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Author Topic: Miscellaneous FF Game Topics / FAQ - Reborn!  (Read 8970 times)

Offline stumpy

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Miscellaneous FF Game Topics / FAQ - Reborn!
« on: March 23, 2009, 08:35:55 AM »
These are some topics that come up very often.  I will attempt to address each of them in a separate message, but keep an index with links to the appropriate posts here at the top of the thread.

Topics:
























Note that the goal isn't that only one person can contribute to this thread. I will be glad if others add to it with answers to commonly asked technical questions that they want to write up. The obvious caveats being
  • Make sure the questions and answers are to only to common questions. If people post every possible tech question to this thread, it will quickly become too large to read.
  • Post only common questions with answers. If you just have a question, post it in another thread and, if it's a common one, add it here (or add a link to the other thread) once you have the answer.

There may be some editing to add details, clarity, etc. When I notice that someone has posted such, I will add it to the topic list so that others can find it easily. Just try to keep the answers clear and precise - we want to avoid raising more questions than we answer   ;)

BTW, my convention has been to use brown to indicate the names of files and folders. (E.g. find the file ffx.py in your ..\Missions\Scripts folder.) And I have been using orange to indicate the exact text or strings that one might expect to see or want to look for. The advantage over using quotes is that it is clear whether the quotation marks themselves are part of the text in question. (E.g. search for print "Error: File not found.".) No one has to follow that convention, but it might make things easier for new users if we try to be consistent.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2010, 06:55:54 AM by stumpy »
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Offline stumpy

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Re: Miscellaneous FF Game Topics / FAQ - Reborn!
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2009, 08:37:38 AM »
Question: How do I find the "base game folder/directory" or the "game executable file"?

Answer:

For people who installed from a CD ROM:
  • Right-click on the icon you use to start the game (either on the desktop or in the Start Menu).
  • Choose Properties.
  • In the dialog that opens up, make sure the "Shortcut" tab is open.
  • Choose "Find Target".
The folder that opens up is the base game folder. On a completely standard installation, this will be something like C:\Program Files\Irrational Games\Freedom Force vs The 3rd Reich.

The file initially selected when the folder opens is the game executable file (e.g. ffvt3r.exe).

For people who installed the Steam version and are still starting from the icon that the Steam installer created:
  • Right-click on the icon you use to start the game (either on the desktop or in the Start Menu).
  • Choose Properties.
  • In the dialog that opens up, make sure the "Shortcut" tab is open.
  • Choose "Find Target" (Windows XP) or "Open File Location" (Windows Vista).
  • Under that folder, you should be able to navigate to steamapps\common\freedom force vs. the 3rd reich. That is the base game folder
  • There will be a file called ffvt3r.exe. That is the game executable.
In a typical Windows Vista, 64-bit setup, your base game folder might look something like C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\freedom force vs. the 3rd reich.

Note that, for people using the Steam version, you'll want to use the game executable mentioned above as the basis for making the shortcuts to run mods, etc. In other words, create a shortcut from the ffvt3r.exe file and modify it by adding -log -game ffx3 etc., as noted below.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2009, 03:06:19 PM by stumpy »
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Offline stumpy

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Re: Miscellaneous FF Game Topics / FAQ - Reborn!
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2009, 08:38:03 AM »
Question: How do I find my saved games or my HERO files in FFvT3R?

Answer:

In the first game, these things used to be stored right in the SaveGames folder of the mod you were playing, but now they are buried deep in your Windows custom settings.

  • Make sure you are able to see hidden files and folders.
  • Go to "My Computer" and open the drive where you have Windows installed. (This is usually the C: drive.)
  • Double-click on the Documents and Settings folder.
  • Double-click on the folder with your Windows user name on it. (That's the name you use when you log in to Windows.)
  • Double-click on Local Settings, then on Application Data, then on Irrational Games, and then on Freedom Force vs the 3rd Reich.
  • For your HERO files, keep going to ..\Custom\Heroes. Those files are where your custom characters are stored for use in the Rumble Room and for initial recruitment into campaigns. (After a custom character is recruited into a campaign, his data is stored in the saved game files from that campaign.)
  • For your saved game files keep double-clicking to ..\User\SaveGames.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2009, 03:23:40 AM by stumpy »
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Offline stumpy

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Re: Miscellaneous FF Game Topics / FAQ - Reborn!
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2009, 08:38:15 AM »
Question: How do I see hidden files and folders in Windows? How can I see the real names of files in a folder?

Answer:

By default Windows hides what it has designated hidden files and folders. Unfortunately, that includes folders like "Program Files" that you need to get to from time to time, which is somewhat easier if you can see them. In addition, Windows hides the file extensions (the letters after the dot in a filename) of file types that it recognizes, so that a file whose real name is spiff.txt will show up as just spiff.

In general, it is often better for you to know what files and folders are on your hard drive and what their real names are. This post describes how to make that the default behavior for Windows.


  • From the Start Menu or the desktop, go to My Computer and open it.
  • Double-click to open your C: drive (or whichever drive you have the game installed on).   
  • Go to Tools -> Folder Options and choose the View tab.
  • Make sure that "Show hidden files and folders" is checked.
  • Make sure that "Hide extensions for known file types" is not checked. 
  • (Make sure that "Display full path in the address bar" is checked.)
  • (Make sure that "Display full path in the title bar" is checked.)
  • Click on "Apply to All Folders".
The parenthetical steps are optional, but they make it much easier to determine where you are, which isn't always obvious when you are several folders deep on the drive.

This makes the hidden bits visible for all folders and files on your drive. Of course, you can do this just for a single folder as well, by opening just the one folder whose contents you want to see instead of the C: drive and skipping the last (click on "Apply to All Folders") step.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2009, 08:53:59 AM by stumpy »
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Re: Miscellaneous FF Game Topics / FAQ - Reborn!
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2009, 08:38:24 AM »
Question: How do I enable the console?

Answer:

You need to be able to get to the game console (sometimes referred to as the game's Python console or command line) to be able to try "cheat codes", to find out diagnostic information when things aren't working correctly, and to run various utilities that people have written for the game. Fortunately, it's easy to enable the console and it's something that only needs to be done once for the game.

  • Open the base game folder.
  • Double-click to open the System folder.
  • Find a file called localinit.py and open it in a plain text editor like Notepad. (In the original Freedom Force, this was the init.py file. It is still there, but localinit.py is preferred in FFvT3R.)
    If you don't see that file, create it by right-clicking on an empty spot in the folder, choosing New -> Text Document, then renaming the file localinit.py. If you get a warning about changing the file extension, that's okay: you do want to change it. Now open that file in your plain text editor.
  • Make sure that the following three lines are in the file
    import ff
    import js
    ff.CON_ENABLE = 1

    The first two lines can be anywhere in the file before the third (and they may already be in the file), preferably near the top.
  • The next time you start the game, you will be able to open the console by hitting the ` (the tick or single back-quote) key. That is the key that also has the ~ (tilde) character on it. That is on U.S. standard keyboards. On some other keyboards, a different key may open the console, but it is usually (fingers crossed) the key immediately to the left of the 1 key.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2009, 03:24:25 AM by stumpy »
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Re: Miscellaneous FF Game Topics / FAQ - Reborn!
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2009, 08:38:32 AM »
Question: I cut and pasted some code to the console and I got errors or the game crashed. What went wrong?

Answer:

The console is the interface to game's embedded python interpreter and it can be a little finicky.

First, when you Alt-Tab from the game to some other application (or to Windows) from the console, a tab character is inserted to the console. Make sure you use the backspace key to get rid of that before entering any commands at the console because spacing at the start of a line has meaning in Python and you don't want any spaces or tabs for anything you enter at the console. You will get syntax errors if you do.

Never paste more than one line at a time to the console or paste really long lines to the console. Both can cause the game to crash. If you are following instructions that have you paste several lines to the console, that means to copy and paste them one line at a time, not all at once.

(I think the limit on line length is something like 255 characters, but it may be less. It is longer than you can see at the console.)

If you are a Python programmer and are wondering how to enter a multi-line code block at the console, it can't be done. You can be tricky with Python's functional tools (like map() and filter()), but you are essentially stuck with what you could put on one line in a "real" python interpreter. Anything longer and you have to write the code you want to a python file and import it. I always end up with files like junk.py sitting around because of this.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2009, 08:55:02 AM by stumpy »
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Offline stumpy

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Re: Miscellaneous FF Game Topics / FAQ - Reborn!
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2009, 08:38:41 AM »
A) Question: I ran something at the console and a whole bunch of stuff printed out and scrolled off the screen before I could read it. How do I see what it was?

B) Question: How do I enable logging?

Answer:

When game logging is enabled (as it is for any FFX-enabled mod), everything that is printed to the game console is printed to one of three files that are in the base game folder: FF.log, script.log and FF.err. The principle file of these three for modders and scripters is the script.log file. You can open that (e.g., in Notepad) to see what you entered at the console and what resulted from it.

(If logging is enabled, it doesn't matter whether or not the console is enabled. The files are created anyway.)

To make sure logging is enabled, right-click on the icon for the mod you are playing (the one you use to start the game), then choose Properties. Look at the Target field and make sure it has -log in it near the end (and that must be separated from anything else in the field by spaces).

For example the Target field for running the FFX mod in FFvT3R might look like "C:\Program Files\Irrational Games\Freedom Force vs The 3rd Reich\ffvt3r.exe" -game ffx3 -log. (For people playing the original Freedom Force, the Target field might look like "C:\Program Files\Irrational Games\Freedom Force\fforce.exe" -log.)
« Last Edit: April 03, 2009, 03:25:17 AM by stumpy »
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Offline stumpy

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Re: Miscellaneous FF Game Topics / FAQ - Reborn!
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2009, 08:38:49 AM »
Question: The mod I installed won't start or looks just like the normal game from the CD (it has no new attributes, etc.) when I click on the icon. How do I play the mod? How do I set up the mod's shortcut?

Note on the FFX mod:
Don't be confused into thinking the FFX mod isn't running because its campaign looks like the default campaign. The FFX mod has new attributes, power swaps, et cetera but, at first glance, it looks just like the campaign that came with the game. In other words, the storyline is the same is the Irrational Games campaign, but the new attributes are available for building characters and many of the campaign heroes have them, too. For example, if you go to create a character and the list of attributes you can buy includes ACID BLOOD, then you are running FFX or an FFX-enabled mod.)

Answer:

99% of the time, a mod not starting occurs because you are using the incorrect icon to start the mod or because the icon isn't set up properly for how the game is installed on your computer.

If you already have a shortcut to the mod and need to check it or fix it:
Open the base game folder and note the path of that folder and the exact name of the folder of the mod you are trying to start. For example. ffx3, patcity, liberty_bay. (Note that FFX for the first game was installed to the Data mod which, as the default, can be omitted.) Next, make sure you have found the icon to start the mod, and not the one that was installed with the game itself. (They probably look similar, but should have different names.) Right-click on the mod's icon and choose Properties and make sure the Shortcut tab is showing.

Now, look at the "Target" field. It should look something like "C:\Program Files\Irrational Games\Freedom Force vs The 3rd Reich\ffvt3r.exe" -game ffx3 -log. That example is for the FFX mod for FFvT3R. It will be similar for FF mods.


  • The first part of that field should be in double quotes and is the location of the game itself. It should be the path of the base game folder followed by a backslash and then the file name of the game executable file, ffvt3r.exe.

  • The second part is the mod option, consisting of two words that tell the game what mod to load (if these are missing, it will load the base campaign that came with the game). The first word is -game and the following word is the exact name of the mod folder for the mod you want to run. Other examples for these two words might be -game patcity, -game liberty_bay, etc. (As mentioned, FFX for the original FF game installed to the default mod folder, so -game data isn't necessary for it's shortcut.)
  • The third part is the -log option that tells the game to turn on console logging (to store whatever is printed to the game's python console to some files). That is necessary for any FFX-enabled mod and it never hurts to have it enabled.

Note that the spaces between the words are not optional. In other words, a target field that looks like "C:\Program Files\Irrational Games\Freedom Force vs The 3rd Reich\ffvt3r.exe" -game ffx3-log will not work properly because there is no space separating ffx3 from -log.

If you don't have a shortcut for the mod and need to create one:
The short version is that the simplest way to get a shortcut to a mod is to make a copy of the shortcut for another mod and make one change to it. So, if you have FFX 3.x installed, here are the step-by-step instructions for creating a shortcut for tommyboy's MegaMap (installed in the maps folder in the base game folder). This will also work by copying the shortcut of mod besides FFX, just use that mod's folder name instead of ffx3 below.

  • Right-drag (drag it using the right mouse button) to a new spot and choose "Create shortcut here" when you release the mouse button. That will create a copy of your FFX shortcut.
  • Right-click on the new shortcut and choose Properties.
  • Go to the General tab up top.
  • You can rename the shortcut here, e.g. MegaMap.
  • Make sure the Read-only box is not checked.
  • Go to the Shortcut tab.
  • In the Target field, look at the string after the -game option (it will be ffx3 for the FFX mod). Change that to maps, making sure to keep any spaces before or after it.
  • Click OK.
   
« Last Edit: April 03, 2009, 03:25:59 AM by stumpy »
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Offline stumpy

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Re: Miscellaneous FF Game Topics / FAQ - Reborn!
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2009, 08:38:59 AM »
Quote from: joemama
Stumpy,

Thanks for starting this thread.  Maybe you could sticky it for noobs?

At any rate, if I may, I'd like to add on item and ask another:

Camera Angles & Settings in FFVTTR
Question: How do I get super-close up camera angles?  How do I zoom out to get an entire map onscreen (useful for map makers and modders)?

Answer:

Set your camera angles in the localinit.py file in FFvT3R. In FF, you set them in init.py. The following instructions assume FFvT3R, but the same things will work in init.py for FF.

1. Go to your base game directory: (i.e. C:\Program Files\Irrational Games\Freedom Force vs The 3rd Reich) and look for the System folder (i.e. C:\Program Files\Irrational Games\Freedom Force vs The 3rd Reich\System)

2. Open the folder and look for a file called: localinit.py.  This is the same file you used to activate the game console (see above post).  If you do not have one, simply create the file using Notepad.

3. Add the following lines to the file:
Quote

ff.CAM_MIN_ZOOM = -280.0
ff.CAM_MAX_ZOOM = 3000.0
or something similar.

4. Save and you're done! (Note that Notepad sometimes tries to create files with a .txt extension. Make sure that this file is localinit.py and not localinit.py.txt.)

[edit: Included formatting changes and a couple links and a note and added a link to this post in the topic list.  -stumpy]

That was my answer, here's my question:

Question: Can I adjust the camera angle from "top down" to "chase" view or somewhere in between?  In other words, can I level the camera angle when viewing something above ground (like on a rooftop)?

I hope I asked that question correctly. :unsure:

JM
[edited for FF applicability]
« Last Edit: April 03, 2009, 03:26:43 AM by stumpy »
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Offline stumpy

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Re: Miscellaneous FF Game Topics / FAQ - Reborn!
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2009, 08:39:08 AM »
Questions about finding IG's game patches and mod tools:
  • What does the Freedom Force game patch do?
  • Where do I find the game patches for Freedom Force?
  • Where do I find the patch for Freedom Force Vs. The 3rd Reich?
  • Where do I find the Mod Tools (Character Tool, FFEdit, etc.)?

Okay, let's take these one at a time.


Question: What does the Freedom Force game patch do?

Answer:

There are only two patches of interest, and only one for most people. The patches fix a number of issues with the game, including an incompatibility with Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2). And, probably the most important thing to many people, the patches add the Danger Room.

The 1.3 patch is for people running Freedom Force under Windows XP SP2 (and possibly later). There is a 1.2 patch (which may be harder to find now) that does everything the 1.3 patch does except fix the SP2 compatibility problem. People who are not running under SP2 would prefer that 1.2 patch, as the 1.3 patch causes Danger Room problems (game quits when leaving the DR) for some people.

All of the patches have all of the fixes and additions of the ones that came before. There is no need to apply both the 1.2 patch and the 1.3 patch.


Question: Where do I find the game patches for Freedom Force?

Answer:

Irrational has hosted the 1.3 patch at their FreedomFans 1.3 patch announcement page. Links to mirrors for the game patches are at http://www.freedomfans.com/ffpc/downloads.php. Despite what it says, most of the links on that page are for the 1.3 patch. There is also http://games.softpedia.com/progDownload/Freedom-Force-beta-Patch-Download-6012.html (thanks to Lunarman for that link).

People looking for the 1.2 patch (the one to use if you are running under Windows before Window XP SP2) should google for "freedom force patch 1.2". I found a hit at http://www.fileshack.com/file.x/352/Freedom+Force+Patch+1.2/.

And, as always, a simple Google search for "freedom force patch" can yield helpful results.


Question: Where do I find the patch for Freedom Force Vs. The 3rd Reich?

Answer:

You don't. IG worked on a patch for the second game and never released it.


Question: Where do I find the Mod Tools / Character Tool / FFEdit ?

Answer:

The Mod Tools for both games include the Freedom Force Editor (a.k.a FFEdit), the Character Tool (CTool), and some other tools. They are linked to at http://www.freedomfans.com/modforce/ for both games.

Note also that all of the FFvT3R Mod Tools are bundled into one installer, which is under the first GO! link on the modforce page. Irrational probably intended to have separate downloads for the Character Tool, FFEdit, the tutorials, etc. like they did for the first game, but they plopped them all into one installer (the FFVT3R_Mod_Tools.exe file). The page makes it look like only the Character Tool is available for the second game and all the other Mod Tools are "COMING SOON". But, just follow that first link (the only one is the FFvT3R section of the modforce page) and it will lead to the installer for everything.

Sometimes the freedomfans site experiences errors. Often, Google can track down the same files hosted elsewhere.



Note: Some of the FF Mod Tools have trouble working under Windows XP SP2 and there is no fix for that. The 1.3 patch works for the game only, not the mod tools.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2009, 11:01:12 PM by stumpy »
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Offline stumpy

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Re: Miscellaneous FF Game Topics / FAQ - Reborn!
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2009, 08:39:17 AM »
Question: I need info about installing meshes and skins; about skinning; about Nifskope; about installing a map; about installing a voice pack; etc. Is there another place for answers about such things?

Answer:

Yes. Most of that information is covered here at Freedom Reborn, but the forum format isn't always the easiest to navigate when you are new and are looking for a specific piece of information. (One very strong hint is to use the search tool to find answers.)

But, the accumulated wisdom on many of those topics is at the FR World wiki page at wikispaces. There you will find lots of useful game-related information, such as answers to those questions and others, including the master mesh list, some tutorials on skinning, meshing, Nifskoping, installing various add-ons, etc.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2009, 03:27:33 AM by stumpy »
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Re: Miscellaneous FF Game Topics / FAQ - Reborn!
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2009, 08:39:29 AM »
Question: How do I increase the number of selectable enemies in the Rumble Room?

Answer:

The number of slots on the Enemies list in the Rumble room is 24 by default. To change this, you must change the OnNumEnemiesCheck() function in each of the Rumble Room scripts in each mod for which you want more than 24 enemies. Within each mod folder, there is a Skirmish folder with a series of python files that correspond to each Rumble Room mode. If you edit those files (in a plain text editor, like Notepad), you can change the value returned by OnNumEnemiesCheck() from 24 to something else.

For instance, to change the number of enemies slots in the "Battle In the Rumble Room" mode in the FFX mod from 24 to 35:
1. From your base game directory, go into the ..\FFX3\Skirmish directory and open the file battle.py in a plain text editor.
2. Search for def OnNumEnemiesCheck. You will see a section of code that looks like
Code: [Select]
def OnNumEnemiesCheck():
    return 24
3. Change the number returned to your desired number so that that section of code now looks like
Code: [Select]
def OnNumEnemiesCheck():
    return 35
4. Save battle.py.

The next time you open up the Rumble Room and go to the Battle mode, there should be 35 available slots on the enemies list.

Keep in mind that increasing the number of characters on the map at one time can really cause the game to slow down.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2009, 03:28:01 AM by stumpy »
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Re: Miscellaneous FF Game Topics / FAQ - Reborn!
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2010, 05:44:21 PM »
Stumpy, Wasn't there some sort of command you could type in to find camera angle info, when editing a map? 

I've searched for this here and on the archived forums, but I can't seem to find anything.

Dana

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Re: Miscellaneous FF Game Topics / FAQ - Reborn!
« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2010, 06:15:47 PM »
Dana, you may be thinking of one of a couple commands, either Camera_GetLookAtInfo() or Camera_Dump(). They are documented in the Scripting Docs.doc file. I don't recall them being as useful as I wanted, though I don't recall why I needed them at the time.
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Re: Miscellaneous FF Game Topics / FAQ - Reborn!
« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2010, 09:23:50 PM »
Stupid question, and I know that I should already know this but: What are the installation orders for both  :ff: and  :ffvstr:?

Games, patches, ezfx, ffx/ffx3, etc?

Thanks.

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Re: Miscellaneous FF Game Topics / FAQ - Reborn!
« Reply #15 on: July 24, 2010, 12:16:23 AM »
Looking at Prev's List of Tutorials, I don't immediately see a note on the FF install order, but he has a link to an archive post with the installation order for FFvT3R.

Maybe someone can dig up their notes for the install order for the first game. A quick search turns up this archive post which seems like it may fit the bill.

If you do the re-installation, post to let folks know if those worked for you.


[BTW, I may edit this thread a bit (make the last couple posts into their own topics). The idea for the FAQ thread is that it would just have posts with answers to common questions. Once we have answers to both questions, it would be worth summarizing and adding them to the FAQ.]
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Re: Miscellaneous FF Game Topics / FAQ - Reborn!
« Reply #16 on: July 24, 2010, 05:29:16 AM »
Thanks stumpy, I'll let you know the results when I finish.

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Re: Miscellaneous FF Game Topics / FAQ - Reborn!
« Reply #17 on: July 25, 2010, 01:05:03 AM »
Install Order (for the 900th time! :P)

FF1 (Basic):

1. Base Game
2. Patch 1.2 (or 1.3, depending)
3. EZFX 5.1
4. FFX 2.6

FFv3R (Basic):

1. Base game
2. EZFX 6.0
3. FFX 3.3
4. PFX 1.2

Every other extraneous add-on is a matter of merging dats correctly. Goggles Map pack, if you use it, uses FFX 3.2, but will still need ezfx installed into it if it doesn't already exist on your computer. Let's keep in mind that FFX 3.0 auto-detects and comes with dats that are pre-configured to included EZFX.
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Offline Panther_Gunn

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Re: Miscellaneous FF Game Topics / FAQ - Reborn!
« Reply #18 on: July 25, 2010, 02:02:14 AM »
One small addendum to that list, Prev.  For the first game, the EZ Voice Pack Installer should be step 2 or 3 (I don't remember if the patches affect the characters.dat).  After that, it would require a dat merge like everything else.
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