Difference between revisions of "FAQ"

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=General=
+
==General==
==What is [[FreeOrion]]?==
+
===What is [[FreeOrion]]?===
  
 
'''A:''' An open-source, platform independent galactic conquest game in the tradition of the [[Master of Orion]] games.
 
'''A:''' An open-source, platform independent galactic conquest game in the tradition of the [[Master of Orion]] games.
  
==How far along is it?==
+
===How far along is it?===
  
 
'''A:''' The game is currently in the alpha stage. In other words, it'll be a while till it is finished.
 
'''A:''' The game is currently in the alpha stage. In other words, it'll be a while till it is finished.
  
==Where do I post bugs?==
+
===Where do I post bugs?===
  
 
'''A:''' Bugs should be posted on the [http://sourceforge.net/tracker/?group_id=75752&atid=544942 project sourceforge bugs page].  Please check for recently closed bugs that duplicate the one you're posting, particularly if you're using a precompiled download version that's more than a week old.
 
'''A:''' Bugs should be posted on the [http://sourceforge.net/tracker/?group_id=75752&atid=544942 project sourceforge bugs page].  Please check for recently closed bugs that duplicate the one you're posting, particularly if you're using a precompiled download version that's more than a week old.
  
==Why can't I edit the wiki?==
+
===Why can't I edit the wiki?===
  
 
'''A:''' Unfortunately, the FreeOrion wiki is continually targetted by link spam bots.  Almost any page linked off the main page will be repeatedly defaced unless it's protected from edits.  Limiting editing to registered users doesn't seem to help, as the spammers seem to be easily able to make throwaway accounts (see the [[FreeOrionWiki:Block_log|block log]]).
 
'''A:''' Unfortunately, the FreeOrion wiki is continually targetted by link spam bots.  Almost any page linked off the main page will be repeatedly defaced unless it's protected from edits.  Limiting editing to registered users doesn't seem to help, as the spammers seem to be easily able to make throwaway accounts (see the [[FreeOrionWiki:Block_log|block log]]).
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If you want to discuss the FreeOrion project, the wiki or anything else, you should register on and use the forums.  Registered forum users can post.
 
If you want to discuss the FreeOrion project, the wiki or anything else, you should register on and use the forums.  Registered forum users can post.
  
=Problems Running Program=
 
  
==On WinXP, running the program gives an error: "This application has failed to start because the application configuration is incorrect.  Reinstalling the applicaton may fix this problem."  Reinstalling didn't fix it.  What's wrong?==
+
==Problems Running FreeOrion==
 +
 
 +
===On WinXP, running the program gives an error: "This application has failed to start because the application configuration is incorrect.  Reinstalling the applicaton may fix this problem."  Reinstalling didn't fix it.  What's wrong?===
  
 
'''A:''' You are probably missing the .NET Framework 2.0.  You can get this by running Windows Update, selecting "Custom", then "Optional, Software", then ".NET Framework 2.0".  Note that the beta version reportedly does not work.
 
'''A:''' You are probably missing the .NET Framework 2.0.  You can get this by running Windows Update, selecting "Custom", then "Optional, Software", then ".NET Framework 2.0".  Note that the beta version reportedly does not work.
  
==When I start a single player game, my firewall reports that the program is trying to access the internet.  Why?==
+
===When I start a single player game, my firewall reports that the program is trying to access the internet.  Why?===
  
 
'''A:''' FreeOrion never tries to access the internet in single-player mode.  It does use TDP/IP to communicate with the FO server, which it launches on your machine.  Some firewalls have settings that disallow this, even though all the traffic is on the same machine.  You can change your settings, or answer "no" when it asks you if you want to block freeoriond.exe, freeorion.exe and freeorionca.exe.
 
'''A:''' FreeOrion never tries to access the internet in single-player mode.  It does use TDP/IP to communicate with the FO server, which it launches on your machine.  Some firewalls have settings that disallow this, even though all the traffic is on the same machine.  You can change your settings, or answer "no" when it asks you if you want to block freeoriond.exe, freeorion.exe and freeorionca.exe.
  
==On WinXP with the ZoneAlarm firewall, when I start a fullscreen game, the program hangs my computer.  What's going on?==
+
===On WinXP with the ZoneAlarm firewall, when I start a fullscreen game, the program hangs my computer.  What's going on?===
  
 
'''A:''' This is related to the above internet access firewall issue, and ZoneAlarm's popups to allow or block net access.  When the FO client attempts to communicate with the server, ZoneAlarm halts it to ask the user if it should be allowed.  If FO is halted while in fullscreen mode, the popup may not be able to be displayed over the client window, leading to the appearance of a halted system.  To avoid this, run FO in windowed mode the first time you start a single player game, and again for your first multiplayer game, or prempttively set ZoneAlarm to allow FO to access the internet and trusted zone.  Alternatively, use another firewall, or disable ZoneAlarm while running FO.
 
'''A:''' This is related to the above internet access firewall issue, and ZoneAlarm's popups to allow or block net access.  When the FO client attempts to communicate with the server, ZoneAlarm halts it to ask the user if it should be allowed.  If FO is halted while in fullscreen mode, the popup may not be able to be displayed over the client window, leading to the appearance of a halted system.  To avoid this, run FO in windowed mode the first time you start a single player game, and again for your first multiplayer game, or prempttively set ZoneAlarm to allow FO to access the internet and trusted zone.  Alternatively, use another firewall, or disable ZoneAlarm while running FO.
  
=Sound=
+
===On Linux the sound is occasionaly or constantly garbled.===
 
+
==On Linux the sound is occasionaly or constantly garbled.==
+
  
 
'''A:''' This is due to OpenAL (library used for sound) most likely having problems with ALSA (Linux sound drivers). Make a text file with your text editor containing the line ''(define devices '(native))'' and save it as ''.openalrc'' (yes, with the leading dot) in your home directory.
 
'''A:''' This is due to OpenAL (library used for sound) most likely having problems with ALSA (Linux sound drivers). Make a text file with your text editor containing the line ''(define devices '(native))'' and save it as ''.openalrc'' (yes, with the leading dot) in your home directory.
  
==Using KDE on Linux, you get the error 'open /dev/[sound/]dsp: Device or resource busy' and fails to output sound.==
+
===Using KDE on Linux, you get the error 'open /dev/[sound/]dsp: Device or resource busy' and fails to output sound.===
  
 
'''A:''' Create (or edit an existing one) a text file called .openalrc and place it in your home directory. Put in the lines:
 
'''A:''' Create (or edit an existing one) a text file called .openalrc and place it in your home directory. Put in the lines:
Line 49: Line 48:
 
The first line tells OpenAL the order in which to try and use the sound device. arts is KDE's sound system, esd is typically GNOME's.
 
The first line tells OpenAL the order in which to try and use the sound device. arts is KDE's sound system, esd is typically GNOME's.
  
=UI=
 
  
==How do I move fleets?==
+
==UI==
 +
===How do I move fleets?===
  
 
'''A:''' Short answer: Click with the right mouse button after selecting the fleet in the fleets window.  Long answer:  See the [[V0.3_Quick_Play_Guide#Move_Fleets|v0.3 Quick Play Guide]].
 
'''A:''' Short answer: Click with the right mouse button after selecting the fleet in the fleets window.  Long answer:  See the [[V0.3_Quick_Play_Guide#Move_Fleets|v0.3 Quick Play Guide]].
  
=Design=
+
 
==What is this "Design Document" that people in the forum keep referring to?==
+
==Design==
 +
===What is this "Design Document" that people in the forum keep referring to?===
  
 
'''A:''' The most official design document is the most recent [[Requirements]] Document.
 
'''A:''' The most official design document is the most recent [[Requirements]] Document.
  
==People in the forums refer to previously made decisions that aren't in the [[Requirements]] document(s).  What's going on? Are these decisions recorded somewhere else?==
+
===People in the forums refer to previously made decisions that aren't in the Requirements document(s).  What's going on?===
  
 
'''A:''' Some decisions and accompanying discussions may be found in the [http://www.freeorion.org/forum/viewforum.php?f=13 Design Archive] of the forms.
 
'''A:''' Some decisions and accompanying discussions may be found in the [http://www.freeorion.org/forum/viewforum.php?f=13 Design Archive] of the forms.
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A number of discussion and decisions were made on an old forum system that was lost.  There is no written record of these discussions.  Forum members who participated in these discussion still refer to these discussions and the decisions that were reached in this, however.  Some of these decisions are mentioned in this FAQ, however.
 
A number of discussion and decisions were made on an old forum system that was lost.  There is no written record of these discussions.  Forum members who participated in these discussion still refer to these discussions and the decisions that were reached in this, however.  Some of these decisions are mentioned in this FAQ, however.
  
==Could someone summarize all important discussions from the forums, or point out the important threads?==
+
===I'd like to contribute to FreeOrion, but I don't know where to start...===
 +
 
 +
'''A:''' Check out the [[Game_Design]] page.
 +
 
 +
===Could someone summarize all important discussions from the forums?===
  
 
'''A:''' There are very few official design decisions that have been made that aren't in the [[Requirements]] document.  Anything in brainstorming is just that: brainstorming.  When we reach the appropriate point in the [[Roadmap]], there might be a public review or design discussion on a subject.  Until then, while it may seem that a consensus has been reached amongst people who have been brainstorming for months or years, this is not an official design decision.
 
'''A:''' There are very few official design decisions that have been made that aren't in the [[Requirements]] document.  Anything in brainstorming is just that: brainstorming.  When we reach the appropriate point in the [[Roadmap]], there might be a public review or design discussion on a subject.  Until then, while it may seem that a consensus has been reached amongst people who have been brainstorming for months or years, this is not an official design decision.
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As well, it's probably best that you form your own opinions on various issues and about which issues are important.  A major benfit of a public design forum is the variety of different opinions and ideas it can generate.
 
As well, it's probably best that you form your own opinions on various issues and about which issues are important.  A major benfit of a public design forum is the variety of different opinions and ideas it can generate.
  
==Starlanes==
 
  
===Can ships travel freely between stars, not on starlanes?===
+
==Unexpected Differences==
 +
FreeOrion is not a clone of any of the MoO series.  Here's a quick list of differences that often throw off new players or contributors
 +
{under construction}
  
'''A:''' Other than wormholes and special events, no.  In the current design, most travel is on starlanes between specific stars, and ships never travel through empty space.  Wormholes are also between two specific endpoint stars, a
+
===Starlanes===
  
====Why not?====
+
====Can ships travel freely between stars, not on starlanes?====
 +
 
 +
'''A:''' Other than wormholes and special events, no.  In the current design, most travel is on starlanes between specific stars, and ships never travel through empty space.  Wormholes are also between two specific endpoint stars, a
  
'''A:'''
+
=====Why not?=====
  
[http://www.freeorion.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=13256#13256 Aquitaine wrote]: ''No offroading was in one of the first public reviews we had. A lot of people wanted it, actually, but it came down to the fact that a strict, simple set of rules about galaxy movement means only one set of rules that the AI has to follow; offroading is one of those things that a player can take advantage of but not an AI. Without offroading, the AI can deduce strategic choke points and defend things appropriately; with offroading, it would be trivial to do an end-run around the AI's Krak de Chevaliers and go straight to the chewy nougat center.''
+
'''A:''' [http://www.freeorion.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=13256#13256 Aquitaine wrote]: ''No offroading was in one of the first public reviews we had. A lot of people wanted it, actually, but it came down to the fact that a strict, simple set of rules about galaxy movement means only one set of rules that the AI has to follow; offroading is one of those things that a player can take advantage of but not an AI. Without offroading, the AI can deduce strategic choke points and defend things appropriately; with offroading, it would be trivial to do an end-run around the AI's Krak de Chevaliers and go straight to the chewy nougat center.''
  
 
''I believe our caveat when we passed it was that, if (one day) after we make Slashdot or become famous or whatever, we get some brilliant AI programmers who want a challenge, we would add this feature, since there certainly is demand for it. But until then, it is indeed the case that offroading is out.''
 
''I believe our caveat when we passed it was that, if (one day) after we make Slashdot or become famous or whatever, we get some brilliant AI programmers who want a challenge, we would add this feature, since there certainly is demand for it. But until then, it is indeed the case that offroading is out.''
  
===Are starlanes mandatory, or will the game be playable without them?===
+
====Will FreeOrion be playable without starlanes?====
  
 
'''A:''' Starlanes are mandatory.  This follows from the decision that all travel is on starlanes.  Without starlanes, it would be impossible to move ships.
 
'''A:''' Starlanes are mandatory.  This follows from the decision that all travel is on starlanes.  Without starlanes, it would be impossible to move ships.
  
===Will there be an option to have starlanes connecting all systems with all other systems, possibly with the lanes invisible?===
+
====Why not just connecting all systems to all other systems with starlanes?====
  
 
'''A:''' No.  Having starlanes between all stars is effectively the same as having no starlanes for the AI reasons mentioned above.
 
'''A:''' No.  Having starlanes between all stars is effectively the same as having no starlanes for the AI reasons mentioned above.

Revision as of 02:07, 18 March 2010

General

What is FreeOrion?

A: An open-source, platform independent galactic conquest game in the tradition of the Master of Orion games.

How far along is it?

A: The game is currently in the alpha stage. In other words, it'll be a while till it is finished.

Where do I post bugs?

A: Bugs should be posted on the project sourceforge bugs page. Please check for recently closed bugs that duplicate the one you're posting, particularly if you're using a precompiled download version that's more than a week old.

Why can't I edit the wiki?

A: Unfortunately, the FreeOrion wiki is continually targetted by link spam bots. Almost any page linked off the main page will be repeatedly defaced unless it's protected from edits. Limiting editing to registered users doesn't seem to help, as the spammers seem to be easily able to make throwaway accounts (see the block log).

If you want to discuss the FreeOrion project, the wiki or anything else, you should register on and use the forums. Registered forum users can post.


Problems Running FreeOrion

On WinXP, running the program gives an error: "This application has failed to start because the application configuration is incorrect. Reinstalling the applicaton may fix this problem." Reinstalling didn't fix it. What's wrong?

A: You are probably missing the .NET Framework 2.0. You can get this by running Windows Update, selecting "Custom", then "Optional, Software", then ".NET Framework 2.0". Note that the beta version reportedly does not work.

When I start a single player game, my firewall reports that the program is trying to access the internet. Why?

A: FreeOrion never tries to access the internet in single-player mode. It does use TDP/IP to communicate with the FO server, which it launches on your machine. Some firewalls have settings that disallow this, even though all the traffic is on the same machine. You can change your settings, or answer "no" when it asks you if you want to block freeoriond.exe, freeorion.exe and freeorionca.exe.

On WinXP with the ZoneAlarm firewall, when I start a fullscreen game, the program hangs my computer. What's going on?

A: This is related to the above internet access firewall issue, and ZoneAlarm's popups to allow or block net access. When the FO client attempts to communicate with the server, ZoneAlarm halts it to ask the user if it should be allowed. If FO is halted while in fullscreen mode, the popup may not be able to be displayed over the client window, leading to the appearance of a halted system. To avoid this, run FO in windowed mode the first time you start a single player game, and again for your first multiplayer game, or prempttively set ZoneAlarm to allow FO to access the internet and trusted zone. Alternatively, use another firewall, or disable ZoneAlarm while running FO.

On Linux the sound is occasionaly or constantly garbled.

A: This is due to OpenAL (library used for sound) most likely having problems with ALSA (Linux sound drivers). Make a text file with your text editor containing the line (define devices '(native)) and save it as .openalrc (yes, with the leading dot) in your home directory.

Using KDE on Linux, you get the error 'open /dev/[sound/]dsp: Device or resource busy' and fails to output sound.

A: Create (or edit an existing one) a text file called .openalrc and place it in your home directory. Put in the lines:

(define devices '(arts esd native alsa null))
(define alsa-device "default")
(define speaker-num 2)
(define sampling-rate 44100)

The first line tells OpenAL the order in which to try and use the sound device. arts is KDE's sound system, esd is typically GNOME's.


UI

How do I move fleets?

A: Short answer: Click with the right mouse button after selecting the fleet in the fleets window. Long answer: See the v0.3 Quick Play Guide.


Design

What is this "Design Document" that people in the forum keep referring to?

A: The most official design document is the most recent Requirements Document.

People in the forums refer to previously made decisions that aren't in the Requirements document(s). What's going on?

A: Some decisions and accompanying discussions may be found in the Design Archive of the forms.

A number of discussion and decisions were made on an old forum system that was lost. There is no written record of these discussions. Forum members who participated in these discussion still refer to these discussions and the decisions that were reached in this, however. Some of these decisions are mentioned in this FAQ, however.

I'd like to contribute to FreeOrion, but I don't know where to start...

A: Check out the Game_Design page.

Could someone summarize all important discussions from the forums?

A: There are very few official design decisions that have been made that aren't in the Requirements document. Anything in brainstorming is just that: brainstorming. When we reach the appropriate point in the Roadmap, there might be a public review or design discussion on a subject. Until then, while it may seem that a consensus has been reached amongst people who have been brainstorming for months or years, this is not an official design decision.

As for which brainstorming threads prorducing particularly interesting ideas, you'll have to ask on the forums for links to specific threads relating to specific topics. There have been many threads on many topics, and some threads have hundreds of posts in them, some contradictory or irrelivant and some useful. It would be practically impossible for one person to make a single comprehensive list of "important" threads (though you're free to try once you get up to speed).

So, you're just going to have to get down to reading and asking. It'll take a few days or weeks to get a good sense of what's going on, but forum members will help you with links or answers to specific questions when they can.

As well, it's probably best that you form your own opinions on various issues and about which issues are important. A major benfit of a public design forum is the variety of different opinions and ideas it can generate.


Unexpected Differences

FreeOrion is not a clone of any of the MoO series. Here's a quick list of differences that often throw off new players or contributors {under construction}

Starlanes

Can ships travel freely between stars, not on starlanes?

A: Other than wormholes and special events, no. In the current design, most travel is on starlanes between specific stars, and ships never travel through empty space. Wormholes are also between two specific endpoint stars, a

Why not?

A: Aquitaine wrote: No offroading was in one of the first public reviews we had. A lot of people wanted it, actually, but it came down to the fact that a strict, simple set of rules about galaxy movement means only one set of rules that the AI has to follow; offroading is one of those things that a player can take advantage of but not an AI. Without offroading, the AI can deduce strategic choke points and defend things appropriately; with offroading, it would be trivial to do an end-run around the AI's Krak de Chevaliers and go straight to the chewy nougat center.

I believe our caveat when we passed it was that, if (one day) after we make Slashdot or become famous or whatever, we get some brilliant AI programmers who want a challenge, we would add this feature, since there certainly is demand for it. But until then, it is indeed the case that offroading is out.

Will FreeOrion be playable without starlanes?

A: Starlanes are mandatory. This follows from the decision that all travel is on starlanes. Without starlanes, it would be impossible to move ships.

Why not just connecting all systems to all other systems with starlanes?

A: No. Having starlanes between all stars is effectively the same as having no starlanes for the AI reasons mentioned above.