Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Exploring Wilderness Geomorphs

An idea I'd like to bounce off the readers of this blog: Wilderness Hex Geomorphs. There's a few aspects to wilderness geomorphs that are tricky such as being able to turn them and developing a symbol set that works turned to any of the possible directions.

Here's an elevation only hex tile set I worked up:

and here is a sample hex map I worked up with the tiles above and a blank one:

Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated.


  1. I love the idea of hexagonal wilderness geomorphs and have messed with them a bit. Your results look pretty good. I guess I'm wondering what the worst arrangement looks like, I mean if you select them randomly would everything start looking like lumpy badlands?

    I also explored icons, and like you mentioned I was pushed toward radially symmetrical images which kind of limits you to stars and circles.

    What's cool about your elevation lines is that you might get double duty if sometimes lines are elevations, sometimes depressions, or triple duty if sometimes they are bodies of water. Any way, love to see where you go next with them.

  2. I wonder what the various computer games use for algorithms for clustering. Civilization comes to mind, and its world building.

  3. As someone who plays a wargame that uses geomorphic maps, (ASL), I have to say that elevation is going to be the killer. Most other terrain features can work into things fairly easy, if nothing else they can simply end at the edge of the geomorph.

    One thought would be to not use contour lines but to instead only note where the slope is significantly steep. Yes it adds a bit more work in using the geomorphs but it also makes them far more flexible.

    In looking for symbols, I would suggest laying your hands on some ASL maps, (http://home.comcast.net/~tomrepetti/boards/ has a lot of them). While the game is at the tactical level, much of the symbology could be adapted for a larger scale.

  4. symbology suggestion: use counters or 'separate, little, individual props' for locations of interests.

    it all depends on what you want out of these wilderness geomorphs. i think elevations would be the last thing i wanted. mountains, forests, hills, wetlands, plains, deserts would be more interesting to me. however, your elevation tiles could provide some valuable insights into good patterns to use for the different terrain types i'm looking for in wilderness geomorphs.

    if one can make elevation tiles, as above, whose elevation lines flow together from one hex to the next, you can just fill the insides of the lines with the different terrain type patterns...

  5. cave geomorphs. use the cave patterns. fill the caves with trees, mountains, hills, etc. fill the 'walls' with plains.