Version 4.0

Peoples General Suite

© Luis Guzmán

 
 

Index

Installation
Starting Loading files
Menus and Toolbar
Game Sets
Settings
Browse
Campaign Editor

Scenario Editor
Summary View
Units View
Map View
Save Game Editor
Equipment Editor
Miscellaneous

Related documents
:

Changes summary from 3.16  release

Game Set Details

Installation

To install, just copy the executable file wherever you like, no additional files are required to run. Some text files are included on the package, they are optional although if used they will be a good improvement, but you can use the tool without them.

First time you load the tool, you should configure all settings mainly folders and all text files used. Those settings are stored on windows registry so the program will “remember” most of the files you used normally, avoiding browsing  for files all the time.

By default no files are loaded, although you can configure to load the last file opened when starting the program.

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Starting Loading files

First time you run the program Setting and Folder Form will be pop up. You should define main game folder and some other settings needed and also if you want to load last file opened when starting the program.

By default program start at Browse View and view is switched when you load a file to edit.

There are 6 Main Views:

            Browse View                          default start view

            Campaign View                     default view for campaign editor

            Summary View                      default view for scenario editor

            Units View                            default view for saved game editor

            Map View

            Equipment View                   default view for e-file editor

Views are empty until you load some file (they show labels, but not data). You can select any view using Menu/Views options or pressing its toolbar icon. If hover mouse you will see tool tips for most options. You have all the time some view selected (its toolbar icon is greyed).

From here you can load a file to edit or just to see it. You will normally do in any of this two ways:

·         Press Menu File and select the choice you want
·
         using a Toolbar first 4 icons (the yellow ones) let you browse for a file to load.

Campaigns and scenarios can be loaded also from Browser View by double clicking on a file (.cam or .scn file).

When you load a campaign , scenario or saved game, all necessary files to show  equipment, countries and icons are loaded also according your settings. If any file is not found you will be prompted to select it, using standard windows browser dialog.

 If you load an equipment file to edit it, only countries and icons are loaded.

Last six files opened are saved as recent files, for quick re-loading. Note that equipment file is only included on recent file list when you load it explicitly using Menu File or its Toolbar

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Menus and Toolbar

All main options are included in a menu, but some items are not allowed unless you are on a specific view or until you have loaded a file of certain type.

Some of the most frequently used options are accessed also using toolbar’s icons


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 4    5    6     7   8    9  10  11  12   13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23  24

  1. Bowser
  2. Load Campaign
  3. Load Scenario
  4. Load Savegame
  5. Load Equipment
  6. Load Countries file (GUI)
  7. Load Icons file (MODGEN)
  8. Save Current active file
  9. Save As Current active file
  10. Setting and Folders
  11. Import PG2 Scn file
  12. Import PG2 Equipment file
  13. Gameset Editor
  14. Edit text file
  15. Icons report
  16. Report for active View
  17. Global Changes for active view
  18. Cancel sound (only the one sounding, does not mute)
  19. Campaign View
  20. Summary View
  21. Units View
  22. Map View
  23. Equipment View
  24. About

There are also some very specific options not included on any menu because they are related to some dialogs and have no sense out of them, or because they are more useful as buttons.

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Game Sets

What is a GAME SET ?

As you know PEOPLES.EXE  is the game executable file. It includes inside some code (routines to implement some features), calls to external windows DLL (as directx management) and some data defining things as files to use (EQUIP97, GUI97, MODGEN, ...),  folders to look up files (SCENARIO, .... ) and some other parameters as interface files, movement cost, base year, .....

Code and external DLL routines can only be changed (I mean without having the sources) by dissassembling, understanting and rewriting the binary codes for some of the CPU intructions (ASM pseudocodes) using an hexadecimal editor. This allow changing some of the features making really a new game. That is what Redball made to release the latest PeG_027x and WW2-027x  patches.

But those features stored as  data can be modified much more easy, just by replacing some bytes of the executable, once that data address is known. Anyway once changed the executable behavoir is somehow different.

We could say that Game Set is any executable that can play the game,  calling Basic Game Set  to any of the fles which has different features hacked by changing coded routines (as People.exe , PeG-027x.exe and ww2-027x.exe) and User Game Sets to any of them with some further data changed.
 

Why to change the data ?

The main reason to develop the Game Set concept and include a userfriendy interfase within the Suite, was to allow having different efile related scenarios & campaigns sharing into a common game folder (so sharing the bigger and more difficult to maintain MAP folder) but without interacting each other, I mean avoiding multiple game installation or moving files when you want to play campaigns for different e-file than you currently have on your main game folder as EQUIP9, which is IMHO the tipical solution for handling that.

So the basic and simple reason would be to define different folders & files for each e-file you play often. Instead of moving to a different folder or to make complicated BAT files to rename or move files, you can create and use specific User Game Sets to play.

In addition it comes to help on adapting the different mods (mainly WW2 mod, but also Red Danger Asia, or Red Danger Europe) to a new patch  release, when made available, avoiding the need to hack several mod-related executables, which has no sense at all, as hacking is the most difficult and time consuming work.
 

How do I use an existing Game Set ?

To play simply select the Game Set executable instead of your standard. Basic Game Set.

As Suite loads auxiliary files as soon as you load a campaign, scenario or saved game, you have to tell it which folders and files it has to search for. To do that just tell it:

§         If it should read setting from a Game Set

§         Which Game Set you intend to use, as to read settings from that

This can be set on Settings & Folders window


How to do ?

Suite includes a Game Set Editor available both from the main Toolbar and from Settings and Folders window,  just press  this icon  

To know how to configure a Game Sets go to Game Set Details

 

Settings

All settings are saved on windows registry and used from there. You can save also as an INI file to retrieve later, as a way for having as many configurations as you want, but Suite uses those settings you have when you press OK button on Settings and Folders dialog. Loading an INI file only replaces data into that dialog.

Registry entry key is showed so you can edit or delete entries using REGEDIT.EXE

(it is a standard windows program you can locate on C:\WINDOWS folder)

There is an internal editor to edit or create text files, but it has no printer options, so an external editor is launched for reports. You can define which one you want to use and if you prefer always to use that external one.

You can define also an alternative folder to place all .MAP files (from here AllMaps Folder) as there is an option to update all .MAP files needed into your SCENARIO folder according the campaigns you have. Be aware that Suite searches for MAP file both on SCENARIO folder and if not found on that All maps folder

Here you should also define where you have placed some other auxiliary text files like icon descriptive text file (Modgen.txt) and another folder for locating PG2 Shp files if you need to convert any. You can use the Suite without those files but they worth to use.

If you use French or German releases you can configure default suffix for text files, but be aware that last patch 2.0x only works with English one (.txt files)

By default standard folders are used, but you can use the new Game Set feature to share many e-files on the same game folder (read on changes summary about this new feature); in this cases here is the place you should define which Game Set you want to use. There is also a button to launch Create/Edit Game Sets dialog.

How to search for files can be configured also here and scroll speed for Map View.

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Browser

The main purpose of this view is to check the files needed to play your campaigns. By default Game Set scenario folder is used to list all the campaigns and their scenarios and AllMaps Folder setting is used to check your MAP files.

Only scenarios and MAP files used by the campaigns are included on the list, but you can browse all MAP files on a folder pressing the button provided for that.

There are toggles to see file names or titles and to see S16 filenames or pictures.

Missing files are pointed out to quickly see them.

There are also a button to raise the Reports dialog that allows get different kind of info related. Basically you can create a text file reports with all campaigns in a folder, all files needed for each one and/or missing files. There is also an option to update all MAP files needed for all CAM files from the All Map Files folder to your Game Set Scenario folder, and to convert existing PG2 picture map files (Shp) directly to Peoples picture map files (S16) in the most easiest way.

From here you can also get a full report for selected campaign including all prototypes available for each scenario.

 Clicking on any campaign or scenario item, launches their editor. file.

 Here you can also change the map number used by a MAP file.

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Campaign Editor

 This view lets you create or edit any campaign and their related text files. All other files as SCN, WAV and Movies can be defined by typing or selected using a windows file browser.

You can add to, or remove from the campaign any scenario, change sequence order  and of course edit any scenario just double clicking on the list.

There are some features to make global prestige changes along all scenarios defined into the campaign:

There is also a pop up window to show campaign flow – sequence and dates for all campaign - and another tool to review all campaign details.

You can get a report with all data related and all files missing warning specifically if any critical file is missing. This report will include all available prototypes for each scenario, according each scenario settings (no prototypes, different time frame, …)

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Scenario Editor

Scenario editing is made using 3 views as explained below.

Although you can create new scenarios without using the game editor, you must to edit and save using the game editor always before using it in the game, as there are some unknown bytes that nobody fully understand yet so game editor is needed to set properly. Skipping this step can run in troubles later.

You cannot create nor edit a saved game with this tool.

There are tools to import scenarios from Panzer General II and to reverse sides. Global changes can be made by selecting specific scopes to limit changes

 See Menu/Scenario to see all options.

 

Summary View

Here it is found all data related to countries, weather, turns, transport available files used as map file, intro text file (which you can edit also) and switches to set type (user/SSI) and visibility (if show up on game scenario list). Scenario main text file is not editable as map and unit names are managed by the Suite, but scenario title is available for editing.

From this view you can set all data not related with units and map settings.

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Units View

Here it is all units related data. There is a unit list you can filter and sort with different choices and for the selected unit detailed data is shown.

You can select which icon to show (main or transport) and you can rotate all different faces. If you double click on an item,  equipment data is shown in a pop up window. When you switch from this view to Map View, selected units is maintained and if you switch to Equipment View an automatic filter is set to show only same country and class items.

When editing a scenario, you can add, place multiples copies (clone) or delete units; and also add, edit, copy and paste unit's names.

To manage names, you can copy a unit's name and them paste on a different unit, by creating a new name or assigning the id, so sharing the name item.

So it is very easy to make a generic Corp/Division name, and them paste as a new name in all units belonging, and edit each pasted name to add the regimental identifier.

When setting experience you have a button to set experience bar automatically.

There is a global editing feature where you can change data to all units matching some conditions (filters) and you can set random experience between to values you can edit.

When you set an un deployed unit to deployed, you will be changed to map view to set their location.

To see those bytes not fully understood yet, you can turn on a window to see or change for each unit. Each time you change list selection their unkwon bytes will be shown on that left window. You can turn it on using Edit Bytes button.

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Map View

Here you see and change map settings as deploy, supply, owned and victory hexes.

You can edit also terrain type and roads, but you will be warned that you are editing the MAP file so changes will affect all scenarios using that MAP. If you decide to change the MAP file is better if you save changes as a different name.

By default picture map is shown on strategic view but you can toggle to real size picture and even you can maximize the window to use full size screen. Map is scrolled as in game as soon as you reach an edge. On real size mode you can even see units as they show in game. You can travel the map using mouse scrolling or to be precise you can use keyboard but you have to press Ctrl in adition to any arrow key.

There are many toggles to filter what you see, either for map settings or units, and for terrain types there is a special form to draw icons for specific terrain types to check easily.

On this view you can deploy or un deploy units using the Deploy button.

There are specific tools to quickly set terrain type or name hexes. Mechanism is simple, press the appropriate Copy .. button to load into a special buffer the terrain type, road setting or hex name for selected hex, and then paste on any hex by Clicking while holding Control key (from here Ctrl Click). For units you can move using a similar method, first copy a unit using Copy Unit button and then Ctrl Click where you want to left. An alternative method is to drag the unit to a new position (move mouse while pressing left mouse button).

There is also an Allow Stack switch, to define if a unit can be placed into an occupied hex (stacking) or no, when moving or pasting. Of course you can always do it manually by setting same coordinates to several units, but to do by moving a unit into an hex already occupied, you need to set the new switch ON 

There are also a collection of buttons to quickly set owner, supply, deploy or victory hexes same as in game editor.

And when editing an scenario there is also a powerful option to copy a unit on windows clipboard (can be copied from Units View, Map View or another Suite instance) and to paste clones on this Map View using Paste button or standard Ctrl V hotkey. Is quite suitable to populate defending units as forts, anti-tank or infantry on cities

Right clicking on any unit pops up a form to see its stats. You can also name units from this view (even creating new names if it is a scenario). And if editing a scenario you can also purchase new units.

Map names can be created and edited. So you can easily name all river hexes or sea hexes copying a name and Ctrl Clicking on each hex you want to be named. Names are not duplicated using this method, only a line in the text file will be created when saving, so if you edit that name later all of them will change, no need to re-edit all of them again.

Names for hexes can be saved to a file or loaded from a file quite compatible with Lasse’s map namer tool and map names files you can get in the web.

There is also a global changes tool what allows massive changes and gives you a summary of how many terrain types you are using. Here you can even name all hexes for a terrain type (as a lake or river, or an ocean).

And to see those bytes not fully understood yet, you can turn on a window to see or change for each unit. Each time you change hex position their unkwon bytes will be shown on that left window. You can turn it on usin Edit Bytes button.

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Savegame Editor

You can load and edit SAV and CSV but not EML files.

Same views than those explained for Scenario Editor are used, but some data and options will be turned on/off according specifics. Main reason is that savegames can alter in any way the number of units nor names (map or units), so all related options as add unit, clone unit or delete unit are disabled.

So if you want to recover your better unit as it was before it was killed, you have to buy any other unit before saving and then change all settings (equipment, experience, etc…) within the Suite. You can even recreate how many enemy units that unit had killed and what scenarios it got its bars.

In addition there are additional forms to edit leaders, unit's medals and campaign dossier, this last include  an After Action Report with same options as in PG2 version.
 

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Equipment Editor

Equipment file is loaded as soon as you edit a campaign or scenario, although you can create or load any e-file by itself (loading only this one). Any time an e-file is loaded GUI file is loaded also to read country names and other labels as game does.

An auxiliary text files is provided MODGEN.txt with some comments for icons included on modgen.dat. It is a text file on the idea you can update with your own texts.

When you select a sound (MEL file) you can set the number you want from 1-255,  and the tool takes care of the true number to use, adding 1000, 2000 or 3000 according it is for move, attack or destroy sound..

When you will change an icon (or just you want to see them), all icons on modgen.dat are shown and each icon name will be appended with the comment you have for it on MODGEN.TXT file and the number of times that icon is used. In this dialog, there is a filter option to select only some icons matching a criteria you can define to seek into icon name or icon comments.

Equipment view is very similar to Units View, a list for items is on left side and for selected item, all data is shown. The list can be filtered and sorted in many ways to help on focus what you want to see better.

And you can also turn on unknown bytes window.

You can add items at the end of the file or before the selected one and it can be added as empty or with same data as selected (clone). You can also copy any item (from this view of from other instance as it is stored on windows clipboard) and paste to replace data on selected item – no unit code is changed, only data. But there is a choice to replace (paste) only item’s name.

You can also remove items and Invalidate any to avoid altering items order.

Same as with units, there is a global changes tool to make batch massive changes, although it can be used either to change a few selective items as it has powerful filtering capabilities to select changes.

A new feature lets you replace instances of some icons (names) with a different ones, as defined on a text file to those of us who like to use always same icons for certain units (like me).

There are also options to export and import items to / from another e-file, and even to convert from /to Panzer General II (SSI) slightly different format.

When importing you can append or replace items

So you can make a new equipment file using selected codes from many E-Files easily. But to get a playable EQUI97 file you must run the Reset Equipment Codes before using it, as this option sets codes same as the order each item has in the file. If you delete any item you should run also this option.

When this option is run, a LOG file is created in order to be able to fix unit's codes in any scenario or even a whole campaign, using the old-new codes pairs.

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Miscellaneous

 Toolbar(15) launches specific report for the active view. Each editor/view let you get a report. Reports are created as text files and always the external editor is launched so you have the option to send to a printer or to notice where it has been created to later use it. At any time you can edit any text file using Menu/Tools/Edit Text File or using Toolbar(13)

 Menu/Tools/Icon Report or Toolbar(13) pops up a window showing all icons used. It shows icon for e-file or scenario  depending on the view you are when launching.

 Menu/Tools/Show Modgen icons pops up a window showing icons inside modgen.dat, which is the same as explained on equipment view, but it doesn’t allow selecting any icon. All other features are the same.

 Menu/Tools/Country Global Changes lets you replace some countries into equipment, units and map data.

Menu/Tools/Edit Peoples exe data and Tables lets you edit peoples internals, as base year, movement cost, air mission cost, alliances and cine files filter. Don't change anything unless you know right cleearly what you are doing.

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