Playing With Vassal
Ever since I was first shown how to use Vassal by Kevin Moody, I have become more and more interested in it as a generic online gaming system. In case you haven't heard about it, Vassal is a Java application that allows you to design and play games online. It does not "run the game" like other online real-time or play-by-web sites. It simply provides a virtual table top that all players see and can interact with. The name Vassal originally comes from VASL (Virtual Advanced Squad Leader). The current system provides functionality for much more than just wargames. Check out all the modules.
Basic module design is fairly simple. Create all the graphics for the board, pieces, cards, etc. Enter them into the module designer and provide each object's properties. Of course, the more generic something is, the more options that need to be offered to allow for all sorts of gaming possibilities. Does the game need a grid? Do some objects snap to that grid? Does each object have a flipped side? Do some objects get stacked? Shuffled? What shows on top of what? In fact, the system as a whole looks very complicated. And if you want to extend the functionality, you can write your own Java routines.
So why am I even discussing this? Because I am trying my hand at a Vassal module. At this point, there seems to be as much of a learning curve as ASLSK#1 itself. Getting the basic objects defined was pretty easy, but getting everything to behave like I want is going to take more effort.
I'll post more information on my progress (including the super secret game identity) when I am further along.