Suggestions for MapView


  • 2007 AAR League

    Motdc invited comments/suggestions for the next release of mapview. I’ll just get this started so I can post the link in the other thread…


  • 2007 AAR League

    Okay, here’s what I already like better about Mapview:

    1. It doesn’t crash when you are saving a game
    2. The ability to add a new sheet for each turn of the game is really nice, so you can have the whole history of the game contained in one file
    3. It is quite a bit prettier than Battlemap (Is that a bomber or a mosquito?) although Jenn apparently has trouble with things blending in to the background.

    So here’s what I would add to Mapview. This may not be compatible with it’s multi-game capability, but I’m not interested in a better chess board…
    It’s been a while since I used it though.

    • I’d like to see more of the map at once, possibly all of it without scrolling
    • The ability to move multiple units at once (or can you do that? I forget)
    • the automatic tally of IPC production and total land units is very helpful in Battlemap, that would HAVE to be added.
    • It would be nice to also count air units separately, so IPC count of land/sea/air forces would be listed.
    • The unit summary is not as vital to me but I think it would be for a lot of people.

  • 2007 AAR League

    And oh yeah, make it freeware.



  • First off, many thanks for responding!

    @froodster:

    And oh yeah, make it freeware.

    This is one of the reasons I suggested these comments be made in the MapView forum, so that everyone is on the same page…as an example MapView is freeware now.

    You don’t have to register to use the message board so I hope everyone reconsiders the location of the discussion.

    At the very least, perhaps everyone can read up on recent MapView developments there?

    In any event, I look forward to the discussion!

    Mot




  • 2007 AAR League

    I think you’re gonna have to live with people posting here, Mot. If you want to post an update, that might help. Let us know about the changes that might interest the AAR crowd here.


  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    Bearing in mind I feel mapview is overly cumbersome for a simple utility, here’s what I’d like to see changed:

    1)  Territories should change colors to the owners like in TripleA.  Hey, this aint no Battlemap, right?
    2)  Unit colors should be a DIFFERENT color then all territory colors.  I’m tired of not seeing stacks of units because they blend into the countryside!
    3)  Clean up the code.  I should not be able to go get a cup of coffee before it’s done loading, especially with 1990’s graphics.  No offense.  Graphics arn’t important, but honestly, it takes way too long to load.
    4)  Put the entire map on my screen or let me scroll with the mouse.  Keyboards are SO last millenium!
    5)  Income should be tracked by the game.  I shouldn’t have to move pieces around.
    6)  I should click on the unit I want and then click on the territory, dragging one unit at a time when you build 20 infantry is insane.  At least in Battlemap you make your unit selection then hold shift or control and click where you want them to get stacks.
    7)  You need a notepad on the map.  Not just a small “special orders” line, but a full 4 inch square field to imput notes to your opponent.
    😎  Maybe put in a feature like Windows Has where you can drag and select multiple units to move at once.
    9)  Mark VC’s somehow! (More needed for AARe, but still.)
    10) Have units auto stack in order in territories.  Infantry, Artillery, Armor, Fighters, Bombers and navally, Fighters, Carriers, Battleships, Destroyers, Submarines, Transports.  Just automatically have them line up in that order.


  • 2007 AAR League

    @froodster:

    I think you’re gonna have to live with people posting here, Mot. If you want to post an update, that might help. Let us know about the changes that might interest the AAR crowd here.

    What about the Classic crowd?

    I have been unable to find a classic Mapview module to use Mapview with, so although I downloaded Mapview a while ago, I still haven’t used it!  My recommendation would be to make the classic module available again.



  • First off, thank you for taking the time to reply.  I have a few questions, if you don’t mind:

    2)  Unit colors should be a DIFFERENT color then all territory colors.  I’m tired of not seeing stacks of units because they blend into the countryside!

    That’s a very useful suggestion, but not something I actually can affect.  MapView was designed to be a shell for any game someone was willing to put together a module for.  It is 100% game independent.  I’d be perfectly happy to lend a hand to anyone who wanted to create a different module if they had better graphics.  The process of making a module is pretty straightforward and requires no programming, just image files and one text configuration file.

    3)  Clean up the code.  I should not be able to go get a cup of coffee before it’s done loading, especially with 1990’s graphics.  No offense.  Graphics arn’t important, but honestly, it takes way too long to load.

    I assume you mean when the program is started (as opposed to starting a “New Game”)?  If that is the case, I’m happy to report that load time has been drastically improved (6 times as fast) in the currently alpha.

    4)  Put the entire map on my screen or let me scroll with the mouse.  Keyboards are SO last millenium!

    Mouse-based scrolling is now supported (but not exactly how ABattlemap does it).  As for the size of the map, again the module determines the map.  Here’s an idea, perhaps I should put togther an A&A module using the original Ghoullord images and sizes?  It would be kind of funny to see, actually!

    6)  I should click on the unit I want and then click on the territory, dragging one unit at a time when you build 20 infantry is insane.  At least in Battlemap you make your unit selection then hold shift or control and click where you want them to get stacks.

    I don’t know what you mean here.  If you’ve got a 5 Germ Inf unit stack you want to move, you just mouse-down on it to grab it and then you drag it where you want to go.  If you are moving those 5 into a territory that’s already got 10, you just drag those 5 onto the 10 and they’ll merge into a stack of 15.  What do you have to do one at a time?

    7)  You need a notepad on the map.  Not just a small “special orders” line, but a full 4 inch square field to imput notes to your opponent.

    Also already in there actually.  Go to “View”…“Map Text”.  Every single map gets it’s own NotePad linked to it.  I ALWAYS type out my moves there, and then paste it into Dicey.

    8)  Maybe put in a feature like Windows Has where you can drag and select multiple units to move at once.

    That’s the second request for that, and I might just be able to pull that one off 🙂

    Some of the other points you raised are game-specifc so I don’t have a ton of control over them, but I’ll keep on the look-out for ways to make those things easier.

    Thanks again,
    Mot



  • @rjclayton:

    @froodster:

    I think you’re gonna have to live with people posting here, Mot. If you want to post an update, that might help. Let us know about the changes that might interest the AAR crowd here.

    What about the Classic crowd?

    I have been unable to find a classic Mapview module to use Mapview with, so although I downloaded Mapview a while ago, I still haven’t used it!  My recommendation would be to make the classic module available again.

    I use the module Der Panzinator wrote for Classic…his site is http://axisdomain.0catch.com/

    Again, it’s easy to create a different version if you wanted to, though I like DP’s just fine.

    Mot



  • @froodster:

    Okay, here’s what I already like better about Mapview:

    1. It doesn’t crash when you are saving a game
    2. The ability to add a new sheet for each turn of the game is really nice, so you can have the whole history of the game contained in one file
    3. It is quite a bit prettier than Battlemap (Is that a bomber or a mosquito?) although Jenn apparently has trouble with things blending in to the background.

    So here’s what I would add to Mapview. This may not be compatible with it’s multi-game capability, but I’m not interested in a better chess board…
    It’s been a while since I used it though.

    • I’d like to see more of the map at once, possibly all of it without scrolling
    • The ability to move multiple units at once (or can you do that? I forget)
    • the automatic tally of IPC production and total land units is very helpful in Battlemap, that would HAVE to be added.
    • It would be nice to also count air units separately, so IPC count of land/sea/air forces would be listed.
    • The unit summary is not as vital to me but I think it would be for a lot of people.

    My plan is to add scripting support (VBScript probably) so that module authors can add some logic to do things like IPC calcualtions.  This keeps MapView game-independent.  I certainly wouldn’t want to force someone to use VBS to make a module though because right now it’s so easy…no programming required!

    Thanks for your feedback, I appreciate it!
    Mot


  • Official Q&A 2007 AAR League

    The problem I had that really made me not want to use it is I couldn’t install it for all user’s. I could install it for the Admin account but not for the limited accounts on XP.

    I also don’t like that I can’t see the whole board at once. Perhaps a zoom/pan feature on the click wheel similar to AutoCAD?

    I did really like the price though.  🙂


  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    I guess we just need to make a module with different colors for territories and units then. =p

    As for dragging, in Battlemap you have these options:

    Drag and Drop 1 unit, auto stacks in territory (very nice!)
    Shift-Drag and drop 5 units, auto stacks in territory
    Control-Drag and drop 10 units, auto stacks in territory
    Shift-Control-Drag and drop all units, auto stacks in territory.

    I don’t see why such a massively ingenious function like that wasn’t incorporated into the “upgrade” of mapview.

    As for loading time, if it really has been improved, great.



  • @frimmel:

    The problem I had that really made me not want to use it is I couldn’t install it for all user’s. I could install it for the Admin account but not for the limited accounts on XP.

    The install must be set to install for the current user only then.  If you installed it to c : \ MotCreations instead of c : \ Program Files \ MotCreations can the low-privellege accounts then access it?  I’ll have to try this and get back to you.  Next time you have a problem, just stop by the support forum and drop a line…that’s what its for!

    @Jennifer:

    I guess we just need to make a module with different colors for territories and units then. =p

    As for dragging, in Battlemap you have these options:

    Drag and Drop 1 unit, auto stacks in territory (very nice!)
    Shift-Drag and drop 5 units, auto stacks in territory
    Control-Drag and drop 10 units, auto stacks in territory
    Shift-Control-Drag and drop all units, auto stacks in territory.

    I don’t see why such a massively ingenious function like that wasn’t incorporated into the “upgrade” of mapview.

    As for loading time, if it really has been improved, great.

    So by default when you drag a stack of units in Battlemap, it decrements 1 from the source and adds 1 to the destination?Â

    Thanks everyone,
    Mot


  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    Yes.  In battlemap you can default to dragging 1 from one territory to another and it physically moves the piece just like on the game board.

    Actually, for this reason my IRL games are all done on Battlemap.  You get a better picture, you never have to count how many units you have on a territory, wonder if they are jinked more on one side of the line then another, etc.  Very easy, Very convenient.

    I’d prefer Mapview more if I had the same functionality.

    And someone PLEASE make a copy of AAR/AARe that is 1 board per screen, no scrolling or minimal scrolling like in Battlemap with Unit Colors DIFFERENT then territorial colors!



  • @Motdc:

    @frimmel:

    The problem I had that really made me not want to use it is I couldn’t install it for all user’s. I could install it for the Admin account but not for the limited accounts on XP.

    The install must be set to install for the current user only then.  If you installed it to c : \ MotCreations instead of c : \ Program Files \ MotCreations can the low-privellege accounts then access it?  I’ll have to try this and get back to you.  Next time you have a problem, just stop by the support forum and drop a line…that’s what its for!

    That seemed to work for me on my XP machine, though admittedly I need to get a better install to make that easier.

    Mot



  • @Jennifer:

    Yes. In battlemap you can default to dragging 1 from one territory to another and it physically moves the piece just like on the game board.

    Actually, for this reason my IRL games are all done on Battlemap. You get a better picture, you never have to count how many units you have on a territory, wonder if they are jinked more on one side of the line then another, etc. Very easy, Very convenient.

    I’d prefer Mapview more if I had the same functionality.

    Excluding moving an entire stack which is always easy, in my FTF games I always found moving units to be a two-step process.  First is to take X units from the current stack, and then place those X units onto a new territory, often onto another stack.  This is how I modeled moving units in MapView.  Select the source stack and “Split” off X units.  Then drag that ministack onto the new territory.Â

    I know, no one really cares about “why” things are designed in a particular way, all I’m trying to say is I’m OK with this style being a bit different than Battlemap.  And I acknowledge that people really familiar with all of those key combinations may find the lack of those exact combinations frustrating.  When I put MapView together I was just trying to replicate real FTF play as much as possible and to make a simple-to-use tool.  (Multi-key combinations used while dragging are great time-savers for common behaviors if you know them, but in my opinion it’s not what I would generally call intuitive).

    So long story short, I’ll try to take a look at some keyboard shortcuts for some of the common actions, but MapView is likely to always be right-click -> action oriented.

    @Jennifer:

    And someone PLEASE make a copy of AAR/AARe that is 1 board per screen, no scrolling or minimal scrolling like in Battlemap with Unit Colors DIFFERENT then territorial colors!

    If no one else does, I’ll try to put one together…or at least give on a good start and then someone else can tweak it to their liking.

    Mot


  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    I understand the methodology behind how you set up your stacks, but it is so much more convenient to be able to hit a key and a mouse button to move partial stacks around in preset increments.  I found it almost funny when I switched from Battlemap, a program that appears to use 1970’s graphics, to Mapview which appears to use 1990’s graphics and suddenly the convenience of the game was gone.  It was actually easier to use a physical board.


  • 2007 AAR League

    I agree, the Battlemap method of moving units is better. You can move 1, 5, 10 or all units in a stack with one movement, by combining keyboard and mouse controls.

    In Mapview, the right-click method is much more tedious, because all the steps are sequential:

    1. Right-click stack - a menu appears
    2. Calculate mentally what will take the fewest actions - splitting off 2 and then 1, or splitting off 5 and using what’s left behind
    3. Move the mouse down the menu
    4. Click the appropriate option
    5. Repeat steps 1-4 until you have the right combination of units
    6. Drag all the separate stacks of units into the target territory - this step in itself is about as simple as the entire process in Battlemap.

    In battlemap, combat is much quicker to set up because a most battles are small. Mapview lends itself well to moving everything all at once to the same territory, but it is rare to actually move your units that way - usually only in the final battle for Berlin or Moscow. Usually, you send one or two units off in several different directions, and then you might move everything that’s left all together.



  • @froodster:

    I agree, the Battlemap method of moving units is better. You can move 1, 5, 10 or all units in a stack with one movement, by combining keyboard and mouse controls.

    Unless of course you only want to move 3, eh?  😉

    @froodster:

    In Mapview, the right-click method is much more tedious, because all the steps are sequential:

    1. Right-click stack - a menu appears
    2. Calculate mentally what will take the fewest actions - splitting off 2 and then 1, or splitting off 5 and using what’s left behind
    3. Move the mouse down the menu
    4. Click the appropriate option
    5. Repeat steps 1-4 until you have the right combination of units
    6. Drag all the separate stacks of units into the target territory - this step in itself is about as simple as the entire process in Battlemap.

    That’s good information for me…if this is an area that needs some improvement then I can focus on it.  Thanks to both of you!  As an aside, if the canned splits (and I think there are more than just 1, 5, and 10) are not what one is looking for, that’s what the Custom Split is for.Â

    @froodster:

    In battlemap, combat is much quicker to set up because a most battles are small. Mapview lends itself well to moving everything all at once to the same territory, but it is rare to actually move your units that way - usually only in the final battle for Berlin or Moscow. Usually, you send one or two units off in several different directions, and then you might move everything that’s left all together.

    Splitting off one or two is pretty easy with the canned splits, but yes moving the whole stack is the easiest operation in MapView.

    Thanks again…you’ve got me thinking of all kinds of things.  I can’t way to see which ones I can fit in.

    If anyone else has ideas or suggestions, please let me know!

    Mot


  • 2007 AAR League

    Yeah, I know there’s a custom split, but then that adds another step - you have to then type in a number.

    A pretty good interim solution would be to have canned splits for 2-10 units (even though that would increase the size of the menu), with the default action being to move just one unit off the stack.

    I think that would be more intuitive: you can add units by dragging them on to a stack, so you should be able to split units off by dragging them off.

    Another way to go would be to just have the right-click immediately open a “custom split” dialog, so it’s just “right-click, type #, enter” but I know you also have other options in the right-click menu.

    I agree though, even in Battlemap, moving 3 or 4 units is also a bit of a pain.

    The most flexible canned splits would be a binary progression: 1, 2, 4, 8, 16 etc.

    Another suggestion would be to have three mouse modes that you select via right-click: Add, Delete or Split, and then you have some other way of influencing how much each click should add, delete or split off.


  • 2007 AAR League

    @froodster:

    The most flexible canned splits would be a binary progression: 1, 2, 4, 8, 16 etc.

    For programmers (like most of us populating this forum) and others familiar with binary, this is the easiest method.  But many are still stuck in base 10.  For those, the common monetary divisions of 1,2,5,10 may be easiest.



  • Based on everyone’s suggestions, in addition to “Splitting” I’m adding a new feature (for now called “Tearing”).  To quickly move a subset of a stack you can now tear off upto 10 units from the stack by holding down the the numeric key as you start the drag.  So if you want to tear off 3 units from a stack you press 3 and then grab the stack as normal.  3 units will be automatically split off and those 3 will be drag-dropped instead of the whole stack.  (Zero will tear off 10).  For quantities above 10, use the Split, Custom split, or Tear a couple of times.

    Thanks everyone, I’ll post again in a few days when that has been completed in the alpha realse.

    Mot


  • 2007 AAR League

    Hey, that sounds pretty good. Now the only thing missing for me would be a smaller map so it is all visible at once (or better yet a zoom feature in Mapview) and of course the ability to auto-track IPCs.


  • Official Q&A 2007 AAR League

    @Motdc:

    @Motdc:

    @frimmel:

    The problem I had that really made me not want to use it is I couldn’t install it for all user’s. I could install it for the Admin account but not for the limited accounts on XP.

    The install must be set to install for the current user only then.  If you installed it to c : \ MotCreations instead of c : \ Program Files \ MotCreations can the low-privellege accounts then access it?  I’ll have to try this and get back to you.  Next time you have a problem, just stop by the support forum and drop a line…that’s what its for!

    That seemed to work for me on my XP machine, though admittedly I need to get a better install to make that easier.

    Mot

    I will give that I try. It didn’t occur to me to try that. Thanks for the tip.


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