If you’re looking for a tool to develop hex-based terrain maps, you’ll want to check out Worldographer from Inkwell Ideas. I got to check out the software at Gen Con 2016 along with some of Inkwell’s other products (DungeonMorph cards and the Encounter Decks, both to be reviewed in an upcoming 2D/3D terrain mega-post in September 2016 ), and I loved what I saw. Worldographer is currently raising funds via Kickstarter, and backers are getting some amazing upgrades:
- A new architecture allows us to have undo/redo functionality.
- Better “child maps.” Create a world map and from that same map create a continent level map as well as a kingdom level map. It will remain one file so most changes to one level map will be reflected in the others.
- Hexographer’s rather simple “note” functionality can expand to allow you to detail each location as well as things about your world not tied to a location: religions, cultures, important NPCs, etc. It becomes an interactive Gazetteer!
- We’re adding an entirely new, more realistic icon set to the software.
- Polygons, Lines, Ovals, etc. have more options for shadows and textures.
- Easy drag and drop of labels and features: Most apps make this tricky, but we’re improving it.
- Icosohedral Maps have been planned into Worldographer from the beginning.
- Configuration of new terrain, features, and textures is much easier. (Just drop files to a specific folder.)
- The new user interface framework gives the software a cleaner look.
- Mini-generators create details for notes about cities, castles, ruins, etc.
- Import Hexographer 1 files.
What I especially like about the software is the ability to create classic-style maps that I recall from my early AD&D days. (See the image below). For DMs/GMs running long campaigns, this tool is perfect for creating professional looking maps with locales and dangers and a way to estimate travel times.
In addition to making maps, backers can also choose from different icon sets (such as East Asian or Dwarven) to add things like castles, mines, villages, and more. Isometric maps can easily be created, providing full-color imagery like the one shown below.
The software is available for Mac, Windows, and Linux… you can even download a trial version of Worldographer to see how the software works. If you like what you see, visit the Worldographer Kickstarter page and check out the various backer levels. The $35 level will get you Worldographer, but if you already own Hexographer 1, you can back at $19 for the upgrade.
The Kickstarter ends on September 14, 2016. The project has already reached its required funding level and is working through stretch goals now.