Stefan's Planets Programmer's Page

The File Format List

The File Format List is a somewhat complete description of both host-side and player-side file formats, plus the data files of some 3rd party utilities. It is the collected result of all my debugger sessions in order to get my own utilities working.

Some information has been confirmed by Wisseman sources (mainly, vpcplay.bas), but some is still guesswork. However, the Command Center is completely based on this information and seems to work fine.

  • filefmt.txt.gz (112k), Version 20 Dec 2014.
  • appendix.txt.gz (4802 bytes). This file contains some supplementary information, such as sample code and links to useful projects.
  • Note: These are compressed plain-text files. Your browser will likely uncompress them on-the-fly. If not, most common archivers will be able to handle them (e.g. Winzip, 7-Zip).

Un-TRN, a programmer's utility

This utility was of special use to me when decoding the player-side files. It decodes a TRN file into an ASCII listing containing all commands in the Turn file.

It can be very useful to verify the function of your own player-side utilities. If Un-TRN's output contains errors or otherwise not what you expected, there's certainly a bug in your program. Some hostmasters also use Un-TRN to track down cheat alerts emitted by the host.

This is Version 1.10 (March 2003). Supports PHost 4.0 "SendBack".

  • (15k) (MS-DOS command-line application)

Note: PCC II contains un-trn version 1.99, a program which can decode and manipulate turn files. If you're looking for a turn file decoder for Unix, use that. The DOS version can, however, diagnose some more errors with your TRN whereas the portable version was mainly aimed at parsing files which are correct in the first place.

Portable Maketurn

This is a portable implementation of Maketurn. It can only read Dosplan-style game directories (Dosplan, VPA, or PCC in Dosplan mode). It can, however, generate Winplan-style turn files.

This program is sorted under "programming" because you need to compile it yourself. It is a 32-bit C++ program. So use this as sample code. Or to test your program. Or even use it as a Maketurn.

If you're looking for a ready-made Maketurn for DOS, use CCS (PCC scripting engine) instead.

Version March 2004. Added Winplan TRN format, and g++ 3.x compatibility.

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Stefan Reuther
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Last Modified: 31 May 2015