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Subject: ps18xx - I admit defeat rss

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Brad Maynes
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After a frustrating night of monkeying around, I have to admit it - I cannot make ps18xx work for even the most basic of tasks. I've read the readme, I've gotten the other stuff that appears necessary for it (Make, Perl, GhostScript), but I can't manage to make what I see in the ReadMe work.

I tend to be fairly computer-competent, and taught myself C at one point, so I have basic computer/programming knowledge, but I feel like I'm missing information to get from where I am (with all the stuff) to where I want to be (the stuff working).

To be absolutely clear here, I can't even get to the point of generating a new game. I understand that any direct troubleshooting needs what error messages, etc., but that's not what I'm hoping for. I've looked exhaustively around the internet, but I don't seem to be able to find any sort of basic ps18xx tutorial or instructions anywhere, aside from the ReadMe file.

Is there a tutorial of this sort somewhere, and it's just under something other than ps18xx, so I'm not able to find it?

I sure appreciate any help. I'm certainly not looking for anyone to spend a pile of time on this - any point in the right direction would be helpful.

Thanks,

BLM
 
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J C Lawrence
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I do all my games with ps18xx. Give me a specific question and I'll see what I can do.
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Brad Maynes
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Handy that you should reply! Though I'm also interested in playing with a friend by email with it, I'm primarily interested in making maps using your method here: https://kanga.nu/~claw/blog/posts/2017/08/20/founding-platfo...

I hadn't wanted to reply to your post on the subject because my questions seemed likely to be one step more basic than where you are, but since you're asking ...

In your description, I got through editing 30-map.ps, which was easy enough and felt like editing C. My first problem came in the next step of (I'm assuming here) using Make?

Specifically, I don't know where to enter the text:

$ make M30.ps
make 30 map
perl concat.pl -d src -a M30.ps
$ ps2pdf M30.ps

The dollar sign looked like a prompt, but as I'm on a Windows machine, it certainly didn't look like my prompt (c:\). I dutifully tried entering the "make M30.ps" on my c:\ command line (which is the directory Make is in), and got ... nowhere.

Any help is much appreciated. Though I know that there are print and plays for many games, I'm not crazy about the non-standard-ish renderings and want something that has more of the typical 18xx feel.

Thanks in advance,

BLM
 
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J C Lawrence
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maynes32 wrote:
Specifically, I don't know where to enter the text:

$ make M30.ps
make 30 map
perl concat.pl -d src -a M30.ps
$ ps2pdf M30.ps


In the same directory you ran `mkmk.pl` in, the one also containing the README, `concat.pl` etc.

Quote:
The dollar sign looked like a prompt...


It is; `$` is a standard Unix user prompt.

Quote:
...but as I'm on a Windows machine...


I may not be able to help much there on specifics as I've never used Windows, but it shouldn't be too hard to get stuff working.
 
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Chris Laudermilk
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JC will be able to give more complete answers, but I'll throw in the one bit I can contribute. I believe the instructions are for Linux machines. I think you need to grab the Windows-based tools & check on their instructions for the command line syntax.

Edit: ...and ninjaed by the man.
 
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Brad Maynes
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clearclaw wrote:
maynes32 wrote:
Specifically, I don't know where to enter the text:

$ make M30.ps
make 30 map
perl concat.pl -d src -a M30.ps
$ ps2pdf M30.ps


In the same directory you ran `mkmk.pl` in, the one also containing the README, `concat.pl` etc.



Well, here's where we ran into a problem, for sure. I did not run mkmk.pl. So, after editing 30-map.ps, I run mkmk.pl? I apologize if this is all really basic and obvious. As I say, I've never used it before.

Once I know how all of the pieces are supposed to work together, I think I should be able to get over any Unix/Windows-type issues.

And, just to clarify in response to another reply, I do have all of the relevant Windows-specific (and bit-specific) versions of Make, Perl and GhostScript.

Thanks to all,

BLM
 
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J C Lawrence
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maynes32 wrote:
. I did not run mkmk.pl.


That's specified in the `README`. See the configuration section starting on line 98:
https://github.com/clearclaw/ps18xx/blob/master/ps18xx/READM...

Quote:
So, after editing 30-map.ps, I run mkmk.pl?


Nope, it is a mostly one time affair. More specifically, `mkmk` needs to be run every time you introduce a new game title (pair of *-map.ps and *-tc.ps) to the system. `mkmk` makes a new `Makefile` so that `make` etc then know what can be made (and how to make them).

First step, forget doing anything custom, is to walk through Stephe's little canned example of how to run a game as laid out in the above README.
 
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Brad Maynes
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clearclaw wrote:
maynes32 wrote:
. I did not run mkmk.pl.


That's specified in the `README`. See the configuration section starting on line 98:
https://github.com/clearclaw/ps18xx/blob/master/ps18xx/READM...


Ah, I was very confused by the Configuration section. It says to look at the config file, but (as far as I saw) didn't actually say to run the things, it just said that it showed variables for each of them, which it did. So I should run all three of those?

clearclaw wrote:
[q="maynes32"]

Quote:
So, after editing 30-map.ps, I run mkmk.pl?


Nope, it is a mostly one time affair. More specifically, `mkmk` needs to be run every time you introduce a new game title (pair of *-map.ps and *-tc.ps) to the system. `mkmk` makes a new `Makefile` so that `make` etc then know what can be made (and how to make them).

First step, forget doing anything custom, is to walk through Stephe's little canned example of how to run a game as laid out in the above README.


I tried that as well, but didn't get very far, presumably as I hadn't run the config files.

Thanks again,

BLM
 
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J C Lawrence
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maynes32 wrote:
Ah, I was very confused by the Configuration section. It says to look at the config file, but (as far as I saw) didn't actually say to run the things, it just said that it showed variables for each of them, which it did. So I should run all three of those?


Nope.

As per line 96 of the README, you'll need to run `mkmk.pl` once.

Quote:
I tried that as well, but didn't get very far, presumably as I hadn't run the config files. ;)


Well, try again now that you've found a step you missed, just this time with the missing step...
 
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TonyKR
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Just to quickly chime in, but another way to go about doing this is by getting a *nix environment/shell running on your Windows machine via cygwin. It may involve a little more on the setup end, but once that's running you and JC will be speaking the same language (so to speak) and you won't need to worry about translating between *nix and Windows command line tool syntax.
 
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J C Lawrence
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While I don't disagree, let's introduce only one change at a time at this stage. None of his problems show any sign of being Windows-related.
 
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TonyKR
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Good point.
 
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Brad Maynes
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clearclaw wrote:
maynes32 wrote:
Ah, I was very confused by the Configuration section. It says to look at the config file, but (as far as I saw) didn't actually say to run the things, it just said that it showed variables for each of them, which it did. So I should run all three of those?


Nope.

As per line 96 of the README, you'll need to run `mkmk.pl` once.

Quote:
I tried that as well, but didn't get very far, presumably as I hadn't run the config files.


Well, try again now that you've found a step you missed, just this time with the missing step...


Sounds like a plan. I'll give it a shot when I get home tonight. Thanks for all the help!

BLM
 
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Håkan König
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Pugnax555 wrote:
Just to quickly chime in, but another way to go about doing this is by getting a *nix environment/shell running on your Windows machine via cygwin. It may involve a little more on the setup end, but once that's running you and JC will be speaking the same language (so to speak) and you won't need to worry about translating between *nix and Windows command line tool syntax.
Or if you have Win 10, there is a full Ubuntu (LTS 16.04) Bash shell available in the windows store. (Suse variants incoming)
 
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J C Lawrence
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How about we keep it as simple as we can right now? Otherwise I'll propose just running a Linux VM under Vagrant and forget everything else.
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john guthrie
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clearclaw wrote:
Otherwise I'll propose just running a Linux VM under Vagrant and forget everything else.


now your talking!
 
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Brad Maynes
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Okay, still using Windows ( ), I managed to get myself to the point of a F15-MAP file, which, lo and behold, appears to be a map

Faced with this success, I tried to expand the size of and translate the hexes/map, and appear to have been successful, but have run into one more snag. When I made the "regular" map and opened it up in gsview, it looked great.

When I made the "expanded" version, though, and opened it in gsview, the map, itself, got bigger, but the white background/border did not. So, the map appears zoomed-in, but roughly 3/4 of it is not viewable. I expected that this was because the image was over multiple pages, but when I looked up at the "pages" portion of the toolbar, it was showing 1 of 1. Hrm. Exporting it to a pdf did not help.

Any ideas? Even if not, thanks for getting me this far!

BLM
 
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J C Lawrence
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If you are using the ps18xx fork from my GitHub account (linked from my How-To article), then set the PAPERSIZE environment variable to match the output you want. I discussed this briefly in the follow-on article (with matching updates to the end of the original article).

The way to do that in Windows may be something Like:

c:\whatever> SET PAPERSIZE=A2
c:\whatever> make Mtest.ps
...etc


PAPERSIZE support is an addition I made to Stephe's base ps18xx implementation.
 
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Brad Maynes
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Will give that a try in a few minutes. If relevant, every time I do newgame, it tells me that I have uninitialized value $sz.

Edit: The uninitialized value went away once I set papersize. Papersize did not fix my display issue, however. It seems like, for some reason, when I open the mapfile in gsview, it is showing me the first page of a map that would print well as a poster print. However, that's it, just one page.

Edit #2: I believe I found the answer here, which was transforming it into a pdf not by viewing it in gsview first.

Thanks to everyone for all the help. Maybe I'll write a brief "Tutorial for Dummies" for those of us that failed the ReadMe test.
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Brad Maynes
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Finally found a way to make it work. Rather than resizing in ps18xx, I made the map in ps18xx, changed it into a pdf, and then blew it up and poster printed it in Adobe Reader DC. Looks great, worked great.

Thanks again for all the help.

BLM
 
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When generating tiles, is it possible to remove black borders around tiles and to add white border along the track?
 
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J C Lawrence
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That's not a ps18xx feature.

TileDesigner does that, but it is not Open Source alas and its output is really only suitable for die-cutting alas (the tiles are over-size with bleeds and no cutlines).
 
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The code sections embedded in the PostScript end of things which draws tile outlines and track are fairly concentrated, so you could delete the thin black line around tiles and add white (argent?) fimbriation to track without all that much hassle (though those black lines are in essence responsible for making the hex grid on the generated maps, so they's start to look odd unless some care is taken). A moderate understanding of PostScript (a programming language which even at its best isn't really for the faint of heart) would be necessary. Stuff isn't drawn like that because I've never felt the need. To those of us who have spent too many years peering at 18xx boards through old, tired eyes in less-than-perfect light, the rule is the plainer the better.
 
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J C Lawrence
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(Not so sure that vexillology terms apply to 18xx track construction, but Oh Well)

I find that DTG-style fimbriation does help in low-light/tired-eyes conditions, especially if the greens and browns came out dark rather than toward chartreuse and tannish, but that old-style Marflow/OO-Games (much-thicker) is downright irritating.
 
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Len K
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East is east, and west is west, and if you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce, they taste much more like prunes than rhubarb does.
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Well, I learned two new words today.
 
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