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Further Work With the Hex Tiles

Goblinson Crusoe hex-based turn-based rpg
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Following up on the solid hex tiles in the last post, I've been doing a bit of fiddling with the generators.

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All of these tiles came together pretty quickly. Procedurally generated using techniques I hashed out on GC and various other projects, these tiles are created as various randomly generated displacement maps, imported into Blender to distort a basic rounded-hex primitive, textured and baked to lower-poly geometry with diffuse, ambient occlusion and normal maps baked out as well.

Despite the crudity, the overall aesthetic is very appealing to me. And without the many in-between steps that would normally be required to try to conceal the hex grid, I can rough the tiles out very quickly.

Next up, some detailing tests. This is when I'll find out whether or not this style is going to work for me, and whether or not I'll continue to run with it.

The engine in use is Urho3D. It's a relatively new engine, but solid. Urho3D comes with out-of-the-box AngelScript support and it's own event-driven component model system; however, given that I have quite a lot of gameplay code already written using Lua and my own system, I chose to abstract away Urho3D beneath a proxy layer. Perhaps in the future, if I continue to work with this engine on further projects, I'll code to the native layers instead, or at least write a tighter and more robust Lua layer.

Feb 20 2013 12:23 AM

This looks pretty cool. Are these 2d or 3d tiles ?


Out of curiousity, what will be the scale of the game ? E.g. will a tile hold a whole village or town ? Is it like Civ in fantasy ?

Feb 20 2013 03:56 AM

The scale is sort of hard to pin down. A lot of the inspiration for this game has always been so-called old-school RPGs that I played as a kid, including original Dragon Warrior for the NES, Ultima, etc... The hex tiles above would form the world-map view, upon which is represented the over-map of a procedurally generated island. Each hex is explorable, which means that at the push of a button (or in the case of an enemy encounter, automatically upon contact) the player is sent to a sub-region where action is turn-based, but the scale of things is smaller. These sub-regions are the battlefields of the game, where combat and resource acquisition take place. A sub-region is generated to fit the overall theme of the hex from which it is derived; ie, vegetation types and moisture levels, elevation, etc... generated during the world-map generation phase are used in the generation of the sub-regions.


Currently, certain hex locations are "fixed"; ie, whenever they are explored, the same map is always created for them. (This map determined at world-gen time, but still randomly generated). These fixed encounters include towns, farms, rival wizard towers, etc.. (Actually, the rival wizard towers are different, and will eventually be even more different; they evolve over time as the associated wizard evolves and grows; what might start as a rude camp surrounded by thorn bushes may eventually become a heavily fortified stone keep surrounded by magical turrets as the wizard grows in power, making it wise to try to take the rivals out as soon as you can.) Other hexes, though, are variable; ie, you explore but never reach the same area twice. These are the randomized encounter areas, or the places you explore when you are out resource hunting. They are generated fresh each time exploration mode is initiated on an un-fixed hex.


Other encounters are wandering; that is, they are not tied to any specific hex, and when triggered will derive their location info from the hex upon which they occur.


These tiles above are 3D. The view represented is a direct analog to the overmap shots posted in previous entries, but done in a simpler form that, hopefully, will allow me to do some things that currently I have been limited by: shadows and cool lighting, faster tile creation, etc... The overmap tiles are intended to represent an abstract view of what the hex sub-region would contain, so it might have a small model of a tower, for example, or a few cactus or trees, or maybe a small hut surrounded by miniature fields. It just depends on the encounter, and the scale and scope of the sub-regions is quite variable. Some regions might be quite barren, with only a few scattered trees and some local wildlife; others might be teeming with monsters who lair in a cave. Currently, I represent this with one or more layered ground splats plus assorted sprites layered on top. (The over-draw in Goblinson Crusoe 2D is really quite heavy) whereas in this new representation I would use solid models.


One note: in the pit tiles in the shots above, I "trimmed off" the corners on certain tiles. This is just the old habit of trying to conceal the grid once again rearing its ugly mug. I'm awake now at 2:53 in the morning with a wicked crick in my neck (think I need a new pillow) and a raging case of heartburn from the tacos I had for dinner. Since I'm awake, I'm going to regenerate those pit tiles without trimming off the corners. The point of this whole exercise is to embrace the grid after all, and it's strangely liberating. I find myself afire with new ideas, something that hasn't happened in awhile as GC has gotten further and further bogged in my efforts to make things more detailed.

Feb 20 2013 05:17 AM

This sounds really cool. With "open/cut" tiles like the pits/rivers you could even display dungeons... The new look is really something I would like to play, so keep up the good work :)

Feb 20 2013 05:31 AM

Thanks, man. Here are the new pits:



Not trimming off the corners gives it a rougher, more raw look but it holds true to the "embrace the grid" mentality. Plus it simplifies pathfinding, since none of the tiles are ambiguous.

Feb 21 2013 01:53 AM

Wow, that looks really nice! I'm getting a Greed Corp. vibe from it :D. Is the game going to be procedurally generated, or will there be designed levels to play? Either way, I'm very curious :)


I personally like the Pit tiles more. It gives it some definition that the 1st picture lacks (IMO)


Also, are you involved in developing the uhro engine? It looks sweet ^_^

Feb 21 2013 08:27 AM



Yeah, Goblinson Crusoe is 100% procedurally generated. It's a turn-based RPG based around a small party. You play a goblin who has been exiled to a remote archipelago and is trying to become a wizard, through resource collection, crafting and combat with other rival apprentice wizards.


I don't personally have anything to do with developing Urho; that's the job of AgentC on these forums. I just happened to stumble across it one day.

Feb 21 2013 02:49 PM

I love what you are doing but I am not a fan of the hex style. That said, you did a really nice job at making it still look good. Keep it up as I always enjoy reading your posts. They are one of the few ones with pictures and me being an artist I love pictures!

Feb 22 2013 03:50 PM

Nice water generator you have there. I prefer the water in the first two screenshots, it does not conform to the tile boundaries as much, I like how it really breaks the grid.

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