TradeWars 2/QuixPlus Revision File

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TradeWars 200/QuixPlus version


This ARC file contains all of the files necessary to run TradeWars II/QP on a
WWIV 3.21D BBS. The steps to setting up the file for use are relativly simple:

You should have the following files in your ARC package:

TW2.PAS
TWOVER.PAS
TWMAINT.PAS
TWEDIT.PAS
TWDATA.DAT
TWOPENG.DAT
TWSMF.DAT
KENTMAD.MSG
GENEBOOM.MSG
GENESIS.MSG
TWHELLO.MSG
TWMINE.MSG
TWNEWMOD.MSG
TW2.DOC
TWINSTR.DOC
TWMAP1.DOC

1) Transfer all of the .MSG files to your GFILES subdirectory.

2) Transfer all other files to the main BBS Directory.

3) First, compile TW2.PAS, then TWEDIT.PAS as .CHN files, and place them in
your CHN file manager. (using your common.pas file)

4) There is no 4). I told you this was simple. Just fire up WWIV, call up
TW2, and play. If you need to edit a player, call up TWEDIT. Both are
Menu-Driven, so, it's really simple!...


...HOWEVER...

...The hard part is explaining the program itself, and what each individual
part of it does. Perhaps if I go over the history of the program, you'll under-
stand how difficult it is...



HISTORY (duh.....)


...This program was originally written by Chris Sherrick (PTL, whether that's
his handle, or short for Praise You-Know-Who, I dunno...) in an obscure little
language called Beginner's All-Purose Instructional Code (BASIC for short...).
The program was intended for use by RBBS users (my apologies to those who have
just eaten their lunches...) as part of the DOORS utility.

...The original version of TradeWars was, for it's time, one of the more
advanced DOOR games availiable, and was soon upgraded to versions II and III.
Again, both versions were in BASIC, and oddly enough, Sherrick released the
source code with his game. But once you took a glance at that code, you then
realized WHY he bothered not to withhold it...

...The BASIC code for TW2 & 3 was SO completely unintelligible, that it simply
could not even be flowcharted without DAYS of research!! [Heck], it even managed
to confuse Tracing on occasion!! And to top it all off, Sherrick had the gall
to ask any who managed to convert the program to other languages to get in
touch with him! (The guy probably works for the CIA, and is recruiting code
decryptors...).

...Well, this is all fine and dandy, so long as you run RBBS and can run
compiled BASIC programs on your system...

...BUT...

...What if you CAN'T run BASIC in any form due to some system incompatibility?
Say, if your BBS is run on a system that is also attatched to that dinosaur of
networks, the IBM PC Network (which IRREVOCABLY requires a certain area of
memory that BASIC also requires...), what do you do?

...ALSO...

...What do you do if the only other WWIV board in the entire Central Texas
Region is run by a snooty little 10-year-old blind brat who is constantly
harassing you about your running WWIV ("I'm blind, and it's not fair that you
should be running MY BBS program!"), trying to crash the BBS, AND running a
bunch of rather...STUPID on line games (Darts, Dice, Coin Toss, Rope Jump,
Etc...all based on the SAME dice game!)?

...Yeah, you guessed it. We took Sherricks' TW2 and converted it to Pascal.

...As to who 'we' is, the first of those was Lord Darkseid, the sysop of the
most infamous BBS in Central Texas, Apokolips BBS. LD, as he was usually
called, acquired the code from Lloyd Blauen, the Sysop of Fun World (sorry,
don't have the number right now...) after weeks of badgering. Then, LD spent
almost a month taking Sherricks' code apart and attempting to flowchart it.
The latter was given up only a fifth of the way through the decyphering...

...Then, LD took the code and in one unbelievable 34-hour marathon session,
he singlehandedly converted the TW2 program itself into Pascal! Now, keeping
in mind the condition of the original BASIC code, you'll understand why
certain routines and variables were not given clear and revealing names. To
this day, I still don't fully understand what certain routines exactly do!

...Once that was working, he started working on the editor, and got only as
far as the portions that manipulate player statistics. Then, on the fourth
thru sixth days, he rested, and on the seventh he declared war on the local
sysop's group that the little blind brat was alligned with. Thus, he never
finished the editor. HOWEVER, Quixotic Software came to the sysop's rescue,
and has provided a quick-and-dirty sector map editor to allow sysops to
configure the universe to their own satisfaction. Later editions of the
release package will come with several pre-packaged universes to start with.
You'll need to rename one of the GALAXY1, 2, or 3.DAT files to TWDATA.DAT in
order to use a different universe map. Several other editing features have
been added, including a report on Romulan activity and a player report/ranking
routine a lot more extensive than the one players can access from the computer.

...Next, along came both myself(Omega Man) and Alex & Droogs (down here, we
call him Sorcerer for some odd reason...). A&D did most of the initial
playtesting, as well as assisting LD in converting the BASIC record files to a
Turdo (SIC and SICK) Record File, while I, on the other hand, debugged the rest
of the code and eliminated most of the errors that A&D found. Finally, in
September 1986, our version of TW2 went on line. Oddly enough, we never
finished the editor...That had to wait until Quixotic Software got hold of the
code in July '87.

...Needless to say, it was an instant success. This was due to (A) our
additions to the code that improved game play, and (B) the fact that all of
the BBS's that ran either TW2 or 3 were either pay boards or one of that
dying breed, the no-handles board. Since Apokolips was a bit of a renegade
board, users flocked to it like junkies on crack! It became next to impossible
to get on the board due to the mass numbers of TW2 players!

...A side note: The reason we called it TW2 was because this was the second
version of our conversion efforts. In actuality, we converted TW3!

...Things went fine from there until December of that year, when Apokolips
finally bit the dust (a LONG story...). But from it's ashes rose The
Klingon Empire! BBS (512-471-5850...THAT one I know!), and as you have
probably guessed, it ran TW2. But, there were two problems with this move...

...The first of these was discovered when the Apokolips version's data files
were erased in order to restart the game. I discovered that if the stars
were in the wrong position, and God was in a bad mood, the purge would
produce a record file that would contain several EOF's in the wrong places!
Several weeks of debugging failed to turn up the source of the problem, so
solving it was relegated to one of the most useful items in the IBM world
today: the Norton Editor (if you don't have it, buy it! If you can't afford
it, PIRATE it, then pay the guy when you can!). This is tricky, so I don't
reccommend it to anyone unless you've had a lot of Norton experience (remind
me to show you my HAL 9000 DOS sometimes...heh,heh,heh...).

...The second problem occurred when the general theme of the game did not
exactly fit the motif of the board. That was easily changed at first, but
subsequent additions stretched the code to it's memory limits. Thus, all of
the menues and messages of any size were moved to .MSG files and called by
the printfile function. Also, I modified the game to allow you to drop
your fighters in sectors 2-7, but left in the restrictions for sector 1 (the
only place you can buy fighters), and had the program slap you silly if you
tried to do so. Finally, just before LD left town, we installed an option that
allowed you to create and destroy planets. Needless to say, this was indeed a
very popular feature...

...Since TW2 went online, I've gotten numerous requests for the code, but
up till now I've resisted because the [darn] thing had a tendency to crash
the board from time to time. Now, for the most part, these bugs have been
taken care of. The one sole bug remaining occurs when the game itself has
been restarted and teh player roster has been purged. There is a routine that
moves the Romulans around the Galaxy, and one part of it sends an attack
squadron against the top ranking player. Now, this works, provided there IS
at least one player, and he's not in sectors 1-7 (Roms can't go there...). If
this glitch occurs (happens around midnight...sorry folx), the only thing to
do is ALT-CTRL-DEL and reset the board. Then, you go into the game yourself
and start a player and move it out of sectors 1-7. Usually, this will clear
up the problem, but there are some cases where it may take a couple of tries
to reset the randomizer on the Rom subroutines.

...So, what you have here is essentially a working version of TW2 for WWIV,
and a partially finished editor for the game. With a little tender loving
care, this code could be reworked into beiing much more efficient, but at the
present neither I nor LD have the time to do so. If you think you can handle
the task, be my guest! I do recommend you borrow the BASIC code from some
poor sod who runs an RBBS board to use that for some sort of referrence, but
even that might not help you...

...Anyway, that's pretty much the history behind the game and it's conversion.
I would like to mention a word or two of thanks to the following people for
their assistance in getting the game running: Joe DiMaggio (His REAL name!)
for supplying the Pretty/Pformat programs that made the code a bit more
readable; Supreme Dalek (NOT his real name!), who offered his wit and wisdom
in most of the KE! mods; Mr. Roboto, Forte, THE Red Baron, SSlik!, Avatar,
Saint Vincent, and Martini for their comments, sugestions, gripes, bitches,
snivels, whines, and cryings abou the game and it's multifacets; and finally,
to Chris Sherrick, for coding the game itself, and despite the fact that via
the usual pirate grapevines it has come to my attention that he is aware of
my version, and is not pleased at all. To him, I can only say this:

THTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTPPPPPPPPPPPPPP!!!!

...If he hadn't made the code so full of gibberish that we practically needed
the Rosetta Stone to decrypt, I'd probably listen to his complaints. However,
I have no room or time for whiners without a cause...

...Before I leave you to searching for that back door I installed...



...Sucker! Couldn't find it, eh? heh,heh,heh...Anyway, let me state here and
now that neither LD, nor I, nor anybody mentioned here take any responsibility
for any system crashes this program causes. It's buggy, true...but so was the
original code! But you wanted it, and here it is! If you CAN improve it, at
least send me a copy! That's the only payment I ask...

...OME MORE THING: This is related to the previous statement, but don't let
anyone else have this code without checking with me first. The less people
have the code the less the problems. This is especially true in the case of
the Grey Mouser, who refuses to send the Mousetrap code to Texas for various
asinine reasons. I doubt seriously he'll get this code in the future...


Omega Man
Sysop
Klingon Empire! BBS
512-471-5850

Hello, my name is Preston Stroud, sysop of File 13 (919) 527-9227 (2400 baud).
I received this fantastic pascal ver of Tradewars from a fellow sysop needing
help to get it running... It seems that the Ver he got came from a sysop
who had modified his ver of WWIV and also went on to use his mods in Tradewars.
Therefore, it wouldn't work with the original WWIV boards. Well I spend all
night and part of the next morning fixing that little problem and a few others
I ran across while fixing that one. It should now work on unmodified versions
of WWIV. If you have any trouble getting it working on your WWIV, please call
my board and leave me E-mail explaining. I will help if I can.

Preston Stroud call for other
sysop of great on-line
File 13 BBS programs for
919-527-9227 World War IV


*******************************************************************************

MORE CREDITS!

*******************************************************************************

We here at Quixotic Software, CA, recently received a copy of this fantasic
chain file from The Original WWIV BBS, run by the author of WWIV, Laison 'Al
Gaib. Like every other programmer who's gotten hold of the code, I'd like to
state that it was a mess, and I've done my share to clean it up. Some of our
modifications have been to flesh out the editor, and get a fully functional
sector and port editor so that every individual game of TradeWars would be
configured differently by the sysops out there. A few other of our mods were
the addition of Ship Armor, space Mines, ship-to-ship radio, Rogue mercenaries,
and the removal of 'door points'. The main complaint I've heard is that every
individual fights against the game, not other players, so we've tried to
encourage tactical additions to the game. As other authors in this chain said,
I'd like to hear about YOUR mods, at

The Military Industrial Complex Site II
(213) 201-3375 300/1200

Filthy Lucre
R.R.
------------>Quixotic Software!
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