Monday, December 29, 2008

My Belated Holiday Gift to You

I like big maps. There’s something very visceral about unrolling a large piece of paper adorned with symbols across a table and staring down at an undiscovered land waiting to be explored. As part of my preparations for my planned Gamma World hex-crawl, I realized that a simple 8” x 11” piece of hex paper just wasn’t going to do. I needed something bigger. Something apocalyptic in scale.

With this in mind, I sat down at the computer and began working away with Photoshop. With the application of a little bit of patience and time, I soon had something much more suitable for what I hope to accomplish with the hex-crawl game. I was pleased enough with the result that I figured it was too good to keep to myself.

If you take a look over to the sidebar on the right, you’ll notice that I’ve added a new listing. Entitled “Equipment List”, this new category is going to serve as a holding place for any projects of mine that I’d like to share with my fellow gamers. The first such project is my Mega Blank Hex-Crawl Map. If you think you might find a use for this, please go ahead and download a copy for yourself, free of charge.

The Mega Blank Hex-Crawl Map measures 36” x 46” and takes up 1.73 MB of space. It’s in .jpeg format. After finishing it up, I took it down to my local Staples on a thumb drive and had them print out a copy for me on their ink-jet printer. That version was done at 17” x 22”, which is also the size of the old Judges Guild Wilderlands of High Fantasy maps. When printed at that size, the hexes come out to be ¼” in size each. After they whipped up the ink-jet version on glossy paper, I had them run it through their oversized copier and run off five duplicates on lesser grade paper. The total cost for the initial print and the duplicates came to $6.50. They gave me a break on the initial ink-jet print, so your own final cost might vary a bit.

The only downside to the Mega Blank Hex-Crawl Map is that I forgot to number the hexes. Looks like I’m going to have to label the edges of the map with letters and numbers just like the old World of Grayhawk boxed set maps in order to keep track of what’s where.

This is my test run to see if Orbitfiles works for me as a way to distribute any projects that I might whip up over the coming year. Let me know if you run into any problems with the link or the download process.

16 comments:

noisms said...

You, sir, are a true gentleman. I've made some blank hex maps using GIMP and Paint.net, but nothing this big. Greatly appreciated.

The Grand Wazoo said...

I like sketching out my maps with pencil still and have found a great generator that I use for the hexing or what ever I need at the time.

http://incompetech.com/graphpaper/

Scott said...

I'd be happy to mail you a couple blanks of the old fold-out Judges Guild parchment-style numbered hex maps if you want them.

sirlarkins said...

Bless you sir. This will come in most handy for my own post-apocalyptic sandbox game.

mkotschi said...

Did you count your hexes on the X and Y axis? I only ask because I'd like to run the numbers through mkhexgrid. It numbers everything automatically but it might choke on such a large area. Otherwise, thanks I'm downloading now :)

Amityville Mike said...

I didn't count the hexes at the time, but in doing so now I see 66 hexes by 75 hexes on the printed copy. I'll need to doublecheck with the actual graphic file to make sure nothing got lost when it was resized, but I believe that should be right.

Amityville Mike said...

Yup 66 hexes wide and 75 hexes tall.

Amityville Mike said...

I'd be happy to mail you a couple blanks of the old fold-out Judges Guild parchment-style numbered hex maps if you want them.

That's a very generous offer, Scott. I'd be very happy to get my hands on even a single one of those. Drop me a line at the contact email listed on the main page and we can work something out.

Thanks!

mkotschi said...

Well, since you got me a belated something this year, I got you something
too. I plan to use it in the new campaign I'm working on.

Amityville Mike said...

Thanks mkotschi! Looks good!

NOTE: The link above has a double URL tag that goes askew. This is the one I think you meant.

mkotschi said...

Crap, I fat fingered that link. Thanks for the correction...how embarrassing ;(

Zweihander said...

Merry Christmas to me!

Thanks for that wonderful empty piece of potential.

grodog said...

Nice work Mike! Is there any chance you'd be able to produce a version of this sheet with larger hexes superimposed (grouped by 6- small-hex hexes), then grouping 6 of those larger hexes into "campaign map" sized hexes?

I find those kinds of sheets very useful for blowing up the level of detail on large 5 or 30 mile campaign hexes!

Allan.

Amityville Mike said...

Is there any chance you'd be able to produce a version of this sheet with larger hexes superimposed (grouped by 6- small-hex hexes), then grouping 6 of those larger hexes into "campaign map" sized hexes?

Allan, I think I know what you're talking about. I can't say that I've ever used such a style of map personally, but I've certainly seen it demonstrated. If time, patience and skill allows, I might be able to make a version of the map that includes a larger hex overlay, but I can't promise anything. It will definately be added to the slew of potential projects for the coming year, but after there is a lot on the pile before it.

grodog said...

Thanks Mike: I totally understand if you're not able to get to it at all. So many projects, so little time....

For reference, there's a sample of this design in the DMG on page 47 (and it's apparently 5 across for the larger two overlays, not 6).

Allan.

grodog said...

Hi Mike---don't worry about my customized hexes request: kenhr over on Fin's OD&D board took care of this @ http://odd74.proboards76.com/index.cgi?board=links&action=display&thread=1715

Thanks for your willingness to do it, though :D

Allan.