1. All player have to call the same exe, terran.exe or terranx.exe .
2. All player must have installed the same patch, patch 4 for SMAC or Patch 2 for SMACX.
3. Different language versions work fine together.
4. If you like to play SMACX with "mixed" factions of SMAC and SMACX, you may have problems with the colors in the chart and the names, if one has installed the "alternate" pcx. A fix is, to download the new alternate pcx.
5. A good PBEM always should have a CMN, or minmum someone who collects the passwords of all. If later someone has to exit, an other can jump in and the game isn't total broken.
6. The PBEM rules should be fixed clear before start. Within the years international rules habve been made, which are normal accepted and in details only modified in special games.
7. A detailed explanation, how to start a PBEM you find below.
8. Furthermore you have to watch at SMACX PBEMs that the Alpha Centauri.ini has listed the valid factions just in that range, as they are in use in that special game. It is useful to prepare a special batch file for each PBEM which copies at first the right ini and after that calls the terranx.exe, i.e.
Batchfile to call a special PBEM, i.e. "PBEM1.bat" in SMAC directory:
attrib -r *.*
rem to secure that there is no file copy protected
copy "my_game-1-Alpha_Centauri.Ini" "Alpha Centauri.Ini"
rem copy the specific ini for that game
rem over the original Alpha Centauri.ini
rem calls the terranx.exe to start the game
Batchfile for recover the original ini, i.e. as "original.bat":
copy "original-Alpha_Centauri.Ini" "Alpha Centauri.Ini"
The original Alpha Centauri.ini you should have saved before as i.e. "original-Alpha_Centauri.Ini". The specific Alpha Centauri.ini for that game you have saved before as i.e. "PBEM1-Alpha_Centauri.ini". In that specific ini there are the factions which are used in that game listed in their right range, i.e.:
Background of this operation is, that SMACX reads the colors for the factions so, how they are listed in the ini. If that is wrong, it may happen that you can't see the names and chart of one or more factions, or not differ right and also see the wrong city pictures, i.e. the Drones look like the Pirates or such.
How to start a PBEM
9. It is strongly recommended to add in your Alpha Centauri.ini two lines:
This will give you the Windows Explorer window for loading and saving files instead the SMAC style and you can better search and move files.
However: This two lines MUST NOT in the ini, if the player before is using the MAC-version of SMAC(X)!
10. You'll get by email a compressed file (ZIP, RAR, ACE) that contains a sav file. Extract this to /save
11. Call SMAC(X) and select Multiplayer
12. Select Hotseat Play-by-email
13. Select Load Multiplayer game
14. Now you get the Windows Explorer Window for the /save directory in that you should have the sav file that you got. Check if it has your name and the right year and then load it.
15. If this is the first time that you get a file of that game, SMAC asks you for a password. Set your new password and click OK. Watch that you canNOT change the password later!
16. Now SMAC asks to verify the password
17. Now you are in the game and you make your settings, control all and if you are sure that all is done well, click Turn Complete
18. You get now the popup for the next player which is also your exit Window.
DO NOT click OK and give not a password, but only click on SAVE AND EXIT
19. Again you get the Windows Explorer window to save the file.
It is strongly recommendet to name the file in the format "[next player's name]-year.sav" so that the file that you got and the file that you send always will be different.
After that, take a compression program (i.e. WinZip or WinRar) and pack the sav file to a zip or something else and send it by email to the player being behind you.