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X-wing online: Steam vs. Vassal

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1) Grab and drag maneuver template (+ hunt for it if it was not placed neatly before)

2) manually fine adjust its shadow in front of the ship

3) Grab and drag the ship, rotate it manually as needed

4) manually fine adjust its shadow at the end of the template

5) store back the maneuver template

6) grab and drag a stress token

 

vs

 

1) left click on ship

2) hit CTRl-ALT-2 for k-turn

3) hit shift-S

 

That top part pretty much exactly mimics playing the game in real life--and that would make the game easier to "pick up and play" than the Vassal module.

 

Your module is definitely faster and pretty much better after you've gotten past the learning curve.

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1) Grab and drag maneuver template (+ hunt for it if it was not placed neatly before)

2) manually fine adjust its shadow in front of the ship

3) Grab and drag the ship, rotate it manually as needed

4) manually fine adjust its shadow at the end of the template

5) store back the maneuver template

6) grab and drag a stress token

 

vs

 

1) left click on ship

2) hit CTRl-ALT-2 for k-turn

3) hit shift-S

 

That top part pretty much exactly mimics playing the game in real life--and that would make the game easier to "pick up and play" than the Vassal module.

 

Your module is definitely faster and pretty much better after you've gotten past the learning curve.

If you are a newbie the right click menu is still going to be way faster than TTS.

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1) Grab and drag maneuver template (+ hunt for it if it was not placed neatly before)

2) manually fine adjust its shadow in front of the ship

3) Grab and drag the ship, rotate it manually as needed

4) manually fine adjust its shadow at the end of the template

5) store back the maneuver template

6) grab and drag a stress token

 

vs

 

1) left click on ship

2) hit CTRl-ALT-2 for k-turn

3) hit shift-S

4) *mic drop*

 

fixed that for ya Mu0n ;)

 

you say that like what he posted was intuitive and user friendly

 

I've played on X-WIng Vassal, with friendly opponents, and between java bugs with ships disappearing and being unable to see my opponents dial revealed, way way way too many windows to keep track of, pain with selecting the correct maneuvers, confusion over his (and my) action indicators/tokens - it was not a great experience.  This was about 7 10 months ago.

Edited by OgRib

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The problems with the X-Wing experience on Vassal are mostly all related to the Vassal platform imo - not Mu0n's work. 

Yeah - there is a bit of a curve but the 'Index of Useful Links' thread has a couple of really great tutorials on getting Vassal up and running but if you take the 30mn to do so - you will be rewarded with a good online multiplayer approximation for a table-top game (and at least tries to not violate copyright or profit in doing so)

Edited by nathankc

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Java bugs: not sure what you're referring to but yes, Java's graphical engine isn't the best - it's old and so 2002-like.

 

Ships disappearing: I cover this in my installing&playing guide  found here: http://s93768914.onlinehome.us/xwing/

HkFhd7I.png

 

unable to see opponent's dial: I don't remember having that problem, might be wrong. I've played over 400 games on vassal, the details muddle together.

 

way too many windows to keep track of: I suggest 1920x1080 as a minimum resolution. And this setup, again, covered in my guide;

 

layout.png

 

Selecting the correct maneuvers: this is the ONE place where I emphatically usher people into learning at least the main shortcuts (keep k-turn, s-loops for later). It saves a TON of time, you're doing it every turn for every ship in every game. If there's one optimal place where you can spend energy and effort so that it pays off, it's exactly there. There's a shortcut image in the "How To & Shortcut" helper window. You can drag and drop that graphic elsewhere, write it down, print it, etc. Then you'll have it committed to memory in no time.

 

Confusion over tokens: you can always drag and drop tokens from the pieces window. They're large and lead to 0 confusion. You can also opt to use the side action on the ships themselves, helping with the cleaning tremendously at the end phase (1 click removes them all through a map window button).

 

To fast track this learning: Have an experienced player show you the ropes. It's the best and fastest way. It has worked for hundreds of people. Keep an open mind and be patient.

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I've never been very good at memorizing so I printed out the Vassal maneuver hot key reference. It only took a few games before I pretty much had it memorized. They did a good job of making the hot keys logical. (I do with they had switched bank and hard turns so it is strait is shift, hard is alt/ctrl and the movement in-between those two is the combination of the two)  

 

Anyway my point is don't let the memorizing deter you from Vassal.

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Devil's Advocate reporting as ordered!

 

 

Regarding Fair use
 
There's no way the Steam app falls under any logical definition of Fair Use.
 
 
1. Purpose and character of the use, including whether the use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes:
 
"Additionally, “transformative” uses are more likely to be considered fair. Transformative uses are those that add something new, with a further purpose or different character, and do not substitute for the original use of the work."
 
Steam: fail
Vassal: borderline, but reasonable
 

 

 
2. Nature of the copyrighted work:
"This factor analyzes the degree to which the work that was used relates to copyright’s purpose of encouraging creative expression. Thus, using a more creative or imaginative work (such as a novel, movie, or song) is less likely to support a claim of a fair use than using a factual work" 
 
Both probably fail on this point but again, Vassal is at least attempting to not use all the copyrighted material
 
Steam: fail
Vassal: borderline
 
(3) Amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole: 
"Under this factor, courts look at both the quantity and quality of the copyrighted material that was used. If the use includes a large portion of the copyrighted work, fair use is less likely to be found; if the use employs only a small amount of copyrighted material, fair use is more likely."
 
Steam: epic fail
Vassal: borderline, but reasonable attempt made
 
(4) Effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work:
"Here, courts review whether, and to what extent, the unlicensed use harms the existing or future market for the copyright owner’s original work. In assessing this factor, courts consider whether the use is hurting the current market for the original work (for example, by displacing sales of the original) and/or whether the use could cause substantial harm if it were to become widespread."
 
Steam: super epic fail
Vassal: win
 
"In addition to the above, other factors may also be considered by a court in weighing a fair use question, depending upon the circumstances." - such as Disney being super up-tight about enforcing their rights - to the point of threatening going to court over drawings of Disney characters at a preschool in Florida, or removing modification thread aggregation from this site. The Steam mod is actually making money on Disney material without license. So.....'good luck...you're gonna need it'
 
Lando-Good-Luck.gif

 


Point 1) Transformative:

Both mods can be considered transformative, as they allow real time long distance gameplay via a digital medium.  The tabletop game is for in person tabletop gaming, and has no first party digital support. Much like a fax machine and a slide projector, they do different things, and aren't interchangeable.


Point 2) Nature of the Work:

Both mods utilize fan made resources.  The ship models in both mods are fan built.  US courts have upheld that a photograph of a photograph can be considered original art.  Disney has shied away from suits against not-for-profit art-use because of the public backlash.  Everybody cites that daycare story, but it was 30 years ago.  Have you heard of any recent ones?

Point 3) Amount of the Work

 

The cards.  The rest is fan made by modders.

Point 4) Marketability of the Work

As both of the mods are released for free, they are not displacing profit.  As the rules of the game and the complete text of all official cards found in said mods are released by FFG free of charge, their reproduction in the mods does not displace any profit.  Can you play with these mods in an official FFG tournament, or at your FLGS? They do not displace the original.



It all boils down to this.  The mods are just playing digital proxies online.  If they try to shut down the mods for using the cards, they're going to have to shut down every third party wiki and fansite that posts copies of the cards, rulebooks, or the text from either.  And they're going to have to stop posting the rules for free on their website.  And stop writing articles with card text and images in them.  Basicly, they're going to have to irradicate their online presence.

You all remember the last company that went full draconian on their game's rules like that? Nobody likes them anymore.
 

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Yeah, it's so weird seeing people talk up the tactile element-  I mean, i'm not going to say vassal is a substitute for playing IRL, but it does have some advantages- TTS is like the worst of all worlds.  You get the tacticle element of a mouse trying to push and pull everything with a 2d interface in a 3d world.

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1) Grab and drag maneuver template (+ hunt for it if it was not placed neatly before)

2) manually fine adjust its shadow in front of the ship

3) Grab and drag the ship, rotate it manually as needed

4) manually fine adjust its shadow at the end of the template

5) store back the maneuver template

6) grab and drag a stress token

 

vs

 

1) left click on ship

2) hit CTRl-ALT-2 for k-turn

3) hit shift-S

 

That top part pretty much exactly mimics playing the game in real life--and that would make the game easier to "pick up and play" than the Vassal module.

 

Your module is definitely faster and pretty much better after you've gotten past the learning curve.

 

 

See, the problem with the first part is it mimics the game, you know where you'd typically be using your hands, and instead is doing that with a mouse and keyboard. I'd imagine using a mouse and keyboard to simulate that is a bit more clunky and not very intuitive, and would get in the way of actually playing the game.

.

As for Vassal's learning curve, I usually suck at learning PC games and their controls, but I've found Vassal quite easy to get a hang of, I'm even remembering key shortcuts already. It's quite intuitive and I only downloaded it this week. So, my hat's off to Mu0n there.

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In a fairness, the TTS could become *good* if they find a way to implement shortcuts. They could also programmatically implement automated collisions. It's a formidable problem and I'm not sure the TTS engine supports custom code like that. It also needs a shortening of the pipeline that's used to create and import new ships. It's probably a little involved if the ship doesn't already exist in 3d form in the public out there. All those issues are not trivial at all, but they're all doable.

Edited by Mu0n

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One thing that's cool about the Vassal keyboard shortcuts is that they're laid out fairly intelligently. For example, for maneuvers, you hold shift and press a number to do a straight move. The number is the speed. To do a bank, you hold ctrl for left or alt for right bank, because ctrl is to the left of your keyboard and alt is to the right of it. When you pay attention to the logical patterns of the shortcuts, they get a lot easier to remember.

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Devil's Advocate reporting as ordered!

 

Point 4) Marketability of the Work

As both of the mods are released for free, they are not displacing profit.  As the rules of the game and the complete text of all official cards found in said mods are released by FFG free of charge, their reproduction in the mods does not displace any profit.  Can you play with these mods in an official FFG tournament, or at your FLGS? They do not displace the original.

It all boils down to this.  The mods are just playing digital proxies online.  If they try to shut down the mods for using the cards, they're going to have to shut down every third party wiki and fansite that posts copies of the cards, rulebooks, or the text from either.  And they're going to have to stop posting the rules for free on their website.  And stop writing articles with card text and images in them.  Basicly, they're going to have to irradicate their online presence.

You all remember the last company that went full draconian on their game's rules like that? Nobody likes them anymore.

 

 

Lol - awesome - loved the Devi's Advocate thing 

 

But - I think I will argue with the 4th point - I disagree that it does not have the potential to displace profit (do I think it IS at the moment - probably not) because even more so than Vassal, the Steam version is an almost exact simulation of the physical game.

 

The fact that the rules are posted by FFG online for reference does not matter from a Fair Use perspective (which is what I was arguing against as several people had, in my opinion, offered Fair Use as a defense) - nor does maker the source of actual digital representation (ok - I may be arguing a different point there but nonetheless - just because I open up Photoshop or even pen and paper and make a representation of Mickey Mouse and sell it as an attempt at an accurate representation of Mickey Mouse (not as a parody)  he fact I did the drawing does not make me the designer or license holder of the property. The same is true of the starship models, bases, cards, dice, template, pegs, everything about that app is a duplication of which they do not have license to replicate)

 

Card images represented on a wiki do not enable me to play the game without purchasing the core set.

 

I see this a lot on the forum because this forum members tend to be an isolated sub-set of a given community - I suspect that people vastly overestimate the amount of game play that occurs in game stores vs casual games with friends. I've never stepped foot in a game store (but live in an area that has many), nor will I go to a tournament. But I am an active member here, and I paint models, etc.... I've also shared the game with half a dozen guys that really like it but haven't (and probably won't) purchase. Yet, I could contact those friends who really enjoy the real game but have not purchased it and we could dial in a play on Steam and there would be no real reason for them to purchase the actual set. Why would you? You have all the expansions, all the cards, everything you need to play an almost 100% simulation of the actual game - and you pay money to boot - except Disney and FFG get none of that - nor are they in control of any of the extra content or interactions that may occur. 

 

If there isn't a marketable infringement on the work at this time, the potential for there to be is certainly greater than Vassal. This app makes no bones about taking everything in the core game and expansions, taking money (on some level), and reproducing the exact experience online with no license. But I'm not a lawyer :)

 

*note: I'm not saying it's not cool and wish that FFG would do something like Disney Infinity and officially support an online version - I just think they are clearly infringing.

Edited by nathankc

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Devil's Advocate reporting as ordered!

 

Point 4) Marketability of the Work

As both of the mods are released for free, they are not displacing profit.  As the rules of the game and the complete text of all official cards found in said mods are released by FFG free of charge, their reproduction in the mods does not displace any profit.  Can you play with these mods in an official FFG tournament, or at your FLGS? They do not displace the original.

It all boils down to this.  The mods are just playing digital proxies online.  If they try to shut down the mods for using the cards, they're going to have to shut down every third party wiki and fansite that posts copies of the cards, rulebooks, or the text from either.  And they're going to have to stop posting the rules for free on their website.  And stop writing articles with card text and images in them.  Basicly, they're going to have to irradicate their online presence.

You all remember the last company that went full draconian on their game's rules like that? Nobody likes them anymore.

 

 

Lol - awesome - loved the Devi's Advocate thing 

 

But - I think I will argue with the 4th point - I disagree that it does not have the potential to displace profit (do I think it IS at the moment - probably not) because even more so than Vassal, the Steam version is an almost exact simulation of the physical game.

 

The fact that the rules are posted by FFG online for reference does not matter from a Fair Use perspective (which is what I was arguing against as several people had, in my opinion, offered Fair Use as a defense) - nor does maker the source of actual digital representation (ok - I may be arguing a different point there but nonetheless - just because I open up Photoshop or even pen and paper and make a representation of Mickey Mouse and sell it as an attempt at an accurate representation of Mickey Mouse (not as a parody)  he fact I did the drawing does not make me the designer or license holder of the property. The same is true of the starship models, bases, cards, dice, template, pegs, everything about that app is a duplication of which they do not have license to replicate)

 

Card images represented on a wiki do not enable me to play the game without purchasing the core set.

 

I see this a lot on the forum because this forum members tend to be an isolated sub-set of a given community - I suspect that people vastly overestimate the amount of game play that occurs in game stores vs casual games with friends. I've never stepped foot in a game store (but live in an area that has many), nor will I go to a tournament. But I am an active member here, and I paint models, etc.... I've also shared the game with half a dozen guys that really like it but haven't (and probably won't) purchase. Yet, I could contact those friends who really enjoy the real game but have not purchased it and we could dial in a play on Steam and there would be no real reason for them to purchase the actual set. Why would you? You have all the expansions, all the cards, everything you need to play an almost 100% simulation of the actual game - and you pay money to boot - except Disney and FFG get none of that - nor are they in control of any of the extra content or interactions that may occur. 

 

If there isn't a marketable infringement on the work at this time, the potential for there to be is certainly greater than Vassal. This app makes no bones about taking everything in the core game and expansions, taking money (on some level), and reproducing the exact experience online with no license. But I'm not a lawyer :)

 

*note: I'm not saying it's not cool and wish that FFG would do something like Disney Infinity and officially support an online version - I just think they are clearly infringing.

 

 

The makers of Tabletop Simulator, who created a wonderful sandbox for people to build toys in and deserve to be compensated for their work, are not infringing.  The modders who make the the XWMG mod MAY be interpreted as infringing, but have solid arguments to refute it.

As much as anyone claims that Vassal isn't infringing because it doesn't include rules or card text, those are the parts you don't need to buy because FFG gives them away.  FFG doesn't care about third party tokens, 3rd party rulers, 3rd party playmats.  The biggest thing that Vassal and the XWMG mod for TTS do is replace the need to buy ships.  The thing is, the people who play exclusively through digital proxy platforms like this are the people who aren't going to buy ships anyway, either because they don't have anyone local to play with, so why bother, or because they can't afford to buy a core set, or because they don't want to buy more physical things.

 

I'd guess than most users of both of the digital proxies use them to supplement their physical gaming, not replace it.  Vassal and the XWMG mod are just a form of 'try before you buy' and free advertising.

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so - pretty much the same arguments for music and film piracy. Try before you buy, they weren't going to buy it anyway, etc...

The apparent lack of morality of music and film piracy is already questionable at best. Most of the time piracy exists simply because the alternative of legal purchase offers no advantages over piracy. Even though this isn't piracy by any means, i figure thats an important point to make.

 

With the ravenousness that certain individuals are trying to provide reasons why TTS X-Wing can or should be sued is nothing less of concerning. TTS X-Wing is just as good, if not better depending on who you ask, of an alternative to Vassal. Certain people are not going to like using Vassal and something that does the same job in a different way will do well to keep the X-Wing community playing. Isn't that the ultimate goal of Vassal? To provide isolated players a way to play X-Wing? So isn't is completely counter-intuitive for TTS X-Wing to go away? Ask yourselves if you actually really care about the legality of it, or just care about some non-existent rivalry between the two games.

Edited by Razgriz25thinf

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I don't think anybody on TTS should be sued or anything, I just think it's an impractical piece of crap because the first thing you do when you want to play a board game on thew internet isn't fire up a physics engine.

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Idk, never uses the steam version, but looks terrible control wise.

Visually looks nice, but not having hot keys?

What a pain that must be.

I can't see how a game could go fast having to manually do everything by mouse and keyboard.

It's not like playing irl, and the hotkeys in vassal makes things go fast.

Have bunch of Ps2?

Click, drag box around dial, ctrl r reveal dial, next drag box around ships and input hotkeys.

There you just moved 4 ships. Next

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I don't think FFG or Disney could have them take ti down, could they?

Sure they could. Those ships are all property of LFL. Also the cards are all copyright protected by FFG. Vassal 'gets away with it' as it were because it doesn't actually include any copyright protected objects.

 

Correct me if I am wrong but don't the FFG articles even use Vassal for when they do their "demonstrations" of maneuvers/arc dodging/bomb laying?  I imagine FFG and Vassal have a nod and a wink arrangement, Vassal doesn't show specific card text and makes players set up ships from "scratch"(adding the stats to them rather than being preloaded) and then FFG can use the Vassal images in their articles (If that is indeed what they use).

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There is a video of part of a match on youtube. Looks pretty clumsy to me. I guess I need to give Vassal another shot... Anyone wanna play? :)

 

Just watch the 3:40 mark, that makes me super cringe. It seems like you're trying to play X-wing with one hand and by holding ships with chopsticks.

 

It looks pretty, but I don't see the point of having a physics simulation on for a game that makes no use of real-life's physics.

Everything should be icon- or menu-driven, with keyboard shortcuts for the pros. Basically what Vassal is, but on a engine that is not among the 1990's Most Wanted.

Seriously, Vassal should get rid of that awfull MDI Windows 3.11 interface.

Edited by Azrapse

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