Anyone Interested in a Wargame Design Program?

Would a (hex) wargame creation program be worth paying ~12$ to anyone?  90% of the code needed already exists in various wargame programs I have already written, so its certainly doable.  The big hurdle to a generic wargame program is the huge variation in combat rules so the program would only assist in resolving combat with the player determining loses and retreats.  I would be happy to describe how the program might work in greater detail and to hear what features are really important to potential users.

  • Modules

    • Map Making

    • Unit Class definition

    • TEC definition

    • CRT definition

    • Counter Making

    • Order of Battle

    • Sequence of Play

    • Rule Setting

    • Play Mode

  • Rules Enforced by Program

    • Movement

    • Stacking

    • ZOCs

    • Attack Allocation

    • Simple Command and Supply limits

    • Limited intelligence

    • Setup and reinforcement placement

    • Retreat restrictions

    • Advance restrictions

    • User defined disruption

  • Program Player Aids

    • Odds Calculation

    • (Simple) step reduction

    • Unit editing during play (required to apply combat results)

    • Control Flags

    • Exporting and importing of maps for “skinning”

    • Auto Game Save

    • Undo

    • Game Recording

    • Internet or LAN play

    • Password protection

  • Combat Scheme

    • The player selects a combat, the program calculates the odds and modifiers, “rolls the dice” and reports the CRT result. The player (in “God Mode”) applies loses and selects retreat and advance distances.

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Comment by Thomas A Stevenson on December 23, 2011 at 9:52pm

Actually movement, stacking, zoc,setup, reinforcement, and supply rules rules modules would be fairly easy to implement especially if all units followed the same rules (i.e. same terrain cost and zoc affects).  Combat rules is where life gets difficult because of all the different styles of combat rules.  This is where the program might be limited to calculating raw odds and the player would have to determine modifiers for morale, suprise, armour, combine arms and all the other myrid varriations designers have come up over the years and then select the outcome from a list.

Comment by Hernan Ruiz Camauer on December 23, 2011 at 6:28pm

My two cents: A game table app that enforced rules would probably be so hard to program/develop that you will probably want to charge far more than $12 by the time it is done. And the creation of game modules for it would almost certainly have a steep learning curve and a longer development time (compared to a non-rule-enforcing program). But I agree that such an app could have a lot of appeal to certain types of gamers. Personally, I'd be interested in seeing what you come up with.

Comment by Thomas A Stevenson on December 23, 2011 at 6:01pm

Hernan, yes I did read the BGG but I am not sure what to conclude from it other that Vassal and freeware has some very strong supporters.  My own feelings is that  a Vassal like program that enforced most if not all the rules would be of value. 

Comment by Hernan Ruiz Camauer on December 23, 2011 at 3:24pm

This thread on BGG might be of interest to you, if you are considering embarking on a commercial project to compete with Vassal, et al.

Comment by Thomas A Stevenson on December 20, 2011 at 10:03pm

The interface for the creation process is the big hurdle.  What I have now is still very clumsy.   Infinite Zoom would require a lot of overhead but I have been including a jump function in my latter games that shows the entire map and alows the active area to be quickly scrolled.

Comment by Roger Morley on December 20, 2011 at 6:15pm

All of those features are important. In my opinion, if you are writing a War Game Creation program, what will also be important are the user interface, and the ease on which to build a war game.

I know there are programs like Vassal and Cyberboard out there, which are great to play if you have the rules. Also I do not know how easy it is to create a war game using these programs, so if you can make one that is then i think you would certainly have a worthy program.

While I think about it, a decent zoom would be good, where you can zoom in and out to what ever magnification you want, rather than set magnifications.

In general, i do feel you will be up against the likes of Vassal, Cyberboard and ZunTzu (even with the rules issue), but if you can make it graphically better and easier to use than them, then I would say you have a good chance.

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