Author Topic:   A note for those new to TM
posted August 30, 2001 05:31 AM            
well, maybe theres some "oldies" that arent aware of this as well, could be i suppose.

greetings all, if you already know about the tanknames.txt file and how to use it just skip this long-winded post and move on to greener pastures . if you do know already and youre bored (like i am currently) then read away...

for all you new people out there if u want to have a little added fun while playing offline/ single-player there is a REALLY easy way to change the names of all or some of the AI bot tanks.

look in your Tread Marks root directory ("C:\Program Files\Tread Marks 1.5\") or wherever you have it installed, and open up the folder called "entities". in there, there will be a text file called "tanknames.txt".

opening up the tanknames.txt file will display a list of all the available names that an AI tank can have in TM and let you change all those AI names to whatever you like. there is nothing specific as to how many names there needs to be (so no you dont have to have exactly the same number of names that are there now, you can add and delete names as you like without worry). there may however be a minumum number that im not aware of, TM may complain if it doesnt have a different distinctive name for each tank. but once you start making names whats the chances of only stopping at 3? .

there are a few people (who are lucky enough to have a video card that can handle it, GA for one...) who have in the past set the number of AI tanks into the hundreds (like 800) without TM complaining about duplicating AI names. there is, by the stock file, somewhere around 300 names or so. so some names had to have been duplicated in such a case. but since i havent personally done this i wont promise that TM wont complain in some fassion, tho i doubt it would. i suppose there may be an actual physical maximum limit, but i havent reached it yet if it exists. and i also doubt this as well (well... within reason anyhow, i wouldnt cram the file so full of names it becomes a 50K file!).

you dont need to put "AI-" in front of the names, TM will do that for you (which is fairly obvious once you look at the list). also the names can contain spaces in them even tho none of the names in the stock list do. not all "special characters" are supported however. "special characters" meaning things like !@#$%^&*(). some are, some arent, its best to just stick to letters and numbers just to be safe until youre sure which will work.

if you like you can make a backup of this file before you tinker with it just to be "safe", tho it really isnt necessary.

the order that the names are placed in also makes no difference, they dont have to be alphabetized or anything. TM doesnt care, it just picks a name at random for each AI on the field.

this is a very non-structured, non-technical file that you can play with to your hearts content without worry (as long as you dont change the file name that is ). be aware that very long names will get really annoying in-game tho as a tanks name can stretch from one side of the screen to the other and really clutter your view .

note that any changes you make to the tank names file will only apply when playing offline/ single player (im not sure how/ who controls it on a LAN, never played a LAN game before).

when playing online TM will use the tanknames.txt file from the server that you are connected to, so the server opperator has control over the names. so dont go and change your tanks names to a bunch of cool stuff and then play online and get confused as to why your spiffy-cool new names arent showing up. its ok, its supposed to work that way.

after making your new custom list of cool tank names it wouldnt hurt to make a copy of the file in the same directory as the original. just name it "tanknames.BAK.txt" or "Copy Of tanknames.txt" or whatever you like. just in case if in some future update version patch of TM LDA decides to add in a new revised tank names file. i dont know if they will or not. i dont see why they would, but it never hurts to be cautious. assuming that they did do this it would over-write your modified version. cant have that happen and loose all those cool names now can we?

so go on and open that file and place all your in-laws, ex-friends, co-workers bus drivers, teachers, ex-girlfriends and whoever elses names in there you can think of that you would like to blow up.

just think; if your mother in law, Alice, gets on your nerves too bad one day at dinner you can head home, pop in the good ole' TM CD and play for a bit. immagine the staisfaction in seeing "You destroyed AI-Alice with a Neuclear Blast!" flashing at the bottom of your screen .

ok, so its not really all that satisfying, but still might make you feel at least a little bit better, right?

just thought id throw this up on here since theres a new influx of players who may not know all this. i thought it was fun as could be when i first discovered this file .

enjoy the info tid-bit.

yes, its late, im rather (VERY) bored, nothing better to do and i dont feel like doing anything constructive. the result;
"yet another long-winded post by JV"

Let the rocks roll and the battle commence. BZ The RPG. Check out the site! Loads of Tread Marks support and AddOns. (Under Heavy Construction) The non-TM areas of the site have been resurrected!

[This message has been edited by JVortex (edited August 30, 2001).]


Random Chaos
posted August 30, 2001 01:54 PM            
A note on the special characters:

Take a look at the BMP file:

Only what is in that file is displayable in TM.



posted August 31, 2001 02:06 PM            
hehe, even i knew that

I put my old proffessor names as AIs, very satisfying experience

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