How to Host!
VGA Planets doesn't have a "single-player" mode, so you can't play until you join a game. But don't panic. You can make your own game easily. More than likely, you downloaded the package deal with the client and host programs. To make a game, the first thing you need to do is run "master". This is the program that sets up a game. You only run "master" once per game.
Once you're at the first screen, click on whichever numbered gray box you like. If this is the first game you've ever made, all of them will be empty.
Since this is your first game, most of the defaults will be just fine. The menu where you choose the races needs a little explaining. Put in the number of players and click enter. Then highlight the race you want to play and click on 'Player 1' or 'Player 2' on the right side. There needs to be at least two players to make a game, even if you're never going to control the second one. The default population is set fairly low. Try setting it to 1 million. Don't worry about where you start in the universe for this game.
After you create a game, the associated files for that game will appear in planets4\univ\game* , where '*' is the number slot you chose when creating that game.
When you set up a game with "master", you start at Turn 0. If you were to look in the game directory, there would be no rst files in there yet. That's because "master" sets up the initial variables, like starting money and such, but it doesn't make rst files, which is the responsibility of "host". So all you have to do after running "master" is run "host" once.
"Host" takes the finished turns and calculates what goes on in the universe. Battles are played out, movement is made, buildings are built, etc. After all that stuff is done, "host" decides what each player sees and makes a turn file for every player. The person who hosts the game then sends out each player's turn to that respective player, usually through e-mail. The turn files made by "host" are .rst files and the turn files made after a player is done with his turn are .trn files. So when you're playing an online game, you'll get .rst's and send in .trn's.