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Subject: Inkscape Extensions for Boardgame Development rss

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Pelle Nilsson
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Development of the Inkscape countersheet extension is on github:
https://github.com/lifelike/countersheetsextension


Latest download (supporting Inkscape 0.91):

https://github.com/lifelike/countersheetsextension/releases/...

Latest download (2.0pre1) is here:
https://github.com/lifelike/countersheetsextension/archive/s...


The hexmap extension was also moved to github:
https://github.com/lifelike/hexmapextension

Latest download:
https://github.com/lifelike/hexmapextension/releases/tag/sup...

There is an online version of the hexmap extension as well, but it lacks some new features and can only make small maps:
http://hexmaps.appspot.com/

I have uploaded version 0.6 of my collection of Inkscape Boardgames Extensions.



Collection is a bit much to say perhaps. It currently has only two extensions:

Create Countersheet (or sheet of cards): This one uses templates (groups of vector/bitmap objects) in the document you are editing, and a CSV file (made in a text editor or exported from a spreadsheet application) describing how to combine the templates into a countersheet, and then generates a new layer with the countersheet (and possibly another layer with the countersheet backside, properly mirrored). Of course it can also be used for making decks of cards (as shown in one of the four included example files), tilesets or any other game component collection that is somewhat countersheet-like. This is the utiiity I came up with after thinking more about the things I wrote recently in this thread.

Create Hexmap: Not surprisingly, this extension creates hexmaps (grid, hex backgrounds, center dots, configurable coordinate labels; all in separate layers).

Hopefully even in the current early state they will be useful to someone. I don't know if I will add any more extensions to the collection, but I may improve the two existing ones at least, and I would happily include extensions someone else contributes.
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Chuck Henry
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Re: Inkscape Extensions for Boardgame Developlemt
Very cool! Inkscape is my favorite game creation tool and now you've made it better! Thanks!
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James Bentley
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Re: Inkscape Extensions for Boardgame Developlemt
pelni wrote:
I have uploaded version 0.6 of my collection of Inkscape Boardgames Extensions.

Collection is a bit much to say perhaps. It currently has only two extensions:

Create Countersheet (or sheet of cards): This one uses templates (groups of vector/bitmap objects) in the document you are editing, and a CSV file (made in a text editor or exported from a spreadsheet application) describing how to combine the templates into a countersheet, and then generates a new layer with the countersheet (and possibly another layer with the countersheet backside, properly mirrored). Of course it can also be used for making decks of cards (as shown in one of the four included example files), tilesets or any other game component collection that is somewhat countersheet-like. This is the utiiity I came up with after thinking more about the things I wrote recently in this thread.

Create Hexmap: Not surprisingly, this extension creates hexmaps (grid, hex backgrounds, center dots, configurable coordinate labels; all in separate layers).

Hopefully even in the current early state they will be useful to someone. I don't know if I will add any more extensions to the collection, but I may improve the two existing ones at least, and I would happily include extensions someone else contributes.



This seems interesting...I downloaded Inkscape, how do I install these extensions?

Thanks,
jrbentley
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James Bentley
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Re: Inkscape Extensions for Boardgame Developlemt
Well, I got the extensions installed and they show up in Effects - > Boardgames menu, but when I try to use them, I get an error message saying that Inkscape has encountered an internal error and will shut down...which it does.

Am I doing something wrong?

Thanks,
jrbentley
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Pelle Nilsson
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Re: Inkscape Extensions for Boardgame Developlemt
Ouch. What version of Inkscape is that? What effect? Does the other effect work?

The countersheet plugin will give some cryptic error messages if the CSV file is not found, but other than that I have had no problems like that except for in some earlier versions of the hexmap effect.

James, can you try one of the included examples and see if that crashes as well?
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Pelle Nilsson
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Re: Inkscape Extensions for Boardgame Developlemt
I tested my extensions with the latest Inkscape 0.46 pre-release. It seems I will need to do some updates for them to work with that version.
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Pelle Nilsson
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Re: Inkscape Extensions for Boardgame Developlemt
It was tricky to make extensions run on both Inkscape 0.45 and Inkscape 0.46. My solution was to port everything to the new API of Inkscape 0.46.
Version 0.7 of the boardgame extensions are thus only compatible with Inkscape 0.46, not any older version. If you want to try these extensions with Inkscape 0.45 the download link at the top of this thead should still work.
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Pelle Nilsson
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Re: Inkscape Extensions for Boardgame Developlemt
There is now a version 0.8 available as well from the project homepage. Many bugs in the hexmap generator have been fixed, and some new features added to make the countersheet CSV data files easier to work with, plus some other various fixes like making it easier to specify images on cards (as seen in the updated cards example) and (optional) automatic card numbers (also seen in the example).




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Justin Moore
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Re: Inkscape Extensions for Boardgame Developlemt
I installed inkscape .45 and have no extensions directory. What directory do I use in a Windows install? I tried the plug-ins and it didn't work. Also, the installation instructions say nothing about where to put all the other files in the compressed file.

Thanx!
Justin
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Pelle Nilsson
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Re: Inkscape Extensions for Boardgame Developlemt
The extensions folder may be under ...\shared\extensions or something. I haven't tried in Windows. I guess one place to quickly find it would be to search for all .inx files on your computer.

The other files are only the examples. They don't have to be in any particular place. readme.html has some short instructions.

Note that with Inkscape 0.45 you can only run version 0.6 of these extensions.
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Alex Treacher
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Re: Inkscape Extensions for Boardgame Developlemt
Fantastic... I've just downloaded them and look forward to giving them a try!
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Pelle Nilsson
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Re: Inkscape Extensions for Boardgame Developlemt
I removed the old 0.6 version from the my project page. I noticed that many people are still downloading that version instead of the newer 0.8. The hexmap generator in 0.6 was severly broken, and besides getting extensions to work in Inkscape 0.45 in Windows required many manual steps (including finding and installing some 3rd party files). I know Inkscape 0.46 is still not supposed to be "stable", but I think it works very well, and it comes with extensions support for Windows (and MacOS) out of the box. (If you try to run these extensions in 0.45 "out of the box" Inkscape will promptly crash, as some of you have noted).
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Pelle Nilsson
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Re: Inkscape Extensions for Boardgame Developlemt
Yesterday I released a new version (at http://www.lysator.liu.se/~perni/iboardgameexts/) with new options to force symmetric hex grids (optionally with a given exact size) and some bugfixes.

The new version 0.46 of Inkscape was released for real about a week ago, meaning you don't have to fiddle with the pre-release versions of 0.46 to be able to use these extensions now. (Note that installing extensions in 0.46 is a lot easier compared to 0.45 on some platforms (eg Windows). Now you should not have the application crash if you failed to read all the documentation and install the 3rd party files required to run the extensions in older versions of Inkscape...).
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Pelle Nilsson
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Re: Inkscape Extensions for Boardgame Developlemt


Now you can easily configure the countersheet effect to layout your counters (or cards...) to not just fill up the page but instead fill up the areas you want to (specified by drawing normal rectangles to a layer). The example above was created with a simple layout of only two rectangles. When the layout rectangles are full new layers are automatically created. No need to manually separate the cards/counters into smaller pages now, but you'll have to manually hide/show layers when printing or generating bitmaps to only get one side of one sheet included at a time.
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Richard Johnson
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Re: Inkscape Extensions for Boardgame Developlemt
Any way to turn off the hex numbering? To just draw plain hexes? I can probably change it myself (they are python files right?) but just wondering if it's build in already. Very cool extension though thanks.
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Pelle Nilsson
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Re: Inkscape Extensions for Boardgame Developlemt
Easy to fix in Python yes.

To remove select the coordinate layer and hide it, or delete it if you know you will never need it. The same can be done to the other layers produced you do not need.

I tried to keep the number of options down. Adding an extra checkbox to enable/disable each layer felt like clutter. I'm actually thinking of removing the font size and position options as well, because these things are so easy to edit manually (change to the coordinate layer, press ctrl-A to select all labels, then move or change the style until they look just right), and you'll have to do that anyway to get good results. Similarly to get the grid right you probably want to select everything in that layer as well, and set the color and line width properly, and that goes for the hex fill and centerdot layers as well.

The hex fill layer is only needed if you want to fill the background of all or some hexes. I've used it for superfast prototyping, or sometimes just to get a nice
subtle background color for the entire hexmap that separates it from the rest of the paper outside of the hexes.

Oh, and when you're happy with the hex map and want to do create the map in Inkscape (as opposed to just exporting the grid for use in some other application) remember to lock the created layers using that little padlock icon next to the layer selector at the bottom of the Window. Then you can add new layers to draw the map in and not by accident ever selecting one of the hex grid object.
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Richard Johnson
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Re: Inkscape Extensions for Boardgame Developlemt
pelni wrote:
Easy to fix in Python yes.

To remove select the coordinate layer and hide it, or delete it if you know you will never need it. The same can be done to the other layers produced you do not need.

I tried to keep the number of options down. Adding an extra checkbox to enable/disable each layer felt like clutter. I'm actually thinking of removing the font size and position options as well, because these things are so easy to edit manually (change to the coordinate layer, press ctrl-A to select all labels, then move or change the style until they look just right), and you'll have to do that anyway to get good results. Similarly to get the grid right you probably want to select everything in that layer as well, and set the color and line width properly, and that goes for the hex fill and centerdot layers as well.

The hex fill layer is only needed if you want to fill the background of all or some hexes. I've used it for superfast prototyping, or sometimes just to get a nice
subtle background color for the entire hexmap that separates it from the rest of the paper outside of the hexes.

Oh, and when you're happy with the hex map and want to do create the map in Inkscape (as opposed to just exporting the grid for use in some other application) remember to lock the created layers using that little padlock icon next to the layer selector at the bottom of the Window. Then you can add new layers to draw the map in and not by accident ever selecting one of the hex grid object.


Very cool thanks. I'm new to Inkscape and didn't realize it was creating different layers. I'll play around with it. Thanks for the wonderful tool.
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Meng Tan
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Re: Inkscape Extensions for Boardgame Developlemt
Awesome - fantastic to have free/open-source tools of high quality!
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Pelle Nilsson
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Re: Inkscape Extensions for Boardgame Developlemt
Thank you guys, but I would not say high quality, at least not until it has seen a lot more testing.

I found a bug tonight in the countersheet effect in 0.91. If you ask it to create many identical counters (like in the included countersheet1.svg example) then only one will get a counter backside (I think this was OK up to 0.9 or 0.89). And then someone at CSW reported today that when he ran the countersheet effect Inkscape (0.46) crashed (not sure if that was my bug or if it should be forwarded to the Inkscape developers though). Save often...
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Pelle Nilsson
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Re: Inkscape Extensions for Boardgame Developlemt
I believe Illustrator has a SVG import feature, yes, but it is not something I have tested. Inkscape can export to some other formats as well, but most likely the best way is to just save to a SVG file and let Illustrator do the conversion.

As the files created are just standard SVG files they should work with most newer applications, and can also be viewed with web browsers that support SVG (unfortunately not all browsers yet).
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Jesse Escobedo
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Re: Inkscape Extensions for Boardgame Developlemt
Is it possible to get the Column numbering to be in reverse as well? It seems odd that one can change the row order, but not the column one.

Thanks!
Jesse
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Pelle Nilsson
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Re: Inkscape Extensions for Boardgame Developlemt
I agree it is a bit asymmetric, however I have never seen a game number the columns from right to left (numbering rows from the bottom up seems quite common). I can consider adding it to the next version anyway.

Note that there is also no option to only put coordinates on some columns, as there is for rows. That is only because I had some particular wargame maps in mind at the time and forgot that it probably makes just as much sense to skip numbers for the columns. That should definitely go into the next version.
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Pelle Nilsson
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Re: Inkscape Extensions for Boardgame Developlemt
I got a report a few weeks ago that gradients were not working as expected, which turned out to be true. I spent some time this weekend (between midsummer parties) fixing that and it seems ok now.

This fix will be in the next release, but since I currently have no access to upload anything to the web server (oops) it will have to wait some days/weeks. If you are in a hurry, or just want to help me test it, please contact me on bgg and I can send you the fixed file.

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Pelle Nilsson
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Re: Inkscape Extensions for Boardgame Developlemt
I have uploaded version 0.99 to the project home page now, with the (much improved) gradient bugfix and some other minor changes, plus (finally) some documentation.
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Joe Kundlak
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Re: Inkscape Extensions for Boardgame Developlemt
Hmmm, the webpage does not exist.

Anyone knows where to find these promising Inkscape templates?
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