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Everything posted by Philippe

  1. The World at War Historical Flags version 1.3a mod has appeared in the appropriate section of the Repository and can be downloaded. Take a close look at the screenshots in the previous post to get an idea of what it does. I've been playing around with an experimental version of the mod which will be 1.4 if it ever sees the light of day. It uses flags or details of flags exclusively for the activation symbols. I'm very pleased with how it makes the strategic maps look, but I'm not so sure about what happens on the two zoomed in maps where you move the units. I wish there were a way to separate the two (miniature flags for units on the strategic map, symbols for activation status on the operational maps).
  2. Hi Bill, Many thanks for getting back on this before the files from Historical Flags and Symbols mod version 1.03 landed at the Repository. I'll restore the Union flag and activation icons to the Egyptian slots in version 1.03 (as well as the hitherto undisclosed and almost completed version 1.04). A fundamental principle behind the mods that I make is that they are graphics-only. That's important because it allows someone who uses one of my mods to play someone who doesn't without any difference in their game files, so no one will be accused of cheating if there's ever any kind of checksum, file, or line comparison. I learned this lesson the hard way from modding games with active clubs and competitive ladder play. I've managed to stick to this principle with pretty much all of the mods I've made for many different game series, and I'm reluctant to deviate from it unless I encounter a really compelling reason. I hope that in any future work that you do on games in this series you manage to keep the display of the nationality of each unit distinct at all times, and make the display of the pre-surrender French, Vichy French, and Free French a little more legally correct (Vichy France was France until it was overtaken by the Free French).
  3. [i'm trying out a new image host since I refuse to start paying for imageshack. Don't quite have the hang of how the linking works yet, but these images are sneak previews of version 1.03 of my AOD historical flags and symbols mod that will probably show up at the repository next week]. 01 (Click on link for larger version) http://i.minus.com/iYFfRn0IHGkDr.jpg 02 (Click on link for larger version) http://i.minus.com/iOS05yIzw8nKL.jpg 03 (Click on link for larger version) http://i.minus.com/idOVguw3nf25W.jpg 04 (Click on link for larger version) http://i.minus.com/ibsq1JDEygRvuV.jpg 05 (Click on link for larger version) http://i.minus.com/ijtaP7iKYdQLv.jpg 06 (Click on link for larger version) http://i.minus.com/ikk2CDKHzUkzl.jpg 07 (Click on link for larger version) http://i.minus.com/imSN1O4Z9Cfxm.jpg 08 (Click on link for larger version) http://i.minus.com/ibf6CAGOHuobIv.jpg
  4. I've asked this question before for the Storm over Europe scenario in the WW I Great War/Breakthrough engine and I know what happens in that case. But I've just revisited my AoD flag mod and there are a few more Commonwealth flags that I would like to change, and this is one of them. As it stands now Egypt is flying the Union flag, but it should actually be using the green flag that it uses in the un-modded version of WW I Breakthrough. In the Breakthrough Storm over Europe scenario using a green flag for Egypt causes problems when reinforcements from the rest of the Commonwealth start showing up. Will the same thing happen in AoD ? I don't want to put a green flag into Egypt and then discover that Indian Army or ANZAC reinforcements are using a green flag for their headquarters units.
  5. I've decided, at least temporarily, that I'd prefer to see India flying a flag that is different from the Union flag. So India is now using a red ensign with the star of India centered in the fly. It wasn't really the official flag, but most people back then thought it was. It was also the flag that was used at sporting events, the League of Nations, the founding of the U.N., and several propaganda posters. The Historical flag mod is now up to version 1.2 and can be found in the Assault on Democracy section of the Repository.
  6. Graphics-only mods have zero impact on what is going on in a game unless they use up huge amounts of system resources. These particular mods should be fairly close to identical in terms of system use as the original game. Short answer: the mods shouldn't affect the stability of anything. Because they're graphics only, one person can use them and another not in the same pbem game, and it will have no impact on anything (apart from the user's aesthetic experience).
  7. While AOD is certainly very interesting and has potential, I think Strategic Command WW I is a very good and very polished game and is a better purchase if you had to choose between the two. You have to buy Strategic Command The Great War as well as Strategic Command Breakthrough, though there's a bundle which makes them more affordable. The configuration of the games as two separate entities is a bit unusual, and it took a while for me to wrap my head around the concept that Breakthrough is an expansion, but it really is. As I found out when I tried to mod Breakthrough, the Breakthrough engine pulls material out of the The Great War installation, and you can't simply take scenarios that you like from The Great War and plop them down inside Breakthrough (they sort of work, but really need to be adapted first). Breakthrough will give you a really good and possibly the best officially released WW II scenario (the same scenario appears in The Great War release, but it's much better with the Breakthrough engine). It's the same scale as the main scenario for WW I (Call to Arms), and part of the fun is seeing how different WW II is from WW I when played on the same map. But the real joy of Breakthrough is the extra scenarios -- a Balkan War, the Franco - Prussian War, the Russian Civil War, and three very good scenarios from 1918 (I wish someone would come along and make a mod for the Chaco War between Bolivia and Paraguay). There are a couple of interesting scenarios in The Great War as well, but my favorite by far is the 1917 Fate of Nations scenario which unfortunately has not been adapted to Breakthrough (same scale as Call to Arms, but covers the later part of the war -- the Russian Revolution, Nivelle's offensive, Caporetto, the revolt in the desert, the Kaiserschlacht, the introduction of Americans into the Western Front -- all in strategic context and in one scenario). A visual drawback to the Strategic Command WW I games is the use of the German Naval Jack as the German flag (the Naval Jack was a red, white, and black horizontal tricolor with a large iron cross in the middle). While that flag was actually used during that period, because it was a jack and not an ensign it only appeared on the prows of ships, and would only be appropriate in a detailed naval game. This lead me to make a series of three mods which make the WW I flags more accurate, which I call the Marsden Hartley mod after an American painter from the period who was the Jasper Johns of his day, building abstract portrait paintings out of German military symbols.
  8. And rather than take my word for it, there is a demo available for each game: download and play both of them, and see which you like better. Tastes differ, and you might prefer something that I dislike.
  9. Assault on Democracy allows you to play WW II starting in September 1939 in all theaters at once. The good part is that it gives you a feel for the strategic implications of the naval war, even in the Atlantic. The bad part is that even though the scale is not as abbreviated as its predecessors, there are still so few hexes on the French-Belgian border that an AI-controlled Germany may suffer from a logjam when it tries to throw its army at France in the spring of 1940. Most of the scenarios provided cover rather far-fetched what if's, though the assault on Malta could and/or should have actually happened. What is missing (and there don't seem to be any mods covering it because it would be a huge undertaking) are scenarios covering the start of the war in Asia, i.e. the Japanese annexation of Manchuria and the invasion of China. I've only played the demo, but the main scenario of Assault on Communism feels like the Eastern Front from the Storm over Europe Scenario that comes with WW I Breakthrough. I haven't done a careful analysis, but the scale looks to be about the same as Storm over Europe, two or four (not sure which) times larger than Assault on Democracy. It doesn't seem to cover the naval war directly (unless it does something with the Black Sea, but I haven't actually played it). To sum up, Assault on Democracy is global and somewhere between Strategy and Grand Strategy. Assault on Communism is about the Eastern Front and is somewhere between Strategy and Operational. It would have been a lot of fun to see the war in China (and the rest of Asia) done on the same scale as Assault on Communism or Storm over Europe.
  10. As already mention in the Assault on Democracy part of the forum, version 1.1 of the World at War Historical Flags mod has been posted to the Repository. This mod adjusts the flags in Assault on Democracy's World at War scenario to more historical versions, and makes a few graphic improvements that are mentioned in the program notes. There will probably be a couple of more iterations of the mod to adjust my Storm over Europe historical flag mod's Nato 2D sprites to Assault on Democracy, but the current version is pretty much it for the time being. Don't unpack the mod directly into game folder and be sure to read the installation instructions included on a separate text file. And always back up your originals in case (for example) you decide that you hate it and want to go back to what you had in the first place.
  11. Version 1.1 of the World at War Historical Flags mod has now been posted to the repository. To find it go to the Strategic Command WW II Global section and click on the Assault on Democracy subsection. You'll see it at the bottom of the list. I'm in the process of coming up with an AOD-specific version of my 2D-Nato sprites. I think I've got a way of distinguishing divisions from corps from armies that is consistent with the color progression I used in my Storm over Europe mod. I'm currently trying to decide what the appropriate WW II-era Nato symbol is for armored trains, V-2's, and nebelwerfers (aka Katyusha's). I also need to double check all of the flags against another source to make sure I didn't miss something (don't think I did, but the devil is in the details).
  12. I was surprised and amused to discover that the Red River in Vietnam is written in German (Roter Fluss) complete with the German letter for double-s (aka es-zed). I wonder if there is anything else like that buried away in South America?
  13. Version 1.0 has already been posted, and version 1.1 has been submitted for review (it will probably be up sometime tomorrow). This mod draws heavily on my flag mod for Storm over Europe. There are still a few minor issues that need to get ironed out with the activation icons, and I haven't really addressed the Nato 2D icons yet (but I will, eventually). Testing the mod made me realize what a good scenario Storm over Europe is, and also made me realize that the game I really wanted was Storm over Europe expanded to the entire world without reducing its scale. The invasion of France just doesn't feel right when there's so little room to maneuver.
  14. After much shoe-horning I finally managed to get all of the as-yet untreated WW I scenarios for the Marsden Hartley Historical flag mod into one place. Looking at the new file downloads this morning I found it a tad confusing, and if it confuses me, it is probably worse for everyone else. It doesn't help that I haven't figured out how to edit the displayed text on the repository page without re-submitting the mod, because I noticed one bit of text was written before I figured out how to combine the uncovered scenarios into one place. So to clear things up, here is how it works. There are three Marsden Hartley flag mods, two for Breakthrough and one for the Great War. They only adjust WW I scenario gaphics, and only for scenarios that came with the game. (In other words I'm not modding other people's mods -- I've done it for Tsingtao, but if you want to see it you'll have to contact me separately: my email address is in the program notes that come with my mods). The main event has always been the Call to Arms scenario, and that's why it got it's own separate release. Ostaufmarsch is a variation on Call to Arms, so it made sense to package them together. When you play Breakthrough there are a lot of graphics from The Great War that the engine pulls out of the Great War folder. It's not an issue with the Call to Arms/Ostaufmarsch part of Marsden Hartley, because the graphics changes for the two scenarios weren't bumping up against the upload limit when I added in the Great War material separately. But it is an issue with all of the other WW I Breakthrough scenarios, because to get them to fit into one place I had to rely on a separate mod. Fortunately I had already modded all of the WW I Great War scenarios. But what it means is that if you want to see Marsden Hartley at work for the rest of Breakthrough, you'll need to download and install the Great War part of Marsden Hartley first. (The reason I made the Great War part of Marsden Hartley in the first place was because 1917 Fate of Nations is a contender for being my favorite scenario, and I don't think it's going to get adapted to Breakthrough any time soon).
  15. I should start by saying that I probably don't know what I'm talking about, so take everything I say cum grano salis. My understanding is that the MPP per country graph shows the total of all income from all sources. There's another graph which shows convoy income and convoy revenue lost. I beleive the convoy income number gets included in the total MPP per country. If the convoy revenue lost number gets high enough, the convoy income number will go to zero. Somebody will probably come along in a minute and tell you what the real answer is.
  16. After comparing the localization text to the flag bitmaps I now realize that I'm going to have to put my historical flag mod through a few more versions. Despite my best intentions I never resolved what to do with Hungary (the coat of arms and crown of St. Stephen should only appear on the military flag, which probably means redoing the activation icon), and Manchukuo needs to be redone from scratch because it seems to have gotten itself reversed. Looking at the activation icons has made me wonder what would happen if Egypt were to get its green flag but keep its British Union Flag activation icon. Similar issues arise with the Commonwealth -- Australian and New Zealanders would look better with versions of the blue ensign as their activation icons. And I'm not sure what to do about Brunei and Rhodesia. But the big surprise was to discover that the flag that I thought belonged to the Free French doesn't. Is there a Free French flag in Assault on Democracy? As I mentioned in the context of Storm over Europe, the correct flag for Vichy is the French tricolor -- perhaps Petain's fasces with franciscas could be used as the activation icon to make the distinction. Do the Free French use the plain French tricolor (which is correct after the summer of 1944) ? Or are they coded to use the West African flag with the croix de Lorraine? For some strange reason I really care about how the French flag gets treated (or mistreated).
  17. As an addendum, John Costello on the help desk was astonishingly fast. My problem is now solved. But I still think someone should take a look and see if that old file should be in the repository.
  18. I was uploading version 1.0 of my historical flag mod to the repository when I noticed an AOD hotfix in the repository. Not bothering to check whether I had already used it or not, I downloaded it as soon as I was done uploading and immediately applied it. It promptly sent my e-license into lala-land. I uninstalled and reinstalled a few times, probably making things worse, and the upshot is my AOD game is disabled. I'm about to contact support to see if I can get it straightened out. Leaving aside the part about my not being a happy camper, should there even be a hotfix in the repository at all? I've since noticed that it is an earlier model of the one that recently found it's way to the official download section. If that old errant hotfix is what lies behind my problems, it needs to be removed from the repository immediately.
  19. I've been adapting the flag mod for the Storm over Europe scenario to Assault on Democracy, and Slovakia seems to be missing in action. It's a bit like French Tunisia in that it's not really all that independent of the Germans, but there were small Slovak contingents that are big enough to warrant an separate unit. The national flag looks like the modern Russian flag, only a bit darker. I can see why they might get left out of Assault on Democracy, but in Storm over Europe they occupy at least a half dozen tiles and a town or two. Any chance they can be worked in to a future iteration?
  20. I'm not sure that I'm going to do very much to the Russian Civil War scenario in Breakthrough, but I did notice that if you play the Bolsheviks your faction flag is framed in blue in the War map, and the White's faction flags are framed in red. Easy enough to reverse. But now I've notice that although Red factions are framed with red, the numbers in the box are in the other color. I've looked in the six appropriate folders and can't seem to find the percentage numbers. Are they hard-coded, or am I simply unable to see what I'm looking at ?
  21. Hi Hubert! I'm not quite sure what you mean by edit. Left to my own devices I would make a zoom bitmap that was proportionately smaller than the full-size one and add _zoom to its name. I would be surprised if that worked, but if that's what you mean by edit, I'll give it a try. I did a spot check on Assault on Democracy and it doesn't have the storm_zoom sprite either, and doesn't show storms when I zoom out. Feels like something is missing, and perhaps what needs editing is the code.
  22. A couple of days ago my anti-virus decided that it didn't like the way Strategic Command was pulling files out of one program and using them in another. I found out about it when I fired up the Breakthrough Storm over Europe scenario and noticed that WW I period flags from the wrong countries were flying over the capitals of WW II Europe. Up until that point the Combat Mission demo had been giving my anti-virus fits, but not Strategic Command. So I've reset my anti-virus to exclude Strategic Command Great War and Breakthrough and re-installed both of them. Oddly enough it was not a bad thing to have happen, because it forced me to install my mods over a clean copy of Strategic Command. Much to my chagrin I discovered that there were experimental mods (some lost in the re-install) that I had assumed were showing up in the posted versions, but that actually weren't. Seaplane strength indicators are a case in point (they're now back in). So that is why there was another round of mod postings this morning. But it is also an object lesson in why the expansions of these games need to be more self-contained. The sharing material between programs feature seems to be what is running afoul of Avira, and will probably cause other marketing problems if the Strategic Command games gain a wider audience in the future.
  23. After playing around with different levels of saturation for the storm tiles, I think I've found one that is just dark enough to be a clear reminder of the sea state, but not so dark as to look terribly out of place. There is no edge of storm tile, so boundaries for storms have lots of ninety degree angles, which doesn't happen much in Real Life . There's no way around this, but at the end of the day I prefer being able to see that there's a storm out there, rather than to find out after the fact by having a ship get damaged or not being able to launch an airstrike. In testing the darker storm tile I noticed that storms (at least visually) only seem to occur in all sea squares. Is this because there isn't a coastal storm tile, or are coastal areas immune to storms? And if they are, should they? The nautical part of my mind tells me that if there's a storm I should either take my ship out to the open sea and maneuver in the waves, or batten it down in a sheltered harbour. The one place I problably wouldn't want to be is in a coastal area, where I can get thrown up on the rocks by a sudden surge. Am I reading too much into this, or am I missing something?
  24. One of the reasons that I initially had trouble figuring out how to use seaplanes and carriers was that I didn't realize that my ships were sitting in the middle of a storm at sea. I took a look at the issue this morning and found that fixing it was merely a question of changing the saturation of the storm sprite icon to make the water look greyer and angrier. But then I noticed that the storm_sprite_zoom icon didn't exist. I experimented with making one in the incorrect proportions just to see what would happen if a bitmap with this name were included, but nothing happened. From this I have to conclude that coding is probably missing. It's not a big deal. When you're zoomed all the way out to the strategic map or all the way in you can see the storm (especially if you're using a less saturated version of the original). But in the middle setting storms are invisible. The surprising thing is that rain is visible, so I think this is probably an omission that can't be fixed by graphics modding (unless the name of the missing bitmap is something other than storm_sprite_zoom). The other possibility is that the program won't read a storm_sprite_zoom bitmap that isn't reduced to the correct proportions. And as soon as I decide just how dark and angry-looking the storms should be I'll include the greyer storms in my mods.
  25. The flag that the game uses as the Vichy French flag was the personal flag of Marshal Petain. Not a problem in and of itself, but not quite officially correct. The flag of Vichy France was the same as the flag of pre-Vichy France, because it was technically the same country, though with reduced borders and a slightly different official style -- 'The French State' instead of 'The French Republic'. The flag that was different was the Free French flag, which was defaced with the cross of Lorraine. DeGaulle put the cross of Lorraine into the middle of the French tricolor to distinguish it from the Vichy flag, which was just the plain tricolor. After the fall of Vichy the newly liberated Free French reverted to the plain tricolor. There doesn't seem to be a way to describe this state of affairs in SOE. Free French should have their own separate activation icon, and unless I'm missing something Vichy French should probably use the regular French icon, though you might want to make a distinction between non-Free French North African French units and Vichy French in Metropolitan France.
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