VGA Planets Super Site

Glossary of VGA Planets Terms
by James "Undead" Rocks

Cash Players can generate cash (megacredits) by taxing natives and colonists or by converting supplies into cash.
Defence Defence posts can be built on planets (the number allowed is dependent on the number of colonists on the planet) to defend them from marauding warships and StarBase defense can be upgraded to a maximum of 200 in addition to planetary defence.
Factories Factories can be built on planets. 1 factory produces 1 supply unit each month.
Fighters Fighters are small 1 man craft which can be built (given available cash & minerals etc.). They are launched during battles from planets (free dependent on no. of defense posts), StarBases or ships. Some races build these for nothing (although minerals and supplies may be required).
Freighters Freighters are ships (see Ships) with no beams, torpedo tubes or fighter bays. They have large capacity fuel tanks & cargo bays so are ideal for shipping minerals and colonists around ... however they will ALWAYS lose in combat.
Friendly Codes Planets and ships can be given unique friendly codes, which give the ability to allow players of allied races to NOT attack each other. Friendly codes can also be used as attack codes to determine the order in which warships enter a battle. Somewhat confusingly, friendly codes are also used to carry out additional tasks or to modify the way certain tasks or missions are carried out e.g. the LAY MINES mission can be modified by the md1, md2, md3 etc. which will determine how many torp’s are converted into mines.
Game A game is where a host has set up a game universe and has anything from 1 (fairly pointless) to 11 (very complicated but damn good fun) races playing.
Host The host is the central computer to any given VGAP game. To this person/computer all TRN files must be sent and from it all RST files are issued. It is on this computer that game action actually occurs (although players view it on their own PC).
Mine Fields A torpedo carrying warship can convert it’s torpedo’s into a mine field so that any enemy ship passing through it runs the risk of being destroyed or damaged.
Minerals Minerals are essential for fuel & construction of ships, StarBases, torpedo’s and fighters (as well as StarBase defense). There are 4 minerals used: molybdenum, duranium & tritanium & lastly neutronium which is used for fuel. Certain ships can create minerals from supplies and fuel from supplies & minerals. Every planet will have these 4 minerals in varying quantities.
Mines Mines remove minerals from the planet and allow them to be used (see Minerals) ... too many mines on a planet will lower the tolerance of the natives to taxation etc.
Missions Ships & StarBases can carry out missions which vary from simple EXPLORATION through LAY & SWEEP MINES to missions which can only be carried out by specific races e.g. the Fed’s SUPER REFIT and the Robots & Colonies BUILD FIGHTERS.
Month Every turn in a game represents 1 galactic month.
MS DOS To play VGAP you must have a 386 based PC running MS-DOS 3.3 or higher. You cannot run it on a Mac or Amiga or Atari (PC software emulation may allow you to, I don’t know!)
Multi-Player A multi-player game is one which involves more than one player (VGAP can support up to 11 players and unused players can be automated)
Play by Mail means essential game information (i.e. RST & TRN files) are sent by mail, E-Mail or sneakernet.
Player A person or 1 of the races that has been automated by the host.
Race Each player plays a specific race (i.e. Solar Fed’s, Lizards, Birdmen, Fascists, Privateers, Cyborgs, Crystals, Evil Empire, Robots, Rebels or Colonies of Man). Each race has it’s own unique advantages and ships that differ to other races.
Registration The process of paying the author a sum of money ($15 to register the DOS version of VGA Planets) in order to register a program. Registering VGAP gives access to technology levels higher than 6 (up to 10) and use of specific Friendly Codes.
RST The result file which shows the results of your last submitted TRN file (e.g. Player 1, The Solar Federation would receive the file PLAYER1.RST)
Shareware A piece of software that the author has decided may be used on a trial basis (for evaluation) but that you should register it with the author if you intend to continue using it. Registration usually gives additional benefits (see registration). The DOS version of VGA Planets is shareware and should be registered ($15), the Windows version is NOT shareware and must be purchased from the author or an authorised distributor ($20).
Ships Ships are the means by which you expand your empire (see Freighters and War Ships). Each race has a unique set of ships that they may build (although there are common designs) and some of those ships may have special features (e.g. cloaking, gravitronic & hyperdrives etc.). A race cannot build the ships of another race (but under Host V3.2x can often clone one if they acquire it!). Ships come in varying sizes with varying potential for armament (refer to VGAP documentation or help).
Sneakernet A humorous term for the process of distributing datafiles via disk and foot (hence sneaker)
Stale Turns A TRN file that has been submitted to the host but one that is based on a non-current RST file.
Supplies Supply units are produced by factories and are essential for building mines, factories, defense posts and fighters. They can also be converted into cash.
Tech Levels Technology levels. These can be upgraded to a maximum of 10 (6 in shareware version) only within StarBases. The type of hull, engine, beam weapons & torpedo’s that you may build depend on tech levels. Generally speaking the higher the tech level the more powerful the item (i.e. tech 10 hulls are bigger and less prone to damage, tech 10 engines are the most efficient, tech 10 beams & torpedo’s are the most lethal (tech 10 torp’s produce the most mines per torp) and, of course, tech 10 items cost the most!)
Tim Continuum The Tim Continuum watches over the game to check for cheating (such as hacking to create more money, minerals etc.) and use of same registered copy by more than one player in the same game. In the event of the Tim Continuum activating the player/players in question will suffer unaccountable mishaps and other players will be informed that that player has been attacked by the Tim Continuum.
Torpedo’s Torp’s are more powerful than beam weapons but they stand 33% chance of missing their target. Torpedo’s can be converted into mines using the "LAY MINES" mission (Higher tech mines produce more mines per torp).
TRN The turn file is, effectively, a list of your commands which, when submitted to the host, is acted upon. It should be based upon the current RST file otherwise a stale TRN will result (e.g. Player 1, The Solar Federation would send the file PLAYER1.TRN)
Universe/Galaxy The game universe is a galaxy of 500 planets based in an area 4000 light years square (although only a central square, 2000 lights years across are used). Ships move between the planets colonising, supplying, raiding and fighting other ships.
War Ships Unlike freighters War Ships are armed, typically have smaller cargo bays and fuel tanks and are more massively built (so requiring more fuel to move them around). They vary in size from the diminutive PL21 probes (with one engine, one beam, a 20KT cargo bay and an advanced hyperdrive capability) to the massive Rush class cruiser with 5 beams, 10 fighter bays, 6 engines and a 390KT cargo bay.

This article was submitted by the Editor of the, now defunct, E-Zine Planeteer Resurrection.
Other articles, fiction & humour from the Planeteer Resurrection have been submitted to the "UK Atheist & Science E-Zine"

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