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Inkwell Ideas Hexographer

Advanced hex mapping software

This review was written for version 1.10 of Hexographer; check the comments section for updates.

Inkwell Ideas has created Hexographer, a java-based hex map creator, which does pretty much what you’d expect a tile-based hex map software package to do, plus a great deal more. Author Joe Wetzel provides a free version you can use online, but after you draw a few maps, it’s a fair bet that you’ll want to support his efforts to develop the software by picking up the (affordable) Pro version.

What It Does

Being java-based, Hexographer runs on Windows, Linux, and Mac platforms. The package is bundled with a variety of terrain hexes in the Known World Gazetteer style, and a fair assortment of space hexes similar to those used in Traveller sector maps. But the hex tiles are only the tip of the stylistic iceberg: Hexographer does more than just plop down tiles in a blank hex grid—Hexographer gives you options that you’ll soon find indispensable.

When you create a new map, Hexographer accepts a number of inputs: size of the hex grid, size of the hexes, hex alignment (vertical or horizontal), and map type. This latter bit lets you generate a map of random terrain (and Hexographer does a pretty good job of creating realistic landscapes), or you can “seed” the map by weighting different terrain types, including island chains, sparse oceans, or simply a blank grid. You also have the option of loading a previously saved Hexographer map, or you can import any other map in PNG format to “trace over” with hexes.

The editing interface is clean, and (bonus), you can zoom in and out of the map window as well as pan across it. Editing is as simple as selecting a tile and placing it on the map. But you have a lot of control over what actually appears. For example, you can toggle each hex’s terrain icon on and off, leaving just the background colour (which you can customise). You can also change a symbol icon’s colour before you place a hex, which lets you colour-code symbols for ease of reference (e.g., different coloured cities to show nationality, different coloured mines to show ownership, different coloured ruins to show age, different coloured dungeons to show difficulty, etc.). The colour chooser includes a reference table listing all of Hexographer’s “default” shades and what they’re used for, so you can ensure that your colours are consistent (of course, you have the option of selecting from the full palette). Hexographer also has toggles to show elevation (in a quasi-3D sort of way), political borders, and hex numbers. All this makes it easy to save out separate maps (in PNG format) for GMs and for players.

The Wood Coast

The Wood Coast

Hexographer also provides a useful array of cartography tools. The Terrain Wizard lets you “sketch” out a map by placing a few terrain hexes on a blank map, then filling in the gaps on its own. This is useful if you have a general idea of the type and location of terrain you want on your map, but haven’t considered the details in between. Hexographer also includes many tools useful for what I would consider post-production work in other mapping packages: adding and editing map labels (with font selection, formatting, colour, and rotation), applying text styles (for consistent labelling), and the addition of roads, rivers, coastlines, and borders (all of which can be drawn freehand or via “snap-to” mode to assure alignment with hex vertices). You also have full control over the format and appearance of hex numbers.

Another welcome feature is the ability to create templates. This tends to be problematic in tile-based mapping packages because template features are over-written when you start placing tiles. However, any borders or lines you create on a Hexographer template are preserved, even if you place terrain tiles on top of them. This means that you can recreate any paper-based hex templates (e.g., large hexes with smaller sub-hexes) within Hexographer with a little effort, finally porting the old hex map standards of Judges Guild, Columbia Games, and TSR from paper to computer screen.

All of these features are available in the free, online version of Hexographer (simply go the Hexographer site and fire up the tool in your browser). However, if you go with the Pro version you’ll find some additional benefits:

First and foremost, Hexographer Pro works offline, which is useful when the Internet is beyond your reach (unheard of, I know, but it happens). The Pro version also lets you customise hexes and add your own tiles (any PNG will do). You can also expand an existing map by adding rows or columns (which is great for when the party outgrows the current area). There’s also a Map Key tool that dynamically generates a legend, incorporating all the terrain, symbols, and lines on your map. The best Hexographer Pro feature, however, is the ability to add notes to each hex, which is a smart way to keep track of what’s where—you can enter your own settlement details, encounter descriptions, NPCs, basically anything you want. What gives this feature much potential is Hexographer’s handy export command, which bundles all your notes into a single HTML file.

At the time of this writing, Pro sells for $7 (US) for a 1-year license, or $25 (US) for a lifetime license. Get the Pro version and you’ll quickly see where your money’s going: author Joe Wetzel has updated the software at least twice since I discovered it two weeks ago (with enhancements, not just bug fixes). Given his constant attention to improving the tool, Hexographer’s features-to-dollar ratio is higher than with some other mapping packages I’ve purchased, and unless you’re going to stop making hex maps a year from now, it’s well worth the extra expense for a lifetime license.

What it Doesn’t

Despite all its features, Hexographer does have room for improvement. One is a user interface issue: Hexographer has no Save As command. Sounds insignificant, but it will affect how you’re probably used to working. Basically, Hexographer’s Save command works like Save As in other software, which means that every time you save your map, you’re given Hexographer’s default folder and filename, even if you’ve previously chosen a different save location and filename. It’s a minor issue that has no impact on functionality, but it takes some getting used to.

There are a few features that I’d like to see, but they’re enhancements and far from mission critical. I’ve asked Joe (who quite amicably accepts user input) about the ability to apply “blank” hexes coloured to match a desired terrain type, but without the terrain icon (this is to prevent a symbol from competing with underlying terrain). Also, given the “post-production” capabilities within Hexographer, it would be great to see an option for two-colour labels (i.e., a main colour with a border highlight).

However, these are fine points and would simply hone an edge that’s already razor sharp. Given the author’s openness to user input, and the frequency with which he updates Hexographer, I imagine these (and other requests) will garner some attention within the Hexographer community before too long.

Final Words

This is going to sound a little over the top, but I assure you that I maintain absolute objectivity when I say Hexographer is the best hex mapping software I’ve seen. Ever. It’s highly customisable, it includes a bevy of useful features, it’s regularly updated, and it’s very easy to use. It’s also quite affordable. In this day of increasingly user-friendly RPG software, Hexographer has the potential to single-handedly revive the hex map. If you’re one of the many GMs who liked hex maps all along, but couldn’t find the right software to make them, Hexographer is the tool you’ve been looking for.

Categories: Mapping Tags: ,
  1. November 5th, 2009 at 20:13 | #1

    UPDATE - 5 Nov 2009

    Hexographer (v 1.20) has just been released, and author Joe Wetzel has added some great features:

    * Edit lines point-by-point, including the ability to add, move, or delete points
    * Added a “GM Only” label, which you can apply to symbols, lines, and text; this layer can be hidden for players’ maps
    * Updated colour chooser, which shows the currently selected colour
    * Ability to outline text (huzzah – I asked for this!)
    * Ability to turn off terrain icon to create a “blank” terrain hex suitable for symbol placement (I asked for this, too – sweet!)
    * Updated text style buttons so that button labels are rendered in the actual font
    * Map background is transparent, so blank hexes are transparent in PNG exports
    * A couple of bug fixes

    While the features above are compelling, the big benefit is that Joe (1) updates the software regularly, and (2) does his best to incorporate the features his users ask for.

    I continue to be highly impressed with Hexographer. I think you’ll feel the same.

  2. November 23rd, 2009 at 14:47 | #2

    The online (free) version is a Java app. Under ordinary circumstances, you can simply download a Java app like this, and run it on your own computer. Why would you want to do this? Because web sites go down. They go away. It is a fact of life. If you want to be able to open your maps eighteen months from now, it is mandatory that you be able to run the app locally. Unfortunately, the author of Hexographer has crippled the app so that it can only be run on his server.

    Strike one.

    The pay version of Hexographer coms in two flavors: a “one year” license, and a “lifetime” license. A reasonable person would assume that the “one year license” means that you get free updates for a year, and that after that, you would need to upgrade or buy another license. That would not be ideal (open source is ideal), but it would at last not be unreasonable. However, the author of Hexographer has planted a time bomb in Hexographer — the software self destructs after 365 days. You paid for it, and it simply stops working. This is completely unacceptable.

    Strike two.

    The “lifetime license” is the cherry on top of this fruitcake. You might think a “lifetime” license entitles you to free updates for as long as the publisher continues to support the product. That is what a reasonable person would assume. A reasonable person would be wrong. In fact, the software will self-destruct after 365 days, unless the publisher sends you a new license EVERY SINGLE YEAR, FOREVER. “Defective by design” does not even begin to describe this mad scheme.

    Strike three.

    If you value your time — the time you spend drawing maps, and the time you spend role-playing with your friends — I strongly urge you not use Hexographer at all, not even the free version, until these horrendous licensing problems are corrected.

    http://www.blackgate.net/blog/hexographer-defective-by-design/

  3. November 23rd, 2009 at 20:54 | #3

    @Brandon Blackmoor
    While I appreciate your counterpoint to Hexographer’s utility, I must respectfully disagree on certain points.

    * The online version of Hexographer is free so you can try it before you buy it. If you’re not willing to pay for the tool, you don’t get to download and run it from your local machine. Hexographer is a commercial product; charging for it is entirely reasonable, if not expected.

    * When you purchase a 1-year license, the software expires in one year. That’s reasonable. What I think you’re trying to say is that the software should continue to function after that year, even though you’re not entitled to further upgrades. Fair point, though the licensing works otherwise—this is worth posting for author Joe Wetzel’s consideration.

    * The annual renewal of the lifetime license is a problem, though Joe has acknowledged this and is working on it.

    It sounds to me as if you want the software for free, for all time, to serve at your leisure. As much as we’d all like good things at no cost, there’s a development effort involved, and you can’t levy fault for charging money in exchange for a desired product.

    Instead of telling people not to use Hexographer, why not document the efforts you’ve no doubt made to address these points with the author? Joe has been very responsive to user input, and I can’t imagine he’d dismiss any opportunity to improve Hexographer in the face of constructive feedback.

  4. November 24th, 2009 at 11:09 | #4

    I’ve addressed blackmoor’s concerns on Hexographer’s forum, and I hope everyone sees that on each of the issues, I’ve listened carefully and thoughtfully addressed them. In fact, I think in each case, things are more favorable to the user than most people would expect.

    Regarding the issue that the free web-based version may go down: That’s true with every free website that you use. For example, hotmail or gmail go down from time to time due to technical glitches. The same may occur with Hexographer, but it should be exceedingly rare. (The architecture is fairly simple.) Furthermore, if the concern is that something may happen to me or I may stop maintaining Hexographer, I’ve committed to either giving it to a gaming buddy/co-worker to maintain, post an unlimited license key for anyone to use or open sourcing it, depending on the circumstances. So there is no problem that hasn’t been reasonably addressed. Further, the free Hexographer is better than other similar tools that I’m aware of because it has almost all the features of the pro version (look around at how many people say the free version does everything they need) and it is actively maintained and I try to highly prioritize feature requests from anyone, even people just using the free version. Also, the free version gives you a way to use the core software if you aren’t on your home computer that has the pro version.

    Regarding the fact that the one year license causes the pro version to stop working after one year, not that is just stops someone from getting updates: I think blackmoor is confusing open source support licenses with commercial licenses that are for a set time. Sure, in the open source world where the software is largely written by many people from many different companies or even volunteers, that company doesn’t spend much on new development. The burden is spread out. Those companies mostly just have to recoup costs related to keeping the installations they support running. In commercial software, the most common model is someone buys a license for one version of software and then they can use that version forever, but they have to pay again for the next version. I’m trying to do something better. (See below.) But the 1-year license is designed to allow someone to support further development at a very low cost to that person. And many people may only want to use the software for a while, then they get out of gaming or find other tools so they are only out one year’s license fee. This license type is becoming more common for commercial software. I believe most commercial antivirus software uses it. I think XBox uses it for their “live” features that let users communicate more directly. Obviously the most successful MMORPGs (World of Warcraft) use it. ESPN uses it for premium content on their web site (ESPN Insider.) Monte Cook (D&D 3.0 co-author) is using it for his dungeonaday.com project. D&D Insider seems to be using the same concept. So anyone who says this is unheard of for commercial licenses isn’t keeping up to date and not reading what I’ve posted. I believe blackmoor just doesn’t like this license or is too accustomed to the other style and that’s ok. However, because the terms weren’t clear to blackmoor, I revised the text describing the one-year license near the order buttons on the Hexographer website. People who feel similarly to blackmoor can use the lifetime version, the free version, or find another tool that they don’t have objections to. In any case, when you consider the 1-year license price (over 70% off the lifetime license cost) I think it is a fair deal.

    Finally, for the issues with the lifetime license being a renewing one-year license: I’ve tried to get blackmoor to respond to this idea on the Hexographer site, and despite posts by him after I’ve suggested it, he hasn’t commented. But I never liked the administrative overhead of sending out a new license each year. So in the next minor update to Hexographer, I’ll be changing the lifetime licenses such that they last indefinitely. So they won’t be any worse than buying software in the store or whatever. In fact they are better, because the lifetime license means whenever a new major version of Hexographer is released, lifetime license holders can upgrade for free. (1-year licensees can also upgrade for free as long as the 1-year hasn’t yet expired.)

    So I think in each case a reasonable person would say the questions have been addressed in the favor of the user/potential customer. To sum up:
    *The free version should be as reliable as any other website, and there are contingencies in place if something happens to me or I stop developing it. It also lets you run the core software if you aren’t using your primary computer.
    *The 1-year license was clarified on the website to avoid confusion. Further, it is a license style that many other commercial software products and websites are adopting and it allows someone to support the software and have a very small up-front cost.
    *The lifetime license will be revised within about a month so they are true permanent licenses. And the Hexographer lifetime license is better than most other commercial software because in most cases you have to buy it again with each major version. While often you get a discount if you own the prior version, with Hexographer you pay nothing.

  5. November 25th, 2009 at 15:52 | #5

    @Erin Smale wrote:
    “Joe has been very responsive to user input, and I can’t imagine he’d dismiss any opportunity to improve Hexographer in the face of constructive feedback.”

    Sadly, that is exactly what he has done. He has steadfastly defended the time bomb in the “one-year” license, defended his absurd so-called “lifetime” license (which is really a “one year at a time” rental agreement), and made ludicrous claims about how other commercial software has similar terms (a claim so wildly false, it makes it impossible to assume good faith on his part).

    I never said that he shouldn’t charge for it (although making it open source would, in fact, be ideal). For example, I myself have purchased numerous commercial programs, ranging from small inexpensive programs like Fractal Mapper (including a few upgrades) and Campaign Cartographer (including numerous upgrades), to major suites like Adobe Creative Suite CS4 (and CS2 before it).

    Charging for software is not the issue. Charging for crippled software, and cheating the people who have paid good money for it, is the issue.

  6. November 25th, 2009 at 17:48 | #6

    @Brandon Blackmoor
    So you’re interpreting the License question thread posted on the Hexographer forum, wherein Joe explains his licensing strategy and plans for improvement, as a dismissal of constructive feedback?

    I think you’re assuming that “1-year license” has to mean “1 year of updates, infinite years of use.” That’s simply not the language of the contract. When you purchase a 1-year license, you’re paying for 1 year of use. The language is clear; charges that Joe is being “deceptive and malicious” aren’t credible.

    Per his comments above, and on the aforementioned thread, Joe has outlined his rationale for the current 1-year license structure, and he has proposed a solution that improves the lifetime license. While he may not have addressed the issue to your satisfaction, he has provided an explanation for what he feels is necessary to support his continued development efforts. With no rancor intended, you’re free to accept or reject this as you see fit, but to imply that Joe’s license model is a deliberate trap designed to cheat consumers is, at best, highly maligned.

    Hexographer’s historical development (from inception to present) has seen significant change and many improvements. Maybe you’d feel more comfortable following the thread linked above to see if your concerns are addressed to your standards. Until then, and given that Joe is actively seeking a fair solution, I’m sure there’s no value to impugning his character.

  7. November 25th, 2009 at 22:27 | #7

    As in his last post on the Hexographer forum to date, this is another case where Blackmoor doesn’t address any of my key points.

    First, he says my statement that the one-year license is similar to other commercial 1-year licenses (not open source support licenses, which is what I think Blackmoor is thinking of) is “ludicrous” despite me mentioning several prominent examples that do have similar terms. (As mentioned above: Premium MMORPGs like World of Warcraft, ESPN’s Insider, Monte Cook’s dungeonaday.com, D&D Insider.) Maybe this license type isn’t for everyone, but I thought it is useful because it keeps the up front cost down and still lets people use the few Pro features and support further development. To say there isn’t other software with similar terms is wrong, and I’m pointing to specific examples which Blackmoor can’t disprove, only ignore. The fact that the 1-year license Pro version stops working after 1 year is clear, and yesterday I made that point more prominent on Hexographer’s order section. If people are told that the software stops working after the license ends, and the price is about 1/4 the full-license price, draw your own conclusions if anyone is being cheated.

    Second, he hasn’t acknowledged the change I’m making to the lifetime license such that the key will never expire for that major version of the software. Furthermore, the really nice thing about Hexographer’s lifetime license is that licensees will get a new free key to every major Hexographer version to come. So if Adobe had used this, he wouldn’t have had to pay for Creative Suite CS4 if he already paid for CS2. I agreed that my original ideal (sending a new license every year) was less than ideal. Considering that I have improved it, and that it is better than most commercial software where you’d only get to use the one major version you purchased and then you might get a discount on the next version, draw your own conclusions on whether the license is cheating people.

    Sorry if I’m going on about this too much, but I firmly feel the Hexographer license terms are fair and in fact better than most software.

  8. November 26th, 2009 at 22:53 | #8

    “Sorry if I’m going on about this too much, but I firmly feel the Hexographer license terms are fair and in fact better than most software.”

    See?

  9. November 27th, 2009 at 10:05 | #9

    @Brandon Blackmoor
    What I see is that Joe has provided clear language regarding his 1-year license – your charge that he’s trying to cheat users is unfounded.

    I see that Joe has stated his rationale for the 1-year license and provided specific examples of similar licenses. You may not endorse the model, but you’re not the one maintaining or supporting the software.

    I see that Joe is changing the lifetime license so that it no longer requires annual updates to the registration key. That’s a direct response to your call for improvement.

    I see that, in terms of addressing your original points, that’s 2 out of 3, which is no small thing.

  10. November 27th, 2009 at 15:22 | #10

    @Erin Smale
    And I had already described fair contingencies that address his first point. 3 for 3, I think most people would say.

    @Brandon Blackmoor
    What’s wrong with addressing your concerns in detail? Isn’t that part of the reason you posted your criticism? To get an explanation and improvements.

    In any case, anyone who takes the time to read this (or just my summary of how explanations/improvements above) should see there is no maliciousness, deception, etc. on my part. But judge for yourself.

  11. November 27th, 2009 at 20:57 | #11

    @Joe
    I was suggesting that Brandon might be satisfied with 2 out of the 3 points he raised, though it is true that you’ve addressed all 3.

  12. November 27th, 2009 at 21:32 | #12

    Oh, I see… I misunderstood your numbering. (For lack of a more accurate term.) Thanks for the explanation!

  13. Jake
    November 29th, 2009 at 23:15 | #13

    Hexographer seems like a fine product, but Blackmoor’s points a good ones. I won’t say you are a crook or a cheat or make any other kind of personal attack, but the license agreement and the weaknesses of it are enough to drive me away.

  14. November 30th, 2009 at 19:57 | #14

    @Jake
    To each his own. To be honest, I circumvented the issue by purchasing the lifetime license–that’s how impressed I am with the product, its capabilities, and Joe’s commitment to updates and support.

    I have no stake in endorsing Hexographer, but I do believe that the value is worth the price. Given Joe’s excellent support and upgrade/enhancement history, I really don’t think you can go wrong with Hexographer Pro.

  15. December 1st, 2009 at 08:33 | #15

    For B. Blackmoor: Dude, read my post on the forums. Take a chill pill and pony up your $25.

    To be completely fair, I agree that the one year limitation with the software being unusable could be disconcerting. But if you consider that many people stop gaming after a few years, then it makes sense to purchase year by year, and I think that may be what Joe had in mind with the one year license. But if you happen to be a hardcore gamer, or someone that considers gaming a great hobby for your entire life, then the lifetime is well worth it.

    So step back and take a look…if the one year is unsuitable for you, take the lifetime deal. If paying for something now isn’t your thing, use the 95% capability of the FREE version. There are plenty of responses here, but few have mentioned the fact that Joe has put out an excellent completely FREE version of the software that is only missing a few bells and whistles.

  16. Al
    December 1st, 2009 at 10:32 | #16

    @Brandon Blackmoor

    I’m confused about your issues with the terms of the Hexographer license.

    You complained that the free version doesn’t work if you are off-line. There is an old saying where I come from. Never look a gift horse in the mouth. At least Joe has provided you with a means to use his software before you buy it so you know exactly what you are getting.

    You stated that the terms of the 1 yr license were deliberately misleading, and yet you understood the original wording well enough to complain about it.

    You stated that the lifetime license is “Defective by design”. Joe has addressed this in a way that I believe is reasonable.

    So do you still have issues with the terms of the license?

  17. December 3rd, 2009 at 01:44 | #17

    @Joe

    Re indefinite 1 year license: I’m very glad to hear this and will keep an eye out for when it happens. This is what was keeping me from just flat out buying it. I don’t have anything at all against a licensing model like you had it for certain software. But for this specific product, unless I can just buy it and own it to do with as I please, I don’t really want to spend the money.

  18. Jake
    December 4th, 2009 at 19:57 | #18

    @Erin Smale

    The problem I have with it is not just the purchase agreement. The price of the lifetime license is about equal in price to the already lifetime use of any other software. The BIG problem, that I see, is that the program is strictly online, running on the Hexographer server. This gives 100% control over to Joe.

    When designing maps for roleplaying games, I tend to spend alot of time and creative energy on them. I want them to be in my laptop to bring up whenever I want, wherever I am, and use them years later, if I so desire. Joe has promised that he won’t fall off the face of the earth. As sincere as he may be, I don’t want my all hard work to be totally dependant on him and whatever happens in his life.

  19. December 4th, 2009 at 20:24 | #19

    @Jake
    Not sure I understand – the Pro version of Hexographer runs locally; you do not need to be online or connected to the Interwebz to use it.

  20. December 5th, 2009 at 00:28 | #20

    @Jake
    Hi Jake, As Erin points out, the pro version runs locally and never has to connect to any servers for anything.

    But I did want to point something out regarding the lifetime price, I do think this is a better deal than most other commercial software. I think it is better because you’ll get version 2.0 for free. And 3.0, 4.0, etc. All other commercial software I’ve ever seen requires you to buy it again. In fact their business plan is to put out a new version every 2-3 years so they can make you buy it again. Yes, often you’ll get a discount, but I have yet to see a company do it for free. (Unless you bought the prior version within a couple of months of the new version.)

  21. Ben
    December 7th, 2009 at 14:05 | #21

    @Brandon Blackmoor
    The product is what it is, you can vote with your feet and use something else. As for open source, that is Joe’s choice and he chose not to.

    Free Version, I agree thats limited and after investing a lot of time in maps, I’d not want to risk loosing them either. So to me it comes somewhat down to trust. Do you trust the vendor (Joe) or not. If not, then look elsewhere.

    I spent a lot of hours with RPTools’ MapTool some years ago. Built campaign files: maps, tokens, character files etc. It is not open source, but it is free. Anyhow after all that investment of my time they put out a new release with some fixes and feature but none of my existing campaign files worked with it. I was angry, complained on their boards, and others did too. At the end of the day, they owed me nothing. It is a free tool after all. They built the tool for themselves, they shared the tool for free with the world. Its a good tool, but do I trust them with that large of investment of my time. No.

    So as with any free product you have to decide if you trust the vendor (Joe) or not. Given that free is teaser for pay, I’m inclined to trust the vendor (Joe) will make good on what he says. Especially since he agreed that the lifetime licence needed to adjusted.

    Anyhow, that’s just my 2 cents.

  22. April 6th, 2010 at 23:20 | #22

    UPDATE – 31 Mar 2010

    Hexographer 1.4 is out, with release info described here.

  23. April 29th, 2010 at 00:17 | #23

    The author of Hexographer, Joe, has revised the “lifetime” license of Hexographer so that it no longer self-destructs after one year. The flaws in “free” and “one year” versions remain, however, so those should be avoided. However, if you like the software and feel it is worth paying for (and it certainly does seem worth paying for), the “lifetime license” now appears to be what it says it is: a lifetime license.

  24. Ania Kovas
    May 24th, 2010 at 03:51 | #24

    Gosh and golly.

    As a programmer I’m gobsmacked by this thread. Joe’s terms are perfectly reasonable and have always been transparent. I don’t know what people are on about.

    Joe, you’ve produced great software. I’ve been using the free version because I can be a tightwad about software, I currently doing a Master’s so there is no spare cash, (Mature Studnet, kids etc.), and I haven’t been role-playing much, so I’ve just been playing with it, not really using it.

    BUT you can be sure that as soon I have a spare buck I WILL get a lifetime license, and one for my Kid too, (RP junkie), because Joe, you’re doing good work and *I* know that any software, ANY software, is non-trivial.

    I doubt Joe is making a living from this, I haven’t been and read through the Hexographer forums, ok, so I’m not as informed as I should be, but it can be really hard for lone developers.

    Software is not and never shall be free; it costs us time, our health, sometimes our sanity, and our money, because running computers and software isn’t free. The economy of software production is, like most economy, highly warped by the big players. It is clear that it is, here at least, little understood.

    Well done, Joe, keep on truckin’

    Rant over.

  25. Ania Kovas
    May 25th, 2010 at 05:21 | #25

    A follow up.

    Lifetime license purchased, because I am of my word, and I got madder thinking about it.

  26. May 25th, 2010 at 06:54 | #26

    @Ania Kovas : Madder about this thread, I assume? ;)

    The lifetime license was a bargain because Hexographer’s feature set is so complete. The software does about 90% of what I want it to do, the maps look great, and the tools saves me time. The conversation above has only improved the offering; I daresay many of the big players aren’t as responsive as Joe, nor as interested in my feedback.

    Don’t forget to post links to your maps – always eager to see someone else Hex It Up.

  27. June 16th, 2010 at 16:22 | #27

    Sorry, I didn’t see the past few responses to the thread. Thanks for the kind words Ania. You’re right that I’m not making a living off it… after expenses I’m lucky if I’m making minimum wage.

    Erin: what’s the other 10% you’d like to do? I’ve got a backlog (due to working on Dungeonographer–but don’t worry, many new features from that will also be in the next Hexographer version) of feature requests, but some of your suggestions might be easy, or better ideas than some others, or be extra votes for some of the other ideas.

  28. June 30th, 2010 at 21:23 | #28

    @Joe : Hey Joe. The other 10% is about text placement–it’s hard to move text once placed (I’m not very good at dragging text in Hexographer). Plus, I like to do some text arcs/curves. For now, I’ve been creating the map in Hexographer, then doing post-production labelling in Photoshop.

    Another bit is drawing stuff like plateaus, or (more generally) free-form lines that split a given hex’s terrain. Like half-grassland, half-hills. I think this is supported in Hexographer, but I haven’t mastered the controls.

    The last bit is saving the map key, but I know you’re working on that ;)

    Thanks, Joe. I’m eagerly looking forward to Dungeonographer :D

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