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The Template How-To Thread


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7 hours ago, Apocalypse 31 said:

Let me know if you need help making a template. 

Thanks.  I have templates made but the naming conventions always confuse me as well as what is needed where file wise.  I seem to be able to delete something and when trying to load the template I wind up with a single mech infantry platoon.  So I figured just loading the scenario, which includes the call sign templates, would allow everyone to save it as a template and/or break it down into individual templates as they see fit.

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5 hours ago, TSe419E said:

It's more the relationships between these four items.

SS_10_45_51 2.jpg

Well, you're expected to enter a title in the Title form field that is somewhat descriptive; the default gives a unique identifier in that it includes date and time, but that's usually less than helpful.

The Filename is separate from that (you may change it if you have your own naming convention, which would make it easier to identify in the Windows File Explorer, obviously --- but it's not required).

The Category names are actually subdirectories within the Template folder,

and Templates lists your own creations or your downloads in those Category subdirectories. By default, you save in Default (duh).

Obviously, the Description is the field where, if nowhere else, you should describe in non-ambiguous terms what kind of formation this template will create.

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1 hour ago, Ssnake said:

Well, you're expected to enter a title in the Title form field that is somewhat descriptive; the default gives a unique identifier in that it includes date and time, but that's usually less than helpful.

The Filename is separate from that (you may change it if you have your own naming convention, which would make it easier to identify in the Windows File Explorer, obviously --- but it's not required).

The Category names are actually subdirectories within the Template folder,

and Templates lists your own creations or your downloads in those Category subdirectories. By default, you save in Default (duh).

Obviously, the Description is the field where, if nowhere else, you should describe in non-ambiguous terms what kind of formation this template will create.

So far I still have no figured out how to make and safe templates, is there an SB wiki on it?

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Open the Mission Editor with an empty scenario. Add your units. Mark tehm all, tight-click, Save to Template...

 

That, at least, is how I remember it. Haven't touched that in a while, though. What sayeth the User's Manual?

 

Page 24:

Quote

Unit and Callsign Templates

Unit and Callsign Templates are located in their own dedicated folders. In addition, the program distinguishes between “shared” and “personal” files. The latter are stored in the “Personal” hierarchy (see above) in the “My Unit Templates” and “'My Callsign Templates” folders. The “common” version of these folders (located in the %PROGRAMDATA% hierarchy) are called simply “Unit Templates” and “Callsign Templates”.

 

The “Personal” folders will only ever hold templates created by the user (and thereby remain on the harddisk after uninstalling Steel Beasts).

 

Unit templates

When loading Steel Beasts, the content of “common” and “personal” folders are merged; depending on the user's Windows access privileges to the “common” folder the application will save newly created templates either to the “common” or the “shared” directory:

      Entirely new unit templates are always saved in “My Unit Templates\Default

      When changing or renaming an existing unit template, its location depends on the user's access privileges and the original file location:

·         If the original file was located in the “My Unit Templates” hierarchy, it will always remain in that hierarchy.

·         If it was located in the “Unit Templates” (=shared) hierarchy, it will be copied into the “My Unit Templates” hierarchy if the user does not possess sufficient rights to change/rename the original file.

 

Page 78:

Quote

Formation Templates

Creating mixed platoons or changing the equipment properties of units can be a tiresome procedure. It is best to do this only once and then to save a force structure as a unit template.

 

Templates allow the mission designer to combine multiple units into one 'formation' and to store this as a file for later reuse. Steel Beasts will store all formation and combatant-specific information (including relative position), except for conditional properties (e.g. 'spawn if', 'damage if'); things like route settings will not be stored.

 

In order to generate such a template the mission designer has to mark one or more units, then right-click and select Save To Template. Doing so will then bring up the Manage Templates dialog with the newly generated template selected. Here the user can then edit the template's title, description and filename.

 

There are two ways of creating units from a template: the first is to right-click on a point on the map, then select New unit… From template and select a template from the list of templates shown in the popup menu that will appear. Clicking such an entry will bring up a dialogue prompting the user to select the ID of the company the units should be inserted into. Once that is done the units should be generated on the map. The second way is similar to the first, however, the user should not directly click on one of the templates in the popup menu but rather select the Manage templates option - this will bring up the corresponding dialog, which allows to place units for a given template on the map.

 

Note that Steel Beasts will check if the units contained within a given template 'fit' into a company already existing on a map. If there are not enough unused callsign identifiers within one company, its IDs will just not be offered to the user. There are two categories of templates:

 

1.      Templates containing only units from a single company (no XO or CO units) and

2.      Templates spanning multiple companies or containing XO or CO units.

 

Templates of type (2) require that no callsign ID of the company has already being assigned to any unit in the current scenario while for type (1) templates simply the next available 'slot' will be chosen (e.g. if the template contains 3 units, the user elects to put them into company A on the map, but there is already unit 2/A on the map, the created units will be assigned the callsigns 1/A, 3/A and 4/A respectively, skipping the already existing unit).

 

Templates can be organized into various categories. By default, there exists only one Default category.  It is however possible to add one’s own to a different folder located within the base templates folder.Note that moving templates into this category also has to be done by using the Windows Explorer - there is currently no way to do this within Steel Beasts.  Please refer to the chapter “Unit and Callsign Templates” for the exact location of these templates in the file system!

 

Templates are divided into three categories:

-        ones that contain only units from a single platoon ('platoon template')

-        ones that contain only units from a single company ('company template')

-        ones that contain units from multiple companies ('battalion template')

 

As the name implies, 'platoon' templates require an empty (available) platoon upon creation, 'company' templates require an empty company and 'battalion' templates require a completely blank slate (i.e. no units for a given party may exist).

 

In the Manage templates dialog, the template category will be indicated by a '[ P ]', '[ C ]' or '[ B ]' prefix to the template's title.

 

Only units from the 'platoon' templates will change their platoon specifier (i.e. a unit which was called '1/A' in the template will be created as '3/A'). Units from other template types will keep their identifiers - this way callsigns (as generated via callsign template(s)) will apply to the correct units and the feature is a bit more robust in general).

For 'platoon templates' the user may specify the company in which the units are to be created.

 

Old templates (prior to version 3.0) are automatically placed into the 'battalion' category. The best way to update them is to save them into a scenario (while still using an old SB version 2.7 … 2.9), and then to create a new template from that scenario file.

 

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5 hours ago, Grenny said:

So far I still have no figured out how to make and safe templates, is there an SB wiki on it?

Pretty easy honestly. 

 

SS_20_37_36.thumb.jpg.8f15478ece2be2ae6e9daf93a16e4142.jpg

 

Step 1. Place down some units. Customize them to your liking, then drag select, right click, and click on "Save to Template."

 

SS_20_38_13.thumb.jpg.faae5821b166c628a1bfb0c1dfc5af8e.jpg

Step 2. Give the template a filename, title, and description. I write my template descriptions in a .txt file, and then copy and past it into the description box (control-c to copy, control-v to paste.)

 

The .txt file templates that I use are here: 

 

 

Step 3. Click on "Save" when you are done.

 

Pretty easy. Also, Steel Beasts will automatically decide if it is a Company or Battalion Level template. This is based on if all units are in one company (company sized) or if more than one company is used (battalion sized.) 

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@Mirzayev  @SsnakeMy issue is that saving seems to make two connected files, the original "New Template (date + time)" which is saved in the default file, and another file named whatever you put in the file name and saved where you indicate in the "Category" section.  The "Title" and "Description" doesn't seem to be used anywhere that I can see.  The problem I have is the default fills up fast and there is no way to scroll up or down when there are more entries than space to display them.  Deleting the wrong ones gets the afore mentioned Mech platoon instead of the desired template.

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1 hour ago, Mirzayev said:

Pretty easy honestly. 

 

SS_20_37_36.thumb.jpg.8f15478ece2be2ae6e9daf93a16e4142.jpg

 

Step 1. Place down some units. Customize them to your liking, then drag select, right click, and click on "Save to Template."

 

SS_20_38_13.thumb.jpg.faae5821b166c628a1bfb0c1dfc5af8e.jpg

Step 2. Give the template a filename, title, and description. I write my template descriptions in a .txt file, and then copy and past it into the description box (control-c to copy, control-v to paste.)

 

The .txt file templates that I use are here: 

 

 

Step 3. Click on "Save" when you are done.

 

Pretty easy. Also, Steel Beasts will automatically decide if it is a Company or Battalion Level template. This is based on if all units are in one company (company sized) or if more than one company is used (battalion sized.) 

Sure, that what I try...but the safe buttons stay grayed out...so that doesn't seem to work here....

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1 hour ago, Ssnake said:

That indicates a lack of write privileges to the target folder. See the section on pg 24 (per my quote above).

Hmm, weird...the file is in the documents folder for steelbeasts  ("my unit templates")

 

That one is set to writing protected...and even in admin mode I can not remove the writing protection...odd

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RIght-click, security tab, change settings (requires admin password), then check owners. May be required that you "take ownership" from that folder. Did you copy it from a different machine, per chance, on NTFS formatted media? Or reinstall Windows lately?

Because then all the original user credentials are kept, and may now belong to a user account that this Windows installation doesn't know. Admin rights don't mean you can access everything, it means you may unlock everything for you (but the unlocking part can't be bypassed).

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7 hours ago, Ssnake said:

RIght-click, security tab, change settings (requires admin password), then check owners. May be required that you "take ownership" from that folder. Did you copy it from a different machine, per chance, on NTFS formatted media? Or reinstall Windows lately?

Because then all the original user credentials are kept, and may now belong to a user account that this Windows installation doesn't know. Admin rights don't mean you can access everything, it means you may unlock everything for you (but the unlocking part can't be bypassed).

Windows update may be the culprit.

Had to adjust ownership...not tested yet...

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What I never understand is the sequence.

 

Do I create the grouping and just type the filename in, or do I rename the filename that seems to appear automatically?

 

Do I just accept the default and then within Windows rename the file to what I want?

 

Then there seems to be a limit to the number of templates you can save (lots at the Platoon level, not many at Company and very few at Battalion).

 

After the usual frustrating hour or two, I tend to give up and just save the "template" as a mission file.

 

Then a few months later I resolve to try again, have the same frustration and then give up all over again.

 

To me (and please don't take this personally) I think like many things in the manual is it documented but relies on a bunch of assumed knowledge. The person writing the manual knows how to do it and unintentionally skips steps because they know how to do it.

 

Perhaps the Manual writer should not be a member of the development team and just look at the issue with a new set of eyes? Of course that assumes the team is big enough to support a dedicated technical writer. :)

 

Edited by Gibsonm
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49 minutes ago, Gibsonm said:

What I never understand is the sequence.

 

Do I create the grouping and just type the filename in, or do I rename the filename that seems to appear automatically?

 

Do I just accept the default and then within Windows rename the file to what I want?

 

Then there seems to be a limit to the number of templates you can save (lots at the Platoon level, not many at Company and very few at Battalion).

 

After the usual frustrating hour or two, I tend to give up and just save the "template" as a mission file.

 

Then a few months later I resolve to try again, have the same frustration and then give up all over again.

 

To me (and please don't take this personally) I think like many things in the manual is it documented but relies on a bunch of assumed knowledge. The person writing the manual knows how to do it and unintentionally skips steps because they know how to do it.

 

Perhaps the Manual writer should not be a member of the development team and just look at the issue with a new set of eyes? Of course that assumes the team is big enough to support a dedicated technical writer. :)

 

I agree that it's a bit confusing. What I do that seems to work is to:

1- Select the units and Save to Template.

2- Go to Default and find the created template. Rename it.

3- Find the renamed template within the others and modify its title and description. Save it.

 

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8 hours ago, Ssnake said:

Having to search for and to rename template files, for starters.

Oh, no, if there was a problem, for me, it was the confusion for not being intuitive. It took me years to figure out that this feature was in fact not bugged. Really, for years I tried to make templates but never managed. For me, it was not evident that after you clicked "save to template", a unnamed and untitled file was automatically created. Referring generally, usually when you click to save anything and a dialog opens up, it is for the user to browse a location and name or rename a file to be saved. So I was actually following that common sense not knowing that I should locate a file in a default folder that was already saved in order to name and rename it. If anything, there is no problem, just a bit unorthodox.

 

Edited by stormrider_sp
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