Click here to download JV_Map
JV_Map 0.10.8: minor fixes (the counter was being redrawn with an extra pixel, which made the right and bottom borders look too thick; new windows which open for very small maps will now be sized appropriately).
JV_Map 0.10.6 released. This one represents a huge change in JV_Map, and an addition of a large amount of code. What's new?
In short, a playing board for wargames or any board game, allowing you to play over E-mail. It was written in Java on a Linux box by Rob Knop. You can contact me by sending E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you have trouble finding opponents to play your wargames with? Has a longtime gaming buddy moved to a different city, state, or country? Do you want to be able to search the entire world for gaming opponents? In that case, you should consider PBEM Gaming. PBEM = "Play By E-Mail." For the case of roleplaying games, where games in person involve a mostly a whole lot of talking, it's pretty easy to see how you could play over E-mail. When you require a game board and counters, however, you have to have some way of sending that information through the mail.
Todd Zircher wrote a program entitled V_MAP, which runs on Windows PCs, that lets you load in a computer image of a game board and move counters around on that game board. You can then save the state of the game board to a very small standard text file, which is easily sent through E-mail. Your opponent, who already has the map/counter set receives the text file in E-mail, and reads it into his copy of V_MAP, and can make his move.
I wanted to try to play these sorts of games over the internet. Unfortunately, I don't have a PC that runs Windows. (Rather, I run Linux on my PC, and AmigaOS on my Amiga.) To recitfy the situation, I wrote JV_Map, a program much like V_MAP, in Java. In principle, one could run this anywhere, although you must first get a Java virtual machine running on your system. (With Linux, it was easy; I've heard it said that it works on the Mac and I believe on Windows as well. If you have any experience with it, let me know!)
JV_Map is not entirely a port of V_MAP. It is intended to serve the same purpose, but it doesn't have as many options. Todd's current program includes options for die rolling and so forth which JV_Map doesn't include. However, the VMP files written out by JV_Map are completely compatable with the version 1.5 VMP files written out by the current version of V_MAP (1.7 as of this writing). Todd and I have been playing a couple of games of G.E.V. over E-mail, him with V_MAP on his Windows box, me with JV_Map on my Linux box. Although part of the purpose of this has been debugging, we have had no interoperability problems.
As of version 0.10, JV_Map supports the VMP 2.0 file format. V_Map doesn't yet support this, but Todd and I developed the format together, so presumably a version of V_Map which supports it will come out soon. In the mean time, JV_Map is still capable of reading and writing VMP 1.5 files.
Lines and Rulers - the VMP 2.0 file spec has support for lines drawn on the map, and rulers to indicate lenghts on the map. JV_Map doesn't deal with these yet. They will be preserved from one save file to the next.
Predefined Dice and Tables - the VMP 2.0 file spec has the ability to define standard sets of dice you might want to roll for a given game, and tables of results. JV_Map does have a die roller, but it doesn't implement these tags, though it does preserve them.
Sufficient error recovery - too often, it still resorts to simply dying if something it doesn't like happens (e.g. failure to read an image file).
Sometimes when you scroll, the counters don't get redrawn. Use "redraw" from the map popup menu if you think something is missing. Update 2000-Aug-29: I believe this bug is fixed. Update 2000-Aug-30: No, I don't. Update 2001-Feb-13: or is it? I haven't seen it in a long time.
JV_Map is made available under the GPL.
Class files (this is what you need to download to run JV_Map):
See the Installation Instructions and Manual to figure out what to do with the JV_Map .zip file once you've downloaded it.
These are counter sets and game support pages I have online here. See the links section for place to find many other counter sets and specific game support pages.
A counter set I've created, along with a trivial grid and sample VMP file, for Compact Combat from Microtactix. This gameset is suitably generic that it could be used for any man-to-man fantasy combat game.
Itty Bitty Battles is a free microgame written by Walt O'Hara of the PBEM Emporium. There, has the rules online in PDF format.
V_Map includes in its archives maps, counter sets, and VMP files for GEV and Ogre. On Unix, you have to download the version 17b beta (file v_map17_b.zip), uncompress that with "unzip", and then uncompress the CAB files with cabextract in order to get at the actual BMP and VMP files. (Gotta love those proprietary Microsoft archive formats.) I have no clue how you get at them on a Mac.
The PBEM wargaming aid that inspired JV_Map, and whose save files JV_Map is compatable with. A place to download this program if you have a Windows PC, and a repository of counter sets and maps that should work with both V_MAP and JV_Map.
Information about the PBEM Wargaming community. It has archives for many different gaming systems, including V_MAP, Cyberboard, Aide De Camp 2, and SMS.
Another system like V_MAP for playing wargames over E-Mail. While the save file format is different, the image files used by SMS are compatable with JV_Map.
The maps here are compatable with JV_Map.
Yet another system written in Java to allow E-mail wargaming, which is no longer being maintained.
QUB is a program by the same author as GUB (Stephem Beal), written to use Qt, the toolkit availble on Linux with KDE (and, doubtless, elsewhere as well).
Last updated 2001-March-19
This page is copyright 2001 by Robert A. Knop Jr. (email@example.com).