If you have been directed here it is because one of your questions has already been answered below. While we would like to reply individually to you, the consistent and clear details below describe exactly what it's all about, letting us concentrate on making more games for you to enjoy. The software and support options below reflect years of evolution and refinement to match the stated preferences of the majority of gamers.
Also see: play FAQ | board game FAQ | order FAQ | detailed EBP install instructions
|Installation / Registration / New Computers|
|Q. What are the typical steps?||A. Download the game software, install it on your computer/table, play it free for up to 30 days, check it is operating acceptably, decide which additional game maps you want, send us your registration request, then enter the activation passcode we supply. Details follow below.|
|Q. How do I install EBP?||A. Experienced PC users simply unzip the download file into a new subdirectory, and run EBP.EXE. Or, see the detailed install instructions. Or, get the game on CD by pre-paying the registration fee and including the shipping/handling fee shown on an order form.|
|Q. I've installed, but get an error upon first use of the program.||A. EBP works immediately on the vast majority of computers, but some computers may have conflicting software, old drivers, or Windows issue. If you are using Windows Vista or later, first check for the common problems in those versions. After that, try the fixes for a crash.|
|Q. Windows or my antivirus program reports a virus and won't let me run EBP.||A. Overly-restrictive operating system or antivirus program settings may block you from running EBP. Microsoft/Windows Defender, in particular, has long been known to falsely report a virus in EBP. If you encounter that Defender bug, we recommend these options, or if they prove insufficient, turn Defender off until Microsoft fixes it, and use a modern virus checker instead. We perform many virus checks here, so any report of an issue is likely a false positive. Search online or ask the product vendor how to report false positives. Report Defender failures via Microsoft's portal for such; you are welcome to send them a copy of ebp.exe. The more people who do, the sooner Microsoft may make adjustments so you and others can more easily enjoy the game.|
|Q. How do I register?||A. Most people register via Paypal. You can also order via printable order form. The Order FAQ has details.|
|Q. What do I get by registering?||A. Order confirmation includes your activation passcode that allows program use on that device past the free, initial 30-day trial period, and a link to download a copy of the EB7 USA/Canada/Mexico game map. If you pay for shipping, your passcode and EB7 map (on CD) will be sent via conventional mail. Registration also grants you discounts on other maps purchased at the same time and discounted upgrades.|
|Q. I paid to register but the game says my trial period has ended.||A. Did you enter your passcode into it yet? If you've paid but never received any passcode, send us via email the pre-registration number the game shows on the device on which you want to use it, along with the full name and address you had used with your payment.|
|Q. Where's the "pre-registration number"?||A. In an unregistered copy of your desired version of software on the device on which you want to play the game, find it at the Help, Registration Numbers pull-down menu. All current-version pre-registration numbers start with the digit 2. If yours starts with the digit 1, you have an outdated version, and we recommend you upgrade to the current version before paying to register. We must have the pre-registration number in order to reply with your proper passcode, which you then enter into the software per the on-screen instructions it provides.|
|Q. Where's my EB7 registration bonus map?||A. See your registration confirmation email or letter for instructions.|
|Q. Can I still register old EBP versions?||A. Existing customers may do so, not new customers. To avoid order processing delay, new customers must upgrade to the current major.minor version before sending us the pre-registration number it shows on the primary computer on which they want to use the program. To find the number of the version you are using, choose the Help, About... menu in the program. To compare it with the current version, see version history.|
|Q. I'd like to run EBP on my second computer or hard drive partition, but the passcode doesn't work.||A. Each needs its own registration. To loyal customers we offer additional registrations at a discount. Order a secondary copy.|
|Q. My system crashed and I had to reinstall Windows. The process took my EBP registration with it.||A. You should be able to reactivate your registration on the same computer by using the passcode we had sent before. If not, or if you lost your passcode, you can get a replacement as described in the "new passcode" question below.|
|Q. How can I preserve my registration?||A. After entering your EBP passcode, we recommend that you 1) make a copy of the contents of the subdirectory in which EBP is installed, 2) test that backup by restoring it into a new subdirectory on the same computer hard drive, and 3) if that restoration works, you've made a proper backup. If you don't have a proper backup, and you have already consumed your free passcode, order a recovery copy. Note that you should not restore a backup onto different computer hardware and expect it to function.|
|Q. I registered and used the program fine for awhile but now it tells me my trial period has expired.||
A. Since EBP is licensed on a per-device basis that will happen if you change computer equipment.
If your equipment is the same as when you had entered your passcode, reinstall from the backup
you had made after entering your passcode (you did make the backup we recommended, didn't you?).
If you do not have a usable backup, you can get a new passcode as described in the "new passcode" question below.
|Q. I stopped using my old computer and got a new one, but the program doesn't recognize my prior registration or my old passcode. How do I transfer my EBP registration to it?||
A. Download and install a fresh copy, or install from your game CD,
then run EBP, which will start in trial mode. You'll need a new passcode as described
in the "new passcode" question below.
If you skip the steps above and instead copy the contents of your EBP directory from one computer to another, when you try to play, EBP may display that you have not registered or that your free trial has expired. You'll need a new passcode; see the following questions to learn how to get it.
|Q. How do I get a new passcode?||
A. With standard Support Plan coverage you are eligible for one
free recovery passcode for the same registered major.minor version, provided 1) it
has been more than 30 days since any registration, and 2) more than 12 months since your
last free recovery passcode. If you so qualify, install and run the program (download
it if necessary), choose its Help, Registration Numbers pull-down menu, and send us the
pre-registration number shown, via email is best. We'll reply with your new passcode.
If you do not qualify, for example you had an older major.minor version or are not covered by a Support Plan or need more than one recovery, you can get a new passcode for a small fee: order a recovery or upgrade registration, and send us the pre-registration number the game now shows.
|Q. I have 2 registrations... can I get 2 free recovery passcodes the same year?||A. Few people need that many annually, but if you want to cover that possibility purchase two full-price (i.e. non-secondary, non-recovery) registrations. If you instead purchase one at full price and another as a secondary (discounted) registration, under standard Support Plan coverage you are entitled to only one free recovery passcode within a 12-month period. In the event you exhaust your supply of free recovery passcodes, a registered user can purchase additional ones at the discount price shown on an order form.|
|Q. What is the version number format?||A. EBP versions are numbered in the form major.minor.revision. For example, 1.7.29 is major version 1, minor version 7, revision 29. If you have paid to register 1.7.x and now want to recover to 2.0.x, doing so is considered an upgrade for which a small fee applies as shown on an order form. You can find the version number of your copy of EBP via the game's Help, About... menu.|
|Q. I don't have a backup copy of an old version of the program to restore onto my computer.||A. Download and install the current version, and submit an order for an upgrade. Pricing is shown on an order form.|
|Q. I lost the maps you sent me previously. Can I get a replacement?||A. Yes, order a map refresh; see the services order form to determine the costs. Simply write in the order form's margins or in your email which maps need replacing. A map refresh upgrades you to the latest version of the maps.|
|Q. Can I upgrade my version of Windows without losing my EBP registration?||A. It should be possible, but might fail. Microsoft doesn't worry much about being careful to not clobber non-Microsoft applications. Some people have upgraded without losing their EBP registration, others have not. If you lose your registration in this manner, you can get another as described above for replacing old computer equipment.|
|Q. I frequently wipe clean and rebuild my hard disk contents from scratch...||A. You might be able to reactivate your registration on the same computer by using the passcode we had sent before, but we cannot guarantee that.|
|Q. I'm having trouble installing the emailed add ons.||A. See the detailed install instructions. Or, you can order a copy on CD.|
|Q. I've not been able to install at all.||A. Consider getting a copy on CD since it comes with a simple setup/install program, or you can play directly from the CD itself. Otherwise, enlist the help of a nearby friend with Windows software experience. You might also hire a local consultant, such as one from Geek Squad.|
|Q. I downloaded EBP from a site other than yours. Is that OK?||A. We recommend against it because too often other sites add malware, spyware or even viruses to downloads after luring you in with a claim of free software. You can get a free trial via the game download right from our official site. Even if an alternate site is honest, they might supply you an older version. You can get the latest and greatest by downloading from our RailGameFans site.|
|Q. Can I get a copy on diskette or thumb drive?||A. No, EBP and EBPEdit are available via download and on CD only.|
|Q. I get the message "Unable to run without at least USAMAP.EBM file."||A. A copy of the USA map must be located in the same directory as your EBP.EXE. You can obtain the USAMAP.EBM file from the EBP.ZIP download.|
|Q. How do I get Support Plan coverage?||A. One year (12 months) of Support Plan coverage is currently packaged with initial registrations, or 3 months for secondary/recovery/upgrade registrations paid after the initial; those 3 months are doubled to 6 if Support Plan coverage has not expired at time of order. The coverage period begins upon our receipt of your paid order or our supply of a free recovery registration passcode to you, whichever comes first. Free recovery registrations do not extend a Support Plan coverage period.|
|Q. What does a Support Plan include?||A. With a product's Support Plan you get free product technical support via email, and free recovery passcodes as described in the new passcode question above. A Support Plan does not include assistance with third-party products, beyond what is in the FAQs, since there exist too many versions of them for us to feel qualified to supply proper answers. Without a Support Plan if you encounter trouble you can use the FAQs at this site, or pay for support. Such paid assistance via email is available for a fee as shown on the services order form.|
|Q. How do I get tech support?||A. For registrations convered by a Support Plan, free product support is available via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are reporting a game operation problem, be sure to detail the steps needed to reproduce the problem here. If the problem occurs only during a match, to your email attach a saved game along with directions on how we can see the problem occur. Without those, it is unlikely we will be able to assist. Instructions for obtaining saved games can be found in the Game Operation section below. Screen shots are usually not helpful so do not send any unless requested. We cannot assist with issues in third-party products (operating systems, firewalls, routers, etc.) so for those products we recommend you contact their manufacturer.|
|Q. Can I get live support via telephone?||A. In response to gamer request that we emphasize automation, we've arranged to provide free tech support via email, and this is what most people use. However, limited live tech support via telephone continues to be available. To obtain telephonic support first order the amount of time you want via our Paypal shopping cart or mail payment with a services order form; voice mail messages lacking this will not be returned. Though we will try our best, we cannot guarantee we will be able to resolve the issue(s) you discuss. It is unlikely we can resolve issues in third-party products (operating systems, firewalls, routers, etc.) so for those products we recommend you contact their manufacturer.|
|Q. How do I extend Support Plan coverage?||A. To extend Support Plan coverage use the services order form. If your payment for a Support Plan is received by us before your current plan expires, the fee covers a 12-month extension. If you purchase a Support Plan while without a current one (such as after your plan has expired), the fee is the same but the coverage period is reduced to 6 months.|
|Q. Does a paid secondary or recovery registration extend Support Plan coverage?||A. Yes, but only to the extent not already covered by an existing Support Plan. For example, if your existing Support Plan expires August 1 but on July 1 you pay for a recovery registration your Support Plan coverage of the product is extended from the date of that purchase (July 1).|
|Q. How else can I extend my EBP Support Plan coverage?||A. Introduce your friends and family to the game! Send new customers our way and we'll extend your coverage by 3 months for each such referral. Instruct the person to enter your name in the "Referred by (if any)" box near the bottom of their order form when they place their EBP registration order. Note that to qualify for this free extension you must have active, non-expired Support Plan coverage. If your coverage has expired don't dismay, you can get the same free extension if we receive 2 referrals as described above within 30 days of each other.|
|Q. Can I continue to use my registered game without Support Plan coverage?||A. Sure, a registration is good for the life of the hardware / operating system. Many people have continued to enjoy our software for decades. Be sure to back up your registration as described elsewhere.|
|Q. I'm a power user and want a high level of support and software.||A. By customer request, for serious gamers and gamer families we offer a Pro Support Plan: pre-pay for 6 hours of our expert, live telephone support at a 30% discount, and you will also receive free EBP software upgrades to new versions, a free copy of each new EBP map we release, free EBP recovery passcodes (up to 1 per month), and free map refreshes (up to 1 per month). Separately these cost more than $1700 per year, but added to your registration as the Pro Support Plan they cost only $999. Long-term serious gamers can sign up for 10 years of such coverage for a one-time $4995 fee. A separate, equivalent Pro Support Plan is available for devoted map developers using EBPEdit. For decades our tech support has been ranked by customers to be among the best in the industry, and the Pro Support Plan gives you direct access to our software developers, something few companies offer at any price.|
|Q. What's new in the software?||A. See the version history page.|
|Q. How do I upgrade to the newest/current version?||
A. Most people use the automated upgrade: in the program choose the File,
Download Update pull-down menu. If you experience any trouble, upgrade
manually: download from the main EBP page
and install a new copy to replace the old.
For those still using Microsoft/Windows Defender, note that it has long been known to falsely report a virus in EBP, and may do so when you get the ebp.exe upgrade. If you use Defender, we recommend these options, or if they prove insufficient, turn Defender off until Microsoft fixes it, and use a modern virus checker instead.
Minor updates (for example, version 2.0.0 to 2.0.1) are free. Like most software, more significant upgrades are available for a small fee. After installing a fee-based upgrade, use Paypal or an order form and be sure to send us your new pre-registration number obtained from the Help, Registration Numbers pull-down menu of the new version. We need that to determine and reply with your new passcode. Pre-registration numbers begin with the digit 2. If yours begins with the digit 1, you have an outdated version, and we recommend you download the upgrade to the current version before paying to register, otherwise you'll have to pay again if you upgrade from version 1.x afterward.
With an upgrade order sent by mail, include information so we can find your prior registration in our database. For example, if your email address and/or zip codes have changed, include mention of the old ones under which you had registered in the past.
|Q. How can I distinguish a minor (free) update from a more significant (fee) one?||A. Minor updates change the last of the 3 version digit groups. So, for example, if you have registered version 1.7.0, then all the 1.7.x updates are free for you, but there is a fee to upgrade to 2.0.x.|
|Q. How do I pay an upgrade fee?||A. By placing an "EBP Upgrade" in your RailGameFans shopping cart and paying via Paypal, or you can print an order form and send payment via conventional mail. Both options are described in the Order FAQ.|
|Q. Are the upgrades discounted?||
A. Users of a prior EBP version can upgrade their registered copies to the newest
version at the lower "upgrade" pricing shown on an order form.
This discount pricing applies only the first time you place an upgrade order for
a given new version.
People with registrations for their multiple computers should order upgrades simultaneously for all registrations for which they wish to maintain registration benefits. For example, if someone who has registered 3 copies of prior versions orders upgrades for just 2 of those 3, all registration benefits for the third copy will be lost.
|Q. How can I find out which version I already have?||A. Use the Help, About pull-down menu. The version number is displayed at the top of the window that opens.|
|Q. When doing the automated upgrade, I got an error 105 message.||A. Error 105 is sometimes a false alarm generated by third-party software. After the error, exit EBP and restart it. If you do indeed now have the new version, the message was mistaken and can be ignored. If you continue to have trouble, manually download and install a fresh copy of EBP.|
|Q. Is my "invalid passcode" related to program versions?||A. Register the version you want to be using. If you want to upgrade to the current version, do so before sending us the pre-registration number, and verify the version operates as you wish. Do not change EBP versions between when you obtain the pre-registration number and when you enter the passcode we supply otherwise you may render your passcode invalid! If you do by mistake, run the version of EBP from which you had obtained the pre-registration number you sent us and enter the passcode into it. If you used the automated upgrade, you will find the older version(s) of EBP.EXE renamed with a version number (such as EBP158.EXE) in the same folder as the current EBP. If you do not have the older version, you can order a secondary registration (discounted price, see an order form) for the current version.|
|Q. I have a Version 1.4.x Free Trial CD but wish to try the latest version.||A. Install from the Free Trial CD to get the game running, then upgrade immediately; this will allow you to continue your free trial period under the latest version. Most people use the automated upgrade: in EBP choose the File, Download Update pull-down menu. If you experience any trouble, upgrade manually: download from the main EBP page and install a new copy to replace the old.|
|Q. I'm reluctant to upgrade because of bad experiences with other software packages.||
A. We know what you mean, sometimes we prefer an older version! Here's what
to do: 1) rename your existing EBP.EXE game program something else, such as EBPold.EXE,
2) download the latest version, 3) install it. After you try
it, if you don't like it, simply delete the new EBP.EXE, and rename the old one back.
If you use the automated upgrade, this renaming (i.e. preservation) of the old version is done for you automatically.
|Q. Will I be able to try out a new version for which there is an upgrade fee?||A. Minor updates for which there are no fee can be installed and played immediately. More significant updates for which there is a fee let registered users of prior versions give them a try before paying: they limit the number of players, rounds and or maps.|
|Q. I upgraded today but when I try to play EBP tells me my trial period has ended.||A. For the upgrade trial to work, install the new version into the same directory as the prior.|
|Q. Do I also need to upgrade alternate maps I purchased in the past?||A. Prior maps are upwardly compatible with the new version. You do not need to buy them again or pay extra to use them in the new version of EBP. The newest maps are described on the EBP Maps page.|
|Q. Can my old saved games be loaded into the new version?||A. Yes, saved games from prior versions of EBP are upwardly compatible.|
|Q. I'd like to buy some new maps when I pay to upgrade EBP. Can I get them at a discount?||A. Map packages are discounted. If you order a map package we can treat the EBP portion of the package as your upgrade.|
|Q. Why won't EBP let me play on an alternate map?||A. You must keep all your alternate maps (.EBM files) in the same folder/subdirectory as the EBP.EXE program. Also, note EBP requires registration before you can play on alternate maps.|
|Q. When I double-click on a saved game, I'd like EBP to start and open that game.||A. Create what is known as a "file association". In EBP (version 1.5.27 and later) use the File, Create File Association menu. Or, if you prefer to set it up manually, you need to create a file association in Windows between .EBZ saved game files and the EBP.EXE game. Exactly how to do this varies based on your operating system version.|
|Q. I'm getting the following message: "Registration problem. License setup failed 10".||
A. This can happen if Windows is configured for a Double-Byte Character System (DBCS).
DBCS is not compatible with EBP. You can change this Windows setting, if such a
change will not disrupt your use of other programs. How to do so varies by Windows version,
but in general: use the Control Panel, Regional and Language Settings, Advanced, and
set "Language for non-Unicode Programs" to English.
After such a change, if when you try EBP the problem persists, you must delete the EBP.LIC file; EBP.LIC is typically found in the folder that contains the EBP.EXE program, but sometimes Windows puts it in your UserProfile directory.
|Q. The program displayed an unusual/unexpected message or crashed (stopped running) while I was using it. What's the problem?||
A. That is rare. Here are assorted things you can try to resolve the problem:
|Q. I want it to run on my current computer!||A. EBP works fine on the vast majority of computers. If the steps above do not resolve the problem on your computer, the cause is some unusual configuration or conflicting software on it. It is not economically practical for us to remotely track down such a cause. If you are serious about us doing so, we can help if you are willing to pay labor and expenses (contact us). Since the average such fee can quickly exceed $1000, it is usually cheaper to simply buy a new computer. Alternatively, you might hire an inexpensive local consultant, such as one from Geek Squad.|
|Q. Windows reports that EBP caused an error in module xxx... at yyy...||A. That's Microsoft speak for "EBP revealed that a bug exists" in that software module (probably a component of Windows). You can report the problem to the maker of that module, but don't hold your breath waiting for them to fix it.|
|Q. Are there any bugs in EBP?||A. We know of no repeatable defects in the software's operation. EBP is as "bug free as can be" because we promptly fix any problems discovered in the current version. Despite thousands of users and millions of games played, only one or two bugs per year are reported. We discover and repair the majority of problems via in-house testing long before you might encounter them. Despite this ongoing effort, it's likely some remain hiding within the software, but of course we can only fix those that are reported and repeatable.|
|Q. The program doesn't seem to operate right.||
A. Retrace your steps, and if the problem keeps occurring, send us a list of the
minimum steps that we need to reproduce it here. If we can replicate the problem
too, we can almost certainly fix it. Conversely, if the steps you provide work
properly here, we almost certainly cannot do anything to address it, and it
will be chalked up to some unknown difference of your computer from the norm.
Very few true bugs are reported each year. An issue you cannot make recur is instead considered an observation. Such an observation is generally not worth reporting because if you can't make it recur, even though you know the game situation, we almost certainly will not be able to. If it can't be repeated, there is nothing for us to fix. Game saves dating to after a problem are considered observations, and as such are generally not helpful or worth sending to us.
Please note the following are sometimes mistaken for bugs: inability to move your train or build when an active event disallows such; play per the board game rules rather than your house rules; suboptimal but legal play by the AI bots; and inability to connect for Web play.
|Q. How can I send you a useful saved game after the program failed?||
A. A useful saved game is one from immediately before the failure. Here is
how to obtain that: restart EBP and enable the "AutoSave before every turn"
feature in the Game Options window, then play a game. Before each p;ayer's turn,
AutoSave saves the state of the game in the AutoSave directory (configured in the
Game Options window) under names that resemble ebAS###x.EBZ where ### is the round
numberand x is a letter A=player 1's turn, B=player 2's turn, etc. Restart EBP, and
open the newest autosave game file (i.e. the one that corresponds to the
player whose turn it was when the problem happened). Try to resume playing.
If the problem recurs,
that .EBZ saved game file with a list of steps
we need to perform (for example, "click OK (done)", etc.) to make the problem
happen, and we'll give it a try.
If you do not follow the above, for example, if you do not include the steps to make the issue recur, we'll likely be unable to assist beyond directing you to this or another FAQ.
|Q. What about a program crash?||A. True crashes (program execution terminates unexpectedly and without an error message) are exceedingly rare and, per Microsoft, cannot occur due to something in EBP because the program employs Microsoft's error trapping. That means the cause of a crash lies outside of EBP, and is unlikely to be repeatable on other devices. The high performance version, EBPHP, omits certain error trapping for the sake of speed, and is not intended for play by humans because it may crash. If EBPHP fails for you, fall back to EBP.|
|Q. What's an .EBZ file?||A. A file with the extension .EBZ is created by EBP to store a saved game. One such file is created when you use File, Save As in EBP. It is a ZIP compressed version of an .EBG saved-game file that contains a mix of text and binary data. You may also see .EBM files, those are text-format files that describe a map (such as USA or Europe); .EBM files can be created with our EBPEdit application.|
|Q. Is there an Iron Dragon map?||A. Iron Dragon has many unique features not presently supported in EB Pronto. There existed a computer version created by Eden Studios but it appears registrations are no longer being sold. We now have a license from Mayfair Games to produce Iron Dragon for EBP.|
|Q. I'd like to suggest a new feature for or improvement to the software.||A. Sure, send it to email@example.com. Many of EBP's features had their origin in ideas suggested by users. Obviously, we can't guarantee your suggestion will be added, but we'll consider it. Lawyer-speak: Note that suggestions received become the property of Intersystem Concepts, Inc.|
|Q. My favorite house rule is not in the software. Can you add it?||A. Crayon rail games lend themselves to many house rules. EBP supports the most popular variant rules. Programming the AI to handle variant rules well, and in combination with the others, can be complex and hence expensive to implement. Your suggestions are welcome as we might implement those most in demand. If you are anxious for a new feature so much as to be willing to fund its development (cost can exceed $5000), feel free to contact us. Serious inquiries only, please.|
|Windows Vista / 7 / 8 / 10|
|Q. I'm seeing a security warning the first time I use the program.||A. That's to be expected and is simply Windows alerting you that you are running a new program.|
|Q. I'm having trouble with setup or entering my passcode, such as getting Error 75 or A52. I'm using Windows 10.||
A. If you are using Windows Vista/7/8/10, here are some tips:
|Q. When using help I get a "Navigation to the webpage was canceled", or "The address is not valid" or "Why can't I get help from this program?" message.||
A. Windows Vista/7/8/10 have bugs/quirks/issues handling help systems. There are multiple ways to get
around the trouble:
|Q. When using help I get the message "Internet Explorer restricted this webpage from running scripts or ActiveX controls."||A. That's a bug/quirk/issue in newer Windows versions since 1) all of EBP's in-game help is stored on your computer, not on the web, and 2) EBP's in-game help does not employ scripts or ActiveX controls. Along with the message Windows should offer a "Allow blocked content" option, which you can choose to turn off the repeated warnings.|
|Q. How do I play on my smartphone?||A. Microsoft says you can with Windows 10 but we have yet confirmed it.|
|Q. Does EBP work in 64-bit versions of Windows?||A. It works fine for us, but some people report problems with other similar apps. If you have trouble, 1) install EBP into a folder within "Program Files (x86)", and 2) try running EBP in a 32-bit compatibility mode.|
|Q. EBP asks me if my operating system is Windows Vista and then exits. What gives?||A. That's what happens if EBP is not run as Adminstrator. Try right-clicking EBP's desktop icon and choosing Run as Administrator.|
|Play by Email - Pbem|
|Q. How do I play Empire Builder by email?||A. Starting with version 1.4, EBP automates the Play by email process. For each human player in a match, you input an email address. During play, EBP sends a copy of the match to the person when it is their turn. See the details in the Play by email topic of the in-game help, or in this PDF.|
|Q. How can I find more people for Pbem?||A. Feel free to send a "looking for Pbem opponents" message to the members of the RailGameFans group at Groups.io|
|Q. I tried using my Gmail account and the self test returns "Problem 530 detected during Pbem test. SMTP responded 530 5.7.0 Must issue a STARTTLS command first.; response should have been: 334"||
A. To employ Gmail for outbound Pbem you must enable EBP's "Use SSL"
checkbox (beginning version 1.5.23), and you'll probably need to enable a
checkbox at your Gmail account to allow what Google calls a "3rd-party
insecure app" to use the account.
Be sure to set the other fields in EBP (username, password, port, etc.) as Gmail instructs, for example, in EBP choose File, Display Settings then set the Play By Email fields as described here:
My Email Address(es): [YourEmailName]@gmail.com
For [YourEmailName] substitute your Gmail account name, and omit the [ ]. Do similar for [YourPassword]. If you leave the Password field blank, the game will not store it but rather will prompt you for it each session.
To employ your ISP's email system rather than Gmail, check with your ISP to learn the address of your SMTP Mail Server for outbound email. Some of the more common ones are in this off-site list.
|Q. During the Pbem mailing process I get error 2147220975.||A. That can happen if you incorrectly entered into EBP's Pbem settings the password of your email account. Some report McAfee virus protection can cause this problem too. Some email providers, such as Gmail starting during 2019, require that you visit their site to enable third-party emails.|
|Q. My regular email service doesn't work, help!||
A. Use a free Yahoo email acccount instead. When we've tested Yahoo it works with EBP's Pbem,
but you should try it yourself to be sure Yahoo has not made changes that interfere.
If you do not already have an account there
visit Yahoo's site and register.
Once you have a Yahoo email account, inform EBP of your info as follows:
If you prefer the incoming Pbem attachments to instead arrive in your regular (non-Yahoo) email box, when setting up the Pbem match and EBP asks to "Enter/confirm email address" simply specify your regular email address.
|Q. I'm still having trouble!||A. We're considering the possibility of providing SMTP email access for use with EBP Pbem for a small fee. This is not yet available, but will be arranged if there is enough demand. Let us know if you need and would be interested in such service.|
|Q. How do I play online?||
A. There's no need for a special Web server, instead your copy of EB Pronto communicates
directly via the Internet with a copy running on another computer. Basically, you and
up to 5 of your friends all run EBP and decide which person will be GameMaster. The GM
tells his IP address to the others (via phone, text message, etc.) and they follow
EBP's prompts to connect for play. For details, see the "Web Play" topic in the game's
When in the Game Setup window the GM chooses the "Make me GameMaster" option, EBP displays his dot address(es). For play over the Web, the GM should tell opponents his external dot address. For play within a local network (router), the GM should tell opponents his local dot address. If EBP is not displaying the dot address, the GM can use his web browser to obtain it manually by visiting Web sites such as http://checkip.dyndns.org or http://ipdetect.dnspark.com. Both sites show the external dot address of the visitor; the GM should tell that dot address to the players who are attempting to connect to him for a game.
|Q. Can I play via my home network? How?||A. Most likely you can, even if you haven't set up full networking and instead simply have your home computers connected to the same router. When you start an online game, EBP will show the IP address of that router. You employ that address to connect for a game within your local router/network, with each person using their own computer.|
|Q. Two-player live matches work fine, but trouble happens with more than two.||A. This is a known problem in Windows if your C:\windows\system32\mswinsck.ocx file is old. If your copy of that file is dated before October 10, 2008, you should install a newer one as described below.|
|Q. Does EBP's Web capability work on my network?||A. It should if your network uses standard IP (Internet protocol) addressing.|
|Q. My friend and I have been unable to connect for a Web match.||A. If you are unable to connect, (such as connection attempts to the GM yielding messages like "Main Error 10060 doing 3: The attempt to connect timed out"), it likely due to firewalls or other connection inhibitors. Try switching roles: let the other person be the GM of the match. Sometimes simply reversing the communication like this allows the computers to connect. If the problem persists, you probably need to tell your firewall or router to allow the connection (see following questions and answers). Some users favor instead using a virtual network such as LogMeIn Hamachi.|
Q. We think the connection trouble is due to his router acting as a firewall. Help!
Sample router setup screen
IP addresses of
A. To configure your router to allow incoming connections, you need to
open ports 1103 and 1104 for use by EBP. Note that if you are
playing via your local/home router rather than over the Internet,
this is usually not necessary.
The steps below, kindly provided by Rich Shipley, describe the process for a Linksys router; you may need to adjust them for other brands:
"The user name is left blank and the password is 'admin' unless it has been changed. (If that fails, also try admin as user name and leave the password field blank, or enter admin in both fields.)
"To find the web address of the router (this is what you would need to enter in EBP) click the 'Status' tab and find the IP Address in the 'WAN:' section. (Normally you can skip this because EBP shows you your IP Address.)
"Unless the user's computer is set up as a DMZ (usually not a good idea), you will also have to configure the Linksys router to forward an IP port to the proper computer in order to accept external connections. To set this up:
"Click the 'Advanced' tab and the 'Forwarding' tab. On some router models, you should click the 'Applications & Gaming' tab instead.
"You then enter the service port of the EBP application (EBP uses ports 1103 and 1104) on the left and the local IP address of the individual computer on the right.
"To find a computer's local IP address you can bring up the command prompt in Windows (Start-Programs-Accessories-Command Prompt) and enter 'ipconfig'. Some OS versions use 'winipcfg' instead. Copy the displayed IP Address into the router's IP Address field. Usually it is similar to that seen in the sample screen shot at left.
"If the user has DHCP enabled, the IP addresses of computers may change once in a while and you might have to adjust the local IP address above."
|Q. I saw error code 10060. Can the connection trouble be due to a software firewall?||
A. If your software-based firewall is the culprit, "Connection is forcefully
rejected" is the most common message seen when a player attempts to connect
to the GM, but you might also see code 10060 "Connection Timed Out". You need
to tell your software firewall to allow EBP to connect.
For example, in Windows Vista do the following: go to your Windows Control Panel, look in the Security area, click "Allow a program through Windows Firewall". This opens the Windows Firewall Settings window, Exceptions tab. In the list of programs, look for Empire Builder Pronto, EB Pronto or EBP (if it is not already in the list, use the "Add program" feature). Enable an exception by clicking EBP's check box.
The general unblocking process is: Start >Control Panel >(Windows) Firewall >Exceptions >Add Program >Add EBP to your list
In Windows XP you may need to configure the Internet Connection Firewall as described by Microsoft.
|Q. When in the Game Setup window my remote opponents choose "Make me a Player" they get connected as a Spectator instead? What's wrong?||
A. There are two known causes. One way is if the GM starts the match before
all players have connected. When setting up a Web match, the GM must wait with
the Game Setup window open, after there having chosen the "Make me GameMaster"
menu item. Only after all opponents show in the Game Setup window as connected
as "Human, Remote" should the GM then initiate the match via the Match Begin/Resume
menu in the Web window.
The other known cause involves your router. As reported by one user, his router needed a separate line for each port instead of a range between 1103-1104. He had to open 1103 and 1104 on separate lines.
|Q. How can I check that multi-player EBP is working properly?||
A. To check, run two instances of EBP on the same computer and connect
the two for a network match by using the local dot address 127.0.0.1
This test isolates all network play connection and communcation to within your computer. Internally EBP is processing the match just like it would if the players were at different physical locations. If a failure persists during this test, the trouble likely is in EBP; please tell us the steps needed to recreate the failure here so we can fix it.
Conversely, success of this test (i.e. no trouble) proves the problem you are experiencing lies outside of EBP. Next, if you return to the typical multi-player setup, but the problem recurs, by these steps you have isolated the trouble to the configuration of your router, firewalls, other items that control/permit access to your computer, or the interference/malfunction of third-party software. There exist too many brands and versions for us to know the details of all of them and be able to competently help you, so for assistance, consult online references and the corresponding third-party manufacturers.
If you can't unblock your computer for Web play, consider using EBP's Play-by-email feature instead, which is less subject to firewalls.
|Q. Any other "gotchas" to watch out for?||
A. Some routers periodically change the local address, for example
192.168.1.100 the next day becomes 192.168.1.101. This unannounced
change can render useless the local IP address for which you previously
had opened ports. If player have trouble connecting to the GM, the GM
should verify that the local address EBP shows remains the one for which
he had opened router ports.
|Q. We connect but during play often get disconnected.||A. The connection for game purposes is controlled by your hardware and operating system. EBP responds to what those components tell it, and if they report disconection, EBP tries to automatically reconnect, which it may or may not be able to do. Frequent disconnections indicate a hardware or operating system problem at your end. Most such problems are resolved by using a wired conenction between your device and router.|
|Q. I want to play one friend via the Web, but we want a 3-player match.||A. On the computer of the GM for the Web-based match, simply choose one of EBP's AI computer players to fill additional player slot(s).|
|Q. Can I test the Web play features during my free trial period?||A. Yes, those features are operational during the trial period before you register.|
|Q. Can I host Web play on a map others do not have?||A. No, each participant needs to purchase and obtain from us a copy of the map.|
|Q. Is dialup fast enough for Web play?||A. Yes. During Web play EBP communicates the game info among the participants by sending very small packets of data. A high speed connection is not required.|
|Q. I get no response when I choose an item from the Web pull-down menu.||A. This is most likely due to missing or old Windows internet drivers on your computer. Update your drivers as described in install FAQ below.|
|Q. I get error 75 or 76 and a message about REMOTEGM.EBZ when I try to play an Internet game. What's wrong?||A. Your temporary file path is set wrong. One way to fix it is to go to EBP's File, Program Settings window and change the "AutoSave and temp file location" setting to the root directory of any drive.|
|Driver / Hardware Issues|
|Q. Does EBP work with a Windows 8 tablet?||
A. EBP operates with Windows 8 and supports touch-based interfaces. Note for EBP you need
the full Windows 8 or 8.1 version, not Windows RT. The Microsoft Surface Pro tablets
run EBP (photo) just fine. For optimal touch screen use, we recommend
EBP version 1.6 or later because we have tuned it for touch interfaces.
When using tablets, or any touch device and/or small display, we recommend the following:
|Q. Can I run EBP on an iPad?||A. We've not tried it ourselves, but users report success on iPad/iOS and Android devices via Windows Access. There's an easy way to check any hardware for compatibility: try the free trial download. If it's the tablet form-factor you seek, EBP runs on Windows tablets such as the Surface Pro.|
|Q. Can I run EBP on a Mac, or within Android, or Linux?||A. EBP is a well-behaved program that can operate on almost any computing device made since 2010. For non-Windows devices, EBP typically runs fine within Windows emulation software for their operating systems such as Parallels or VMware Fusion for the Mac, Wine for Linux, and Windows Access for iOS and Android. Note: for non-Windows environments, you will likely need to download Microsoft's VBRUN60.EXE (approx. 1000k) and run it to install support files needed by the game. Creating native versions for other platforms are expensive undertakings; if you are interested in funding such, contact us with your proposal.|
|Q. I didn't get an EBP icon on my Windows desktop.||A. Here's how to create one manually: right click on an empty area of your Desktop, and select New, Shortcut. When Windows prompts for the location of the item, enter the path to where you installed the program, such as C:\EBP\EBP.EXE . If you do not recall where you installed the program, use the Windows Search feature and look for EBP.EXE .|
|Q. I'm getting the messages "A required .DLL file, MSVBVM60.DLL was not found." and "Cannot find file 'C:\EBP\EBPEDIT.EXE' (or one of its components)." or "Cannot find file 'C:\EBP\EBP.EXE' (or one of its components)."||
A. You need to download and install some files EBP needs to operate. Most computers
already have these files. Do this:
Q. I get "Run-time error '372' Failed to load control 'Inet' from msinet.ocx. Your version of
Msinet.ocx may be outdated. Make sure you are using the version of the control that was provided
with your application."|
or "Run-time error 339, Component 'MSINET.OCX' or one of its dependencies not correctly registered: a file is missing or invalid."
A. This is known to occur with versions of Windows internet drivers dated before 1998,
and in Windows Vista. You must update the drivers EBP needs to operate. Do this:
Apply Microsoft's cumulative update of Visual Basic 6.0 Runtime Extended Files which includes msinet.ocx
If you are using a 64-bit version of Windows and still have trouble, see this additional information from Microsoft.
Q. I get "Run-time error '372' Failed to load control 'Winsock' from mswinsck.ocx. Your version of
Mswinsck.ocx may be outdated. Make sure you are using the version of the control that was provided
with your application."|
or "Run-time error 339, Component 'MSWINSCK.OCX' or one of its dependencies not correctly registered: a file is missing or invalid."
A. There are several known problems with versions of Microsoft's Winsock drivers dated before October 2008
and in Windows Vista. You must update the drivers EBP needs to operate. Do this:
Apply Microsoft's cumulative update of Visual Basic 6.0 Runtime Extended Files which includes mswinsck.ocx
If you are using a 64-bit version of Windows and still have trouble, see this additional information from Microsoft.
|Q. I tried to GM a Web game on my Mac with Virtual PC, but received "Error 76". Can that be fixed?||
A. This problem was discovered by Chuck Weinstock, who also found a
solution when using direct network connections. He writes:
"After much trial and error and with a little help from others, I discovered that you need to do the following to get it to work.
1. Turn off 'Shared IP' in the Virtual PC preferences.
|Q. Will you create a version of EBP specifically for the Mac, iPad or device with another operating system?||A. EBP already runs on a Mac via emulators like Parallels, as well as on tablets that run Windows such as the Samsung Galaxy and Microsoft Surface Pro, plus under Linux via Wine. Developing a quality implementation for other platforms is a significant doing, and so far no one has wanted to fund such a project either via money or effort. If you wish to facilitate the project, such as by licensing our technology, contact us (serious inquiries only, please). In the meantime, consider something like SplashTop to access EBP remotely.|
|Q. Contracts replot slowly when being dragged.||A. Windows Vista and newer use "Desktop Composition" that slows certain screen replots in older versions of EBP. The solution: in Windows right click on EBP.EXE, choose Properties, then Compatibility, then check "Disable desktop composition". New versions of EBP (1.6 and later) work around this problem such that you will not need to disable desktop composition.|
|Q. That colorful map background is hard on my eyes. Can I get rid of it?||A. You can disable the "map bgnd image" via EBP's Display Settings window. Note also that some maps have multiple background images available; a list will be displayed in the settings window.|
|Q. The animated map background zoom is slow, or makes me dizzy. Can I turn it off?||A. Yes, use the File, Display Settings pull down menu and disable the Zoom: Animated checkbox.|
|Q. The colors in the map background look very strange on one computer, but not on another. Why?||A. Many of the video drivers used by Windows have bugs that prevent the proper display of the map background when you are running in 256-color (8-bit) mode. Exit the game, reconfigure your copy of Windows to employ more than 256-colors, and then retry. If that fails, contact your computer's manufacturer to obtain a display driver update, which may contain bug fixes. Or, turn off the "map bgnd image" entirely via EBP's Display Settings window. Some maps come with an alternate background image that works better in 256-color mode. You can choose an alternate background via the Display Settings window.|
|Q. Why are the pricing / terms / designs / etc. the way they are?||A. The general answer is that all elements reflect the requests of the majority of train gamers. Things are the way they are because that's what gamers say they want. Gamers are a diverse group: something that may seem unusual to one is preferred by another. If you want something else, tell us, and if it garners enough support from others we will study making it happen.|
|Q. Has EBP been rated by the ESRB?||A. No, it has not. We consider EBP to be a family game: both it and all game maps created by ICI (that's us) are suitable for play by all ages. However please note that maps created by others may contain content unsuitable for younger players, for example, drug references. Also, EBP allows for online Web play, and participants in such an online match can send text messages to each other. If you have concerns, use only maps designed by ICI and avoid use of EBP's online play features.|
|Q. Does Mayfair know of the EB Pronto computer version?||A. Yes, the Empire Builder Pronto software is authorized by Mayfair Games, and Mayfair's Empire Builder® trademarks are used under license.|
|Q. Can I be notified of new items?||A. Keep notified about Empire Builder® and EB Pronto via the RailGameFan mailing list / user group. The group is operated by Groups.io. To join, visit the link.|
Almost all questions already have an answer in the FAQs. For those that do not, with Support Plan coverage you can get free tech support from us via email. Live support via telephone is available only on a paid basis as described above.
Empire Builder is a registered trademark of Mayfair Games, and used here under license. Empire Builder Pronto is a trademark of Intersystem Concepts, Inc. EB Pronto and the alternate maps are not products of Mayfair Games.