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H3RE ReimerEditor

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Reimer Database Editor - H3RE

The Reimer Database Editor is a Microsoft Access application which allows editing of the game database files for the naval wargames Harpoon 3 Harpoon 3 Advanced Naval Warfare v3. The editor allows you to import the database files, edit as much as you want, and then export new files when you are ready. You may also export portions of the database to an .HCF file which can then be imported into other databases. There are also several tools to detect errors, conserve space, and improve efficiency.

As of version 3.10 of Harpoon 3 Advanced Naval Warfare, and version 3.0 of the Editor, the editor encrypts the data as an deterrent to those who may wish to wholesale copy data w/o the original author's permission. Harpoon 3 Advanced Naval Warfare can read the data to support custom scenarios, it is simply not available for editing.

H3RE was originally developed by Mr. Jon Reimer and is named in his honor.

The Editor is now (C) Advanced Gaming Systems Inc.

The expanded manuals cover the details of this tool. A new release of the manuals will accompany v3.10 of the game, due in 4th Qtr 2009.

Release 2.0

Design Document

H3RE 2.0 PAD

Notes

This was a major upgrade project which is now on indefinite hold. The file currently available is a pre-beta release that does not yet have functioning HCF Import capability (Output should work). However, the interfaces and the code for importing and exporting .dat and .res files should work. You'll also notice that there are a status field and a free-text notes field that weren't present in previous versions.

This editor is designed to support a team approach to database building. The data architecture has been completely redesigned, reducing the number of tables by about 50%. This new version has the data and interface objects separated into two .mdb files, although this change will be mostly invisible to the user. The data portion is an Access 95 file (to provide backward capability) and the interface portion will be distributed in multiple versions. Having a separate data file will make it easier to share data. There will also be some additional fields that will facilitate tracking the progress of platform development.


NOTE: For users of Access XP or later versions, you should be able to convert the Access 2000 version and use it without worry. If you run across strange problems, the first thing you should do is make sure your version of Access or Office is completely up-to-date with Microsoft's latest Service Pack releases.

Access 2002 Compatibility notes go here:

No known issues. Imported and Exported successfully.--Russell 15:12, 22 Jun 2005 (CDT)

Access 2003 Compatibility notes go here:

No known issues. Imported and Exported successfully.--Russell 15:12, 22 Jun 2005 (CDT)

Access 2007 Compatibility notes go here:

  • Encryption Support:

Will be updated by fall 2010.

Legal

The following is the agreement with Advanced Gaming Systems (AGSI) which allows editing and distribution of the H2/H3 text description and picture files. To gain permission to distribute these files, you must send a brief email to AGSI (using the text below) which states your acceptance of the agreement. The key point is that you agree to never sell the files, which is essentially the same deal as exists for the .DAT files.

AND... if you create content, that is YOUR content, not AGSI's. We ask that folks don't copy your content.

A few other points:

  1. If you want to edit one of the text descriptions from the original files, you can add text onto the end as long as you separate your additions from the original text and annotate clearly what is original text and what is appended by you.
  2. If several people are going to be contributing new text or pics for the same set of files (a team effort), only one person needs to be "on-file" with an agreement with AGSI. That person is then responsible for making sure that the terms of the agreement are adhered to by the other contributors.
  3. You should include a disclaimer in a text file when you distribute modified files. The text for that disclaimer is at the end of this message.
  4. It might be a good idea to put a tag line behind the existing original text descriptions so that it will be clear to subsequent editors which ones should not be modified. Something like "Source: AGSI" should suffice.
  5. The offer was made for anyone to submit databases with modified text for possible posting on AGSI or Matrix sites.

The following text must be distributed along with modified files in README.TXT or something of the sort:

"The accompanying files which contain text descriptions for and/or pictures of items in the Harpoon II/III database were modified with the consent of AGSI under the condition that they not be sold or otherwise be used to generate revenue. These files may otherwise be freely distributed in their current form. Requests to modify text description and picture files should be addressed to AGSI at [1]."

Created: Jon Reimer 11/8/1999 Updated: --Uncle Harpoon 11:33, 28 May 2005 (CDT)

Technical Notes

This information might not be accurate

Harpoon 3 database text descriptions and platform pictures are stored in a series of .RES files. Now that editing and distributing these files is legal (as long as you submit the "permission slip"), you might need to have multiple sets of these files installed to support different databases. The most simple arrangement would be to put each set of modified .RES files in the same directory as the accompanying database (.DAT) files. I've done some research into how the game handles .RES files, and have figured out a way to make this arrangement work. Here are the contents of this document:

    1) Overview of how H3 deals with .RES files
    2)	Reconfiguring H3 To Support Modified .RES Files
    3) How to switch between H3 databases
    4) Troubleshooting
    5) File listings


Overview of how H3 deals with .RES files.

There are 7 text description files:

    fctytext.res
    mouttext.res*
    plantext.res
    senstext.res
    shiptext.res
    subtext.res
    weaptext.res

The text descriptions for mounts (mouttext.res) are unused, and the file contains only a generic 'no text' message.

And 3 platform picture files:

    planepic.res
    shippic.res
    subpic.res

H3 locates the various .RES files based upon the following settings in the harpoon2.ini file:

    ; ============================================
    ; Directories where resource files are stored 
    ; ============================================
    ResDirCount          3
    ResDir1              C:\HARPOON2\resource
    ResDir2              C:\HARPOON2\sound
    ResDir3              C:\HARPOON2\dat2

NOTE: your own installation may be slightly different, requiring you to adjust the file paths.

When the game runs, it looks in these three directories for all the necessary .RES files, including the pictures, animations, text descriptions, and other required files. (It's important to note that missing or duplicate files will cause problems.) In my original installation of H3, fctytext.res was located in the \resource directory and the other 6 text description files were in the \dat2 directory along with the 3 picture .RES files.

Reconfiguring H3 To Support Modified .RES Files

This information might not be accurate

NOTE: If you are installing H3 for the first time, get the game working correctly with the original database before making these modifications. Otherwise, lingering installation problems may get confused with problems arising from reconfiguration mistakes.

To reconfigure the game so that a different set of text descriptions and pictures can be used with each database, I moved files around so that all the necessary .RES files (except the pictures and text descriptions) were consolidated into one directory instead of three. This frees up the other "ResDir" settings to be used to point to the locations of the text and pictures files.

Here's how to rearrange things:

  1. Create a backup copy of the original text description and picture files. I zipped them so that they wouldn't get accidentally overwritten. You also should make a backup copy of your harpoon2.ini file.
  2. Create a new directory: \harpoon2\origres
  3. Move all the original text description and picture files (except mouttext.res) from \resource and \dat2 into \origres. Make sure you delete the files from the original directories or else there will be conflicts.
  4. Move all files from \sound to \resource to consolidate resource files. This will free up the ResDir2 setting.
  5. Move all remaining files from \dat2 to \resource to consolidate resource files. This will free up the ResDir3 setting.
  6. Open harpoon2.ini in a text editor (like Notepad)
  7. Change the ResDirCount setting from "3" to "2"
  8. Change the ResDir2 setting to point to the \origres directory
  9. Delete the entire line containing the ResDir3 setting

Here's how the harpoon2.ini file section would look once the changes have been made:

    ; ============================================
    ; Directories where resource files are stored 
    ; ============================================
    ResDirCount          2
    ResDir1              C:\HARPOON2\resource
    ResDir2              C:\HARPOON2\origres

At this point, you should be able to run H3 with the original database or any other database that doesn't use modified text descriptions or picture files.

How to switch between H3 databases

First, if you are using a database that has a customized set of text descriptions and pictures, store all the .DAT and accompanying .RES files in the same directory. However, do not store a copy of mouttext.res there because it already exists in \dat2 and can't be usefully modified anyway.

Previously, to switch databases, you needed to edit the "AnnexDir" setting in harpoon2.ini. Now, you must ALSO edit the "ResDir2" setting to point to the location of the database's text and picture files. For databases with modified text and pics, the "AnnexDir" and "ResDir2" settings will be the same. For databases that use the original unedited text and pictures, "ResDir" should be set to the \origres directory.

If a database provides modified versions of only SOME of the text or picture files, you will need to copy the missing .RES files from the set of originals in \origres. For example, if the database includes modified text descriptions but uses the original picture files, put copies of all three original picture .RES files (from \origres) in the directory containing the database files.

Troubleshooting

This information might not be accurate

If the game is crashing on startup or when you open either the database or platform display windows in H3, that probably indicates that your set of .RES files is somehow incomplete or contains duplicate files. The game looks in all of the "ResDir" directories for the files it needs, so if it finds missing or duplicate files, it will eventually crash.

The most common error involves the mouttext.res file. Although this file cannot be usefully modified, it may be distributed with a set of modified text description files. In this case, the copy that was distributed should be deleted from the directory where the modified files are stored.

Another common problem would arise if modified text descriptions were distributed but not picture files. In this case, you would need to put copies of the original picture .RES files in the same directory as the modified files.

Contents of the \resource directory (after rearranging)
ANIMSND.RES ANIMSND.RES ANIMTITL.RES BTTN_ART.RES
CONTEXT.RES DV.RES FX.RES H3TITLE.ANI*
HARPOON2.MUS*HARPTEXT.RES HELP.RES ICONDATA.RES
INTRO.RES* MOUTTEXT.RES MUSIC.RES* PAL.BIN
TUTORIAL.RES WINICONS.RES -

NOTE: that if you have H3 v3.6 and purchased it w/o a CD - you may not have the files marked with an "*"

Contents of a database directory
AIRFACIL.DAT COMM.DAT COUNTRY.DAT FACILITY.DAT
FCTYTEXT.RES FUEL.DAT INSTALLA.DAT LOADOUT.DAT
MAGAZINE.DAT MOUNT.DAT PLANE.DAT PLANEPIC.RES
PLANTEXT.RES PROPULS.DAT SENSOR.DAT SENSTEXT.RES
SHIP.DAT SHIPPIC.RES SHIPTEXT.RES SUB.DAT
SUBPIC.RES SUBTEXT.RES WARHEAD.DAT WEAPON.DAT
WEAPREC.DAT WEAPTEXT.RES x
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