2021-03-18 Hekadungeon using Text Mapper

The Gridmapper algorithm for Text Mapper to generate small dungeons was based on the blog post The Nine Forms of the Five Room Dungeon, by Matthew J. Neagley, which I then extended to 7-room dungeons, and then I added the combination of the two, which led to 10 (5+5), 12 (5+7), and 14 (7+7) room dungeons. It worked surprisingly well, see 2019-10-09 Ten random dungeons generated, and 2019-08-23 Gridmapper inside Text Mapper. It definitely worked better than the failed Megadungeon project I was working on a long time ago. Reload it a few times until you more than just one level and then click on the last image to open it in Gridmapper.

A few days ago I started wondering whether I could scale that up… and it turns out that I can!

Here’s an example with 200 rooms. It definitely needs fewer entrances – and the latest version of Text Mapper does that, of course. See 200 rooms.

Dungeon map with 200 rooms


This is really great! I like the shape of these dungeons better than the random results I tend to get out of e.g. donjon.sh. And editing the results in Gridmapper is fantastic!

I’m confused about one thing – does this ever generate multi-level dungeons? You seem to imply so in your post, but I haven’t seen it do so.

acodispo 2021-03-22 20:33 UTC

Sadly it does not. I keep thinking about it, though…

– Alex 2021-03-22 20:54 UTC

Right now the problem is that text mapper doesn’t have a Z axis. Maybe it should. Then we could generate an overworld and an underworld that lines up.

– Alex 2021-03-23 07:51 UTC

The more I think about it the better I like it. But how to show this? It would probably have to be a new “page” and that’s not how SVG works. Just appending the second map below the first one might work, though. Hm.

– Alex 2021-03-23 08:45 UTC

For what it’s worth: when I was checking to see if it would do multiple levels, I assumed that I would see the 2nd level below the first on the page, as you suggest. This is probably intuitive! And I think it would work for the way Hex Describe uses these dungeon maps?

Me, I think I’m always going to open the maps in Gridmapper, edit to my liking, and then export in the format I need whether for online play, web display, or printing. I can stitch together multiple levels if I need to create multi-level dungeons.

I wish I knew more about how to work with SVG in this way. I’ve been making an attempt to add “modal GM notes” to Gridmapper and don’t quite have the chops for it! 😀

acodispo 2021-03-24 14:51 UTC

You mean, like those notes for cells in spreadsheet software, one corner is red or something, and if you hover over it, whatever you wrote there pops up?

– Alex 2021-03-24 20:05 UTC

That’s an idea I hadn’t thought of for UI! I was thinking of expanding Gridmapper’s labels. Specifically the behavior where when you type ' while the cursor is on an existing label, the label’s text pops up for editing.

So the GM note behavior would be similar to that, but:

  1. The content of the GM note isn’t displayed on the map, there’s a stand-in symbol. Perhaps +.
  2. When you type e.g. + while the cursor is over a + on the map, that note’s content is placed into an editing box. If there is no existing note, then a new one is created (just like a label).
  3. The editing area for notes is a larger textarea. (I was considering simply using the existing export/import box for this.)

The idea is that I like to put as much data about dungeon contents onto the map itself as possible (so I don’t have to reference a separate room key during play), but using labels can be a bit cumbersome depending on the amount of content. Being able to store longer notes that don’t get displayed on the map would help with this.

I’m fiddling with it off and on but haven’t made much progress! 😀

acodispo 2021-03-25 14:23 UTC

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