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DrazharLn

From installation to tcp/ip games; SMAC(X), Hamachi and you.

120 posts in this topic

While this guide is still correct, it is far easier to play SMAC over Gameranger now. I will update this guide sometime in the next couple of weeks

Heading demanded by formatting OCD

I've had problems setting this up myself, with the benefit of hindsight, this was partly due to some problems individual to my PC. However, getting SMAC up and running for tcp/ip games from scratch is not an intuitive process, so I've written a guide.

 

Indirect Download links:

Hamachi v1.0.3.0

Official patches (Firaxis website)

Official patches (weplayciv.com) - If you need non-English language versions of the patches (you will only need these if you play a localised version of the game) or the Firaxis servers go down for some reason

The Unofficial SMAC/SMAX patch

 

If you can't do part of these instructions, scroll down to the troubleshooting section at the bottom of this post.

 

Installing SMAC

 

N.B. If the CDs won't autorun then just open setup.exe on the disc. If that doesn't work check troubleshooting for an alternate solution.

  1. If you have the Planetary Pack or Laptop Collection, install both parts of that and skip to step 5
  2. If you own the new sold out software pack, install the games separately and follow the instructions for owning SMAX. This version of the game comes with a form of SecuROM DRM, If you get any weird errors, please post here.
  3. Grab your CD and install SMAC
  4. If you have SMAX, install it now
  5. [if you own the Planetary pack or Laptop pack] Install, in this order, the SMAC Win 2000/XP Update and the unofficial patch.
    Move on to configuring Hamachi
  6. [if you own SMAX] Install, in this order, the Alien Crossfire v2.0 update, the SMAC Win 2000/XP Update and the unofficial patch.
    Move on to configuring Hamachi
  7. [if you don't own SMAX] Install, in this order, the SMAC v4.0 Update, the SMAC Win 2000/XP Update and the unofficial patch (obviously, you only need to use the terran.exe file if you do not have SMAX).
    Move on to configuring Hamachi

 

Installing and configuring Hamachi

  1. Download and install Hamachi v1.0.3.0. Disable windows vulnerabilities at install time if you don't want other people to be able to access files shared on your computer.
  2. Close Hamachi.
  3. [in XP] Go to Control Panel > Network Connections > Advanced > Advanced Settings > Adapters and Bindings
    [in Vista or newer] Go to Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Centre > Manage Network Connections. Press ALT then go to Advanced > Advanced Settings > Adapters and Bindings
  4. Move Hamachi to the top of the connections list using the green arrow on the right.
  5. [Vista or newer only] Right click on the Hamachi network in Network Connection and select properties. On the networking tab disable (untick) TCP/IPv6 as in the image Hamachi.jpg
    Then go to the Networking and Sharing Center and ensure Hamachi appears as a private network. If it does not press Customise on the Hamachi entry and set to a private network. {Can someone who runs vista confirm these last two steps for me?}
  6. Restart your PC.
  7. Attempt to join a network via Hamachi, see the list below for some Alpha Centauri related networks.
  8. Try to ping someone else in the group, if you can, ask them to ping you back (right click, chat).

Playing a game:

  1. Join the same Hamachi network as those you want to play with.
  2. Run Alpha Centauri
  3. Select "Internet TCP/IP Connection For DirectPlay" from the multiplayer menu
  4. Host: select host from the menu.
  5. Other players: select join from the menu and either leave the box empty or input the hamachi IP of the host. Join the game by double clicking on the game name.
  6. The host chooses the game settings and AI factions including handicaps (a lower difficulty level makes the game easier for that player, AI perform best at high difficulty levels. The global difficulty setting has no effect.)
  7. Players press the green button next to their names to change their details and press the "mark ready" button to indicate they are happy with the game rules, factions, map etc.
  8. Once everyone is ready, the host presses the launch game button and the game begins.

It is worth noting at this point that there are a fair number of exploits and weird bugs in SMAC (until scient finishes his patch anyway). For this reason it is advisable that you agree amongst yourselves rules over these exploits as what some regard as a feature is to someone else an exploit. Some people may also be accidentally cheating.

 

For this reason bdanv proposed these rules for multiplayer games. You could do worse than to follow them. The potential of these exploits to be game breaking should not be underestimated.

 

If you intend to play competitively you must read these rules.

 

Two possible "exploits" in particular are very easy to use and are considered as valid tactics in as many circles as they are considered heinous crimes. Namely, reverse engineering and upgrading supply crawlers for use in rush buying secret projects. You should definitely decide before the game starts or in the first turn whether these are allowed or not.

 

Appendices

 

Hamachi networks:

  • [network name], [password]
  • "Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri", "Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri"
  • "Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri b", "Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri b"
  • "Labyrynth", "Labyrynth"
  • "Sntml's Chaos Under the Big Dome", "garland"

 

Useful modifications

  • The datalinks (in-game help) that come with SMAX are flawed and, in many places, incorrect; consider installing GooglyBoogly's Comprehensive Datalinks Update (SMAX only)
  • SMAC will always warn you when you play the game without the CD in the drive, this message may be useful once, but on the 100th viewing it begins to lose appeal. To remove this warning open Jackal.txt in your root alpha centauri directory and delete the section that starts #FILEFIND_NOCD. You may want to make a backup.

 

Troubleshooting

 

If you can't find the answer here, or the answer given here doesn't work, check out these two excellent FAQ threads: [1] [2].

If you still have a problem ask in this forum (but not in this thread, your problem might get lost)

 

  • setup.exe won't run on the disc
    • Copy the programs folder off the disc (the folder that contains terran.exe) into an install directory of your choice. Rename it "Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri". Copy the fx, movies and voices folders from the disc into this root folder for a complete install.
      You can do this for both the SMAC disc and the SMAX disc, as long as you install SMAX after SMAC.

     

    [*]"terran(x).exe is not a valid win32 program"

    • Copy the orignal terran.exe and terranx.exe from the CD, this shouldn't occur after you've installed the patches.

    [*]"terran.exe has encountered a problem and needs to close"

    • This is a generic error and may mean a number of things. One solution may be to add the line "Directdraw=0" to the end of Alpha Centauri.ini (found in the root alpha centauri folder).
      This also has the effect of making the game use your normal desktop resolution (as set by windows) and of preventing you from alt tabbing at all. This fix should only be used in SMAX; directdraw=0 makes SMAC unplayable.

    [*]SMAC(X) won't start!

    • Edit the Alpha Centauri.ini (you will need to run either terran.exe or terranx.exe at least once to get this file) and add the line (without quotes): "ForceOldVoxelAlgorithm=0" to the end of the file.
      If this doesn't work and you are using Vista, try running terran(x).exe as administrator.

     

    [*]Hamachi cannot connect to the mediation server

    • Close Hamachi then go to %appdata% (just type that as the file path) and delete or rename the Hamachi folder there.

     

    [*]I still can't find the Adapters and Bindings settings in Vista

     

    [*]No one can ping me on hamachi

    • Your firewall is probably not configured correctly, or it may be blocking ICMP Ping requests, you may still be able to connect to games if the latter is true.
      To test whether the former is true, disable your firewall completely and attempt to connect to a game, if you can now connect and play a game correctly then your firewall is at fault. Go here to see whether there is documentation regarding Hamachi and your firewall.

     

    [*]I'm using COMODO Firewall and get dropped from games all the time

    • DirectPlay, the networking system used by SMAC and many games from its time fragments packets whenever they get above a certain size. COMODO blocks fragmented packets by default. Therefore, stop COMODO from blocking fragmented packets by opening the COMODO GUI, going to the firewall tab then advanced > attack detection settings > miscellaneous then disable (untick) "Block Fragmented IP datagrams". Everything should now work.

     

    [*]I am running Vista and cannot see games I know are hosted in SMAC(X)

    • You may not be able to connect to or see games hosted by XP users, try hosting yourself and getting others to join your game (XP users should be able to join your game).

     

    [*]I, or players joining my game, get a message telling us we do not share the same version

     

    [*]I've tried everything you've listed here and Hamachi still won't work

    • Are you sure that you did everything that I suggested?
      You're really sure? You tried disabling your firewall?
      Ok. There is another guide for Hamachi, a dark and terrible thing. You may find a solution to your problem there but it is also outdated and filled with information that is just plain wrong or simply not applicable to SMAC.
      Before you try anything from this guide, try asking the people of this forum for help first.
      Though, if you've tried everything else, then sure, go ahead.

     

 

If I have made a mistake anywhere in this guide, please correct me.

If you have anything to add to the guide please post your suggestion below and I will see about adding it.

 

Past changes:

22/12/09 - Added PP, LP info (thanks Petek); Useful Modifcations; Vista specific info. Reformatted and moved a lot of text. Fixed two links.

23/12/09 - Added rules, yet more reformatting (appendices), alternate language patches, more troubleshooting entries

??/??/?? - Added information on handicaps (thanks vyeh), changed COMODO specific firewall info (thanks mail2345), added Directdraw related troubleshooting thing (thanks ecmarine). Refinements (thanks Petek)

??/??/?? - Updated unofficial patch links to WPC

17/11/10 - Added warning, recommended gameranger, promised update.

Hamachi.jpg

Edited by DrazharLn
Added warning, recommended gameranger, promised update.

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Draz, thank you for posting this. :b:

 

(Hey Dan- this one's a keeper- hmm?)

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It's alright, I've been cooking it up the last few days but I didn't want to post it until I knew what had gone wrong with my own install.

I think there's some vista specific stuff I've missed. But I don't want to add what I haven't tested to this. (and I don't have Vista installed, despite having a legal copy of business edition lying around.

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Well, it's just that organized instructional/informational stuff like this has immense value to the SMAC community, and someone ought to thank you- and I do. Top marks, sir.

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Thank you.

 

Offtopic: How do you like my avatar, I made it using a picture of my very own snowman.

 

woops, avatar isn't appearing. I'll just fix that. *fixed*

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Snow Artifact, huh? It's Christmasy. It's SMACy. It's funny. It's got it all.

 

:rockon::D :b:

Edited by Buster's Uncle

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Excellent!

 

I live in GMT land, though. So I'm off to bed.

 

If anyone has anything to contribute to the guide, just post it here.

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I dunno. this probably ruins the effect, but here it is with a transparent background...

MadJack.PNG

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It's a bit messy around the join, but I'm not going to bother fixing it just now. The snowman's name is Mad Jack (look at the eyes), if you're interested.

 

I prefer it with the background, personally.

 

Really off to bed this time, I've got to be up at 9am for SMAC game, serious stuff.

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If Petek and bdanv (and other knowledgable peeps) look over this and confirm it's ok I'll stick it on the wiki.

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IF you are getting a versions don't match error, make sure everyone is running the unofficial patch.

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If Petek and bdanv (and other knowledgable peeps) look over this and confirm it's ok I'll stick it on the wiki.

 

Here are some comments on your instructions:

 

1. I didn't know (or forgot) that the SMAX 2.0 patch updated SMAC to 4.0. Can this be confirmed? It's not critical, since at worst someone might apply a redundant patch.

 

2. Linking to scient's unofficial patch might be dicey. The patch uses the no-cd crack and most boards don't allow such links. It's being hosted on CGN because the owner of that board specifically allowed it.

 

3. Your instructions are fine so long as someone is installing from the original SMAC and SMAX disks. However, there are different versions out there. The Planetary Pack (PP), if I recall correctly, included both SMAC and SMAX on a single disc. SMAC was patched to 4.0 and SMAX to 2.0, so a PP user need only install the Win2K/XP update. The Laptop Collection came with the PP, so again only the Win2k/XP update is needed. Finally, the most recent release from Sold Out Software isn't fully patched, but I don't know whether it has any patches at all. So, you might want to address these possibilities in your instructions.

 

Welcome to the SMACX community!

 

Petek

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Thanks Petek, I'll sort this out in the morning.

 

Doesn't the 2000/xp patch remove the requirement to have the cd in anyway?

... I just tested that and it doesn't for SMAX.

 

Ok, I'll keep the link to the unofficial patch on for now, when I add in the stuff about the planetary packs I'll mention that it uses a no-cd crack and that this is no excuse for piracy

 

Or something.

 

Does anyone else have thoughts on this matter? Should weplayciv.com link to a patch that includes a no-cd fix? Have I missed anything else?

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Regarding the link to the no-cd patch: Send a PM to Solver. He's one of the board's owners and knows about scient's work. He can tell you what's allowed and what's not.

 

Petek

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Updated original post, PM'd Solver.

 

I have two questions, one for any player with multiplayer experience and one specific to Vista using TCP/IP players. See the original post for the questions.

 

@GooglyBoogly, I linked to your Comprehensive Datalinks Update thread on civfanatics, I hope you don't mind.

 

Another question, is there a way to remove that attached files box at the bottom of my post? I just want to link directly to the files from the text.

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You have to upload the files (to somewhere like Rapidshare if you don't have somewhere of your own you can use) and link to them to display in the body of the text, alas.

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I've got it linking to them how I want it to, I'd just prefer not to have the attached files box there. It ruins my pretty formatting :p

 

I've also attempted to inject a little humour into the text. However, we Englishmen have a notoriously skewed sense of humour. So say if you think I should take it out.

 

N.B. It's not supposed to make you laugh out, just to make it a bit less boring.

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Doesn't the 2000/xp patch remove the requirement to have the cd in anyway?

... I just tested that and it doesn't for SMAX.

 

I believe the 2000/xp patch removed the requirement to have a cd for SMAC, not SMAX.

 

FYI, scient did get an email from a "name" saying that it was 99% likely that no official would complain about his patch (I guess they would be more concerned if someone was making money or destroying the value of the franchise) and that in the unlikely event that there was an issue, the worst that would happen is a demand that the patch be removed.

 

Civgaming.net is a site that was started when there was some 'poly drama in 2001. Although it is inactive today, it does have the SMAC Academy, which is a great source of information for players somewhere between beginners and experts.

 

One of scient's goals was that his patch be available. Maybe someday, he will find out that his patch has been well received and he will be in a position to continue his project.

 

It is very regrettable that scient's time at 'poly coincided with a lot of "drama" (which also led to the creation of this site) and that 'poly was not as helpful to scient as it might have been in less "dramatic" times.

 

DrazharLn, you might consider registering at CGN and posting your OP in the SMAC/X - Multiplaying forum. It can't hurt.

 

To be clear, I don't regard scient's unofficial patch to be illegal (like no-cd cracks are); it has unofficial permission.

 

Even at 'poly, scient was able to post that his patch was available for testing through email. If it weren't for the "drama," I think it is possible that 'poly might have received official blessings. (IIRC, there is a mod on CFC for a more recent game that also eliminated the CD requirement; I would imagine companies are generally sympathetic to fans.)

 

A minor point of clarification: scient wasn't trying to "fix" the cd requirment. He needed the space the cd check took for his fixes!

 

And lack of a link is not a big deal. A player can always get the link from another player via PM if the TCP/IP game uses the patch.

 

Or from a Google search. It turned up at the number one position for me!

Edited by vyeh

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I believe the 2000/xp patch removed the requirement to have a cd for SMAC, not SMAX.

 

I found this to be true through testing

 

[genuinely interesting history stuff]

Enlightening.

 

DrazharLn, you might consider registering at CGN and posting your OP in the SMAC/X - Multiplaying forum. It can't hurt.

 

I will once it's finished, it's already posted in three different places (here, 'poly, facebook) and it's a pain to update them all.

 

To be clear, I don't regard scient's unofficial patch to be illegal (like no-cd cracks are); it has unofficial permission.

 

Even at 'poly, scient was able to post that his patch was available for testing through email. If it weren't for the "drama," I think it is possible that 'poly might have received official blessings. (IIRC, there is a mod on CFC for a more recent game that also eliminated the CD requirement; I would imagine companies are generally sympathetic to fans.)

 

A minor point of clarification: scient wasn't trying to "fix" the cd requirment. He needed the space the cd check took for his fixes!

 

And lack of a link is not a big deal. A player can always get the link from another player via PM if the TCP/IP game uses the patch.

 

Or from a Google search. It turned up at the number one position for me!

 

I asked Solver actually. Here's his reply:

 

We have unfortunately not been able to get a clear legal opinion and resolution of the situation. That is why we aren't hosting scient's patch in our download database. However, the link in your guide is definitely fine, so no problem here.

 

So the link stays, which is good for everyone, I feel.

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I've got it linking to them how I want it to, I'd just prefer not to have the attached files box there. It ruins my pretty formatting :p

 

I've also attempted to inject a little humour into the text. However, we Englishmen have a notoriously skewed sense of humour. So say if you think I should take it out.

 

N.B. It's not supposed to make you laugh out, just to make it a bit less boring.

I don't see any harm in a little wry humor, as long as the jokes won't confuse the instructions...

 

I may have misunderstood about the attachment. (You can insert a picture into the body of the text with an [ IMG ]http://www.insert your url here.com[ /IMG ] link.

 

To remove an attachment from a post: Edit>Go Advanced>Manage Attachments> and under the upload lines you'll find a Remove button to the right of the attachment already in place...

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Nah, I want the attachment to be attached, just not visible except via my link. (See the link in step 5 of installing Hamachi, it links to the attachment on weplayciv.com)

 

It's not terribly important, or in fact important at all, tbh

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Draz (may i call you Draz?), i would like you to add 2 new sections to your guide: Rules and Resources. what do you say?

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We have unfortunately not been able to get a clear legal opinion and resolution of the situation. That is why we aren't hosting scient's patch in our download database. However, the link in your guide is definitely fine, so no problem here.

So the link stays, which is good for everyone, I feel.

 

It also means Petek can add the link to SMACX Links at the top of this forum and bdanv can link to the patch in this post rather than to a post of mine that describes the patch (without linking to it).

 

I've been impressed with the number of times his patch has been downloaded (currently 111). It is nice to see that a lot of players have benefitted from the work that scient and the 'poly SMAC community did last spring.

Edited by vyeh
Fixed broken link

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