(C) 2002-2003 by Harry Bur. All rights reserved.
1.1 What is Zeus?
Zeus is an add-on for the PBEM Game Vga Planets 3 developed by Tim Wisseman.
1.2 Why has Zeus been developed?
2.1 Explore Mode
The default is :
Now it is possible via Zeus alliance codes to ally with another race in an explore alliance. In that case the information gathered by an ally is written into the other one’s xyplan.dat as well. Releasing an explore alliance will stop the sharing of information.
There is support for round (RoundMap=1) and square (RoundMap=0) maps.
If the host takes the round map (RoundMap=1), the entry MapRadius=xxxx will be used. If the square map is taken (RonudMap=0), the entry MapRadius will be ignored and Border= will be used.
All ships that are out of bound will be catched by the Sphere-mode routines and put into the other side of the map.
The role model of the game does not support mine hits after a ship has entered the other side of the map and no decloak by lokies. The Zeus add-on uses check routines to give a player the full use of mines and lokies back making the game a lot fairer, as well as the support of scans (sensor-, mine-sweep, bio-scan, dark-sense, ships in the universe) beyond the rim of the map.
It is difficult to find the right waypoint with a round map, that is why the little tool RoundMap has been developed. You can download it at http://zeus.rebels-hq.net/roundmap.zip
The default is :
The use of a stargate is handled by command messages, which must be written by a player to himself. During the beta test we found out that this system works better than friendly codes, which would have taken an awful effect on the battle order after the gate had been used.
The build of the stargate takes place in the auxhost1-phase. That is even before minerals are hauled or supplies/money are paid. (But be aware of the fact that there will be a loss of supplies, if too many clans on an arctic or desert planet eat supplies to survive)
For example is a command gu found, Zeus will test the position of the ship.
Is it located on your own or an allied planet with stargate, the target planet is examined for a stargate controlled by you or an ally. If there is no error found, the ship will be moved to the other planet.
All this takes place still before the general ship movement.
It is important that the ships do not lose their old waypoint or rather their information about how far they have to go to the x- and y-direction.
Let’s say a ship on the map with the coordinates 1200:2000 gets a waypoint 20 ly to the left and 20 ly upwards, but it is transferred to another planet with a stargate on 2700:2000. Now the ship moves its 20 ly (like it would have done without any stargate-transfer) from its new position to the coordinates 2680:2020.
During the auxbc.ini-phase (that is after the movement and before the combat phase) there is a second check for valid stargate commands. That is why all ships can also use a stargate immediately after they have landed at a planet.
The ships are allowed to carry as much as they can and do not have to pay for passing a stargate yet. If this impairs the game flow to much, it will be changed in future.
The default costs for a star gate are listed below. Of course the host master is able to adjust the settings.
The default is :
Just deposit the money to your bank on planet alpha (the money is now in the central bank computer) and let it be paid out to your planet beta, that is all and done in one turn. With a bank-alliance you are even able to transfer money to your ally.
There is no restriction in the amount or number of transactions with your or allied banks.
For example a message from a Lizard to himself can look like this:
What happens? Right, there is a bank-alliance offer first, followed by two new banks at the planets 233 and 444. Then planet 233 deposits 2000 Mc at the bank And the bank pays 1000 Mc to 444. In case the planet 125 belongs to an ally and he or she offered an alliance too, your bank will pay 1000 Mc to that planet.
Now to the default costs for building a bank:
2.3.3 The mass transports
Now to the default settings:
The alliance is active after both players have set the command.
(-a0xxx)<<< Zeus 0.5 >>>
Race: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 a b
o = no alliance
The example above shows a privateer player completely allied with the fed player (means both set the desired command messages). In addition the privateer player does offer to the crystal player a stargate alliance and the crystal player himself does offer a explore alliance to the privateers.
Is required to avoid minehits of allies in their own minefields, if ships are travelling over the edge of the map.
Explore Map Alliance:
Share your map exploration data with your allies.
Enable MC transfer from player to player.
Share your stargates with your allies.
Share your transporter with your allies.
4. Command Messages
Example command message composed to yourself
A line does include the word Zeus.
Using pb(PlanetToBank) 34 4000 will transfer 4000Mc from planet #34 to the bank.
Using bp(BankToPlanet) 341 3000 will transfer 3000 Mc from the bank to planet #341.
Using gb xx will build a stargate at planet #34 and #341.
The invalid command gb444 will be ignored.
By means of gu(GateUse)341 262 ship #262 will travel to the stargate of planet #341.Therefore the ship needs to be at the position of a stargate after its movement phase.
Using ae(alliance explore) 7 will activate the explore alliance to race 7.
The following command message has some errors …
commands bb 341, gb 341 und ae 7 are not processed, since only one command per line is allowed.
One line must contain the word Zeus. The commands must be written in the other lines.
5. Instructions for the host master.
<path to Zeus_a.exe>\Zeus_a.exe <game directory>
<path to Zeus_b.exe>\Zeus_b.exe <game directory>
At the first run Zeus creates additional files in the game directory. These are urgently needed for a correct work of Zeus and should not be deleted. As well should the xyplanXX.dat – files stay in the directory, that is why you should not cut or move but copy the xyplan-files for the players.
For an easy installation a setup tool is available:
With the help of ZeusConfig.exe the setup for the add-on is settled. It creates a Zeus.ini in the game directory and the correct entries will be integrated into the auxhost1.ini and auxbc.ini. After that the program checks the existence of the needed files in the game directory.
Is there no hullspec.dat, no race.nm or no planet.nm the program tries to copy them from the host directory.
First there is Tim Wisseman. Without him we could not enjoy this great game at all.
And of course Ricki Rohr the host master of http://www.rcworld.de, without his engagement there would have been no test games and his many suggestions that helped me to improve the add-on.
Then I would like to thank cordially Dirk Lucht, Katrin Braasch and Martin Peters, who helped me out by writing a reasonable guidance and the English translation.
A lot of thank goes as well to Stefan Reuther, who was so kind to make the fileformat.txt available for the community.
And last but not least I want to thank all beta-testers, who bear all the errors and bugs in the beta games and supported me with untiringly readiness for action to improve the add-on Zeus:
For information on distributing the freeware version of this Software see the section titled Distribution.
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