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

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HexCode
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Forum Scope - Ideas & Opinions

Post by HexCode » 2019-10-02 15:33, Wednesday

MY POSTS
=========

My Take || Some Further Thoughts || Overall Documentation Scope || New Topics: Key Considerations || Interactive Technical Postings || Custom Content Design Novelties || My Forum Documentation Priorities || Streamlined Searches || Four Evolutionary Steps || Why In This Forum ? || Theory & Practice || Collaboration ? || Reference Materials: Discussions


MY TAKE
========

This is a brand new forum. Since I'm the first poster to take advantage of it, I would like to state my own views and intentions.

1) I very much like the sharp focus of the forum. PGF comes in only one flavor, Version 1.02 for "MS Windows". This avoids the inevitable confusion and absence of focus arising out of accommodating a bunch of "similar" titles, some being native to diverse operating systems and having been released in diverse media.

2) 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.

3) My sole reason for posting in this forum is to conduct an experiment. Namely, I want to see whether the forum can usefully accommodate carefully written and well organized information as it solely pertains to PGF.
Last edited by HexCode on 2021-01-18 02:38, Monday, edited 15 times in total.

HexCode
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SOME FURTHER THOUGHTS

Post by HexCode » 2019-10-09 16:41, Wednesday

SOME FURTHER THOUGHTS
========================

A) I view PGF V. 1.02 as de facto "abandonware & betaware", the source code of which hasn't been "publicly" released. As such, all of my posts will be based on the key assumption that the title's current engine and external support file formats will remain virtually unchanged, save for some potential hex-editing of PGF's main and only executable.

B) From my perspective, PGF is it. Comparisons with other "similar" titles are essentially pointless, even confusing. PGF is freeware and is "publicly" available in "as is" condition. It's up to players and modders to enjoy it for what it is and can do without being shackled by... historical memories (e.g., SSI's Panzer / Allied General).

C) I make a workable distinction between PGF's engine and external support file formats on one hand and everything else on the other. The latter are custom content.

D) I consider SSI's Panzer / Allied General (stock) content which PGF's developer rendered playable under PGF to be custom content as well. Nevertheless, such time-honored (i.e., "classic") content is very useful in allowing a poster such as myself to use natural language to document and explain "things" as opposed to just resorting to opaque... hexadecimal / binary code.

E) At this point in time, I see two everyday challenges:

1) Ensuring that all posted download links remain functional.

2) Posting commentary and pursuing active discussions exclusively under "ephemeral" topics not directly related 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.
Last edited by HexCode on 2021-01-20 19:28, Wednesday, edited 8 times in total.

HexCode
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OVERALL DOCUMENTATION SCOPE

Post by HexCode » 2019-10-18 01:19, Friday

OVERALL DOCUMENTATION SCOPE
==============================

I envisage reference materials to comprise three (3) layers:

a) Layer I documentation will provide information useful to players who are new to the game as well as to SSI's Panzer / Allied General ways.

b) Layer II documentation will focus on generating basic custom content information useful to some players and all "light" modders.

c) Layer III documentation will entail a host of technical topics containing information potentially useful to all "advanced" modders wishing to design "challenging" custom content.

Topics exclusively hosting reference materials sport titles starting with "[REF]".
Last edited by HexCode on 2019-11-25 16:51, Monday, edited 1 time in total.

HexCode
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NEW TOPICS: KEY CONSIDERATIONS

Post by HexCode » 2019-11-21 17:11, Thursday

NEW TOPICS: KEY CONSIDERATIONS
================================

This forum broadly addresses the following perceived PGF hobbyist needs:

1) Reliable Information
2) Working Links
3) Custom Content Development
4) Ad hoc Questions, Answers & Commentary

Organizing topics and posts to efficiently and effectively address the aforementioned needs on a continual, evolving basis is no walk in the park. At the same time, quite a few of us have been exposed to the ways of that "other" Web venue and, consequently, may have reached definitive conclusions... However, the past is, well, the past. It's the future that really matters.

Elsewhere in these forums:
... I sincerely hope that my "approach" to posting ... will drastically reduce the number of "launch - post something - and move on" topics.
I respectfully urge prospective posters to think a bit before launching brand new topics. Not every question or comment need trigger a new topic. Perhaps the post can be "shoehorned" into an already existing topic. To this effect,

PGF: "Ephemeral" Posts (ask questions or comment here)
viewtopic.php?f=95&t=174

PG1: Omnibus Posting (ask questions or comment here)
viewtopic.php?f=95&t=213


are well suited to hosting diverse "shoehorned" posts. :ihope

Finally, hobbyist camaraderie implies expecting a certain quid pro quo. Namely, if at all possible, kindly post your questions or comments in a way that helps increase our collective knowledge re: "things" PGF. Don't be... unconsciously selfish !
Last edited by HexCode on 2020-01-17 23:56, Friday, edited 1 time in total.

HexCode
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INTERACTIVE TECHNICAL POSTINGS

Post by HexCode » 2019-11-29 19:11, Friday

INTERACTIVE TECHNICAL POSTINGS
===============================

Asking technical questions or, more generally, participating in interactive discussions regarding technical matters, is considerably more demanding than posting in non-technical areas. Language precision and poster patience are sine qua non if anything constructive is to be achieved as a result of such forum interactions.

That "other" Web venue provides us with plenty of empirical evidence as to why technically knowledgeable posters may grow progressively reluctant in providing technical assistance to "others". Here are the ingredients which, over time, combine to render technically knowledgeable posters jaded and unresponsive:

1) Posters expecting instantaneous, "magical" explanations and solutions.

2) Posters not particularly caring to write clearly and stay "on topic".

3) Posters unable or unwilling to responsibly interact with posters who, seriously and unselfishly, are trying to help them.

4) Posters who capriciously abandon discussions in progress thereby leaving such interactions... dangling.
Last edited by HexCode on 2020-01-17 23:57, Friday, edited 1 time in total.

HexCode
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CUSTOM CONTENT DESIGN NOVELTIES

Post by HexCode » 2019-12-26 00:19, Thursday

CUSTOM CONTENT DESIGN NOVELTIES
=================================

PGF is 10 years old, give or take a year. Therefore, it shouldn't be surprising that a number of custom content designers have been experimenting and significantly deviating from PGF's "classic content orthodoxy".

Custom content design deviations / tricks are, well, ... novelties. In this regard, the forum could be helpful in a couple of ways.

Firstly, PGF aficionados who come across novelties during play or their private design activities may wish to tell "us" about them here:

PGF: "Ephemeral" Posts (ask questions or comment here)
viewtopic.php?f=95&t=174

Secondly, those pinned topics whose titles start with "[DEV]" are ideal for hosting ongoing discussions of novelties deemed relevant to and supportive of the designers' specific development aims.

Finally, there's a good chance that documentation re: well researched novelties will end up under some "[REF]" topic or another. :ihope

HexCode
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MY FORUM DOCUMENTATION PRIORITIES

Post by HexCode » 2020-01-06 23:19, Monday

MY FORUM DOCUMENTATION PRIORITIES
====================================

Overall Documentation Scope
viewtopic.php?f=95&t=135#p735

broadly outlines the three (3) online reference materials "Layers" which will progressively be taking shape in this forum over time.

My current and enduring priorities focus on generating Layer III technical documentation. This information will be potentially useful to "advanced" modders (if any). On the basis of past "public" experience, I happen to be the only poster who has ever "publicly" shown a lasting interest in understanding the internal workings of PGF's engine. To this effect, I will not be rushing to document "things" which, for all intents and purposes, are a... private hobby !

By the way, I'm a strong believer in helping interested and cooperative parties acquire the requisite know-how which will enable them to "fish" on their very own. I'm in no way interested in actually handing out "fish" to anyone. :)
Last edited by HexCode on 2020-04-23 23:55, Thursday, edited 1 time in total.

HexCode
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STREAMLINED SEARCHES

Post by HexCode » 2020-03-24 17:18, Tuesday

STREAMLINED SEARCHES
=====================

"Ephemeral" posts aren't necessarily irrelevant or useless over the long haul. Forum "lurkers" come and go. It's quite conceivable that a "lurker" may develop a particular interest or come up with a question long after some pertinent post appears in this forum. If and when so, I suggest that such "lurkers" take advantage of the forum's "search" functionality strictly limited to the confines of the relevant (i.e. PGF or PG1) single topic dedicated to hosting "ephemeral" posts. The foregoing, suggested, streamlined searches tend to be significantly more efficient as well as effective when compared to forum-wide searches.

HexCode
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FOUR EVOLUTIONARY STEPS

Post by HexCode » 2020-04-26 21:23, Sunday

FOUR EVOLUTIONARY STEPS
=========================

Step 1

PGF's developer / programmer "publicly" released his game package, including a subsequently released, final engine update, Version 1.02. The software is presumed to be de facto "abandonware & betaware".

Step 2

FPGE's last developer / programmer of record "publicly" released his final editor package Version 0.7.5.10543. The software is presumed to be de facto "abandonware & betaware as well". One of the editor's main purposes was to facilitate certain types of modding undertaken within the context of PGF.

Step 3

Understanding and "discoveries" over and above the two developers' / programmers' "publicly" available documentation have been (are being) achieved / found privately. On occasion, such "advances" were (are) made "public" via Web pages and forums such as this one.

Step 4

Modders privately design(ed) custom content, playable under PGF. On occasion, Web pages and forums such as this one render(ed) certain aspects of the modding experience, "public".

HexCode
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WHY IN THIS FORUM ?

Post by HexCode » 2020-12-23 12:25, Wednesday

WHY IN THIS FORUM ?
===================

Why is it that this forum hosts technical information re: PGF ? Well, it's a very legitimate question.

Let's take a look at Open General (OG). OG's technical information is hosted at its programmer's Web site. By comparison, PGF's programmer has chosen not to do so with his software !

Ok, still, why is it that PGF's technical information has to be hosted in this forum ? Why is it that, to date, no other sufficiently "interested" party has volunteered to do so at some other Web site ?

I can only speak for myself. Although PGF's programmer has de facto "abandoned" PGF many years ago, he is still... alive. To this effect, I don't feel close enough to this individual to unilaterally and heroically embark upon a venture which could easily be misconstrued as willful... representation. This forum enables me to distantiate myself from PGF's programmer thereby allowing me full freedom to technically investigate, critique and document all sorts of "things" PGF "in public".

HexCode
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THEORY & PRACTICE

Post by HexCode » 2021-01-12 19:49, Tuesday

THEORY & PRACTICE
==================

In a perfect modding world, [DEV] designated topics are "supposed" to contain posts just specific to the mods under development. Most importantly, all relevant, applicable "theory" is "supposed" to be perfectly understood and easily accessible, top-down, a priori.

Clearly, PGF mod development projects evolve in the real world. The practice of "publicly" communicating re: these mods can be anarchic. But, I submit to "you" that it's precisely this "free-for-all" which may prove to be quite fecund. Basically, bottom-up discussions often illuminate existing "theory"; they can also generate brand new "theory". Either way, once that happens, it's gonna be up to... me to take care of the requisite reference documentation, well, eventually. :)

HexCode
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COLLABORATION ?

Post by HexCode » 2021-01-13 18:54, Wednesday

COLLABORATION ?
================

Ok, this is a forum; not a wargame development site. Why am I drawing such a distinction ?

1) When it comes to "lurkers", well, one can't say anything ! We're talking black holes here...

2) When it comes to posters, most of them engage in "fly-by-night-short-burst" posting. Irrespective of the "intrinsic value" of such posts, one can safely assume that the aforesaid posters have no desire to "publicly" and frequently engage others over the long haul.

3) This leaves "us" with a few posters who stick around for awhile. Mercifully, such posters "publicly" interact among themselves. Such frequent interactions often prove to be beneficial across the board.

BUT

such interactions shouldn't be confused with collaboration. You see, effective collaboration presupposes the acceptance and internalization of a spirit of organization and invariably requires a single individual to firmly take the lead.

SO

this forum can certainly assist collaborative efforts; nevertheless, that's not enough. :nyet

Key sine qua nons underpinning collaborative projects will always remain external to the forum.

HexCode
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REFERENCE MATERIALS: DISCUSSIONS

Post by HexCode » 2021-01-18 02:37, Monday

REFERENCE MATERIALS: DISCUSSIONS
================================

All post excerpts quoted below have appeared under this topic earlier:
My sole reason for posting in this forum is to conduct an experiment. Namely, I want to see whether the forum can usefully accommodate carefully written and well organized information as it solely pertains to PGF.
Ok, then, I'm the forum's de facto... librarian.

Reference materials can always be commented on and, possibly, subsequently revised. That said, depending on the subject, relevant discussions may also precede formal documentation. To this effect:
Asking technical questions or, more generally, participating in interactive discussions regarding technical matters, is considerably more demanding than posting in non-technical areas. Language precision and poster patience are sine qua non if anything constructive is to be achieved as a result of such forum interactions.
Fine ! Where should such discussions be taking place ? Here:

PGF: "Ephemeral" Posts (ask questions or comment here)
viewtopic.php?f=95&t=174

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