Release WideBeta 6 05-14-95
Well THIS took a hell of a long time in coming to existance. Over the
last year I underwent a major change of career and left my previous job
as an IBM Systems Engineer (mainframes & midrange) for Allied Signal.
MaryAnn and I are now working with a company building a large, entertainment
BBS system with local access throughout the Midwest (from Wisconsin to
Texas). As of this release, Metropolis BBS is now a 425 line system
with full Internet capabilities, tons of great multiuser games (including
the MajorBBS version of Trade Wars 2002) and a truly amazing sinkhole
where our time is concerned. Since we didn't have any time to work
on Tradewars, we've hired a programmer to get the project back underway.
John Pritchett has joined Martech and has been diligently wading through
bug reports and cleaning up overflow problems and loopholes as fast as
humanly possible. Any NEW bug reports should be faxed to us at
913-842-7818 with as much detail as possible on how to duplicate the
problem. We wish that it wouldn't have taken so long to get this release
out the door, but our careers do come first over our home business.
We now have additional people working for us on a permanent basis to
handle the processing of upgrades and new subscriptions. Upgrades are
finally under control. Any coming in now are getting turned around in
a week or so. It was an amazing mountain of work to tackle with the
upgrade announcement. 🙂 If you still don't have yours and its been a
few weeks, then it either never reached us, or it didn't reach you via
the mail. Email is no longer a viable way to contact us since everyone
and their brother are constantly sending email ranging from "Whats the
password to the underground" to "How do I get my computer upgrade".
If you need to contact Martech Software, either use the US Mail or fax
us at 913-842-7818. (Take note that our mailing address has changed)
This release cleans up a few of the multinode errors that could cause the
game to abend, but does not yet add checks to prevent multinode cheating.
The file locks for multinode cheating will be in the next two Beta
releases and will come much faster than this one. 🙂 John and I have been
concentrating on cleaning up overflow problems, cosmetic bugs, and anything
that would allow a player on a single node system to cheat. As you will
see from the following lists, we've caught many of them but there are sure
to still be some so feel free to fax in bug reports of any outstanding
"cheat" possibilities. (single user only, we're fully aware of what we
have to do and change to prevent multinode cheaters).
Now, on to fixes:
Fix : Turn rollovers caused while towing ships
Status : Fixed, new routines in place to handle subtraction of turns
while towing. This will handle all rollovers caused by
ship towing. (was giving player 32000+ turns)
Fix : Spurious write of "This is [planetname]" during landing process.
Status : Removed display as it was originally for debugging purposes only.
Fix : Able to see cloaked ships not of your Corp in area.
Status : Fixed. Added additional check for cloaked ships during corp
scans and other area scans so that ship must be owned by the
player's corp to be seen. Otherwise its left unseen.
Fix : Transwarp prompt entered state where will automatically fall into
Twarp mode when entering a non-adjacent sector.
Status : Fixed. Twarp mode will only engage if user answers Yes to prompt.
This also clears up most other Twarp engagement problems including
problems while attempting to engage Twarp if towing another ship.
Fix : If bidding too high or low during trading, spurious messages appear
which do not make sense.
Status : Cleaned up all handling of port trading responses. At the same time,
additional checks were added to prevent incorrect responses.
Fix : If trading port was "angered" then the bid was still modified as
if it were an acceptable bid.
Status : The trading port will hold on its last bid until it receives a
reasonable counter bid.
Fix : Course calculations for Transwarp drive used currently set Avoids.
Status : Transwarp jump calculations will no longer worry about Avoided
sectors that are not the destination. Twarp course plots will
go right through avoided sectors. This also happens now for
Fix : Phantom Class 0 ports were created by Bigbang.
Status : Fixed. Changed Toloop count for the Class 8 port in BigBang to
go from the current port number to the total ports to be
created. Used to go from current to current plus 5% of total
ports but due to a rounding error this could miss a few ports thus
not initializing them. These unitialized ports were then placed
into sectors resulting in the phantom Class 0 ports.
Fix : Many cases, rounding or overflow errors resulting in cheating
Status : Created bounded add and subtract routines which perform their
addition or subtraction up to a specified boundary and return
in an error variable any amount that was truncated due to the
boundary. These procedures have been implemented throughout
the game to set hard boundary limits for almost all user
Fix : Salvage from destroyed ships could increase total number of holds
beyond set limits.
Status : Fixed. Holds of inventory grabbed will not exceed the total number
of holds for a given shiptype.
Fix : Transactions involving Oreinv in Planet, Ship and Port routines
could have wierd results and rollovers.
Status : Implemented the bounded math functions to eliminate any Ore
inventory rollover problems. (example, beating your ship against
a planetary Interdictor generator in an attempt to screw up the
Ore inventory so that the planet became corrupted.)
Fix : Strange results with inventory handling.
Status : Fixed. Bounded math functions implemented throughout the game
in any and all transactions that involve Ore, Org and Equ
calculations. It should not be possible to break the handling
of inventory now.
Multinode problem #1 - Daily Log system.
The daily log system was causing contention between nodes in a multinode
setup. I threw out the old system of using a text file and redesigned it
using a normal, shared database file. This file is in readdenynone mode
the majority of the time, and only opens for writes when it appends a new
record and locks it to add a new message. While I was at it, I modified
the display routines to track the current ANSI code in effect and reissue
it for a new line if the message line exceeded 80 bytes. Also, the
log display routines were modified to include the ability to show a time/
date stamp for each and every line in the daily log. This was further
modified to only show if the time/date has changed from the previous
entry. The new prompt for "Include Time/date stamp" defaults to No, so if
your users just hit the one extra Return, it will look like the old system.
NOTE: The majority of lockup problems in a multinode environment were
being caused by the above file being a text file. Turbo Pascal
doesn't let you handle text files very well in a multiuser mode
so it was necessary to change this to a database. If this screws
up some people's addons, I'm sorry, it was necessary for the
stability of the game under a multinode setup.
For anyone that writes 3rd party addons that deal with the
TWOPENG.DAT daily log, here is the new format:
msg : string;
time : string;
date : string;
Multinode problem #2 - Corp Editor.
The Corp editor wasn't designed (nor was any of tedit) to work while a
user was online, playing. However, due to an oversight of mine, it
didn't work at all if you have Share running. (whoops). The proper
DOS file modes are being used now so that Share being loaded won't
cause Tedit's corp editor to barf out with an error code 162. (162 is
always related to a file sharing/lock problem).
Request: Reposses extra ships left in the Fedspace. Users are
using this strategy to park their ships in a safe haven.
Status : Well I hope everyone heeded the warning in Beta 4 and Beta 5
because this is now ACTIVE. 🙂 Any ship left in FedSpace
during cleanup WILL BE REPOSSESED!
NEW : The Feds, being the Lawful types that they are, now cleanup
FedSpace of navhazard everynight. They just can't stand a
chaotic, messy sector to live in.
NEW : NEWSFLASH! ALIENS ARE FEDUP! THE MAJORITY OF THEM TURN EVIL!
(grin) Well good players keep saying they don't have enough
targets out there, so the bulk of the Alien traders have now
turned evil. Approximately 1/8th of them still hold to the
light, while the others have gone to the dark side.
Fix : Rank and Kills in Corp editor, don't do anything, what are they?
Status : Fixed. Rank and Kills in there are leftovers from an old
concept that didn't go anywhere. They've been cleaned out of
Fix : Tedit - User editor - Onplanetnum doesn't do anything.
Status : Its not supposed to, its a display only field which I'll make
more apparent by removing the option to edit it. The Current
ship# is also a refference only, display. The game would get
massively corrupted if the ship and planet pointers could be
edited. Having two people in the same ship is a mess.
Fix : When the planet max is reached, the last planet record just
gets written over.
Status : Argh! A damn off by one problem was letting this happen. It
should be taken care of now and users should get the message
"Not enough free matter exists to make a new planet, perhaps
you should destroy one somewhere first". I don't know how long
this problem has been lurking in there, but I imagine its been
quite a while. This was also occuring in the New Player Planet
routine (called the same PlanetConstruct function) so I imagine
it would have gotten real confusing and made it look like new
player's planets were dissapearing.
Fix : New mod that a Scout doesn't have an escape pod only works if
someone else blows you up, if you kill yourself, you have one.
Status : Fixed. If you get yourself blowup in a scout now, you get the
deathdelay lockout, and lose half your experience and alignment.
Fix : "Dissapearing ships" or unable to see a ship in a sector with
another player present. Ship showed up on Transporter info but
not in regular display.
Status : Fixed. I believe this was also the dissapearing ship bug that
many others were complaining about. The ship that they thought
was gone was really still there, it just wasn't showing up in
a sector display (most often the stardock where you left it) but
could be transported to.
Fix : Towing a manned ship often results in an unmanned ship or even
someone else's ship being towed along for the ride.
Status : Fixed. One little errant pointer is all it takes, and in this
case, the towing pointer to the user pointer to the ship was
missing one character that indicated the usernumber was a pointer
to a ship, thus the ship being towed was the Shipfile(usernumber)
(usually always the wrong one), instead of
Shipfile(usernumber(currentship)). This could also account for
dissapearing ships as people's ships would get towed out from
Fix : Occasional spurt of "Transfers not allowed in Citadels" when
trying to do corp transfers.
Status : This was a leftover flag from when you try to land on a planet
that someone else is defending and you retreat. Its cleared now.
Fix : Trying to transwarp a planet to the sector its already in gets
Status : The program now just rebuffs the user for trying to do something
Fix : While towing another ship, your Turns left do not display properly.
Status : It was displaying the turns left of the person being towed not
the one doing the towing. This is fixed now.
Fix : Attacking the Stardock caused the production values to go silly
so that it would end up buying 600,000+ of everything or such.
Status : Fixed. This was a direct result of beefing up the Stardock so
it would be damn hard to kill anymore.
Fix : On finding/showing an enemy mined sector, user is given option
to avoid that sector in the future. Doesn't take if they say yes.
Status : Does now! This can be tripped by entering a sector thats mined,
or by using a Holoscanner to check adjacent sectors. It properly
records it now and saves the avoid.
Fix : Player retreats from an interdictor enough to send his turns left
below zero which results in having 65000 turns.
Status : Fixed. Capped.
Fix : Player gets caught on a planet while blowing it up, the "On planet"
flag remains stuck on that player and they're invincible.
Status : Fixed, the player will now show up and not be considered on a planet.
Report : Getting blown up while attacking Stardock results in being stuck,
can't seem to warp anywhere.
Status : I couldn't reproduce this, anyone?
Report : Getting blown up while attacking Stardock results in having unlimited
Status : Couldn't duplicate this one either. Anyone?
Release WideBeta 5 02-13-94
Wow! We've been super busy around here getting upgrade requests processed.
If you're still waiting for yours, please be patient, we're working through
them as fast as possible. Beta Six will hopefully follow up pretty soon
as I haven't had much time to work on the updates this last month, but will
have more time now.
Fix : Placing contracts on yourself generates funny money.
Status : Fixed. Didn't know this was broken, but thanks again to
Floyd driver for pointing out that this was also a problem
same as the police bounties were.
NEW : From this point on, SCOUT MARAUDERS WILL NOT HAVE ESCAPE PODS!
Please make sure that your users UNDERSTAND this point as its
rather important! 🙂 Logistically, the scout should never have
had an Escape pod, so now it doesn't.
Fix : When capturing someone's ship that had a Limpet attached, it
would spawn a new limpet onto the escape pod.
Status : Fixed.
Fix : Port 0s were not charging the 5,000 credits to remove a Limpet
like they should.
Status : Fixed.
Fix : Tedit was allowing entries for Fighter Owner in a sector outside
of the allowed range.
Status : Done.
Fix : Transferring funds to yourself was still sending a message.
Status : Done, message removed if both accounts involved are the same.
Fix : Problems with Takeall routine on a planet with near-max inventory.
Status : Fixed this. Minor oversight on my part for the variable type
used to handle the processing.
Fix : Still needed some additional codes to prevent cheating with the
Status : Upon entering the game, last sector visited is set to the user's
current location. This will eliminate some loopholes people
were using with accomplaces helping them retreat into remote
Fix : Minor oversight, didn't charge a turn for ship to ship
transporter use. Also opened hole for easier steal/sell cycle.
Status : Put in the check to prevent transporting without a turn and
charged a turn for transport use.
Fix : Blind Twarping (and getting blown up) could result in giving
you a rediculous number of holds of Ore.
Status : Fixed. Do NOT deduct the ore amount from a new escape pod as
its already sitting at zero. 🙂
Request: Cloaking failure is too tough.
Status : Changed. Cloaks are now 100% for the first 24 hours minimum.
After that time, they will have an x% chance of failure
cumulative each day that the user doesn't log back into the
game. (This value settable in Tedit)
Fix : Non-standard Irq support over 8 not working properly.
Status : I had a problem with my SHL and the offset for 8250 slave mode
when the IRQ is 9-15. I didn't have time to get this fixed so
I just limited the IRQ support for 2-8 until I can get this one
tackled. Using IRQ's 9 thru 15 is a pain.
Fix : Every Steal resulted in a free turn!
Status : Though it indicated a turn was used, it wasn't updating the user
record properly. Its fixed now and should update properly.
Fix : Being busted for robbing the same port twice in a row erroneously
only took 5 holds.
Status : Its now prorated and is a percentage of the player's total holds.
Request: Evil players milking the Jettison colonists feature to lower
their alignment quickly.
Status : Only a positively aligned player gets the alignment deduction
now when jettisoning colonists.
Request: Evil shouldn't be allowed in the Fed Police! They can buy back
alignment that way by posting rewards.
Status : True. I turned the lock back on that keeps evil out of the Fed-
Fix : Heir to the throne bug active. This leaves corp owned assets
behind after a corp is disbanded.
Status : Done. Planets, Mines and Ships should all revert to unowned if
a Ceo disbands a corp that has such corporate assets.
Request: Users want to send Corporate memos whether or not they're the CEO
Status : Well I hope everyone has larger hard disks now. 🙂 I've always
avoided doing this since users tend to be so damn verbose, but I
guess thats the whole idea of the BBS anyway, to communicate.
You might want to keep an eye on the TWSMF data file, it can grow
pretty huge with everyone being able to use the Corp Memo.
Fix : With the newer, more powerful ships, its too easy to kill the
Stardock or a Class 0.
Status : Well, *I* thought it was a strategic option to nuke em. 🙂 But
everyone else seems to disagree and doesn't want to see em go
away, thus they're now considerably stronger.
NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE
Since I didn't think everyone got the warning out for the following,
I'm holding off on adding this VERY NASTY addition to maintenance
until the next release. PLEASE TELL YOUR USERS TO GET THEIR EXTRA
SHIPS OUT OF FEDSPACE cause with Beta 6 they'll lose em.
NOTE: With Beta 6, unmanned ships left in Fedspace overnight will be
repossessed! This is both to cut down on clutter, and to encourage
putting a user's assets at risk so they'll have to defend them
somewhere instead of leaving them safe and secure in Fedspace.
I'm posting this warning so you can all let your users know before
the weekend. If they don't have their ships moved out by then,
they're going to lose them.
Release WideBeta 4 01-11-94
And a Happy New Year! Ack, we're buried under upgrade forms and new
registration forms so I didn't get as much done on the game this week
as I would have liked to. I knocked out some of the main offenders so
we can move towards a more stable gaming environment quickly.
NOTE: Due to the presence of two bugs, the Galactic bank and the Self
bounties in the Fedpolice, we STRONGLY recommend you restart
your test game. Yes, we know players are going to complain, but
the integrity of the game is *very* questionable since users could
have racked up many millions of credits without earning them. 🙂
Please BigBang the game again. Maybe use some different settings
for the BigBang (if you have your V2 code) to try its variations.
Fix : Sector Retreat Bug still active.
Status : Fixed. Many thanks once again to Floyd Driver for pointing
out that this annoyance was still hanging around. It was fixed
in about 20 minutes as all I had to do was convert the user's
corporate fighters in their current sector (when quitting the
corp) to personal assets). Also, I incorporated the Enterroom
functions into the retreated into sector. Now if someone
retreats back into a sector thats mined, etc, they'll have to
take the damage they didn't before. Note: This opens up a
nasty technique you can do to someone. If you come across a
user, deploy fighters under him and in all adjacent sectors.
This will cause him to bounce back and forth attempting to
retreat till he blows up. (hehheheh) Call it the Fighter
Sinkhole of death strategy. 🙂
Fix : Endless Galactic Bank money.
Status : Done. Easy to fix. The Galactic Bank is working 100% now.
Its STRONGLY recommended that you re-Bigbang your test game
since a user could have been making funny-money with this
bug in place.
Fix : Posting a reward on yourself created money.
Status : Done. Thought I fixed that in 3, missed one update line.
Fix : Porting at a destroyed port abended.
Status : The more I looked at this, the more I think this hasn't
worked right for a long time. 🙂 But its all fixed now and
if the user reaaaaaaaaly insists on porting at a destroyed
port, they'll merrily go up in flames too from the excessive
Fix : Trying to display a sector in Tedit with a destroyed port abends
Status : Related to the above problem, also fixed.
Fix : Minor snafu, unable to put an Alien or Ferrengi in sectors above
1000 via the editor.
Status : Fixed, but sysops should NOT BE DOING THIS. 🙂 It seems many
sysops don't understand that the game itself decides when to
generate new ferrengi or aliens. This is based on the age of
the game. If you use Tedit to place previously inactive ships,
they will just sit in the sector you put them in. They may
interact some with a user entering that sector, but they are
NOT being handled by the game background routines UNTIL the
gameage is old enough to start handling them. If you want more
Ferrengi and Aliens, then up the Gameage! That will make plenty.
Fix : Port editor, "X" doesn't exit it, Q does.
Status : Fixed.
Fix : Stuck in loops entering transporter with only one ship.
Status : Cannot duplicate this! I went ahead and added additional code
to kick the user out of the transporter if they only have a
single ship anyway.
Fix : "Magic Moth" bug depleting Qcannon w/o fighter loss
Status : Fixed. One missing pointer update but its now in place. Users
will get their money's worth with Qcannon defense now.
Fix : Tedit, Sector display, planets don't line up properly.
Status : Fixed.
Fix : Status line had extraneous "Bd" in display.
Status : Fixed.
Request: Don't ask for ship password when towing if blank.
Status : Added.
Fix : Changing the name in the underground abended with a file sharing
Status : Put the file back to Write Shared mode before trying to write
to it. 😉
Fix : Error code 209 when trying to run the game.
Status : Fixed. There is an incompatibility with my XMS overlay loader
with some Dos high memory managers. For now, I've removed it
and may not bother with it in the final release. Seems every
one and their brother treats XMS memory allocation a little
differently and I don't have time to track em all down. The
game still uses the standard EMS overlay loader if EMS is
active and there is enough to go around.
Fix : Announcements put garbage in the daily log.
Status : Fixed.
Request: Line wrap for the message editor.
Status : Added. This is more complicated than most people think but I
put in the time to add it anyway.
Fix : Heir to the throne bug active. This leaves corp owned assets
behind after a corp is disbanded.
Status : I've started on this one, but its not finished in this release.
It will be done for Beta 5.
Request: Additional file control to prevent cheating on multinode systems.
Status : I didn't have a chance to start on this one, this will also be in
Beta 5. This one isn't hard, its just tedious. I already have
the file and record locking routines done, just have to place them
in all the places needed to prevent cooperative cheating. 🙂
Fix : When buying a new ship, attached limpets from the old transfer
Status : Fixed. The attached limpets will stay with the old ship, but the
user won't get as good of a tradein.
Fix : User prompts weren't clear enough when asking if they want to
put a password on a new ship they just bought.
Status : Modified prompts to be more obvious.
NOTE: With Beta 5, unmanned ships left in Fedspace overnight will be
repossessed! This is both to cut down on clutter, and to encourage
putting a user's assets at risk so they'll have to defend them
somewhere instead of leaving them safe and secure in Fedspace.
I'm posting this warning so you can all let your users know before
the weekend. If they don't have their ships moved out by then,
they're going to lose them.
Mod : Altered the default BigBang settings to produce a sparser
Request: Some users couldn't cope with the sector numbers with them in
descending order. (complained loudly)
Status : Altered the sort during BigBang to produce the sector links
in ascending order instead.
Welp, I'm going to bundle this all up and get it off to Bill! Have fun
with the updates folks.
Release WideBeta 3 12-26-93
Well Merry Christmas to everyone! We're hard at work trying to get all
the upgraded registration codes out, so bear with us! Now on to changes:
Request: Let sysops do "General Announcements" akin to the Email options.
Status : Done. Added some extra 'From' people in there too.
Fix : Sending messages allows 80 chars but when displayed with the
leading "> " it wraps a bit over on the next line.
Status : Done. Lowered input amount down to 76 chars so there won't be
a few extra chars wrapped around to the next line.
Request: Please make Local mode ON as a default for unregistered BBSes
Status : Done. Bigbang B3 and up will do this.
Request: User is sitting in the docs after his time has run out.
Status : Done. Added time left check to the read ascii file routines,
will do a Timeleft check every 24 lines of output.
New Add: I put more Desqview slicing checks into various output routines,
so to improve Dv time slicing on the output side. The input
side already had all this stuff everywhere.
Fix : New user has one ship and tries to use the ship transporter. It
puts them in an endless loop.
Status : Cannot duplicate this one. Anyone able to shed some light on this?
Fix : TwErr.log and TwGame.log not erased when a Bigbang is run.
Status : Done. They are now erased.
Fix : After running BigBang, Extern Abends with err100.
Status : Cannot duplicate. Anyone able to duplicate this, please report
the exact BigBang configuration used to create this universe.
Request: Please add a Dos environment variable to pass username in so the
game can be run over a local area network.
Status : Done. Added TWUSER= as a valid Dos environ variable. Works only
in local mode. Use SET TWUSER=
call TW2002 with a node set for Local play.
NOTE: Its not my fault if everyone at work is messing with
Trade Wars instead of using the Lan for business stuff. 🙂
Fix : Ability for Commissioned players to Transwarp to FedSpace not
Status : Forgot to add it. 🙂 Its in there, works great, less filling.
BTW, this is for ships only, not Twarping planets.
Fix : Twsysop docs spell Telegard wrong. Also indicate to use Chain.txt
Status : Done. Spelled right, recommended Dorinfo1.def instead.
Fix : Extern was still putting "Planet X and Y in sector Z collided" in
the daily log.
Status : Done. Removed the sector number from the daily log, thats none of
the other player's business.
Request: Full Fossil driver support.
Status : Have most of the code done, haven't done enough testing with it
yet though, will add it in B4, not in B3. Still trying to find
the algorithm for autodetection of an active Fossil driver.
Fix : Sysop docs still mentioned using the accompanying batch files
to call the game.
Status : Docs upgraded to remove that. Command line switches not used
to determine configuration anymore.
Fix : "CEYLAD" still active in Citadels.
Status : "Should be fixed" 🙂 Added a planetary update coming out of the
Citadel so it would be sure to have the proper amounts current.
Also put some additional safety checks in to insure that hold
amounts cannot get out of whack. I'd really like someone to try
and break this as hard as they can because I was sure I
eliminated all planet/citadel related cheats.
Fix : Retreating from deployed fighters makes the autopilot go screwy.
Status : Well, I'm shutting down autopilot after retreating from a bad
sector. That will give the user a chance to do something, whether
its a Holoscan to see the sector again, or to use Mine distruptors
or whatever. It definately fixes the problem with running off on
a course that doesn't actually happen.
Fix : A photon torpedo accident resulted in NOT losing any fighters.
Status : Fixed. Made sure not to re-read the ship record while an
attack was in progress from the defenses of the other player.
Request: Don't allow the player name entered to be blank in Local mode.
Status : Done, local mode init will loop until you give it a non null name.
Fix : Evil aligned players (slightly evil) could post a bounty on their
head that wasn't subtracted from their total credits.
Status : Done. Procedure was writing both the poster and the postee as
the same trader. The credits were being deducted and written
but then the follow up write of the trader it was posted on
overwrote it with the pre-subtraction value.
Thats the end of any critical errors that I have so far. Keep those
bug reports coming in! Special thanks to Floyd Driver for reporting the
Ceylad and the Bounty problems. Good job
Release WideBeta 2 12-20-93
Sigh. Had one of those days Sunday and didn't include the USER DOCS in
release 1 Its here in this one. Also, I will be putting out a seperate
zip of just the docs so folks don't have to download this whole thing.
Release WideBeta 1 12-18-93
Note to Beta testers who ran Beta .9x, run TWINSTAL now to update your
files and install this new version. This will be the new standard.
Improved the New user planet to have better odds of getting a decent
planet to start with. New users should get type 1-4 with heavy
weighting towards the Earth type planets. I did retain a 2% chaos
factor to give them a totally random planet type.
Okay! The full node control system is installed. NOTE! NOTE! NOTE!
YOU WILL HAVE TO GO SET YOUR NODEFILES to get TWs to work now. 😉
If you've been running the previous Betas, your Nodefile data may
look strange since the format has changed some. You should be able to
edit the Nodefile to match your setup though. A new bigbang will
create them in the proper format so none of the new testers will
have to mess with this.
The node control can identify the node in two ways. The first is by
using a Dos Environment variable:
Would indicate to the game that the machine its running on should read
Node 1's setup info to determine what to do. The second mode is to use
a command line option to indicate which node you're running:
This mode will override whatever's in the Dos Environment variable.
Please note that the old style command lines DO NOT WORK anymore, using
something like TW2002 -DOOR means absolutely nothing now. The only other
command line options that exist are:
TW2002 NOXMS (do not use XMS for overlays)
TW2002 NOEMS (do not use EMS for overlays)
The new memory manager will first try to use XMS memory to load the overlays
and then EMS if thats not available.
Release 0.93 12-12-93 FINAL RESTRICTED BETA
* Wide area BETA test will start with the next *
* release. ANYONE who wants to participate will *
* be allowed to setup the BETA package if they *
* are a registered Sysop of 1.xx Please let all *
* Sysops know of this as I can't post on the *
* TRADE_WAR echo yet (installing new software) *
* This wide-area public Beta should start in the *
* next week. We *DO* want Sysops who are going *
* to get back to us (Crash Netmail) if they find *
* a nasty bug. *
Fixed mine handling error that could accidentally let someone else
gain possession of your mines.
Fixed local display line having problem when the user online had one
of the Three Ferrengi ships. Short descriptions are:
"FreACr" = Ferrengi Assault Cruiser
"FreBat" = Ferrengi Battle Cruiser
"FreDre" = Ferrengi Dreadnaught
If ship password is blank, don't ask for it during transporter use.
Now asking if the user wants to set a password when they buy a new ship
at the Shipyards. Answering "No" just leaves it null.
Reduced the Qcannon in a MSL penalty to just removing the Qcannon, not
destroying the entire Citadel.
Repaired problem with Ferrengi taking holds and leaving you with more
Colonists than you have holds.
Planetary transporter now checks to make sure you have one turn left
before it will let you proceed. This was causing a rollover that
would give a player 65,535 turns. 🙂
New Players can optionally be setup with their very own, private home-
planet! This is an option in Tedit H that defaults to ON now. The
planet will be built somewhere that has a clear path to and from
sector 1. This will be a Citadel-less planet with a small smattering
Planet creation in BigBang has been scratched in favor of the above mode
that gives the new planet to a new user instead.
Ooooo! Amazements of Amazements, if you attack a Tholian Sentinel, it
will actually *have* 4:1 defensive odds! (Yack, one simple little
wrong equation to track down, but its fixed now)
Display info for processing type 1 mines has been changed to reflect the
Armid name throughout. (to help avoid confusion as to what mine type
it was you just left for someone 🙂
Bigbang should make the Stardock, and Class 0 port sectors fairly
heavily travelled now. MOST if not all of the 6 warps into those sectors
should be two ways. Also, Bigbang checks for, and removes duplicate
warps from a given sector and while its at it, it nicely sorts the warps
so they're in descending order, left to right 😉
Fixed "Do you want to avoid this mined sector" from Holoscans and when
entering and avoiding mines.
At the same time, I cleared up the problem with being adjacent to an avoided
sector and trying to warp there. The program will now warn you and give
you a chance to back out of the decision to enter the avoided sector.
Instead of just generating radiation, ports also make debris now.
Trying to port will still blow you up but once the radiation dissipates,
there will just be a bunch of debris.
Okay, please TEST the hell out of this release! We'll be starting the
PUBLIC Beta test shortly and I need immediate feedback if there are some
nasty problems in this. The next release (the public one) will include
the Tournament mode, the Node control system and Fossil support. We're
very close folks! Thanks for the help!
NOTE! Crash mail us the TWUPDATE.FRM thats included here so we can get
you your own personal codes for the game (before everyone else). The
requirements for the form is on it. Send it to the address on the form!
Someone please let everyone in TRADE_WARS and such know that the registration
cost will go up January 1st, to $20. If their registration is post-marked
before that date, then they can register 1.xx for the old price of $15 and
they'll get their free-upgrade. 😉
BTW: Its fine to distribute the TWUPDATE.FRM thats included with this
archive. We're ready to start taking update orders at this time.
Release 0.92 11-14-93
Fixed problem with moving more than 30000 fighters on/off a planet. (from
At the same time, increased Colonist quantities one can move from one
occupation to another.
Fixed ship-ship transport problem where transporter wasn't being updated
with the new ship's transport range.
Fixed typo on "only Interdictor Cruiser has Interdictor Generators"
Fixed cosmetic problem with aborting Pmissile launch.
Enlarged Density section of Relative Density scan and changed it from
abbreviated double reals back to comma separated full real.
IE, instead of 10m you'll get 10,242,120
Changed "X launched a Photon missile from sector yyy" to "X launched a
Photon missile somewhere" in the daily log.
Added cloak failure chance as user exits game. (by tester's request,
so that cloaked user wasn't "guaranteed safe" until maintenance.
Repaired a lot of small potential numerical problems to prevent things
such as data type rollover. (past problems with 1.xx)
Maryann has the initial release of the docs in this version. Feel free
to read through them and give some feedback on them. Remember, we
*never* give out the whole story in the docs, just enough to get the
new players going.
NOTE NOTE NOTE NOTE NOTE NOTE NOTE NOTE (Hey, read this 🙂
Please inform your users to SELL OFF all Ferrengi craft they may have
captured in the last 2 weeks. I'm making a change to the ship table
and if they don't get rid of it, they'll end up with a very powerful
ship that we really don't want em to have until we've tested it some
more. 🙂 Nuff said, sell off those Ferrengi ships.
Release 0.91 10-31-93
Repaired the problem with Extern clearing the Navhazard debris (and making
250+ in the sector when it was done.) Set your Debris Loss Percent (in
Tedit) to 100 and run Extern three times. That will clear all Debris in
the game. Don't forget to set it back down to something reasonable after
you do that. 😉
Corrected an oddity that, after reporting someone took over your ship in
combat, that "the collision destroyed" the same ship.
Plugged in exchanging ships in the Citadel.
If any of you are experiencing errors with Aliens being moved, ie your
TWerr.log has MoveAlien for substate 1, please be sure your settings for
the 2nd and 3rd Class 0 ports are not corrupted due to that previous bug
with the underground password being allowed too long of a string. (causing
an overwrite of the Ferrengi home sector and the 2nd & 3rd class 0)
Muhahahahha. Planets on Major Space Lanes that have Citadels now have the
Citadels destroyed by the Feds. So much for blocking off the Stardock by
Twarping in defensive planets. This is drastic, true, but I feel its
necessary to promote longer running games.
Fixed problem where Tedit's initial fighters or initial holds could be set
larger than is allowed for the Merchant Cruiser.
By request, added a report when Limpet mines activate. "Limpet mine in
sector XXX activated on date at time"
Removed bug that could produce a captured alien ship with hardware it
shouldn't be able to have like a twarp drive, etc.
Added control for user to activate/deactivate their Interdictor generator
Fixed the oversight where user wasn't being charged their turns to escape an
Interdiction field generated by a planet.
Corrected a memory allocation problem that was keeping BigBang from having
enough stack to open a Dos shell to delete old files. Thus the bathroom
wall, the convos, the ferrengi, aliens, etc are all now being cleared
when a BigBang is run.
Corrected a problem with moving the Fed ships. In a less than 5000 sect
universe this sometimes caused an abend. (usually just after a bigbang)
Added controls for the Planetary interdictor generator so the user can
decide whether they want it on or off. Also added to the Planet Display
the current status of the generator.
Well I wanted to make it harder to move extra ships around, but by
popular demand I modified the Towing systems to allow you to tow unmanned
ships THAT YOU HAVE 1.) Ownership of and 2.) the password. You can tow
them regardless of fighters on them and regardless of if they're in fed-
Note: The days of the Evil StarShip are now over. 😉
Lowered the price of the Genesis torpedo a *little* to make up for sometimes
getting a crappy planet. Remember folks, you can destroy planets now
without much of a change to your exp or alignment at all.
Photon wave disables planetary Interdictor now.
Ferrengi ships are potentially obtainable now. (Shhhh, don't tell people)
Release 0.90 10-24-93
Why the big jump? Well this is the "features cap" for the final
release. Anything from this point on will be bug fixes and minor
tweaks. (along with the very involved new I/O system with very
specific setup for multinode and nonstandard I/O). This version
*should* have everything active in it.
I thought I'd throw in some filespecs like I used to with 1.xx
TW2002 (Main Program) 25,282 lines of code
.EXE 97,969 bytes in size
.OVR 401,950 bytes in size
TEDIT (Editor) 13,815 lines of code
.EXE 91,808 bytes in size
.OVR 76,863 bytes in size
BIGBANG (Creator) 10,273 lines of code
.EXE 64,992 bytes in size
EXTERN (Maintentance) 9,389 lines of code (a small one 😉
.EXE 78,496 bytes in size
Fixed the main prompt so its different enough the Capture folk can
easily tell it from the Computer prompt, etc.
Fixed that annoying overwrite being caused since the Underground
password is now only 25 bytes long but the input routine was still
allowing the user to put in 41 bytes (thus overwriting the 2nd Star-
dock locations, etc)
Activated Ferrengi Aggression routines. 🙂
Repaired small problem with not being able to alter starting credits.
Modified Create_Planet so that it shows you the type of planet being
made before you name it. (per beta tester's request) Nice touch,
let them personalize the name for the planet type. I especially like
"Rocky Road" for Mountainous planets. 🙂
Another user request: Added an option in the computer to disable
ANIMATION and lengthy ansi displays only while retaining full color
everywhere else in the game. At the same time I'm now storing the
"Use Ansi" option so that if you turn it off, it will STAY off between
game plays. The two are dependant on each other, so they're under the
one "Change Ansi settings" option in the computer.
Removed a problem where you destroy an empty ship and the game log
reports something silly like you destroyed your own ship. 😉
For a long time players were evading Ferrengi attack by running around
with max shields and under 50 fighters. This has been corrected.
The Feds, having grown tired of a sudden increase in ship debris in their
space lanes, are now blasting said debris nightly during cleanup. 🙂
Sysop configurable setting in Gedit Two: NavHazard dispersion rate.
Set it to whatever you want, 100 will clean the whole universe each night
(not recommended) and 0 will leave it like it is now, with excessive
NavHazard buildup as things are destroyed. I recommend a 3% setting.
Cute touch, if you use the planetary Transporter to beam yourself and your
ship somewhere blind and end up in some solid mass, you escape to your
Pod, but you *are* in the destination sector (just without your goodies).
The rules for what constitutes an empty sector for blind transports are
identical to those for blind transwarps.
With the advent of this MUCH faster route calculator (thanks Mike!) there
is no need to mickey mouse around with deciding if a new course plot
*should* be run or not. The course is plotted automatically each time
you move and I don't think you'll notice the difference in speed. This
will help prevent some of the odd, flaky occurances of being stuck in
a sector and unable to startup the Autopilot.
Corrected the Taxing display for good players. The rate was changed to
5 percent a while back but I didn't change the screen display.
Planetary Transporters are done! Try em out, the concept is like having
a Transwarp drive setting on a planet of yours. You can move yourself
and your ship however far you have the range to transport. This will
greatly help in making the further reaches of this bigger universe easier
to reach. The first time you select the function inside the Citadel
you will be able to purchase a 1 hop version. Subsequent use of the
planetary transporters will give you an option to upgrade them. Quite
a powerfull feature this is.
Cosmetic problem with Planetary Interdictor generator under construction
was repaired so it wouldn't wrap around the screen.
Modified Ansi=no so that it wouldn't ask for Animation options.
Cleaned up the Ship catalog quite a bit, and added Max Transporter Range
to the display so you can easily tell the range of any given ship.
Interdictor Generator is now active for the Interdictor Cruiser. 😉 Enjoy!
Fixed a number of problems related to using more than 32000 fighters on your
ship. You should be able to attack with more now and the displays should
all look correct. Oversight on my part, I didn't setup large enough
temp variables to handle the bigger numbers in the attack functions.
Planetary Interdictor generators are operational. They take 500 Ore for
each time they stop a ship from leaving, but that can easily spell the
death of the intruder. 😉 Nasty, nasty things they are.
(Yoda of BORG am I, assimilated you will be! Futile is resistance...)
(Sorry, couldn't resist, I love that tagline)
Whats that you say? Lots of extra ships laying about that you Just don't
need? Well bring em on down to Billy Bob's Used Spaceship lot on the
Stardock and sell those clunkers off!. 😉 Seriously though, you can
now sell off extra ships. You have to bring them into Stardock orbit,
then sell them in the Shipyards. This was implimented this way to
prevent some potential problems with leaving a user shipless on the
Stardock. As it works now, you bring the extra ships to the Dock by
leapfrogging them and sell them off. You're never without a ship.
Well WOOF! This has been a hectic but productive weekend and we're now
in the HOMESTRETCH!!!!!!!!! Please play the hell out of this version
so that we can get a quick report back on any logic errors or abends.
The next release will be mostly support functions, such as the new
I/O routines, the multinode node editor support, etc. The game as it
stands right now is essentially the features that will be in 2.01 in
its public release. (unless I forgot something silly 😉 Fear not, we
will continue to add to (and debug) this program, so its not going to
sit on a shelf like it did for a while there.
Pound on it! Try to break it! Try to CHEAT it as best as you can so we
can eliminate those pesky little bugs that let users get off too easy and
generally ruin game play for everyone else. Thanks for the help folks,
I think the Twars community is going to appreciate it!
Release 0.23 10-11-93
I believe the problem with capturing an Alien ship has been fixed.
I'm actually rather suprised it worked as well as it did since I didn't
test it at all! 🙂 This object oriented stuff pays off sometimes.
Well after careful consideration I backed the planetary hazard levels
down for non Earth type planets. 🙂 Try out the new settings and see
how these planets grow (and die). Please be sure to give me plenty of
feedback on this as I need to know if its too easy/tough to colonize
the more dangerous planets (such as the volcanic)
On the request of a Beta tester, I changed the Density scan to use the
same color scheme and parenthesis as the regular warp display does.
Nice touch guys, good idea. It makes the density scan all that more
valuable. (also fixed the abbrev for anomaly to one n)
Added full support for XMS memory for loading the overlay file. XMS
is the preffered memory since its so much faster than Ems. If you
have XMS available (enough to hold the overlay) the game will run with
considerably less disk access. There's also a "NOXMS" switch just like
the "NOEMS" switch to disable its attempt to use it. Please also remember
that you should run a Cache if at all possible. This newer version of the
game needs a lot more disk access than 1.xx due to the object oriented
ships and the multinode control characteristics.
Towing ships is all cleared up (I hope 🙂 While I was at it, I modded
the "Turns to warp" display on the player info "I" so that it also
reflects the Turns to warp when you're towing someone.
Having someone ON a planet try and stop you from landing has been fixed.
Someone reported that team members were keeping them from landing? I
can't seem to duplicate this (or was it an old bug I already fixed?)
The Change Ship Password in the computer menu has been changed. It now
is "Change Ship Settings". If you are on a Corporation, it will also ask
if you want this to be a Corporate or Personal ship. I felt this was a
logical place to put this as it would also force you to be setting the
password (or removing it) all in one step.
Added some additional error checking in the Grimy Trader to prevent the
problem some people were finding with an Abend- Attempt to read past end
of file for the Userfile.
Addmsg (what writes to the daily log) was causing an abend in multiuser
environments if two users attempted to write to it simultaneously. This
should be fixed now, someone with multiple nodes, please watch for Abends
in the error log that are the result of an ADDMSG call.
As you can tell by now, I've been working on cleanup this last week to
start heading towards a finished Beta version (all of the features done)
The remaining features to finish are the planetary transporter and the
Interdictor generators. Since we're in wind down mode, please be SURE to
report any bugs you notice as soon as possible so I can get them knocked
down. We will be putting out however many bug-fixes are necessary after
the game is released, so don't worry that I'll stop with the initial public
Once this version is done, feature wise (no more game features to add/
change) I will be turning my attention to the Node Control system and the
I/O functions. I have a series of I/o procedures that I think everyone
is going to like. They include:
Digiboard support (Including Wildcat IM support)
Int14h support (for playing over a Lan with comshare software)
Full, independant control for I/O port and interrupts.
And lastly, the very detailed control for each node that you've had
a glimpse of if you've looked in the Node editor in TEdit. Its not
all in there, but its going to be very shortly.
Many thanks to John Friel (Author of Qmodem) for providing some of the
specialized units that provide these capabilities. Thanks for being a
Trade Wars junkie, John. 🙂
Release 0.22 9-28-93
Tuesday again? Yeah, staying home to work on the release again. 🙂
Corrected sector exit warps once you've transported to a new ship.
Corrected security to keep non CEOs out of Flagships and Non-comm
players out of Starships. The CEO can have as many flagships as
he wants, and the Comm player can have as many Starships as they
Added an error tracking system for these final stages of the testing.
This new system writes a log to file called TWERR.LOG When you report
Abend (Abnormal End) problems, please include the lines that were in
TWerr.log for the appropriate time and date. Sorry that the date is
gametime (year 2005) but thats the current date display routine and I
didn't want to write another just for this display. This addition took
quite a bit of work, but I think it will make it much easier for us
to discuss errors and I may even leave it in the final version of the
game. If a user tells you the game kicked him out, get the details and
then get the TWerr.log and we'll see what happened!
Fixed the occasional problem with TriCron should an out of range number
end up in the TriCron champion pointer. (was causing EOF problems)
Fixed a bug Woody Weaver reported: Using an Etherprobe to a terminus
where you have deployed fighters in Endcourse-1 would cause you to
not get the display for Endcourse. They all display now.
Fixed fact that Transwarp wasn't costing normal ship's Turns2Warp amt.
The routines for attacking unmanned ships are in. Also, there are
some interesting suprises in the normal attack and salvage routines
but I don't know if anyone will find them anytime soon. 🙂 🙂
Geez, I'm so bursting with pride over this one I can't keep my mouth
shut about it 🙂 *IF* you are *VERY* careful when taking out an opponent
(IE, you don't MASH them with overkill) you just might find you've
acquired another ship for *free*. 🙂 🙂 Go forth and try it.
Well tis late and I want to get these mods into everyone's hands to
There are no changes in this release to Bigbang, Tedit or Extern so I
didn't include them in the update packet (save some space).
Release 0.21 9-20-93
Yes, this one came out on a Tuesday night 🙂 I took 2 vacation days from
work to stay home and crank on this. Things are coming along nicely!
Rearranged the planet display so its not so busy. New players are
just going to have to refer to the docs if they can't remember the
planet types. Besides, takes too long to display.
Straightened up Mine display and universally changed the prompt for
type 1 mines to Armid (their name after all 🙂
Destroying Ships, Ports, Planets all add to the debris and navhazard
in a sector now.
Detonating an empty planet should only cost you 1 alignment now.
Fixed a small prob with Corporate, activated Limpet mines not showing
up on your scan. PLEASE NOTE, if you change the Ownership of either
type of mine in a sector, it changes the ownership of ALL MINE TYPES in
that sector. These are not smart devices, they must all act on the same
code in order to not attach to each other 🙂 (cute fiction eh?)
Joy, oh joy, you can now take damage from running into space debris. 🙂
Planet construction uses up asteroid debris mass. (also gives better
chance of a better class planet)
Had to re-layout the computer menu as it was getting too crowded for
only two columns. Added the
have to enter the Ship 2 Ship transporter to see what ships you have
parked here and there.
Fixed the Scan daily log for the default input of "" (scan all history)
Ship to ship transporters are now functional. It is NOT costing the
player anything, this may change as I think about that. Jeff at High
Velocity (the people I'm doing the Mbbs version with) suggested that it
use Organics (to reconstruct your body). What does everyone think of this?
It would definately add a wrinkle, to have to have some organics on the
DESTINATION ship to be able to beam to it. (if you're not in the same
You now have the OPTION of trading in your old ship or just buying another.
This is kinda fun, seeing how many different ships one can buy and clutter
up a sector with. 🙂 The ship that everyone STARTS out with will always
be a Personal ship. When you purchase new ones, you'll have the option of
making them personal or corporate. I don't *think* I want to let players
change that later on, this will make it harder onthe backstabbers as they
wouldn't be able to change all the corp's ships to personal before they
swindle the corp and leave. They *could* go sell off the ships (future
mod will let you sell current ship and beam back to one in the sector
if you have the credit to afford the transport) but that would take time.
Please buy lots of different ships, move them around, play with beaming,
as I'm sure I missed some obvious loopholes somewhere.
BTW, you'll probably notice you can beam FROM a planet TO a ship if you've
used the editor to put Planetary transport power levels onto a planet.
This will currently look screwy as it won't leave your old ship on the
planet, but in the sector. This will be corrected with the addition of
Planetary transport beaming next release.
I want to get this release into everyone's hands so you can start working
with the transporting between ships. Have at it and give me some feedback
as soon as you can as to how this is working.
New users will default to Transwarp avail NO until they buy a Twarp drive,
at that time its switched to YES.
Release 0.20 9-6-93
I've included ALL of the current ANSIs just to make sure everyone is
up to date.
Once again, just type SETUP to get the right files in the right places.
The release schedule of Beta versions should increase quite a bit now,
as we're nearing the point where we want to get a "gold copy" out of
all of the new features. This is typically what most people call a
"Beta" copy, it will have all of the features in it and any new updates
would be just bug fixes. We're going to be working hard to have that
"gold copy" out within the next month. (please don't cruicify me if I
don't get my end of it done, I'm a workin on it! 🙂
Cosmetics added to Command prompt to show Current sector.
Cosmetics added to Port Class display to show what the port sells
and buys. Nice touch, thanks to Christopher Priest.
Planet Population was stymied by the fact it was pointing at the
daily production rate as a max, instead of the population max. All
fixed now and your planets will soon be overrun with colonists. 🙂
Also fixed the problem where planets were not being completely freed
up when destroyed. Shouldn't show up on game stats screen anymore.
Tell me what you think about the new version of the Sector display
and the way I'm showing planets. I think its a bit "busy" but its
nice to know what each planet type is without having to land on it.
I'm flexible, if you don't like it, speak up. 🙂
Fixed Robbing so ports under construction cannot be robbed.
Fixed Planetary trade agreements so ports under construction can't be
used to trade with.
A Releasemem was added for the manually allocated memory structures
I've been creating on the heap to deal with course plotting.
Added control to prevent Interdictor Cruiser from landing on a planet.
It can make an atmospheric pass to attack shields and defensive
fighters, but thats all.
Added Woody Weaver's suggestions on ship changes making the whole fleet
pretty well rounded. In addition, increased Starship max fighters to
50,000 (lotsa changes on the ships, check em out).
You should also find the ANSI included for the Interdictor this time. 🙂
Handling more than 99 mines has been cleaned up and there's a precursor
there now of things yet to come 🙂
What the hell, I went ahead and included most of the Limpet Mine
technology. Its probably not all in there, so don't get too overheated
about some aspect of it you notice. 🙂 Please do mention anything that
looks odd about it to you. BTW, Extern does run a 25% chance nightly of
failing Active Limpets, so its not as powerful as you might think.
The failure system for cloaking devices is now in Extern.
When a player is deleted, either via Extern or Tedit, their ships are
put back in the toy box and their control of whatever planets they had is
now removed (no owner). This should clean up the problem with new users
entering the game to find they had goodies already.
I worked a great deal on cleaning up ship displays when cloaked, on planets
etc, but this new object oriented approach has opened up a lot of holes
in my code. Please check thoroughly any condition where's there another
ship in your sector thats somehow not visible. (on planet, cloaked, etc)
Try everything you can think of please.
You can't tow yourself anymore (sounds disgusting anyway 🙂 Lots of changes
to the towing system to remove towing people in citadels or cloaked players.
Release 0.19 8-16-93
Well this is a quick release as I noticed (after sending 0.18 to Bill) that
Extern wouldn't run without a few little changes. 🙁 It was having a prob
with sectors containing too many ships and players.
Also, Tedit has a "Clear Derelict Ships" command that will remove un-
owned ships that are floating around from the previous versions of the
Beta. I recommend you run it to "clean things up" some.
Well OneBBSCon is next week, so there probably won't be a release next
weekend. We'll be moving fast after that as we want to put the wraps on
Version 2 as soon as we can. Good luck testing!
P.S. Everyone, please try to use the old Evil player tricks to get
extra holds and cargo. Let me know if any of those are still possible.
Release 0.18 8-15-93
Woooooooo! So many goodies, where to start. 🙂
Single step has been modified per user suggestion so that it doesn't
drop out of Autopilot but instead drops to the function menu with
each sector you enter. Try it, its definately better this way. 🙂
There's a couple new ships out there, but they're not completely
active throughout the game. You can buy em, but the special feature
of ship #16 will not be active in this release 🙂
Added a third opening ANSI screen.
The Ship overhaul is complete! The ships are different in costs and
The remainder of the Planetary controls are done. When you upgrade
Citadels you will get the appropriate info for the type of planet you
are on. Also the planetary displays have been improved. An additional
Planetary Citadel Level has been added. 🙂 But it isn't fully active
yet. Transporter Level stats is now complete in the Citadels but I
still didn't link in the Planetary Transporters because I want to wait
until the Ship Transporters are ready. That will be in the next release
when I've fully tested the balance of the new ships and settle on the
transporter range/ship type.
TURBO BIGBANG is in this release. 🙂 🙂 Try it in an alternate subdir
somewhere (don't forget to move PORTNAME.D8A as well). Its mondo faster
thanks to an alternative course plot routine provided by High Velocity
Software (they're the folks that are working hand in hand with me to
bring out a MajorBBS version of this game at the same time). This new
course plotter is built into the game now at the core level. You may find
some problems with Transwarping planets or with Etherprobes. I didn't
have time to fully verify those were working properly with the new
course plotter. Try this plotter, its damn quick.
Tons of little cosmetic changes here and there, most of which are from
user suggestions that I've accumulated over the years.
BTW, the Interdictor Cruiser is NOT the "Evil Starship" that people have
been clamoring for. It has some definate drawbacks (slow, few holds) and
is designed strictly for some serious maiming when needed. I have always
and will always refuse to grant an Evil Starship to the Evil players as
they already have it good and should stop complaining. 🙂 (preaching over)
Come next release you will be able to start owning multiple ships (with
the completion of the Transporters). The transporters have taken longer
than planned as we couldn't decide how powerfull to make them. The end
result is that ship transporters will be short range (some ships being
only able to beam within the same sector) and planetary transporters will
be *capable* of long range depending on how much money the player puts
The stand-alone ship displays are in, if you want to mess with your
user's minds, create some ships (using Tedit, just give a deleted one a
name and a location, thats all it takes) and just leave em lying around. 🙂
That will throw them for a loop when they encounter ships without anyone
piloting them. BTW, please do NOT use the Ferrengi ships as that is still
under development and I'm not sure if they will even be IN Tedit in the
Please test Planetary transwarp and Etherprobes as I'm pretty sure they'll
Also try to break the Course Plotter in any way you can think of.
BTW, this new course plotting approach should FINALLY get rid of that
.01% chance of having an unlinked sector after BigBang is done. You
may want to recreate a new universe to have a cleaner one. I'm not
asking you to as I know how your users would complain having to start
You've noticed that all ships had the full 200 turns per day, right?
(evil laugh) Well this version ends that testing mode as the new move
controls are in. In the Ship Specs you will see a field that indicates
how many turns it takes to warp the ship 1 sector. Thats the new approach.
Instead of different ships getting different turns, they take a different
*NUMBER* of turns to warp 1 sector. This means you can use a Colonial
Transport to move colonists from one planet to another and only burn 1 turn
each time. Moving that Transport to another sector though, takes 6 turns.
Once you use this method some, I think you'll agree its easier to understand.
Ugh, its late on Sunday night and I have to work tomorrow, so here's another
Beta set to work with. We'll be gone week after next to OneBBScon in
Colorado. If any of you are going to be out there, look us up, we'll be
staying in the Broadmoor Hotel.
Release 0.17 8-1-93
"come hell or high water". Hunh, we've had both around here of late. 🙂
Well we're not going to let the Flood of '93 stop this project! (just
delay it a few weeks). Things have been *very interesting* in Kansas and
Missouri lately, but the rivers have all crested, the rains have let up
and it looks like we're through the worst of it. In the last month we've
had our garage flooded out three times (over a foot deep), lost large
limbs on our trees, but luckily, haven't been flooded inside the house.
On to the Beta!
NOTE NOTE NOTE NOTE NOTE NOTE NOTE NOTE NOTE NOTE NOTE NOTE NOTE NOTE NOTE
You MUST run the 16to17 conversion program to update your TWuser.dat file!
If you do NOT run this, you will corrupt your current game. Also, do NOT
run it twice, as that will do the same 🙂 (Beta stuff after all 🙂
Put the 16to17.exe in the subdir with the TWuser.dat file and run it once
Also, after unzipping this jumble, copy all *.ANS down to the ANSI\
subdirectory. All of the planet ansis and a few others are in this update.
NOTE NOTE NOTE NOTE NOTE NOTE NOTE NOTE NOTE NOTE NOTE NOTE NOTE NOTE NOTE
Many, many, many changes to insure that new user accounts are properly
initialized. They shouldn't start on a planet, have visited sectors, etc.
The Contracts, Bounties and Galactic bank accounts have been moved to the
user file (where they should have been in the first place) and should be
fully operational now.
By popular demand/complaint the Galactic Bank limit has been raised tenfold.
You may now keep 500,000 in there (no interest, its too safe).
PLANETS! Yeesh, planets have undergone their massive changeover. You can
now get multiple planet types, all reference displays are complete and the
functionality of the different planet types is complete. Its far too much
to list and besides, I want players to have to figure out some of what the
different planet types imply. (evil grin) From reading the descriptions in
the computer system, they should be able to make a good guess anyway. You
will notice that there are different production/storage/ and requirements
(for Citadels) with each planet type. Experiment with em, but don't be
suprised if some Colonists dissapear on the hostile worlds. 🙂 The planets
are complete with the exception of 1.) Transporters and 2.) Storage
warehouses. (yeah, like it sounds, for junk of all sorts 🙂
PLEASE TEST PLANETS THOROUGHLY! Thank you.
One small note to keep in mind, I've changed the "Planet limit in sector" to
be a soft limit. The user is only warned that they're doing something
"potentially hazardous" by exceeding that limit. 🙂 You all know what
happens during cleanup to people with too many planets in a sector. 🙂
Release 0.16 6-20-93
I was out of it for about 10 days these last couple of weeks with a nasty
sinus infection. Had to resort to a doctor to get rid of it. 🙂 My day
job is also lightening up some now so I should be able to move at a pace
more my liking. (faster) If any of you were around when I went through
the 1.xx beta series (0.90 through 0.98) then you'd remember that I *can*
produce quite quickly given the time. If only I could manufacture time. 🙂
Ach and Eiben. I realized I left one file OUT of the necessary mods to make
the game completely sharable between Lan nodes. (or desqview, whatever).
I made those additions and the game seems to run smoothly enough on
multiple nodes concurrently. Still haven't finished the new Node
configuration system yet. Everything's in, just have to patch the old
I/O routine to use the configured values instead of the constant defaults
its been using (3f8,3e8,2f8,2e8 etc)
Many little cosmetic changes. ;->
Jim Chapman sent me a nice bug listing so I just worked my way down it:
Starting credits bug, unable to put more than 30000 in it - Fixed
Shields editor, unable to change - Fixed
Transwarp Editor, ditto (wrong select character) - Fixed
Corporation display ( I couldn't duplicate it) - ??????
Twtrader bulletin onlyupdated when rankings run
(Well thats the original design, will take some work to change)
Quitting a corporation bombs out - Fixed
Changing Corp password bombs out - Fixed
Corp members keeping you off your planet (silly typo err) - Fixed
Price of tea in China - unable to fix
All of the Corp functions were using the Static MaxPlanets, MaxSectors,
etc instead of Systemrec.Planets, Systemrec.Sectors. Ie, it was always
looping through the MAXIMUM numbers of each thing, instead of the
CONFIGURED max number of a thing. This would have caused a number of
Error 100s. All fixed now.
Corp Alignment was accidentally commented out. Its been put back in
so that the 'Consorting with Slimeballs' should make more sense now 🙂
This is a lot of code, you know that? Ugh. Just exceeded 23,000 lines
and I've been trying to optimize it and through out redundant sections!
Heh. Users were getting messages from Player#1 telling them "We have
destroyed your fighters in sector blah blah, don't deploy in the space
lanes". 🙂 Players used to start at 2 so I was using the value 1 to
represent the Feds. The Feds have now moved to -4 so I fixed Extern
to send the messages with the proper author.
When a new user started, if they picked up a user record that had been
previously used (deleted player) then they'd get that player's
travels and avoids. (Wasn't clearing the bitfields). Its now cleared
so new users will start with only one sector visited. (*awwwwww*)
The problem with disrupting mines is fixed. Seems that the Borland
Pascal 7.0 "Byte" datatype rolls over but remains positive! I was checking
for it going negative (never happened). All taken care of.
Cloaking and remaining in citadels should both be working. Left those
checks out of the new structure that maintains all the player's locations.
Added "Onplanetnum" to the editor so you can see which planet the player
is on. Also added "Cloaked?" to the Shipeditor so you can tell when a
ship is cloaked. BTW folks, Cloaking isn't infallible anymore. >:->
+ Here's a silly one for you: +
+ You must destroy the fighters to remain here: +
+ Your fighters 30 vs theirs 953,293,123 +
+ What would you do? (grin) (use the editor) +
Yeesh. I just spent about three hours tracking down that pesky little
problem with port construction. Finally found it, the header definition
of one procedure involved wasn't setup for pass by parameter (as opposed
to pass by value). Simple fix once I finally found it. 🙁 Ports should
be building now
Its after midnight, I think I'll zip this up and get it on the way to
Bill! Have fun with it folks and let me know what you run into with it.
Thanks again for helping out with the Beta test.
(Yes, I am in a much better mood of late 🙂
Well I lied, before quitting I fixed the ports so that even in this time of
Clintonomics, they'll start making some profit so that the Pirates will
have something to steal. 🙂 (Sorry all you Democrats, couldn't resist 🙂
End of Release 0.16
Okay! Here we go again. I'm starting this completion note to keep you all up
on where we're at in fixing things, adding new chunks, etc.
* In an effort to optimize the "Eviction" module of Extern, I forgot to
initialize the array that has everyone's location in it. Fixed now,
your users should be merrily evicted left and right.
* Someone reported the Hardware Emporium didn't have "Q" on its menu.
I can't find this, so I'm including the current Menufile.TXT that I'm
using. I must have fixed it but not sent all of you the new menus.
* I'm also including MENU.EXE If you run this program in the same subdir
with Menufile.TXT you'll be able to view whatever menus you want. Makes
it a bit easier to look at em (instead of trying to trigger them in the
* There are some new modules being linked in, though they won't be fully
functional for a while, I'm just testing memory allocation right now.
* Argh, I need to edit a planet I'm testing transport with so I guess I'll
finish the Tedit planet editor now. 🙂
* The new planet limits are done. Material maxes out at 20 million units
now (instead of 10,000) and Colonists best level is 1 million (instead
of 10,000). Colonists can go up to 2 million of course. (no production)
* Planetary Fighters max is now 1 billion
* Planetary Shields max is 50,000
* Fighter handling has been maximized for the new, larger setup. Sectors
with a planet can handle 2 billion fighters. Without a planet, only
* Hooks are in for the new multinode control system. The editor aspect of
it is done but the game doesn't use the info (yet).
* The problem with flipping between "G" and "H" in the editor has been fixed.
* Navigational hazards (Space debris/Asteroids) has now been linked into
everything BUT the Enter_Sector process. IE, you'll see it, can edit it
but it won't hurt you if you run into a sector with debris in it. In the
future, it will cause damage. Destroyed anything can cause a debris
buildup. Battlegrounds will become a navhazard.
* When attacking deployed fighters, the database was updated but the temp
work variable was not (didn't look like you destroyed any but you did).
Its all fixed now.