Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Hex Complete

When I finished up the last post, the hex map I'm working on looked something like...

I spent some time working on this last night, here's how it went. I started by rolling the actual terrain for each of the marked hexes. When Ground Rules generates terrain, there's a chance it will also generate additional terrain in the surrounding areas according to built in rules based on terrain type. Mountains can generate mini-ranges, swamps spread, and oceans create shorelines of land terrain. By the time I was done with this phase, the map looked like the one to the right. You can see where the swamp expanded down south, and the ocean hexes generated a strip of coastline in the northeast (the extra forest is me getting ahead of my narrative).

With this process out of the way, it was time to start adding new hexes. I'd planned on filling in hexes randomly, but decided to do something a bit different instead. Since each hex's terrain is determined by nearby neighbors, I elected to roll a d20 and count off filled-in hexes with open borders spaces, left to right, top to bottom. Then I'd roll up the first empty hex in a north / clockwise rotation around that spot. That seemed to work out pretty well, giving me this as a map about half-way through.

In this image you can see some of the terrain / hex type crossover that Ground Rules creates. For example there are two A5 light forest hexes in the NW. A5 is mountain terrain type, so these woods will likely end up surrounded by more mountains. You can also see how the A1 random type breaks things up a bit. So far so good.

It was about here that I discovered a couple minor errors in my Excel sheet, so I put the map on pause and fixed those. Today I continued with the build out process, and finished up this afternoon. The final map looks like this.

Not bad for a couple hours of dice plus Gimp work. Of course this isn't done by any means. Next I get to start working on the 6-mile hex version of the map. As I work through the more detailed version I'll also be making notes on all the generated hex locales and features too. That's a lot more note-taking, so I need to figure out how I'll be recording all this. As you can see, the detail level takes a major jump up with the small hexes shown.

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