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  Click here to go to the first FarSight post in this thread.   Thread: [GUIDE] High Score and Goals backup and restore in TPA (Steam)

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    Moderator Xanija's Avatar
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    [GUIDE] High Score and Goals backup and restore in TPA (Steam)

    Changes 17.11.2018:
    Currently you should only need to make a backup of this folder:

    C:\Users\<Windows user name>\My Games\Pinball Arcade

    because FarSight disabled the cloud save functionality. Everything below is only required, if you need to use the cloud save files in Steam.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    FarSight has disabled the cloud save functionality by default. This means, the files mentioned below are still being created, but not used. In order to change the and make use of the cloud save files, you need to enter a command line parameter for TPA in Steam, which is "cloudactive". If you right-click on TPA, select properties, you can select the start options like this:







    Original message:

    Why this guide?

    It is very important to make backups of your files, as you can't reply on the cloud files. The reason for this is: TPA creates a highscore file when installing the game. It doesn't seem to check, whether or not a save file in the cloud already exists. When installing the game on a new PC, a local save file will be created with a current time stamp. When the game is launched, TPA will check the save file in the cloud and compare it with the local save file on your PC. As the local save file is newer, TPA will consider this as the most current file. After closing TPA it will upload this newer file to Steam and your progress is lost both locally and in the Steam cloud.

    This guide will explain how to backup (Part 1) and restore (Part 2) your high scores and standard/wizard goals.

    Part 1 - Backup:

    TPA stores High Scores, settings ect. in:

    C:\Users\<Windows user name>\My Games\Pinball Arcade
    This is nice to backup, but the more important files reside in:

    <Steam Folder>\userdata\<user ID>\238260

    <Steam Folder> is in most cases C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam

    <user ID> is a numeric. If you are the only Steam user on this machine, you will only have one Steam ID folder. If you have more than one, you can find out which your Steam ID is using http://steamidfinder.com/ Make sure to click on "Looking for Steam 3 ID" to get the ID we want to use:






    In this folder you will find a file "remotecache.vdf" and a folder "remote". Make a backup of both.

    The file "remotecache.vdf" contains a description of what is being synchronized with Steam cloud.

    The file "pbaprg.dat", which sits in the "remote"-Folder, contains the high scores and goals achieved.



    Part 2 - Restore:

    If you need to restore your progress, use your backup files and copy them back to

    <Steam Folder>\userdata\<user ID>\238260

    Overwrite the existing files.

    Now you need to take the following steps:

    1. Change the file dates of the file "pbaprg.dat" with a tool like "BulkFileChanger" (Freeware), available at http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/bulk_file_changer.html to the current time.
    This step is neccessary to give the file a newer time stamp than the Steam cloud file

    2. Check the properties of the file by right-clicking on it and selecting "Properties". You will see a screen like this:



    (Sorry, it's German, but I'm sure you will be able to figure out what to look for)

    3. Convert the "Last Changed"-Date to the time zone "UTC" using http://www.thetimezoneconverter.com/



    4. Convert the UTC time to a UNIX time stamp using http://www.unixtimestamp.com/



    5. Edit the file "remotecache.vdf" with a text editor and look for a string "localtime"

    6. Replace the value after "localtime" with the UNIX time stamp, which you just looked up. I this example it should look like:

    "localtime" "1476030660"

    7. Save the file

    8. Start TPA - you should now have your high scores and goals from your latest backup.

    Any questions, please let me know.

    Mods, please sticky this thread.

    There is another guide on the Steam forums, which is using the "Cloud Sync Conflict", which might be useful, if you plan to install TPA on several devices parallel:

    http://steamcommunity.com/app/238260...00960996345816
    Last edited by Xanija; 11-17-2018 at 06:20 AM.

  2. #2
    Moderator Xanija's Avatar
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    Note to FarSight: This procedure could be avoided, if TPA didn't create a local save file while installation before checking, whether a save file in the cloud is already available. If a save file is there, make this as a local save file after installation. This should not be complicated and would make Steam cloud save files actually useful.

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    Moderator Xanija's Avatar
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    (reserved for future use)

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    I can personally confirm that this method works. Xan and I worked on doing this last night, and it went through like a charm. +1Billion to Xan for saving me from having to get all those scores again, not to mention all those goals.
    DwarvenPanzer9 on Steam

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    Junior Member Gen_Giu's Avatar
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    I wonder what is the procedure to follow when it is needed to uninstall a not working installation and reinstall a new one when you have saved the high scores and achievements file?

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    Moderator Xanija's Avatar
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    The same as described in the guide. If you're lucky, the uninstall won't kill your save file and you don't need to do anything.

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    Does this still work? I just tried it on a second PC and it zeroed my scores and goals. I might have made a mistake tho
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    PC+Mobile - PHOF Score - 34615: Missing wizard goals seasons 1-4 = 3

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    Isn't it better to just turn off cloud saving and always backup by hand. All this seems like a nuisance, and like in many other examples, it seems TPA is the only game on my steam library that messes who doesn't do cloud saving right.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RuySan View Post
    Isn't it better to just turn off cloud saving and always backup by hand. All this seems like a nuisance, and like in many other examples, it seems TPA is the only game on my steam library that messes who doesn't do cloud saving right.
    I'm not sure that works anymore. The files are all timestamped and crc'd
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    PC+Mobile - PHOF Score - 34615: Missing wizard goals seasons 1-4 = 3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pod View Post
    I'm not sure that works anymore. The files are all timestamped and crc'd
    I did backup the highscore.dat on the game directory after i uninstalled everything (and manually erased every file left on the game folder), and reinstalled to try to correct a bug. It worked fine, but maybe that's because i didn't do anything with remotecache and remote folder this thread is mentioning.

    That's where the highscores and goals are recorded, not on the highscore.dat?

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    Moderator shutyertrap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RuySan View Post
    I did backup the highscore.dat on the game directory after i uninstalled everything (and manually erased every file left on the game folder), and reinstalled to try to correct a bug. It worked fine, but maybe that's because i didn't do anything with remotecache and remote folder this thread is mentioning.

    That's where the highscores and goals are recorded, not on the highscore.dat?
    @Xanjia is the one who’ll know these answers. All I know is I was trying to run TPA on my laptop which then overrided everything I had done on PC. One of the main functions of having a game on Steam is that your data travels with your login to Steam. I don’t believe FarSight has addressed that yet.

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    Moderator Xanija's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RuySan View Post
    I did backup the highscore.dat on the game directory after i uninstalled everything (and manually erased every file left on the game folder), and reinstalled to try to correct a bug. It worked fine, but maybe that's because i didn't do anything with remotecache and remote folder this thread is mentioning.

    That's where the highscores and goals are recorded, not on the highscore.dat?
    Yes, but I'm not 100% sure, what the highscore.dat does. I suspect it gets created from the remote folder files. But since there is not documentation about it, it's more guesswork than anything else.

    I wish this issue would be worked on

  13.   Click here to go to the next FarSight post in this thread.   #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xanija View Post
    Yes, but I'm not 100% sure, what the highscore.dat does. I suspect it gets created from the remote folder files. But since there is not documentation about it, it's more guesswork than anything else.

    I wish this issue would be worked on
    The highscore.dat does contain local high scores, goals, custom ball and camera save info.

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    Moderator Xanija's Avatar
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    Thanks. But how is it connected to the Steam cloud save file in <Steam Folder>\userdata\<user ID>\238260? This is causing the problems, when people lose their progress. It seems like the Steam cloud save file will overwrite the local file.

  15.   Click here to go to the next FarSight post in this thread.   #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xanija View Post
    Thanks. But how is it connected to the Steam cloud save file in <Steam Folder>\userdata\<user ID>\238260? This is causing the problems, when people lose their progress. It seems like the Steam cloud save file will overwrite the local file.
    Bounced this around the office and it sounds like it was a known issue. I'll be pushing to get it fixed soon.

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    Moderator Xanija's Avatar
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    Yes, I have reported it twice

    From what I can see, when TPA is installed on a new device (after having played it already on a different device), it creates the save files locally. After the game has been started and played, Steam cloud save gets active. It checks, which file is newer, the local one or the file stored in the cloud. Since the local file is newer, it will overwrite the stored file in the cloud and all progress is gone.

    Solution would be: TPA needs to check during installation, whether a save file exists in the Steam cloud. If yes, download this file and use it rather than creating a new one. Problem solved (I guess).

  17.   This is the last FarSight post in this thread.   #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xanija View Post
    Yes, I have reported it twice

    From what I can see, when TPA is installed on a new device (after having played it already on a different device), it creates the save files locally. After the game has been started and played, Steam cloud save gets active. It checks, which file is newer, the local one or the file stored in the cloud. Since the local file is newer, it will overwrite the stored file in the cloud and all progress is gone.

    Solution would be: TPA needs to check during installation, whether a save file exists in the Steam cloud. If yes, download this file and use it rather than creating a new one. Problem solved (I guess).
    Thanks for the info! We're looking into it now.

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    Senior Member Spork98765's Avatar
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    Why not just save the achievements, scores etc in the steam cloud with a UI toggle to (de)select if the user wants to use cloud or local saves. As it is currently implemented the user cannot fully use either.

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    this would have been great to have sorted before they trashed our saves with the pistol poker release!
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    PC+Mobile - PHOF Score - 34615: Missing wizard goals seasons 1-4 = 3

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    Senior Member BostonBuckeye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xanija View Post
    Yes, I have reported it twice

    From what I can see, when TPA is installed on a new device (after having played it already on a different device), it creates the save files locally. After the game has been started and played, Steam cloud save gets active. It checks, which file is newer, the local one or the file stored in the cloud. Since the local file is newer, it will overwrite the stored file in the cloud and all progress is gone.

    Solution would be: TPA needs to check during installation, whether a save file exists in the Steam cloud. If yes, download this file and use it rather than creating a new one. Problem solved (I guess).
    Xanija, I want to thank you for showing us how to back up our files and restore them with this thread. It saved my ass in the fiasco that just occurred with the Pistol Poker update. I never in a million years would have known how to do this without the help of your post. I think it was about a week before you started this thread that I installed Pinball Arcade on a second computer and had what you describe above happen to me. I was absolutely stunned when I lost all my local high scores and goals after all the time I had spent achieving them. I had every table that had been released up to that point with well over half the goals achieved. Ever since then I have backed up my files weekly. Sometimes daily if I achieve hard to get goals. This was the first time since then that I have ever needed the back up files. You the man!!

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    Moderator Xanija's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BostonBuckeye View Post
    Xanija, I want to thank you for showing us how to back up our files and restore them with this thread. It saved my ass in the fiasco that just occurred with the Pistol Poker update. I never in a million years would have known how to do this without the help of your post. I think it was about a week before you started this thread that I installed Pinball Arcade on a second computer and had what you describe above happen to me. I was absolutely stunned when I lost all my local high scores and goals after all the time I had spent achieving them. I had every table that had been released up to that point with well over half the goals achieved. Ever since then I have backed up my files weekly. Sometimes daily if I achieve hard to get goals. This was the first time since then that I have ever needed the back up files. You the man!!
    I'm more than happy to hear this was useful for you! Glad everything has worked as expected.

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    Moderator Xanija's Avatar
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    Please check the first post for an important update. Thanks.

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