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Frequently Asked Questions

This page contains answers to common questions, along with some tips and tricks that I have found useful and presented here as questions.

Please select a category for the question:


  1. How can I help?
  2. Can I help test your software?

Star Trek for Windows 9x / Solar System Designer

  1. Why did you write Star Trek?
  2. When will the next version be released?
  3. Why do some of the aliens in Star Trek keep repeating themselves?
  4. Help! How can I kill a BadGuy?
  5. What are your plans for future releases?
  6. Will Star Trek run on Windows XP/2000/NT?
  7. Why won't the computer raise my shields or remember my Library Options?
  8. Why can't I change the number of colors in the SRS tab of the Options Window?
  9. How may I get the registered version right away without ordering online?
  10. If I have the CD-ROM version, can I upgrade?
  11. I upgrade my machine from time to time. Do I have to contact you for a new license code each time?
  12. I have trouble getting the most out of the Solar System Designer, will you provide a tutorial?
  13. How do I use the Galactic Record?
  14. Can I change the fonts in the game?
  15. How do you make treaties with other worlds?

Royal Escort

  1. How can I edit a scenario?
  2. I see some scenarios have walls, but how can I add them to my own scenario?

Diamond Figures

  1. Can I add my own card backs?

How can I help?

I am a college student writing software in my "spare" time.  I do this because I enjoy programming a lot more than, say, watching TV.  I especially enjoy programming when people enjoy the software I write.  The best way to 1) show that you like the software, and 2) help me keep updating and writing software is to register the software.  The Products page has links to buy each of my software titles.

Can I help test your software?

Yes, just fill out a beta tester application.  As each piece of software is ready for testing, I randomly choose from the qualified beta testers.  The information submitted on the form is not used or sold in any way other than to choose beta testers for Andy3ware software.

Why did you write Star Trek?

(May 26, 1998) I wrote Star Trek originally on my ADAM™. I was looking in a book of public domain BASIC programs , and found Super Star Trek. I looked at the long program listing, and decided it was too long, so I tried writing my own. Well, even on the ADAM™ my code was larger than the book's. It just kept evolving in different ways. Eventually I tried my hand at some graphics. The SRS screen was displayed on a 40 x 40 graphics screen! I think I did alright for 9 years old.

When I got a little older, I was allowed to program on my dad's Amiga™. I printed my code out on my daisy-wheel printer and started typing. I never did finish those phasers . . ., oh well, I don't use the Amiga™ much any more. That is the first time I got to use different windows to display information. I used 5 windows that covered the screen and couldn't be moved. I put a lot of graphics and color into the program, and everything was kept neat by the operating system.

While I was programming happily on the Amiga™, my dad had gotten a PC. I used a program that would write in PC format to put it on a 360K floppy so I didn't have to retype it all again. I used QBasic®, so I couldn't use any window boxes like I did on the Amiga™. I wrote some routines to make some lines act like the windows, but it wasn't the same. I kept the design anyway, but redesigned the SRS display so the aspect ratio was better. That was also when I converted from 640 x 200 to 640 x 480. That was tough. I also had to make do with just 16 colors that I couldn't change, instead of 8 colors that could be any color in 65536 colors. When I was done fixing things and adding features, it was 135K in plain text. That is over 100 pages of code! I started running into out of memory messages when I tried to add the solar systems (this is the version where I decided to add them), so I took the ability to enter solar systems out.

My first summer in college at SIUE, I decided to take my first computer course, CS 402, C++ programming. Don't get the wrong idea, I didn't convert Star Trek into C++, but that course showed me how fun computer courses were. The next semester, one of the two computer courses I took was CS 320, Software Development. It taught me Visual Basic® 3.0. Ah ha! Windows®! It had been a long time since I had programmed with windows on the Amiga™, but I started converting. I pasted code in every once and a while from the QBasic® version, and eventually finished converting. I changed from a few unmoving windows to a lot of movable windows. I kept adding things until I bought Visual Basic® 4.0. Then I could put Star Trek in 32-bit Windows® 95 code. I redesigned the Options window, the Library Options window, and added support for different colors, because of the popularity of themes, and got those planets in true-color! The 3D effects in Star Trek for Windows® 95 use the same colors as the current theme. It also has an option to quiet the frequent message boxes, because many themes attach sounds to the message types, which can get very annoying.

Well, that's the story. It is a long story, but a true one. I have been working on Star Trek for 12 years, and I still add to it. I added too many upgrades, so the Klingon starbase was easily destroyed, so I added the BadGuy, etc. I hope you enjoy Star Trek as much as I enjoyed writing it.

September 9, 1998 Update:

Well, version 1.2 is out, using Visual Basic® 5.0 and is compatible with Windows® 98. Now there are new retrofits to fight against the BadGuy, hmmm, I know what that means, something harder has to come in. At the present moment, I plan for it to be computer controlled starships similar in capability to the Enterprise. You'll be able to choose from these ships as well, but can you fly them as well as the computer?

December 5, 1998 Update:

Hey, I'm back again, here comes version 1.21. It's a minor upgrade, but fixes many of the problems people were having and introduces Asteroid Belts! Visit Earth or Vulcan and see an asteroid belt in the proper location. Or, if you like destroying planets, pick a medium or large size planet and blast away! It is looking like version 2.0 of Star Trek will be a complete rewrite from scratch to employ multiple ship types, beam down adventures, artifacts, ship-to-ship communication, boarding parties, and a 3D galaxy! I can't wait to play it!

June 14, 2004 Update:

Okay, this is part of a big website update that I have been working on for some time. The best new thing is that Star Trek version 1.3 is out! This is a dramatic upgrade in the planet department. Mini-adventures have never been so realistic, since the game now comes with an Auto-Mapper! Also, the planets (even asteroids) now have very realistic looking pictures and, as always, no two are alike!

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When will the next version be released?

That is a good question. I am working toward my Doctorate in Computer Science at Washington University in St. Louis, which takes most of my time. I only get to work on Star Trek every so often, so release dates are always difficult to predict.

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Why do some of the aliens in Star Trek keep repeating themselves?

Some of the aliens in Star Trek repeat themselves because the Artificial Intelligence (AI) for them is not developed enough yet. When the next version of the Planet Pack comes out, there will be a significant improvement in the AI, as well as the realism of the solar system setups. The Solar System Designer allows you to create and modify the solar systems and the messages which you get in the game. I really want to see what people can make with it.

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Help! How can I kill a BadGuy?

OK, you've registered the game, and now you want to get on the high score list, or you just want to get back at the BadGuys for killing you so many times. Well, I really can't give away any secrets, but sometimes war veterans can. Have you checked to see if anyone in the BadGuy High Score Posting has given any hints? I will tell you, it is possible to kill a BadGuy ship, and I myself once killed two in one game, but I don't believe in posting myself to the high score list. Good Luck!

September 9, 1998 Update:

Now, there are new retrofits to fight the BadGuy.  You can get more power from your engines, keep the BadGuy away with your shields, increase the damage and effectiveness of your phasers, detonate torpedoes on command, and even repair systems that the BadGuy takes out!

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What are your plans for future releases?

Please post your suggestions to the Suggestions page, and I'd like to let you know that I want this program to continue to improve and enhance until I have a complete world in which you can do things that weren't programmed into the machine. Take on a mission that I never thought of, discover a new way to link the phasers to the deflector dish and open a rupture in space-time, or whatever your imagination can come up with. I'll supply the physics, you supply the adventure.

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Will Star Trek run on Windows XP/2000/NT?

Yes. Some versions prior to 1.3 could not determine the Registration Code for an NT based machine, and needed the NT patch.  Versions 1.3 and later run just fine in all NT based operating systems, including Windows XP and Windows 2000.

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Why won't the computer raise my shields or remember my Library Options?

The Library Options are not saved when you play with the "General" options. To save your Library Options, Game Options, and Window Positions under your name, start a game using any name. Then click the "Options" button on the Command Bar. On the General tab, the bottom check box (Save Configuration by Name) should be checked. Click Yes to the "Are you sure?" message, then click OK.

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Why can't I change the number of colors in the SRS tab of the Options Window?

The quality setting only allows the selection of the ship pictures that are available.   Right now, only the 16 color version is available.  As more become available these options will be enabled.

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How may I get the registered version right away without ordering online?

In addition to online ordering, I also provide offline orders through Register Now!  Please use the Buy Now or Add to Cart links, and then select the payment method from the list on the Checkout page.  It has options like mailing a check and faxing in your order.

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If I have the CD-ROM version, can I upgrade?

The CD-ROM version may seem fixed, but in fact, it is just as upgradeable as the downloaded version. The Language Packs, Solar System Packs, and even future ship and planet packs all will work with the CD-ROM version. Simply apply them to the special folder C:\STCD which the CD places on your hard drive.

Star Trek and Solar System Designer version upgrades will be handled a little differently. When an upgrade is released, you will have the option of returning the Star Trek CD to get the latest version of all files including all add-on packs. The new files will be written to your CD and shipped back to you immediately.

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I upgrade my machine from time to time. Do I have to contact you for a new license code each time?

That is of course one solution, but a better one would be to obtain the new CD-ROM as it will work on any machine that meets the minimum system requirements.

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I have trouble getting the most out of the Solar System Designer, will you provide a tutorial?

Yes, I have an extensive step-by-step tutorial. I include it as part of the CD-ROM, and may soon be available in the download version.

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How do I use the Galactic Record?

The galactic record was designed by the original creators of the public domain Star Trek game. Each quadrant is assigned a three digit number. The first number is the number of Klingons in the quadrant, the second is the starbase number, if any, and the third number is the number of stars. The highlighted areas are the quadrants that you know are correct because you just scanned them. With version 1.2 and later, a CTRL+click will move you to that quadrant, or pressing the panel next to the Target Calculator button in the Library Computer window will "lock" the click-to-move feature in place. Also, when you use the control key or the panel, clicking the same sector twice in the Short Range Scan Window will take you to that sector. Clicking once in the SRS window, and then clicking in the Galactic Record window will move you to that quadrant and sector.

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Can I change the fonts in the game?

Yes, it is possible to use a different font for the game. From your Star Trek\Language folder, locate the file for your language. (For English-speaking users, it is USENGLSH.TXT) Double-click the file. The first few lines read:

SFont=Times New Roman

Changing these two lines to the name of your custom font, will change the font in Star Trek. Use "Font" for the main font for the game. "SFont" is for places where a serif font is used.

The font setup doesn't seem to work well for fixed-width fonts. Try to use a proportional font wherever possible.

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How do you make treaties with other worlds?

Treaties are formed when your starship encounters a planet which can make a treaty. The default planet messages do not contain any treaties. Therefore, to make a treaty, you will need to download a Solar System Pack which can form a treaty. Currently, only one solar system supports treaties. I expect there to be several more from people making their own systems with Solar System Designer. This program allows users to make their own systems, which may have treaties.

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How can I edit a scenario?

To edit a scenario, choose Game -> New.  In the New Game window, right-click the scenario you want to edit.  A menu pops up with Play, Edit, Copy, Rename, and Delete.  Choose Edit to bring up the custom scenario window with that scenario loaded into it.  Pressing Save & Close will save any changes on top of the scenario.  To change a scenario without losing the original, use the Copy option first.  Games with the Created by Andy3ware logo cannot be edited, renamed, or deleted, but may be copied.

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I see some scenarios have walls, but how can I add them to my own scenario?

To add walls, or to place units outside the area near their castle, just click the Advanced button on the Custom Game window, just below the starting position board. The window that comes up will allow you to add walls for the current player by right-clicking a cell and selecting Wall from the list. Units which are available for the game will also appear in the right-click menu. Make sure that the check box on the Advanced button is checked, or that one of the options for the game has Toggle Advanced as its action, otherwise the custom unit placement will not take effect.

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Can I add my own card backs?

Of course! Just add a bitmap (BMP) picture to the folder where you installed the game, and name it DeckXXX.bmp where XXX is anything you want. The picture should be 71x96 pixels, but will be stretched to fit the cards otherwise.

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Last Updated: July 08, 2004