Friday, June 21, 2013

A Procedural Hexcrawl I:The Land of Arador

I've always found the idea of procedural content generation to be rather fascinating.  Since I also find worldbuilding and Role-playing games interesting as well, it's natural that I like the combination of all three elements.  As such, this series of articles will follow my creation of a hexcrawl-style map, procedurally generated as much as possible.

What is a Hexcrawl?
Hexcrawling is a form of content organization for RPG content in which locations or other points of interest that the players might run into are keyed to a grid made of hexagonal tiles.  In addition to the tile, each tile also has a terrain type.
A more in-depth explanation of Hexcrawling can be found in Justin Alexander's excellent series of articles on the subject.

Starting Out: The First Parameters
The two things we need to know right away when creating our hexcrawl are as follows:
  1. How large are we going to make each tile?
  2. How many tiles do we want?
I'll be using tiles with a 6-mile radius (giving them an area of just over 125 square miles), generated in a 24x24 grid.  This means that in the end, we'll have a total area of 72,000 square miles, roughly the size of the US state of Washington.

Our map will come from the Wildgen Hexmap Generator.  For this step, I generated several until I got one that I felt had a satisfactory mix of terrain types (all present, but not dominated by any single type).  The end result looks like this:
Asking YAFNAG for some suggestions, I've chosen the name "Arador" for this land.