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Subject: Idea: "How to" documents for Vassal creators. What would you like? rss

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Judd Vance
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Almost every trick I've learned in Vassal has come from seeing it in other modules. Sometimes, I've beat my head into walls trying to figure out how they did it. That got me to thinking that I should create some "How to" documents of PDFs with screen shots on how to add some cool features for modules.

Examples:

The window that shows you how many cards are in each player's hand.

A button on the toolbar that removes "used" (or "spent") markers from units.

"Draw card" buttons to a player hand.

Placing the number of cards in a draw deck on top of the draw deck itself

How to create named areas on a map that contains both a hex grid and non hex grid.


Anything you would like to see?
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Andy Foulke
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I'd like to see a way to automatically calculate resource income based on controlled territories. I made a stab at it with my Campaigns of King David module, but I'm not sure if I did it the best way.

This could help streamline the tedious and error-prone counting in games like Pax Romana also.

Great idea! Thanks
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Jason Cawley
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Ability to tweak the actual enforced rules of the game, that is the hardest part for me. Tracking everything through the java classes. Also the simplest step by step "how to" on saving and recompiling with edited and updated class files.
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Judd Vance
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cardboardcadet wrote:
I've recently gotten into creating vassal modules. I've basically been re-implementing the "complicated" things like this from other modules. I'm sure most of these things have been done already. While step by step processes would be really useful, I think an easier method might be to create a list of modules that have particular features implemented already so that we can easily emulate or re-purpose them.

For instance, I've taken the Draw Card from the No Retreat modules and the auto-calculation of resources from the COIN modules.

I don't know what the time frame of its release is but I've been hearing a little bit about Vassal 4 that might make these procedures, or at least the screen shots, outdated.


Ouch.

I've tried copying the modules, but it took me days and days to figure out how Julius Caesar had a single "draw" button that drew your entire hand.

I completed the "Draw Button" document (response to a request that started this thread) and added pointers. I have beat my head into walls, unable to figure out why when I clicked the "Draw" button, nothing happened. It usually comes down to one of two things:

1. The "Send to Location" came AFTER the Mask command.

2. in the "Send to Location" trait, after telling it to send it to a counter with a designated property, when I defined those properties, I typed something like "USA_01=True" in the box and didn't take the time to click black box and check the format and make sure I have the green checkbox.

I added helpful hints in the document about these.

I figure Super Joel will pop in here in a second and clarify if the screen shots are all for naught.
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David Janik-Jones
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Here's a simple one ... have an example of how to add a "solo" player side properly in a two-player game. It's easy to do yet I get people asking all the time. Some modules have this ability already because they didn't carry through their player side definitions, but too many folks simply leave this out for no reason.
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Allen Dickerson
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I'm sort of new to Vassal, but I do know there are some implementations that could use a bit of work.

One is for chit draw. I had to be told that each selection would be random. The graphic of the cup seemed to "tip" the next chit to come out of the cup, when the cup should be "opaque" and not offer any clue as to what's in it. Perhaps maybe some indicator of how many chits remain might be OK.

In the end, I'd prefer a pull-down menu to "Draw chit from..." so that it would have the same feel as the die roll generator; that is to say, randomly generated.
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Judd Vance
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Stiglr wrote:
I'm sort of new to Vassal, but I do know there are some implementations that could use a bit of work.

One is for chit draw. I had to be told that each selection would be random. The graphic of the cup seemed to "tip" the next chit to come out of the cup, when the cup should be "opaque" and not offer any clue as to what's in it. Perhaps maybe some indicator of how many chits remain might be OK.

In the end, I'd prefer a pull-down menu to "Draw chit from..." so that it would have the same feel as the die roll generator; that is to say, randomly generated.


I prefer added suspense, so I like to mask the chits when they are in the cup and then use a "draw chit" button.

One thing: go check out David's Band of Brothers module some time. That's probably the best module I have ever seen: definitely the most influential. What he does with layers and the automated toolbar buttons and using various maps and scenario cards -- there is a world of wisdom for the up and coming Vassal module creator.
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Joel K
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DaveyJJ wrote:
Here's a simple one ... have an example of how to add a "solo" player side properly in a two-player game. It's easy to do yet I get people asking all the time. Some modules have this ability already because they didn't carry through their player side definitions, but too many folks simply leave this out for no reason.

On the off chance that I am being obliquely referenced here, I absolutely do have a reason when I choose not to include a Solo player side in a module. There are drawbacks to including one for some players, and drawbacks to omitting it for other players--I weigh up both and make a choice.

Happily, VASSAL 4 will be designed in a way that obviates the need to make this choice.
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David Janik-Jones
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airjudden wrote:
Stiglr wrote:
I'm sort of new to Vassal, but I do know there are some implementations that could use a bit of work.

One is for chit draw. I had to be told that each selection would be random. The graphic of the cup seemed to "tip" the next chit to come out of the cup, when the cup should be "opaque" and not offer any clue as to what's in it. Perhaps maybe some indicator of how many chits remain might be OK.

In the end, I'd prefer a pull-down menu to "Draw chit from..." so that it would have the same feel as the die roll generator; that is to say, randomly generated.


I prefer added suspense, so I like to mask the chits when they are in the cup and then use a "draw chit" button.

One thing: go check out David's Band of Brothers module some time. That's probably the best module I have ever seen: definitely the most influential. What he does with layers and the automated toolbar buttons and using various maps and scenario cards -- there is a world of wisdom for the up and coming Vassal module creator.

Thanks for the shout-out. Rick Billings did some of that base work way back on the v1. I just improved and expanded on some of what was there, but did add a lot on my own functionality as well. Not sure anymore where some of the divide might be. (I still have one bug that needs fixing but am waiting until Texas Arrows to sort if out.)

JoelCFC25 wrote:
DaveyJJ wrote:
Here's a simple one ... have an example of how to add a "solo" player side properly in a two-player game. It's easy to do yet I get people asking all the time. Some modules have this ability already because they didn't carry through their player side definitions, but too many folks simply leave this out for no reason.

On the off chance that I am being obliquely referenced here, I absolutely do have a reason when I choose not to include a Solo player side in a module. There are drawbacks to including one for some players, and drawbacks to omitting it for other players--I weigh up both and make a choice.

Happily, VASSAL 4 will be designed in a way that obviates the need to make this choice.

Not at all! There are reasons why it's not included ... I just wanted to point out that some module designers don't even consider it when they are designing modules. It's most noticeable when a game has solitaire rules in the print version (or is clearly played frequently that way) and that player option has been excluded.

Your module work and thinking about Vassal is brilliant.
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Judd Vance
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Ever seen that Star Trek (Next Generation) Episode where Lt. Barkley gets hit with that beam from the probe and becomes the smartest human in history? That's how Super Joel operates in the world of Vassal. I figure if I got on the forum and asked, "Is there a way to have Vassal order a pizza online while I'm playing a game?" he would know how to do it.
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Joel K
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airjudden wrote:
"Is there a way to have Vassal order a pizza online while I'm playing a game?"

On one hand, I regret that I haven't a clue how to do this. On the other hand it's probably better that I don't, or I'd weigh 400 pounds.
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Judd Vance
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I started compiling these on a Geeklist. Feel free to check it out and better yet, all of you module creators, please add your tricks.

http://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/177799/vassal-how-tricks
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