Author Topic: Modified "plymouth Cold War" Colony Game Download  (Read 7690 times)

Offline Hidiot

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« Reply #25 on: June 01, 2010, 08:04:19 AM »
Missing associated files? Though that would only be a problem if elwood_s added in code from any other source then the sources already used in the original PCW.
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Offline TH300

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« Reply #26 on: June 01, 2010, 08:07:46 AM »
I also get the "Cannot initialize" error and found the cause: MSVCR90D.dll is required, but missing. Can you please get rid of this dependency? Its unlikely that this dll is really needed.

Offline elwood_s

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« Reply #27 on: June 01, 2010, 12:58:17 PM »
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I also get the "Cannot initialize" error and found the cause: MSVCR90D.dll is required, but missing. Can you please get rid of this dependency? Its unlikely that this dll is really needed.
Thanks for the info TH300.

I think this is progress, but where it's taking me I'm not quite sure. :unsure:

I can't find any reference to this file anywhere in the source code or any of the additional files that BlackBox released along with his source code.  It's not listed as an additional dependency in the project configuration properties either.  But a search of my hard drive revealed that MSVCR90D.dll is on my hard drive in the following two locations:

C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\VC\redist\Debug_NonRedist\x86\Microsoft.VC90.DebugCRT\MSVCR90D.dll
C:\WINNT\winsxs\x86_Microsoft.VC90.DebugCRT_1fc8b3b9a1e18e3b_9.0.30729.1_x-ww_f863c71f\MSVCR90D.dll

Judging by the names of the folders, I'm pretty certain that they were put there when I installed Microsoft Visual C++ 2008 Express Edition (which is installed on both my computers).  
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Wonder why some people can play this without problem and others can't <_<

Based on the above I'm going to hazard a guess: The folks who can run this without problem are the ones who already happen to have MSVCR90D.dll on their hard drive with a path statement pointing to it, due to an existing or prior installation of Visual C++ or some other program. BlackBox's original version worked for everyone, to the best of my knowledge, so if my guess is right it didn't need MSVCR90D.dll to run. That would make TH300's idea, getting rid of the dependency, is the right way to fix this.  I just have to figure out how.  

I may have to start a thread in the Outpost 2 Programming to ask for help.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2010, 01:20:41 PM by elwood_s »

Offline Hooman

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« Reply #28 on: June 01, 2010, 11:32:41 PM »
It's probably part of the C runtime library shipped with that version of the compiler. The LibCTiny we were using with the 6.0 compiler didn't generate external dependencies like that (at least none that I'm aware of). Unfortunately, that runtime doesn't work with the new compiler, so it's disabled there and the default runtime is used.


If someone with a 6.0 compiler compiles it for you, that will probably solve the problem. You'd have to hand them the source modifications though. Or, you could distribute the DLL (probably check for legal issues first). I suspect placing it in the same folder as the exe and dll will solve the problem (if some sort of install isn't desirable).

I suppose you could muck around with project settings concerning default libraries or the standard runtime and see if something there will help. Maybe test by checking the generated DLL with some kind of dependency checker to see what it references. I'm not entirely sure of the exact solution for the compiler you're using.
 

Offline AmIMeYet

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« Reply #29 on: June 02, 2010, 02:07:29 AM »
How are you building the mission? Because that sure looks like a debug dependency to me :unsure:
Try building in 'Release' mode, instead of 'Debug', if that's not already the case.

Offline TH300

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« Reply #30 on: June 02, 2010, 02:50:29 AM »
Its obviously a debug library which is not for redistribution. You should do a release-build if you are going to give your mission to others. That will automatically link to the "normal" runtime library which more people might have.

But the above doesn't resolve the issue entirely. There will always be people who don't have the runtime lib. And that would require us to either redistribute the lib with op2 or not link our missions to it. In the past we have (as Hooman said) just linked to an alternative runtime lib which does no longer function with the new MSVC compiler. Now, what? Apparently there is an up to date alternative available here, but I didn't test it and I didn't find any licensing information. Thats your turn.

Offline AmIMeYet

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« Reply #31 on: June 02, 2010, 03:02:45 AM »
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Now, what? Apparently there is an up to date alternative available here, but I didn't test it and I didn't find any licensing information. Thats your turn.
Actually, I tried that back in april, with VC'08, but I couldn't get it to work..
« Last Edit: June 02, 2010, 03:04:37 AM by AmIMeYet »

Offline elwood_s

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« Reply #32 on: June 02, 2010, 03:38:18 AM »
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Missing associated files? Though that would only be a problem if elwood_s added in code from any other source then the sources already used in the original PCW.

Last night I confirmed TH300's observation about MSVCR90D.dll by renaming both copies of that file on my computer so that they wouldn't execute.  After doing that I tried to run my game and, for the first time, got the same "Cannot initialize" error that Highlander, Kayedon and TH300 reported.  Then I renamed them back to MSVCR90D.dll after which I was again able to run the game without error.  

Offline elwood_s

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« Reply #33 on: June 02, 2010, 04:13:41 AM »
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How are you building the mission? Because that sure looks like a debug dependency to me :unsure:
Try building in 'Release' mode, instead of 'Debug', if that's not already the case.
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Its obviously a debug library which is not for redistribution. You should do a release-build if you are going to give your mission to others. That will automatically link to the "normal" runtime library which more people might have.

Thanks guys!  That's gotta be it!!! :D

The PCW archive that Blackbox released here didn't include any sort of VC++ project or solution file, so I used the "New Project From Existing Files" wizard to make one. I was wondering why the solution created by the wizard was saving the runtime in the debug folder instead of .\ReleaseMinSize , but didn't understand the implication.

One dumb newb question.  Does using the "Build OP2Script" button vs the "Build Solution" button make a difference in a case like this?  

And why when I tried to call myself a n*o*o*b, did the "Enter your Post" box automatically change it to "new person" ???  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:
« Last Edit: June 02, 2010, 06:43:06 AM by elwood_s »

Offline elwood_s

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« Reply #34 on: June 02, 2010, 08:13:08 AM »
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But the above doesn't resolve the issue entirely. There will always be people who don't have the runtime lib. And that would require us to either redistribute the lib with op2 or not link our missions to it. In the past we have (as Hooman said) just linked to an alternative runtime lib which does no longer function with the new MSVC compiler. Now, what? Apparently there is an up to date alternative available here, but I didn't test it and I didn't find any licensing information. Thats your turn.
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Quote
Now, what? Apparently there is an up to date alternative available here, but I didn't test it and I didn't find any licensing information. Thats your turn.
Actually, I tried that back in april, with VC'08, but I couldn't get it to work..


I just uploaded the latest cersbsA.dll, which should eliminate the "cannot initialize" type errors reported by Highlander, Kayedon and TH300.   You can download it by clicking the link in the first post of this thread.

Many thanks to everyone whose observations and advice contributed to the solution.

As noted by TH300, there may still be dependency issues for a very few people due to the lack of a libctiny.lib alternative that works with MSVC++ 2008 and later.  I'm now trying to see if any edition (hopefully a free one) of MSVC++ 6.0 is still available somewhere. That sounds like the best bet to build a runtime that will work for EVERYONE who can run Outpost 2.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2010, 08:41:52 AM by elwood_s »

Offline Kayedon

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« Reply #35 on: June 02, 2010, 02:42:41 PM »
Works fine. Starting playing on normal, was setting up my factory/lab and a meteor hit me and took them both at mark 66. ;_;
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Offline elwood_s

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« Reply #36 on: June 02, 2010, 04:36:27 PM »
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Works fine. Starting playing on normal, was setting up my factory/lab and a meteor hit me and took them both at mark 66. ;_;
Wow!  That was one H*ll of a meteor!!

That's a tough break, but thanks for letting me know that it worked.

Once you've played a game all the way through, I'd really like hear your opinion of it.

Is it reasonably balanced? Challenging enough? Etc...
« Last Edit: June 02, 2010, 05:23:43 PM by elwood_s »

Offline Kayedon

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« Reply #37 on: June 02, 2010, 09:49:49 PM »
Because I think Easy is for a bunch of non-gaming PUSSIES, I tried it instantly on normal. After previously mentioned meteor-DE[size=0] [/size]TH, I tried again. What I've noticed is I'm very good at getting my ass kicked.

Basically, for me, as soon as I get the ConVec's I set up the struc/lab, and research whatever because pretty much all the topics are useless to me for a bit (I do tend to go for Scout Class for no actual reason, I guess I should re-think my research order when several dozen tanks are a stone's throw away) while I wait for that infernally-slow Structure Factory to build.
Once it's done, I throw a laser out (I am generally down to 3 decent to full Lynx or 4 thrashed to decent lynx by this point) and start on the Vehicle Factory. Once the factory is done and I've got morale more stabilized and people coming, I find I'm piss-broke. So I'm probably doing something wrong, but the Starflare's are coming so early my pathetic attempts at defence are thwarted and I either can't afford new ones or I'm pretty much dead.

Anyways, I have not finished it but I will eventually, just wait.
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Offline Hooman

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« Reply #38 on: June 02, 2010, 10:54:11 PM »
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The PCW archive that Blackbox released here didn't include any sort of VC++ project or solution file, so I used the "New Project From Existing Files" wizard to make one. I was wondering why the solution created by the wizard was saving the runtime in the debug folder instead of .\ReleaseMinSize , but didn't understand the implication.
Ahh yes, it only had the CodeBlocks project files. When I modified it slightly and put it in the SVN, I added an MSVC 6.0 project file with it.

I generally always start new projects by copying an existing project (usually the blank template), or in the case of converting project files, I copy the blank template, and then add the existing files to the project. I do this to ensure all the project settings are configured correctly. There are actually quite a few adjustments from the default project settings, so I would recommend doing this to create new project files. (Off the top of my head, I remember changes to the standard library, the base load address, additional include folders, maybe additional library folders, and the default project configuration: ReleaseMinSize).

As a side note, particularly if you're going to release the code, you can *Right*-click and drag folders in an SVN working copy, and when you let go of the mouse button a menu will popup asking if you want to do an SVN move, SVN move and rename, SVN copy, SVN copy and rename, regular move, or regular copy. Using "SVN copy and rename" from the blank template to the Levels folder (or similar folder) is a very easy way to start a new project. Plus, you'll be all setup to just do a "Commit" and have your project source pushed to the public SVN to allow other people to see or work on it.

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And why when I tried to call myself a n*o*o*b, did the "Enter your Post" box automatically change it to "new person" ???   
Ahh, fun with the bad word filter. ;)
« Last Edit: June 02, 2010, 10:57:39 PM by Hooman »

Offline Highlander

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« Reply #39 on: June 02, 2010, 11:02:03 PM »
Elwood:

- Initial population is still too low on hard. One cannot maintain a minimum base with the current population there.
- Hard again: Didn't we use to get an earthworker along with the first convec ?
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Offline elwood_s

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« Reply #40 on: June 03, 2010, 04:12:31 AM »
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Ahh yes, it only had the CodeBlocks project files. When I modified it slightly and put it in the SVN, I added an MSVC 6.0 project file with it.

I generally always start new projects by copying an existing project (usually the blank template), or in the case of converting project files, I copy the blank template, and then add the existing files to the project. I do this to ensure all the project settings are configured correctly. There are actually quite a few adjustments from the default project settings, so I would recommend doing this to create new project files. (Off the top of my head, I remember changes to the standard library, the base load address, additional include folders, maybe additional library folders, and the default project configuration: ReleaseMinSize).
Thanks Hooman,

Actually that's how I ended up fixing my dependency issue.  

I deleted the OP2Script.vcproj and OP2Script.sln file that I created using the wizard and substituted your PCW OP2Script.vcproj copied from the SVN.  :D   Worked like a champ.  

Offline elwood_s

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« Reply #41 on: June 03, 2010, 07:51:46 AM »
Thanks for the feedback Highlander.

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- Initial population is still too low on hard. One cannot maintain a minimum base with the current population there.
You're probably right.  I've never tried playing this game on hard.  

I can increase the starting population. What do you think the initial number of workers and scientists should be on hard?

BTW, one thing you can do that helps, is build a common storage fairly early.  That way you can take turns idling the smelter and structure factory when the population squeeze get's really bad.  This technique works particularly well when you build your first mine on the northeast 2-bar beacon. You produce more metal each time you fire-up the smelter and have more time to run the structure factory while the trucks are in transit.

I've used this strategy when playing the original game, which didn't even give you enough workers on normal.

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- Hard again: Didn't we use to get an earthworker along with the first convec ?
No,  I just did a quick test of the original (the one that's included with the OPU version of Op2) PCW.  You get the earthworker on Easy and Normal, but not on Hard.  

I can change the game so you will get the earthworker on Hard.  Do you think it's a good idea?

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Because I think Easy is for a bunch of non-gaming PUSSIES, I tried it instantly on normal. After previously mentioned meteor-DE[size=0] [/size]TH, I tried again. What I've noticed is I'm very good at getting my ass kicked.

Basically, for me, as soon as I get the ConVec's I set up the struc/lab, and research whatever because pretty much all the topics are useless to me for a bit (I do tend to go for Scout Class for no actual reason, I guess I should re-think my research order when several dozen tanks are a stone's throw away) while I wait for that infernally-slow Structure Factory to build.
Once it's done, I throw a laser out (I am generally down to 3 decent to full Lynx or 4 thrashed to decent lynx by this point) and start on the Vehicle Factory. Once the factory is done and I've got morale more stabilized and people coming, I find I'm piss-broke. So I'm probably doing something wrong, but the Starflare's are coming so early my pathetic attempts at defence are thwarted and I either can't afford new ones or I'm pretty much dead.

Anyways, I have not finished it but I will eventually, just wait.

Thanks Kayedon,

I'll post a little strategy guide to help to help you out, hopefully later today.  It'll take a while to write though.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2010, 10:05:26 AM by elwood_s »

Offline Kayedon

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« Reply #42 on: June 03, 2010, 09:50:06 AM »
Earthworker on hard is a good thing, and try combining your posts. Just 'Edit' them, copy and paste them all together and delete the old ones.
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Offline TH300

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« Reply #43 on: June 03, 2010, 12:02:14 PM »
Although I could never beat the original mission on hard, I liked how the resources that I were given were somehow minimalistic. Imo its much more fun to build something up if there's more to build up. Hence, a better way to make it playable would be to make the enemy less aggressive in the beginning.

On the other hand it is also boring if the enemy doesn't prevent me from building up huge armies (as I did in the original mission on easy). Hence, the enemy should be more aggressive later in the game and also build up bigger armies.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2010, 12:04:00 PM by TH300 »

Offline Kayedon

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« Reply #44 on: June 03, 2010, 12:37:44 PM »
Still on medium, I'm on a modestly successful play-through but at around Mark 450 they send in a sticky, an EMP, a micro, and a star. Needless to say, my army was flattened. With it, I was also down to just 4 scientists (nursery, CC, uni) and 13 workers, pretty much unable to keep producing units without dying pretty soon. I need to adjust my style. :P

EDIT: Following play-through, I was doing alright, when at Mark 85 a Vortex popped up and ate my mine for breakfast. I just have s*** luck with disasters lately.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2010, 12:49:07 PM by Kayedon »
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Offline elwood_s

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« Reply #45 on: June 03, 2010, 07:23:43 PM »
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Although I could never beat the original mission on hard, I liked how the resources that I were given were somehow minimalistic. Imo its much more fun to build something up if there's more to build up. Hence, a better way to make it playable would be to make the enemy less aggressive in the beginning.

On the other hand it is also boring if the enemy doesn't prevent me from building up huge armies (as I did in the original mission on easy). Hence, the enemy should be more aggressive later in the game and also build up bigger armies.

I'm planning to try another version (to be designated Mod B ), when I finish with this one, that's going to be more to your liking:
  • Starting units and colonists very similar to or the same as the original PCW.  
  • AI will attack less frequently and won't send any Stickys until maybe mark 300 or so, to give you time to get up some Guard posts.  
  • I'll also probably change the order of escalation so it will start sending EMPs before it starts sending Stickys.  I just can't handle the Stickys early in this game.  Without Guard Posts or a way to repair my tanks, they wear down my little army way too quickly.
I'm afraid it's going to take me a lot longer to figure out how to manipulate the AI timings though....  Adding and substituting units is much easier, which is why I chose that method of balancing for my first attempt (Mod A ).
« Last Edit: June 04, 2010, 03:58:02 AM by elwood_s »

Offline Highlander

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« Reply #46 on: June 04, 2010, 06:25:25 AM »
The way to make Hard difficult can be done in several ways:

- Lack of colonists
- low ore
- Lots of AI attacks
- High rate of disasters
(Or of course a mixture)

Plymouth Coldwar utilizes a lack of colonists + frequent AI attacks (Currently ore problem can be bypassed).

So how to tweak this from impossible to hard ?
First off we need enough colonists to keep a minimum base running (Residence + agridome + nursury + university). From current situation we either need more colonists to begin with or a faster way to set up the basic base.

Solution A) Do a matemathical modell of newborns vs colonist deaths and keep starting colonists to a bare minimum. (Could prove annoying since 1 random dead colonist too much means scenario failure)

Solution B) Introduce more Convecs loaded with buildings in the start.
- Could be solved by "Main base sending a larger shipment of resources - which get ambushed by Plymouth" - and you'll have to fight off/sacrifice some vecs/buildings to save the crucial ones you want. (Could prove interesting to see which buildings people go for - could also be a bit hard to implement)


I suggest keep the current line of attacks going. I'd much prefer fighting stickies over EMP early on.


A bit short on time due to exams these days, so my ideas won't necessarily be the best ones :P
I'll reply when I get the time for it though. Just drop me a message again if you want something specific :D
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Offline elwood_s

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« Reply #47 on: June 04, 2010, 09:41:31 AM »
Here's a strategy, that will work on normal, to get your base and defenses built up to the point that your survival is reasonably assured.  This guide was updated on June 25, 2010 to reflect the changes implemented in Mod A 1.1.

Build your first mine on the northeast 2-bar beacon.  You're going to build a common storage fairly early so you can take turns the running the smelter and structure factory when the population squeeze get's bad.  This technique works particularly well when you build your first mine on the northeast 2-bar beacon. You produce more metal each time you fire-up the smelter, and have more time to run the structure factory while the trucks are in transit. As long as you have a Common Storage, you only really need to run the smelter when there's a truck on the dock.

Because getting your structure factory operational ASAP is a good thing, you might want to try building it on the sand just north of the Agridome.  What I've observed is that when I locate a structure factory on sand, the instant construction starts the building is already around 820/2000 complete and the health bar over the structure is green.  When I locate a structure factory on normal gray ground, the instant construction starts the building is just around 180/2000 complete and the health bar over the structure is still red.  I've noticed similar a "construction speed bonus" seems to be given to all types of structures when they're located on sand.  One of the old-timers here might be able to explain this phenomenon.

While the Factory and Lab are under construction, Have the Robodozer you just got doze a building pad for your Nursery.  When that's done doze a pad for the Med Center.  At first your Structure Factory will be cranking out kits faster than  Robodozer can prepare pads.  Residences are one of the fastest things to build, so save the dozed building pads for slower building structures, where the time savings will be greater.

The first topic to research once the Lab is completed should be Health Maintenance.

How to stay alive until you get your Guard Posts up.

You can handle all the AI's attacks (Micro-lynx and Starflare) with just your four Lynxes, until it starts sending Stickies, and if you play your cards right you'll have 3 or 4 Laser guard posts up by then.  Here's the drill.

Select your two Lynx-RailGuns, bookmark them as a group and station them side-by-side out in front of your mine, so the AI's Micro Lynx will go after them when the time comes. Select your two Lynx-Lasers, bookmark them as a group (with a different hot-key of course) and park them back closer to your base. When you see the Micro-lynx coming, set  the game speed to 1 or 2, hit the hot-key to select your RailGun group and save the game. Just before the Microwave gets into RailGun range, have the group start to retreat north or south.  Because The AI has the Scout Class drive train upgrade and you don't, the Micro will slowly gain on you and your RailGuns will start firing.  As long as they started to backup soon enough, your RailGuns should get in 3 or 4 solid hits before the Micro gets close enough to hit either of them.  That will slow it down to to the point that it's no longer gaining on them.  Have Rail group continue to retreat, staying just out of the Micro's range until they've destroyed it. If the Micro scores a hit one your Rails, reload the game and try again (that's why you saved the game).  The timing gets easy after a few tries.  Save the game before every combat and after every successful combat until you get good at , so you can have a do-over if necessary.  Your RailGuns have to deal with every Micro-lynx the AI produces until you have your guard posts up, and damage will slow them down. The AI already has a speed advantage (Scout Class drive train upgrade) so you can't tolerate much damage to your RailGuns.

The Starflares are a lot easier to deal with.  Send your  Lynx-Laser group to intercept it in no-mans-land.  When the group get close to the 'flare, reverse direction and it will follow them.  Your two lasers can destroy the 'flare before it gets close enough to detonate.  

After the AI starts making Starflares, it will begin forming Attack Groups of  two or more lynxes that it will launch simultaneously when it is ready.  From this point on, it's better not to wait for the AI to attack you.  Mount a "forward defense" and try to breakup or cripple his attack groups while they're still forming.  Remember, the AI's base defense is entirely made up of Tigers, so every Lynx you see loitering around behind his lines is part of a forming attack group.  

As soon as you see a lone Micro-lynx, inch your RailGun group closer to the enemy's lines, until it comes out to attack them. The Lynx will come out to attack quicker than the tigers will.   When it comes out, use your RailGun group to deal with the Micro according to instructions above.   After taking several hits, the Micro may retreat.  That's OK if it has suffered substantial damage, making it slower and easier to kill when the attack group is finally launched.  If it escaped with just scratches, try to draw it out again.

If you see an unaccompanied Starflare-lynx try to draw it out the same way, but using your  Laser group instead of the RailGuns.

Build out your base in the following order:
  • Residence
  • Nursery
  • Residence
  • Med Center (research will be complete by then)
  • Common Storage
  • 4 laser Guard Posts, built in a north-south line located four or five tiles east of your mine and connected by tube to the nearest building.
  • University
  • Second smelter just west of your mine (idle the old one)
  • Vehicle Factory, Garage, Etc...

Unlike most colony games, you start with no children in PCW.  That's why you leave the University until after the Med Center, Common Storage and Guard Posts.  So by the time it's built, you'll have a reasonable number of children to train.  The two scientists that would otherwise work at the University will continue to do research until it's built.

I'll edit and add to this as I have time.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2010, 11:38:28 AM by elwood_s »

Offline Moley

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« Reply #48 on: June 21, 2010, 03:27:39 PM »
i really hope this is still in production...
a friend of mine... i have never been good at cold war
has found that if you try to take tigers into the enemies base the game freezes?
is this documented? or totally new? it happened in the old one to...
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Offline Flashy

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« Reply #49 on: June 22, 2010, 04:34:15 AM »
i attacked with panthers/lynx but it always crashes if they drive through the AI base.
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