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AoW1 Play By Email (Turn Logs)
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Topic Subject: Age of Wonders Email Wrapper: Autosend working through GMail / AOL / Hotmail / Yahoo etc
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posted 12-08-10 08:42 AM EDT (US)   

Hello everyone;
This is my first post on this forum. I've been playing this game (AoW 1) on and off for about ten years now, it's never worn off for me.

Anyway, a few weeks ago, an old friend of mine and I were talking about it and he gave me the idea to write this program. It's currently in BETA test and I am looking for people to volunteer to help test it. It's also going to be free and will have no annoying adverts or any rubbish.

I am sure everyone is aware of how fiddly it can be to get Age of Wonders to auto send emails correctly, especially nowadays it is quite common for SMTP servers to use SSL or sending authentication. It is also quite common for people to rent a house where the landlord provides the internet access and tenants donít have access to create email accounts directly from the ISP theyíre on. So, here we have the solution; the Age of Wonders Email Wrapper.

The program is a .Net windows app that pretends to be a lightweight SMTP server that the game understands, you just point the game at the local loop back IP address or 'localhost' and Autosend your emails. It takes the game email in and then sends it on via Google or whatever and using SSL if necessary. It also downloads emails too, it has periodic polling system. Currently only over IMAP, but I am going to add POP3 support too. So it takes all the pain away from messing about with drop downs, browsing to folders etc which you would usually have to do with manual email sending.

The program has a couple of configuration forms for you to set up your email settings, rather like you have in Outlook etc. It will then sit in the system tray and notify you with a sound and by changing its icon to an envelope when you have an email game come in. I am also going to add a load config and save config feature which will allow people to send their config file to a friend if they want them to do their turn for them during a period of absence or whatever. Gmail etc can be accessed from anywhere so the program lends itself well to being able to do this.

Currently I have a few people testing it over here and itís working very well. If anyone here would like to give this a go then please leave a message for me on here and Iíll get in touch with you.

Thanks for reading everyone, Iíll post some screen shots of this on here soon!
All the best


Edit: Added the diagram above.

[This message has been edited by Davespice (edited 06-02-2011 @ 05:14 PM).]

posted 06-28-11 08:06 AM EDT (US)     61 / 69  

I am doing some further work to the Wrapper to allow the program to be translated into various languages. Itís not going to have any more functionality or features, just all the text displayed or output can now appear in any language.

There is about 100 ish text strings which consist of words and phrases which I will need volunteers to translate for me (for each language). I can only get so far with Google Translate!

Please email me if you would like to help.
P.S. I know this pic of the Wrapper in French is probably very wrong!!

[This message has been edited by Davespice (edited 06-28-2011 @ 08:27 AM).]

posted 08-08-11 09:59 AM EDT (US)     62 / 69  
Dear all;

Today I watched this video on youtube.
And I could see parallels with the Age of Wonders Email Wrapper

You know who you are! *squinted/pointed look*

For those of you who have already made the 'jump', thank you for supporting my work Further work is in the pipeline to improve the Wrapper even more. As mentioned above we will have the new language options, the Languages to be supported are English, French, German, Spanish, Dutch, Polish, Greek and Russian.

HellBrick and I have also been working together to make the Wrapper more user friendly and intuitive. The aim being to maximise the turn-key factor. We are going to add an email account creation wizard where the user will be able to choose from popular email providers like GMail, Hotmail and Yahoo and then just specify their email address and password to get up and running.

Below is a screen shot of the new look Accounts tab, showing my accounts that I use at home. I have one GMail, one Hotmail, one Yahoo and a custom one which is another copy of my GMail account. Note the Incoming and Outgoing Email tabs are now on this screen and not on their own top level tabs. I think most of us will agree it makes more sense this way.

Anyway, that's all for now! I will do another announcement just prior to when we next release the code!

posted 10-08-11 01:34 PM EDT (US)     63 / 69  
The new Wrapper is now ready to enter it's beta test phase.
I am sending out the drop box invites to those of you who have been helping with the translations, if anyone doesn't get an invite, but wants one, please send me an email and I'll invite you to join the dev folder.

The main purpose of the testing is to check for bugs and to scrutinise the translations for grammar and spelling errors. Corrections emailed directly to me please.

Thanks all!
posted 12-06-11 03:40 AM EDT (US)     64 / 69  

The new version of the Wrapper is now available to download!

This version is a LOT easier to set up, it just needs your email address and login password. It also supports 10 languages. English, French, German, Spanish, Dutch, Danish, Polish, Finnish, Romanian, Greek and Russian. There are also various UI and usability improvements.

If you are upgrading from the previous version, please uninstall the old version before installing this new one. So exit the Wrapper if it's running, Control Panel / Add Remove Programs - Uninstall the Wrapper from there. It will keep your old config!


[This message has been edited by Davespice (edited 12-06-2011 @ 03:46 AM).]

posted 12-16-11 10:01 AM EDT (US)     65 / 69  
Triumph Studios has just posted some news about the Wrapper on their twitter and facebook pages.

Arnout Sas had this to say;
Hi David!

I have just given it a try and I find it much completer than last time. Great work! I have posted some twitter and facebook news!

Except for some details, the dutch translation is perfect...
Thanks for the support!
posted 12-16-11 11:07 AM EDT (US)     66 / 69  
What an honour! Awesome!

Token Irish Gamer!
posted 02-28-12 05:23 AM EDT (US)     67 / 69  
Hi everyone, I just thought I would mention that I can be contacted on IRC ( or Channel #AoW. If you need help with the Wrapper.
posted 03-20-12 09:55 AM EDT (US)     68 / 69  
Ladies and gents. There is going to be a maintenance build of the Wrapper out soon. There wonít be any new features or enhancements though. It will just contain a few corrections to the translations, slight changes to the automatic settings that are created for some email providers and a fix for one actual bug.

I want to make you all aware of this bug though. To get it you need to have your check email interval set to 1 minute and then leave your PC on for several days continuously. The bug manifests as an error bubble saying "A generic error occurred in GDI+" whenever the Wrapper checks for email (either automatically or if you poll now). You can work around the issue by just restarting the Wrapper though.

Now most people will never ever see this issue which is why it took so long to be noticed. Most users have their check email interval set to 10 minutes or more and they donít always leave their PC on. The problem is actually caused by a bug within the Microsoft .NET framework which has never been fixed. Microsoft bug ID 345656. So the error occurs when the Wrapper is trying to set the System Tray icon to the pointy arrow that you see during a poll. The fix encodes the Icon using some binary Stream writers now instead of using the built in Microsoft function. It has been tested, for several days, and does successfully fix the issue.

Anyway, most of you are unlikely to ever see this Ė so you donít really need to upgrade your copy of the Wrapper either. But if you do see this issue youíll know what to do. Iíll do another post here when build is available for download.
posted 03-29-12 06:41 AM EDT (US)     69 / 69  
Official maintenance build out now. If you want to upgrade, please uninstall the previous version (your data and config will not be lost). Then download and install this new version. Link in my signature below.
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