how to start designing vassal modules

I am decent at making Cyberboard gameboxes, but would like to advance to creating Vassal modules and it appears to be infinitely more complex. How can I get started? Are there any similarities with Cyberboard modules?

I think once you learn a little about Vassal you will find that it is much easier to use than Cyberboard. The best way to learn is to open an existing module with the Vassal editor and explore the parts. I posted a very, very simple game on the Vassal module list called ‘Conflict’. One of the reasons I posted it was so beginners could use it to learn. Download it, open it with the Vassal Play Game function first and take a look. Then close it and open it with the Edit function. You will see a tree structure. Look at the map and game pieces. Everything is pretty much plug-in. The map and counters are just image files plugged into thier proper places on the tree structure. This should give you an idea of what takes place. If you can use Cyberboard then you should be able to figure out the basics of Vassal with no problem.

The rough equivalent of what you have in a Cyberboard gamebox is a Map
with one Board, and a Piece Palette containing pieces which have only
the BasicPiece trait, or have the Layer trait if they have more than
one face. Those are the very basic things to look at first. Everything
else is something which you can’t do in Cyberboard.

I’d recommend looking at a relatively simple module first. You’ll tend
to find simpler modules for older games, because the games themselves
contained simpler mechanisms. E.g., if you look At the Afrika Korps or
Ceasar/Alesia modules, you’ll find that there’s not too much there,
because neither game is very complex.

A lot of very complex modules are that way because they automate some of
the bookkeeping for you. E.g., there are a lot of modules which have
buttons for returning artillery which you flip when they fire back to
their non-fired sides. (My module for The Longest Day is like this, but
otherwise it’s not that complex.)

If you want to see a really complex module, on the other hand, look at
the Twilight Struggle module.