another machine has duplicated my problem with a file copy, I am almost sure that the problem is in the mp2 file.

Can you see other maps.  Or, are all invisible.

I can see the maps that came with the game, and I can see a modified Australia map that I've been editing for years, and I can see some maps that I downloaded from here.

I also used to be able to see (a few saves ago) the map that's now a problem. My recent testing was done on an early incarnation.

If the problem is in the installed RT2, try copying individual parts from a newly installed RT2 over the top of the old RT2 parts.  If you already installed in the other direction, as in the last post,  then re-install a new RT2 again before you do the above.

If another player on another machine has the same problem with the same map, then I am not going to reinstall. I'll see if I can turn up some hints through web research. Maybe there's a known bug.

If all else fails, is there a way to extract the underlying map (terrain plus cities plus territories) from the scenario? I can rewrite the events and other parameters easily enough, but my corrected coastlines and borders represent many many hours of work that I'd hate to lose.

PS: I have one more theory to try. Maybe having a digit (e.g. '2') in the scenario name causes RT2 to interpret it as part of a campaign. All of the invisible maps were named (from the editor) using numbers to distinguish them.

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Sorry, I meant for you to change the extension under windows.

Since it can be seen in the editor, It should show up under "C" "programs" "RT2" "Maps"

Okay, I changed the ext to ".map". It showed in the editor, but not in the map list for a new scenario.

I could open it in the editor and save it again. The new save appeared as ".mp2", and it still can't be played.

I'm going to see about deriving a new scenario by extracting the map (geography) from my broken file. Then it will be time to pick at the broken file using a hex editor. If it comes to that, any file-structure hints you have (or can point to) would be helpful.

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After comparing map files in a hex editor, I don't see any obvious corruption.

One thing I did notice is that events are at the end of the file. If you have a good hex editor, then you might gain from copy-paste of triggers. One catch: Either you learn to recognize and set the strlen byte, or you need to inject placeholder trigger text ("XXXXX...") into each placeholder event that you can paste over later.

My latest hypothesis is that I created a town or two too many, so I am going to delete towns one by one until the map is playable or else I'm confident that that's not the problem.

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I did check your map, and found the problem. You have more than 1 human players specified. So this scenario can't be started in a single-player mode.

Also did take a look in other things. Here are my findings:

- Some of the players are "Mandatory", some others "Optional". Also some are "Computer" and some others "Either". Also all are set to a specific manager, they're not "Unassigned". I'm not sure if all this setting was intentional, neither I can figure out what you wanted to achieve. If you want only american chairmen, you can disable some (the unwanted ones) in the Player Pool tool.

- Economic Level is set to only 27% (very low) and annual growth to 3.0% (quite high for a normal scenario, but too high for a long scenario). I doubt if you will able to find a pair of cities (of at least 4 houses) to connect early on. Without passenger traffic, your company won't be a able to make any profits, and it won't expand, let alone pay dividents to help make a high personal fortune. My recomented settings would be 50-60% for the start level, and no higher that 2.0%, or even 1.5% or 1.2% annual growth. Never made or played such a long scenario.

- Your map has many cities of "Megalopolis" or "Metropolis" size. While this may be true in reality, this won't make a playable map. Maybe you should have no more than a handful of Megalopolises, say New York, Chicago, Houston, Dallas and Los Angeles (unless you mean the greater metropolitan area), no more than 10 Metropolises (Boston, Philly, Frisco etc) some "Cities", and the rest bulk should rather be "Towns" and (yes!) "Villages". The higher (initial) economic level may cause more "industries", esp farms, to appear at such an early start date, so you should consider setting the "Building Density" of your regions to "Low" or "Very Low". Restart your map several times, to check which settings work best.

- Reserved cells for diagonal track sections aren't enough, you actually need three-tile thick "lines", not one-tile thick.

- At such an early start date, only the Trevithick engine would be available, so it might be best to make it available (though not historically correct).

- The A3 engine is a good freighter and performs well on grades. But it does not become available in the game because of some bug. You need two "events" here, to make it available and (later on) unavailable, explicitly.

Didn't check things more in-depth, but the above is some decent "feedback", I think.

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I did check your map, and found the problem. You have more than 1 human players specified. So this scenario can't be started in a single-player mode.

Huzzah! I never even thought about that!

I'll make some edits today and report back later.

Some of the players are "Mandatory", some others "Optional". Also some are "Computer" and some others "Either". Also all are set to a specific manager, they're not "Unassigned". I'm not sure if all this setting was intentional, neither I can figure out what you wanted to achieve. If you want only American chairmen, you can disable some (the unwanted ones) in the Player Pool tool.

Ah, I've never understood the rules and purposes of most of those player/character settings. Much attention has been paid to events, so players and characters have been largely taken for granted.

I misunderstood what mandatory meant. I thought it was "this player must use this portrait", not "this player must be in the game".

My error crept in when I wanted my favorite character (Stanford) as the default. I added him to position zero without looking at the remainder of the list. I'll have to go through it paying more attention to all of those settings.

Economic Level is set to only 27% (very low) and annual growth to 3.0% (quite high for a normal scenario, but too high for a long scenario). I doubt if you will able to find a pair of cities (of at least 4 houses) to connect early on.

I am still experimenting with the game's economic model. Historically, the US had a much higher average growth rate in the 19th C, but the game might be unable to model that (or the game's "growth rate" may be something so different that it can't be equated to any historical growth rate).

You're right about town-sized clusters being scarce. However, it is possible to become profitable even without pax and mail being demanded. I deliver them anyway and make good money. The money wanes normally due to saturation. Then, when a couple more houses spring up, pax and mail revenue get a shot in the arm.

Your map has many cities of "Megalopolis" or "Metropolis" size. While this may be true in reality, this won't make a playable map.

After shaking out the early-game balance, I'll have to spin of a bunch of years and see what the map looks like after 180 years. What's playable then will depend a great deal on the events I have planned, things like regulation (hurting revenues), unionization (raising operating costs) and taxes (if I can assign a trigger to company cash).

My objective is to start as small as possible and still get to modern urban hugeness. I'll refine it as I continue development and testing.

Reserved cells for diagonal track sections aren't enough, you actually need three-tile thick "lines", not one-tile thick.

I do that where I really care (like inside some towns' boundaries). Elsewhere, I use the thin lines as a probablistic feature, trusting the low initial economic level to leave most of the countryside clear anyway.

At such an early start date, only the Trevithick engine would be available, so it might be best to make it available (though not historically correct).

It has appeared in my test games. I'll look at the current map to see if I did something to it.

The A3 engine is a good freighter and performs well on grades. But it does not become available in the game because of some bug.

A3? I see an A4 Mallard, but no A3 in the loco data sheets. I'll have to look into this A3 to find out what I've been missing.

the above is some decent "feedback"

It's awesome! And, more in-depth analysis would be wasted on a map that is a work in progress (I sent it in only because of the vanishing act in early testing). I have much more to do, I just need to be able to run it from time to time while I work.

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Jeff.  I'm glad your back on the track again.

With the rain I stayed in and did a little work on my status events.  Mainly checking to see that all will be visible and in the correct order.  Opened the map and let it run for a year, paused and opened the status page.  The map crashed to the desk top.

About half the status reports are unfinished.  I ran out of variables and will have to recycle them with dated events.

For now, I think this caused the over testing in my CPU and the crash.

Cogeo,  Good show.   :)

I wish we had more people who liked to do some modding.

My time is so busy that for the time being, I have to limit what I do.  Anyway, It's not where my talent lies.

I looked for the thread you were talking about in the PM.  I didn't find it.

 

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- The A3 engine is a good freighter and performs well on grades. But it does not become available in the game because of some bug. You need two "events" here, to make it available and (later on) unavailable, explicitly.

Shazzam! There it is, the 0-4-0 A3. It's in the editor list, but I never even noticed it before... probably because it's missing from my locomotive data sheet that came with the game (and because most of my play has been in the 20th C).

Do you have a recommended date range for the A3?

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The A3 date range is 1865 - 1910 (start of).

Check out the locomotive data on Hawk's site.

Cool, I was having trouble Googling anything but "how to" articles for model-building machinists. My best guess was 1832 (probably a more primitive 0-4-0 switcher) to 1900.

I'll try adding one event to make the loco available "temporarily" for 45 years.

BTW, Why does the game give us these switch-yard locomotives when we operate intercity lines? Shouldn't the switchers be relegated to the abstract (invisible) car-changing and station-radius work?

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Ehmm, good question. But as the game doesn't have yards, there's no distinction between road and shunter units. So you just have to select your engines based on their operational characteristics. The A3 is a niche engine, useful if the Iron Duke is not available (or you don't want to use that expensive beast). Its strenghts are performance on grades, and its reliability (for such an early engine). But its top spped is low, and the 8-Wheeler becomes avilable only 3 yrs later, so most probably you won't be buying it in large numbers. It has characteristics similar to the Shay and the Camelback, but becomes available earlier.

I checked a map I had modified, and found that I had used two events, not one (one to make it available and another one to make it unavailable). Can't remember why, either the (one) event (setup as "temporary", like you did) didn't work, or I wanted to make it available on June and unavailable on January (beginning of the year), in line with the other engines. Both my events are "One Time Only" and their effect is "Permanent".

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I had used two events, not one (one to make it available and another one to make it unavailable). Can't remember why, either the (one) event (setup as "temporary", like you did) didn't work, or I wanted to make it available on June and unavailable on January (beginning of the year)

I have this faint recollection that there's a maximum of 30 years for a temp event, so I'll need to test it.

Temp events can be set for years plus months, so a June-Jan pair shouldn't require two events.

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