So I’m a big fan of the Grand Operational Simulation Series games. The Atlantic Wall module, however, has a reputation of having really slow load times and crashing, even on upper end computers, and the best I can figure is because the map (which is HUGE) is set at a very high resolution, and so it takes a long time to load and makes it tough to move around in-game. I’m wondering if there is a way I can pull the map from the module, downsize it some, and reload it into the module? I have a fairly good grip on how to manipulate VASSAL modules, including adding and removing graphics, but I don’t know how to pull a map from an existing module, or is I might run into unknown issues after the fact. Any wisdom out there?
A Vassal module is just a .zip file with a .vmod extension. You can change the extension and unzip it into a temporary folder and get the map graphic out of the “image” folder.
The only thing you could probably do with it, however, would be to bring the file size down by perhaps reducing it’s quality or using a program that’s good at compression. You can’t resize it as the entire module is built around the size of the board and any grids, zones, etc., that it has.
You may get away with changing it’s format. For example, if it’s a .JPG, convert it to a .PNG. I’ve had far less trouble with large PNG graphics in a module. If you do that, you’ll have to load the module in an editor and replace the map with the new graphic. If you don’t change the size of the map, it shouldn’t have any effect on the rest of the module.
Have you tried altering your heap size? Load the module and go to File->Preference. In the general tab there’s an option for min and max heap. Try 512 and 1024 or 1024 and 1536. I’ve found that helps with some really large modules.
There is no reason whatsoever to monkey around with renaming file extensions if you use a capable compression utility (7zip is but one example) that will load any file you want regardless of its file extension.
Changing the image format or amount of image compression without altering the pixel dimensions isn’t going to result in any difference–it’s purely the dimensions that are dictating memory requirements and gobbling up all the RAM. You can slice it up from one gigantic image into multiple tiles that are then arranged accordingly to compose the entire map. I’m pretty sure you can define grids/zones than span a multi-image map.
As stated above, scaling down the image with help dramatically with memory requirements, but will have the knock-on effect of having to resize all other images in the module accordingly, and also require redefining all grids/zones/locations.