Operation Flashpoint: FAQ: MultiPlayer

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Danger! OFP can delete your entire disk partition.

Several OFP players have reported having entire directories or even complete disk partitions deleted at some point while playing OFP. At first, this was generally dismissed as a general PC error affecting a random handful of players for some unknown reason.

However, On June 12, 2003, BIS admitted that there is a bug in OFP versions 1.75 through 1.91 that can cause this problem under the following circumstances:

  • If the user creates a multiplayer server in DirectPlay mode and the TCP/IP protocol is not fully supported or is not working properly (e.g., it's disabled under Windows Network settings or there's a firewall disabling TCP/IP).

The problem can never happen when running an OFP multiplayer server in Sockets mode, when playing single player missions or campaigns and when playing under OFP 1.46 and below under any circumstances.

Therefore, in order to avoid the risk of data loss on your PC, BIS strongly recommends that you do not create any multiplayer servers in DirectPlay mode when running OFP versions 1.75 through 1.91.

More information will be presented as details become available.

Does it cost money to play OFP multiplayer games on the Internet?

No. It's free. Of course, should you choose to buy a registered version of Gamespy Arcade or the All Seeing Eye, you'll pay for that software alone but the time you play online is always unlimited.

I'm behind a firewall. Can I host or join MP games?

CM's official OFP FAQ says the following:

Problem: What ports need to be opened in a firewall to play (or to host) online?
Solution: Direct X will need either TCP and UDP port 47624 or 6073, both incoming and outgoing as well as TCP and UDP ports 2300-2400, both incoming and outgoing. OFP itself requires TCP port 2234, both incoming and outgoing.

Norwegian OFP player Geir insists that UDP port 2234 is all that is required and not the equivalent TCP port, as Codemasters documented. So don't say I didn't tell you so!

In addition, for those of you using Gamespy Arcade to make your OFP MP connections, this support page will give you all the lowdown you need to know about Gamespy Arcade and firewalls.

Some ISPs place you behind a firewall without you being aware of it. If this is the case, you'll have to request them to disable their firewall for your account. If you do that, just make sure you protect yourself minimally with a product such as Zone Alarm.

If you're still experiencing problems, maybe OFP player FFX_haXor_FFX's experiences can help you further:

"For reasons beyond our control, a good majority of users cannot or will not open up a range of ports, such as 2300 to 2400, as this is too much of a security risk to.
But we can "compromise". OFP uses the next available high ports: 2235, 2236, 2237, etc. Opening 2235 seems to have allowed a good majority of the packets through.
However, I did notice a lot of rejected UDP packets from port 2235 on my external interface but not from 2236, 2237, etc. At first, I didn't understand why but OFP seems to use UDP port 2235 to transfer response information to and from the server. I opened TCP port 2235 for good measure but it doesn't seem to need it .
I am still having some time-out issues on my end but I sense some packet loss elsewhere as well or maybe its just my lousy ISP connection.
CURRENT ISSUE: I sit in the lobby for a few minutes (2 to 5) and I get a "session lost" error message. If I click past the Lobby to "roles selection", I am ok - the game plays through fine, with no lag at all.
This is where words like "netcode" and "beta" come in. If the game truly needs 100 ports, we are all in trouble. So I shall wait for the fully updated netcode and hope the issue of massive port requirements is corrected in OFP's next major game code revision."
(Source: this OFP Network forum thread).

I'm hosting and when I start a game from the mission briefing screen, some of the players get dropped. How come?

You have to wait for the team and player name indicators to turn from red to green before starting the game. If you don't, anything still marked in red will be dropped and will not be able to participate in the current MP game you've started.

What happens after you get killed in an MP game?

Available respawn options are:

  • NONE: no respawn
  • BIRD: respawn as a seagull (default)
  • INSTANT: respawn at the location where you were last killed
  • BASE: respawn at your team's base (determined by the locations of your base's respawn markers)
  • GROUP: respawn as a remaining soldier of your group (works only for GROUP LEADER)
  • SIDE: respawn as an unplayable AI soldier on your team.

The determining factor that controls how you are respawned are definitions in the MP game script of the hosted game. That means that only the host can modify the spawning options. Other players must take what's dished out to them.

Do I have to have the same OFP version level as the host in order to connect?

OFP gives you a minimum amount of leeway in allowing clients and servers of different OFP versions to connect with each other. Here's a chart:

Dedicated server version   Supported client versions
1.30    1.30
1.40 or 1.42               1.40 or 1.42
1.45 or 1.46               1.45 or 1.46
1.47 beta or 1.48 beta     1.46

(Source: Ondrej Spanel, BIS' Lead Programmer)

Is my custom face visible to other players in MP games?

Yes. (source: Codemasters)

If you missed it, the item on custom faces is here.

In MP games, how can I tell who's on my team and who's the enemy?

MP games are usually divided between East (Russian) and West (NATO) teams. You should already be familiar with the differences in uniforms from playing OFP's SP missions to be able to identify friend or foe. If the soldier you see is distant and you can't make out which side he/she is on, well, life is full of important decisions, isn't it?

If your problem is that you've gotten used to playing OFP in sissy - er - cadet mode and you've become dependent on those nice target boxes that display when you place your cursor over an enemy on the screen, well, you've got to get used to the fact that most MP hosts prefer playing in veteran mode, where these are non-existent. Of course, if you yourself are hosting, you can host in wimpy - er - cadet mode and the target boxes will display for all the lamers - er team players.

How can I put my squad's name and logo on vehicles in OFP?

OFP palyer RN Malboeuf provides the following detailed instruction you'll need in order to get your squad logo to show up on vehicles in multi-player games:

1. Don't use the publicly available program that automates this procedure for you. It requires the German version of Visual Basic DLL files to make it run properly. 2. From OFP's main menu, click on where your player name is displayed on the upper left-hand corner. This will display the SELECT PLAYER menu. 3. From the SELECT PLAYER menu, either click on NEW to add a new player name for multi-player games or select an already defined player name and click on EDIT. This will take you to the NEW PLAYER or EDIT PLAYER screen, depending on the menu option you clicked on. 4. Whatever player name you decide to use, make note of the name's exact spelling now. From the NEW PLAYER or EDIT PLAYER screen, you can modify your player's face and voice models but that is not relevant to the squad logo setup. 5. In the upper left-hand corner of the NEW PLAYER or EDIT PLAYER screen you'll see the PLAYER NAME field. Just below where the player name is entered is your unique player ID number. Write it down now. This number will always be the same for any player names you define using your CD's installation of OFP. 6. In the lower right-hand corner of the NEW PLAYER or EDIT PLAYER screen you'll see a SQUAD URL field. You must specify here the full URL of your squad's SQUAD.XML page. As an example, if you belong to a squad named The OFP FAQ Squad, you might enter a URL similar to this: http://kronzky.info/theofpfaq/squadxml/squad.xml (try the link - it works). Check with your squad's WEB master or administrator to get the exact URL. Everyone in your squad should be specifying the same URL in their OFP installation's SQUAD URL field. 7. Click OK to save your changes. Quit OFP from OFP's main menu. 8. The previous steps should be performed by each member of the squad. The remaining steps are to be performed by the squad's WEB master or administrator. Download this file. It contains all the files you'll need to place on your squad's WEB site to support your squad logo's display. Extract the files to a folder on your PC. You will only have to edit the SQUAD.XML file and replace the enclosed sample logo file with your squad's own. 9. Use your favorite graphics editor to create your squad logo picture file. The logo file must be a non-progressive (zero progressive passes) 32x32, 64x64, 128x128 or 256x256 pixel 24 bit color JPG file with a maximum of 300 pixels per inch. The logo can contain transparent color. Read more about that here. 10. Using your favorite text editor, open the SQUAD.XML file. If you're not comfortable editing WEB page code, you might want someone who is to assist you with this. If you make any mistakes, you can always extract a fresh copy of the SQUAD.XML file. Towards the top of the file, you'll find the squad properties section, as follows:

   <squad nick="745th">
   <name>745th Operation Flashpoint Squad</name>
   
   <web>www.fpSquad745.com</web>
   <picture></picture>
   <title>745th AT Squad</title>

Sample values in blue text, above and below, should be modified accordingly.

Read the comments in the squad properties section above and change all the sample information given for a squad called the 745th to the correct information for your squad. In the <picture> statement, specify only the file name of the logo file you will be using. You must not specify the logo file's directory or folder name. For example, if you were to use the enclosed LOGO.JPG file, you would simply specify:

   <picture>logo.jpg</picture>

The logo JPG file must reside in the same directory that the remaining squad logo related files will reside in.

11. After the squad properties section comes the squad member list. In the enclosed SQUAD.XML file, there are four sample member entries. Each member entry consists of the following lines:

   <member id="125685" nick="Jonny">
   <name>Jonny Bunny</name>
   
   <icq>N/A</icq>
   <remark>Skilled heavy AT soldier.</remark>
   </member>

What's most important here is the first line of the member entry. For each member entry, make sure that the player ID numbers and the player nicknames are specified exactly as they were defined in each squad member's OFP installation, as was discussed in the first steps of this procedure, above.

Define member entries for each squad member. If any of the sample member entries remain in SQUAD.XML, delete them.

Save all changes made to the SQUAD.XML file.

12. Upload the edited SQUAD.XML file, the squad logo JPG file and the remaining 2 files, SQUAD.DTD and SQUAD.XSL, to the same folder on your squad's WEB site.


Now when squad members play a multi-player game, you should see the squad logo on vehicles when they are occupied by your squad mates. An exception to this would be a multi-player game where two players from different squads are in the same vehicle. Another exception would be when your squad's WEB site is inaccessible for some reason.

Where can I download more missions from?

In MP games, what is that annoying yellow or red blinking box I sometimes see in the lower right-hand corner of the screen?

The blinking yellow or red box is a connection warning indicator. Yellow indicates that your connection is not good. Red indicates that it is very bad.

How can I communicate with other players during an MP game?

If you've got OFP: Resistance and are using OFP's new socket MP interface to connect to OFP servers, you'll need to use an external program for voice communications during MP gameplay.

For all older versions of OFP and for those continuing to use OFP: Resistance with the DirectPlay MP interface, you'll most probably be satisfied with OFP's own built-in Voice-Over-Network (VON) and text communication facilities.

Before you can use OFP's VON, you'll have to make sure that OFP can work correctly with your computer's microphone. To do this, run the OFP preferences program and click on the VOICE SETUP button. This will run a sound wizard test program. Follow the instructions carefully and, when completed, you should be all ready for VON communications.

Once you're connected to a host's OFP game server, you can begin communicating with other players. To begin, simply press the "/" key on your keyboard for text based communications. You can toggle voice communications on and off by pressing the keyboard's CAPS LOCK button.

When you first press the "/" key, you will, by default, be communicating on the GLOBAL channel. Messages on the GLOBAL channel are picked up by all players, including those on the opposing side. This is not a good channel to discuss your side's secret tactics and other hush-hush matters. Duh! So OFP offers you the following additional channels that can be cycled through by pressing the "," (comma) and "." (period) keys:

  • SIDE channel - can be picked up by your side's players only.
  • GROUP channel - can be picked up by your team, if your commander has divided your side up into separate teams.
  • VEHICLE channel - can be picked up only both those in the same vehicle as you.
  • DIRECT channel - can be picked up by anyone nearby you.

Are there any alternatives to using Gamespy Arcade?

Yes. Have a look at The All-Seeing Eye (ASE), which now supports OFP: Resistance as well, and at Hyperlobby. You could also use OFP's multiplayer interface to directly connect to an OFP server game, if you know the server's IP address. Some server hosts publicize their IP addresses on Codemaster's OFP chat page.

If you want to host an OFP MP server and your IP address is dynamic because you're behind a gateway, proxy server or firewall, consider using the WINIP utility, available for free from Algenta Technologies. Winip allows internet users to access your computer via a static host name (e.g. mycomputer.somedomain.org) even though you may have a dynamic IP address. This lets others access your computer the same way every time, instead of having to enter a different IP address every time you reconnect to the internet.

Can OFP's standalone dedicated server run on Linux?

As of OFP version 1.85, yes. Here are some download mirror links for the latest version, the OFP version 1.90F beta Linux server file: BIS

You can read the OFP Linux server installation instructions here.

For OFP versions prior to version 1.85, you can download home-brewed instructions and test out the unofficial method of running on Linux from here.

I'm getting bounced out of OFP or missions with a message that starts with "no entry' config.bin::"!2002)

Why am I being killed by my own AI teammates when I respawn?

This bug has been corrected as of OFP version 1.30.

In earlier versions, if you killed one of your own teammates ("Sorry, it was an accident" doesn't help) and then you yourself died and respawned back into the game, your AI teammates would still bear a grude against you and would kill you for your previous mistake.

Yes, this was one heck of an annoying bug.

How can I set up a standalone dedicated server?

As of OFP version 1.20, you can now run a dedicated server. A dedicated server means that you can host OFP MP games on the server computer but you cannot play OFP on that computer. This keeps resource utilization on the server computer to a minimum in order to improve MP gameplay for everyone connecting to your server.

The instructions currently supplied with OFP to setup a dedicated server are minimal, to say the least.

OFP player Red Phive posted the following useful notes and sample template:

Please take this with the understanding that there is very little documentation on this and that I am speaking directly from experience. Some of this info may be incorrect... but it all works for me.
This is the SERVER.CFG file that I am using right now. Some things changed for obvious reasons. "//" denotes comments.
       //password = yyyyy; //a password for protecting the server 
       passwordAdmin = xxxxx; // password for the server admin 
       class Missions // list of missions that will be played in cyclic order 
       { 
       class Mission01 // First mission 
       { 
       template = 1-8_D_FLAGFIGHT.ABEL; 
       cadetMode = 1; 
       param1 = 1800; 
       param2 = 50; 
       }; 
       class Mission02 // Second mission, etc 
       { 
       template = 1-6_C_COOPERATIVE.EDEN; 
       cadetMode = 1; 
       }; 
       class Mission03 
       { 
       template = 2-8_T_CaptureTheFlag.EDEN; 
       cadetMode = 1; 
       }; 
       };
If you look in OFP's TEMPLATES directory, you will see the following subdirectories:
       1-6_C_Cooperative.Abel 
       1-6_C_Cooperative.CAIN 
       1-6_C_Cooperative.EDEN 
       1-6_C_Cooperative.Intro 
       1-6_C_KillThem.EDEN 
       1-8_D_FlagFight.Abel 
       1-8_D_FlagFight.Cain 
       1-8_D_FlagFight.Eden 
       1-8_D_FlagFight.Intro 
       2-8_T_CaptureTheFlag.Abel 
       2-8_T_CaptureTheFlag.Cain 
       2-8_T_CaptureTheFlag.EDEN 
       2-8_T_CaptureTheFlag.Intro
Each directory contains all of the missions in the template form. Within each subdirectory there is a file called DESCRIPTION.EXT. As an example, here is the DESCRIPTION.EXT file in the 1-8_D_FLAGFIGHT.ABEL subdirectory:
       titleParam1 = $STRD_08; 
       valuesParam1[] = {10000, 300, 600, 900, 1200, 1500, 1800, 2700, 3600, 7200}; 
       defValueParam1 = 1800; 
       textsParam1[] = {$STRD_12, $STRD_T005, $STRD_T010, $STRD_T015, $STRD_T020, $STRD_T025, $STRD_T030, $STRD_T045, $STRD_T060, $STRD_T120}; 
       titleParam2 = $STRD_09; 
       valuesParam2[] = {10000, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100, 120, 140, 160, 180, 200, 250, 300}; 
       defValueParam2 = 50; 
       textsParam2[] = {$STRD_12, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100, 120, 140, 160, 180, 200, 250, 300};
The "param1" and "param2" settings in the SERVER.CFG file for 1-8_D_FLAGFIGHT.ABEL (Mission01) respectively correspond to "defValueParam1" and "defValueParam2" in the above DESCRIPTION.EXT file. You can modify any of the parameters in the DESCRIPTION.EXT file by specifying them in the mission's definition in the SERVER.CFG file.

From what I can gather, any of the templates can be used to define a mission object in the SERVER.CFG file. You can, however, use the "#missions" directive when connecting to the dedicated server to change to a mission that is running on the server. To do this, at the mission start screen where people are joining sides, activate the chat window and type "#login password" where password is the one you specified in your SERVER.CFG file with the "passwordAdmin" declaration. It will say something like "Login as Admin". Then, you can the type "#missions" to pull up a listing of the available missions. There is also a file called README.CHM in the OFP directory that has some useful information. Recently, OFP Network has put together a comprehensive dedicated server FAQ for your assistance.


How do you use GameSpy Arcade?

Time Zone Warrior Damorfasu <TZW> has compiled the following usage tutorial for newcomers to Gamespy Arcade:

Start GameSpy (GS) Arcade, select Operation Flashpoint from the left-side menu and select a room to enter. Recently, GS Arcade has the following rooms defined for your selection: Everon, Malden, Kolgujev, Co-op, Capture the Flag and Test Zone.

Each room is like a meeting place. Just click on any one of them. You will then enter the room with two windows. The lower window is where everyone chats. I have found this to be mostly useless. No one really has anything important to say here.

What's important is the upper window. You will see monitor icons on the left with names on the right. The monitor icons with an X in them represent games already being played. You cannot enter them in the middle of gameplay (a sad OFP MP limitation). The monitor icons with a square in them represent games you can still join. The right side will show you how many players can play, how many are already waiting and what ping rate you are receiving back from the game server. I always sort all servers by ping.

Double-click a server with a square in the monitor icon. This will send you to the server's room. You have two windows in this room on the left. The upper window is just for advertising. The lower window is for pre-game chat. Here you can chat with the server host and other players before the game starts. When you are ready, which I suggest you be as soon as you enter the room, press the READY button along the top of the window. This will tell the server that you are ready to begin playing.

On the right side you will see a light next to your name change from red (not Ready) to green (Ready). If you enter the room and see what looks like little rockets in everyone's name, that means that the game was already launched and you've missed the boat. Leave the room and find another game server to play on.

When the server host selects BEGIN GAME, GS Arcade will start your OFP game for you, it will automatically go into MP mode and connect to the server. You must wait for the server to select the Map and Game before you will see anything. Once this happens, you will need to select your preferred position in the game and, when everyone else has done the same the game will begin.

Good luck soldier.

I'm serving with user made MP maps. Does everyone who wants to join have to have these maps, too?2002)

OFP clients download from the server machine on-the-fly copies of maps that the client computer is missing. Keep in mind that more time is needed for the download to complete before the game can begin. The larger the map files, the longer the game start delay.

Where are these on-the-fly maps downloaded to? It depends:

  • For OFP versions up to 1.4x, the on-the-fly map PBO files were downloaded into OFP's MPMISSIONS subdirectory.
  • For OFP: Resistance version 1.75, on-the-fly MP maps are downloaded into OFP's TMP subdirectory, in order to avoid overwriting missions that might exist with the same file names in the MPMISSIONS subdirectory. As its name implies, TMP is a temporary file folder. If you want to save on-the-fly MP maps in OFP: Resistance version 1.75, you'll have to ALT+TAB out of Resistance and manually save them.
  • For OFP: Resistance version 1.85 and above, on-the-fly MP map copies are now saved to a new subdirectory, MpmissionsCache. The difference between the MpmissionsCache subdirectory and the previous use of the TMP subdirectory is that now, downloaded map files are not deleted, and therefore are not downloaded again when playing the same map, unless of course, the map has since been changed. OFP's MP code is cleaver enough to make a file checksum comparison between the cached copy and the one currently on the server side. If checksums don't match, a new copy of the map is downloaded to replace the currently cached copy in the MpmissionsCache subdirectory.

How can I play missions made for the demo with OFP's retail version?

It's all rather simple. All you need to do is to rename the demo mission folders or files according to the retail version's file naming standards.

If the demo mission consists of a folder with one or more files, rename the folder (not the files) from mission_folder_name.demo to mission_folder_name.abel.

Similarly, if the demo mission consists of a single PBO type file, rename the file from mission_file_name.demo.pbo to mission_file_name.abel.pbo.

Note that some missions developed for OFP's demo version may not work as designed or may not work at all with the retail version.

I find it difficult to tell friends from the enemy.

This is a common problem for new OFP players. It will take you time and experience for your eyes to recognize the distinctions between NATO, Russian and resistance uniforms, helmets and weapons.

Of course, at distances, discerning between friendlies and enemies remains a problem but that's true in real life as well, isn't it? That's why it is always beneficial to get hold of a pair of binoculars.

Does Gamespy Arcade identify dedicated standalone servers?

Yes, as of OFP version 1.29 beta, there is a separate group listing for machines running OFP dedicated standalone server games.

I want to host but I'm not sure what my IP address is.

Simple! Just go to WhatIsMyIP.Com for an instant answer. This is a big help for people with dynamic IP addresses or that are on a network behind a firewall or proxy, where Windows' WINIPCFG program may not give you your real IP address.

What happens to a player's soldier when someone leaves in mid-game?

A soldier of a player who leaves in the middle of a multi-player game will automatically convert to an AI (artificial intelligence, i.e., computerized) soldier.

Lots of people would like to see OFP offer an option to simply drop a soldier from the game when someone leaves early.

OFP won't let me connect to host or play MP games!

The first thing to check is if you're behind any type of firewall.

If you're sure that's not the problem and you're using OFP's DirectPlay MP interface, run the DirectX DXDiag utility on your system and click on the NETWORK tab. Make sure that the entries (especially the TCP/IP related entries) in the left-hand Registered DirectPlay Service Providers list are all marked OK in the list's REGISTRY column.

Make sure you check your OFP multi-player port setting. You'll find this by clicking on MULTIPLAYER on OFP's main menu. On the next screen, look for the word PORT towards the bottom center of the screen. Click on it. If using OFP's DirectPlay MP interface, the default port number is 2234. Change it to 2235 and see if that helps. Of course, once again, if you're behind a firewall, make sure this port is open.

If you've got Windows XP installed on your computer, OFP player Mister Frag says that, besides shutting down Windows XP's Internet Connection Firewall (ICF) or configuring the ports used by OFP, you should also turn off Windows XP's Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) feature. ICS has been causing problems when hosting MP games not just for OPF, but with other DirectPlay-based games as well.

Another important item to check, says Mister Frag, is to make sure that the MTU (Maximum Transfer Unit) size does not cause packets to be fragmented if you are on a PPPoE (Point-to-Point Protocol over Ethernet) connection. See this Microsoft Knowledgebase article, especially if you've enabled ICS under Windows XP. There used to be another Microsoft Knowledgebase article on this subject, and the warning there about packet fragmentation and the resulting problems with some protocols applied to non-ICS connections as well. You can also visit the DSL Reports Tools Page and run their Tweak Test to verify that the MTU size is correct and not causing fragmentation.

Several OFP players, who couldn't host under Windows XP, was finally able to do so by disabling Window's Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) service.

If you're using OFP's DirectPlay MP interface, here's another possibility, uncovered by OFP reg Espectro the evil m00-c0w, while shmoozing with some folks on Microsoft's DirectX development team, who happen to love playing OFP MP:

One thing to look for would be the existence of a copy of file DPLAYX.DLL anywhere other than in it's installed Windows subdirectory. One game publisher once placed a copy of this file in their product's game directory to overcome a launch issue they were having with an earlier version of DirectX. When DirectX 8.1 was installed, the existence of file DPLAYX.DLL in two locations prevented connecting to online games.

Can I use transparency in my squad's logo image?

es, you can use an image file with a transparent color for your squad's logo. However, I've received no less than three player written tutorials on the subject. See which one is best for you:

Aldega's transparency logo making tutorial

OFP player Aldega reveals how, using the BIS supplied TextView editing tool, available from BIS's OFP Editing download page. TextView is a texture viewer and conversion tool supporting OFP internal texture formats.

Follow these steps:

  1. Using your preferred graphics editor, create or edit your squad's logo file.
  2. Create an alpha channel.
  3. Save the logo as a TGA formatted file.
  4. Open the TGA file with TextView and save.
  5. Update the <picture> statement in your squad's SQUAD.XML page and upload the modified SQUAD.XML and logo files to your squad's WEB site.

Davie Crock's transparency logo tutorial for Paint Shop Pro 7

Ok... I figured how to make one using Paint Shop Pro 7 by piecing everyone's suggestions together.

  1. Open your saved logo (*.jpg). Resize the image to be 256 x 256 pixels (image - resize).
  2. Select the "magic wand" on the left side toolbar.
  3. Click on logo (should see an outline of logo and outer border).
  4. Selection - invert (make sure "tool option" is set to "match mode" RGB value, "tolerance" 10, and "feather" 0).
  5. Edit - copy.
  6. File - new... Make sure the new image dimensions are 256 x 256 pixels, "Resolution" 72, "Background color" Black and "Image Type" 24bit.
  7. Edit - paste - as new layer.
  8. Select "magic wand" again, click on the newly created image and you should see and outline of the logo and outer border, as before.
  9. Selection - Invert (now you should see just the outline of the logo).
  10. Selection - Save to alpha channel (you should see a preview of the alpha channel; where the logo should be is all white surrounded by black).
  11. Save this as a *.TGA (Truevision Targa) file. You will get a message stating something about being able to save only one alpha channel (that's all you want).
  12. Open TextView (you can get Textview from the editing download section of BIS' OFP site) and drop the image into this application and save it as a *.paa file.

Kabukiman's transparency logo tutorial for Adobe Photoshop 6

Creating transparent Squad-Logo for ImGame-Usage while using Adobe's Photoshop 6:

  1. Prepare your squad logo as usual. When finished, resize to 64x64 Pixels.
  2. Bounce/merge down to 2 Layers, Backgroundlayer and Logolayer (with transparency).
  3. Switch to the Layer holding the Logo, select all transparent Areas (in Photoshop via "select" menue, "Load Selection" "<layername> transparency").
  4. Choose "Select" - "invert selection".
  5. Create a new Alpha-Channel (click on the Icon next to the Trashbin on the Layer-Palette).
  6. Switch on the newly created Alpha-Channel (click on the Eye), your logo-transparency should look light-red now.
  7. Delete the selection-mask (if it's still there).
  8. Now save your Logo as .tga, 32 Bit including Alpha-Channels (make sure it's checked).
  9. Open BIS' TextView program and load your logo.tga file.
  10. Save as.. "logo.paa" <-- .PAA is important, somehow the .PAC messes up Logos.
  11. Change entry in squad.xml to "logo.paa".
  12. Upload both files (squad.xml and logo.paa).

How to create a desktop shortcut to directly connect to an OFP game server.

Create or copy a standard desktop shortcut for OFP. Then right-click on the shortcut and select PROPERTIES. The following example is based on Windows 98 shortcut properties. In the TARGET field, specify:

   "C:\Program Files\OFP\OperationFlashpoint.exe" -connect=server.ip.address -port=port_number -nosplash

Replace "server.ip.address" with the IP address of the server you wish to directly connect to. The "port" setting is optional and defaults to 2234. Your file path to OFP's EXE file may be different than in the example above. For inform about -nosplash, look here.

If you've got OFP: Resistance, you can choose to specify on the above command line whether the server you wish to connect to is using OFP: Resistance's Windows sockets (default) or Microsoft's DirectPlay interface. You can indicate this by appending -sockets or -dplay respectively to the command line.

After installing OFP Gold I cannot host multiplayer games!

Well, you can host but only clients who have installed OFP Gold or the OFP Gold Upgrade can connect to your server. OFP Gold's MP server code will not allow standard version 1.30 upgrade clients to connect.

The most common symptom of this problem is clients receiving the message "Missing entry config:Oleg".

This is a bug, admitted to by BIS in this BIS Troubleshooting FAQ item. Upgrading to OFP version 1.40 or later will resolve this problem.

To bypass this problem in OFP version 1.30, server hosts running the OFP Gold version should move file VOICERH.PBO from OFP's ADDONS subdirectory to an external temporary directory. This file was added in the OFP Gold version as part of the Red Hammer campaign. Once the file has been moved by the server host, all OFP version 1.30 clients should then be able to connect.

Of course, if the server host wants to play the Red Hammer campaign, file VOICERH.PBO must be copied back into the ADDONS subdirectory.

I'm a dismal failure in multi-player games. Is there a tactics or strategy guide that can help me?

There used to be one over at Axle Online! Unfortunately, it seems that Axle Online has bitten the dust.

Fortunately, OFP player Wazoo sent me a copy in MS Word DOC format. Max res, Wazoo!

Dedicated standalone server terminates with message "No entry resource.bin::RscInGameUI::RscHint::Background.size".

This was first reported when customers installed the OFP Ultimate Upgrade 4 patch. Initially BIS attributed this to be caused by players not downloading and installing the same version's separate standalone server file.

So first make sure the the standalone server program is the same version as the OFP version you've upgraded to. If you're not sure, you can verify the server EXE file's version number using Windows Explorer.

Next, make sure that the server EXE file is located in OFP's base directory and nowhere else.

If you still receive this error after verifying the sever EXE file's version number and location, you should contact BIS support about it. In the meantime, you can tentatively bypass the problem by running OFP's main game executable program, OPERATIONFLASHPOINT.EXE, with the -server argument and with the original CD in the CD drive.

My dedicated standalone server has lately been crashing frequently.

This problem was caused by bugs in BIS' code that handles squad XML pages. The solution is to install version 1.42 or above of the dedicated standalone server program, available at BIS or at Codemasters.

How can I preset a different port number in place of OFP's default of 2234?

Use a text editor to edit the following file:

OperationFlashpoint\User\your_player_name\UserInfo.cfg

Change your_player_name in the above file name example to the actual player folder name in use. In the file, find the "remotePort" statement and modify it accordingly.

Why am I loosing my keyboard settings when I play MP?!?!

When you login in to an online gaming service to play OFP, such as Gamespy, that service uses your online login ID as your player name. If this name is even slightly different than your standard OFP player name, a new subdirectory will be created on your PC and your settings within that subdirectory will be intialized to OFP's defaults and will be used when playing online.

For example, supposing the player name you defined in OFP itself is "Bimbo". In this case, OFP will create the following subdirectory:

   \OperationFlashpoint\Users\Bimbo

Within subdirectory Bimbo, there is a file named UserInfo.cfg. When you update your keyboard settings in OFP, the changes made are retained in this file.

Now, suppose that you play online using Gamespy but your Gamespy login idea is "Big Bimbo" and not "Bimbo" as defined in OFP. In this case, the first time you play OFP multiplayer through Gamespy, a new subirectory will be created:

   \OperationFlashpoint\Users\Big Bimbo

A new default copy of file UserInfo.cfg will automatically be created within this subdirectory. The keyboard settings within the file will be OFP's defaults and not the customized settings you saved for your standard player name.

The easiest way to use the same settings and options for all player names defined to OFP is to copy the customized copy of file UserInfo.cfg to all of your other OFP player name subdirectories.

Are there any multiplayer cheats for OFP?

Go away!

How can I disable OFP's Voice Over Net (VON)?

Some people prefer using other VON products for in-game voice communication, such as Roger Wilco. Sometimes, however, when OFP's VON is enabled, it affects the sound quality of some of these other VON products.

OFP player RedRogue says that it's easy to disable OFP's VON, if you don't want to use it. Simply disconnect your PC's microphone, run the OFP preferences program, click on VOICE SETUP button and run the Sound Hardware Test Wizzard. The test will determine that you have no microphone and internally disable OFP's VON feature.

Another way to disable OFP's VON is to edit file Flashpoint.cfg and add the following line:

   VoiceOverNet=0;

If you've got a separate copy of file Flashpoint.cfg for use when hosting a dedicated sever, you can add the same line there, too.

I'm getting a message "config modified" in MP games. What does this mean?

I won't waste your time with my explanations of this, when BIS' lead programmer, Ondrej Spanel, said it best:

There is currently much discussion about modifications of file CONFIG.BIN (or its text equivalent, file CONFIG.CPP). Let me explain why we implemented the "config modified" message.
When modifying file CONFIG.BIN, you can control many aspects of the game. Some are very important, like reload times or other weapon, ammunition or vehicle parameters. Some not that important, like weapon sounds or other "minor" things.
We considered a lot what parts of OFP's configuration should be protected against cheating, and after some thinking and experimentation we decided that modifying almost any field in file CONFIG.BIN can be used to attain some advantage over other players.
Let me consider two favorite CONFIG.BIN modification types that seem innocent: sound replacement packs and face set replacements:
Sound replacement packs
Most sound replacement addon packs currently available (such as Satchel's Dynamic Range and others) replace original in-game sounds with new sounds that are considered more realistic or simply considered better by its creator. The exact same technique can be used for cheating. Consider what would happen by replacing the very quite HK MP5's sound (or the sound of enemy soldier's footsteps) with some more distinct and very loud sound. This would give the online player who has made such modifications quite a big advantage, as enemy would be more readily detected by that player.
Face set replacements
Most face set replacements replace original faces with some cammo type or special operations faces. However, the very same technique could be used for cheating. Imagine replacing all faces with a bright yellow face. This would make spotting the enemy on the computer with such modifications much easier.
In conclusion, while the message about a modified CONFIG.BIN file does not necessarily mean a given player is cheating, it tells you that it is impossible to guarantee that the player is not cheating, as identical techniques can be used for non-cheating and cheating CONFIG.BIN modifications. When seeing this message, it is your decision whether to believe the player when he tells you he is not cheating.
If you are using some CONFIG.BIN modification that is causing this message, you should therefore understand why some people and server hosts may be unwilling to play with you. They see that you are using a modified CONFIG.BIN file and they have no way of knowing if the modification gives you an advantage or not. If they want to stay on the safe side, they will often kick you or even ban you from the server. Seeing the number of people that actually use CONFIG.BIN file modifications to cheat, you can hardly blame them.
--------------
Ondrej Spanel, Lead Programmer

Now you might gripe that you never modified your CONFIG.BIN file nor have you installed anything else that has. Once again, Ondrej Spanel has prepared a reply to the player community on this issue too:

Is the "config modified" message reliable?
The answer is not easy. It was not reliable before 1.45, as addons installed into the ADDONS folder were able to modify some protected CONFIG.BIN entries. We fixed this and we are convinced this is no longer possible in 1.45. Unless you have modified your CONFIG.BIN file, you should not see this message, no matter what unofficial addons you have installed in your ADDONS folder.
Why not automatically disconnect players with modified CONFIG.BIN files?
As I wrote above, we were not sure in the previous version if our verification of CONFIG.BIN file modifications was reliable and we did not want to kick any player using any addons unless they really modified file CONFIG.BIN.
We think that the detection is working right since 1.45, but we want to wait a little to be sure. Once we will see this really works well, we will implement a server side option that can automatically disconnect players using CONFIG.BIN modification. Remember: this will be a server side option and the server administrator will be able to decide if this feature should be enabled or not.
--------------
Ondrej Spanel, Lead Programmer

If I sprint or run fast, will I ever get tired in OFP?

Well, you won't get a heart attack or dehydrate but your running speed will eventually decrease. Conserving your strength for when it is needed is therefore a potential tactical consideration in OFP.

(Source: Ondrej Spanel, BIS Lead Programmer)

Do I need OFP CD to host a dedicated standalone server?

As of OFP version 1.40, OFP's CD is no longer needed to start OFP's dedicated standalone server program.

Beware of relying on smoke grenade cover in multiplayer games!

As you maybe already noticed, OFP's original smoke grenades do absolutely nothing to cover you in SP missions. And although customized smokegrenade addons are now available that do block OFP AI's line of sight, unfortunately players who want to cheat (or to innocently reduce processing overhead) can customize their OFP settings so that smoke won't display for them when playing OFP - both in SP and MP games.

This can be done by disabling the display of cloudlets via the OFP preferences program. When cloudlets are disabled, smoke is not rendered on that player's game display. In this case, players who think they're hidden behind a cloud of smoke might just as well live in glass houses.

From the above and from the general FAQ item on smoke grenades, it can be concluded that the only time when you can be 100% assured of the proper use of smoke grenades against the enemy in MP is when you are playing a coop mission against OFP's AIs and you are using one of the new smoke grenade addons designed to block the AI's line of site.

Some tips about markers on maps.

During MP games, it's often handing to place markers on maps for teammates to read and make note of. BIS' Suma reminds us all that markers placed on the map during MP games are visible to those able to listen on the radio channel currently selected for transmission by the player placing the marker. If you want to place a marker that only your teammates will see, select the SIDE channel. If you want to place a marker for your group only, select the GROUP channel.

BIS forum moderator and postcount dropper Ralph Wiggum reminded me that, in multiplayer games, you can select from a variety of markers available by pressing the SHIFT and UP or DOWN arrow keys simultaneously.

To remove a map marker, just place your cursor over it and press your keyboard's DELETE button.

The parachute cheat.

Don't worry. This is not a real MP cheat but it's interesting.

Playing an MP game and want to make it appear to the other team that you've tripled or quadrupled the number of troops on your side?

If you're playing in an MP mission where you eject from the back of a helicopter, OFP player Titanium says you can convey this effect by issuing the EJECT command a number of successive times as fast as you can. This effect can happen because of because of lag or desync in an online gaming environment - even with a good connection.

The results are the appearance of a lot more troops parachuting down. However, when all the chutes hit the ground, what counts is the actual number of players on your side. Those other phony shoots are not but just that - phonies.

Does OFP Resistance use Gamespy for its MP interface?

The answer is yes and no. Yes, behind the scenes, you are still connecting to GameSpy's master browser. No, however, because you no longer will see anything from Gamespy, including ads, in OFP Resistance's MP browser interface.

(Source: Ondrej Spanel, BIS Lead Programmer).

Using OFP's Voice Over Net (VON), I can't hear new players that join in!

OFP reg Mister Frag says that from his experience, everyone in the game will have to toggle VON off and back on every time a new player joins if they want to be able to hear the new players.

Is there a place where all the multiplayer user and administrator commands are documented?

Of course! OFP's standalone dedicated server comes with both a user and an administrator command guide. The document files are normally named DS-User.rtf and DS-Admin.rtf respectively and they can be found in the SERVER subdirectory on your OFP: Resistance CD or within earlier dedicated standalone server download files, available from BIS' OFP downloads page, for example.

How many CDs do I need to play OFP on a LAN or on a home or small office network?

You'll need a separate CD for each player joining in. If two or more players try using the same CD to startup OFP, they'll receive the infamous "Original games do not fade" message and get booted out of the game.

Flares I fire in Resistance MP games are not seen by other players!

This is a known bug, introduced by OFP: Resistance version 1.75. Upgrade to version 1.85 or later to resolve this problem.

Can I customize "killed" and "killed by" messages in MP games?

Yes you can, says OFP player [P-A-S]Paynemaker.

The templates for these messages are in file STRINGTABLE.CSV. For OFP: Resistance, the file is located in subdirectory \RES\BIN. For older OFP versions, the file is located in subdirectory \BIN.

You can edit these files with a simple text editor but make a backup first before you do. Search for the string "STR_KILLED". There are four matching statements. Each statement contains a message's template in English, French, Italian, Spanish, German and Czech. Modify the text in the templates as you desire but do not remove or change message variables, such as "%s" and "%d".

RPGs, rockets or missiles I fire are heading in a completely different direction!

This is a visual bug in MP missions, documented by OFP guru, Kegetys. No matter which direction you aim your rocket towards, when fired, it heads north:

While this visual of the rocket's trajectory is in error, it will actually take the path you aimed it towards. So don't believe everything you see.

How can I use my own customized shout sound when playing online?

Just follow these easy instructions:

  1. Create a new subdirectory, \SOUND, within your existing player subdirectory, simular to the following:
             \OperationFlashpoint\Users\player_name\Sound
  2. Place an OGG sound file into the new Sounds subdirectory.
  3. Rename the OGG file to something relevant. For example, my shout file's name is Avon_Calling.ogg.

Now, when you play an online MP game, hit the zero ("0") command key to bring up the RADIO command menu. From there, select 9 CUSTOM. In my example above, I'll see Avon_Calling listed (without the file type OGG suffix being displayed). Select it and your shout will be heard.

If you need a program to convert a sound file from one format to OGG, your best bet is to head on over to Download.com and search for "ogg converter". You'll find a lot of matching downloads. Make sure you choose one that converts from your shout file's format to OGG.

Can 3rd person view be disabled by a server?

Yes. Add this line to the bottom of your server's player USERINFO.CFG file:

diff3rdPersonView[]={0,0};