I’ve wanted to run a campaign for a decade or more. That never happened because, as we may all know, of the heavy work-load to create a campaign. The campaign creator needs to do a TON of work behind the scenes to get the campaign started, keep it running, and reach a conclusion. The players have to dedicate themselves to gaming on a regular schedule, which inevitably becomes interrupted as a result of real world commitments. Further, it can be difficult to create a campaign map.
My skills in the visual graphics arena are subpar at best. For years I’ve searched for an easy to use program that would allow me to easily create a gaming map. My frustration increased whenever I read early Battlegames issues where Henry Hyde detailed his amazing maps for the Wars of the Faltenian Succession. Seeing stunning maps, of that ilk, in other gaming magazines and on the web has brought my frustration to a boiling point. More recently I sat down and created a list of what I need of a map making program. It needs to:
- Work on Mac OS X (whatever incarnation I’m on at the time, Lion currently)
- Be intuititive and easy to use for a n00b like myself
- Create square or hex maps with user chosen terrain types and features such as roads, hills, cities, towns, rivers, etc.
- Export the maps into a common image format (for inserting into the blog, printing out, etc).
- Be affordable
Finally, I’ve found a program that fits each of those requirement. Hexographer, by Inkwell Ideas, is a cross-platform program that works on OS X and Windows. It has a free version, with some features removed, and a paid version. The program allows you to create a map of varied dimensions and then populate it with terrain features, national boundaries, population centers, place names, ports, roads, and more.
The campaign bug never fully left me. It burst to the top of my list when I read an article in Wargames Illustrated discussing how to run a one day campaign. I knew that could be a blast…if only I had a map. That’s where Hexographer comes in. I can’t say much more without giving anything away. It would be cruel, however, to leave you completely hanging. Below you will find the map I made for the campaign. Releasing it is probably a mistake. After all, participants might look at it and formulate plans. Then again, maybe this map is a ruse to throw them off the scent. Whatever the case may be, I can assure you that I made it in less than one hour using the Hexographer program.