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VICMAN Update

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Does anyone have any info on, or the means to update VICMAN so it can run on Windows 7? This program is an INVALUABLE tool in playing Victory and it would be a crime to let this program slight into obscurity as more and more people start using Windows 7 era PC's.

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I have looked at the tool, and I have 2 major problems updating it:

  1. It's written in Delphi. I don't know **** about Delphi.
  2. The original source code is missing. Even if I could read Deplhi, there's nothing to read.

So the only option for me would be to start from scratch. Which of course is a lot of work..... I have found that I can do everyhting VICMAN does (and more) in Excel.

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There is no doubt that Excel can do everything VICMAN can do IF you have the knowledge of Excel to do it. For those that either don't want to manually have to update all the pertinent values every time we get a new turn OR that simply don't have the skill or knowledge to do so, not having a tool like VICMAN at your disposal is a MAJOR handicap.

 

I don't think it is realistic for you or anyone to take on the responsibility and effort of remaking such a program without some kind of compensation if they don't want to. But I am very hopeful that someone (if not Russ) does, because I think that player aids like VICMAN are crucial to making Victory more accessible to new and less hardcore players and therefore more successful, both monetarily for Russ and for the players in general by helping to bring in more new players and keep the ones we already have. Such player aids make administering Victory turns take that much less time every two weeks and that much less mysterious and complicated. If only I was a programmer, I'd attempt it, but unfortunately that is not one of my skills.

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I have looked at the tool, and I have 2 major problems updating it:

  1. It's written in Delphi. I don't know **** about Delphi.
  2. The original source code is missing. Even if I could read Deplhi, there's nothing to read.

So the only option for me would be to start from scratch. Which of course is a lot of work..... I have found that I can do everyhting VICMAN does (and more) in Excel.

Delphi is just Pascal (Borland's Turbo Pascal, in fact) with object oriented extensions (like classes with virtual functions).

 

What turns plain Turbo Pascal into Delphi, is the VCL library (VCL is short for Visual Component Library), which is a full class wrapper library around the Windows user interface. It's tightly integrated into the IDE, which means you have two-way association between what you see visually during application development and what's in the source editor. Change a value in the form designer, the object inspector or a property editor, and the source file updates. Change something in the source file, and the visuals update. And all this in real time.

 

I use CppBuilder professionally (and have used for about 15 years now), and that's basically a c++ compiler wrapped around Delphi's VCL. Heck, CppBuilder's IDE is itself written entirely in Delphi Pascal. :(

 

As for Excel. I've toyed with it years ago to somehow apply it to Victory. I got it to work (it was reading the victory result file, extracting the crucial numbers and dropping those in the appropriate cells), but it was damn slow. Too slow for my taste.

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Well, the kids are on vacation, so I have a little time to spare and decided I'd give a complete rebuild of Vicman a go. :rolleyes:

It's coming along nicely, but I was wondering what kind of information you would want the program to display.

 

Hamish

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Well, the kids are on vacation, so I have a little time to spare and decided I'd give a complete rebuild of Vicman a go. :rolleyes:

It's coming along nicely, but I was wondering what kind of information you would want the program to display.

 

Hamish

 

I suggest the original VicMAN output. Still VERY usefull.

 

And:

 

Airbase occupancy. Saves a lot of manual checking.

fuel/mun/gen shortages per army, per AIC maybe.

 

Harder but mucho appreciated:

 

Some MCR/railcap tool?...

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Well, the kids are on vacation, so I have a little time to spare and decided I'd give a complete rebuild of Vicman a go. :rolleyes:

It's coming along nicely, but I was wondering what kind of information you would want the program to display.

 

Hamish

 

I suggest the original VicMAN output. Still VERY usefull.

 

And:

 

Airbase occupancy. Saves a lot of manual checking.

fuel/mun/gen shortages per army, per AIC maybe.

 

Harder but mucho appreciated:

 

Some MCR/railcap tool?...

 

Can you give me a short list of the original VICMAN output? I'm completely x64 these days, so I would need to install a x86 VM to see it. :drunk:

Airbases should be easy to do. What would you like to see about MCRs?

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Well, the kids are on vacation, so I have a little time to spare and decided I'd give a complete rebuild of Vicman a go. :rolleyes:

It's coming along nicely, but I was wondering what kind of information you would want the program to display.

 

Hamish

 

I suggest the original VicMAN output. Still VERY usefull.

 

And:

 

Airbase occupancy. Saves a lot of manual checking.

fuel/mun/gen shortages per army, per AIC maybe.

 

Harder but mucho appreciated:

 

Some MCR/railcap tool?...

 

Can you give me a short list of the original VICMAN output? I'm completely x64 these days, so I would need to install a x86 VM to see it. :drunk:

Airbases should be easy to do. What would you like to see about MCRs?

 

I would like to see Rail capacity in each city and if possible a little tool (no not Spongebob :cheers:), place the amount you want to transfer followed by the cities it goes through and thus deduct the amount used showing whats left. Should be simple :rolleyes:

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I would like to see Rail capacity in each city and if possible a little tool (no not Spongebob :)), place the amount you want to transfer followed by the cities it goes through and thus deduct the amount used showing whats left. Should be simple <_<

Why stop there?

 

If you go down that route, then why not enter the actual goods you want to transfer, and let the program put the MCR order straight into the turn file ....

 

And, if you go that route, then why not also read the contents of the turn file, and automatically reflect the rail capacity load based on the MCR orders already in there. <_<

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I would like to see Rail capacity in each city and if possible a little tool (no not Spongebob :)), place the amount you want to transfer followed by the cities it goes through and thus deduct the amount used showing whats left. Should be simple <_<

Why stop there?

 

If you go down that route, then why not enter the actual goods you want to transfer, and let the program put the MCR order straight into the turn file ....

 

And, if you go that route, then why not also read the contents of the turn file, and automatically reflect the rail capacity load based on the MCR orders already in there. <_<

 

I've been thinking in the same direction. I am already reading the results file and storing rail capacity. Do you have any ideas about how this could be displayed in a meaningful way?

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Yes.

 

But it will be a lot more elaborate than just reading and presenting the data.

 

The big question you want answered is not "how much rail is still available in this or that location". The question you want answers to is: "how much resource of type x or y is needed in AIC a or b and how much shortfall do I have there". And then "from where can I get sufficient amounts imported to make up for that shortfall". And have some sort of spreadsheet alike interface in which you can see this at a glance.

 

For this to work, you need to do a hell of a lot more than just show the existing stockpiles and the currently entered MCR orders.

 

You need to calculate how much resources the end-turn-sequence will produce in each AIC. You need to calculate how much resources are consumed by the industry in each AIC in the end-turn-sequence. You need to take build and tear-down orders for the industry into account. You need to take supply, mun and fuel usage for your armed forces into account. Build, upgrade and disband orders for you armed forces, etc. etc.

 

In short, what you will end up with is a new type of order entry program :)

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Yes.

 

But it will be a lot more elaborate than just reading and presenting the data.

 

The big question you want answered is not "how much rail is still available in this or that location". The question you want answers to is: "how much resource of type x or y is needed in AIC a or b and how much shortfall do I have there". And then "from where can I get sufficient amounts imported to make up for that shortfall". And have some sort of spreadsheet alike interface in which you can see this at a glance.

 

For this to work, you need to do a hell of a lot more than just show the existing stockpiles and the currently entered MCR orders.

 

You need to calculate how much resources the end-turn-sequence will produce in each AIC. You need to calculate how much resources are consumed by the industry in each AIC in the end-turn-sequence. You need to take build and tear-down orders for the industry into account. You need to take supply, mun and fuel usage for your armed forces into account. Build, upgrade and disband orders for you armed forces, etc. etc.

 

In short, what you will end up with is a new type of order entry program :python:

 

I have no problem with combining the order entry program with this analyzer. I already have the resource requirements calculations figured out, although I'm not taking orders for the upcoming turn into account yet. I just have problems visualizing what the program should look like..... How do I display all this information so that it still makes sense? You have to enter orders in one part and the analyzer shows the results somewhere else. So do I use multiple frames, do we all have screens big enough for this? Or if I use multiple tabs, is it still usable if you have to switch tabs all the time?

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Erm. Why so difficult?

 

Why not manipulate the MCR orders right from the spreatsheet view?

 

Of course, you can't do that with some additional help. I realise that.

 

Why not allow the user to setup predefined MCR routes, which you save separately from the actual turn file. Since each route has a starting point and an ending point, you can populate a combo box with routes appropriate for the current selected row. Select a route, hit new, and the system creates a new, empty MCR order with the route already filled.

 

Then all you have to do is to provide a number of edit boxes so the user can enter the amounts (s)he wants to transport.

 

Isn't exactly rocket science, now is it :python:

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Erm. Why so difficult?

 

Why not manipulate the MCR orders right from the spreatsheet view?

 

Of course, you can't do that with some additional help. I realise that.

 

Why not allow the user to setup predefined MCR routes, which you save separately from the actual turn file. Since each route has a starting point and an ending point, you can populate a combo box with routes appropriate for the current selected row. Select a route, hit new, and the system creates a new, empty MCR order with the route already filled.

 

Then all you have to do is to provide a number of edit boxes so the user can enter the amounts (s)he wants to transport.

 

Isn't exactly rocket science, now is it :python:

 

Predefined rail routes were in the planning as well, but I don't think you understood my question. I meant how do I put all this information on one screen (or multiple tabs if it gets too big). Just the layout of the screen.....

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Just to clarify, there's 18 columns for each order in the table view. If I make them small, say 80 pixels each, that's already 1440 pixels not including borders, or you need to scroll from left to right when entering longer orders. If I need to add rail capacity, stockpiles and RM requirements to the same window, it's going to be huge. I guess even HD would be too small. So I need to find a way to keep it all small enough to fit on a reasonably sized screen, while preventing unnecessary switching between tabs.

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