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Recommended items necessary to design modules for Vassal ?

Talk about module design ideas and techniques.

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Recommended items necessary to design modules for Vassal ?

Postby tomvilfroy » January 13th, 2008, 6:15 pm

I was wondering what would be the necessary and/or required items to have/know to be able to design modules for Vassal ?

I know there is a tutorial and all, but I suspect that if one has better knowledge/skills of some items, that he/she would be able to design some better built modules.

For the sake of some technology challenged people, when replying, assume nothing so more people might benefit from the information as well. If there are some very useful books, do list the author and/or publisher as well.

Thanks
Thomas
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Postby mehrunes » January 13th, 2008, 10:24 pm

I don't think that it is necessary to use specific tools or items for building a module.

I discovered Vassal a few weeks ago and started my own module the second day !

It's for Warhammer Fantasy Battles. Sure it helped to see how the module for Warhammer 40k, a similar game, worked.

So, I would first make the guess that you load modules similar to your desired game. When it is a card game, try to load some existing card game modules in the Vassal modul editor and try to understand how some game basic work, for example drawing cards oder playing them from hand.

Then use the editor help, it's by far more helpful than the short tutorials here.
Knowing what a trait exactly can do für you is very helpful.

Third: For making the game graphics it's handy to have a good image editing software like some older photoshop version for example.

And then try and error, try and error, try and error.

This way you can make a module more or less without former existing knowledge of Vassal.
Apologize my bad english - I'm not a native speaker. ;)
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Postby bsmith » January 15th, 2008, 6:34 am

I would say Photoshop skills will give you the biggest single advantage in designing modules. Knowing how to crop, re-size, use layers, automation etc. is huge. At least 90% of my time designing modules has been spent entirely in Photoshop.

Second, Visual Basic scripts. Windows has it, it's simple, does the kinda stuff Perl does but there's no need to install anything. Use it to write scripts to automatically import, name and sort counters; You should be spending the least amount of time as possible using the module editor itself.
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Postby bsmith » January 15th, 2008, 6:35 am

Oh and one more thing, get a cheap flatbed scanner; They're gold!
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Recommended items necessary to design modules for Vassal ?

Postby Brent Easton » January 15th, 2008, 7:35 am

Or the Gimp if you don't want to spend any money.

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On 14/01/2008 at 10:34 PM bsmith wrote:

I would say Photoshop skills will give you the biggest single advantage
in designing modules. Knowing how to crop, re-size, use layers,
automation etc. is huge. At least 90% of my time designing modules has
been spent entirely in Photoshop.

Second, Visual Basic scripts. Windows has it, it's simple, does the kinda
stuff Perl does but there's no need to install anything. Use it to write
scripts to automatically import, name and sort counters; You should be
spending the least amount of time as possible using the module editor
itself.







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Postby bsmith » January 15th, 2008, 8:11 am

The problem with putting time and effort into learning Gimp is if you go to a potential employer and tell him/her you're a Gimp expert, they're just gonna look at you as if to say "what the hack is that?"; Now if you mention Photoshop, that's instant recognition!
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Recommended items necessary to design modules for Vassal ?

Postby uckelman » January 15th, 2008, 9:35 am

Thus spake "bsmith":
I would say Photoshop skills will give you the biggest single advantage in de
signing modules. Knowing how to crop, re-size, use layers, automation etc. i
s huge. At least 90% of my time designing modules has been spent entirely in
Photoshop.

If you don't already have a bitmap editor that you prefer, I'd recommend
the GIMP. It's free, open-source, and works quite well.

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Recommended items necessary to design modules for Vassal ?

Postby tar » January 15th, 2008, 6:06 pm

On Jan 14, 2008, at 10:34 PM, bsmith wrote:

I would say Photoshop skills will give you the biggest single
advantage in designing modules. Knowing how to crop, re-size, use
layers, automation etc. is huge. At least 90% of my time designing
modules has been spent entirely in Photoshop.

Second, Visual Basic scripts. Windows has it, it's simple, does the
kinda stuff Perl does but there's no need to install anything. Use
it to write scripts to automatically import, name and sort counters;
You should be spending the least amount of time as possible using
the module editor itself.

On the Mac side, you have pretty much the same options for Photoshop
and Gimp. Unix shell scripting using the Terminal application
provides one method of automation for tasks, especially when combined
with the free ImageMagick tools.

I've used that technique to provide support for electronically cutting
out counters from the artwork files for a game. It involves a bit of
work figuring out the counter alignment, but then it can process the
counters automatically. This proved quite useful for supporting the
production of Vassal (and Cyberbox) modules during the development
phase when counters were changing with some regularity.

One way to save some money on the PhotoShop side is to go with the
more limited PhotoShop Elements package, which IIRC runs around $100.
It has more than enough features for doing the maps.

Now, if you want to hand draw maps, I think Illustrator is a better
choice, but it is a bit pricey. There is Inkscape <http://www.inkscape.org/
, an open source vector drawing tool as well, that could be used
instead.



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Postby Briggs » January 15th, 2008, 6:31 pm

bsmith wrote:The problem with putting time and effort into learning Gimp is if you go to a potential employer and tell him/her you're a Gimp expert, they're just gonna look at you as if to say "what the hack is that?"; Now if you mention Photoshop, that's instant recognition!


Being quite fluent in Gimp (I couldn't afford Photoshop), I can easily say that I work in another graphics program, but I can migrate to Photoshop in a couple of days (I've used Photoshop, basically the same thing, a bit more powerful, and stuff is in a different place).
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Postby meng » January 15th, 2008, 6:49 pm

In that case, you should just migrate to GIMPshop now and spare yourself the learning curve later on.
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Postby Briggs » January 15th, 2008, 7:16 pm

but there is a problem of still not being able to afford shop :wink:
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Recommended items necessary to design modules for Vassal ?

Postby uckelman » January 15th, 2008, 7:32 pm

Thus spake "Briggs":
but there is a problem of still not being able to afford shop [Wink]


The GIMP will eventually be better than Photoshop, if it's not already.
Then you'll be glad you learned the GIMP instead.

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Postby meng » January 15th, 2008, 7:41 pm

Briggs wrote:but there is a problem of still not being able to afford shop :wink:

What I meant was, since GIMPshop is GIMP with a Photoshop-esque interface (so I understand, I've never actually used it), then you could learn to use Photoshop (more or less, at least for the purposes of your resume) without having to pay for it. A prospective employer is more likely to look favorably on an applicant who claims to be able to use Photoshop than one who insists s/he can learn to use Photoshop. This is based on the worldview that all prospective employers are PHBs who don't realize that there are alternatives to MS Office and Adobe Photoshop.
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Recommended items necessary to design modules for Vassal ?

Postby tar » January 15th, 2008, 8:01 pm

On Jan 15, 2008, at 11:41 AM, meng wrote:

This is based on the worldview that all prospective employers are
PHBs who don't realize that there are alternatives to MS Office and
Adobe Photoshop.and, I've never actually used it), then you could
learn to use Photoshop (more or less, at least for the purposes of
your resume) without having to pay for it.

Not to mention the growing prevalence of automated resume screening
procedures that simply look for keyword matches. And other low-level
filtering by human resources minions, before you even get to talk to
the PHB.



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Postby soft-bug » January 15th, 2008, 8:33 pm

Me i use PhotoFiltre Studio ... it's approx 35 usd but it's very simple tool to learn and very powerful ... you can save your work into file that contains all layers and then you can change as you want and finaly save into png or gif or ..

I have started with PhotoFiltre (Free Version) one year ago ...

Now i could do things like this (module in Progress)

Figures & Maps :

http://lotrtmg.30.forumer.com/index.php ... ost&id=528


Battlefields & Fate :

http://lotrtmg.30.forumer.com/index.php ... ost&id=525
http://lotrtmg.30.forumer.com/index.php ... ost&id=584

Assembly Phase :

http://lotrtmg.30.forumer.com/index.php ... ost&id=405

Expeditions Phase :

http://lotrtmg.30.forumer.com/index.php ... ost&id=406

Art Design is 80 % of the time passed ... :shock:
founder of The http://www.VassalFactory.org
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