• 6. Activity Questions

    TrainSim.Com Train Simulator FAQ

    Frequently Asked Questions About MSTS

    6. ACTIVITY QUESTIONS

    
    WHAT KIND OF ACTIVITIES ARE THERE?
    
    
    Activities are divided into two general types, passenger and freight.
    Passenger activities involve following a timetable while travelling
    between stations. Freight activities generally involve moving and
    switching freight cars with less emphasis on time.
    
    Activities can range from simple to complex, and include duties such
    as sorting cars in a yard, picking up and dropping off cars at
    industries, driving a freight over the mainline, or trying to keep a
    passenger train on-time.
    
    
    
    CAN I CREATE MY OWN ACTIVITIES?
    
    
    Yes. One of the many tools included with MSTS is the Activity Editor
    which allows you to create a wide range of activities. Note, though,
    that this is a moderately complex and powerful tool and involves use
    of logic similar to computer programming.
    
    
    
    HOW LONG DO THE ACTIVITIES TAKE?
    
    
    The included activities range in length from 15 minutes to a couple
    of hours. For instance, a yard switching task could be relatively
    short (like a switching puzzle found in some railroad magazines)
    while any trips on the main line will take a while. User created
    activities can be of any duration and complexity.
    
    
    
    ARE SWITCHES PRE-SET DURING ACTIVITIES?
    
    
    During some activities, yes. If you're doing an activity involving a
    lot of switching, such as making up a train, or making pick-ups and
    deliveries at industries, you will be able to throw your own
    switches. If you're going to be running across a route, such as on a
    passenger or freight run, the switches will be set for you.
    
    Even in free mode, though, you may need to pay attention to switch
    settings. Some of the free mode default switch settings send you into
    dead ends or otherwise off the main line.
    
    
    
    HOW DO I MAKE THE ACTIVITY UNPACKER WORK IF I'M USING WINDOWS 98?
    
    
    After a session with a friend I belive I have a way to make the
    Unpacker work for anyone.  The following assumes you are running
    Windows 98 and have a default install. If you don't have a default
    install I'm sure you can figure out the changes necessary.
    
    I will try to spell this out in a step by step fashion.
    
    1. Open a folder with a packaged activity in it.
    
    2. From the tool bar at the top of the folder select "View" then
    "Folder Options".
    
    3. Select the "File Types" tab.
    
    4. Scroll down the list of Registered file types untill you find
    "Packaged Activity".
    
    5. Highlight the Packaged activity and press the Remove buttong. Dont
    let the warning box scare you were going to fix that in the next few
    steps.
    
    6. Now select the "View" tab of the folder options.
    
    7. Look under the Advanced settings for a check box labeled "Hide
    file extensions for known file types". Make sure this check box is
    NOT checked.
    
    8. Click the okay button and you should be back at the folder.
    
    9. Look in the folder contents for a file with the .apk extension and
    right click on it. Select the "open with" option.
    
    10. The open with dialog box should open. Select the "Other" button.
    
    11. Now navigate your way to "C:/Program Files/Microsoft Games/Train
    Simulator/Utils/tsunpack.exe". Highlight that and click okay. You
    will return to the open witih dialog box.
    
    12. Press the Okay button of the open with dialog box. You will
    recive an error message stating the all too familiar "Failed to open
    package". Now dont cry were almost done. Click the okay button and
    you should return to the folder again.
    
    13. Select from the folder tool bar "Views" then "Folder Options" and
    select the File Types Tab. Look familiar ? Good.  There is one change
    though you will now find a listing for APK File.
    
    14. Highlight that listing and press the "Edit" button.
    
    15. In the Actions box high light the "open" and press the edit
    button. You should see "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Train
    Simulator\UTILS\tsunpack.exe" in the Application used to perform
    action box. If not lather rinse repeat (steps 1 through 14).
    
    16. Now edit the listing in the App. used box and add the "%1" to the
    end. Dont forget the space. It should now read "C:\Program
    Files\Microsoft Games\Train Simulator\UTILS\tsunpack.exe" "%1" press
    the okay button.
    
    17. Press the close button for the edit file type box.
    
    18. Press the close button for the Folder options box.
    
    19. Now two click the .apk file. You should get a box that says
    "Unpackaged Activity to ..." Guess what ! It now works !
    
    I gotta post the usual disclaimer about not accepting responsibility
    for anything that may happen by performing the actions here in. Sigh,
    however this little excercise should be relatively harmless.
    
    Additional Information:
    
    I've also got a Win98 system and ran it under the command line in DOS
    as mentioned above...
    
    C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Train Simulator\UTILS>tsunpack
    "csx_intermodal_k_train1.apk"
    
    This seems to have done the trick. I actually got it to unpack. Now
    I'm going to see if I can play it.
    
    
    
    HOW DO I MAKE THE ACTIVITY UNPACKER WORK IF I'M USING WINDOWS ME?
    
    
    These are Ulterior's Instructions to be used only if using Windows
    ME. Due to difference in the buttons on ME compared to 98.
    
    
    After a session with a friend I belive I have a way to make the
    Unpacker work for anyone.  The following assumes you are running
    Windows 98 and have a default install. If you dont have a default
    install Im sure you can figure out the changes necessary (wink).  I
    must give credit where credit is due and thanks too leemon for
    finding the key to this solution puzzle.
    
    I will try to spell this out in a step by step fashion.
    
    1. Open a folder with a packaged activity in it.
    
    2. From the tool bar at the top of the folder select "Tools" then
    "Folder Options".
    
    3. Select the "File Types" tab.
    
    4. Scroll down the list of Registered file types untill you find
    "Packaged Activity".
    
    5. Highlight the Packaged activity and press the Delete buttong. Dont
    let the warning box scare you were going to fix that in the next few
    steps.
    
    6. Now select the "View" tab of the folder options.
    
    7. Look under the Advanced settings for a check box labeled "Hide
    file extensions for known file types". Make sure this check box is
    NOT checked.
    
    8. Click the apply then okay button and you should be back at the folder.
    
    9. Look in the folder contents for a file with the .apk extension and
    right click on it. Select the "open with" option.
    
    10. The open with dialog box should open. Select the "Other" button.
    
    11. Now navigate your way to "C:/Program Files/Microsoft Games/Train
    Simulator/Utils/tsunpack.exe". Highlight that and click open. You
    will return to the open witih dialog box.
    
    12. Press the Okay button of the open with dialog box. You will
    recive an error message stating the all too familiar "Failed to open
    package". Now dont cry were almost done. Click the okay button and
    you should return to the folder again.
    
    13. Select from the folder tool bar "Tools" then "Folder Options" and
    select the File Types Tab. Look familiar ? Good.  There is one change
    though you will now find a listing for APK File.
    
    14. Highlight that listing and press the "Advanced" button located
    near the bottom of the box.
    
    15. In the Actions box high light the "open" and press the edit
    button. You should see "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Train
    Simulator\UTILS\tsunpack.exe" in the Application used to perform
    action box. If not lather rinse repeat (steps 1 through 14).
    
    16. Now edit the listing in the App. used box and add the "%1" to the
    end. Dont forget the space. It should now read "C:\Program
    Files\Microsoft Games\Train Simulator\UTILS\tsunpack.exe" "%1" press
    the okay button.
    
    17. Press the ok button for the edit file type box.
    
    18. Press the apply then close button for the Folder options box.
    
    19. Now two click the .apk file. You should get a box that says
    "Unpackaged Activity to ..." Guess what ! It now works !
    
    
    
    HOW DO I MAKE THE ACTIVITY UNPACKER WORK IF I'M USING WINDOWS XP?
    
    
    This was tested and works on XP Pro - should work on Home as well.
    
    Go to 'Start / Control Panel'
    
    If you are in 'Category View' pick 'Appearance and Themes' then
    'Folder Options'
    
    If you are in 'Classic View' you can directly pick 'Folder Options'
    
    When the Window pops up, pick the 'File Types' tab - may take a while
    to process all the types.
    
    Scroll down to APK "Packaged Activity", select it, then hit the
    'Advanced' button.  From the 'Edit File Type' window that pops up
    select "open", then hit the 'Edit' button.
    
    In the text box titled "Application used to perform action", scroll
    to the right, and remove the little box in quotes.  Replace with
    "%1", and hit 'OK'.
    
    You're done!
    
    
    
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