Hi folks, I know a few people have at least cloned the repo for Vassal when Mal decided to hang up his hat, but what is the plan going forward for continuing development? its a useful tool and I enjoy using it to get games in.
So I'll do what I can to help, I can program, but not in Java (but I can learn).
From what I've seen everything is pretty up in the air right now. Nobody has stepped forward to handle stuff. I wish I had a single relevant skill to offer to the project but I have zero knowledge of programming or drawing sprites.
Just to clarify, I never made any sprites except the CID ones. There is not an artistic bone in my body. CB aka Corwin aka PG_Corwin used to create them with Photoshop and photographs of painted models, which is why the visual quality of the newer models varies so greatly. I haven't heard from him since the PGs were axed, and I think he was not happy about it. Johnny was working on a few sprites in the original Hobo style, and they looked quite good, but he has disappeared again. If I was going to continue with it, I would scrap the lot and use CID-style sprites from the free card database for everything, ensuring at least a consistent look. I don't think the sprite overhang/pretend-model-view contributes much to the game, but some feel differently.
You do not need Java programming skills to edit the module, Vassal provides everything you need to edit the module to add new placeholders and add images to it. Just right click the module and edit it instead of launching. The definitions for everything are all there (there is a tiny bit of custom code in the module, but unless you need to modify how the bubbles are drawn, that won't affect anyone).
Find an existing model close the one you want to add, right-click the node in the tree and copy it. Navigate to where it should go, then paste and then edit the names in the relevant places. Remove any image if the old model had one. Change the name that's set under Basic Piece to rename the piece in the tree, then make sure you edit the name in the label trait as well, as this will affect the tooltip that displays when you hover over it. If you've ever used software before, and you do this five or six times, you'll easily get the hang of it.
Scenarios are a tiny bit trickier, but not much. Have a look at the card definitions for each one and you'll see it's just about placing existing pieces correctly. One thing that can trip you up is the value to add - you place scenario elements by their center point, and the value is measured at 30 pixels per inch. The Y value is negative, and both values have an offset to account for the edges of the window. You can figure out the offsets by looking at the existing definitions, I don't remember what they are. If you know Flag A is 14" from the left, look at the definition, subtract 14*30 from the number, and you have the left margin value. You can also copy/paste entire scenario definitions, or the pieces within a card if needed. The trickiest part about this is the additional definitions needed to add the menu options, and naming everything correctly (a typo in the wrong spot might mean your new scenario doesn't appear).
Give it a try, it's really pretty straightforward once you get used to Vassal's clunky UI. Good luck.
With the new cards being posted we can probably just take the art from those and scale them to the bases, or would that be a blatant violation of PP's IP?
It was done with the Grymkin extension. Mal used PP's concept art and put those on the bases. Sort of sad that we might have to resort to doing that instead of sprites, but it's better than nothing for sure!