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Sword of Rome (GMT) - Planning 5 Player Rework

Talk about module design ideas and techniques.

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Re: Sword of Rome (GMT) - Planning 5 Player Rework

Postby JoelCFC25 » June 11th, 2013, 1:29 pm

comdotski wrote:
    On the horizon are:

  • Establishing/renewing alliances
  • Everything Units and Leaders
  • Everything Cards – ideas about how to structure this is welcome
  • Toolbar to enable display of players number of DTs and Cards in hand.
  • Toolbar to enable display of Player Aids
  • Managing differences due to different number of players in game


Sounds like you are making terrific progress. Can you be more specific about what you mean by the ones I bolded? I'm not sure I understand what you're asking. Maybe try describing how you think you'd like these things to work.
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Re: Sword of Rome (GMT) - Planning 5 Player Rework

Postby Furyn » June 12th, 2013, 4:30 am

Thanks for the update. I gotta say it all sounds very promising. Good job :)
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Re: Sword of Rome (GMT) - Planning 5 Player Rework

Postby comdotski » June 12th, 2013, 10:09 am

JoelCFC25 wrote:
comdotski wrote:
    On the horizon are:

  • Establishing/renewing alliances
  • Everything Units and Leaders
  • Everything Cards – ideas about how to structure this is welcome
  • Toolbar to enable display of players number of DTs and Cards in hand.
  • Toolbar to enable display of Player Aids
  • Managing differences due to different number of players in game


Sounds like you are making terrific progress. Can you be more specific about what you mean by the ones I bolded? I'm not sure I understand what you're asking. Maybe try describing how you think you'd like these things to work.


Hi Joel

  • Establishing/renewing alliances
    For alliances, I think I will have an at start stack at each alliance box, and allow players to simply click them on and off. Further controls could be added in terms of when a player should be able to make alliances, and also have the rest of the game understand this through a set of global properties - but this is probably not mandatory for the first working version
  • Everything Units and Leaders
    For Units and Leaders, this is a bit more complex. Simplest is to have a vsav for each setup, and counter tabs to hold pieces to add during the game. I am considering having this all driven from a set of menus to allow units and leaders to be added via right click - not sure whether this is the best way. As for leaders, some special handling is required to allow for arrival of leaders via card events, displacement, etc. Also, I need to replicate the randomisation of Roman Consuls in the reinforcement phase. So this is a bit trickier.
  • Everything Cards – ideas about how to structure this is welcome
    For Cards I was thinking of a single mapboard with all the card decks and discard and remove piles. Hoping to have the game manage the deck dealing, shuffling and right click to play card (to the mapboard) then allow player to play for ops etc from there. As per TS then have the advance the turn counter to then send the card(s) in play automatically to the correct pile. Some card events will result in arrival of units and leaders, effect events (with associated game status and markers). There is much possible here, but you get the idea I'm sure. Oh and each player has a private hand or hands. Card design will be layered using prototypes as per TS example which is an excellent example of re-use and is a way to build each card both visually and behaviourally with the visuals confirming the definition of each card, i.e. the stuff you can't see easily!
  • Managing differences due to different number of players in game
    Different number of players in the game imply different setup, and restrictions. e.g. 5P game has Carthage as a player and additional cards, VP spaces etc. Need to determine a mechanism to effect these differences dependent upon the number of players (game type) selected. This is the one that scares me the most as I am concerned this will break some of the work done to date which is aimed at the 5P version. I guess its hard to plan for this and know which techniques will work ok in these situations and which ones will generate a bunch of rework! This will be another VASSAL Learning experience!

I guess I am after some guidance here rather than specifics (they will be needed :? ), but whatever you feel you would like to contribute will be taken on board.

Thanks again for your interest and support,

Com
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Re: Sword of Rome (GMT) - Planning 5 Player Rework

Postby comdotski » June 12th, 2013, 10:11 am

Furyn wrote:Thanks for the update. I gotta say it all sounds very promising. Good job :)


thanks. its slow going at times, but there has been the occasional 'Yes' moment with a fist pump! :D
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Re: Sword of Rome (GMT) - Planning 5 Player Rework

Postby Furyn » August 3rd, 2013, 7:26 pm

Just checking in. How goes the grand experiment?
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Re: Sword of Rome (GMT) - Planning 5 Player Rework

Postby comdotski » August 29th, 2013, 10:09 am

Furyn wrote:Just checking in. How goes the grand experiment?


Things have been a bit slow of late.

Work and life in general has been very busy, and focusing on some other gaming projects.

Unfortunately, one of our gaming group involved with our regular VASSAL gaming events recently died unexpectedly and so has reduced my enthusiasm for the task. However I will get back to it soon.

Thanks for checking in and look out for some progress soon.

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Re: Sword of Rome (GMT) - Planning 5 Player Rework

Postby Furyn » August 29th, 2013, 3:11 pm

When you get back to the SoR project I'd love to see how it turns out but I can understand taking a break from it. I'm sorry to hear about your friend. A tragedy like that can understandably take the energy out of a project.
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Re: Sword of Rome (GMT) - Planning 5 Player Rework

Postby comdotski » December 23rd, 2013, 10:19 am

Furyn wrote:When you get back to the SoR project I'd love to see how it turns out but I can understand taking a break from it. I'm sorry to hear about your friend. A tragedy like that can understandably take the energy out of a project.


Well, its been a while, but I'm now back to the task. I've decided to focus on the graphics first and have used GIMP and the files supplied by the friendly and cooperative guys at GMT to generate the layer artwork for the counters and cards. No small task!

My question is what format to save the graphics in?

Are there better formats for quality vs saving space?

I am using the layering technique for the cards (and associated use of markers and prototypes) used in the the TS module to minimise the amount of graphics in the module while still achieving some reasonably faithful graphics.

Thoughts and suggestions?
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Re: Sword of Rome (GMT) - Planning 5 Player Rework

Postby uckelman » December 23rd, 2013, 10:47 am

Thus spake comdotski:
>
> Well, its been a while, but I'm now back to the task. I've decided to
> focus on the graphics first and have used GIMP and the files supplied by
> the friendly and cooperative guys at GMT to generate the layer artwork
> for the counters and cards. No small task!
>
> My question is what format to save the graphics in?

In what format are you receiving the artwork?

--
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Re: Sword of Rome (GMT) - Planning 5 Player Rework

Postby comdotski » December 23rd, 2013, 10:53 am

Hi Joel

Original artwork is in jpg format.

Tim
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Re: Sword of Rome (GMT) - Planning 5 Player Rework

Postby uckelman » December 23rd, 2013, 12:26 pm

Thus spake comdotski:
> Hi Joel
>
> Original artwork is in jpg format.
>

That's too bad. I was hoping you were getting it in a vector format
(SVG or PDF) instead of as a bitmap.

What are the dimensions like? E.g., how many pixels on a side is a
card in the artwork you have?

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Re: Sword of Rome (GMT) - Planning 5 Player Rework

Postby comdotski » December 26th, 2013, 11:58 pm

J.

Card size is 360x505 px

Tim
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Re: Sword of Rome (GMT) - Planning 5 Player Rework

Postby uckelman » December 28th, 2013, 3:50 pm

Thus spake comdotski:
> J.
>
> Card size is 360x505 px
>

My recommendation is that you do *not* scale the JPEGs you have yourself.
If they're too large for normal play, then set the default zoom level in
your module to something smaller than 100%.

IIRC, the cards in TS were done using SVG, with some embedded bitmaps.
The prototypes etc. used by the cards have to do with card behavior,
not display.

Can you describe a bit more what you're trying to do?

--
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Re: Sword of Rome (GMT) - Planning 5 Player Rework

Postby comdotski » December 29th, 2013, 8:31 am

uckelman wrote:My recommendation is that you do *not* scale the JPEGs you have yourself.
If they're too large for normal play, then set the default zoom level in
your module to something smaller than 100%.

IIRC, the cards in TS were done using SVG, with some embedded bitmaps.
The prototypes etc. used by the cards have to do with card behavior,
not display.

Can you describe a bit more what you're trying to do?

--
J.


OK - will try not to scale the card image itself - yet to see how the cards themselves at this size look on the map size I have.

Yes i think all the TS graphics are SVG. The prototypes are employed (at least in part) to create re-usable graphics layers for the common elements, e.g. American/Russian/Both Card Types, Early/Mid/Late War Card Types and so on. I have similar problems to solve in terms of common card attributes which are the same across many cards, and I plan to use layers to build up the card from a background (all cards), card owner (i.e. Gaul/Roman/etc), Ops Value, and so on. I am trying to:

- mimimise my work (and rework) by using prototypes to build up common card attributes, and graphics layers
- align card graphics to card attributes within the prototypes to improve visibility of the accuracy of final product (expose/avoid bugs more easily as the card attributes and visuals are aligned)
- minimise the size of the graphics required to have a rich display of card information close to the original game
- create a structure that form the basis of further automations in the game play via VASSAL (focusing on facilitating the game mechanics rather than rules enforcement)

Its a bit hard to explain the details I guess - in part its a nice problem solving activity and I am keen to learn what of the good work in TS is usable across other CDGs (at least the non-coding parts).

I will be offline for a few weeks while on holidays - no laptop going with me.

Feel free to reply - I will be on this regularly when I'm back. Thanks for the guidance, questioning and prodding to date.

Tim
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Re: Sword of Rome (GMT) - Planning 5 Player Rework

Postby comdotski » February 23rd, 2014, 6:11 am

Just a quick update on the cards ...

I am using GIMP and have noted that the output card size is too large for the map, not greatly, but if I decide to allow card play to display onto the map, I think I will need to reduce the image size at some point in the process.

I have also noticed that if final images are exported as JPG then the transparency area of the images do not work too well, i.e. the transparent part of the image displays as white when displayed on the map in VASSAL. I have discovered that if I export as PNG then the transparent part of the images do appear transparent on the map in VASSAL.

As such I think that I will be using PNG as the final format imported to the VASSAL module.

Do you forsee any issues?

Thanks

Tim
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