3D games

So I am now a boardgame designer, ahem. I mean I have a WIP progress thread. I have designed one game and I consider it at least stable albeit perhaps not finalized. I have played it with two family members who either like it or are too polite to say otherwise. I have started to think about a VASSAL module to encourage playtesting.

So it must be fairly easy. There are only 8 double sided pieces in total and the board is only 4x3. What can go wrong?

One issue I can easily solve. There are some simultaneous action steps. Masking can solve that. I’ve already handled things as technically difficult.

The deeper problems are associated with the 3D nature of the game, Pieces are stacked and there are no restrictions in stacking. Pieces don’t move in a stack. A piece can move from anywhere in a stack to a neighbouring space (usually at the top of the stack but very occasionally at the bottom.) There is a very important and critical move where you take one stack and turn it upside down.

This seems a little tricky. I am thinking I would have to have nine layers. And I would have to have a lot of VASSAL stuff to make sure that a piece is always in the lowest layer possible - because otherwise I would have no idea where anything was. So each piece would have to have a dynamic property which said what layer it was. So the layer marker would have to be tied to that dynamic property.

So when I moved a piece to the top of the stack I would have to count how many pieces there were in that space.

When I moved a piece to the bottom of a stack I would have to first increment the layer of every piece in that stack,

When I moved a piece away from a stack I would have to decrement the layer of every piece above it.

When I turn a stack upside down I would have to subtract the current layer from the number of pieces in the stack to get the new layer.

Of course everything would be set to DoNotStack.

This all seems pretty horrible. How bad does it sound to other people.

BTW if you are interested here is my game.

I don’t know much about writing Vassal modules, but this sounds like a very special kind of stack, it might make sense to write a custom stack implementation in Java.

I feared someone would give me that answer and hoped they wouldn’t.

Don’t mind me though, if I made Vassal modules I would probably write 99% of them in custom code, would be much easier for me than learning to use the Editor.