pc-missions or -maps
by Matthew Hills, updated 2001-08-12
As C&C has been out for the PC for over a year, there has been a thriving cottage industry dedicated to producing custom campaigns. I've found that these games can be made to work with Mac C&C, and expect that others will enjoy playing them as well. (at least until someone produces mac editor.)
Most PC files are zipped. I used the commercial version of StuffIt, which includes the DropStuff enhancer for Stuffit Expander (this will handle zip files). The archives at sumex have other programs that can handle .zip archives, including UnZip and ZipIt.
Two files are used to describe a mission. One is the "*.INI" file and the other is the "*.BIN" file. For example, the first GDI mission is typically comprised of "SCG01EA.INI" and "SCG01EA.BIN." The "*.INI" files describe the units, location of buildings, reinforcements, victory conditions, etc... The "*.BIN" files describe the basic terrain for the map. Note that early scenario writers had incorrect information and called the "*.BIN" files as "*.MAP" You will need to correct this. Some scenario packages include a "MISSION.INI" file. This contains the information to link scenarios together to form an entire campaign. Also, scenario packages sometimes include saved game files, with the idea that You can just load those and be on Your way. I don't believe that these are compatible with the mac saved game formats.
The "*.INI" files are text files, and every time I unzip them, the end-of-line characters aren't what Mac C&C expects, so it chokes. (symptom is a black screen when I start the mission) The problem is that the PC *.INI files have only the carriage-return character (ASCII value = 0x0D in hex). Mac C&C expects that and a linefeed (ASCII value = 0x0A in hex). It would be relatively easy to write a small droplet application to make the conversion, but most good text editors will do this for You. I would suggest either BBEdit or Alpha. (I use BBEdit... there is a freeware version, called BBEdit Lite that is available from barebones. To perform the conversion with BBEdit, first open any *.INI files with BBEdit. For each file, do one of the following: Select "Save As..." and click on the "options" button and then choose "DOS" for "Line Breaks" (then "OK" and "Save") Or click on the blue button with a document icon that is near the top of the document window. This is a popup menu from which You can select "DOS." Then Save the document. (one note: regardless of the line break approach, it looks the same in the BBEdit window... if You open a document with DOS line breaks in SimpleText, You will see some garbage characters)
using the files
After You have corrected the "*.INI" files, You should drag the "*.INI" and "*.BIN" files into the same directory as Mac C&C. Mac C&C will use these scenarios when You start a new game.
Steve Israelson (lead mac programmer for the port) suggested that people might need to increase memory "by a few hundred bytes" when they run custom scenarios. If the new scenarios are something like 9th level, You won't be able to play until You reach the 9th level... unless You take some other steps, such as: - modify the "MISSION.INI" file to load the scenarios earlier - have a saved game that is already at that level (possibly from playing through the regular campaign). Load the saved game and You will probably see the original campaign... but if You select "restart" from the options menu, You should come out in the right place. Make sure that You have switched *.MAP files to *.BIN. If the map is all black, then something went wrong with the load and You should review the above, scratch Your head a bit, and maybe go look for a game on the net... (You can just remove the *.INI and *.BIN files from the Mac C&C folder to revert to deinstall the missions)
where to get scenarios
There are many PC C&C web sites where You can find custom scenarios. As a starting point, though, try looking around the Mac C&C site.