AI War:Alternate Planet Names
How Do I Use altplanetnames.txt?
A: In the base AI War directory, in the Runtimedata folder, you should see an altplanetnames.txt file, with a single line "Murdoch" in it. You can create lists of your own planet names to include in that file (one per line), or you can look at the Mods and Modding section of the forums for various lists that others have created (real star names, military themed names, etc).
When you start a new campaign, the game will use the regular random names that it always does. These are the planet names that are used in the lobby, as well -- so if you don't see your custom names in the lobby, never fear, it isn't broken. More on that in a bit. When a new campaign is first being launched, the game will then use a random selection of lines from altplanetnames.txt on the game host's machine to overwrite as many planet names as possible.
- Setup: One line in altplanetnames.txt (Murdoch)
- Effect: All planets will have the base random names, except one will always be called Murdoch
Small Custom File Example:
- Setup: 100 planets in the game, 50 lines in altplanetnames.txt
- Effect: 50 planets will have the base random names, and the other 50 will always be from the file
Huge Custom File Example:
- Setup: 1000 (or some other number larger than the number of planets in the game) lines in altplanetnames.txt
- Effect: random lines from the file will be used for filling all the planet names, and this will vary by game
Why Don't The Custom Names Show In The Lobby?
The lobby does not use altplanetnames.txt at all because of multiplayer considerations. Not everybody has the same altplanetnames.txt values (only the values from the host are used), and syncing that across the network would be slow, especially with files with huge numbers to pick from. The lobby is kept consistent in order that players can then speak about planet names in a consistent way, and then as the game actually starts the planets are renamed on the host and then just the used planet names are transferred to all players at that time.
Why Doesn't altplanetnames.txt Affect Existing Savegames?
Once a campaign is begun, all planet names are considered custom. The names could have been populated in the past by altplanetnames.txt on a game host, or players may have used the in-game interface (the little notepaper icon on the left of the galaxy map) to rename planets as they go. The only time that planet names are set in an automated fashion is right when the campaign is being started, and then it's a matter of players customizing planet names further, if they wish to do so, from that point on.