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VASSAL

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04 Feb 2009 19:06 #20008 by Notahandle
VASSAL was created by Notahandle
JoelCFC25 wrote:

" Something isn't right on your end. I can't speak for all of those, but I've successfully opened the Ghost Stories and Manoeuvre modules."
I've been wondering if some of the games include files that are PC-only scripts to set things up and which therefore won't work on the Mac.

" The key thing to know here is that a properly downloaded module is a ZIP archive, no matter what file extension it has (if any). On the PC side, the latest beta brings file associations--if you rename your modules with .vmod extensions, double clicking them will automagically fire up VASSAL and load them."
So some of the files are zips that have had the suffix changed? Fucking morons!! The Mac's had the double-clicking for a very long time; it chooses the default program to open files based on the suffix. (It can be manually changed but how am I supposed to know which files are secretly zipped?)

" Depending on your computer's configuration and your choice of web browser, it's possible that modules you download are being detected as compressed files and automatically being uncompressed on the fly. If you are seeing things named Buildfile and stuff like that, this is definitely the case."
I've been unzipping them after download and yes some are Buildfile.

" Bottom line, if you download a game module, you should end up with ONE file. No matter what it's called, or what file extension it has, it must be compressed in ZIP format for VASSAL to recognize it and open it."
So I should leave them zipped because VASSAL will recognise and unzip them itself? One would have thought such an important piece of information would have been mentioned in the sodding Installation documentation!! Actually Ogre was recognised after I unzipped it.

" EDIT: Maybe from here on out, VASSAL tech support should be split off into a new thread so we can stop polluting Barnes' OGRE effort."
Done.

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04 Feb 2009 19:24 #20016 by maka
Replied by maka on topic VASSAL

"Something isn't right on your end. I can't speak for all of those, but I've successfully opened the Ghost Stories and Manoeuvre modules."
I've been wondering if some of the games include files that are PC-only scripts to set things up and which therefore won't work on the Mac.


I haven't been following the other thread, but the Ghost Stories module doesn't work under Vassal 3.0. I'm on a mac, and with the latest beta for 3.1 seems to work fine

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05 Feb 2009 10:02 - 05 Feb 2009 10:04 #20126 by JoelCFC25
Replied by JoelCFC25 on topic VASSAL
Notahandle wrote:

I've been wondering if some of the games include files that are PC-only scripts to set things up and which therefore won't work on the Mac.


I highly doubt this, but I can't say with any certainty. The entire point of the VASSAL platform is to be operating system neutral--hence the Java web launcher and stuff.

So some of the files are zips that have had the suffix changed? Fucking morons!! The Mac's had the double-clicking for a very long time; it chooses the default program to open files based on the suffix. (It can be manually changed but how am I supposed to know which files are secretly zipped?)


Yes, confusion about this must rank very high on the list of reasons why VASSAL is still kind of a sideshow. The vast majority of people who upload game modules put up a file with a .mod extension. If you download something like this, do not uncompress it. Just put it in a folder somewhere with all your game modules. You can rename it, change the file extension, whatever you want--it won't hurt anything. Just don't uncompress it.

I've been unzipping them after download and yes some are Buildfile.


Generally speaking, don't unzip them. Especially if the file you download ends in .mod or .vmod--that means those are modules ready to play as-is. However...

So I should leave them zipped because VASSAL will recognise and unzip them itself? One would have thought such an important piece of information would have been mentioned in the sodding Installation documentation!! Actually Ogre was recognised after I unzipped it.


This is an unfortunate thing about VASSAL--no one seems to be advocating for any standards.

Case in point: if you go to the VASSAL site and try to download GMT's Clash of Monarchs module ( www.vassalengine.org/community/index.php...isplay&module_id=603 ), it points you to a file called CoM.zip on GMT's website. Based on the .zip extension I would normally assume they've put the module and some documentation together, zipped it up, and posted it for download. However, upon opening this file, you see a Buildfile, a folder of images, etc...that means the file should have been named CoM.mod or CoM.vmod to tell people that it's a game module ready to go as-is.

In contrast, try and download the Combat Commander: Europe VASSAL module. Either from GMT or from Mediafire, you are prompted to download a CombatCommanderEurope_1_91.zip file. Maddeningly, this is NOT a game module ready to go that had its extension changed. In this case, you do have to uncompress the file, and extract the "Combat Commander Europe.vmod" file. In essence, the maintainer zipped up a zip file.

GMT in particular is terrible about this right now. Their VASSAL module download page is about evenly split between .zip files that are actually modules ready to go that could be renamed, and .zip files that you DO have to extract to get the module out of them.

I know it's all very frustrating and confusing. They need to get their act together over there. But module creation is an all-volunteer effort, there's no one centrally organizing it, so that's how you get a hodge-podge of possibilities like what exists now.

To make my life simpler, everything module I download gets renamed with a human-readable name (no acronyms) and a .vmod extension.
Last edit: 05 Feb 2009 10:04 by JoelCFC25.

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05 Feb 2009 14:12 #20173 by Notahandle
Replied by Notahandle on topic VASSAL
maka wrote:
" I haven't been following the other thread, but the Ghost Stories module doesn't work under Vassal 3.0. I'm on a mac, and with the latest beta for 3.1 seems to work fine"
Thanks, I'll upgrade and try again.

JoelCFC25 wrote:
" I highly doubt this, but I can't say with any certainty. The entire point of the VASSAL platform is to be operating system neutral--hence the Java web launcher and stuff."
I vaguely recall seeing something regarding running a shell script and/or seeing a exe file. But I can't swear to it.

" Yes, confusion about this must rank very high on the list of reasons why VASSAL is still kind of a sideshow. The vast majority of people who upload game modules put up a file with a .mod extension. If you download something like this, do not uncompress it. Just put it in a folder somewhere with all your game modules. You can rename it, change the file extension, whatever you want--it won't hurt anything. Just don't uncompress it."
But that's so easily fixed! All they need to do is make sure everything is a vmod or mod file and in the Installation documentation tell people not to unzip anything. Even if they're doing things in a strange way, the confusion could be so easily avoided.

" This is an unfortunate thing about VASSAL--no one seems to be advocating for any standards."
But the main page header states "VASSAL By Rodney Kinney". Why on earth doesn't he just declare what he wants to be the standard (be it a zip file with a vmod or mod suffix or whatever)?!!! Given the current inconsistency, why do module creators not simply use zip for zip or vmod for modules? Or even mention whether it needs to be uncompressed on the modules wiki page? Even though it's an all-volunteer effort, taking such simple steps would make the VASSAL system so much more accessible. And in the long run, more users equals more module creators. It seems such a shame that the confusion is allowed to persist.

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06 Feb 2009 09:54 #20299 by JoelCFC25
Replied by JoelCFC25 on topic VASSAL
Hey, I'm not running the show over there. I agree with your criticisms and I've made them myself. I think a great start would be some minimal updating of their FAQs and the Getting Started Guide, plus having a standard naming convention for modules.

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06 Feb 2009 13:11 #20366 by Notahandle
Replied by Notahandle on topic VASSAL
I know, I'm just flabbergasted that they haven't taken such quick and basic steps.

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28 Feb 2009 13:46 #22515 by JoelCFC25
Replied by JoelCFC25 on topic VASSAL
The new stable version 3.1.0 of VASSAL has been released!

Announcement thread

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