TA Demo 0.99b2
README | Recorder | Replayer | 3D TA | History
  1. Replayer
  2. The Demo File Browser
  3. The Connection Type Selection
  4. The Replayer Battle Room
  5. The Control Center
  6. The Comments panel
  7. Command reference
  8. Continuing recorded games
  9. Offline replay issues
  10. Hints and Tips
  11. Legalese
This file is also available online.


The Replayer consists of a series of screens. Typically you launch it by doubleclicking a demo file in Windows Explorer, but you can also launch it from the Start Menu and look for the demo manually.

  1. Select the demo you want to view in the demo file browser, from which you can also reach the Control Center and the Comments panel.
  2. Select the connection type.
  3. Finally, on the Replayer Battle Room screen click Start TA (4.).
  4. The Replayer has to synchronize with TA - when it does, you will see the message *** Unit sync is complete. This has to happen for each player separately (just like in a real game).
  5. When all watchers are synchronized and have clicked Go, the replay will launch. If people are going to join your replay via the internet, you should not click in before everyone that is going to watch has joined, or you may end up with the Replayer launching the game way too soon.
  6. During the replay, you can control the replay speed using the +/- keys and by the various replayer commands issued via the chat console.
  7. Afterwards, shut down TA and click the Quit button on the Replayer.

The Demo File Browser

This is where you select which demo to watch. If you launched the replayer by doubleclicking the demo file in Windows Explorer, that demo file will already be selected.

  1. Navigate your drives and select demo files with these controls. You can also delete files by selecting them and pressing the Del key in the file list.
  2. General information about the demo. Probably the most interesting is the map name.
  3. A list of the players who participated in the game.
  4. Important: A list of the units you will need to replay the game properly.
  5. Leads to the control center screen.
  6. Leads to the comments panel.
  7. Confirms that you want to load the selected demo.

The Connection Type Selection

TA can communicate multiplayer games via various protocols, and so can TA Demo. Select the desired protocol here. Please note that only TCP/IP and IPX are supported.

IPX may be especially useful for Windows 95 users who may not be able to watch demos offline using TCP/IP. See Offline replay issues for details.

  1. Select connection type here.
  2. New timer mode should be enabled, unless there more people beyond yourself are going to join your replay.
  3. Skip pauses is self-explanatory. It requires new timer mode (2.) to be enabled.
  4. Confirms your choice of connection type.

The Replayer Battle Room

This is essentially the same as the TA Battle Room, except you can change any settings (for obvious reasons :o)).

  1. List of players in the replay. This includes both recorded players as well as replay watchers.
  2. Chat buffer.
  3. Chat console. Hit ENTER or click Send to send a line.
  4. Start TA should be self-explanatory. May not work if not correctly configured on the control center.

The Control Center

The Control center is accessible from Start Menu/Programs/TA Demo. You can also reach it by clicking on the Options (5.) button of the demo file browser.

  1. In order for Start TA in the replayer to work, enter the correct location where TA is installed here
  2. The drive and directory the replayer will initially display, if you run it from the Start Menu
  3. Unless you enter something here, the recorder will save demos to the TA directory
  4. The options explained, from top to bottom:
    1. Having .fixall enabled by default is possible for those too lazy to type, but not recommended.
    2. This will save you the hassle of typing .sharemappos every game. Recommended. (See the recorder command reference for details.)
    3. This will save you the hassle of typing .record filename every game. Recommended. (See the recorder command reference for details.)
    4. If you have automatic recording enabled, this will include detailed information in the filename of the autorecorded demos. Highly recommended.
    5. This will save you the hassle of typing .createtxt every game. Recommended. (See the recorder command reference for details.)
    6. You should not change this.
  5. There usually is no need to change this. If you experience problems, esp with others connecting to the replayer via the internet, increasing the interval may help.
  6. There usually is no need to change this. In most cases it is better to simply disable "newtimermode" when replaying if there are problems with it, but you may wish to try changing this option.
  7. If you are getting *** Current ack status: # of # messages and *** Unit sync is complete won't come up when replaying a game, you should lower the speed here.

The Comments panel

The Comments panel is accessible by the Comments (6.) button of the demo file browser and, non-surprisingly, shows comments added to the demo by you or others.

  1. Displays comments previously entered in the file.
  2. You can type your own comments here.
  3. This will insert the comments you typed into Your comments (2.) into the demo.

Command reference

TA Demo is largely controlled via commands issued from the TA chat console available in the Battle Room and, by pressing ENTER, during the game. Here is a list of available commands:

.income (ingame)
Displays the current net income for all players in the recording.
.lockon nick (ingame)
If a player had issued .sharemappos during the original game, this command will lock your main display to follow his scrolling. Issue just .lockon without a nick to unlock your screen and scroll freely.
.nocheats (battleroom)
Normally when replaying a game, cheats are enabled. Issuing .nocheats will deactivate them in order to continue the recorded game. See Continuing recorded games for more information.
.pos (ingame)
Tells you how far into the game you are, so you can easily locate that position later.
.pos num (ingame)
Fast-forwards or rewinds the replay to num percent into the game (f.ex. .pos 50 will take you to halfway through the game). Usually it takes 5 to 15 seconds until full synchronization and is smoother to fast-forward than rewind. Most units will disappear when fast-forwarding a game until they are issued an order or react to other units. Any DT's, wreckage, reclaimable features, etc that are created during in the skipped time will not be visible when fast-forwarding, and will not disappear when rewinding. Note you should not rewind if any players left the game in the elapsed time.
.speed num (ingame)
Replay speed is set to num percent of normal. Note that accelerating replay can severely affect smoothness and lower your frame rate. The number of units in the game and your computer specifications also play a large role here. Changing the speed a lot can also degrade performance.
.sonar (ingame replay-only)
Creates a sonar whose sonar range covers the whole map. This makes it easier to watch underwater units.

NOTE: Make sure all watchers have the sonar unit. Anyone who does not will crash as soon as .sonar is issued!
.total (ingame)
Displays the current running total of resources accumulated for all players in the recording.

Continuing recorded games

The recorder/replayer provide some aspects of a multiplayer savegame in that it is possible to take control of a player's units in a replayed game. For this to work there must be the same amount of players watching and later taking over the game as there were players in the original game.


Host a demo replay, and make sure everyone joins the Replayer a player showing as ARM or CORE rather than WATCH, and click Go.


Once in the game, wait till you get to the point from which you'd like to replay. Fast-forwarding with the .speed, +/- keys or using .pos is possible, but we advise against rewinding. For example, if you're going to replay a game from where you left off (perhaps due to someone's unfortunate crash/disconnect), you could jump 95% of the way into the game by typing .pos 95.


Make sure gamespeed is at 100% (e.g., you haven't left the speed at a higher or lower rate by using the .speed command) and pause the game.


Each player types .take nick for the respective player they will be taking over.


Someone then issues .dotake to initiate the takeover process. Shazzam! with a bit of fireworks, everyone should be in possession of the units and structures of the player they claimed.

  • All players will find themselves possessing two Commanders: the one from the demo and the new one. See the notes on the .takecmd command in the recorder command reference for issues with posessing several Commanders.
  • You will receive the full amount of starting resources in addition to the stored and incoming resources of the recorded player.
  • Anyone can have replayed the demo and thus know the exactly situation of all players. This will of course skew the results.
  • You probably want to use .nocheats to avoid players being able to cheats like +los, +atm or +doubleshot.
  • We're sure there's lots more we haven't noticed or thought of. Feedback is appreciated.

Offline replay issues

There are two approaches to do this, depending on the operating system you are running.

Windows 98 / NT 4 / 2000

If you're running either Win98 or WinNT there is an easy way to play recorded games when not offline. Open Notepad and copypaste the following text:

# Copyright (c) 1993-1995 Microsoft Corp.
# This is a sample HOSTS file used by Microsoft TCP/IP for Windows NT.
# This file contains the mappings of IP addresses to host names. Each
# entry should be kept on an individual line. The IP address should
# be placed in the first column followed by the corresponding host name.
# The IP address and the host name should be separated by at least one
# space.
# Additionally, comments (such as these) may be inserted on individual
# lines or following the machine name denoted by a '#' symbol.
# For example:
# rhino.acme.com # source server
# x.acme.com # x client host localhost

The important part of the file is the one line localhost. Do not use any other IP address than for defining localhost - you have been warned.
Windows 98: save the file as Windows\hosts.
Windows NT/2000: save the file as WinNT\System32\Drivers\etc\hosts.
In both cases make sure it is called just hosts, NOT hosts.txt!!

Windows 95

This is a bit more complicated. In order to watch a game without going online, it is recommended to use the IPX protocol for playback. However, IPX needs to be installed in order to use it. If need be, you can install it from Start Menu/Control Panel/Network (please refer to your User's Manual for details). You might have to lower the Sync speed (8.) setting on the Control center for the replayer to synch.

Hints and Tips

Third party units and/or missing units (official or not) might affect stability. We recommend having all official units (3.1 patch, Core Hedgehog, Arm Scarab, Arm Flea, Core Immolator, Arm FARK, Core Necro). Check the required units from the Replayer before loading a game.

You can replay games for friends over the internet: people can connect to your replay server like a normal game, and they don't need the demo themselves (which would defeat the point). However replay will not be as smooth. The host must also be on a sufficiently fast connection to accomodate all watchers at the desired replay speed. Lower it if necessary. +bps is always helpful to detect bandwidth problems ahead of time.

When speeding up replay, performance will suffer as more units appear and the action accelerates; severity depends on your computer system. Every speed change in itself may hamper performance as well, regardless of whether you put the speed back to 100%.

Restarting TA between recording games may improve stability. Restarting Windows is strongly recommended after replaying a game. Well, it always helps to restart Windows no matter what you're trying to do anyway :o)


The Swedish Yankspankers are in no way affiliated with Cavedog Entertainment, Humongous Entertainment, GT Interactive, Infogrames or any other company that has rights to the Total Annihilation products and brand name.

TA Demo may be freely distributed as long as it is provided as is, with the documentation included unchanged (readme.html, recorder.html, replayer.html, history.html). All rights reserved.