FAQ

On this page you'll find answers to commonly asked questions. The answers often link through to other pages on this community wiki.

General

Installation
Which should I download: the client or full-platform installer?
That depends on what you want. MSP Challenge is a so-called client/server application. Do you just want to use MSP Challenge on your own? Then you'll need the client and you can just log on to one of our demo servers. Do you want to set up and host an MSP Challenge server that others can connect to, including yourself? Then you'll need the full platform.
My computer won't let me run the installer I downloaded. What should I do?
Both Windows 10 and macOS have security settings that by default may disallow you from running downloaded software unknown to the operating system. In both cases there's a way to circumvent this and continue anyway. See the installation instructions page for details.
How do I know if my computer can run MSP Challenge?
We have listed system requirements for both the client and the full platform on this page. Do take note of the difference; if you're an end-user who only wants to use MSP Challenge to connect to a server somewhere, then the system requirements are a lot lower.
Ownership & Licensing
Who owns the MSP Challenge Simulation Platform?
Short answer: Breda University of Applied Sciences (BUas) and individual code contributors. That's because the platform was first developed by BUas staff and later released publicly through an open source license on GitHub.
What am I (not) allowed to do with the MSP Challenge Simulation Platform?
The platform is released with a particular open source license and an R&D Code of Conduct. See the Terms and Conditions page.
How can I contribute to the MSP Challenge Simulation Platform's further development?
We have released the source code of the entire platform (to the extent that we are legally allowed) on GitHub. See also the Community_Contribution page.
Costs
How much does the MSP Challenge Simulation Platform cost?
The platform itself is free. We have embraced a free and open source license. See the Terms and Conditions page.
Ok, so how much does an MSP Challenge Simulation Platform session or workshop cost?
That depends. You are free to use this community wiki to learn how everything works yourself, and then organise your own session or workshop. That way it's free (well, you'll need to spend time learning and organising). If you don't have or want to spend that time, you are free to get in touch with key staff through contact@mspchallenge.info and ask us to do it. That, of course, will cost you a little money. The exact amount will depend on what you exactly want. Typically we are talking somewhere in the region of a couple of hundred euros.
I'm interested in seeing some new features being developed in the MSP Challenge Simulation Platform. How much will that cost?
That depends on what you want of course and who you ask. In principle anyone is allowed to contribute code to the platform, client- or server-side, through GitHub. This is because the software has an open source license. See Terms and Conditions and Community_Contribution.
I'd really love to get an MSP Challenge edition revolving around my sea basin. How could we make that happen?
Great idea! It starts with ascertaining if and if so, where, there is geodata about the sea basin of interest. We have a whole separate page about this: Your_own_edition?

Using the Client

Settings & Connecting
I don't understand the MSP Challenge client's opening screen. What do I do?
MSP Challenge is a so-called client/server application. You need to log on to a server with that client you just started. So this opening screen is asking you to find and select a server to log onto. You can always log on to one of our own demo servers if you don't know what server you can or should log onto.
The client application is running full-screen, but I want to switch to another window. What do I do?
You can de-activate the client's default full-screen mode through Main Menu > Settings. See also the Changing Settings tutorial video.
Ok, now I can't seem to change the client window's size. What's up?
The client's window size is set through the Screen Resolution setting under Main Menu > Settings. See the Changing Settings tutorial video.
The client's interface looks quite small - I can hardly read the texts. Can I increase the font size somehow?
The size of texts and windows within the client can be altered by moving the UI Scale slider under Main Menu > Settings. See also the Changing Settings tutorial video.
So I've logged on to a server. Now what do I do?
Now you are ready to roll! Why don't you review some data layers and draw up some new spatial plans? Feel free to try clicking around. If you prefer a more guided approach, then check out our tutorial videos.
Viewing Data
I can see the whole sea basin, but I'll need to zoom in and pan over the map if I'm going to properly see smaller details. How do I do that?
Use the mouse's middle scroll wheel to zoom in and out, and use its right button (click and hold) to pan over the map. See also the Interacting with the Map tutorial video.
Can I find more information about a specific bit of geometry I found when I selected a particular layer for viewing?
You can click on anywhere on the map and on any bit of geometry to open up a Properties window providing a bit more information. See also the Viewing Layer Data video tutorial.
Can I find more information about what this particular layer is offering on the first place?
There are More Info (i) buttons here and there that open up the MSP Knowledge Base in a new window. Sometimes they'll provide the information you might be looking for. See also the Viewing Layer Data video tutorial.
What do all the colours mean on the map when I select a particular layer for viewing? Do you have a legend somewhere?
The Active Layers window in the top-right corner offers a list of layers you activated as well as a legend. Just click on the little arrow to the left of a particular layer in that window to expand the legend. See also the Accessing Layers video tutorial.
What's the source of all this data I'm seeing?
We have a separate page listing all the data sources per layer for all of our editions: Data_sources
There's so much data visible on the map, I can't make heads or tails of it any more. How do I clean up the map?
There's a little button in the Active Layers window to clear the entire layer list. See also the Accessing Layers tutorial video.
I saw text and numbers on the map before, e.g. on wind farms. Now they're gone again. How do I get them back?
You only see those texts and numbers if you zoom in far enough (otherwise the map would be completely clogged up). There's also a toggle for switching this feature on and off in the Active Layers window. See also the Accessing Layers tutorial video.
Drawing up Plans
I can't figure out how to draw. What am I missing?
It all starts with setting up a new plan through the Plan Wizard, available through the big plus icon in the top-left corner. See also the Creating a Plan tutorial video.
I drew up new spatial designations, such as a new wind farm. But after I finished that, they disappeared again. What happened?
Remember that when you're drawing, you are creating a *plan* for the future, which will only become a reality once that plan has been approved and the simulated clock reaches your set realisation date. Until then reality remains unchanged. This means that once you stop viewing your plan (and you're viewing the world as it is), your new wind farm isn't shown. See also the tutorial videos on creating a plan, drawing up spatial designations within it, and changing its state.
I'm trying to start drawing an energy cable, but nothing happens when I click on the map. What's going on?
Energy cables can only be drawn between specific other geometry, namely an offshore renewable energy area (e.g. a wind farm) and a landing or converter station. See the energy planning tutorial video for more information.
My plan to change or remove something doesn't seem to register. The change is undone, or the thing I removed is still there. What's going on?
Remember that when you're editing or deleting something, you are actually creating a *plan* for the future editing or deletion of something, which will only become a reality once that plan has been approved and the simulated clock reaches your set realisation date. Until then reality remains unchanged. This means that once you stop viewing your plan (and you're viewing the world as it is), your edits or deletions aren't shown. See also the tutorial videos on creating a plan, drawing up spatial designations within it, and changing its state.
Can I make a plan to change something that already exists, or even remove something?
Of course! Just follow the usual steps to create a plan, thereby selecting the layers in which you want to change or delete stuff. Then get into editing mode. Select Edit or select something existing and then change its shape through its points, or completely delete it by selecting Delete. See also the tutorial videos on creating a plan, drawing up spatial designations within it, and changing its state.
What realisation date should I select in the Plan Wizard?
That's up to you. Maritime/marine spatial planning is a four-dimensional activity. So it's not just about designating space at sea, it's also about figuring out when you want that designation to become reality. One advice: work chronologically. So make sure you first plan for the immediate future, and then plan for the further future, and the further future after that, etc. etc.
I drew up a spatial designation (e.g. an MPA), but it seems it's not the right type (e.g. not prohibiting fishing). How do I correct that?
As long as your plan is in its first Design state, you can make any change you want or need. Just go back into drawing mode, select the Edit button, click on your spatial designation, and alter the type definition for it in the bottom-left corner. See also the tutorial videos on creating a plan, drawing up spatial designations within it, and changing its state.
How do I solve this Error I got in the Plan Details overview after I finished drawing?
There's a View on Map button to the right of it - click it to zoom in on the problem area. You can also click on the exclamation point on the map to do this. Now you need to decide: do you change whatever I drew, or do you change what was already there? It's up to you - you're the maritime/marine spatial planner. See also the tutorial videos on creating a plan, drawing up spatial designations within it, and changing its state.
I want to create a plan that builds upon a previous plan I made, but that previous plan hasn't been implemented yet. Do I need to wait for that?
No! As long as your previous plan has been approved (meaning: it's official, ready to go) you can build upon it in a brand new plan. See also the tutorial videos on creating a plan, drawing up spatial designations within it, and changing its state.
Setting a realisation date for a plan - why does that matter at all?
It's part of the essence of maritime/marine spatial planning. Think four-dimensionally. So it's not just about designating space at sea, it's also about figuring out when you want that designation to become reality. One advice: work chronologically. So make sure you first plan for the immediate future, and then plan for the further future, and the further future after that, etc. etc.
I've come to realise that I need to draw in more layers than I originally thought. How can I add the missing layers to my existing plan?
Get out of drawing mode first if you're in it (click on Accept or Cancel in the bottom row of editing tools). Now find the Change Details button under Plan Details (maximise your Plans Monitor if it's narrowed). That will re-open the Plan Wizard, and allow you to add missing layers.
Collaborating & Approving
My plan already got archived, but I still want to try to get it implemented. What do I do?
Typically you're still able to select the Design state for your plan through the usual way. You might need to select a later realisation date through the Change Details button (which opens up the Plan Wizard again). See also the Altering a Plan's state tutorial video.
What does the Archived state do to a plan?
That's like throwing a plan away, just without completely getting rid of it. An archived plan is completely ignored by the simulations.
What does the Consultation state do to a plan?
That opens up your plan for all other country teams to see too. That way they can comment or react on it. Plans in the first Design state are only visible to you and your fellow country team members.
Why can't I select the Approved state for my plan, but there is this option Approval?
That means that you've included something in your plan that requires approval from one or more other country teams. You might have crossed your EEZ border with your new spatial designation. Or you might have altered or deleted a bit of geometry that already went across your border. Or you might have opted to change something that always requires approval from other country teams (even if you only changed something within your EEZ). See also the Altering a Plan's State tutorial video.
What do these plan states mean: design, consultation, approval, approved, implemented, archived?
I'm done drawing and want to get my plan approved, but the only option I have besides Design is Archived. Why is that?
This can mean a couple of things. Perhaps your plan has errors that need to be fixed first. Or perhaps your plan's realisation date is set in the past. See also the tutorial videos on creating a plan, editing geometry, and getting your plan approved.
Simulating & Evaluating
When are my plans going to be implemented?
Look in the top-middle of your screen to see the current simulated time. To the left of that you'll see whether the simulated time is ticking or not. When you created a plan, you selected a realisation data. If you finished your plan and got it approved, then it's ready to go. Once the simulated clock starts running and reaches your realisation date, your plan will be implemented. See also the tutorial videos on drawing up plans and getting them approved.
How can I start the clock, as in, start the simulations?
Only an session's administrator can start, pause, accelerate or decelerate the simulated time. Typically this is your session facilitator or your teacher or trainer.
How can I review how things changed once my plans are implemented?
There are two main ways to do this, through the time view control button or through the Objectives Monitor. The former is the little clock icon next to the simulation time indicator in the top-middle of your screen. Click on it to review what your selected data layers looked like in the past. See also |tutorial videos on this subject.
How do I figure out why the simulations responded the way they did to my plans?
Deduction! Activate relevant data layers and review how they changed over time using the time view controls (the clock icon next to the simulated time indicator in the top-middle of your screen). The Pressures layers show what ecosystem pressures were created through your spatial designations (e.g. how much Noise was generated by your new wind farm). You can also review the changing key performance indicators over time, as your plans got implemented, through the Objectives Monitor. See also the relevant tutorial videos on the subject.
Why aren't I getting any or all of the energy of this wind farm I planned and got implemented?
Check if you have enough energy capacity on the infrastructure connected to your wind farm. Your wind farm has a maximum capacity, but the connected cables, transformer stations and finally landing stations need to be able to handle all that energy. See if you can figure out where the bottleneck is. See also the energy planning tutorial video.
My plan got implemented, but I'm not happy with its consequences. How can I undo or change it?
You can't! Well... Once your plan got implemented, it's a reality. This means that you can only change it by making a new plan and getting that approved and implemented again, just like in real life!

Using the Rest of the Platform

General
I've installed the full platform and started the client to try to log on to my server. What's next?
Actually, you need to create an MSP Challenge session first, otherwise you'll still have nothing to log on to with the client. So you'll need to log on to the Server Manager and create a new MSP Challenge session from there. After you've done that, you can go ahead and log on to that session with the client.
About the Server Manager
I've installed the full platform and successfully logged on the Server Manager. Now what?
Great! Now all you need to do is create your first new MSP Challenge session and then you can ask your participants to log on to your server and that specific session.
After I created a new session in the Server Manager it just says 'request' as its status, and I can't log on to it in the client. What's wrong?
Creating a new session typically takes a couple of minutes to complete. The status 'request' means that the session is still being created (your request is still being processed). This means that your server is still downloading all the geo data necessary for your session (e.g. North Sea or Baltic Sea geo data). Give it a couple of minutes. The status should change to Setup once your session has been set up. From that moment on, you should be able to log on to the session with the client.
What's that whole Server Manager for anyway?
The Server Manager is your user interface for controlling the MSP Challenge server. In it you actually set up new MSP Challenge sessions using a specific configuration (e.g. a North Sea or Baltic Sea configuration). You can also administer the sessions you created in the Server Manager, e.g. play and pause the simulations, save a session in its current state, reload a saved session as a new session, etc.
About the Configuration Editor
What's that whole Server Configuration Editor for anyway?
This is a bit of software with which you can alter the configuration files. You use these configuration files when you create a new session. They stipulate what you want your session to look like specifically. So that means they stipulate things like: the region you want to use (e.g. North Sea), which layers within that region you want to have available (e.g. Wind Farm areas), what names and colour everything should have, etc. etc. There is a whole separate page that explains what you can do with the Configuration Editor.