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RobA
09-11-2008, 01:46 AM
I was playing with this style a little while back, and figured I'd give it a go after someone suggested hex maps in the thread:

### Latest WIP ###
6431

The hexmap was drawn entirely in inkscape using all cloned symbols, so I could (for example) change one tree icon and have all of them change.

The heightfield was roughed out in GIMP, then turned in to a hex heightfield using inkscape's create tiled clones feature. Pulled back in GIMP and corrected in places (i.e. get the rivers to flow downhill only) and to add the bevel to the tile edges.

The two were rendered together in PovRay.

Not sure how much more I could do with a map this style.... suggestions for other icons would be good. I was thinking of rendering up little 3D castle objects to sit on the town makers (like game playing pieces) but didn't get to it.

I don't know if it follows the coast well enough either, but I tried :)

-Rob A>

delgondahntelius
09-11-2008, 02:56 AM
Impressive to say the least... very cool presentation of the map as well... great idea and inventive... the three D city symbols would have been cool... how long did it take, cause it looks like a long time... cept you mentioned cloned tiles... so you make one, clone it and changes made to one affect all ... something I would have forgotten about as I made each individual hex.. :D

Great stuff Rob.. as usual :D

NeonKnight
09-11-2008, 05:53 AM
I like the 3d effect.....and I don't :(

I like it because it adds a certain pizazz to the map, but I don't like it because it gets so busy in the mountains, I have a hard time determining at times which hex is a higher elevation that others. Unfortunately I cannot even use hex symbols to help out as I see Triple Mountain hexes at a lower elevation than Single Mountain hexes, and some Hill Hexes appear to have a higher Elevation than Triple Mountains?????

RobA
09-11-2008, 07:35 AM
@NK - I drew the two separately. I tried to clean up inconsistencies but didn't get them all :(

One issue I discovered is that terrain and elevation don't line up....i.e. you can high elevation plains or hells and low elevation "mountains"... the hex symbols represent terrain, while the elevation represents, well, elevation... in my mind I was almost thinking base elevation (for mountains) not peak elevations... that might have been a poor thing to do.

-Rob A>

jezelf
09-11-2008, 07:36 AM
that's a really cool, fresh approach! - I like it, though it kinda feels a bit busy on the eye - as NeonKnight mentions - in the mountains in particular.

there's certainly something there.

Steel General
09-11-2008, 08:06 AM
It certainly takes the idea of doing an old-style hex map to a whole new level.

Was going to Rep you...but I gotta spread more of the 'luv around'. :D

NeonKnight
09-11-2008, 11:26 AM
Yeah, I need to spread some luvin too :(

dorpond
09-11-2008, 08:51 PM
*Dorpond Applauds*
You take the cake for creativity, RobA! I really like the whole idea of raising the hexes to show height! Great idea!

Ascension
09-11-2008, 08:55 PM
Kinda reminds me of Q-Bert...interesting idea.

RobA
09-12-2008, 08:05 AM
Any suggestions on how I could (or should I even try) to add labels, etc?

-Rob A>

Steel General
09-12-2008, 08:25 AM
If there was an easy way to simulate a 'tooltip' i'd suggest that, really can't think of anything good outside of some light, nearly transparent background to put the lettering against. Not sure how that would even look.

Darken
09-12-2008, 01:31 PM
I liked it. Brings fond memories of the Battletech days ^.^

As far as a labeling system, what about little flags? Here's a little example I tried to draw up on my tablet... I'm sure you can make it better.

RobA
09-12-2008, 06:09 PM
Thanks Darken - have some rep!

Here is my shot at this, along with a label:
6451

-Rob A>

Steel General
09-12-2008, 07:28 PM
Cool beans guys! I like it.

Sagenlicht
09-13-2008, 04:24 PM
The flag/labeling looks quite nice RobA. I think it's fitting :)

Lord
09-14-2008, 08:26 PM
That is certainly a fresh apporach, but like others have said, i can't quite wrap my head around the mountains. It kinda reminds me of... Q-bert.

RobA
09-15-2008, 03:56 PM
I like the 3d effect.....and I don't :(

I like it because it adds a certain pizazz to the map, but I don't like it because it gets so busy in the mountains, I have a hard time determining at times which hex is a higher elevation that others. Unfortunately I cannot even use hex symbols to help out as I see Triple Mountain hexes at a lower elevation than Single Mountain hexes, and some Hill Hexes appear to have a higher Elevation than Triple Mountains?????


that's a really cool, fresh approach! - I like it, though it kinda feels a bit busy on the eye - as NeonKnight mentions - in the mountains in particular.

there's certainly something there.


That is certainly a fresh apporach, but like others have said, i can't quite wrap my head around the mountains. It kinda reminds me of... Q-bert.

I thought it could be my badly rendered mountains, so I ran jezelf's buncklebury beautiful heightfield (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showpost.php?p=31886&postcount=12) through inkscape to get a hex tiled heightfield...no better in the mountains than mine:
6488

I think I might have to simplify the whole range...

-Rob A>

Darken
09-16-2008, 02:30 PM
I think the problem may be in the amount of contrast between the different elevations on the height-map.

I think flooring the values might work. For example, heights between 0 and 9.99 would round down to 0, sea level. 10-19.99 would round down to 10, as hills. etc.

If you did go with this system, I would make the height difference on the map be equal to the length of one of the hex's sides.

I don't even know if this is possible with the system you are using... let me know how it works.

[Edit] I found what I was looking for in Photoshop... its called "Posterize" (Image > Adjustment > Posterize)... I don't know the GIMP equivalent, so i included an example of the effect

jezelf
09-16-2008, 03:13 PM
You could also try changing the origin of the lightsource as to avoid the dark shadows. Perhaps to the front left than the middle right?

Or rotate the map so the incline of the mountains leads away from the POV and the faces catching the light the most will be more viewable.

Nice quality render you got there.

RobA
09-17-2008, 04:46 PM
@Darken - It is posterize in Gimp, too.

I tried that suggestion and it was still messy. I want back and manually created the heightfield based on the hexes and symbols:
6544

I also tried it blurred this and run back through my hex tiler:
6545

Any suggestions on which is better (I'm leaning towards the first)?

-Rob A>

Steel General
09-17-2008, 08:28 PM
I agree, I like the first one better. Just seems more pleasing/easy on the eyes.

Ascension
09-17-2008, 09:23 PM
I like the look of the second one, the lighter stroke on the hexes makes the things inside the hexes stand out more and thus easier to read...for me at least.

RobA
09-18-2008, 10:15 AM
I like the look of the second one, the lighter stroke on the hexes makes the things inside the hexes stand out more and thus easier to read...for me at least.

heh. Just realized I left the bevel off on that render... Only the hex line from the image map is drawing, so tiles at the same elevation are all flat, with no bevel on each. I guess that's a personal thing, cause I like the bevel... might tone it down a bit, though...

-Rob A>

jfrazierjr
09-18-2008, 10:31 AM
I like the second one also. From the angle of projection, it appears on the second one as if the mountains are steadily rising in height to the central peaks.

Darken
09-18-2008, 11:20 AM
I like the first one as well Rob. That's kinda what I was trying to get across; it makes it look more like a character stacked little hex tiles. I prefer it to the smooth gradient of the blur, which loses that stacked look.

RobA
09-18-2008, 03:47 PM
Going with the simplest 5 level tiles. I upped the sea level so it would have beveled tiles, too. Fixed the rivers that ran uphill, and have been working on the labeling:

###Latest WIP ###
6556

-Rob A>

ravells
09-18-2008, 03:58 PM
Magnificent! Rob, the thing I love about your challenge entries is that you bring something entirely different to them, every time.

Ascension
09-18-2008, 04:40 PM
Now we're talkin, I can see everything clearly and the cast shadows really make it pop. Almost looks like it's real and made of plastic for like a board game. Very nice job.

NeonKnight
09-18-2008, 06:26 PM
Good job. I am glad you went with the sharper hexes. It stands out way better. Good Job indeed!

Steel General
09-18-2008, 08:13 PM
Again I have to say, pretty durn cool! :)

Torq
09-19-2008, 01:07 AM
Looks like a really cool strategy board game. Wouldn't it be great if you could randomly generate strategy maps that look like that and then have a game system that used them. Well done Rob.

Torq

NeonKnight
09-19-2008, 01:21 AM
I can't quite see it, but it almost looks like the hexes are 'stacked' on top of one another.

RobA
09-22-2008, 02:57 PM
Don't think I'll have the time to do more, so I'll have to call this completed...

-Rob A>

Redrobes
09-22-2008, 07:54 PM
It looks mighty fine. I reckon this particular map does not lend itself to this raised hex mapping thing too well. If it works this well on this map then I think it could look more sensible for a larger scale map instead of continental sized. It seems that its the busyness of the terrain that is making it hard to read well. But as an example of how to do this sort of map - its a doozy. The bevel seems to be essential to bring out the 3D nature of each hex. Nice work.

mmmmmpig
09-25-2008, 02:53 AM
Hex-tastic!