01 July, 2014

Hexagonal Geomorphs

I've been working on a series of city geomorphs.

The last set I developed was for the "Town Guard" boardgame. These new ones depict a modern/cyberpunk/sci-fi city. So that gives me an idea for a new series of posts describing how I create geomorphs like these.

The key to this sort of thing is preparation.

If you're wondering what I'm talking about, geomorphs are modular map fragments that can be pieced together to create a wide variety of map designs. They may not do everything, but since they can be rotated, shifted and generally connected in different ways, they provide versatility and can be used multiple times without getting boring.

Like Lego bricks, geomorphs need to have some kind of regularity about them, this is how they become modular. If you know that a road leads out of one side of the geomorph, you need to make sure the road connects on the adjacent geomorph that's connected to it. Roads in the middle of the geomorph can go wherever you want, because they don't need to line up with anything, but the edges are critical. This is the same for rivers, coastlines, mountains, parklands, etc...the more of these you add to the edges of the map the more interesting the geomorph will be, but the more you'll have to work to match geomorphs together.

In the Town Guard project, I had hexagonal geomorphs with a single road leading in from the centre of each side. It made things easy. A single central road on every edge means that every hexagonal geomorph side can be connected up to every other hexagonal geomorph side, the highest possible versatility.

Since "Town Guard" basically stalled when The Game Crafter ran out of miniatures, I never got around to producing more geomorphs for the game. But I was intending to make a few "town edges", some geomorphs not having roads leading off all the edges (and thus being edges of town unable to connect to other geomorph edges...or perhaps only being able to connect other geomorph edges without roads). I was also intending to do a pirate expansion, and thus produce coastline geomorphs. I think I've even got the hand drawn images for these variants...I might finish them off sometime.

At the moment though, I'm working on the "cyberpunk geomorphs".

If anyone's interested, I'll give a few posts in my "How to Vulpinize your Maps" style, showing my working process for these.
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