There is an amazing Traveller Map API available out there. Specifically, there’s a service that will produce a PDF based on your UWP list. But you know how it is. I bet half the Traveller referees are trying to code up subsector generators and mappers. Me too!
Here’s my SVG Mapper for Traveller. It comes with example data so you can figure out what format it expects by looking at it. Just klick the Submit button! Remember, you need a browser that knows how to deal with SVG files – Firefox will do.
On the Mac Mini I had a Gimp without layer effects. I often need these to add outer glow to text layers when making slide shows for Claudia.
So I’m trying to build mkhexgrid.
- ignore libjpg for the moment
- FreeType 2
- libgd – I had to configure and build this inside a X11 session!
- fortunately I already have libz! 😊
- and I need the Boost C++ Libraries – I had too add
CPPFLAGSin the Makefile
The X11 dependency was surprising. I assume there’s a better way to do it, but I don’t know what it is. The error I got without X11:
Pyrobombus:~/Source/gd-2.0.36RC1 alex$ gcc -DHAVE_CONFIG_H -I. -I/usr/local/include/freetype2 -I/usr/local/include -I/usr/local/include/libpng12 -g -O2 -MT gdft.lo -MD -MP -MF .deps/gdft.Tpo -c gdft.c -fno-common -DPIC -o .libs/gdft.o gdft.c:1405:35: error: fontconfig/fontconfig.h: No such file or directory gdft.c:1468: error: parse error before '*' token gdft.c:1468: error: parse error before '*' token
I also noticed that SVG output required px units, which is not true. I submitted the following patch to version 0.1.1:
diff -c /Users/alex/Source/mkhexgrid-0.1.1/grid.cpp\~ /Users/alex/Source/mkhexgrid-0.1.1/grid.cpp *** /Users/alex/Source/mkhexgrid-0.1.1/grid.cpp~ Wed Jan 10 14:37:42 2007 --- /Users/alex/Source/mkhexgrid-0.1.1/grid.cpp Thu Jun 26 14:06:37 2008 *************** *** 646,652 **** throw runtime_error(string(o) + " is not in px"); break; case SVG: ! if (u != "px") throw runtime_error(string(o) + " is not in px"); break; case PS: if (u == "pt") ; // 1 point per point :) --- 646,657 ---- throw runtime_error(string(o) + " is not in px"); break; case SVG: ! if (u == "pt") ; // 1 point per point :) ! else if (u == "cm") d *= 72/2.54; // ~28.35 points per cm ! else if (u == "mm") d *= 72/25.4; // ~2.835 points per mm ! else if (u == "in") d *= 72; // 72 points per inch ! else throw runtime_error(string(o) + ! " has unrecognized unit `" + u + "'"); break; case PS: if (u == "pt") ; // 1 point per point :) Diff finished. Thu Jun 26 14:08:15 2008
I just used copy & paste to use the same code that was available for PS output.
And finally this is the specfile I used for my map:
output=svg outfile=hex-layer.svg hex-side=1in rows=8 columns=5 grid-color=B3B3FF coord-color=B3B3FF coord-size=10pt coord-distance=0.7in coord-column-start=21 coord-row-start=11
The Old School Hex Mapper is getting better. Notice how it creates the loop at the bottom using a very small number of simple rules. I have the feeling that it should be possible to formulate the rules required for a decent layouting of roads.
Funny how some skills thought long lost are coming back. 90° – a² + b² = c². 90° & 60° – ½ : √3 : 1.
(Also on GitHub.)
I worked some more on the “Old School Hex Mapper” I mentioned before (2007-06-02 Hex Mapping). It does roads! Well, it does them in a crummy way. Basically there’s a road-segment connecting the center of a hex with the edge, which I then copy, rotate, and translate as necessary.
Check out this map with a road. (You need a SVG enabled browser.)
Notice how the ASCII input starts to show limitations when there are more possiblities. Look at this unintended (?) three-way crossing near the city.
The ugly part is that the roads go right through the icons. In fact, they have to, because every road segment has one of its ends in the center of the hex.
So that’s what I’ll try to work on next. I think what I’ll do is have four road tiles, one connecting two adjacent sides (60°), one connecting roads at an angle (120°), and one connecting two opposite sides (180°). Then I can have the connecting parts avoid the center of the hex.
And I’ll get rid of extra three-way crossings near cities and towns. That should be easy to do.
In the mean time, feel free to experiment:
To be honest, I still don’t know whether this is worth pursuing. My hand-drawn hex maps look much better! (My players are not supposed to click the link. )
I’ve always wanted to produce good-looking old-school black-on-white hex maps for my roleplaying games. But I didn’t want to use Windows.
- Update: Now available as a CGI script! You can also link to your maps directly. Check out the Perl sources of the script.
I broke down and wrote a prototype. Behold my awesome SVG powah!
The input file is plain text! Behold my awesome ASCII art powah, too!!
The output is SVG, which I then convert via EPS to PDF. Check out the PDF result.
I found that the best solution was to convert from SVG to EPS using InkScape, and from EPS to PDF using ps2pdf or the OSX Viewer. In my particular case, I just used the following Makefile:
%.eps: %.svg echo Ignore Gdk-CRITICAL and WARNING messages /Applications/Inkscape.app/Contents/Resources/bin/inkscape \ --without-gui --export-area-drawing --export-eps $@ $^ %.pdf: %.eps ps2pdf $^ $@
Producing the SVG was the tricky part. I used a little Perl script called old-school-hex.pl.
What next? Add more “tiles”, obviously!
Here’s how to do it. First, produce a SVG file using a single dot as the map. This gives you the empty hex.
echo . | perl old-school-hex.pl > empty.svg
Then fill it with some strokes, simplify them, delete a few extra points on the paths, and save. Open the file in you favorite editor and extract the stuff you added, move it into the script data at the beginning, in the defs element, following the grass example. Add an appropriate character mapping to the
%char table and you’re done!
That’s what I’ll do right now.
I’m not yet sure how to add roads and rivers.
I’m already starting to wonder… would it make more sense to have all the hex types in the current directory, and use their filename as the reference, and include them as necessary? Maybe if this turns out to be the greatest thing since sliced bread. Perhaps I should turn this into a CGI script…
Publication would probably require a title, labels, and a compass rose.
Take a look at the other submissions.
Update: Unfortunately, my map is doing very badly in the poll. Why are they using a survey to determine the winner? I think that’s how you get average results, not outstanding stuff. Even if you were not going to vote for my map – I think another noteworthy map that is helium3’s map:
And yet, that map currently has only 4/155 votes. Too bad.
For my own game, I’d probably use the black and white map: