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Subject: Work on 7.0 VASSAL Module rss

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Bart de Groot
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I've started work on the VASSAL module for the new version of PitLane. I created a playtest module for the previous version of the PitLane game, but the new 7.0 rules have quite a number of changes in the components. Recreating the module is a good opportunity to remove some of the flaws of the previous module.

Previous Module

The main goal of the new module was to make cheating more difficult. VASSAL allows players to drag components such as cards, and it shows a good looking ghost image while dragging. For a game such as PitLane this enables players to cheat – see how a movement card would work out on the board. I wasn't looking forward to custom coding VASSAL components, so I found a much easier solution. Cards in the players hand window are now fixed in place, so they cannot be hovered above the board any more. Selecting cards for planning or moving them onto the board can be done with right-click commands.

Cards window

Cards automatically get different abilities depending on where it is being used. Moving a card to the planning slots makes it behave different from cards moved onto the board.

The next change was to improve on the malfunction and damage feature of PitLane. In the previous module cards had to be sent to the malfunction or damage window. They were returned automatically, but hunting down which cards to take out of the game was still a hassle. There are now malfunction buttons which disable cards wherever they are, without the need to move them. The damage track for each car is linked to the damage value of the movement cards. There are visual layers to indicate cards that are malfunctioning or disabled. I am hoping this will be a big improvement.

Malfunctions, damage has exceeded 4

Reducing the size of the car control window was my next goal. Keeping the window as small as possible helps to keep more of them on the screen. I created smaller size movement cards to save space. Also because I need more slot space than the printed control card (extra slot for KERS card and discards). To save space compared to the previous module is to not implement the cards from the printed game, but use small display controls. Instead of showing the entire penalty card, I only show a penalty level bar. It's a little cluttered, visually busy, but it's functional. Still missing is the KERS box, the next thing to add. The damage bar is automatically linked to the movement cards, and the fuel gauge knows when the car has a Fuel Overweight penalty. I am pretty pleased with the result so far even if I do say so myself.

Car #6 control window

The module will come with all the circuits made by Pere – 13 beautiful tracks. I started making one myself a while ago, but never got to finish it. Maybe some day in an update.

All circuits have been updated for the 7.0 rules

My next step will be to finish the car control window, add KERS. And then duplicate all the components for each different team. The board components have not yet been added, tire barriers, slipstream ruler, etc. Pere and I will have to make sure I've not forgotten anything before it's released for public play, together with the rules and the print files.

Media event at the Montreal circuit
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Excellent news, Bart. I was keen to play test PitLane, but as I'm Mac-based and ZunTzu is PC only, I thought I'd never get the chance.

Best of luck with the development. I'm really excited at the prospect of playing this.
 
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pere cobo
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The idea is to give finally open access to the game, Print &Play plus Vassal Module.

Bart is working hard on the vassal module, and it's very important because Pitlane is a big game, lot's of cards, huge boards, so some people would be scared to do the print & play by themselves (well, you can always search someone who does the print & play for you, like Print&Play productions). So the Vassal module can make the game accessible to all the people who are not good with scissors and glue whistle.

 
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pere cobo
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Microver99 wrote:
Excellent news, Bart. I was keen to play test PitLane, but as I'm Mac-based and ZunTzu is PC only, I thought I'd never get the chance.

Best of luck with the development. I'm really excited at the prospect of playing this.


We will contact with you once it will be ready so you can play with us the first times if you want.
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Bart de Groot
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I added the board markers and rulers. Added KERS to the car display, and added the Merony car. Now 2 can play.

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Bart de Groot
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Got up to 4 teams/cars last night, and processed the movement cards for team/car 5. Just spotted on the screenshot that the perf/brake markers are not set correctly on #11 and #12.

4 teams/cars

One thing I need to sort out is the 'I'm done planning' mechanism. In the previous module there was a button the main toolbar with a counter that showed in the chat log.

Previous module

This worked some of the time. For this module I've been thinking about how else it could be done. My idea so far is to use a planning done image, and overlay it on the car, and perhaps on all the cards in planning (so any changes would stand out). Each control window would have it's own "I'm Done!" toggle button. And a clear all button on the main window to remove all the overlays.

This player is done planning

I was also thinking about enabling KERS. When one enables KERS the Performance is not available (drops to 0). In the previous module I dropped the marker to 0. I am thinking for this module I should perhaps remove the Perf marker (make it invisible) when KERS is enabled.
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pere cobo
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bdegroot wrote:

I was also thinking about enabling KERS. When one enables KERS the Performance is not available (drops to 0). In the previous module I dropped the marker to 0. I am thinking for this module I should perhaps remove the Perf marker (make it invisible) when KERS is enabled.


This is not exact Bart, in last modification of rules we decided to change the kers penalty (it was as you said, to lose all performance points).The actual rules says that " if you use kers you gain automatically penalty card(green)"
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Bart de Groot
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alonsi wrote:
bdegroot wrote:

I was also thinking about enabling KERS. When one enables KERS the Performance is not available (drops to 0). In the previous module I dropped the marker to 0. I am thinking for this module I should perhaps remove the Perf marker (make it invisible) when KERS is enabled.


This is not exact Bart, in last modification of rules we decided to change the kers penalty (it was as you said, to lose all performance points).The actual rules says that " if you use kers you gain automatically penalty card(green)"


I see. It might be a good idea to make a summary table of all things that affect the penalty level. The KERS penalty is for example not mentioned under IX. The penalty level is still done manually, maybe with such a table I could automate it (so I'm sure I'm not forgetting something in the rules).
 
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pere cobo
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You are right, I have to add it.
 
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Bart de Groot
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I will have to make overlays for tires to enable penalty level automation. And to be consistent I'll probably have to do perf/brake as well. No freely dragged counters.
 
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Bart de Groot
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Pere, how can Durability/Degradation ever be more than 10? Is this a left-over from the tire manufacturer idea?
 
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pere cobo
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yes, tyre manufacturers, I'm working on it.
 
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Bart de Groot
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I've created a tire display. This allowed me to automate the penalty display. It tracks penalties from tire wear, KERS activation, car damage and the track conditions.



With KERS enabled.



Instead of enabling KERS, I have set the track condition to Wet Track with the toolbar buttons.





Car display with the track Dry again, but this time Durability worn out.


 
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Bart de Groot
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Done adding all the movement cards and car control windows. Now I need to set the card characteristics (damage, malfunction, movement type) for 378 cards (6 teams x 21 cards x 3), and then it should be ready for testing I think.

 
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