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Empire Deluxe Combined Edition

The latest in the classic Empire Series of games, which has spanned almost five decades. · By Killer Bee Software

Play-by-mail (PBM) machine died/replaced

A topic by gfilipski created Oct 05, 2022 Views: 220 Replies: 5
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Hi all!

I have a four-player (two computer players) play by mail game in progress which has been switched back and forth from network play to PBM several times - this all works great and is somewhat amazing!

The problem we're having is that one of the machines died.  The machine was replaced and Empire Combined was reloaded on the new machine (second player's new machine, same version of Empire).  When the saved PBM game (Linux machine, P2 turn 214) is sent from the first player to the new machine/second player (WIndows machine) it loads with questions about the "new" user (even though the account name added on the new machine is supposedly the same) and asks for a password before starting up.  From this point the turn plays normally on the new machine and the PBM saved game (now @ P1 turn 215) is sent back to the other player (the player that started the game).  When the first player tries to load the game (P1 turn 215) back on the first machine the message

is displayed.

We're going to try copying the game data directory from the old hard disk to the new hard disk -- I expect this may "fix" the problem, but the question of how to handle something like this remains if the hard disk was actually the thing that died.

Other than editing of accounts, the manual doesn't seem to address this... but the account name on the new machine is (believed to be) the same as on the old machine so the "key" being complained about is (probably) not the problem.

Does the name of the new account on the new machine need to be different?

If "archive" is the answer, then it would have to be archived by the first player in a state where it wasn't ready for the second player.  How do things get into sync again?

How does one handle picking up an in progress PBM game on a new installation?




Sounds like a bug. Could the broken pbm file be sent to

(2 edits)

RE: Could the broken...

Yes, there's nothing special about the game.

My only concern is that we've done something dumb...  we're going to try exporting the account on the second/broken machine (which has been resurrected into a crippled state) and importing it onto the new machine -- results from that attempt should be available by COB tomorrow.  But my my last question is probably still pertinent.  If the second machine had completely died, what should we have done to get things going again or is a backup mandatory in this case (or was this supposed to have worked?)?

If we haven't wandered off of the reservation, haven't forgotten some step and aren't trying to do something dumb - I have the save game files for what was described above as P1 T214 (first machine sends to second - no problem at this point), and also the response from the new, second machine to the first (P2 T215) which won't load on the first machine and gives the error.  Both are approx 380KB each.  Would you also need player account names & passwords?

Which (or both) do you need/want (assuming that you still think this might be a bug).




The scenario you describe has supposedly been accounted for. Another "account" can take over a position for an account that can no longer participate. Playing as that new player and knowing the old password should allow that new account to resume play.  

This makes me think  due to the error message that it is possible using the _same_ account name before (not player name but account name) or there is some path a little further down the line that is not in line with this procedure.

As far as having account info, I do not need it. I would like to have the game before the machine crash player takes the turn and after the machine crash player.

If you have managed to resurrect the machine, if he can copy the Game Data Directory set of files (everything) get them off machine and place them over the appropriate location on the new machine, then life should be able to continue without any interruption for that player - including the old account.  The location of this is approximately  in the AppData/LocalLow/KBSW/EmpireDeluxe directory - or it can be configured as a different directory.

Game saves were emailed...


I've discovered that the events leading up to the problem are somewhat confused and may not be exactly as reported.  We've managed to side-step the problem and continue the game by temporarily running the game on the old machine and using a different machine's email.

I'm going to try and duplicate the events that led up to our problem (so far it seems to have been an email problem and does not appear to be a hardware problem as it seemed at first) and will re-email you games if we manage to duplicate the problem.