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Hexagonal Grids
June 2, 2013 2:17 PM   Subscribe

Hexagonal Grids. For when you have a game that needs grids that are made of hexagons.
posted by curious nu (30 comments total) 71 users marked this as a favorite

 
This would have been very nice for me about a year ago, when I had a bit of paying work that ended up requiring a hex grid.
posted by JHarris at 2:23 PM on June 2, 2013


Ooooooo
posted by odinsdream at 2:37 PM on June 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also, previously.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 2:45 PM on June 2, 2013




Hex grid is best grid.
posted by Artw at 3:10 PM on June 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Time to code up that Melee app....
posted by thelonius at 3:11 PM on June 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Wow, I was trying to understand Red Blob's polygonal map generation not one hour ago and decided to give up in favor of looking for something grid based tomorrow.

So this is perfect, thanks.
posted by postcommunism at 3:12 PM on June 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Every time I see neat and well thought out software-development related stuff like this, I get really excited thinking of all the possible things I could do.

And then I remember that I don't have enough time to finish the things that I'm already working on. I'll just have to stash this away in the "maybe one day" box. Excellent article though.
posted by leo_r at 3:12 PM on June 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Useful! Thanks for the link.
posted by daisyk at 3:16 PM on June 2, 2013


*looks up, unshaven and bleary-eyed, from thousands of sheets of paper covered in crudely-drawn hexagons*

AT LAST
posted by kittens for breakfast at 3:18 PM on June 2, 2013 [8 favorites]


Re: Postcommunism: the Voronoi algorithm and the blue noise generation they did is, I think, simple to understand.

First, generate a series of random points are generated (the red points)

Then, you should imagine a goo which oozes out of each of the red point inexorably, until the goo from one point meets the goo from another point, at which point it makes an edge. This is always at right angles to the points, for obvious reasons.

Now, they want something roughly uniform, so they re-do the dots to roughly be at the center of all those polygons, and then they make new polygons which ooze out of all those new points. And then, he puts noise onto the edges of those polygons.
posted by curuinor at 3:20 PM on June 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hexes? Bah! Back in my day, we played Ogre on maps made of Penrose tiles.
posted by sourcequench at 3:24 PM on June 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


I could see some of this being very useful for quilters, actually. Lots of patterns use hex shapes.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 3:29 PM on June 2, 2013


OK, this is not particularly relevant to my interests, and honestly, I don't really understand most of it, but I bet this is totally awesome and I'm really happy for you guys that do get it because this is probably super cool.
posted by Room 641-A at 3:31 PM on June 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


curuinor, I don't mean to knock Red Blob's explanation; I just get stuck when trying to understand how I'll translate it into usable code. I've only just started to dip my toes into graphics and map generation, so I may have to stick with a more basic grid at first.

(The goo is a good analogy though, thanks.)
posted by postcommunism at 3:32 PM on June 2, 2013


My roommate said to me, once, that Hexagon is my Totem Shape.

I was gonna say that this looks a lot like something from Amit's programming page, so I google that and it turns out... It IS his page -- has a new name Red Blob.

Man this is a classic site :) HEXAGONS FOREVER!
posted by symbioid at 3:44 PM on June 2, 2013


Great! Now I can finally get some folks together and playtest "Apis & Allies, the "Bee&Bee" Roleplaying Game"! First module, "The Lost Tomb Of Hymenoptera!"
posted by The otter lady at 3:46 PM on June 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


If the beginning of wisdom lies in understanding how little one knows, I'm getting wiser all the time.

I tried writing a solver for the puzzle game Hexic once, sometime after its initial release on MSN Games but before its rerelease as an Xbox 360 (Live Arcade) launch title. The memory carries some embarrassment for me, because at that time I had no understanding of how to use classes, or even how to compute moves to an arbitrary depth using recursion.

To make things worse, this was all attempted in Visual Basic. I have this vague memory of a ludicrously nested class system, separate initializations for eighty-five separate controls for each piece on the hexagonal grid, and... I'd rather not go on.

A few months ago, I coded a solver for the iOS game Alchemize in PHP, the coding context I've been working in for the last few years, and almost randomly switched from a system tied to a fixed solving depth of two (which is all that the game requires) to one of arbitrary depth, just in case I decide to repurpose the code later for a Sudoku, or (more likely) a SquareLogic solver in the future.

What was my point? Um, I think it was "it gets better" or something like that.

If you're still reading this, a matter of some curiosity: square maps were a hallmark of computer and console roleplaying games from the beginnings of the genre in symbols and text up through Final Fantasy VI. Do you know of any pre-playstation era RPGs that used hexagonal or some other more complex mapping system?
posted by The Confessor at 3:46 PM on June 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Here's a link to graph paper using hexagons [PDF], which is what I thought I'd be getting here. More ways to roll your own.
posted by chavenet at 3:54 PM on June 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Confessor > Do you know of any pre-playstation era RPGs that used hexagonal or some other more complex mapping system?

I basically want to say "everything from American publishers who came out of the wargame scene" but now that I think of it they kinda all abandoned hex grids when they stopped drawing little tanks and started drawing little people.
posted by egypturnash at 4:25 PM on June 2, 2013


Just started working on a hex-based game - very timely - thank you!
posted by nightwood at 6:09 PM on June 2, 2013


The Confessor: "Do you know of any pre-playstation era RPGs that used hexagonal or some other more complex mapping system?"

Wesnoth is based on Master of Monsters, a Genesis game. Which is made by the same people who did Daisenryaku. Game Boy Wars featured a hex grid. NES game Nobunga's Ambition saw a USA release, as did the pre-PSX Nectaris/Military Madness.

Gemfire and Romance of the Three Kingdoms feature more complex region maps that could have been made using postcommunisim's techniques but probably weren't. I don't think any games feature walking around on a hex map, primarily because your controllers only offered 4 directions.

On non-preview, these are mostly Japanese developers, which provides a nice counterpoint to the "basically every american wargame" above.
posted by pwnguin at 6:31 PM on June 2, 2013


Oh. Em. Gee. I had absolutely no idea I needed some/more hex grids in my life until this post. Thank you, curious nu. My weekend is now complete.

seriously, i am really thrilled by the content at that link.
posted by skye.dancer at 7:11 PM on June 2, 2013


Wesnoth is based on Master of Monsters, a Genesis game.

Wesnoth is also really polished for a freeware game. Very nicely put together if you like occasionally nail-biting tactics.
posted by postcommunism at 8:07 PM on June 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


I just couldn't afford that Eastern Front board game advertised in Omni, but it looked really tempting.
posted by ovvl at 8:19 PM on June 2, 2013




Thanks, chavenet for the links - I remember searching like mad for these at the end of my D&D years in the early 90s. It's feels good to actually find them now, even though I may never put them to RPG use anytime soon.

Also - his second link also has an isometric graph paper creation option too!

Does anyone know where I could get hex grid patterns like that in a vector format so I could overlay them on an existing, non-gridded, map as a layer in Illustrator or Photosop, for example? That would be quite useful.
posted by chambers at 9:12 PM on June 2, 2013


Do you know of any pre-playstation era RPGs that used hexagonal or some other more complex mapping system?

Someone else already covered Military Madness. There were a bunch of games on the C64 that used hex grids, but most of their names escape me now.

I think "The Crescent Hawk's Inception", or maybe "The Mars Saga" are what I am thinking of. Or maybe Empire or some such. Anyway, yeah, there are some previous examples - almost all of the tabletop pen and paper games used hex grids.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:13 PM on June 2, 2013


I wish I had this when I was making my own birom set last year.

Does anyone know where I could get hex grid patterns like that in a vector format?

I too, would like to know this.
posted by mnfn at 11:24 AM on June 3, 2013


Does anyone know where I could get hex grid patterns like that in a vector format

SVG Hex Grid Generator
posted by nightwood at 11:02 PM on June 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


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