PGF: "Ephemeral" Posts (ask questions or comment here)

Panzer / Allied General Remake: Strategies, Tactics, Efiles, Custom Campaigns, Customizations, Documentation.

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PGF: "Ephemeral" Posts (ask questions or comment here)

Post by HexCode » 2019-10-13 17:18, Sunday

INTENT & UTILITY
================

Elsewhere in this sub-forum:
Posting commentary and pursuing active discussions exclusively under "ephemeral" topics not dedicated to building a virtual library hosting permanent documentation so as not to interfere with the aimed at "reference materials continuity". I hope we all rise to the admittedly somewhat challenging and, by necessity, enduring occasion.
The present thread is intended to serve as an omnibus "ephemeral" topic. Depending on the commentary's relevance and solidity, reference materials may be modified accordingly.

Topics exclusively hosting reference materials sport titles starting with "[REF]".
Last edited by HexCode on 2019-11-27 17:19, Wednesday, edited 3 times in total.

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Help with PGF modification tooling

Post by re-enlist » 2019-11-20 07:35, Wednesday

Gents,

I need some help. I am not a computer genius..... :thud
Since a couple of days I am using FPGE to slightly modify PGF scenarios for my own use.

1. I would like so slightly alter some unit specifications in the equipment file. Can i use FPGE for that as well? All i see is an export equipment file function but no way to alter units specs in FPGE. Or should i use another tool for the equipment file?

2. I try to add some deployment hexes. I FPGE using the "D" buton i can specify those hexes. See th black outline around them. But when playing in campaign mode i do not see them and can't deploy in them. strangely when i use the overview function at the start of a scenario, showing the whole map in a small window they show as deployment hexes but as said i cant use them). Does anyone see what i'm doing wrong?

Thanks in advance for helping.
Frans

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Re: Help with PGF modification tooling

Post by Radoye » 2019-11-20 12:46, Wednesday

Hi Frans,

It appears what i said on the old forum isn't entirely true - i seem to remember being able to edit unit stats using FPGE (but in a very unintuitive way), however i can't find it anymore. I must've been mistaken.

But just like most other data files in FPGE the equipment file is basically a tab separated text file and can be opened in a spreadsheet editor (Excel or some such). I find this the most efficient way to edit PGF equipment - especially if you freeze panes so that you have the unit names on the left and the column headings at the top - this way you can scroll the data up, down, left, right and still see where you are. You can also temporarily sort the file (my preferred method is by nation, then class, year, month) to group units together - just don't forget to sort it back according to the unit number before saving.

As for the deploy hexes not sure what is wrong. If you want you can send me the files so i can take a look (but you might have to wait a few days before i have the time to do it). I'll PM you my email address.

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Re: Help with PGF modification tooling

Post by HexCode » 2019-11-21 16:25, Thursday

FPGE's "public" development has ceased some time ago. For my part, I do intend to eventually document the functionality of the editor's most recent version as it strictly pertains to PGF. However, at present, many other documentation areas have unconditional priority...
re-enlist wrote:
2019-11-20 07:35, Wednesday
I am not a computer genius
Well, try the following forum link and see if anything at all makes sense to you:

Tab-Separated Unicode Text Files
viewtopic.php?f=95&t=189#p872

By the way, "Encoding" option / choice is critical !
Last edited by HexCode on 2020-01-05 22:57, Sunday, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: [REF] Modding Technical Hints

Post by re-enlist » 2019-11-27 10:44, Wednesday

I can modify PGF files with excel and/or notepad. However when saving they are saved with type "TXTfile" instead of for instance PGEQP. Even if i rename it with the correct extension, in properties it wil say its a txt file.

Does the executable have a problem with that filetype?

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Re: PGF: "Ephemeral" Posts

Post by Radoye » 2019-11-27 13:03, Wednesday

Those files are txt files, just the file extension is changed.

PGF is designed to be easily modified, that's why most of its data files are tab separated lists saved as plain text files and editable as such, the only thing that distinguishes between them is the file extension (and of course the internal structure of the information within). Scenario files, campaign path, equipment file, briefings etc these are in essence all plain text files.

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Verify, Don't Assume...

Post by HexCode » 2019-12-26 05:24, Thursday

PGF is a remake of SSI's Panzer/ Allied General(s), not a replica. Most players and "light" modders need not overly concern themselves with any... lurking differences. They may as well forget about SSI's "old ways" and enjoy PGF in "as is" condition. That said, certain "advanced" modders better be careful. I'm thinking of individuals possessing PG1-DOS "advanced" modding... credentials :) who decided to migrate their activities into PGF modding territory (I'm one of them). "Advanced" modding is all about nuanced, technical details. To this effect, most differences are to be encountered in such details.

:bullhorn So, "advanced" modders (such as myself) better verify every little detail and assume nothing !
Last edited by HexCode on 2019-12-29 22:06, Sunday, edited 2 times in total.

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Who Speaks for Them ?

Post by HexCode » 2019-12-26 18:53, Thursday

There's quite a bit of PGF custom content "around". However, only a tiny fraction of custom content designers are presumed to be active in this forum (i.e., topics the titles of which are prefaced by "[DEV]"). What about the rest ? Well, the... departed can't speak for themselves, can they ? To this effect, do they really need "someone" to speak on their behalf ? Not necessarily. Why ?

a) Anyone can play through custom content and decide to post "something" about it. If so, any such commentary will be the poster's, not the designer's.

b) Any modder can embark on modifying already existing custom content. The ensuing activities will be 100% attributable to the modder, not to the original designer or to any prior modders, if any.

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End of Decade Remarks

Post by HexCode » 2019-12-30 01:17, Monday

PGF has been around for a decade. The dawn of a new decade is just a couple of days away. In many ways, the present forum is about PGF's future, not its past.

1) Our forum is kindly accommodated as part of a collection of forums hosted by three "Red Administrators" who obviously do care and actively aim for all around success.

2) Our forum's Moderator actively assists posters in accommodating their posts while preserving a "squeaky clean" forum organizational structure.

3) In my opinion, our forum now features more than adequate material on "big picture" items such as scope, areas of interest, poster types and the like.

4) Future posts of mine will almost exclusively focus on technical matters. By necessity, all such posts will collectively comprise a rather long-winded "project".

5) Future poster participation is currently... unknowable ! :evil

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H2H Play Isn't... "Broken"

Post by HexCode » 2020-01-05 22:57, Sunday

PGF AI's many shortcomings have been exhaustively listed and commented upon here:

[REF] AI Module Behavior
viewtopic.php?f=95&t=148

That doesn't mean that H2H play is in any way "broken", far from it. As an old hand in designing scenarios for H2H play under PG1-DOS and a budding such designer under PGF, I can assure interested parties (if any) that H2H play under PGF is just fine, save for a couple of programming glitches that can be dealt with by resorting to observing appropriate "house rules".

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Help: not able to buy core units

Post by re-enlist » 2020-01-07 09:41, Tuesday

In some of the PGF "campaigns" is have the following problem:

I have one or more free core slots according to purchase window. But i can not buy a unit to fill it despite having more ten enough prestige.
If an aux slot is also available then the purchase can be done filling the aux slot.

Does anyone recognize this issue and maybe know a solution.

i experience this issue so far in the following "campaigns"
- French general
- Cowboy attack

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Re: Help: not able to buy core units

Post by Radoye » 2020-01-07 12:50, Tuesday

There are bugs in some converted campaigns that messed up the player side - i don't remember the details anymore, been a while i last looked into it, but in essence you're playing as Allied while the game thinks you should be Axis and assigns purchase slots to Axis side instead (or vice versa). I made fixes for these, you can find them here:

http://www.mediafire.com/file/5epq8qkja ... s.zip/file

http://www.mediafire.com/file/3ar3mn2t9 ... x.zip/file

This makes the campaigns playable but there are other detail issues with scenarios that need fixing (for example - the use of "wrong" air and sea transports). Let me know if you run into other campaigns in need of similar intervention.


(Note: this topic will be eventually merged into the appropriate one)

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Re: Help: not able to buy core units

Post by re-enlist » 2020-01-07 13:01, Tuesday

Thx. I will try these fixes.

You're my hero!

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Re: Help: not able to buy core units

Post by Radoye » 2020-01-07 15:32, Tuesday

You're welcome mate.

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"Ephemeral" or "Developmental" ?

Post by HexCode » 2020-01-10 19:51, Friday

From the standpoint of reference materials augmentation, whether certain "consequential" posts are lodged into the present topic or some topic the title of which starts with "[DEV]" doesn't really matter.

BUT

it makes a big difference whether a poster writes about "archaeology" (i.e., custom content the designers / re-designers of which are not or no longer active in this forum) or about custom content the designers / re-designers of which are presumed to be active in this forum, thereby rendering such custom content "developmental" (i.e., work presumed to be in progress).

"Advanced" modding is all about coming up with novelties based on extracting advantages from as well as avoiding pitfalls lurking in technical details. If so, it stands to reason that "live" discussions involving the active participation of designers should directly impact the latter's development activities in a beneficial way. Equally important, compared to "autopsy" :) discussions where the relevant designers / re-designers are "absent", "developmental" discussions enjoy the obvious practical benefits arising out of participating designers / re-designers being the most knowledgeable regarding, what else, their treasured... "babies" under discussion. ;)

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Why Am I Doing "This" ?

Post by HexCode » 2020-01-24 15:49, Friday

The other day, I received an Email from someone who wanted to know why I've been posting "all that stuff around here". That person remarked that both PGF and this forum are terminally dead for all intents and purposes.

My answer was this. Irrespective of PGF's current "public" status, very much like yesteryear's PG1-DOS, PGF serves my private wargaming interests quite well. I'm a private content designer exclusively focusing on ahistorical, H2H scenario play. As such, I'm not missing at all posts having to do with historical content and / or campaigns. Of course, I would welcome posts containing interesting technical information / know-how applicable across the spectrum of content preferences (i.e., technical lingua franca). Finally, the virtual library of reference materials which I'm slowly building in this forum is of great use to me, personally. Well organized, easily accessible, flexible, detailed, technical information constitutes a great aid to my finite... memory. :) As such, it renders my content design activities efficient and, hopefully, effective as well. :ihope

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Re: PGF: "Ephemeral" Posts (ask questions or comment here)

Post by Bob Semple » 2020-01-25 08:48, Saturday

HexCode wrote:
2020-01-24 15:49, Friday
The other day, I received an Email from someone who wanted to know why I've been posting "all that stuff around here". That person remarked that both PGF and this forum are terminally dead for all intents and purposes.
This strikes me as both rude and awfully presumptious. Obviously there isn't a lot of activity around here, but there are evidently still people designing and sharing custom content. :dunno

And, more to the point, some of us do appreciate the technical documentation which you provide, regardless of whether it was intended for any audience. :yes

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Re: PGF: "Ephemeral" Posts (ask questions or comment here)

Post by Radoye » 2020-01-25 14:40, Saturday

Bob Semple wrote:
2020-01-25 08:48, Saturday
HexCode wrote:
2020-01-24 15:49, Friday
The other day, I received an Email from someone who wanted to know why I've been posting "all that stuff around here". That person remarked that both PGF and this forum are terminally dead for all intents and purposes.
This strikes me as both rude and awfully presumptious. Obviously there isn't a lot of activity around here, but there are evidently still people designing and sharing custom content. :dunno

And, more to the point, some of us do appreciate the technical documentation which you provide, regardless of whether it was intended for any audience. :yes
Hear hear! :yes

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Greatly Exaggerated...

Post by HexCode » 2020-01-26 02:30, Sunday

Mark Twain ... PGF : The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated !

:howdy Hey guys, thanks a lot for your words of appreciation. It`s the long haul that ultimately matters... :2cents

By the way, my recent, ... diversionary :) posting activities in the "Steel & Lace" forum should be coming to a grinding halt by the end of January, 2020. This means that... :evil

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No Way...

Post by HexCode » 2020-02-13 03:29, Thursday

Well, I got yet another email. This time, I was prompted to get in touch with PGF's programmer and attempt to somehow convince him to "finish" PGF...

I believe I've drawn a clear line in the sand when it comes to PGF's programmer. Some of my posts in that "other" Web venue notwithstanding, I've absolutely no desire to post any significant comments regarding him in this forum, ever. To this effect, I've already posted:
It's not my intent to engage in any critique, let alone criticism, of the software's developer or any custom content designer; this includes the actual (custom) content itself. In a nutshell, I'm completely agnostic regarding such matters.
I've also posted:
PGF is freeware and is "publicly" available in "as is" condition.
As far as I'm concerned, "as is" really means "as currently downloadable via the Internet". Therefore, logically, PGF's programmer is a non-factor... :2cents
Last edited by HexCode on 2020-02-13 15:33, Thursday, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: PGF: "Ephemeral" Posts (ask questions or comment here)

Post by Radoye » 2020-02-13 15:25, Thursday

The PGF programmer, having moved onto a commercial product (Panzer Corps) for which he is actually earning money, has effectively abandoned PGF. Furthermore, his contract with the Panzer Corps publisher prevents him from doing any further work on PGF or to share its source code.

So for all that matters, PGF is what it is.

If someone is looking for a "finished" version of PGF i suggest picking up Panzer Corps:

https://www.slitherine.com/game/panzer-corps-gold

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Unorthodox... PBEM

Post by HexCode » 2020-02-14 16:39, Friday

Some PGF aficionado may like to PBEM but can't do so due to opponent unavailability / unsuitability. Also, for whatever reason, he may not be interested in playing PGF Online. Well, if so, such a person may conclude that AI warfighting is the only option available to him...

Hobbyists familiar with yesteryear's tabletop wargames were no strangers to the all too common situation where one didn't have anyone to play with / against. Interestingly enough, quite a few hobbyists had gotten accustomed to playing both sides by skillfully alternating between two opposing wargaming... mindsets. The widespread absence of Fog of War (FoW) definitely helped...

Contrary to received opinion, one can PBEM PGF with / against himself. The trick is to get quite a few scenario fights going. Given some elementary facility with file organization and management, a hobbyist can cycle through, say, 50 scenarios before having to play the "other" side in any particular scenario. This play mode is quite advantageous because:

1) The problem of defeating FoW through knowledge of the other side's force disposition is minimized due to the fact that human memory regarding details can easily be taxed... Even better, with 50 scenarios or so ongoing, chances are that human memory will go wrong, juxtaposing the wrong tactical situation / picture...

2) One doesn't really need all these fancy "battlefield generator" options based on randomization of initial force dispositions. A heavily taxed human memory is tantamount to one being faced with a FoW situation simulating force disposition randomization every step of the way, not just initially ! In other words, a player has to play . . .

. . . the visible part of the board and not the man, every time, all the time...

So, where there's a will there's a way... :ihope

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Ten Years are About Right...

Post by HexCode » 2020-02-18 19:13, Tuesday

Kindly check out:

Verify, Don't Assume...
viewtopic.php?f=95&t=174#p2392

In my opinion, it was a big "mistake" to subject SSI's PG1-DOS to "serious" technical research way back in the late 1990s. Why ? In those days, there was a lot of Player and Light Modder "public" activity which mightily interfered with the... serenity :) and fixity of purpose of a few well intentioned technical "researchers"...

Quite fortunately, PGF's "public" realities have evolved differently. Ten years after PGF's release, Player and Light Modder "public" activity is virtually nonexistent. This has potentially untied the hands of the odd technical "researcher" (i.e., Advanced Modder) such as myself to uninterruptedly pursue all kinds of "serious" ... things ! :)

My view on the admittedly many nuanced differences between PG1-DOS and PGF is this: PGF is it ! Any technical fixes and novelties I might consider implementing better be desirable on their very own practical merits. Whether the impetus behind such envisaged fixes and novelties is some other piece of software or, even, interesting idea is immaterial. In other words, hey PG1-DOS, just take a... number like everybody else ! :2cents

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