Hamster Wrench

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This article (or part thereof) is obsolete. It may have made sense in the past, but it does not make sense now. It is kept here only for historic curiosity and/or posterity.
Not to be confused with HamsterWrench (Java tools).

Hamster Wrench was a Second Party Tool* created for the OHR. It was designed as a replacement for HssEd, an editor for plotscripts. It has not been worked on since about 2005, and no download is available. For a modern replacement, try Hamster Whisper. The rest of this article was written in 2005.

It was being developed and maintained by Mike Caron.

* - Second Party: Mike is an official OHRRPGCE Developer, but Hamster Wrench is not officially part of it. Not First Party, not quite Third Party... So, second party.

About Hamster Wrench[edit]

Hamster Wrench is written in Visual Basic.Net. It mimics the (useful) functionality of HssEd, while improving on it and adding new features. Further, it is "updated" to follow modern conventions.

Context Help is provided by means of the plotdict.xml file included with the OHR (incidentally, also created by Mike. For the XSL-inclined, have a look at plot.xsl to see how the XML is transformed into the help screen format.

Mike is not happy about how Hamster Wrench is forced to interact with Hspeak, but there is not much he can do about it right now. Hamster Wrench will always pass three flags to HSpeak (without giving you the option to turn them off) because they are critical to Hamster Wrench detecting how successful the compilation was:

  • -c - Ok, not critical, but no point in enabling colour if you don't see the terminal. Ideally, this would also turn off the colour in the hs_error.htm file, but no such luck. I consider that a bug, not a feature.
  • -y - Again, since the console is hidden, it is imperative that the compilation is non-interactive. Otherwise, HSpeak will wait indefinitely for input that won't come, and Hamster Wrench will wait indefinitely for HSpeak to finish. Not good.
  • -z - The hs_error.htm file that is created by this flag is one of only two pieces of information that Hamster Wrench can gather in terms of figuring out whether HSpeak succeeded or not. This is what goes into the Errors window.


Normally, Hamster Wrench would be GPL'd. However, I haven't the time to make up all sorts of extra files to do it properly, so it's closed source for now. This will change for Version 1.0


Installing this should be easy. Once you've ensured that you meet the System Requirements, just download the package, and extract it to a folder. Run HamsterWrench.exe.

The first time you run it (or, at the very least, before you try to compile something), you should go to the Tools->Options menu, and fill in the path to HSpeak.

Then, you're good to go!


If you need to upgrade an older version with a newer one, generally, it'll just be a matter of extracting the zip package over top of the old version.

Note that most of the settings are stored in settings.xml, which is not included with the packages, so you don't need to worry about it getting nuked.


Just delete all the files that you previously unzipped, and you're good. If you're planning ot reinstall some time, you should keep settings.xml, as it contains all your prefrences. Your call, though.

System Requirements[edit]

  • Yes, it's written in .Net, so you need the .Net runtime, Version 1.1. If you've run Windows Update any time in the last year or so, you should have it.
  • Windows 98, ME, NT 4 (with SP6a), 2000, XP, 2003
  • Internet Explorer 5+ (Alas, IE is much easier to embed than Gecko)
  • The OHRRPGCE full package (with HSpeak.exe)


The current version is 1.0 alpha. The alpha bit means that it's not the official version, and is missing a few things. Specifically, an About screen. I want people to test it, and report bugs/request features outside of what I've arbitrarily decided. Anyway, grab the file from one of the following mirrors:

  • http://ohrdev.com/hamsterw.zip