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Thread: Introducing Hexographer: Hex maps made easy

  1. #11
      SowelBlack is offline
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    A new version is up.

    It has the new hex numbering options (available in the "Settings" window.)

    And I did revise the way the base terrain hexes work. I greatly simplified them behind the scenes so it will be easier for me to support an "add custom terrain" feature in the future.

    If anyone has suggestions for other icons or better icons or wants to make them and doesn't mind giving them away, please let me know. I'll give you the details. Or link me to a picture that's close to what you want.

    Next up: some new terrain hexes (evergreen forests and outer space hexes), some more refactoring of how terrain works (but those will be minor compared to the prior terrain changes) and bug fixes.

    Let me know what you think!

  2. #12
    Guild Adept icosahedron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SowelBlack View Post
    If anyone has suggestions for other icons or better icons or wants to make them and doesn't mind giving them away, please let me know. I'll give you the details. Or link me to a picture that's close to what you want.
    According to the website:

    The custom icon graphics will probably expect simple pngs. You’ll be able to use any size you want as the software will scale them to fit within the hexes.
    The style of your symbols is not photorealistic. Roughly how many pixels across are your hex symbols, so we can get an idea of how much detail to include?

    My to do list includes making some webding style symbols for modern/scifi units for my own use. I might make them Creative Commons and, if so, Hexographer users might be interested - though with my current schedule someone else will almost certainly beat me to it.

    I've seen some on the net, but I've found no decent free ones yet. If anyone knows of some it will save me some time and may help Hexographer users.
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  3. #13
      SowelBlack is offline
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    For the feature icons (citys, towers, mines, shipwrecks, etc.) and terrain graphics (the icons used for the mountains, hills, forests, etc. but not the background color), I'm using transparent pngs that are 250x250 pixels. I stay away from the far corners. These are scaled to 82% of the size of the smaller dimension of each hex then centered. So a hex that is 40x36 will have its icons scaled down to 29 or 30 pixels high (depending on rounding) and wide. Because the very top and bottom of the 40 pixel wide hex will only be 20 pixels, you'll want to avoid the extreme corners of your png. I also plan to allow users to customize the background colors of terrain and the scale percentage of terrain icons and feature icons.

    Does that make sense?

    Also, can you clarify what you mean by "not photorealistic"? Do you simply prefer a different style for all the icons and terrain graphics? If there is some constructive criticism, I'd like to understand it so I can make the software better.

  4. #14
      RPMiller is offline
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    Had to give your rep a little boost. Great stuff! I definitely would like to see more modern stuff. Modern is just so hard to find and there is a good percentage of gamers that play games set in the Victorian to Far future time frames.
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  5. #15
    Guild Adept icosahedron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SowelBlack View Post
    Also, can you clarify what you mean by "not photorealistic"? Do you simply prefer a different style for all the icons and terrain graphics? If there is some constructive criticism, I'd like to understand it so I can make the software better.
    No criticism of your software intended, it's brilliant just as it is.

    If you look around this site you'll see a wide range of mapping and element styles varying from very symbolistic/cartoony styles to photorealistic/satellite image styles. There's no right or wrong, they're just different ways of representing things.

    (I'm just learning all this stuff myself).

    Your software has a symbolistic style representative of traditional RPG games - which is great - so if someone were to draw a realistic looking armoured car 'symbol' a couple of thousand pixels across, with shadows and reflections etc, it would look out of place with the rest of the map. OTOH, If a noob like me makes a 'space invaders' symbol ten pixels across with no detail, that might not match your maps either.

    So I just wondered what you use. The info you provided will help this beginner to get it right, thanks.
    Mapping a Traveller ATU.

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  6. #16
      SowelBlack is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by icosahedron View Post
    If you look around this site you'll see a wide range of mapping and element styles varying from very symbolistic/cartoony styles to photorealistic/satellite image styles.
    That's what I thought, but thank you for clarifying!

  7. #17
      SowelBlack is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by icosahedron View Post
    There are a lot of sci-fi gamers too. A blank black sheet as well as a blank white would be useful, especially if it looked black on the screen but printed white to save my ink. The custom imports will allow for the creation of symbols for planets, bases, fleets, ships and vehicles.

    Dunno if that's possible, just a suggestion.
    I have an idea of how to pull off the black on screen/white when printed idea, but it won't be anytime soon. I'll put it on the list however.

    But I wanted to ask... specifically, what space tiles would you want?
    -black with a faint starfield behind it
    -black with a faint starfield but with a colored (purplish?) mask to signify a nebula?
    -what else?
    Icons:
    -black hole
    -planet (do we need different sizes/colors?)
    -asteroid(s)
    -space station
    -moon (same as planet?)
    -sun

  8. #18
      SowelBlack is offline
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    Post Another update

    I made a few updates recently:

    Added "Delete" buttons to the "Lines" and "Text" tab panels to make that functionality more obvious. (Instead of only having the button below the map.)

    Added a bunch of new terrain: light evergreen, heavy evergreen, evergreen hills and mountains, as well as jungle hills.

    Added a whole new set of terrain for star maps. See the "Cosmic" tab. It includes a basic star hex as well as a star hex with a purplish tint to serve as a nebula hex. Then there are icons for asteroids, suns, planets, ringed planets, jump gates and space stations. If someone is into starship combat games and wants to make some suggestions about these, please post.

    Improved the color chooser so it has defaults that match the background color of each terrain.

  9. #19
    Guild Adept icosahedron's Avatar
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    Sorry, I missed your post #17, though I shouldn't be the only sci-fier around here.

    Sounds like good stuff. I'll have to have a go with the software soon, but I can't access it on this machine.

    FYI, in the absence of the dual black/white, I'll probably use a white background for my printer's sake. Can't speak for anyone else, though.
    Mapping a Traveller ATU.

    See my (fantasy-based) apprenticeship blog at:

    http://www.viewing.ltd.uk/cgi-bin/vi...forums&sx=1024

    Look for Chit Chat, Sandmann's blog. Enjoy.

  10. #20
      SowelBlack is offline
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    Based on the suggestion of another SF gamer (Traveller, I think) I revised the cosmic icons so that you can override the color as you place them. It took some thought for how to do it without needing to create a slew of icons that varied only by color (even if I only offered 8 or so major colors, for 8 or so different cosmic objects such as planet, asteroids, jump gate, etc. I'd have around 64 icons to create and display to the user.)

    Anyway, I was able to discover that there is a relatively easy way to filter a graphic and change its color on the fly. Once I learned that, implementing it was pretty quick.

    I was also pretty sick for about two weeks--it predated the new flu, so no worries that it was that. And I added a number of other features as I was figuring this one out. The coolest/most useful (I think) is the ability to import a map as a background and then modify your map's opacity so you can trace over the imported map.

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