Have I got this feature list right?

Hello, everyone. I’m doing a comparison of the various game prototyping/playtesting tools out there, and I just did a brief writeup of Vassal. If anyone’s interested and has a minute, could they give my review a quick look and make sure I got the features right? The writeup is here: globalgamespace.org/index.ph … rt/vassal/

Thanks for your time, I want to get these right so no one can say I bad-mouthed their product!

Had a quick look and have a couple of comments.

1. Private Server: No is not strictly true. You can run online games without using the public Vassal server. Unfortunately, in the current version of Vassal, this feature is a bit obscure and difficult to find. This is being addressed in V3.2, where it will be a lot easier for people to start a server using their own copy of Vassal.

2. Requires No Programming Skill to Design: No I would disagree with, as with your statement that 'it can become unwieldy for prototyping and testing purposes..

I would say the opposite in fact. For Prototyping and testing purposes, you do not need to use any advanced features at all, just bung in your basic pieces with a few images/layers and move everything by hand.

I have helped a game developer prototype and build a number of games and in each case we started with a basic set of counters with no fancy stuff that was built in a few hours. The developer played with this, changes where made, new artwork dropped in, counters added and deleted. When he was happy with the design, we added the fancy functionality to make game-play easier.

I also have a question about what ‘Edit Game Rules Documentation’ means?


Thanks, Brent. I’ve updated the site to reflect your comment on the Private Server capability.

On the programming skill, I may not have been reading the manual right. It looked to me like creating your layers and things required creating a descriptor file with a given format and syntax? While I agree that’s a pretty simple operation, I’m putting the bar for “Programming skill” pretty low.

“Edit Game Rules Documentation” in this case refers to making rule changes on the fly, and pushing them out to players, such as if clarifications need to be made during playtesting.

No, not at all, it’s all done by point and click through a GUI editor.

The descriptor file is maintained automatically by Vassal and is not even available to the designer unless they really want to go looking for it.

Thanks for setting me straight! I’ve adjusted my writeup accordingly.