We know our survivors are in a swamp trapped in endless night, but what does the swamp look like?
I'm thinking of a procedural system here where every game will generate a new piece of swampland.
We'll generally start with a blank hex grid.
But ee know that the characters are in a relatively safe part of the swamp at the beginning of play, so we'll add some positive modifiers to the central territories.
We also know that they start in a wooded area, to give them an easier time to collect dry wood at the start of play.
Going any further requires exploration, which not only uncovers other parts of the swamp, but also finds potential risks and rewards.
I'm thinking of a few basic types of swampy terrain... waterlogged copses of trees, long grass, boggy marsh, and wasteland. I haven't fully worked out thd symbols for these, or how many there will be... maybe 5, and if you roll a 6 on the die the new terrain is the same as the last terrain the explorers were in.
...gradually the map takes shape. I don't expect such a uniform distribution as the map forms, this is just for illustrating my point.
Another element will start coming into play as the exploration gets further away from the camp... coastlines (which could be rivers, lakes or something else entirely). Wooded terrain here might be mangroves.
As a further point, the process of mapping might include the number of times a wooded area has been raided for campfire wood (indicated on this map with dots), an 'X' might be added in locations where a threat has been found, some other symbols might reflect where resources can be scavenged (such as obsidian, weaving fibres, herbs, fungus, etc.
More to think about here, especially the system that generates this map... but this is feeling like a good start.