Movement system

I have implemented a system which uses the number pad buttons to both move and turn to face simultaneously (having to change the image for the piece) and also a turn on the spot Ctrl + number pad direction (also changing the image of the piece)

This makes movement trails disappear each time the image changes (effectively becoming a new piece each move). It is something I can live with myself; but I do appreciate some players will prefer the instant acknowledgement of correct move distances…

That said the number pad is also unavailable on most laptops; and so I will be cutting the number of players.

I was thinking of adding another move system on the normal arrow keys:
Move forwards.
Turn left.
Turn right.
Move backwards.

The two systems would have to be kept separate (or cause undesired problems); but would allow laptops and move trails if required.

Question being: are there any other examples of movement systems that I could be missing; and which ones do people like or are familiar with?

On Sep 19, 2008, at 7:52 AM, danjaman wrote:

How do you change the image of the piece? Perhaps if you used layers,
you would be able to keep the movement trails as well.

Messages mailing list …

Post generated using Mail2Forum (

You’ll conflict with with VASSAL’s use of arrow keys to reorder pieces within a stack. Those keystrokes are actually configurable via the StackMetrics component (I believe you need to edit the buildFile to change them.)

Another common set of keys for movement are the ‘vi’ (or rogue) keys: j-down, k-up h-left l-right.


Post generated using Mail2Forum (

I literally replace the piece with another with the same name; but a different picture.
Do you mean have say 8 pictures directional facings layered and call layers to the top, so to speak…?

Oh, I wasn’t aware of that… though my game pieces do no stack anyway. I will keep that in mind.

On Sep 19, 2008, at 1:35 PM, danjaman wrote:

Exactly. Use the layers feature to choose the layer which is
displayed, assuming you don’t just want to actually rotate the piece.

Look at the explanation in

Messages mailing list …

Post generated using Mail2Forum (

That was quite straight forward but not exactly what I want to achieve. My pieces have images with transparent areas, so you can see the basic piece beneath and you do not seem to be able to select a specific layer at the touch of a specific key.

The visual effect I am trying to achieve is to turn to face the direction you are moving in (but while retaining move trails) and to be able to turn on the spot 8 directions touch of a button, not rotate incrementally.

As I say, I have achieved it; but it won’t work on laptops and the Movement trail doesn’t work.

But thanks for the suggestion :slight_smile:

Thus spake “danjaman”:

“Won’t work on laptops”? Why not?


Messages mailing list …

Post generated using Mail2Forum (

Because there is no no. pad…

ie move right = numpad 6

turn to face up (on the spot) = Ctrl + Numpad 8


On Thu, October 9, 2008 12:54 pm, danjaman wrote:

Almost all laptops have a ‘virtual’ numpad somewhere on the keyboard that
you can access with one of the modifier keys, e.g. Fn+U = Numpad 7, Fn+I =
Numpad 8, FN+J = Numpad 4, etc.


Messages mailing list …

Post generated using Mail2Forum (

Add a second set of movement keys which duplicates what the numberpad keys do then.

There is nothing preventing you from duplicating the same command/action twice on a piece as long as the keys do not collide with some other trait

— On Thu, 10/9/08, danjaman wrote:

Post generated using Mail2Forum (

Thus spake “danjaman”:

Couldn’t you use some other part of the keyboard, e.g., QWE / ASD / ZXC ?


Messages mailing list …

Post generated using Mail2Forum (

Thus spake “Tim Franklin”:

This caused me to locate and try the virtual numpad on my current laptop.
In 8 years of owning a laptop, this is the first time I’ve ever activated
a virtual numpad.

That’s going to be… irritating to have to keep switching it on and off.


Messages mailing list …

Post generated using Mail2Forum (

That is looking for trouble for French AZERTY keyboards, isn’t it?

Put a completely transparent 1x1 image as the basic piece…

Thus spake Jeffrey Brent McBeth:

hjkl does not give you the diagonals, which I think the original poster

If it were completely up to me, you’d be able to save your game and exit
with ‘:wq’.


Messages mailing list …

Post generated using Mail2Forum (

On Thu, October 9, 2008 4:38 pm, Jeffrey Brent McBeth wrote:

‘b’ is on the other side of an ergonmic keyboard split to all the others
in that setup. It’s a real pain to use. If we’re only pushing it as an
alternative for laptop users with no numpad though, I don’t think that’s

(I’m picturing a laptop now with a keyboard that kind of pops up of the
base, splits in half and swivels outwards…)

‘cat >’, then you can use ctrl-d and save a keystroke or two.


Messages mailing list …

Post generated using Mail2Forum (

On Oct 9, 2008, at 7:46 AM, Joel Uckelman wrote:

Burn the heretic! The correct exit sequence should be ‘^X^S^X^C’

Messages mailing list …

Post generated using Mail2Forum (

There’s nothing wrong with ^X^CY

Actually I usually type :wc^H^H^H^X^CY. That seems to work fine for me.

  • M.

2008/10/9 Thomas Russ < (>

Post generated using Mail2Forum (

Thats all good food for thought, thanks for all your input guys!

FINALLY I know what I’m doing…

I took some time out because it was doing my head in; but cracked on today and it clicked.

qwe movement directions, with shift + qwe etc for turning on the spot
a d

example w sequence
1)Move 40 up
2)reset to blank layer
3)increase layer

all move keys have the same reset to blank command so previous layers are all reset whichever is pressed.

I knew there was a way of doing it, I just had to persevere.

One problem though has arisen in that the blank counter being default means it shows as a blank in the pieces selection box at the top. I do plan to make saves of the individual missions with pieces set up; but for the casual user it may seem that the content is missing…

Any suggestions?

I think a scaled down version of the basic image that would be covered by the layers during play would sort it out…

PS: movement trails work!