Cannibalizing Cyberboxes

To use them for VASSAL modules I would like to get access to image files of Cyberbox modules.

Is there a way to get into the .gsn files/archives, which seem to contain the image data? Are the .gsn files archives at all?

I’m using a PowerMac running Mac OS 10.4 only.


Thus spake “Matthias Hardel”:

Cyberboard gameboxes are binary blobs of unknown format. You could
sit down with a hex editor and try to reverse-engineer the file
format, but I don’t recommend it unless:

  1. You are a masochist.
  2. You are cannot wait for the file format to become public, which
    should happen when the first open-source version of CB becomes

The day that the file format becomes public, I intend to drop everything
and write a Cyberboard-to-VASSAL converter.

If you don’t want to reverse-engineer the file format and you don’t
want to wait, it is still possible to extract the images from a Cyberboard


  1. Maps you can get via CBPlay. Open a scenario, clear all of the tokens
    off the map, and do ‘Edit > Save Board Image in File…’.

  2. Tokens:

To extract token faces, you need to export all of the token faces as GTLs,
and then use something to unpack the GTLs into individual bitmaps. There
is software out there to unpack GTLs.

E.g., I’ve written a Perl script called, which unpacks GTLs
into BMP files, and can be found if you search through the archives of
the Cyberboard mailing list, and I think theres a program called
GTLEditor or some such out there as well. GTLs unfortunately don’t contain
any information about which token faces go together to form a token.

To get the GTLs, start the Cyberboard Designer and open the gamebox. In
the left pane of the Project window, you’ll see the entry “Tile Image
Groups”, with a list of those underneath it. Select the first one. In the
right pane you should now see the token faces in the group. Bring up a
context menu (right click) over the right pane, select “Save Tile Library
File…”, and choose a filename.

Next, you need to convert the GTLs to something you can use. If you’re
on UNIX, or you have a Perl installation on your Windows machine (if
you don’t know, then you don’t), you can use my script. I’ve been told
that the GTLEditor has problems sometimes, but it might be your only
option for right now if you’re using Windows. Alternately, it’s a 5-minute
job for me to convert any number of GTLs, so if you send me all of your
GTLs, I’ll send you the contents back as PNGs. (If too many people do this,
it server as incentive for me to finish the C++ version of my GTL converter,
so that people on Windows can convert their own GTLs.)

If you’ve done all this, you now have all of the graphics for building your


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«If you’ve done all this, you now have all of the graphics for building your


Seems easier to do it the hard way.

I’ll forward your how-to-do-list to a PC capable friend. Might be less complicated than it reads.

« … which should happen when the first open-source version of CB becomes available.»

Is there an ETA for this?

Many thanks


Thus spake “Matthias Hardel”:

I think you could get all of the graphics out of a very large gamebox this
way in under an hour. What’s the hard way?

If there is, I don’t know it.


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«I think you could get all of the graphics out of a very large gamebox this
way in under an hour. What’s the hard way?»

To cut and name the scans for 150+ card-files. Through the Ages I’m talking about.


Thus spake “Matthias Hardel”:

Even if you’re doing mostly trivial things 150+ scans, if you’re not doing
it programatically (i.e., with some sort of scripting) then you’re going to
be at it for days.


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It would seem that the original CB designer was able to acquire the actual
graphics from Z-Man games and use those. Perhaps save yourself the trouble
of CB extraction and ask them if you can use them also for vassal. Would be
a lot easier I think :slight_smile:

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Amen to that! It took me around 4 hours to import and name 2,500 Case Blue counters thanks to a couple of simple VB scripts, the hard part was cropping and slicing the counter-sheet scans, that must have taken another 4 hours. :slight_smile:

I had the same problems and wrote a little tool to extract the bmps from the cyberboard gameboxes.

To get the data out of the gbx there are currently two tools. These can be found at … arty_Tools.

My command line tool works on .gtl files (which are essentially packed DIB archives) so you will have to save the gfx from the box to .gtl files. That can be done from CBDesign. My tool works for CB ver 3 only (they changed to 16bpp bmps how pathetic) , let me know if you need a tool for older cb versions. It can propably be derived from my tool, I gave the code as well (see link in cbwiki).

Alternatively use the GTL Editor. That prog can do a lot more and has a nice GUI using the .NET framework (boooohh). I was discovering the GTL Editor by accident, when I posted my tool to the cbwiki :confused:

Anyways you will get incredibly huge uncompressed .bmp files!! So be prepared to get ImageMagick on your mashine and write some fancy batch/shell scripts to automate the bmp->png/whatever conversion and renaming. I could also serve with that or some counceling on how to do it if desired.

p.s.: the gtl archive structure is outlined in the cyberboard docs. there is no such things as mysteries about the cyberboardcoding ;)

p.p.s.: was doing this on the World in Flames gamebox and worked out fine! WiF has about 2k ++ counters… hence the automating

p.p.p.s.: Be sure to contact the cyberbox gamebox author and ask kindly if you can reuse his (propably hard) work. ALSO BE SURE TO CONTRACT THE COPYRIGHT HOLDER if there is one !

How is your VASSAL adaptation of Through the Ages going?

I am working on a ZunTzu adaptation, so I am interested whether to continue…

Well … guys

just a message to emphasize that the REAL OUTSIDER for Vassal is always and still Zuntzu …

Here in France we have lost a lot of creators … and now i see more and more adaptations from none french creators (see BBG).

But with this fair “race” … it can be useful for Vassal improvements …

It will be great to have a dedicated post in “Developers” to communicate about what is improved in the 3.1 and in the future 3.2 … not in your “developement” language … but with “simple” words for “simple” minds" …

The communication and the knowledge of the Vassal’s jewel possibilities are too the key to spread the Vassal decease … :smiling_imp:

But at the present time who except developers can know what the 3.1 will be ???

Just think about it …

Not at all, project is on hold in wait for a German edition to be published.