Sunday, 18 September 2011

Hex mapping

I usually just draw maps freehand, but somehow, as I sat down today to do a bit of mapping, the urge for hexes came upon me! A quick google search for hex paper later, I was disappointed to find that what I had in mind wasn't quite as easy as it at first seemed -- I couldn't find A4 size hex-gridded paper with a per-hex number anywhere!

On the way I did find some very useful websites, which I shall share for others on a similar mission:
  • Some very nice pre-made PDFs of hexes and others, including grids with small hexes overlaid with larger ones: http://mojobob.com/roleplay/props/mapping.html
  • An online gridded paper generator! Very cool, but unfortunately doesn't do numbered grids: http://incompetech.com/graphpaper/
  • An inkscape extension for generating hex grids: http://www.lysator.liu.se/~perni/iboardgameexts/
I ended up using the latter, which is an extremely and easy to use flexible tool allowing you to generate hex grids exactly to your own specification. I'd really recommend it. One tip, for anyone who does use it: the default grids it generates include a dot in the middle of each hex (apparently some games require this). For D&D mapping this was unnecessary, but it took me a while to work out how to remove it (there's no option for that in the tool's dialogue box). The secret is that the tool actually generates four layers, one of which is the dots. So you can just delete that layer.

Here's the PDF of my hex paper anyway, so you can see what I ended up with.

Addendum: I just started filling in those hexes, probably for the first time in 20 years -- what a joy!

6 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing the hex paper PDF. I am sure it will come in handy. I think Gimp might have the ability to add numbers to hexes but I have not sued it in awhile and don't have it installed I here. I may be wrong though but I know I used some product that let me hex map and have numbered hexes. Thanks again for the PDF and the site links!

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  2. Not sure if this is what you were after.

    http://www.bayonetgames.com/images/BayonetGamesBlankHexesWithNumbers.pdf

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  3. @Wymarc: Glad you found it helpful! Yeah I can well imagine that someone's made a similar plugin for Gimp... I prefer to use a vector program for stuff like that anyway, so I'm very happy with the inkscape plugin I found.

    @Daddy Grognard: That's kind of what I was looking for, but the one I ended up making had much smaller hexes (25 x 20).

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  4. I remember coming across grid sheets with numbered hexes somewhere in my own searches... I can look it up if you want but I guess it's no longer needed? :)

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  5. @Raskolnik: Yeah thanks I'm very satisfied with what I've got now.

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  6. I use this program to generate my hex paper. It is customizable

    http://www.nomic.net/~uckelman/mkhexgrid/

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