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Thread: Hex map designer

  1. #1
    PGDCE Developer Carver413's Avatar
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    Hex map designer

    I am getting to the point with the explorer project that I would like to start designing some game idea's, I want to create a rpg that is very large in scope so to keep this project in pespective I going to go with a hex map design. more work will be needed to work this into a 3d design but over all I think this could work very well for what I have in mind. any thoughs or Ideas?
    HexMap.jpg

  2. #2
    Hex tile maps are more complex than square tile maps. The main advantage is that distances from the center of a cell to any of its adjacent ones is always the same. The main disadvantage is that you can't use the four cardinal NSEW directions easily.

    Some time ago I found this article about hexagonal grids that explains different ways to face the problem. It uses HTML5 to show the concepts "in run-time".
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    PGDCE Developer Carver413's Avatar
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    thanks for the info provided. I will be sure to look it over. I must say though that my interest is not to create a hex based game but as a way to create nice looking maps with out alot of work. the tiles will be small in scale so they will be less restrictive to work with but will always blend in a consistent way. in some areas they will be small while other areas they may be quite large, some tiles will have 3d objects bound to them like stones or trees groups of tiles can form settlements or taverns that can be droped anywere they fit. there is no limit to this design.

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    PGDCE Developer Carver413's Avatar
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    I found a photo that really shows what I would like to acheve in my design. of course I am no where close to this but I will get there in time. anyway notice the stone walls and how they are attached to the tiles below using this Idea we can work with smaller maps and a much simpler engine design
    RiPWNE1.jpg

  5. #5
    Seeing this guide http://www.redblobgames.com/grids/hexagons/ i was using “odd-q” vertical layout in 1 demo some month ago
    http://www.pascalgamedevelopment.com...ing-tile-edges
    I found that i can make smoother maps by using triangles, as seen here:
    http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=35kn...5#.UlmqR9Kw0QY I got rid of all sharp edges caused by hexagons. To say it otherway, quads and triangles blend better than hexagons.

  6. #6
    PGDCE Developer Carver413's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by User137 View Post
    Seeing this guide http://www.redblobgames.com/grids/hexagons/ i was using “odd-q” vertical layout in 1 demo some month ago
    http://www.pascalgamedevelopment.com...ing-tile-edges
    I found that i can make smoother maps by using triangles, as seen here:
    http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=35kn...5#.UlmqR9Kw0QY I got rid of all sharp edges caused by hexagons. To say it otherway, quads and triangles blend better than hexagons.
    thanks, but I don't really think that's what I had in mind.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Carver413 View Post
    ...I must say though that my interest is not to create a hex based game but as a way to create nice looking maps with out alot of work...
    I'm not sure if i understood this part earlier. The screenshot you showed in last message is very strictly tying game objects to hexagon grid. The stone walls are also showing clearly the drawback of hexagon technique - edgy straights. Map is always somehow tied to game logics. You can't just render the map in 1 big PNG and use it for whole game world, if that is the idea?

    I think what hexagons fit best is kind of grid-based games such as Civilization 5
    http://static.giantbomb.com/uploads/...eenshot_02.jpg
    But what is seen in that image for world terrain, is extremely complex to do (it's kind of what i tried to achieve in thread i posted in previous message, i couldn't find a shader algorithm that would make 1 of 6 corners straighten like that shoreline at bottom left). The tile-blending graphics are some advanced shadering and modelling. But if one has to choose between square grid and hexagon grid in that kind of game, and if it's about game mechanics, hexagon feels more natural.
    Last edited by User137; 13-10-2013 at 07:34 AM.

  8. #8
    PGDCE Developer Carver413's Avatar
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    I realize that this design will not produce straight lines but I don't really see this as a problem. the objects we place on top of our hexmap do not need to be hex shape they only need to occupy hex space. instead of tring to break the design you need to look at how you can use it to your advantage. and as far as the edge of your map you should create a buffer zone so you can't ever scroll to the edge. I plan to use natural barriers like the stone walls or something like it. I dont plan on using a special shader for this rather display lists of some sort. I will use predfined entrance point to chain maps
    together rather then one large map. here are some more examples I found that kind of follow what I have in mind.

    http://alumnus.caltech.edu/~leif/FRP/maptiles.html
    http://www.terraincraftsman.com/

  9. #9
    I think what he ment is that making map like that programaticaly from different pieces of terrain type that blend together nicely on edges is difficult. Unless you are planning to have map painted by hand and just dividing it to hex fields it's gonna be tough

  10. #10
    Hex grids were never ment to look good but instead they simplify some game mechanics like pathfinding (distance betwen two neighbouring tiles is always the same), range checking, etc.
    With hex grids you easily gets depth perception by simply rendering hex grid on 3D plane.

    But as it was already pointed out hex grids have their drawbacks:
    Without specialy designed autotiles like in Civilization 5 you will have problems of making any straight edges. There will always be thet hexagonial look. Even thou i have seen a game that used hex grids and looked quite well. But that game used a bunch of verry small hexagons so they were barely noticable.
    The second and probably the bigest problem is that by using hex maps you can forget about any height representations as they wil look ugly. Check "Missionforce Cyberstorm" for example.

    So as User137 I would also suggest to you to use triangles based map design itself or to be more specific same design that was used for Settlers. You can read a bit about this design here: http://widelands.svn.sourceforge.net...ry/index.xhtml

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