play.net SIGN UP FOR FREE! | MEMBER LOGIN · LOGIN HELP 
HOME MY ACCOUNT GAMES STORE WIKI HELP

, News
, Forums
, Platinum
, Premium
, Shattered
, Box Office
, Downloads
Policies

eScape FAQ
Last Modified 9/23/01

ESCAPE INFO · ABOUT· FAQ · VERSION NOTES · FORUM

Welcome to the eScape Question and Answer page. You can either scroll through the entire list or click on a specific question directly below to go straight to the answer.

Q: What is different about eScape?
Q: The Wizard was fine, why do we need a new interface?
Q: Will the Wizard still be supported?
Q: What do I need to have to run it?
Q: What technologies are used in eScape?
Q: Why doesn't it support my browser?
Q: Does the version of Internet Explorer matter?
Q: I heard that Internet Explorer 6 has bugs, will eScape work with it?
Q: I heard that Internet Explorer 6 doesn't have Java, will eScape work with it?
Q: What is all this security stuff related to logs and exporting/importing settings?
Q: I always log when I play, how does eScape handle this?
Q: Where are the settings saved?
Q: How do I save my settings?
Q: What about scripting?
Q: How do I import my Wizard settings?

Q: How do I set up common settings between characters?
Q: Why aren't all of the Function Keys available for macros?
Q: I wanted to use the Enter Key on the keypad to repeat things like I did in the Wizard. What happened to it?
Q: How come I keep trying to use the numeric keypad for movement but get numbers? I did this with the number lock both on and off?
Q: I can't find my <window name> window, where is it?
Q: What's the progress bar that appears sometimes where I type?
Q: Where should I report eScape bugs?

 

Q: What is different about eScape?

A: eScape is very similar to the Wizard Front End, but uses Internet Explorer as its technology. This means that you do not have to install anything for eScape to work. In fact, you can use eScape from any computer, say a computer at a friend's house, so long as they have the minimum requirements. Best of all, the settings (text highlighting, window positions, etc.) are all saved on the server so you will have them when you play from some other computer.

eScape also allows for images to appear with the text. Character portraits, room illustrations and so forth will appear right along with the descriptions. And, unlike the Wizard, you do not need to download any art packs for this to work. As new art is added to the game, it just works.

The text windows of eScape are much smarter. They "stick" to the borders so they can grow automatically when you resize the main window, and you can be assured that your command input area and the main game window are never "off the screen" which can easily happen in the Wizard.

The Panels area on the right of eScape allows for various in-game and eScape specific windows. You can reorganize them, hide them and so forth. The whole panel can be hidden even. But the best part is that GameMasters can add new panels and you never need to update your software to use them. We expect new panels to arrive as soon as GameMasters learn how to create them.

Back to top of page

Q: The Wizard was fine, why do we need a new interface?

A: The main focus of eScape is for new users. We wanted to eliminate the problems associated with downloading and installing the launcher and then downloading and installing the Wizard just to play. Plus, using Internet Explorer allowed us some great new capabilities such as in-line images that downloaded on demand (just like a web page). All of this makes for a much smoother experience.

At the same time it will allow us to add things that the Wizard was not able to do for our current users. The "panes" you see on the right of the screen are configurable by GameMasters, and there are plans for adding new ones over time.

Back to top of page

Q: Will the Wizard still be supported?

A: Yes. The Wizard and Java interfaces to our games will be supported in parallel with eScape for the time being. This may change in the future.

Back to top of page

Q: What do I need to have to run it?

A: To run eScape you need to be running a version of Windows 95 or later. That includes 95, 98, 98se, ME, NT, 2000, XP, 7, 8, and beyond.

You need to be running a version of Microsoft Internet Explorer, version 5.0 or later. Some versions of IE may require a Java add-on, which you will be directed to automatically download.

There is not a version for Macintosh, or Linux currently. It may run in Linux under WinE, but this has not been tested.

Back to top of page

Q: What technologies are used in eScape?

A: eScape uses Internet Explorer for its base technology. We customize it primarily with JavaScript. We also use a small bit of Java code to manage the connection back to the server. Ideally we'd like to not use Java at all, but we haven't found a way around it yet.

Back to top of page

Q: Why doesn't it support my browser?

A: eScape only works with the Windows version of Internet Explorer 5.0 and above on Windows. We would love for it to work with Netscape and the Macintosh version of Internet Explorer but neither of those products supports the features necessary for it to work. In particular, they are missing the ability for JAVA to talk to JavaScript. If and when these features become available, we may look at making it work with these other browsers.

Back to top of page

Q: Does the version of Internet Explorer matter?

A: eScape will work with the Windows version of Internet Explorer, 5.0 and above. Unfortunately every time Microsoft releases a new version of Internet Explorer they introduce bugs. Internet Explorer 6.0 introduced some bugs which required a lot of work to get around. At this time, eScape works identically on all versions of Internet Explorer 5.0 and above.

Back to top of page

Q: I heard that Internet Explorer 6 has bugs, will eScape work with it?

A: Every version of Internet Explorer has bugs. We have worked to make eScape work with all versions 5.0 and above. Making eScape work with 6.0 was a challenge, but it should work identically.

Back to top of page

Q: I heard that Internet Explorer 6 doesn't have Java, will eScape work with it?

A: If you upgrade to Internet Explorer 6 on a computer that already has Java, Internet Explorer 6 will work fine. New installations of Windows XP do not include Java with Internet Explorer 6. When you go to use eScape it will tell you that you need to install the Java component to continue. This download is around 5MB. We regret that Microsoft has taken this approach (email them to complain!), especially since they didn't even bother to warn anyone. Once the download is complete you should be able to use eScape with no further problem. We are looking into an alternative to the Java component of eScape for Windows XP in the future.

Back to top of page

Q: What is all this security stuff related to logs and exporting/importing settings?

A: eScape uses Java to write settings or logs to your hard drive. But Java has very strict security measures to make sure no unauthorized party can send a Java program to your computer (by visiting a web page) that could write anything to your hard drive (like, say, a virus). This level of security is prudent, but makes it difficult for the average person to allow a program like eScape to do what it needs to do.

Ultimately you have to tell Internet Explorer that you want Java programs from www.play.net to have write access to your hard drive. When you do, you will be able to use the settings export and logging features of eScape. If you do not want to allow this, then these features are unavailable but eScape will otherwise work fine.

These two features, logging and file export, are the only types of file writes done from eScape at this time.

Click the button below for help on setting this up.

Back to top of page

Q: I always log when I play, how does eScape handle this?

A: The logging system built into eScape is MUCH more powerful than the one in the Wizard. In the Wizard you had two options, log everything, or log nothing. In eScape you can choose to have things like the arrivals window open (you want to see when your buddies/enemies are in or out) but not log! In the Wizard having all of that stuff cluttering up your log is no good and chews up space like you just unleashed the Tasmanian Devil in your hard drive! Now you can log only the main window, only the arrival window, only the thought window, or any combination.

If you have an event like a wedding you want to save, you can get just what happens there and none of that other junk that doesn't matter for it. In the future we plan to give you a choice as to where your logs are saved, but for now they go to the C:\ directory. For most windows users, you would double click on your "My Computer" icon and then double click on your C: drive to access them. Alternatively, just click on "File -> Open" from a browser menu and then browse the top level of your hard drive and they'll be right there. Logs number themselves in order, so they are easy to browse through. Logs are stored as HTML, so you can read them in Internet Explorer, the same program that made them,

To allow Internet Explorer to write to your hard drive for eScape, you must make some security setting adjustments.

Click the button below for information on how to do this.

Back to top of page

Q: Where are the settings saved?

A: All of your settings, such as window positions, text highlighting and so forth are saved on our servers right along with your character. Each character, in each game, has its own unique settings. So from whatever computer you play, you will have your favorite settings available! The only thing not stored on our server are any sound effects files you may reference. The scripts you will be able to write will be stored there as well, so moving from machine to machine (home, office, or on the road) will be as painless as possible.

Back to top of page

Q: How do I save my settings?

A: Any changes that you make in the eScape browser will automatically be saved on the Simutronics server. You don't need to specifically save anything. If, however, you'd like to keep a local copy of your settings (for example if you'd like to copy them to another character), you can do so by using the EXPORT command in the OPTIONS menu. This will save all of your eScape settings for that character in an XML file on your local hard drive. To copy the settings to another character, you can then log in with the character, select "Import Settings" from the Options button and choose which settings to import from which XML file. This feature exists because settings are saved on a character by character basis on our servers.

Back to top of page

Q: What about scripting?

A: eScape does not support scripting in version 1.0. We do plan on adding this feature soon. Currently we anticipate we will support the same scripting language as the Wizard so any existing scripts will work as-is and unlike the wizard, scripts will be stored on the server right along with your other settings.

Back to top of page

Q: How do I import my Wizard settings?

A: The "Import Settings" feature of eScape is designed only for importing eScape setting files, not Wizard setting files. This is useful for transferring settings from one character to another. There is no way to import Wizard settings; however we are working on a utility to convert Wizard setting files into eScape setting files and will have one available shortly.

Back to top of page

Q: How do I set up common settings between characters?

A: We do not have this capability currently; however you can export your settings and then import them on another character. The import feature allows for some selective importing so you can add (rather than overwrite) existing settings. We are looking into adding a common settings capability in the future.

Back to top of page

Q: Why aren't all the Function Keys available for macros?

A: Blame Microsoft. They decided that there were certain keys that they would not let you intercept from JavaScript, such as F5 (which means Refresh). Email Microsoft to complain! If you try to use a key combination that is not available, you will be told why. A list of all available keys will be available shortly.

Back to top of page

Q: I wanted to use the Enter Key on the keypad to repeat things like I did in the Wizard. What happened to it?

A: JavaScript under Internet Explorer is unable to detect the difference between the normal enter key and the numeric keypad enter key. Another "blame Microsoft!" issue.

Back to top of page

Q: How come I keep trying to use the numeric keypad for movement but get numbers? I did this with the number lock both on and off?

A: It's not you, but the right position is for NUM LOCK to be ON. When a component (window or panel) other than the input line is active, keys that have associated macros do not function as macros until the second time you press the key. This is because pressing the key once sets the input box as the active component, so pressing the key twice results in the macro being successfully sent to the input box. This is true on the number pad and for any ctrl-, alt-, ctrl-alt- shift-ctrl-, shift-alt-, or even shift-ctrl-alt- keys you are using. (That's a lot of key combinations the Wizard couldn't do!)

Confusing? Just press the intended macro key twice if you see something else in the input box rather than the macro.

Back to top of page

Q: I can't find my <window name> window, where is it?

A: When you turn on a window it just turns it on, but it is going to be under one of the other windows. To pull it to the front, just click on the name in the "Windows" panel and it'll pop right up!

Back to top of page

Q: What's the progress bar that appears sometimes where I type?

A: That's the round-time indicator. Remember, it's an estimate and may be off by a bit due to latency over the Internet. Having it appear faintly under your typing makes sense so that you don't have to look all over the screen for it.

Back to top of page

Q: Where should I report eScape bugs?

A: We have set up a message board specifically for eScape. There is a topic that deals solely with eScape bug issues. Any bugs found should be reported on that forum. You can find it here. Please read through the previously submitted bugs before posting yours to make sure you aren't submitting a duplicate. Keeping the forum clear of duplicates will help us to get to these bugs faster and fix them.

Back to top of page



Simutronics Corporation

Go Play!