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Project: Zombicide - Day 1

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Welcome to Day 1!

Can you already hear the Zombies moan and wail out there? No? Well, that's because we are not quite there yet.

Today we are going to start our rulebook. Why would we do that, when the rulebook is accessible online?

For once converting it into a Fantasy Grounds module allows every player quick access to the rules, plus we can later link the different characters, skills etc. into it. Basically it's going to contain all the content the game needs, the muscles over the bones (even Zombies need that!).

We'll start with the most simple module possible. A module is basically a zip-file with the custom ending '.mod'.

For our purposes it has to contain three items:

  • thumbnail.png (I quickly made one out of the game carton pic at 117x117 resolution)
  • definition.xml
  • client.xml (iirc this could/should be db.xml now with the new version, but client.xml works as well)



This is the definition.xml, it's short and sweet:

Code:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="iso-8859-1"?>
<!-- Copyright SmiteWorks USA, LLC., 2011  -->
<root>
  <name>Zombicide</name>
  <author>Copyright 2015, Guillotine Games</author>
  <category>Board Games</category>
  <ruleset>Any</ruleset>
</root>
It names the module, tells us what ruleset it is based on (we may change that later, for now it's just text, hence 'Any') and sets the category "Board Games"

The client.xml is a little bit more involved, this is where all the information is stored and it must be structured in a way that FG can access it.

This is the skeleton we are going to work with:

Code:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1"?>
<!-- Copyright SmiteWorks USA, LLC., 2012  -->
<root version="3.0">
	<library>
		<zombicide static="true">
			<name type="string">Zombicide</name>
			<categoryname type="string">Board Games</categoryname>
			<entries>
			
			</entries>
		</zombicide>		
	</library>
	<reference>
		
	</reference>
</root>
the <zombicide> tag is named by me, everything else is pretty much canon. Make sure that the content of the name string is the same as in definition.xml, otherwise links will not work correctly.

Having files with these entries will put our rulebook "on the board", so to speak, we can now see the module in the module selection screen and open it:

activate_rulebook_module.jpg

Of course if we try to look into it, there is no content (we might even get an error message).

The next step is to get some structure into our library. Fortunately this is quite easy - there are 10 more or less short chapters that make up our top navigation. This is a not a commercial module, so we won't bother with completeness and just take what we need. For sake of reference we'll keep the original chapter numbering, but we'll leave out chapter 01 (Game Contents) - we don't care about that.

Our first chapter entry makes the <entries> tag look like this:

Code:
<entries>
	<aba_survive>
		<librarylink type="windowreference"><class>referencetext</class><recordname>..</recordname></librarylink>
			<name type="string">2. Survive and Win</name>
			<text type="formattedtext">
				<p>Lots of text in paragraph tag</p>
			</text>
	</aba_survive>
</entries>
All entries in the library with the are sorted in alphanumeric order by the name you give the entry in the entries tag and appear with their name once you open the module, but, and this should be written BUT!, you cannot start that tag with a numeral. This used to give me headaches, because you just get an error message, without ever telling you thr cause.

You could name your entry <_001>, but you can't do <001>. I like to use letters (26 instead 10 choices), and count down using the second 'digit'.

It's getting late, we'll continue with this on Day 2.

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