Zoom levels - balancing board size with card size


I have a board and a deck of cards set up in each player’s hands. The cards have text on them which the players will need to read. The players also need to play them out on the board face down until they are revealed. Some of the players in the game will need to be able to place down several cards.

All these cards on the board takes up a lot of room on the board and therefore the screen.

In order to achieve this, I see two options:

  1. Have a massive board and cards, which will make the file size huge
  2. Have cards made smaller when face down on the board (effectively zoomed out) but on mouseover and zoom view appears, the hover image is shown at 100% so the card text is readable

I don’t like option 1. I’d prefer option 2 but if it’s not feasible then I need to suffer the huge file size. Would anyone be able to point me in the right direction to achieve option 2?

TL;DR - Is it possible to zoom some or all game pieces independently of the board being played on?


Have you considered making the players’ hands separate boards that can be toggled on/off, and scale the cards and these displays for best size/appearance in concert with the main board under them?

Yes, I’ve got player hands. As it goes, the difference between the two locations is what’s causing some of the sizing imbalance.

What you’ll likely have to do is make sure you scan the physical pieces (cards, maps) at 100%, then use the map zoom (default) functions to create displays that “look right” to the players. It can be tricky if you need to have player hands windows open with a map board at the same time… hard to mitigate the space without a second monitor…

If I understand what you’re saying, you want to have pieces of a certain size, but you find that the mouseover zoom view doesn’t produce a sharp image because it’s scaling up an image which is the same size as the piece. So what you need is for the piece to have an image that’s larger than the piece itself (and which is scaled down to the piece size when not in mouseover).

You can do this if you embed the image in an svg file - the svg size is independent of any images it contains. However, this will not reduce the file size. If the image in the svg file is higher resolution than the piece (and if it isn’t, there’s no point), it’s going to require more file space than a piece-sized image.

I’ve done some work with resizing the images so they’re relatively sized and then the zoom will do the rest. Image optimisation is very important!

Now I am plum new at this so I will phrase my idea as a question.

So the problem is the cards are going fuzzy when the images are enlarged?

Will changing the files to a .svg fix the scaling problem? IF I understand right them vector images are infinately scalable. I have seen but not used plug ins for the free GIMP and Paint.net graphic editing programs which enable them to output .svg’s.

I believe .svg’s work in Vassal.

But like I said I am quite new here.

Yes, SVG does work in Vassal, and vector graphics scale nicely. But SVG files can contain both images and vector graphics - putting an image in a format like PNG or JPEG into an SVG file won’t automatically convert the image into vector graphics; it’s still a raster image.

The point I was making above is that you can embed an image into SVG at whatever scale you want, so that you can put a high-resolution image into a small piece. This will zoom in clearly, because the zoomed view is just showing the image at its actual resolution. However, it sounds like Doofie didn’t need to do this. Scaling up a PNG or JPEG often works well enough, even if it becomes a little fuzzy.

Using vector graphics is usually more effort. Instead of scanning or photographing the piece, you recreate it entirely yourself in a tool like Inkscape (I haven’t tried using Gimp for this). If you want to show some text, for example, you have to type it in yourself. But it will look sharp at any scale.