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Udi

Editing a saved game?

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I'm waiting for my copy of CMBB but I would like to ask a question even before it comes:

Can you edit a saved game? Specifically - assuming you can save a scenareo every 60 seconds - can i somehow remove a tank or squad by editing the saved game file?

My reason for wanting to do this is not to cheat but in order to combine CMBB with IL2 in a multiuser LAN party.

I've always wanted to find a small scale combat simulator that's would be suitable for this and I'm winderign if this is it. Imagine creating a mission in both the ground and air simulator and running them simultaneously so that if your air support managed to blow up a few tanks on a given mission - the bad guys would have to remove that many tanks before the start of their next 60 sec turn. You get the idea...any support here would be appreciated.

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As far as I can tell you cannot edit saved game turns in the editor.

Also the .txt file for the saved game is encrypted, example of the first line of a saved game file viewed through a text editor --

</font><blockquote>code:</font><hr /><pre style="font-size:x-small; font-family: monospace;">óÿÿ«ïþ)®þ(“·C?¼€

¥s\ÿññ‡»t·ÎvÒô7</pre>

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Oh it would be pretty easy with a few agreed upon house rules.

Lets say you're a soviet squad seargent and your partner is a russian wing commander at a neatby base. You're trying to defend a bridge when youy notice some Tiger tanks approaching. You call to your partner for air support, maybe an escorted sortie of Il2's.

I could think of 2 ways of handling the timing of the 2 games.

1 - make CMBB run in real time in the same way that a chess match sometimes has a limited time to make a move - say 5 minutes to every real time set of issued orders and then let IL'2 run in real time. (a typical IL2 flight may take 5 to 15 minutes).

2 - make IL'2 more turn based by simply limiting the flights to taking place every 20 minutes so that you would run off 20 CMBB turns for every IL2 flight.

Either way the question is how do you reflect what happens in IL2 in CMBB? How do you remove units (or add them in the case of a succesful air drop)? And the answer seems to be - you can't.

Still....there must be a way...

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Originally posted by Udi:

Can you edit a saved game?

I also tried to edit the saved game but they are, indeed, either compressed or encrypted. Why they would bother to encrypt the data is beyond me. Maybe for security in PBEM games?

If they did it for that reason I would be shocked because doing so means that there will never be a 3rd party editor, scenario designers can never create a scenario that goes beyond the limits of the official editor and, finally, there will never, ever, ever be a decent campaign game. The last one really irks me.

Aaron

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Originally posted by Aaron:

I also tried to edit the saved game but they are, indeed, either compressed or encrypted. Why they would bother to encrypt the data is beyond me. Maybe for security in PBEM games?

If they did it for that reason I would be shocked because doing so means that there will never be a 3rd party editor, scenario designers can never create a scenario that goes beyond the limits of the official editor and, finally, there will never, ever, ever be a decent campaign game. The last one really irks me.

Aaron

As you guessed in your first paragraph it's to prevent cheating in PBEM. You don't need a third party editor to create scenarios or operations and I can't think of any way of allowing one and maintaining PBEM security. The dubious benefits of allowing save games to be edited are not worth undermining the trust between players engendered by the current system.

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Originally posted by Firefly:

As you guessed in your first paragraph it's to prevent cheating in PBEM. You don't need a third party editor to create scenarios or operations and I can't think of any way of allowing one and maintaining PBEM security. The dubious benefits of allowing save games to be edited are not worth undermining the trust between players engendered by the current system.

How about only encrypting PBEM save files?

Its not like CMBB players are a bunch of 12 year old kids. I just don't see cheating as that big an issue. Also, with high-speed internet being more and more common, PBEM is required less and less.

I'd trade PBEM capability for a Steel Panthers/Close Combat-esque Campaign game. In a millisecond.

Aaron

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A TCP/IP game can take up several hours, even small(ish) QBs last hours. I play PBeM when I know I can't be around to play all the time.

Security in MP is really important. When there IS a chance to cheat, nevermind that nobody does, the are suspicions. And then the suspicions will flame up and accusations start flying around. Better have the files foolproof than to have suspicions in your heart. See how CS is today (not that I play, my little brother is one of the nutters): there IS a possibility to cheat, so when one loses, one cries WOLF... and that's all that is needed to ruin the game.

Campaign WOULD be nice, but I can do without when the game is so great as it is. Bilton's campaign rules plug the hole, although some work is needed from the user (versus the automated campaigns of such games as Steel Panthers and such).

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Originally posted by Aaron:

I'd trade PBEM capability for a Steel Panthers/Close Combat-esque Campaign game. In a millisecond.

Aaron

That's your preference, it isn't mine or I'd guess BFC's. High speed internet connections don't make any difference to the fact that my opponent in New Zealand is in bed when I'm awake and vice versa. Besides reading this forum, I'd say the preferred multi-player option is PBEM even between people in roughly the same time zones for other reasons, such as convenience.

Your idea of encrypting only PBEM files would be a possibility, but I'd hazard a guess that it would not be an easy solution that could be catered for in a patch and would probably have to wait for the engine rewrite. You need someone familar with the source code to answer that one though.

[ December 31, 2002, 10:02 AM: Message edited by: Firefly ]

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Originally posted by Firefly:

Your idea of encrypting only PBEM files would be a possibility, but I'd hazard a guess that it would not be an easy solution that could be catered for in a patch and would probably have to wait for the engine rewrite. You need someone familar with the source code to answer that one though.

I don't actually expect BFC to patch the game for me ;) as I doubt very many people actually care. I would like to edit the save games files to make a simple campaign game that allowed you to pull units out of a end-of-game file and import them into a pre-made scenario (a random campaign can already be done via quick battles as was mentioned before). Also, I have access at work to an entire library of high resolution digital mapping data. One of the tools I use allows me to convert the original polygonal data into point data (where a point is any specified size). It would be easy for me to set the point size to 20 meters (the size of CM's tiles) and convert real world locations into CM maps.

I'm an exclusively against-the-AI player. Because I travel so much, I can't really commit to a PBEM game and my internet is too slow for a TCPIP game. I'm stuck in my own little world.

Aaron

[ December 31, 2002, 02:16 PM: Message edited by: Aaron ]

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Originally posted by Aaron:

I'm an exclusively against-the-AI player. Because I travel so much, I can't really commit to a PBEM game and my internet is too slow for a TCPIP game. I'm stuck in my own little world.

Aaron

Actually you sound like the ideal candidate for PBEM games smile.gif . In my experience most PBEMers don't mind an inconsistent turn rate as long as you let them know in advance that your job may prevent you returning turns on a regular basis.

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Two thoughts:

1. Why not just play the tactical simulation first and then add the planes to the scenario if they get through?

2. Not even for a second would I consider trading safe PBEMs for this. If you really want surprise, enlist a 3rd party GM to set up your QBs. That would seem to eliminate all of your issues.

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