VASL Turret Modification

Stewart

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There are those that want to play exactly what FtF is, and there are those that want a better experience.

If you can't see a red outlined turret, you have eye problems.
It would speed the game up, not that many of you care about that, and allow cleaner decision making based on simply seeing more information without having to hover, click, or whatever.

The same comparison of providing an image instead of watching a short video (which I make no money from BTW) which explains more instead of posting 30 images with all the other questions.
They want the info quickly... Same argument.
 

dwardzala

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Stewart,
First, thanks for you effort to make things better. You are trying to address an issue that you see. However, not every views that as an issue.

Personally, I would like to see the issue resolved. However, I think your solution will present other issues, namely at zoom levels farther out that 1 or 2, it will be difficult or impossible to determine BU/CE status (especially on turreted vehicles) and could be difficult to determine BU/CE status on non-turreted vehicles. I honestly think the graphics need a bit more work to address those issues. For reference, I am almost always at 67% zoom level on smaller scenarios and only zoom in when I doubt the LOS string. I rely on hovering to provide the information I need at a zoomed in level. However, I don't want to hover over every AFV to determine which way its turret is facing and if its BU or CE. It may help if you made a video at that zoom level instead of the zoom level you used in the other video.

Iconography/symbology matter, too. All experienced players know what those BU/CE and turret counters mean. An altered graphic (like your CE graphic) will not be recognized initially (and this will cause resistance to change, like it or not.) The closer you can make the graphics (or provide the information is an obvious form - like a CE/BU label) the more acceptance you will gain.

I also think that giving players a choice is better than not. The CRTL key functionality is very convenient, but only if the graphic is useful to the user. If you force that graphic one way (or the other) your probably going to disappoint a significant portion of the VASL community (although that is less likely if the concern I have above is addressed.) Also, there are people with eye problems. If your solution excludes them from playing, that probably doesn't work either.

Anyhow, trying to give some constructive feedback in a non-threating way. I hope you take it in the manner in which it is intended.
 
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Sparafucil3

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They think the very first thing they see is the final product, no suggestions on changing the prototype, just no.
It could be (is in my case) people just like it as it is. I know the first thing I said was I was OK with the addition as long as I had the option to continue using what is there already. If that wasn't possible, I also offered a compromise position of replacing the country specific counters with the generic white counter you said was better.

Blocking the information on the counter is a game issue, I simply want to make it far less of a game issue.
I don't think many agree with you. IMO, it isn't an issue. I can hover my mouse over the stack and it will un-pack so I can see the counter.

Just look at all the complaints about 6.6.0 etc you guys are working on due to VASSAL changes. "Why do we need new versions all the time?"
The answer is we don't but something we do... But they don't really take that into consideration...

They complain about removing the turrets, but they don't even know they exist in counter form....
The turrets are not being removed and I've offered to create a pallet of their colored turrets...
Nah, their flip phones work well.
Funny how most comments on GS are negative while most other comments in other media aren't.

I just want to know if GS is the community or is the community the community?

It'll be easy enough once changes are complete to simply add them to future versions (that I'll update to immediately, that's sarcasm)
I have other ideas in making the battlefield better and more visible, but no one here send to see that VASL isn't a board game is a computer game that improves on the board game. Most of us want to improve.
Personally, I said many times, my preference would be the original functionality of CTRL+B/A/S remained tied to either a country specific turret (current VASL behavior) or the generic white turret counter. I was all for adding your mod under those conditions. I knew the turrets existed in counter form but I didn't use them. The act of opening the counter tray, finding the turret counter, pulling the counter out, placing it on my tank, and they rotating it one click is far more slow and disruptive than simply hitting CTRL+S. I don't know why I would support a change that forces me to use a modification that I find hard to see and use or be banished to a process which disrupts the game. I have said many times you could add your new non-counter counter to the tray as a mod and pull it using all those steps if you wished to have your functionality. You complain about us not wanting to change, but when presented with alternatives that would allow you to introduce your change into the game, you won't even consider anything but what you want. We aren't the only ones resisting here. I know it's a pain to make sure your playing partner has the mod, but it is an option.

We all want to see VASL/VASSAL improve, we just all have different ideas of what "improve" means. IMO, what you offered here, is not an improvement. The proposed turret/CE marker is too small, I can't see it well at the scale I play the game at. Even the modified outlines you proposed were red on green, making it impossible for someone who is red/green color-blind to see. -- jim
 

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If you want fewer VASSAL releases, you need to use betas when we release them. Let me repeat that:

If you want fewer VASSAL releases, you need to use betas when we release them.

And not just for five minutes, either. You need to actually use them long enough to find problems, and then report those problems. Bugs we fix fall mainly into two categories: Bugs we could have fixed before a release if we'd known they existed, and bugs which we've only recently understood how to fix. Four of the five fixes in 3.4.6 are in the former category---they'd never have gone out as bugs at all if anyone had told us about them during the 3.4 betas.
 

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Stewart,
First, thanks for you effort to make things better. You are trying to address an issue that you see. However, not every views that as an issue.
Thanks for you comments.
I understand that some players don't want any change.
I simply address things I think are annoying AF.
Vision of the battlefield being one of them.

I've already eliminated the counter clutter of malfunctioned counters on vehicles.
I'm getting rid of the obnoxious white background on WIRE and Wrecks...as they Completely obscure the hexes...The white background isn't necessary...this isn't the Board Game of ASL..its a video conversion.

Turrets are simply another piece of OLD School ASL. They completely obscure the image of the tanks. I'm looking to resolve that.
IIRC, turrets were independent of the vehicles and we didn't have colored turrets either.

Personally, I would like to see the issue resolved. However, I think your solution will present other issues, namely at zoom levels farther out that 1 or 2, it will be difficult or impossible to determine BU/CE status (especially on turreted vehicles) and could be difficult to determine BU/CE status on non-turreted vehicles. I honestly think the graphics need a bit more work to address those issues. For reference, I am almost always at 67% zoom level on smaller scenarios and only zoom in when I doubt the LOS string. I rely on hovering to provide the information I need at a zoomed in level. However, I don't want to hover over every AFV to determine which way its turret is facing and if its BU or CE. It may help if you made a video at that zoom level instead of the zoom level you used in the other video.
I'm not sure I know what you mean as issue. It's a concept to increase counter visibility. As I stated in my videos, this is just the first step...I've asked for feedback on what might work and what won't work.
I have received some good feedback from a number of people. With some other concerns. Campaign games, different backgrounds etc.
I'm in the stages of creating a "halo" around the turret to make it more visible.
I don't mind negative feedback, but when there is no consideration at all...it seems a bit closed mindedness. I understand many players want NO change.
67% should work just fine on the progress I'm making recently. They pop better off of the counter
BU and CE status for NT guns are quite obvious as they sit on the back corner of the counter.
The levels I used were at all levels.
Freeze my latest at 1:14 and that is your 67% view. With the red outline its easy to see.


Iconography/symbology matter, too. The closer you can make the graphics (or provide the information is an obvious form - like a CE/BU label) the more acceptance you will gain.
I don't change any symbology.
If I leave the CE/BU on the turrets it will obscure or be DIFFICULT to read as it can't hang off the counter because you won't be able to see it.
The iconography is all that is needed as all 4 images of BU/CE status are clear, otherwise the iconography would never have been on the counters in the first place.


I also think that giving players a choice is better than not. The CRTL key functionality is very convenient, but only if the graphic is useful to the user. If you force that graphic one way (or the other) your probably going to disappoint a significant portion of the VASL community (although that is less likely if the concern I have above is addressed.) Also, there are people with eye problems. If your solution excludes them from playing, that probably doesn't work either.
They don't lose their choice. Turrets are STILL available. As I've said about 10 times before....the TURRETS will not be eliminated.
I can't help people with EYE problems. Color blindness nearsightedness..etc.
Again, turrets will NOT be eliminated from Vasl...Half of the responders didn't even know there are other turret counters.

Anyhow, trying to give some constructive feedback in a non-threating way. I hope you take it in the manner in which it is intended.
I thank you for your comments, Same to you on my comments. Not meant to be abrasive, but I just like to tell it like it is.
THIS is the feedback a developer needs...not I HATE THIS....I CANT USE THIS..
Well, that's all "me,me,me" talk. All too common.
Constructive feedback such as yours is good and needed.

The person that had concerns with CAMPAIGN games...I talked with him on Discord and showed him various adjustments for more feedback.

Too many counters are ARCHAIC and really need to be changed to improve the interface.
Players complain about not getting new blood....well, first, start playing with better counters. You see that trend in MANY board game companies.
Scenario cards as well...
Why MMP hasn't moved to get the MAPS on their scenario cards is silly... that information helps so much in "seeing" the scenario before you kick out all of your boards. It's not hard to get that graphic ON the scenario cards...

But yes...THANK YOU for the comments.
VERY much APPRECIATED.

Right now...
 

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I commented on one of the videos, but I find it extremely hard to distinguish between the BU and CE status of the turret counter with only a very small hatch swung over. If you are not going to use the BU or CE labels, then the difference needs to be really clear. BU is the default status, so that could probably be left as is, but when CE it needs to be easy to tell.
 

dwardzala

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Thanks for you comments.
I understand that some players don't want any change.
I simply address things I think are annoying AF.
Vision of the battlefield being one of them.

I've already eliminated the counter clutter of malfunctioned counters on vehicles.
I'm getting rid of the obnoxious white background on WIRE and Wrecks...as they Completely obscure the hexes...The white background isn't necessary...this isn't the Board Game of ASL..its a video conversion.

Turrets are simply another piece of OLD School ASL. They completely obscure the image of the tanks. I'm looking to resolve that.
IIRC, turrets were independent of the vehicles and we didn't have colored turrets either.


I'm not sure I know what you mean as issue. It's a concept to increase counter visibility. As I stated in my videos, this is just the first step...I've asked for feedback on what might work and what won't work.
I have received some good feedback from a number of people. With some other concerns. Campaign games, different backgrounds etc.
I'm in the stages of creating a "halo" around the turret to make it more visible.
I don't mind negative feedback, but when there is no consideration at all...it seems a bit closed mindedness. I understand many players want NO change.
67% should work just fine on the progress I'm making recently. They pop better off of the counter
BU and CE status for NT guns are quite obvious as they sit on the back corner of the counter.
The levels I used were at all levels.
Freeze my latest at 1:14 and that is your 67% view. With the red outline its easy to see.



I don't change any symbology.
If I leave the CE/BU on the turrets it will obscure or be DIFFICULT to read as it can't hang off the counter because you won't be able to see it.
The iconography is all that is needed as all 4 images of BU/CE status are clear, otherwise the iconography would never have been on the counters in the first place.



They don't lose their choice. Turrets are STILL available. As I've said about 10 times before....the TURRETS will not be eliminated.
I can't help people with EYE problems. Color blindness nearsightedness..etc.
Again, turrets will NOT be eliminated from Vasl...Half of the responders didn't even know there are other turret counters.


I thank you for your comments, Same to you on my comments. Not meant to be abrasive, but I just like to tell it like it is.
THIS is the feedback a developer needs...not I HATE THIS....I CANT USE THIS..
Well, that's all "me,me,me" talk. All too common.
Constructive feedback such as yours is good and needed.

The person that had concerns with CAMPAIGN games...I talked with him on Discord and showed him various adjustments for more feedback.

Too many counters are ARCHAIC and really need to be changed to improve the interface.
Players complain about not getting new blood....well, first, start playing with better counters. You see that trend in MANY board game companies.
Scenario cards as well...
Why MMP hasn't moved to get the MAPS on their scenario cards is silly... that information helps so much in "seeing" the scenario before you kick out all of your boards. It's not hard to get that graphic ON the scenario cards...

But yes...THANK YOU for the comments.
VERY much APPRECIATED.

Right now...
The red outline (and possibly the white, need to see it to be sure) help highlight the position of the turret and was noticeable at the different zoom levels.

CE/BU status on turrets, while you are using the counter graphic, I was today years old when I realized that the artwork was different between CE and BU (and I have been playing on and off for almost 20 years), because the letters and CE and BU were what I keyed off. I suspect nearly all other players only notice the CE and BU. I am not sure how you can make this more obvious with just a graphic solution.

The choice I was referring to was more along the lines of the CRTL key usage. Dragging turret counters is a pain. I don't think I have ever used the turret counter (maybe back in the VASL 3.1 days), but obviously I use the CTRL keys all the time. I think that is what is concerning people. I don't know if there is a way to use combos like CRTL+SHIFT in VASL/VASSAL, but that may be a way to give everybody what they want, without too much change for the people who don't want it.
 

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If you didn't notice the difference between them for years, you aren't alone.
It surprises me that you hadn't noticed, I never would've guessed that in a million years.

I can't help what people don't notice.
I think the BU and CE turrets are about as obvious as the sun in the sky.

I think a few people can deal with the change if the vast majority want it.

But we both know that's the squeaky wheel gets heard over all else in the world of ASL.

I can lead a horse to water...

I'll complete my own project and distribute it...

I hated the red circle that locks to the screen. Has taken 4yrs to make it not center..I think I saw in the new version that its an option now.
 

tommyl

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I can't help what people don't notice.
I think the BU and CE turrets are about as obvious as the sun in the sky.
It's not a question of notice, I can't SEE the difference at normal playing zoom levels. That will greatly impact how I can use VASL and that is what I am concerned about.

I also think there is some differences in the philosophy people are approaching VASL changes. Some see it as a solely as means to play the board game over the internet when FtF gaming isn't available. For this group changes from how the board game looks in FtF are unnecessary. It appears you view VASL as a way to improve on the board game presentation of ASL and so will have a different view on the impact of changes then the first group (and granted most folks fall in between).
 

Michael R

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I watched the video. I could live with the change. I like that your idea hides less terrain. For NT vehicles, however, that is the only improvement. Both the old and new methods hide only one piece of information, the ground pressure. For turreted vehicles, I admit I like being able to see more information with less clicking. I would need to learn to interpret the graphics, rather than simply read CE or BU; doable.
 

Stewart

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It's not a question of notice, I can't SEE the difference at normal playing zoom levels. That will greatly impact how I can use VASL and that is what I am concerned about.

I also think there is some differences in the philosophy people are approaching VASL changes. Some see it as a solely as means to play the board game over the internet when FtF gaming isn't available. For this group changes from how the board game looks in FtF are unnecessary. It appears you view VASL as a way to improve on the board game presentation of ASL and so will have a different view on the impact of changes then the first group (and granted most folks fall in between).
The problem with your statement is WTF is NORMAL playing zoom levels?
Can you simply state the zoom level you use? its easy to find, therefore, we can ADDRESS your issue just as I've done with Styrk. Greatly IMPACT??? You missed the 20 other posts which I state turrets will not be removed.
The group that simply play the board game over the internet, especially recently, weren't the ones PLAYING VASL in the first place and criticizing it as inferior...
Well, if thats the case WTF is the issue with "screwing it up" for them....its already suboptimal. You aren't going to satisfy those people.

As soon as Covid is done with, which will be immediately after the election, these "Board game" players will leave the VASL SCENE...having these players cry about something that is "inconvenient" (getting a counter from the tableau which they can do in setup, oh wait 1/2 of these people want OTHER people to give them setups) is just silly. They won't be using VASL in the future....they'll go back to their FtF groups and leave VASL behind.

Look seems like THESE players don't have a problem with moving 2 counters in a game with 400 counters....Laziness is really what it boils down to.
The counters ARE visible. If you can't see them, you have a medical condition with your eyes. NO one can help that. These guys and about 80% of the VASL users put counters to the side....HAVING ONE Counter type that isn't AUTOMATED changes absolutely NOTHING.
BTW this is not my game nor doctored up for your benefit.


15055
 

Stewart

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I watched the video. I could live with the change. I like that your idea hides less terrain. For NT vehicles, however, that is the only improvement. Both the old and new methods hide only one piece of information, the ground pressure. For turreted vehicles, I admit I like being able to see more information with less clicking. I would need to learn to interpret the graphics, rather than simply read CE or BU; doable.
Thanks Michael,
And that is just the first rendition...IF a BETTER color is needed PINK maybe, I don't know...we can go with that.
BUT I need input as you've posted here and others because I can't read minds of what MIGHT work...its easier if there is feedback..
But feedback here on GS is mostly NO with no other options. Similar to TommyL's reference to "NORMAL zoom levels" that is UNDEFINED and worthless information tbh...because it gives no information.
 

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If you didn't have the Label, would you know if this vehicle as a defender has a mg? Does it have Bmg/cmg/aamg or ANY combination thereof???
What is the armor of this vehicle? at least the frontal because 85% of players never show you their flanks

What is the MP? What is the MP type? can it run into OG easily ?

You DON'T have the answers to these, but you could upon GLANCING at the counter with the change..
Again, do you REALLY need the BU lettering when the TURRET is clearly BU? Really? You don't need a NAME on your Leader to use it(many VASLERS dont' name their leaders, probably don't know that command exists honestly)

And HOVERING doesn't give you that info.... only clicking on your opponents counter will....and that can lead to issues.
 

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@DougRim @uckelman @BigAl737 @Sully

I love all the constant work and improvements that the VASSAL/VASL cabal & the Counter elves have made. Your hard work and your judgement is (and will forever be) a huge pillar in this hobby.

The nature of the beast dictates that there will be a constant stream of complaints and moaning from the unwashed. Your ability to separate the chaff from the wheat, your willingness to sacrifice your personal time and resources is definitely appreciated and absolutely respected. VASL, with all your design choices, has held up and held up well in the prevailing global crisis. It has certainly tide the community through these hard times.

I am confident I speak for many when I say how much I appreciate your work and your stewardship.

Thank you
 
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tommyl

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No need to be hostile. I was just giving my feedback.
Normal zoom level for me is 100% (to me that meant normal). I like your turret modification, if the CE could be made clearer then it currently is. Could you add CE to the rear of the turrets where it would only obscure the vehicle image and not the data around the edges?

I'd hadn't needed to use the white turrets before so didn't know they existed. I've been playing around with using them to explore how they work. Less than ideal, but if I have to, I'll have to. Ideally I'd like to use your turrets.

Btw, I've been using VASL since 2001 and will still be using it when COVID is no longer the health threat it is (and that will NOT be immediately after the election).
 

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Not truly hostile...I read a lot of questions, comments, etc. all about ASL.
ASL is a game of details, leaving out details that clear up any misconceptions of what's going on or cleans up the question is needed MOST of the time.

One well known personality, provided an example of where to rout to.
Provided an image.
Responses were "Rout Left"
He says " Enemies are off the board preventing the rout"
I expanded the board"
No WAY there was an LOS from ANY infantry unit on the entire rest of that part of the map.
Details were needed as many helpful responders said the same thing, but wasted their time because all of the pertinent information was NOT given.
So, not really Sour or Hostile, just overloaded with lack of information in many aspects of ASL comments.
Using MP for MF is another Gaff. But, I can understand that from new players.
All good

Honestly, if you can't see the difference at 100% zoom. It might be due to the size of your viewscreen.
What size monitor do you use? 15" 24" 27" 40"+?
Small monitors have an inherent disadvantage.
I also play mostly on 100%- 120%


Check these images. The outline is 3 pixels a bit intrusive and can go lower to 2 pixels.
ZOOM level has been provided.
 

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dwardzala

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Thanks for the images. The Red outline works at all zoom levels. The CE turret graphic only works at 100% (two on left are CE, I believe). As I mentioned, I play at 67% and have a 24" display. Perhaps, if you can't add CE to the graphic, coloring the "hatch" red would work?
 

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The counters ARE visible. If you can't see them, you have a medical condition with your eyes. NO one can help that. These guys and about 80% of the VASL users put counters to the side....HAVING ONE Counter type that isn't AUTOMATED changes absolutely NOTHING.
What is the MP? What is the MP type? can it run into OG easily ?
So why don't YOU pull out the AFV counter and place it on the side? Why does YOUR issue mean VASL has to change for everyone else? Why is it you seem reluctant to go the MOD route and see how many people demand it? When offered the chance to to move to a generic white turret--which you said is better in all ways--you demurred and came back to the the original concept. Why is it that people who resist your change are recalcitrant, not worth listening to, and simply can't be satisfied but when you refuse to consider options offered by the masses, you're fighting for the moral soul of VASL and all who use it?

I admire your passion. If I thought your path was better, I would be all for it. I don't agree with it. Not only do I think it not an improvement, I think it a step back and borderline un-usable for me. Given there are several paths for both of us to have our cake and eat it too (introduce your change as a mod, add your non-counter counter as a new counter to the standard trays and pull it out and place it by the board as you suggest we do with the white counters, adding it into main VASL as an option that also retains the current functionality), I cannot see why it is you insist everyone else bend to your will, yet you aren't willing to bend at all.

If the devs decide this is the better path, then I will bear it. But as long as they are asking for opinions, I will continue to express mine. -- jim
 
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@DougRim @BigAl737
If I understand VASL counters correctly, the majority (all?) are stored as artwork which is then thrown on a generic counter background. The combination of the two creates the counter. If that assumption is true, how hard would it be to make a counter with a transparent background such that only the art work was visible? How hard would it be to add an option to VASL to flip between the two options as the default client-side turret for a player's game? Would it also be possible to allow the player to pick a color for this artwork similar to the way I chose colors in the chat window? I believe this would lead to the creation of one counter per color option, but red on green will not work for red/green colorblind people.

If there is a way to chose the default turret background via an option (clear vs. "the way it is now"), it may be a path to adding this into the system that addresses the concerns of all parties who have expressed an interest so far. Each player would be able to chose the functionality that works for them. The second step would be to add the choices of colors at some point down the line to accommodate the needs of all players.

It also might be an interesting option to allow those "transparent" counters to scale up and down to allow the user to make them more or less visible. Some people here are having trouble seeing them as is. I defer to you guys though. Thanks for all you do. -- jim
 
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