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 Post subject: Setting up a Server Game on CW 27 Beta...
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 7:49 am 
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Setting up a Server Game on CW Beta 27
-----------------------------------------------

Introduction

Ok... this is for all those people who just can't get any games running on that server, who are frustrated at starting a game up and not getting any joiners, and for those who want to test out the game, but the server is way too confusing. This is the guide to running and successfully starting up a game on the CW Server.

The Edition

I am using Beta 27 for this guide. It is the most stable Custom Wars we have so far and mostly all the modifications use this version. I believe this version is the optimum choice for showing how the server is run. I am going to cover all options the server has to offer and explain what information will need to be typed in step-by-step.

Friends, anyone...

In order for you to play over the server, you are going to need at least 1 person online to join your games. The best place to look would be at the Custom Wars Forums. The RWC (Round Water Cooler) is usually a good spot to check. All the opposing player needs is a copy of the...

1) Game Name
2) Game Password

Both will be explained in later sections.

Controls? I can't fly this without controls!!!

Usually, everything in Custom Wars is navigational by the mouse...
Left Click: Select
Right Click: Cancel

But if some random cat has eaten your mouse, or it got stuck in a mouse trap, there are some keyboard controls available for use.
Arrow Keys: move
"z": Select
"x": Cancel

Where is it?

1) Start up CW Beta27 by going to Custom_Wars.jar (or is you are running one of the modifications, follow their instructions.) Wait for it to load up.
-If it doesn't load up, make sure you have the latest version of Java installed. You must be running Java 1.5 or higher.
2)Go to New Game
3)You should see 8 options ("New", "Load", "Network Game", "Load Replay", "Create New Server Game", "Join Server Game", "Login to Server Game", "Open Online Lobby"). I will briefly describe what each option stands for below.

Decisions, Decisions... What do all these options stand for anyway?

-New: This allows you to create a game that'll be played on one computer. You can have up to 10 players on one computer. There is no AI in CW Beta 27, which means it's only great for player vs. player matches. Server games and LAN games can't be created here. (AI should be rectified in the upcoming cw2 engine.)

-Load: This allows you to Load a game you were previously playing. This only works for games you made using the above option "New". It allows you to continue playing from the last point you saved. Server games can't be retrieved here.

-Network Game: This is how you set up a CW game across a LAN based networking system. Which means, It works only for LAN based games and not for Server Based games. This is great if computers are connected in an office or home network, but fails in online connections. However, you can use this online with the help of a program called Hamachi.

-Load Replay: This allows you to load a replay from a previous completed game. You need to save a replay from a previously completed game in order to load a replay in this mode. It is a rather unstable mode, but a notable mention.

-Create New Server Game: This is how you host a CW game across the online server at http://battle.customwars.com. This is not a mode for LAN or Hamachi based games. The online server is always running and ready to accept created games. There are 2 other options along with this one which are designed to help you set up these type of games. This option, along with the 2 following, will be explained in greater detail in the next segment.

-Join a Server Game: This is how you join a CW game across the server at http://battle.customwars.com. This is not a mode for LAN or Hamachi based games. Whenever a person makes an open or passworded game. You can use the Game Name and Game Password information provided to join a server game. The games are listed at http://battle.customwars.com. This option will be explained in greater detail in the next segment.

-Login to Server Game: This is how you continue a game you were previously playing on the CW server at http://battle.customwars.com. This is not a mode for LAN or Hamachi based games.The games are saved every players turn on the CW server. You can see the progress of the game by the information index on the top of the server screen. The option will be explained in greater detail in the next segment as well.

-Open Online Lobby: This online lobby is the only non-working option in Beta 27. This was supposed to be an online lobby for the server games that included a built in chat mode and allowed players to see other people who were online. However, this project never got out of Alpha production and remains under construction.


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 Post subject: Re: Setting up the Server on CW Beta...
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 8:59 am 
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Server Follies

Instead of going through all the options CW has to offer, I am going to skip the LAN networking and the basic new cw game and head directly for what it says in the topic title. How to run the server. I think I wasted enough of your eye power on the technical stuff. Now I'll get into the mud... how to get a server game running.

Introduction Again?

You must have an online connection. If you don't, this'll never work...

There are 3 options for a server game. "Create a New Server Game", "Join a Server Game", and "Login to a Server Game". These are the only options you'll need when dealing with the server at http://battle.customwars.com.

If you wanna mention the Server Webpage, tell me what it is about...

http://battle.customwars.com is the server webpage. Its job is simple, to layout the games created on the page when you click the "List of Available Games" link. The Games are split up into 3 sections ("Open Games", "Password Protected Games", and "Full Games") which each have 8 Sub-Sections ("Game Name", "Players", "Turn", "Map Name", "Version", "Player List", "Last Action", "Comment"). I will explain each Section and then each Sub-Section briefly below.

ServerPage Section

-Open Games: This section shows all the games which are open to all players. In simple terms, these open games do not have a password so any player who types in the "Game Name" and leaves the "Game Password" blank can join these games. As long is there is an "empty" slot in the "player list", players can join in.

-Password Protected Games: Usually used for private games, this section shows all the games which the host has provided a password to join a game. This means you'll need to obtain the password from the host in order to join. As long is there is an "empty" slot in the player list, players can join in as long as they know the password.

-Full Games: This section shows all the games which are filled up with players. A red player in any section usually means the player has been inactive for a long time. This is a good place to track the progress of the games you created. Once a game is full, no other player can join in.

ServerPage Sub-Section

-Game Name: This is the only valid way to track games in the server. It is very important to have a creative game name to make yours easier to find. The Game Names are stored in alphabetical order within each section. Using your browsers search might also make your games easier to find.

-Players: This shows a fractional value that will tell you how many players have joined your game so far. In short... (How many players joined/ Total joined players). It is a minor tool used mostly for games consisting of more than 2 players.

-Turn: This also shows a fractional value that will tell you which players turn it is to play in a game. In short... (How many turns have past/ Whichever players turn it is). Since players are in turn order, you can use this to figure out whose turn it is.

-Map Name: This shows you the map name this map will be played on. Make sure you have a copy of that map in your map folder before joining, otherwise you'll have a problem joining into the server. (It won't let you join or will phase out when you press play.) This is often overlooked when playing a server game. If you do not have it, ask the host where s/he got the map and see if s/he can help you get it.

-Version: This is the most overlooked aspect of CW and also the most important. Game versions must match in order for a server match to be valid.You can't play a Beta 27 server game if you are running CW Beta 26. The same goes with the modifications. You must be playing the same version as it says in "List of Available Games" in order for the server game to work. Always make sure you are running the correct version of the game.

-Player List: This will list all players in their current turn order. Keep this as a note. You can't kick players, and once joined, a player can't be kicked off the list. Also note, once the player selects where he is, it can't be changed. Inactive players show up red, and "empty" shows spots in which players haven't filled up.

-Last Action: Activity anyone. This will show the last time someone logged into the current server game and did something within it. It is a pretty good tracker to see how active players are, or whether the game is still active or not.

-Comment: When you host a game, one of the last things it'll ask you for is a comment. It can be a taunt, a warning, a gesture, a welcome mat. There is a lot of uses for it. It was intended as a way to lure people to join your open games, but can also just be left blank. Anyway, it is the host's way of speaking to the prospect player.

Server Disclaimer

Well, aside from the server having a lot of games stored on it. I am happy to report the server is pretty stable and is free from most of the major problems that were making it unplayable. Just make sure these few rules are kept while dealing with the server...

1) You have the correct map in the server game stored in your computer. (Ask the host.)
2) You are running the same version name as the server game version name states.


However, even if you follow these rules, some small issues still remain. Before logging on, be aware of these bugs...

-Players might switch sides without warning.

This is an updated list that will unfold as new bugs are found. (All bugs found in cwserver are being worked on and should be rectified in the upcoming cw2 engine.)


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 Post subject: Re: Setting up the Server on CW 27 Beta...
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 10:32 am 
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Wait, didn't you say you were getting to the mud?

Yeah, and I better not get carried away. But, understanding how the server works will better assist you when creating games. You can now check the server to see if your game was created, or not. Now would probably be a good time to tell you how to create a game. But, first, you need to decide whether you will host a game, or whether you'll be joining a pre-made game.

What's a host, again?

-"Well, I should at least make it "Andy" proof, right?"

A host is someone who creates a server game from scratch. They are responsible for setting the options. This includes creating the map, setting the number of players, and dealing with the unit bans. Hosts are only interested in 2 options...

1) "Create a new Server Game" - How the host creates a server game.
2) "Login to a Server Game" = How the host checks the progress of his/her server game and loads the game during his/her turn.


If you aren't a host, then who are you?

Any person who doesn't want to set the options for a game, and joins a game with pre-set options is called a guest. Guests join hosted games in order to fill up their empty player slots. When all slots are filled, the game room is considered full, and a server game can begin.

The "open games" and "Password protected games" are examples of games that are still waiting to be played. To be a guest player in one of these rooms, you are only going to interested in these 2 options.

1) "Join Server Game" - How the guest joins a open/password server game.
2) "Login to a Server Game" = How the guest checks the progress of the server game and loads the game during his/her turn.


Step-by-Step

Okay... this starts the step-by-step instruction on how to create a server game from scratch. (There is a bug on Mac comps that doesn't allow you to see what is above the text box. This should help significantly.) There are 4 important data needed for all server games ("Game Name", "Game Password", "User Name", and "User Password".)

-"Game Name" - The server games name. Usually unique so it is easier to find. Give this information to people willing to join your game.
-"Game Password" - The server games password. Decides whether a game is an "open game" or a "password protected game". Give this to only to the people you want joining your password protected game. If you don't type a password, it'll be an open game.
-"User Name" - The user's name. This shows up in the player list and tells people who you are when playing a game. If doesn't have to match your CW user name, but should be memorable to you since you'll need this info to log in.
-"User Password" - The user's password. This password is created to make sure other players can't play your turns. Make sure you remember your password as there is no way to retrieve it from the server system if you forget it.


Before you start, very important!!

-You only need to register once for server games. "Create a New Server Game" and "Join Server Game" are the 2 registering options for joining/creating a server game. If you try and register more than once, you will have an awful experience dealing with the server.

- After successfully registering with the server game, which means your "User Name" is in the "Player List". Then you can check up the game progress and load your games using the "Login to Server Game". You must register for a game first before logging in. Do not attempt to login to a game that you haven't joined and/or created. Instead, use "Create a New Server Game" and "Join Server Game" to register for a new game before attempting to log in.

- Something to Note Player 1 decides the teams, bans, and other conditions for the match. So if you want to control the game, make sure you go first.

Create a New Server Game

0) Click "Create New Server Game" - A window should pop up...

1)"Type in a name for your game" - This is where you type in your Game Name using the keyboard. Make sure the typing window is active. Also, make sure you keep a tab on the name you chose. You will need to give this name to players who are planning to join your game. Be creative with your name and make it memorable. It is impossible to have the same name on the server twice, even if the games are under different versions.

2) Press "OK". - or press cancel if you want to start over for any reason. You will start from step 1 again.

3) "Type in a master password for your game" - This is where you type in your Game Password. However, this is optional. It is important to know that if you don't provide a password (a.k.a. leave the space blank), your game will appear underneath "Open Games". If you do provide a password, your game will appear underneath "Password Protected Games". Also note, if you have a password for your game, write it down. There is no way to retrieve a lost password once it is put on the server system. Also, you will need this password to give to guest players willing to join your game. (It is recommended not to use personal passwords as this server does not have a secure connection and the data may be read by a 3rd party.)

4) Press "OK". - or press cancel if you want to start over for any reason. You will start from step 1 again.

5) "Type in your username for this game (12 characters max)" - This is where you type in your User Name. The User Name is the name you'll use when logging in to a server game, so it is important that it'll be something you'll remember. The User Name also appears in the Player List. The user name doesn't have to be the alias you use on CW. You can choose whatever name you want for the alias. If you are hunting for players on the forums, just make sure you tell the players who you are on the game. There is a max of 12 characters. Going over that limit will bug the server.

6) Press "OK". - or press cancel if you want to start over for any reason. You will start from step 1 again.

7) "Type in your password for this game" - This is where you type in your User Password. This is the last piece of important information for creating a server game. The User Password prevents other players from playing your turns for you by logging in under your player name. Make sure you write this password down as well, there is no way to retrieve a forgotten password in the system. This password is for your turn protection, so use it at your own risk. (It is recommended not to use personal passwords as this server does not have a secure connection and the data may be read by a 3rd party.)

8 ) Press "OK". - or press cancel if you want to start over for any reason. You will start from step 1 again.

9) Choose a map - Choose a map you want to play on. The number of players is decided by the how much players is on the map. You can choose any map in the list of maps you have.

10) "Type in a comment for your game" - This is where you, the host, can type in a invitation, taunt, or anything else that you'd like to say to other players in the game. Try to keep it short. This box usually acts as a lure to get people to join your games.

11) Press "OK". - or press cancel if you want to start over for any reason. You will start from step 1 again.

12) "Which side do you want to join. Pick from 1-?" - This is where you decide what player you are (1 for Player 1, 2 for Player 2, and so on...). The number you pick decides the turn order which you play (1 goes 1st, 2 goes 2nd, and so on...), your player color (1 is red, 2 is blue, etc...), and your position on the map. Choose whatever side you think will give you the best tactical advantage. You can choose any number you would like, being the host.

13) Press "OK". - or press cancel if you want to start over for any reason. You will start from step 1 again.


After this you'll hit the Server Lobby Screen. This is where you'll wait for other players to join your game. Also, congratulations, because you have successfully created a "Server Game". At this point, you can check if your game is under the server list at "Open Games" or "Password Protected Games". If it is, you are ready to accept people to join your games. Time to go hunting...

I will go over the player colors and turn order, also the "Server Lobby Screen" later in this document.


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 Post subject: Re: Setting up the Server on CW 27 Beta...
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 11:08 am 
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Join Server Game

0) Click "Join Server Game" - A window should pop up...

1)Type in the name of the game you want to join. - Using the Game Name found on http://battle.customwars.com, given by the forum, or given by your buddy; type that information into the box provided. Make sure the text window is active. The name is case sensitive. So if you are unsure of how a Game Name is spelled, or want to know if a game exists. Check on the server page before proceeding to type in the name. Type in the Game Name exactly like how you see it, or this will fail, and you'll not be able to join.

2) Press "OK". - or press cancel if you want to start over for any reason. You will start from step 1 again.

3)Type in the master password of the game - This is very important if you want to save yourself a lot of headache...
-If the game is an "Open Game", don't type anything in the text section and proceed to the next step.
-If the game is a "Password Protected Game", type in the Game Password provided by your host and proceed to the next step. (If you didn't get a Game Password from the host, go contact him/her and ask for the password.) Remember, the Game Password isn't the same thing as your User Password. You need a Game Password from the host in order to access a "Password Protected Game".

4) Press "OK". - or press cancel if you want to start over for any reason. You will start from step 1 again.

5) "Type in your username for this game" - This is where you type in your User Name. The User Name is the name you'll use when logging in to a server game, so it is important that it'll be something you'll remember. The User Name also appears in the Player List. The user name doesn't have to be the alias you use on CW. You can choose whatever name you want for the alias. If you are hunting for players on the forums, just make sure you tell the players who you are on the game. There is a max of 12 characters. Going over that limit will bug the server.

6) Press "OK". - or press cancel if you want to start over for any reason. You will start from step 1 again.

7) "Type in your password for this game" - This is where you type in your User Password. The User Password prevents other players from playing your turns for you by logging in under your player name. Make sure you write this password down as well, there is no way to retrieve a forgotten password in the system. This password is for your turn protection, so use it at your own risk. (It is recommended not to use personal passwords as this server does not have a secure connection and the data may be read by a 3rd party.)

8 ) Press "OK". - or press cancel if you want to start over for any reason. You will start from step 1 again.

9) Type in the number of the army you will command - This is where you decide what player you are (1 for Player 1, 2 for Player 2, and so on...). The number you pick decides the turn order which you play (1 goes 1st, 2 goes 2nd, and so on...), your player color (1 is red, 2 is blue, etc...), and your position on the map. Choose whatever side you think will give you the best tactical advantage. You are limited, however, to only occupying spaces that other players have not taken up. The list on the server lobby screen has each player in the order of their turns. You can choose any spot that reads "empty" on the list as yourself. (The screen will pop up until a valid number is selected.)

10) Press "OK". - or press cancel if you want to start over for any reason. You will start from step 1 again.


After this you'll hit the Server Lobby Screen. Also, congratulations, because you have successfully joined a "Server Game". At this point, you can check if your name is under the game you joined. At this point, you can wait to see if your turn is up, or wait for other players to join in the game. If you were the final player, your game will move underneath the "Full Game" list.

I will go over the player colors and turn order, also the "Server Lobby Screen" later in this document.

Login to Server Game

0) Click "Login to Server Game" - A window should pop up...

1)Type in the name of the game you want to login to. - Using the Game Name found on http://battle.customwars.com that you stored, given by the forum, or given by your buddy; type that information into the box provided. Make sure the text window is active. The name is case sensitive. So if you are unsure of how a Game Name is spelled, or want to know if a game exists. Check on the server page before proceeding to type in the name. Type in the Game Name exactly like how you see it, or this will fail, and you'll not be able to login.

2) Press "OK". - or press cancel if you want to start over for any reason. You will start from step 1 again. (If there is no master password, the computer will skip to step 5. Otherwise, it'll continue to the next step.)

3)Type in the master password of the game - If it was an "Open Game", you can skip to step 5. If the game was a "Password Protected Game", type in the Game Password provided by your host and proceed to the next step. (If you didn't get a Game Password from the host, go contact him/her and ask for the password.) Remember, the Game Password isn't the same thing as your User Password. You need a Game Password from the host in order to access a "Password Protected Game".

4) Press "OK". - or press cancel if you want to start over for any reason. You will start from step 1 again.

5) "Type in your username for this game" - This is where you type in your User Name. The User Name is the name you chose when you created/joined in this server game. The User Name also appears in the Player List if you forgot which user name you chose.

6) Press "OK". - or press cancel if you want to start over for any reason. You will start from step 1 again.

7) "Type in your password for this game" - This is where you type in your User Password. The User Password prevents other players from playing your turns for you by logging in under your player name. Hopefully you wrote this password down, as there is no way to retrieve a forgotten password in the system. This password is for your turn protection, so use it at your own risk. (It is recommended not to use personal passwords as this server does not have a secure connection and the data may be read by a 3rd party.)

8 ) Press "OK". - or press cancel if you want to start over for any reason. You will start from step 1 again.


After this you'll hit the Server Lobby Screen. Also, congratulations, because you have successfully logged in to a "Server Game". At this point, you can wait to see if your turn is up, or wait for other players to join in the game. You can log in to any game no matter which list it is under ("Open Games", "Password Protected Games" or "Full Games")...

I will go over the "Server Lobby Screen" later in this document.


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 Post subject: Re: Setting up the Server on CW 27 Beta...
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 3:11 pm 
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What if something goes wrong and I can't log in/ communicate with the server?

And things ALWAYS go wrong. But don't panic, there is stuff you can do to troubleshoot the server.

1) Go to Options (found on the first main screen, right-click the mouse until you are at the menu)... Make sure the "Snail Mode Server" is on http://battle.customwars.com.
2) In Options, make sure "Use Default Login Info" is switched to "off".
3) If "Use Default Login Info" is on. In Options, make sure you type information in "Default Username/ Password". Usually it is better to leave "Use Default Login Info" off.
4) Turn "Auto Refresh" to on. Usually on slower computers, you'd like to leave it off and press "Refresh" manually on the Server Lobby Screen.

5) Make sure your map is the same as the map on the Server Game.
6) Make sure you are playing the correct version of the game, and that it matches with the server version.
7) Make sure you are typing in the right username and password for the game and your user. If you forgot your username or game name, you can find it on the server http://battle.customwars.com, but if you lose your User or game password. You are out of luck.

Odds and Ends

Yeah, I promised that things would get explained. And here is the section they'll be explained in. A short and sweet guide to the remaining factors of the server.

Server Lobby Screen

The screen that you wanna see as soon as you log in or successfully set up a game. It doesn't have much, it is a black and gray screen with tabs and a menu option in the lower right-hand corner. I am going to go over the features of the menu, starting with the tabs.

Tabs
-Syslog: Stands for System Log which tells you when a person logs in. Also tells you when they finish a turn and the exact time they did so. It isn't very useful for the average player unless you want to know when your turn is, or want to know if someone's been loading the game multiple times.
-Chat: The barely used chat room. It works, but can't be used while you are doing a turn. Nothing much else to say about it.
-Send: This is how you send a chat message to everyone in the list. It will send it to everyone who has joined the game, so going for team strategies here isn't highly recommended.
Menu
-Refresh: This refresh works like the refresh on your web browser. It updates the server to the last action made. It is done automatically every 5 min or so (if Auto-Refresh in Options is turned on), but you can speed it up with this button.
-Play: Allows a player to take his turn in the CW game, as long as it is the players turn.
-Exit: You can always exit the Server room by right clicking on the mouse. Just make sure you "Login to Server Game" afterwards.


Player Number, Army Colors, and Turn Order

1) Orange Star - (Red)Orange
2) Blue Moon - Blue
3) Green Earth - Green
4) Yellow Comet - Yellow
5) Black Hole - Black
6) Jade Cosmos - Dk. Green
7) Amber Corona - Lt. Orange
8 ) Dark Matter - Purple
9) Copper Militia - Copper
10) Arctic Militia - Teal

Conclusion

I hope many of you will find this FAQ about the server pretty useful. I know I covered a lot, but there is still the possibility of me missing a few things. If you see any errors, or think something needs mentioning. Let me know. Thanks for reading and have fun playing CW.

JSR...


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