Setup Files and Folders
|Download the server.zip file. This file will contain in it all required files needed to run a zone. Once you have downloaded this zip file, extract it to a NEW folder. A suggested location is \Subspace\Server\ or \Continuum\Server\. Please make sure that when you extract this zip file to use folder names. This is so the continuum client files are stored in a subfolder where the server will look for it.|
How To Edit Ini Files
|To go the folder you just extracted your server files to. You now need to open the server.ini file. This file is just a text file, and it is safe to open it with programs like Notepad or WordPad. To explain a bit on how data is stored into an ini file, you look at a few things. On one line, you can have a Key and a Value, which is separated by an equals = sign. An example is Key=Value. These Keys and Values also fall under a Section, which is always listed between braces [ ]. An example would be:|
The way in which this is labeled in help files or examples would be in this format: Section:Key:Value. So when someone says to change Custom:ArenaMode to 1, you need to find the [Custom] header, and then find the key ArenaMode, and set the value after the = to be 1. Another note to list here is that in ini files, lines beginning with ; // or # are comment lines. Anything in that the server ignores those lines when it checks settings. This is a safe way for you to temporarily remove certain values without having to delete the whole line. An example of a commented out line is:
Now you know what you need to understand how to edit any ini file. Cfg (example: server.cfg) files are the same way also, but in this help document, we will not be dealing with cfg files.
|In your server.ini, you will need to change a few values before you can run a zone. As a warning, do not edit other values at this time. Doing so may causes starting errors, and you will not have an older backup file to restore to, and will need to re-create the server.ini back from inside the server.zip.|
In the [Misc] section, you will need to change the DefaultLevelFile and the Port. Misc:DefaultLevelFile should be set to a map that is in your server folder. If you do not currently have a map, the server.zip came with a basic one named _bzw.lvl, and you would not need to change this value. If you do have a map already made, rename the Misc:DefaultLevelFile to the map name, including the .lvl on the file name. For the Misc:Port value, set this number to any value ranging between 1000 and 30000. Many programs usually never use this range, so the ports should be open. If you have a program using a certain port number or a range, do not set it to that value. A good starting port number would be one such as 7000. If problems do come around with this port number, try another number 100 larger than the last, such as 7100. Do not use 4991 or 185, since the billing server and the directory servers use theses ports.
In the [Password] section, you will need to set many passwords used by the zone to control access to the server from in game. The Password:SysopPassword will be one you will be using a lot, for this allows you to use all * and ? commands available, letting you have the highest control in your zone. The Password:SuperModeratorPassword is the next range down, with the Password:ModeratorPassword being the lowest. For information about what commands each level can use, please visit the commands page on my Server Help (http://www.shanky.com/server/) page. The Password:EnergyPassword is the password people can use to turn on or off public energy viewing. The Password:VIPPassword is not used anymore.
Please note, with the Passwords you set above, do NOT start them with *’s, for the server will do that for you. Do not set your Password:SysopPassword to *sysoppw, but instead set it to sysoppw. Only when you are logging into a zone, or are already in the zone, will you add the starting *.
In the [Billing] section, set a random value into the Billing:Password, but also write this value down. You will never have to use this value from inside SubSpace, but only in your server.ini files or subbill.ini files, so feel free to set it to some weird random value.
The Billing:ServerName value should be set to what you want your zone to be named. If you want it to be named My Cool Zone, set the Billing:ServerName to that value. Do not falsely put certain zone servers signatures on your zone, such as SSCU My Cool Zone or T3 My Cool Zone, because then those zone hosting servers will be mad at you, and for good reasons. If you wish to put your own zone signature on your zone name, such as I myself use MGB> in front, feel free to.
The Billing:ServerId is used by the billing server to determine a number for your zone when saving stats for it. A suggestion I recommend is setting this value to the same on you used for your Misc:Port. The Billing:ScoreId is used by the billing server for which scores it will be stored under, and another good suggestion is to use the Misc:Port for this value also.
The last section you would need to edit is the [Directory]. Set the Directory:Description to describe your zone in a few words. A suggested limit would be only 50 words max. A few Continuum features also run off this value. If you will be running your zone off a computer in which your IP number changes often, I highly recommend setting a fake DNS value into this description. You can do so by adding ss://yourzonename.subspace.fake.com. If you do have a DNS always pointing to your current IP, set that ss:// to your DNS name. If you wish to have your zone’s website or extra links listed in Continuum’s web link folder, add (Title)http://www.url.com/ into your description. You can have as many as you want, but I suggest limiting it to 5 because you do have a limit on your description length. A suggested description for a test zone is this:
Welcome to my Test Zone, created by Mine GO BOOM. (Server Help)http://www.shanky.com/server/ (Help Board)http://www.shanky.com/cgi-bin/ryan/config.cgi ss://mytestzone.shanky.com
Now the last thing you need to set is the Directory:NamePassword. Feel free to set this to a random string again, because only a few directory servers even use this. Some directory servers use this password to keep zones from having their zone start with SSCE and such.
Now you can save your changes and then close your server.ini since you are now done editing it.
|Open up your subbill.ini. Set the Misc:SysopPassword to a password value you wish to use. You will most likely never use this password, but it is there incase you would even need to, so set it to a random string if you wish. If you would need to use this, you can always look it up in the subbill.ini anyways. Now set the Misc:BillingPassword the same as you had in your server.ini’s Billing:Password. If they are not the same exactly, the server will not connect with the billing server.|
Save your changes and then close the subbill.ini.
Testing Zone Out
|You now have your zone’s settings ready for actual use. Time to test it. First, open your subbill.exe. The DOS prompt screen should open with it saying the current date, then the subbill’s version, followed by a line which will have numbers that will constantly grow. This is normal.|
Now, open your subgame2.exe file. If it closes instantly, you the map listed in the server.ini Misc:DefaultLevelFile is bad, in that it is either misspelled, or that the map does not exist. You will need to fix the map setting if your subgame closes once you open it. If it does load up, it will print out a few debugging lines, and then it will attempt to connect to billing server. At this time, the program’s DOS prompt screen’s title will rename itself to your zone’s name. If your server, after about 20 seconds, does not print out “Billing server connected,” you may have a few problems. Check your subbill screen, and see if there is any errors listed. If a line is there saying wrong password, check your server.ini’s Billing:Password with your subbill.ini’s Misc:BillingPassword. They both need to be exactly the same password. If something else happens instead, feel free to check the FAQ section on my site for any extra help. If you still have problems, post information about your problem on the website’s Questions Board.
NOTE: The correct way to close these programs is to select that program’s DOS prompt screen, and hit SHIFT+F12. The program should print out something about it closing down, and then within a few seconds, should shutdown the DOS screen. Also, always close all subgame’s windows first, so they can submit their scores to the subbill. If you do not close the programs down this way and shutting down the subbill last, you may lose your scores, or worse yet, corrupt data files.
If your server connected to your subbill, now you need to try and log into your zone. Open up subspace or continuum, and click Find Servers or Zones, and search the downloaded list for your zone name. Please note; you may have to wait up to a full minute before your zone name will be listed on the directory servers. If you have any problems with this, check on my Server Help website for more information.
Once you have added your zone to your current zone list, try connecting to it. If when connecting to your zone, after you have created your name, it gives you a Password error, try creating another name. This is a normal error, and after you have created a second name, you should be fine. If your second name errors also, check my website.
If you can enter your zone, download your news and map, and can fly around, your setup worked perfectly. Good job.
Backing Up Server
|Once your zone is working fine, I’d highly recommend creating a Backup folder in your server folder. Copy your server.ini and subbill.ini there, and probably rename them to include the current date (example: server-12-25-2000.ini). When you make major changes to either of these files, I recommend backing them up, after you have found that they work. I’d also highly recommend backing up your server.cfg and maps also, since I have seen all too many times when people have accidentally copied a test server.cfg over their own custom made one, losing lots of work.|
|To receive a text version of this How To: Make a Zone, click here.|