So the primary focus of this project is regular tiling. Some strategy games use irregular tiling systems such as the old board game Diplomacy the grand strategy Paradox Interactive game series Victoria, Europa Universals and Hearts of Iron, or the classic board game Risk, which has become popular in its online form.Irregular tiles provides great flexibility when representing geography from the real world, allowing the game designer to greatly exaggerate the features and boundaries, they want and to downplay and ignore the features and boundaries they consider less important or distracting. The two dominant regular tiling systems are standard squares and hexs. Tranlge while useful as a graphics primitive is not useful for strategy games. It is also possible to tile with squares where alternative rows or alternate columns are offset.
But from here on I'm only going to consider the standard square tiling and hex tiling. We'll focus on the hex grid system first but a lot of what I say will apply to hex and square tile grid. Now with hex tiling we have a choice between nice continuous rows and nice continuous columns. without too much ado I have chosen to keep rows over columns. We write in rows not colunms and this means on real world hex maps our hex rows can follow lines of latitude, right around the earth if necessary, where as if you want to go north or south you have to zigzag. We'll assign tiles some row and column integer coordinates. Straightforward for the squares, the only diference with the hexs is that when I move right I increase by 2 column units. If I go up-right I go up 1 row and right 1 column. If I then go down-right I down 1 and right anther column giving the same result of same row coordinate but column increased by 2.
So things are still pretty simple right? A hex is either land or its water. A hex is either hilly or or its not. If we were creating some kind of low level Dungeons and Dragons type game a square could be either be rock which you can not enter of the open space of a room or a cavern which you can enter. Unfortunately this is not going to work at least for real world maps. So I have mapped Britain at a number of scales including 80km hex tiles. At this scale mainland Britain occupies 15 hex rows from Cornwall to the north of Scotland. However the English Channel, or La Manche at its narrowest point still does not occupy a full hex at this scale.
The hex tile coordinate system not only allows each hex tile to be given its own unique coordinate, but also assigns a unique coordinate to each of the separating borders between the hexs and to each of the vertices of the tiles.