PCC2 Help

This is the PCC2 help in one big HTML file. This help is also available within the program, using Alt-H.

[Top]Invocation

[Top]Invoking PCC2

PCC2 is a graphical application. If you have used the PCC2 Installer, it will have set up an icon for you. Otherwise, you will have to start it manually. Just starting it (double-click the program) will work, but by passing additional parameters, you can customize startup. Not counting options, The following possibilities exist:

You do not have to unpack your RST before playing. If you don't, PCC2 will read the RST directly, and produce a TRN directly. If you do unpack your turn, PCC2 will behave like a classic VGA Planets™ client and just modify .dat files; you will then have to run Maketurn separately.

To play registered, place a fizz.bin file created by your registered client in the game directory, just like you do with PCC 1.x.

pcc-v2 accepts all the common options and honors some environment variables.

The PCC2 Installer for Windows will make a Start Menu shortcut which will start PCC2 with a game selector, starting at your Winplan directory.

[Top]Invoking PlayVCR

PlayVCR is a graphical application. If you have used the PCC2 Installer, it will have set up an icon for you. Otherwise, you will have to start it manually. Just starting it (double-click the program) will work, but by passing additional parameters, you can customize startup. Not counting options, The following possibilities exist:

In addition to the options -sim and -dir, PlayVCR accepts the common options and honors some environment variables.

[Top]Common Options

The following options are accepted by the graphical programs pcc-v2 and playvcr:

Note that those options consist of multiple letters each, and each option must be separated from the previous one by a space (unlike PCC 1.x where each option had just one letter, and stringing them together gave you all of them).

When you're running PCC2 from a graphical user interface (e.g. Windows), you can pass options by putting them into the shortcut you're using to invoke PCC2. For example, edit the shortcut the Installer placed in your Start menu by right-clicking it and choosing "Properties", and fill in the parameters.

[Top]Environment Variables

The following environment variables are evaluated by PCC2, or by the SDL library it is based upon:

To change environment variables permanently under Windows NT or higher, right-click My Computer, choose Properties, choose Advanced, choose Environment Variables, and add the variable in the User Variables section. Users of other environments put the variables into their startup or login scripts, such as autoexec.bat or .profile.

[Top]PCC2 Screens

[Top]Game Selection

Note: The Help key in most of PCC2 is Alt-H (or, where possible, H), not F1 like in many other current desktop programs. F1 will work in some screens, but not all.

Select a directory on the left. Available races will be shown on the right. Change directory by double-clicking it or using the Change directory button, open a game for playing by double-clicking the race or using the Open game button.

When a game contains game data, Enter and Right will not browse its subdirectories, but switch to the game selector instead. Normally, game directories do not contain other game directories. Use the [Change into this directory] item at the bottom of the player list to browse subdirectories.

[Top]Unpack

PCC2 displays a list of result files found. Select those you want to unpack. When you start from a game directory containing unpacked data, the results corresponding to the unpacked data will be highlighted by default. When the game directory also contains turn files, PCC2 will offer to unpack the turn files as well to revert to the state before the last Maketurn (instead of the beginning of the turn).

You can also use the command line utility c2unpack to unpack result files.

You do not have to unpack your result files to play with PCC2. PCC2 can also play directly out of a result file. It will then directly write a turn file, without intermediate .dat files. However, unpacking still is useful if you're using programs other than PCC2.

Reference

Keys:
U from Game Selection

[Top]Sweep

Sweep will delete player files. Select those you want to delete. When you start from a game directory containing turn conflicts, the older files will start selected.

You can also use the command line utility c2sweep to clean game directories.

Reference

Keys:
S from Game Selection

[Top]Plugins

Plugins provide additional functionality or artwork for PCC2. This screen displays all installed plugins and allows you to add or remove some.

Plugin Installation (Ins)

A plugin typically consists of one or more files, plus an accompanying plugin description in the form of a *.c2p file. All these files can be compressed to a single *.c2z (or *.zip) file. When you want to install a plugin, PCC2 will ask you for the *.c2p or *.c2z file.

If you just have a *.res or *.q file you want loaded, you can also directly install that.

After you choose a file, PCC2 will check preconditions and ask you for confirmation before installing the plugin. Installing copies the plugin into your user profile directory; the original data is not needed anymore after installation.

Plugin Uninstallation (Del)

When you select a plugin for uninstallation, PCC2 will check preconditions and ask you for confirmation before uninstalling the plugin.

Notes

After you uninstall a plugin, some remains of it may remain still active until you exit PCC2. That's why PCC2 will remind you to restart after a plugin has been removed or updated.

There also is a command-line utility c2plugin you can use to manage plugins. When you have installed PCC2 for Windows using the installer, launching a *.c2z or *.c2p file (by double-clicking in Explorer, or from a web browser) will directly install the plugin.

Reference

Keys:
F5 from PCC2 Game Selection or PlayVCR file selection

[Top]Race Screen

Reference

Keys:
ESC from most screens
Keymap:
RaceScreen
Script context:
global context

[Top]Settings

This dialog has three pages:

Game Settings
game options. These options are configured in the host and take effect the next turn. This includes the option to set a result file password or rename your race, if allowed.
Options
most of PCC's options, grouped in a user-friendly way, with user-friendly editors. Most users use this part.
Configuration File
all of PCC's options, in the form as they appear in pcc2.ini files. This part is for experienced users only.

Reference

Keys:
Ctrl-O on race screen

[Top]Backup Settings

PCC2 can create backups of game files on various occasions.

It offers choice between three settings:

disabled
no backups will be made
enabled
the file will be created in a directory backups within the game directory
custom
you can enter a custom file name template

Internally, the "enabled" setting is just a default file name template. File name templates are file names that can contain the following placeholders:

%d
the game directory. If the template starts with this placeholder, it will be replaced by the complete directory name. If the placeholder appears in the middle of the template, it will be replaced by the final component of the directory name.
%p
the player number from 1..11.
%t
the turn number with three digits, 001..999
%%
a literal percent sign

If the name refers to a non-existing directory, the directory will be created.

Examples

Assuming you're playing player 7 in c:\games\first, and it's turn 42. This would yield the following expansions:

Reference

Keys:
backup options on settings dialog

[Top]Unit selector

Use this window to select a unit. Usually this is used to enter a control screen.

Reference

Keys:
F1, F2, F3 or F10 almost everywhere
Related command:
UI.ChooseObject
See also:
Ship Screen, Planet Screen, Starbase Screen, Fleet Screen

[Top]History Ship Selection

The dialog displays all ships of a certain kind in a list. Choose one to get to the Ship History Screen.

Reference

Keys:
F6 almost everywhere
Related command:
UI.ChooseObject
See also:
Ship History Screen

[Top]Control Screen

All control screens support similar keys.

Reference

Keys:
F1, F2, F3 or F10 almost everywhere, or follow a link in Imperial Statistics or Search
Related command:
UI.GotoScreen
Keymap:
ControlScreen (extended by actual control screen's keymap)
Script context:
respective unit
See also:
Ship Screen, Planet Screen, Starbase Screen, Fleet Screen

[Top]Auto Task Screen

Auto Tasks are scripts. They usually contain simple commands taking multiple turns to execute, such as a ship's MoveTo command or a starbase's EnqueueShip command. The Auto Task Screen displays the current status and lets you edit the script.

The red triangle displays the current command; it is hollow when the command already started executing and solid when it hasn't.

While you edit the task, it is stopped. It will run when you leave the auto task screen or switch to another object.

When an auto task finishes (runs off its end), it is automatically removed.

Auto tasks can produce messages (using the Notify command or by running into a problem). Such messages are shown in the Notification dialog when you start PCC2. The message currently holding up this task is also shown on the auto task screen. When you fix the problem, you can confirm the message directly from here using M.

The following keys are supported in addition to Control Screen keys.

Reference

Keys:
Enter from ship, planet, or starbase screen
Related command:
UI.GotoScreen
Keymap:
AutoTaskScreen
Script context:
respective unit

[Top]Ship Screen

The following keys are supported in addition to Control Screen keys.

The "R" button will only appear if your game supports the Remote Control functionality (see pconfig.src). It will have a red frame if this ship's remote control is forbidden, a green frame if this is a remote-controlled ship (or you are applying for remote control), and a yellow frame if this is a remote-controlled ship you're giving back to its owner.

The "G" button will only appear if your game supports the Give Ship functionality. It will have a yellow frame when you have given an order to give the ship away.

The "F10" button will have a green frame if this ship is leader of a fleet, a red frame if it is a member.

Reference

Keys:
F1 from almost everywhere
Related command:
UI.GotoScreen
Keymap:
ShipScreen
Script context:
Ship()

[Top]Ship Task Screen

The following keys are supported in addition to Auto Task Screen keys.

Ship Task Commands

Reference

Keys:
Enter from ship screen
Related command:
UI.GotoScreen
Keymap:
AutoTaskScreen
Script context:
Ship()

[Top]Planet Screen

The following keys are supported in addition to Control Screen keys.

The "G" button will only appear if your game supports the Give Planet functionality. It will have a yellow frame when you have given an order to give the planet away.

Reference

Keys:
F2 from almost everywhere
Related command:
UI.GotoScreen
Keymap:
PlanetScreen
Script context:
Planet()

[Top]Planet Task Screen

You can use the Auto Task Screen keys.

Planet Task Commands

Reference

Keys:
Enter from planet screen
Related command:
UI.GotoScreen
Keymap:
AutoTaskScreen
Script context:
Planet()

[Top]Base Screen

The following keys are supported in addition to Control Screen keys.

The current ship build order will be shown on the control screen, along with the queue position ("Q:") if known.

Reference

Keys:
F3 from almost everywhere
Related command:
UI.GotoScreen
Keymap:
BaseScreen
Script context:
Planet()

[Top]Base Task Screen

The following keys are supported in addition to Auto Task Screen keys.

Base Task Commands

Reference

Keys:
Enter from base screen
Related command:
UI.GotoScreen
Keymap:
AutoTaskScreen
Script context:
Planet()

[Top]Ship History Screen

PCC2 records information about own and enemy ships, which can be displayed on this screen. The screen shows the last known equipment and ammunition of the ship. A list shows the last known positions and masses.

The following keys are supported in addition to Control Screen keys.

Reference

Keys:
F6 from almost everywhere
Related command:
UI.GotoScreen
Keymap:
HistoryScreen
Script context:
Ship()

[Top]Fleet Screen

Ships can be grouped into fleets. A fleet shares a common waypoint and speed. Fleets have a leader which defines the course.

The screen displays a list with all fleet members. Some operations pertain to the whole fleet, some to the currently-chosen member.

The following keys are supported in addition to Control Screen keys.

Reference

Keys:
F10 from almost everywhere
Related command:
UI.GotoScreen
Keymap:
FleetScreen
Script context:
Ship() (for current member)

[Top]Planet Environment Scan

This screen display information about the environment (minerals, population, etc.) of your own planets, unowned or enemy planets you visit, or you have previously seen. Depending on the exact situation, you'll see different information, often merged from different scans (e.g. minerals from history and current population).

Details

Reference

Keys:
F5/Shift-F5/Ctrl-F5 from almost everywhere
Related command:
UI.PlanetInfo

[Top]Starchart

Object View

When you select an object (ship or planet) on the starchart, PCC2 will display two map overlays: a list containing all objects at this place, and an overlay panel containing information about the current object. While the info panel is displayed, most keys of the respective control screen are active. For example, while locked at a ship, M changes the ship's mission instead of opening a minefield info view. In addition, the following keys are accepted:

Starchart Symbols

Whether a player is ally or enemy is determined by the Teams setting.

Reference

Keys:
F4 from almost everywhere
Related command:
UI.GotoChart, Chart.SetView
Keymap:
Starchart (normal), ShipLock, PlanetLock, BaseLock), UnknownPlanetLock (when locked at appropriate object)
Script context:
corresponding to locked object

[Top]Starchart Options

This dialog configures the starchart as well as all other starchart views displayed throughout the program. It consists of multiple pages.

On every page, there is a small menu with an S button. Use this to choose where the settings from this page are stored:

Display page

Configures what objects you want to see. For circular objects (ion storms, minefields, ufos), you can also configure whether you want them filled (green "F") or outlined (blue "X"). For the sector borders, there is an additional possibility "I" to restrict sector borders to the "inside" of a circular wrapped map. Drawing the sector borders outside the map is very expensive so it's possible to turn it off.

Regular starcharts, small-size starcharts and scanners can be configured differently. Click the checkbox to the right of the object name to set the value for all three configurations at once. Click the "+" to the left of the name to show separate options for the three configurations.

Geometry page

Configures your map shape and behaviour.

Normal (plane)
a normal map, with "infinite" unchartered space outside the star cluster. You can modify the Center and Size fields to adjust the position of the sector grid if your map has a nonstandard shape. The Center is the location of the center of the map (a coordinate pair, two values), the Size is the size (diameter), and can be one or two values.
Wrapped (rectangular, Sphere)
rectangular wrap. A ship exiting the map to the right enters it again on the left. This is a very popular setting these days; there are a handful add-ons implementing it and it is built into PHost. Center and Size define the size of the map, as for Normal. When you use PHost with wrap enabled, PCC2 will configure itself automatically.
Round wrap (circular, PWrap)
circular wrap. The map is not a rectangle, but a circle. Ships leaving the circle enter it again on the opposite edge. The Size here is a single value specifying the radius of the circle.

Note: For Normal and Wrapped, the Size is the side length of the rectangle. This differs from PCC 1.x where it was half of that.

Markers page

You can configure 10 markers you can quickly create from starcharts or scanners (default marker: Ctrl+M, markers 1 to 9: 1 M to 9 M).

Mouse page

This page configures what objects the cursor "locks on" when you press a mouse button, Space or Enter.

Reference

Keys:
Alt-O from starchart
See also:
Settings dialog

[Top]Visibility Ranges

PCC can display visibility ranges in the starcharts. Objects that are visible are displayed normally; everything outside the range receives a blue shade.

Reference

Keys:
Ctrl-R from starchart

[Top]Unit Labels

PCC2 can label planets and ships in the starcharts. Labels are defined by expressions which are evaluated for each ship/planet. Using the starchart options or, in the starchart, the Alt-D shortcut, you can configure in which starchart views the labels are displayed.

Reference

Keys:
Alt-L from starchart
See also:
Settings dialog

[Top]Go to X/Y

This dialog asks for a coordinate pair in the form "1111,2222".

Alternatively, you can enter a sector number such as "123", to be brought to the center of that sector. A sector is a 100×100 area of space. The sector number is displayed in the lower-left corner of the starchart. Sector numbers appear on various paper starcharts and are a quick way to refer to an area. Unfortunately, they are generally not known to users of programs other than PCC/PCC2.

In case of a wrapped map, requesting a location outside the existing map area brings you to an alias of that location (i.e. 900,700 is outside the map, so you'll be brought to 2900,2700).

Reference

Keys:
G from starchart

[Top]Minefield Information

This window shows information about a minefield. When not invoked from a minefield, displays the nearest one.

Reference

Keys:
M from starchart

[Top]Ufo Information

This window shows information about an Ufo. When not invoked from an Ufo, displays the nearest one.

Ufos are objects created by add-on programs that operate according to add-on rules. You cannot directly interact with Ufos through this screen. However, you can configure an Ufo to be kept in PCC2's starchart database.

Reference

Keys:
U from starchart

[Top]Ion Storm Information

This window shows information about an ion storm. When not invoked from an ion storm, displays the nearest one.

Reference

Keys:
I from starchart

[Top]Ion Storm Forecast

This window displays a forecast about the future movement of an ion storm. You can move around the scanner beam using the usual keys; + and - will change the zoom factor, Tab recenters the map.

ESC closes the window.

The forecast considers the following properties of ion storms, consistent with Host 3.22.003 and PHost 4:

The forecast does not consider growth of the storm, pancaking, and ion storm joining.

Reference

Keys:
F from ion storm information

[Top]Console

The console has two purposes. It logs various system messages, such as PCC2's startup phase. It also acts as the interface to the script interpreter. You can enter expressions and one-line commands. When you enter an expression, both the expression and its result will be logged on the console. You can therefore use this as a calculator ("what is 17*4?"), and to check PCC2 expressions (Distance(Ship(10), Ufo(20)), Ship(17).Name) or commands (SetMission 4). For details, refer to PCC2 Interpreter Documentation.

You can use the following keys:

When PCC2 is executing a long-running script, it will not otherwise react on keypresses. In this case, press Ctrl-Pause or, if your computer doesn't accept that, Ctrl-C, to abort that script (PCC2 will ask for confirmation).

Reference

Keys:
Alt-C from almost everywhere
Related command:
UI.PopupConsole
Script context:
same as invoking screen

[Top]Keymap Debugger

The keymap debugger can be used to figure out what a key does. It is useful if you want to develop scripts. On the left, it displays the names of the currently active keymaps, which define what keys are active at this place When you press a key, the action it triggers will be displayed on the right.

To close the keymap debugger, press Shift-ESC (a lone ESC will also work if it isn't bound by the active keymap).

Reference

Keys:
Alt-K from almost everywhere
See also:
Keymaps in script manual

[Top]Selection Manager

You can mark and objects using . to keep track of objects you still need to work with. This is called the selection.

PCC2 manages eight layers of selections, called "A" to "H". At almost any place, you can switch selection layers using Alt-Left and Alt-Right, and you can invoke the Selection Manager using Alt-.. You can use this, for example, to keep track of the planets you're working with on one layer, and visualize search results on the others.

The following functions are available on the Selection Manager:

Selection Expressions

You can compute a selection layer's content from other layers' content. For example, you can merge two layers using an expression such as A or B: the result will be a selection that contains all objects that were in A or B. In the simplest form, the selection expression contains just a layer name, such as D, which just copies a layer.

The following contains possible selection expressions in order of increasing precedence.

Reference

Keys:
Alt-. from almost everywhere
Related command:
UI.SelectionManager, SelectionExec

[Top]Search

The Search function can locate objects according to a variety of queries.

The Search dialog has four fields, switch between those using Tab (the result field will not be accessible while it's empty).

  1. The Search Objects field selects which kind of objects you want to search. Use arrows to select, Space to toggle.
  2. The Search Type field selects the type of the search:
  3. Enter your query into the input line and confirm with Enter.
  4. The result will be displayed in the list box. You can select an object and press Enter to show its control screen or, if that is not available, show it in the starchart.

Reference

Keys:
F7 from almost everywhere
Related command:
UI.Search

[Top]Read Messages

This dialog displays your incoming messages. You receive messages from other players, your units that report events, or the host.

Messages are not saved between turns, so there is no need (and no possibility) to delete them after you read them.

If the message contains a map location (coordinate), you can also click it to go there.

Filtering Messages

You often do not want to read all messages. Especially scans (minefields, planets, ion storms) will be processed by PCC and drawn into the starchart, so you do not need to see them.

PCC includes a client-side message filter. Use K on the subject overview (Tab) to hide or show a group. A group is defined as a set of messages having a common header.

If you are using PHost, you can also activate a host-side message filter on the settings screen. I recommend the client-side filter, though.

Reference

Keys:
M from race screen

[Top]Write Messages

You can send messages to other players. These messages will be sent when the host runs, and receivers can read them next turn.

Choose races to send message to, or U to send a universal message (to everyone). You'll be placed in the message editor:

Alternatively, press R in the receiver selection window to revise previously-sent messages.

Reference

Keys:
W from race screen

[Top]Revise Messages

In addition to most message reading keys, this accepts the following keys:

Reference

Keys:
R from message dialog

[Top]Notification Messages

Notification messages are generated by scripts. Especially Auto Tasks will generate such messages when there is a problem.

In addition to most message reading keys, this accepts the following keys:

Reference

Keys:
Alt-N from race screen
See also:
Notify and AddNotify script commands

[Top]Scores

PCC2 records current and past scores in a file score.cc. It records the standard score as well as all additional scores it receives from PHost through util.dat. At the time of this writing, those are minefield limits and counts.

Shortcuts for individual pages are assigned dynamically depending upon which pages are present.

Team scores are only available when any teams are configured.

Reference

Keys:
S from race screen

[Top]Imperial Statistics

This screen displays various statistics about your empire. Choose a report using the buttons on the right, or the Up and Down arrows. Underlined words are clickable links, taking you directly to an object or a ready-made search query. Use the mouse, or Tab and Enter, to follow a link. Some reports can be customized using the # menu.

Reference

Keys:
I from race screen

[Top]Teams

You can use teams to model formal and informal alliances. When you put two races into the same team, they will by default behave friendly in the Battle Simulator. Units of races in the same team as you will be shown in yellow instead of red: use this to mark your allies.

PCC2 supports optional automatic synchronisation of teams. Whenever you offer an alliance to someone, they will be put into your team. If there is someone in your team whom you do not offer an alliance, they will be dropped from the team. This way, you normally have to deal with your alliances only, and can let the teams manage themselves. If you do not like this feature, turn it off using A.

Reference

Keys:
T from race screen

[Top]Alliances

This dialog allows you to configure alliances. It is only available if your host version supports alliances.

The left side lists all other players together with a quick status:

On the right, the selected player's alliance status is broken down. The actual selection depends on the host version. You can edit alliances here. Possible settings include "not offered" (blank checkbox), "offered" (blue X), and "conditional offer" (green C). A conditional offer can only by used by the partner if they offer the same level to you.

Depending on your host version, the following levels could be available with different settings:

The following keys are active in this dialog:

Reference

Keys:
A from race screen

[Top]Edit auxiliary commands

This menu displays all auxiliary commands (mainly for the PHost command processor). This feature is for people who know what they are doing.

You can add, modify and delete commands. That PCC2 automatically extracts commands from messages. The commands will not be visible on the normal outgoing message list.

Note that PCC2 knows about the interaction between commands. When you add a new command that cancels a previous one, PCC2 will notice and replace the old command with the new one. For example, adding allies drop 3 will replace a previous allies add 3 command, and adding give ship 3 to 5 will replace a previous give ship 3 to 9. The Space bar therefore simply gives you an input line containing the current command, allowing you to edit it into a new one that possibly replaces the old one. You can, however, also enter a completely new command which will be added to the list. Likewise, Ins gives you a blank input line for a new command which will be added anew or replaces an old command.

PCC2 will also insert commands at sensible places (for example, allies add always precedes allies config), you cannot reorder them.

Reference

Keys:
Alt-E from race screen

[Top]Reset Location

This function allows you to reset all units at a particular location to the status they had at the beginning of the turn. Most things can simply be reverted manually (e.g. just re-enter the mission the ship had at the beginning of the turn), but sometimes this is quite tedious. This function can also be used when the turn file has been messed up due to a bug in a program.

Because units can interact, you must reset all units at a location in a group. It is not possible to reset a single ship, maybe: if that ship has transferred cargo somewhere, the receiver of that cargo must be reset as well.

PCC2 divides properties into two groups; you can reset them independant of each other:

Other keys:

Reference

Keys:
Alt-R on control screens

[Top]Battle Simulator

Reference

Keys:
B from race screen

[Top]Battle Simulator Planet Editor

Beam tech 0 means "no base" and disables all starbase-related fields. You must enter a starbase beam tech first to make a base.

Reference

Keys:
P from battle simulator

[Top]Battle Simulator Options

Reference

Keys:
Ctrl-O from battle simulator

[Top]Battle Simulator Ship/Planet Abilities

You can define special abilities for each ship or planet. By default, these abilities are taken from the ship list and configuration. You can force a ship to have or not have an ability, independant of what ship list and configuration say.

Note that not all abilities are supported for all simulator modes. All abilities are supported for ships; a subset is supported for planets.

Reference

Keys:
B from battle simulator

[Top]Fleet Cost Comparison

This window displays the costs of each player's fleet. Because not all costs are spent for just this one battle, you can use the options dialog to configure what to include. You need at least one ship in the simulation to access this dialog. The overview always includes the costs for building the actual ships and their weapons.

Reference

Keys:
Ctrl-C from battle simulator

[Top]Fleet Cost Comparison Options

This dialog allows you to fine-tune the options for the fleet cost comparison.

Reference

Keys:
O from fleet cost comparison

[Top]Battle Simulator Result

The simulator result screen displays simulation results. The "Totals" tab has results grouped by class and probability (e.g. "2 Feds surviving: 10x, 1 Borg surviving: 2x"). The "Details" tab has information about each unit.

Clicking on a number on the "Details" tab will let you watch a sample battle that yields the minimum or maximum result for that value, respectively.

Reference

Keys:
Enter from battle simulator

[Top]VCR

Choose a fight using arrows, press Enter to play it. In addition, the following keys are available:

During playback, use the following keys:

Reference

Keys:
V from race screen, Enter from simulator result

[Top]Combat Information

This window displays information about combatants. When looking at a ship, it compares its arms with the permitted maximum for its type. The type is not always exactly known; in this case, PCC2 offers a list of possible types. When looking at a planet, PCC2 tries to find out whether it has a starbase, and how many defense posts it has.

Reference

Keys:
L and R from VCR selection

[Top]Friendly Code

As a little help, PCC2 knows special friendly codes and offers you them on a list. Note that the list also contains a friendly code ???, which is not special to host. However, the simulator treats it as an exception to the "same fcode, no fight" rule, so you don't have to come up with individual fcodes for completely made-up fights.

Reference

Keys:
F from control screens and battle simulator

[Top]List Ships

This window displays information about enemy or own ships. It is used as visual scanner, and to select ships for various operations.

When you have opened the list view using L, you can use the right mouse button or # resp. \ to bring up a menu that allows you to sort the list. The sort order will be saved, and also be used for other "ships at one place" lists, including the order for the Tab key on the Ship Screen.

Current vs. Prediction

By default, this window displays ships at a particular location; the cargo summary will display current cargo.

When this window is invoked with Ctrl-N, it predicts future positions of your ships. From a planet, it will display ships that will be at this planet. From a ship, it will display ships that will be at the same location as that ship next turn. Unlike regular fuel consumption computation, this prediction resolves intercepts. Cargo summary will show predicted cargo.

Reference

Keys:
L from control screens and starchart (current ships), Ctrl-N from control screens and starchart (predicted positions)
Related command:
UI.ListShips, UI.ListShipPrediction

[Top]Ship Specification

This window displays information about a ship's hull. It lists resources needed to build the ship, as well as its cargo capacity and special functions.

Ship abilities

Ships can have special abilities, such as Cloak or Gravitonic.

PCC2 uses the PHost 4 ship abilities internally. Even when you're using a game not hosted by PHost 4, ships will have Tow when they can tow, or Full Weaponry when they belong to the Feds.

Abilities available to all ships are considered racial abilities. Those are not shown on the normal specification sheet, but listed on the ability list. The ability list uses various icons to tell you about an ability's status:

In addition, a symbol tells you whether you have this ability:

Reference

Keys:
S from ship screen, ship list, or ship build screen

[Top]Navigation Chart

Reference

Keys:
A from ship screen or fleet screen

[Top]Cargo Transfer

After choosing the target (if applicable), the Cargo Transfer window displays the unit you started with on the left, and the target on the right.

Reference

Keys:
C and U from control screens and visual scan

[Top]Multi-Ship Cargo Transfer

This function allows you to transfer cargo between multiple units at once. You start by selecting a cargo type. PCC2 will then display a list of all units that can carry this cargo.

Cargo is transferred through a hold space, i.e. you can move cargo into the hold space and from there onto other units. In addition, one unit (usually, the planet) can be tagged as extension of the hold space: when you try to load cargo from hold space, but it is empty, it is taken from there; when you close this dialog but still have cargo in hold space, it is moved there.

Reference

Keys:
D from ship screen

[Top]Buildings

You can build mines, factories, and defense posts on your planets.

Reference

Keys:
B from planet screen

[Top]Taxes

You can ask taxes from your natives and colonists.

The Auto Tax function implements "safe-taxing": it will aim at making the happiness 100% within 5..10 turns. If several tax rates yield the same income, it will use the lowest of them for greater population growth. This taxation algorithm is safe because it will not cause riots, not even if you lose a turn. However, other taxation algorithms are known which can yield higher income in many situations (e.g. "growth-taxing").

Reference

Keys:
T from planet screen

[Top]Sell Supplies

You can sell supplies to get money.

This is rarely needed in PCC because PCC automatically sells supplies when needed. When supplies are sold, they are gone (aside from undo later this turn); you cannot buy supplies from money.

The "Sell Supplies" dialog will ask you how many supplies you want to sell. It will sell the supplies when you confirm with Enter. You can also enter the number of supplies you want to keep and confirm with A.

Reference

Keys:
S from planet screen

[Top]Auto Build

For each planet, you can define a target count and speed for each structure type. When ordered to perform automatic building, PCC2 will sort those values by speed, highest first. It will then try to build as many structures as the speed says, stopping only when the goal has been reached or rules don't allow building more. It will then proceed with the second structure, etc. If all structures have been processed, the cycle starts again, until nothing more can be built. As a special exception, PCC2 will make sure there's at least one factory, even if you ordered it to build mines first.

By default, goals are 1000 (meaning "infinite"), and speeds are 5 for mines, 10 for factories, and 3 for defense posts. This means that auto build will try to build 10 factories, then 5 mines, then 3 defense posts. If you have lots of money, this means that PCC2 will build twice as many factories as mines. If you have little money, this means PCC2 will first build up factories before starting with mines.

To disable auto build for one structure, set its goals and/or speeds to zero.

Reference

Keys:
G from build screen

[Top]Building Ships

You can build ships on your starbases. You set up the ship design using the ship build dialog. The ship will be built during the next host run and available next turn (or later, when the ship limit is reached and the build queue is active).

The ship build dialog is also used for the related functions,

The dialog has four tabs. Choose the hull type on the first tab, further components on the other three tabs. You can choose components you don't yet have the right tech for, PCC2 will then include the tech level cost in the bill displayed below, and automatically upgrade tech as appropriate. For beams and torpedoes, you can choose how many components to put into your ship using + and -.

Available keys vary depending on the exact use of the dialog.

Reference

Keys:
B or S from build screen, E from ship auto task screen

[Top]Drawing

PCC2 can draw four kinds of items into the starchart:

If you want to draw a marker, PCC2 will prompt you for shape and color, and draw that marker into the starchart. For the other types, you'll be dropped back in the starchart, and a new shape starting here will be begun.

Regular starchart movement keys are accepted.

Reference

Keys:
P from starchart

[Top]Drawing Tags

Each drawing can have a tag. You can use tags to group drawings thematically, e.g. different tags for borders, freighter routes, and enemy sightings. By default, all drawings are displayed, but you can filter display to show just one tag.

A tag can be a number or string (technically: an atom).

Setting Drawing Tags

You can choose the tag for a new drawing using T on the Drawing dialog.

You can change a drawing's tag using T on the starchart.

Both dialogs will let you enter a new tag, or choose an existing one from a list. When changing an existing line's tag, you can use Alt-A to change the tag of all adjacent lines as well.

Filtering Drawings

You can filter tags using Alt-F on the starchart. The dialog will let you select an existing tag and then display just that. Press Alt-F again to turn off the filter.

Reference

Keys:
T from starchart and Drawing dialog; Alt-F from starchart

[Top]Distance Mode

Distance mode behaves a little different when you invoke it from a ship you play, or from another context. When you invoke it from a ship, PCC2 automatically computes that ship's fuel consumption (as if you had typed F), and starts measuring at that ship's waypoint, not its position. Also, ESC will return to the ship instead of leaving you where you are.

Regular starchart movement keys are accepted.

Reference

Keys:
D from starchart

[Top]Global Actions

Global actions allow you to perform an action on many objects (ships, planets) at once. On the left side, you can choose an action to perform. Actions are grouped in a tree, use Space or click the "+" to unfold a tree node.

Description of the Actions

Friendly Codes
This item offers the ability to randomize affected friendly codes, or to set to a particular value.
Missions
This item allows you to change starbase missions, starship missions, and starship primary enemies. Note that not all starship missions are possible here.
Building
This item allows you to set auto-build goals on all planets, or perform auto-build. Note that goals can even be set on planets you don't own so you can pre-initialize them before actually colonizing them.
Taxes
This item has three "Optimize" choices, which will set optimum taxes (safetax) for Colonists, Natives, or both, respectively.
Export
Export data into various data formats. Note that this can only export planets or ships, not both at the same time.
Script Command
Allows you to enter a single-line script command which will be executed for each object. This is similar to using a ForEach command (with an If for the filtering) on the console. It differs in that this creates a process for each unit.

Reference

Keys:
G from race screen or search

[Top]Export

This dialog allows you to export data into various formats, both human-readable and machine-readable. Use this dialog to set the output format.

The objects to export are selected by the Global Action this is invoked from.

This feature is also available in the standalone c2export program.

Reference

Keys:
this function is accessible via global actions to export ships/planets. It is also available using E on the List Ship cargo summary, Fleet Cost comparison, and Ship Building detailed bill.

[Top]Process Manager

The Process Manager allows you to manage active background scripts such as Auto Tasks. When you open this window, you will see all scripts in "Suspended" state, that is, they are not currently running but waiting for something to happen (the next turn, usually).

Reference

Keys:
Alt-Q almost everywhere

[Top]Help

Reference

Keys:
Alt-H or H almost everywhere

[Top]Prefix Argument

At some places, PCC2 accepts a prefix argument which modifies the following keystroke. Normally, this is used to set the amount you wish to build, move, etc.

To use a prefix argument, just start by typing a number. A yellow popup will appear. Keep typing, and confirm by pressing the key whose function you want to perform. For example, to build 15 factories on the Buildings screen, you'd type 15+.

Note that there is no addition or subtraction operator for the prefix argument. Instead, simply use the respective function multiple times. To build 10+15 factories, type 10+15+.

[Top]PlayVCR Screens

[Top]File Selector

Select a directory on the left. Available VCR files will be shown on the right. Change directory using the Change directory button (or Enter while cursor is on directory list). Play VCRs using View VCRs button (or Enter while cursor is on race list). Use Tab to switch between fields.

[Top]VCR Selector

Choose fight using arrows, press Enter to play it. Press F to get back to file selector.

Actual playback works identical to PCC2.

[Top]Configuration

[Top]Configuration Introduction

PCC2 has multiple mechanisms to configure it according to your needs. Most of these mechanisms are available on the regular user interface.

Where are the configuration files?

In Windows, PCC2 creates a directory PCC2 in your profile directory (C:\Documents and Settings\User\Application Data or C:\Users\User\AppData\Roaming).

In Unix, PCC2 creates a directory .pcc2 in your home directory.

All configuration files will be created in this directory.

What configuration files are there?

Legacy configuration

[Top]pcc2.ini

This is the main configuration file.

pcc2.ini will be created in your profile directory. Previous versions of PCC2 placed this file directly in your home directory. If it is already there, it will stay there. However, new files will be created in the configuration directory.

In addition, PCC2 supports per-game configuration. A pcc2.ini file can also exist in a game directory; settings from that file override those in the main configuration file.

Dialogs like the settings dialog will offer you choice whether a setting is stored in the main ("User") or game configuration file.

Reference

See also:
Configuration Introduction

[Top]expr.ini

This file allows you to configure expressions for the search function and unit labels. Those expressions will then be available for easy selection using a drop-down menu.

PCC2 comes with predefined expressions in a file expr.cc that is located in PCC2's main specification directory. It is not recommended to edit expr.cc; instead, create expr.ini. Both files have the same syntax.

A new section starts with a section name in brackets:

Within each section, each expression is defined with a line like this:

Name of Expression   [p] Expression+here

Reference

See also:
Configuration Introduction

[Top]cc-res.cfg

This file is located in the resource directory of your PCC2 directory (C:\Programs\PCC2\resource in Windows, /usr/local/share/planets in Unix). Typically, it does not exist and you must create it as a text file. This file can be used to configure resources (images).

Each line contains one link to a resource package. Empty lines and lines starting with ";" are ignored.

A line that does not match any of these formats is treated as the name of a PCC 1.x resource file (as in PCC 1.x).

Reference

See also:
Configuration Introduction