RBP FAQ - Rail Baron® computer game

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 RBP install instructions


Registration / Upgrades / New Computers
Q. What are the typical steps? A. Download the game software, install it on your computer/tablet/phone, 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 purchase/register? A. The order FAQ has instructions.
Q. What do I get by registering? A. We reply with your activation passcode that allows use of the program past the free, initial 30-day trial period, and a link to download a copy of the USR game map (same as USA map, except with more balanced RR prices); however if you fail to include your pre-registraion number with your order, we will reply with a request for it. If you pay for shipping, your passcode and map(s) (on CD) will be sent via conventional mail. Registration also grants you discounts on other maps purchased at the same time and discounted upgrades. After registering, you'll be able to play on alternate game maps.
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. Obtain that pre-registration number from the software's Help pull-down menu. We must have it in order to reply with your proper passcode, which you then enter into the software per the on-screen instructions.
Q. I got new computer equipment and installed RBP on it, but the program doesn't recognize my prior registration or old passcode. A. As for many modern apps, RBP is licensed on a per device basis: there is a registration fee per device, but RBP upgrades are no charge. With free upgrades it's easier to keep up with the latest versions. When you get new computer equipment, you need to obtain a new passcode from us. As a registered user you qualify for a discount.

The steps are 1) load RBP on your new computer and run to check that it's operating acceptably, 2) obtain the new pre-registration number from the new computer via the game's Help, Registration Numbers pull down menu, 3) send us an order for a secondary copy, and specify the pre-registration number from the new computer, 4) with your order, include enough information so we can find you in our database (approximately when you last registered and what your email address was at that time, or if your order was sent via conventional mail, what your zip code was).

Q. I'd like to run RBP on my second computer or hard disk 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. I deleted my registered RBP from one computer and want to run it on another. A. Registrations are bound to a particular computer. But we offer additional registrations for your computers at a discount. Order a recovery copy.
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 RBP 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 RBP 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 RBP.EXE renamed with a version number (such as RBP358.EXE) in the same folder as the current RBP. 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. Can I still register RBP version 3.5.x or older? A. Existing customers may do so, not new customers. To avoid order processing delay, new customers must upgrade to the current version before sending us the pre-registration number it shows on the primary computer on which they want to use the program. All current pre-registration numbers include prefix letters PC or QC.
Q. How do I upgrade to the newest / current version? A. The easiest way to upgrade from version 3.x is via the automated method: run RBP and choose the File, Download Update pull-down menu. If you experience trouble, or prefer the manual update method, download RBP (from the main RBP page) and install a new copy to replace the old. As long as you keep all the RBP related files in the same subdirectory/folder, your registration will be maintained.
Q. I downloaded RBP 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 stuff. You can get a free trial with 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. Norton won't let me install or run RBP. A. That's Norton Antivirus being overzealous. We recommend reporting the trouble to them. Until they address the problem, if you downloaded RBP.EXE from RailGameFans.com you can get around the limitation by renaming RBP.EXE to, say, RAILBARON.EXE. Note that such renaming will prevent you from using RBP's File, Download Update feature to obtain new versions, but in that case you can download new versions manually.
Q. My system crashed and I had to reinstall Windows. The process took my RBP registration with it. A. For those covered by a Support Plan each full-price (i.e. non-secondary, non-recovery) registration is entitled to one free "recovery registration" to handle such lost registrations. Once you get your computer working, reinstall RBP and email us the pre-registration number from the program. We'll reply with your new passcode. Such free recovery registrations are limited to one lifetime, and cannot be used until 30 or more days after our receipt of a paid registration.
Q. I lost my registration yet again! How can I preserve it? A. If you lose your registration, and have already consumed your one free "recovery registration", a discounted registration fee will apply to re-register. To prevent this from happening in the future, back up the directory in which you installed RBP. If you don't have a proper backup, order a recovery copy.
Q. Can I upgrade my version of Windows without losing my RBP 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 RBP registration, others have not. If you lose your registration in this manner, you can get another as described for the "Windows reinstallation" question.
Q. I frequently wipe clean and rebuild my hard disk contents from scratch... A. That's not a good computer on which to register RBP because you'd be trashing your registration each time. In such situations we recommend the Pro Support Plan because it gives you free recovery registrations; without it you can purchase recovery registrations individually.
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 RBP.EXE game program something else, such as RBP25.EXE, 2) download the latest version, 3) install it. After you try it, if you don't like it, simply delete the new RBP.EXE, and rename the old one back.
Q. Can I get an upgrade sent to me on CD? A. Yes. RBP upgrades are free, but a Shipping/Handling fee applies. See the order form for the S/H cost. Simply write in the order form's margins or in your email that you want an upgrade. Note that the contents of the disc we will send you are EXACTLY the same as what you can download freely from our site. Consequently, a CD copy is useful only if you have trouble downloading, or if you believe the CD has some sort of collector value.
Q. I lost the maps you sent me previously. Can I get a replacement on disc? 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.

Support
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 and recovery 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, one free recovery passcode as described above, and free product new version upgrades. Without a Support Plan if you encounter trouble you will need to rely on the FAQs at this site, or pay for support. 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 intersys@insystem.com. 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. 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 RBP 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 RBP 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. 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 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 a free RBP software registration transfer to a new compatible device, a free copy of each new RBP map we release, free RBP recovery passcodes (up to 1 per month), free map refreshes (up to 1 per month) and free live telephone support. 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 50% off, a one-time $4995 fee. A separate, equivalent Pro Support Plan is available for devoted map developers using RBPEdit. 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. This is intended only for gamers who desire the best.

Game Operation
Q. During game play how do I...? A. The in-game help has game play instructions. To view the help press F1, or click the Help button/text where displayed.
Q. Why won't RBP let me play on an alternate map? A. First, note that RBP requires registration before you can play on alternate maps. You must keep all your alternate maps (.RBM files) in the same folder/subdirectory as the RBP.EXE program.
Q. How do I get to an alternate map? A. Inside RBP, use the File, Load Alt Map menu, and choose the map you want to play. If a map does not appear in the list, it's probably because you have not copied the map's .RBM file into the same folder/subdirectory as your RBP.EXE program.
Q. Why do I get the message "When preparing to load images and sounds for use with this map, RBP found existing files such as USARR8.BMP. Do you want to delete these file(s) and use the new ones now?"? A. This message appears if you run RBP while temporary multimedia files still remain on your computer from a prior use of the game. The most common cause of this is a crash during RBP's prior use. In that case, you can safely answer Yes to this message.
Q. RBP displayed an unusual/unexpected message or crashed (stopped running) mid-way through the game. What's the problem? A. Based on the total number of downloads and usage, millions of games have been played to completion with RBP so far. Here are assorted things you can try to resolve the problem:
  • Shut down the computer, restart it, and run RBP first. If RBP works, that means some other software was interfering with RBP.
  • If RBP closed without warning, such as when you tried to view help or download an update, and now won't start back up, it's likely your antivirus checker being hypersensitive.
  • Temporarily turn off your virus checker and restart RBP (for example, in Norton Antivirus restore RBP from quarantine -contact them if you need help- then turn off Sonar). Contact the antivirus manfacturer to report the problem with their software.
  • We scan all our game programs with Norton Antivirus which reports no trouble with them. If your antivirus program reports a problem, ask the developer for details as to why, or switch to a different antivirus program.
  • Check if your problem is known and has been fixed: see the version history page.
  • Exit RBP, temporarily rename the RBP.INI file, restart RBP and play a match under the game's default configuration. If the problem goes away, it had been related your altering the program's initial configuration, for example, choosing different display settings or game options. RBP is so customizable, certain particular combinations of options are infrequently used, thus might hide a bug. If you can isolate which configuration setting is related to the trouble you observe, and we can repeat the RBP fault here, we'll fix it.
  • If you have trouble with network or Web play, further below see "How can I check that multi-player RBP is working properly?"
  • Reinstall RBP from a fresh download; if you had installed RBP into into a subdirectory of its own, first delete that subdirectory
  • Reinstall the VBRUN drivers: download VBRUN60.EXE (approx. 1000k) and run it
  • Explore what is "unusual" about your computer's configuration. Non-USA settings? Atypical disk drives or network? Uncommon virus checker? Temporarily reconfigure settings to more common ones and restart RBP.
  • The most likely cause of a mid-game crash is the display driver for your copy of Windows. Try changing your Windows Control Panel, Display settings to some other resolution (screen size) and/or color depth, then shutdown the computer, restart it and run RBP. If the problem goes away, it means the display drivers for the resolution and/or color depth you had been using contain bugs. You might be able to obtain updates from Microsoft or your computer's manufacturer.
  • Minimize the game map graphics available. To do so, temporarily rename the USABGND.BMZ and USARRS.BMS files found in the directory/folder in which you installed RBP.EXE. Restart RBP and play on the USA map. If the problem goes away, it means the display drivers of your computer contain bugs that prevent RBP from showing the proper graphics. You might be able to obtain display driver updates from Microsoft or your computer's manufacturer.
  • Temporarily rename the RBP.INI file. If the problem goes away, it was some bad data in RBP's configurations storage file.
  • Search your system for copies of the file CP5DLL32.DLL. If any are found outside of the directory/folder in which you installed RBP.EXE, rename them. Then shutdown and restart the computer. If RBP now works, it means the problem is being caused by the "rogue" CP5DLL32.DLL file. This problem is the most common cause of errors "9" and "35" during play. Note: this might cause other programs on your computer to malfunction because they can't find the renamed files (in that case, rename them back).
  • Was RBP working for awhile, and now it crashes? The problem is likely due to a change you made on your computer. Try restoring older settings. If you recently installed some other, new software perhaps it is causing conflicts with RBP. Try uninstalling it.
  • Reinstall Windows, then reinstall RBP as your first application (drastic, but it usually works). If this solves the problem, it means that some other application was interfering with RBP. Note: this will cause you to lose your RBP registration, and you will need to re-register!
If you discover the solution, please describe it to us so we can pass it along to others who might encounter similar trouble in the future. We estimate that problems will remain unresolved (after all the steps above) on about 1 of 10000 computers. If you encounter such an uncooperative computer, we recommend you run RBP on some other computer instead. Do not register RBP until you are satisfied with how it is working on your computer.
Q. I want it to run on my current computer! A. RBP 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 RBP caused an error in module xxx... at yyy... A. That's Microsoft speak for "RBP 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 RBP? A. We know of no repeatable defects in the software's operation. RBP 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 about one bug per year is 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 crash, but does not 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 those step replicate the problem here, we can almost certainly fix it. If the steps you provide work properly here, generally we cannot do anything to address it, and it gets chalked up to some unknown difference from the norm of your configuration.

Often it is useful to send us a saved game to demo the problem you observe. Reload the saved game and retrace your steps. If the problem is repeatable, send us the game saved at a point immediately before the failure, plus the list of the steps and we'll be happy to look into it.

Since we promptly repair all problems reported as described above, if you find something wrong, it's very likely not yet been reported.

Q. How can I send you a saved game after the program crashed? A. True crashes (program execution ends unexpectedly) are exceedingly rare. If you experience crashes, restart RBP and enable the "AutoSave before every turn" feature in the Game Options window, then play a game. If the program crashes, the state of the game just before the crash will be preserved in the files by the name AUTOSAV#.RBx (where # is a number from 1 to 6, and x is either G or H). The AUTOSAV1 file was saved just before the first player's most recent turn, the AUTOSAV2 file was saved just before the second player's most recent turn, etc. Restart RBP, and open the newest AUTOSAV# game file (i.e. the one that corresponds to the player whose turn it was when the program crashed). Try to resume playing. If the program crashes immediately, you have found a repeatable bug. Send us that AUTOSAV#.RBG and AUTOSAV#.RBH file with a description of what error messages you received. If we can duplicate the problem here, we can almost certainly fix it. This process, while a bit tedious, is important because without a saved game with which to reproduce the problem here, we almost certainly can't fix it.
Q. When I double-click on a saved game, I'd like RBP to start and open that game. A. Create what is known as a "file association". In RBP (version 3.6.3 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 .RBZ saved game files and the RBP.EXE game. Exactly how to do this varies based on your operating system version. Here's how to in Windows XP.
Q. I obtained an alternate map, but it lacks RR pictures and sounds! A. Many, but not all, alternate maps have optional multimedia add-ons. When you order maps from us, we do NOT ship add-ons with it. You can download free add-ons from the multimedia page.
Q. I'd like to suggest a new feature for or improvement to the software. A. Sure, send it to intersys@insystem.com. Many of RBP'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.

Play by Email - Pbem
Q. How do I play Rail Baron by email? A. Starting with version 3.4, RBP automates the Play by email process. For each human player in a match, you input an email address. During play, RBP 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.
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 RailGameFan group at Yahoo! Groups.
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 mail you must enable the "Use SSL" checkbox in RBP's Display Settings window (beginning version 3.6.0). Be sure to set the other fields (username, password, port, etc.) as Gmail instructs, for example:

My Email Address(es): [YourEmailName]@gmail.com
SMTP Mail Server: smtp.gmail.com
Username: [YourEmailName]@gmail.com
Password: [YourPassword]
SMTP Port Number: 465
Use SSL: (enable this checkbox)

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 RBP's Pbem settings the password of your email account. Some report McAfee virus protection can cause this problem too.
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 RBP'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 RBP of your info as follows:

  • run RBP version 3.4.x or newer
  • choose the File, Display Settings pull-down menu
  • in RBP's Display and Web Settings window, in the panel on the right, for My Email Address(es) enter xyz@yahoo.com where xyz is the Yahoo ID/email name you selected when you registered at Yahoo
  • for SMTP Mail Server enter smtp.mail.yahoo.com
  • for Username enter the Yahoo ID/email name you selected when you registered there; do not include @yahoo.com
  • for Password enter the password you chose when you registered at Yahoo
  • for SMTP Port Number enter 25
Then re-run RBP's Pbem self-test as described in the in-game help. Check your email at Yahoo's site to see if the self-test message arrived there. If so, you are ready to play via email! During play, when it is your turn, the match will arrive at your Yahoo account as an email attachment.

If you prefer the incoming Pbem attachments to instead arrive in your regular (non-Yahoo) email box, when setting up the Pbem match and RBP 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 RBP 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.

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. I'm using Windows Vista. A. If you are using Windows Vista/7/8, here are some tips:
  • Do not install the game into "Program Files" or a subdirectory of it.
  • For the setup and registration process, you must run the game program as an Administrator.
  • Running Windows as Administrator is not enough, you have to run the game as Administrator.
  • The easiest way to do so is to right click on the game's desktop icon and choose Run as Administrator.
  • When you retry the setup/passcode, it is normal for Vista to warn you about computer security.
  • Microsoft has more information online, including an overview.
  • Microsoft also has details.
After setup and registration, you should not need to run the game as an Administrator.

If RBP will not display your pre-registration number, this is because you do not have the latest version of RBP or are not running it in Administrator mode.

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 have bugs/quirks/issues handling help systems. There are multiple ways to get around the trouble:

  • 1) Manually unblock RBP's in-game help file. In the directory in which you installed RBP, find and right click on RBP.CHM, choose Properties, then click on Unblock. More details are here and here.
  • 2) Or, switch to Winhelp
    • 1) add the Winhelp module (downloadable from Microsoft)
    • 2) then rename or delete the RBP.CHM file (doing so tells RBP to use the supplied RBP.HLP alternate help file instead)
  • 3) Or, upgrade to RBP version 3.6.6 (or newer) which replaces the problematic .CHM help system with an .HTM one that displays help via your browser.
Q. I can't unblock the help file via Windows 8 because it has no unblock option. A. It's odd Microsoft makes what should be a simple thing like help so difficult. The unblock feature is hidden in Windows 8, but can be enabled as described at the Windows Club.
Q. How do I play on my smartphone? A. Yes, with a Windows 10 smartphone.
Q. Does RBP 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 RBP into a folder within "Program Files (x86)", and 2) try running RBP in a 32-bit compatibility mode.
Q. RBP asks me if my operating system is Windows Vista or newer and then exits. It says Registration problem code A52. What gives? A. If you are using Windows Vista/7/8/10, here are some tips:
  • Do not install the game into "Program Files" or a subdirectory of it.
  • For the setup and registration process, you must run the game program as an Administrator.
  • Running Windows as Administrator is not enough, you have to run the game as Administrator.
  • The easiest way to do so is to right click on the game's desktop icon and choose Run as Administrator.
  • When you start up and/or enter your registration passcode, it is normal for Windows to warn you about computer security. You may see "Intersystem Concepts" listed as developer... that's us.
  • Microsoft has more information online, including an overview.
  • Microsoft also has details.
After setup and registration, you should not need to run the game as an Administrator.
Q. What about old versions of RBP? A. RBP versions 1.x and 2.x are 16-bit applications, and thus Windows Vista and newer are not natively compatible with them. You might try upgrading to RBP 3.x which is a 32-bit application.

Install / Hardware / Internet Issues
Q. Does RBP work with a Windows 8 tablet? A. RBP operates with Windows 8 and supports touch-based interfaces. Note for RBP you need the full Windows 8 version, not Windows RT. The Microsoft Surface Pro tablet released in 2013 runs RBP (photo). We recommend RBP version 3.6.6 or later because we have tuned it up for touch interfaces.
Q. Can I run RBP on an iPad? A. We've not tried it ourselves, but users report RBP runs fine if you first install Linux and Wine. 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, RBP runs on Windows tablets such as the Surface Pro.
Q. Can I run RBP on a Mac or under Linux? A. Many people have reported success running RBP via Windows emulation software for those operating systems such as Parallels or VMware Fusion for the Mac, Wine for Linux.
Q. I get the message "This program is not designed to operate under Double-Byte Character Systems." A. DBCS is not compatible with RBP. 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 RBP the problem persists, you must delete the RBP.LIC file; RBP.LIC is typically found in the folder that contains the RBP.EXE program, but sometimes Windows puts it in your UserProfile directory.

Q. When I enter my passcode, I get Error 75. A. Retry doing so after turning off virus checkers. If you are using Windows Vista you may need to run RBP in Vista Administrator mode while entering your passcode. See Running Windows as Administrator is not enough, you have to run RBP as Administrator; for how to do see Vista info above.
Q. I'm getting the messages "A required .DLL file, MSVBVM60.DLL was not found." and "Cannot find file 'C:\RBP\RBPEDIT.EXE' (or one of its components)." or "Cannot find file 'C:\RBP\RBP.EXE' (or one of its components)." A. You need to download and install some files RBP needs to operate. Most computers already have these files. Do this:
  • 1) if your copy of RBP came on CD, insert the disc
  • 2) run the disc's VBRUN60.EXE and answer Yes when asked "Would you like to install the Visual Basic 6.0 run time files?"
-or-
  • 1) download VBRUN60.EXE (approx. 1000k)
  • 2) run the downloaded copy of VBRUN60.EXE and answer Yes when asked "Would you like to install the Visual Basic 6.0 run time files?"
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 June 1998; it may occur in some newer drivers too. You must update the drivers RBP needs to operate. Do this:
  • 1) if your copy of RBP came on CD, insert the disc
  • 2) right click on the disc's MSINET.INF file and choose Install
-or-
  • 1) download http://activex.microsoft.com/controls/vb6/msinet.cab
  • 2) open the downloaded CAB file by double clicking it inside Windows (or via Microsoft's CabView utility)
  • 3) extract the files from the CAB (usually MSINET.INF and MSINET.OCX) to a folder
  • 4) right click on the extracted MSINET.INF file and choose Install
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 RBP needs to operate. Do this:
  • 1) if your copy of RBP came on CD, insert the disc
  • 2) right click on the disc's MSWINSCK.INF file and choose Install
-or-
  • 1) download http://activex.microsoft.com/controls/vb6/mswinsck.cab
  • 2) open the downloaded CAB file by double clicking it inside Windows (or via Microsoft's CabView utility)
  • 3) extract the files from the CAB (usually MSWINSCK.INF and MSWINSCK.OCX) to a folder
  • 4) right click on the extracted MSWINSCK.INF file and choose Install
If you are using a 64-bit version of Windows and still have trouble, see this additional information from Microsoft.
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 the answers to the previous 3 questions.
Q. Does RBP's Web capability work on my network? A. It should if your network uses standard IP (Internet protocol) addressing.
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, RBP 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. 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. Two-human-player live matches work fine, but trouble happens with more than two of us. 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 above.
Q. How do I play over the Web? A. You don't need a special server to play, instead your copy of RBP can communicate directly via the Internet with a copy running on another computer. Basically, you and your friend(s) all run RBP and decide which person will be GameMaster. The GM tells his IP address to the others (via phone, instant message, etc.) and they follow RBP's prompts to connect for play. For details, see the "Web Play" topic in the game's on line help.

When the GM chooses the "Make me GameMaster" option, RBP displays his dot address(es). For play over the Web, the GM should tell opponents his external dot address. For play over a local network, the GM should tell opponents his local dot address. If RBP 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. 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 timing out), it is 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 the next question and answer).
Q. We think the connection trouble is due to his router acting as a firewall. Help!

Sample router setup screen
as viewed in your browser
(click to enlarge):

IP addresses of
admin interface
for common brands:
Netgear 192.168.0.1
D-Link 192.168.0.1
Linksys 192.168.1.1
Belkin 192.168.2.1

A. To configure your router to allow incoming connections, you need to open ports 3011 and 3012 for use by RBP. The steps below, kindly provided by Rich Shipley, describe the process for a Linksys router; you may need to adjust them for other brands:
    "You need to go into the admin web interface on the router, usually 192.168.1.1 unless this has been changed. (Do this by running your Web browser and manually entering 192.168.1.1 in its URL/location/address field. If that value fails, consult your router's documentation to look up the value your model needs.)

    "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 RBP) click the 'Status' tab and find the IP Address in the 'WAN:' section. (Normally you can skip this because RBP 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 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 RPB application (RBP uses ports 3011 and 3012) 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."

Thanks for that info, Rich!
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 the 10060 "Connection Timed Out". You need to tell your software firewall to allow RBP 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 Rail Baron, RB Player or RBP (if it is not already in the list, use the "Add program" feature). Enable an exception by clicking RBP's check box.

The general unblocking process is: Start >Control Panel >(Windows) Firewall >Exceptions >Add Program >Add RBP to your list

In Windows XP you may need to configure the Internet Connection Firewall as described by Microsoft.

Q. How can I check that multi-player RBP is working properly? A. To check, run two instances of RBP on the same computer and connect the two for a Web game by using the local dot address 127.0.0.1

Detailed steps:

  • 1) run RBP
  • 2) use Game, Start then the Web, Make Me GameMaster pull-down menus
  • 3) start another instance of RBP on the same computer
  • 4) use Game, Start then the Web, Make Me a Player pull-down menus
  • 5) as the dot address to which to connect enter 127.0.0.1
This links the two instances of RBP together such that in the GM instance you can use the Web window's Match, Begin/Resume menu to get things going. When you take a turn in one instance of RBP, it will also show up on the map of the other instance, just as if you were playing over the Web. Note having the two RBP game windows open and running simultaneously on the same display monitor can get confusing in a hurry.

This test isolates all network play connection and communcation to within your computer. Internally RBP is processing the match just like it would if the players were at different physical locations.

Success of this test proves a connection problem lies outside of RBP and its drivers. If you pass this test, but still have problems, then you've 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. For assistance, consult online references and the third party manufacturers.

If you can't unblock your computer for Web play, consider using RBP'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 RBP shows remains the one for which he had opened router ports.

Another gotcha is that some router configuration screens require your browser's Javascript to be enabled while you are changing their settings. If Javascript is disabled, it may look like the router accepted your port opening settings, but in reality it hasn't.

If you want to check the status of your cable modem, via a browser view http://192.168.100.1.

Q. I get error 75 or 76 and a message about REMOTEGM.RBZ when I try to play an Internet game. What's wrong? A. Your temporary file path is set wrong or employs non-8.3 format names. One way to fix it is to go to RBP's File, Program Settings window and change the "AutoSave and temp file location" setting to the root directory of any drive.
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:
    "Virtual PC is a PC emulator that allows you to run Windows (various versions) on your Macintosh. It works well in most cases. However, when I went to use RBP2 on it, I found that it would not run properly in 'Gamemaster' mode. It worked fine as a 'Player' when connected to a real PC, but not the other way around.

    "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.
    2. Go into the Network control panel in Windows and configure it with exactly the same information that appears in your TCP/IP control panel on the Macintosh after you connect to the Internet. (Alternatively you can set up Dialup Networking and connect directly from Windows instead of through the Mac.)
    3. Make sure that the RBP2 directory (whatever you call it) is at the top level. I had things stored in C:\Program Files\RBP2\ and it did not work. When I moved it to C:\RBP2\ it worked just fine."

Thanks for sharing that info, Chuck!
Q. Will you create a version of RBP specifically for the Mac, iPad or device with another operating system? A. RBP 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, plus under Linux via Wine. Developing 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 RBP remotely.

Display Issues
Q. During a game, the map replots oddly, and sometimes only shows one player's RR network. Is something wrong? A. Nope, that's the "Auto RRs" feature working as intended. What version 2 is doing is showing you a player's network after he purchases a RR. It allows the image to linger longer than version 1.x did. We made this change because version 2 is so much faster, we found that the AI's RR purchases were flashing by too quickly. When it becomes your turn again, RBP will replot and show all RRs. If you dislike this feature, you can disable it: go to the Display Settings window and un-check the "Auto rail display" checkbox. Also, in the map window, change the drop-down menu near the upper left from "Auto rails" to "All".
Q. In the Map Settings window, for Name Length when I select 'full names', the full names don't show up until I manually widen the RR list using the map-resize box. Why isn't the width automatically adjusted when I choose full names? A. The majority opinion of the play testers was that the map always deserves higher priority in this case. To manually resize the RR list, drag the resize icon at the lower-left corner of the map.
Q. The dashed and dotted Rail Draw Styles work only when Thin or Medium line thickness is selected. Why? A. This feature works on some computers, but not others due to a bug in the Windows display drivers.
Q. What is the "Finder #" along the left edge of the window above the Cash box? A. That's mainly for debugging. During a game, each time RBP looks for a good route, it uses a series of AI trip finders. A number representing the trip finder that found the best route is displayed here.
Q. How can I maximize the speed of map scrolling and display? A. In the Display Settings window, for RR draw thickness, choose Thin. Also, try disabling the background bitmap as doing so improves display speed on certain computers.
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 RBP's Display Settings window. Note also that some maps have multiple background images available; a list will be displayed in the Map Settings window.
Q. The colors in the map background look very strange on one computer, but not on another. Why? A. If your computer's display is set to 256-color (8-bit) mode, some graphical items will have unusual colors. 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 RBP's Display Settings window.
Q. The box that normally shows the RR heralds (logos) is mostly black. Why? A. This is because Windows needs to display the (normally) color image in a monochrome (black and white) form, but is unable to convert it properly. This can occur if your display is set to 256-color mode and the map background image is enabled. You can either 1) change your Windows display mode to more than 256 colors, or 2) turn off the "map bgnd image" entirely via the Display Settings window.

Miscellaneous
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 RBP been rated by the ESRB? A. No, it has not. We consider RBP 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, RBP 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 RBP's online Web play feature.
Q. The USB map did not come with a colorful background. Can I get one? A. You can use the map background image from the USA map. Here's how: 1) uncompress USABGND.BMZ (it's a .ZIP file) to get USABGND.BMP, 2) copy USABGND.BMP to USBBGND.BMP, and 3) (optional) ZIP compress USBBGND.BMP to USBBGND.BMZ. The previous directions posted here for doing this were outdated.
Q. Can I add sounds to the game? A. You can do so with the RBNYC map. These are authentic NYC subway train and bus sounds that were recorded over the past 40 years by a Transit Authority employee. You can download them free from the multimedia page.
Q. How come I can't win? RBP's gotta be cheating... A. We hear this comment surprisingly often, and well, we have to admit, we find it rather amusing because we know the AI does not cheat. Yes, it may be tough to beat, but the random elements in the game (dice and destinations) are not 'fixed' in any way. To make the game easier to win, use fewer players, and set their skill level to Avg or lower. Also, note that while the various suggestion features in the software (suggest a route, RR purchase advice, etc.) are helpful, if you always accept their advice, you'll be playing no better than the AI. You need to think differently (i.e. better) than the AI to win. As a last resort, make all your AI opponents the IA Newby type...he purchases RRs randomly and is quite easy to trounce.
Q. Can I get paper copies of an alternate map to play on? A. Yes, some paper (i.e. board game format) maps are available. See the alternate maps page.
Q. Can I be notified of new items? A. The best way to get news about the Rail Baron® game is via the RailGameFans® mailing list. The list is operated by Yahoo! Groups. To join, send a blank email to railgamefan-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. If you later wish to unsubscribe send a blank email to railgamefan-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com.


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