This info is usefull for all players involved in multiplayer games.
Every time you play SMAX games built with the scenario editor (which is the case with most PBEM games), the game engine will load the graphics set of the entries found in your "Alpha Centauri.ini" file, which is set by the previous single player game you have played. This means that you will find yourself in a position to play Hive, for example, with the graphics set (flag colors and base graphics) of another faction and find an in-game unit of Sparta with the appearance of a Morganite.
Now there are some ways to work-around this bug:
1. you can save a normal (single player) game with the correct faction order (the CMN
of the game can provide that to you), and you will load up that save (to alter the .ini file) before loading the MP game.
2. saving an "Alpha centauri.ini" file for each PBEM game you have and using the iniswap utility made by Mart
. i strongly recommend this second option.Step-by-step help for the Iniswap tool
You can find here
the thread were it was originally posted by Mart.Description
This small utility can store a 'Alpha Centauri.ini' file for each of your SMAX PBEMs in a separate folder "Iniswap" in the root game directory. Each file is supposed to have the correct faction order declared for a specific game.
The utility can swap the correct 'Alpha Centauri.ini' file just before you load your PBEM to ensure correct graphics in game. It is designed to fix this SMAX bug (you don't need it for SMAC PBEMs) as effortlessly as possible.
Should work under Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2000,XP and any modern OS although not all of these operating systems have been tested.Step 1: Download
See attachment. Step 2: 'Installation'
Unzip the archived file and place iniswap.exe into the SMAX root game folder
(that's usually the 'Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri' folder). Step 3: First execution
During its first execution, the utility will ask you for permission to create "Iniswap" folder. Do that.
If you refuse it will quit. It's designed to work only in the main game root folder. The utility will not work otherwise.
Now you should have an empty 'Iniswap' directory like this:Step 4: Saving an 'Alpha Centauri.ini' file with the correct faction order
4.1 Find out the correct faction order in you game:
- if you have a CMN (and he didn't post it in the setup or in the TTT thread), you should ask him.
- if you don't have a CMN you'll have to figure it out all by yourself.
4.2 Modifying the .ini file (you have 2 options here):
4.2.1 use SMAX to modify the 'Alpha Centauri.ini' file
Start a regular game with the seven factions in the correct order (size of map, diff level etc don’t matter) then exit just after the colony pod has landed. This way your .ini file now records the seven factions that you want in your game. Now, you have to start the iniswap tool and use the 'Add existing file' button of the application.
This will open a new window where you can enter a name for the .ini file.
In this case I will call it 'WePlaySMAC' so I can remember to use it for the 'WePlaySMAC' PBEM.
4.2.2 use a text editor like Notepad, Wordpad,.. to modify it by yourself.
Find you 'Alpha Centauri.ini' file in the main game folder and open it with a text editor (Wordpad, Notepad, etc). Find the lines with the faction order and replace them with the correct faction order provided by the CMN
of the game.
Repeat Step 4 for all your SMAX games.
This way you will have a ini file for every SMAX game that you are playing.Step 5: Using the stored ini files
All you have to do is forget the way you were starting SMAX before and instead open the iniswap tool and double click on the name of the ini file with the correct faction order for the game you want to play. In my case this will be: 'Alpha Centauri_WePlaySMAC.ini'
This will start SMAX and when you load the game you'll have all the faction with their correct graphic set.