Getting started with wargame creation

Virtual tabletop software specifically designed for boardgames, wargames, card games and dice games
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KeithS
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Getting started with wargame creation

Post by KeithS » Tue Oct 14, 2014 3:13 pm

Hello, although I have had BGE for a little while I am just getting started on setting up some wargames using the program. I have two projects in mind:
  1. Lost Battles http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/83325/lost-battles
    This is more of a port of an existing game that I posses but should be well suited to running in the BGE environment. Since this is a commercial game (albeit out of print/stock from the suppliers) my intention is to set it up purely for my own use.
  2. Snappy Nappy http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/43792/snappy-nappy
    Since this is basically a set of rules for corps level Napoleonic wargaming I will need to create most of the components myself in order to create a game.
I am just getting started and have learned quite a bit by getting in and trying things out, as well as several readings of the manual, but I already have some questions about the process, I'm sure that there will be more:
  1. From what I can gather when setting up a BGE game it is usual to take a copy of the entire BGE directory for each game, is this correct? If so are there any parts that can be excluded so as to not duplicate files, is it possible to run from one executable and just duplicate necessary copies of the relevant directories? If not fine, but it would be helpful to know.
  2. The playing tokens will represent units on the field (a brigade of about 2000 men), I am unsure as to whether a mini or a component should be used for this purpose. During the game the formation of the troops would change dynamically, for example an infantry unit may be in line formation, column formation, square or marching column (a narrower formation than regular column). So my first question is would it be possible for the user to change the token representing these easily during the game, ideally with a drop down choice? Secondly as part of the above change could the shape of the token be changed (e.g. from a 4*1 line to a 2*2 square token)?
  3. Since this is a large scale game it is necessary to have several tokens within a gaming square and to be aware of their respective distances and orientation, therefore the zooming feature is vital. However, I understand that zooming is limited to 200%, is there any possibility in a future release of increasing this to say 400 or even 800%?
That's it for now although I may have more questions in due course. Thanks in advance for any answers that may be forthcoming.

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heruca
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Re: Getting started with wargame creation

Post by heruca » Tue Oct 14, 2014 4:12 pm

1. It's best to just keep the BGE Zip file that you download and use it to create a new instance of BGE for each game you plan to play or create. It's also advised that you rename the executable each time to ensure that Preferences are kept separate and distinct for each game.

2. Yes, you can have multi-token components or minis. I recommend minis, so you can use the Base feature. I'm pretty sure each token in a multi-token mini can have it's own unique base size and horizontal/vertical offsets. Tokens configured this way can be changed quickly and easily during play, either via menu selection or via pressing a hotkey (recommended).

3. The max zoom level in BGE is not expected to be increased. I suggest you simply alter the scale of your game grid, if you can. For example, say you never expect more than around 4 units to occupy the same grid square. By simply doubling the size of the grid overlay, you can retain the snap to grid capability (you'll have 4 snap points within each over-large grid square). To make this happen, simply create your own Grid Overlay in Photoshop/Gimp/whatever and save it in PNG format into BGE's "Grids" folder. Then select your custom grid from BGE's Preferences panel.
:arrow: Please help spread the word about BRPG and BGE, and never hesitate to tell me how I can make them better suit your gaming needs.

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heruca
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Re: Getting started with wargame creation

Post by heruca » Tue Oct 14, 2014 4:13 pm

Not really applicable to your questions, but since you are just getting started, have you watched the BGE tutorial video yet?
:arrow: Please help spread the word about BRPG and BGE, and never hesitate to tell me how I can make them better suit your gaming needs.

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KeithS
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Re: Getting started with wargame creation

Post by KeithS » Tue Oct 14, 2014 4:43 pm

HI, thanks for the prompt reply.

Yes I have watched the tutorial video a couple of times thanks :) , it was very helpful but doesn't entirely cover what I am trying to do so this is why I am asking supplementary questions. Do you plant to prepare the second one or are you too busy with other things?

Can I just clarify about point 3 creating my own grid. Do you mean create a 10x10 grid with a size of 4000x4000pixels; or do you mean create a huge grid of 40x40 squares with a size of 16000x16000 pixels. I suspect that the second is the less likely due to the 4000 pixel limit but I thought that I would ask.

Cheers. :D

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heruca
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Re: Getting started with wargame creation

Post by heruca » Tue Oct 14, 2014 5:01 pm

I was suggesting a 20x20 grid at 4000x4000 pixels.

You could also place that grid as a component to extend the basic map area, then set those grids to Tile.
:arrow: Please help spread the word about BRPG and BGE, and never hesitate to tell me how I can make them better suit your gaming needs.

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KeithS
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Re: Getting started with wargame creation

Post by KeithS » Tue Oct 14, 2014 5:14 pm

OK I will have a go at that tomorrow.

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Re: Getting started with wargame creation

Post by heruca » Wed Oct 15, 2014 10:40 am

KeithS wrote:Yes I have watched the tutorial video a couple of times thanks :) , it was very helpful but doesn't entirely cover what I am trying to do so this is why I am asking supplementary questions. Do you plant to prepare the second one or are you too busy with other things?
It appears that I may get a chance to finish the tutorial this Thursday, Friday, or Saturday. The video portion is already recorded, I just have to record the voice over and edit it down for length.
:arrow: Please help spread the word about BRPG and BGE, and never hesitate to tell me how I can make them better suit your gaming needs.

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Re: Getting started with wargame creation

Post by KeithS » Fri Oct 17, 2014 2:48 pm

Thanks, I will look forward to watching the video in due course.

I have now created a set of grids of various sizes after some fiddling about in Photoshop, and they seem to work OK.

However, I now have a new question. The first game that I am setting up consists of a game board created out of a set of 5X4 square terrain tiles, so I need a BGE grid of 40x32 squares with an individual component covering 8x8 grid squares. Now in the masked samples there is an 8x8 square which when placed on the board at 100% is exactly the right size. Now I have created a sample tile from a scanned in Photoshop image to the exact same dimensions as the mask object (488x488 pixels @ 72ppi) but when placed in BGE it is a different size. Am I missing something about the way components are sized? I can adjust this to be correct using the component editor, which I need to do anyway as it is slightly offset because 8x8 doesn't have a central square so it isn't a big issue but I wondered if I can set up the component exactly. Both components are PNG but I have noticed that my tile is considerably larger (455Kb vs. 4Kb) due to the amount of graphics on my tile.

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KeithS
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Re: Getting started with wargame creation

Post by KeithS » Sat Oct 18, 2014 10:02 am

OK don't worry about the previous post, I used the sizes recommended on page 139 of the manual for games boards and it worked fine (increased number of pixels). I also set the game board size to 35x28 (from 40x40) allowing me to use 7x7 component tiles which snap onto the central square without having to offset. OK now to edit another 99 scanned tile images in Photoshop, which should keep me busy for a while, but once that is done I will probably be back with further questions.

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