Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Freeciv (Multiple Platforms) - How To Connect To Server and Force or Recover Your Last Game

Ok while the topic sounds complex, really it isn't.

Freeciv is an open source game that "works similar" to the Sid Meyers game of Civilization, typically version 2.

While there are versions on the web, and more advanced ports of the game, I like having my game here on my own computer.  I run Debian Linux, almost exclusively, but it also runs on just about every other operating system out there including Windows, Mac OSX, BSD, and even OS/2 has an implementation of it. 

It's also a massive time sink.  I stopped playing it just before lockdown and COVID but recently revisited it since I realized that I was spending about as much time avoiding it as I used to play it.

May as well come back.

Except ...

When I launched the game, I got the dreaded "Sorry" message.  From what I have read, it's connected to how your local computer talks through a firewall to a remote server.  In this case, that is the game server, which in my case runs on this machine.   The game client, with which you interact refuses to start a server automatically and you get the messages that flash up on the status bar at the bottom ending with "You'll have to start one manually.  Sorry."

Frustrating but here is how to get around that.

1 Launch your Freeciv Client if not started.
2 Launch your Freeciv Server, manually, if not started.
3 Within the Freeciv Client, select "Connect to Network Game"
4 You will then drop into the game start dialogue.  Go conquer something.

Now... you do your thing, and save your game.  How do you reclaim your last game after some time?

Assuming you saved your game as "b.sav.xz", and it sits somewhere you know where you put it.  Assuming you are me on Linux (I don't do Windows) and took the defaults the file will be saved at /home/bill/b.sav.xz ...

1 Launch your Freeciv Client if not started.
2 Launch your Freeciv Server, manually, if not started.
3 Select the Freeciv  Server and enter this string on the command line:
    load /home/bill/b.sav.xz
4 When you hit enter, the scroll will inform you that it has accepted your save file and will change to that save.  It may be at the beginning of your turn, so assume that you can do the save cheat here, but it also may not. 
5 Switch back to your Freeciv Client, and select "Connect to Network Game".  Your game will be on your machine name.  Mine is //caribou.
6 You will be presented with the resume dialogue and you can now select "Start".
7 Welcome to that last turn you were at.  Go conquer something.

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