DarkLightHitomi
 member, 1204 posts
Tue 26 Sep 2017
at 04:24
Tables and text grids.
An idea for the backlog of ideas, hopefully.

Text maps seem to be used by some folks, myself included.

I had completely forgotten about the tables that rpol can make.

I have two ideas, unrelated to each other.

Idea One
The idea here is to make it easier by instead of having large strings of characters, do it something like a list.

An opening tag with a height and width traits.
Then a star tag with a coordinate and the content.

That way, you can get a full grid while only filling in the pieces that will be on the grid.

Much easier to sort out where each character is than having a 30 char string next to a 10 char string.

I.E.
( ( ([pink]E[/pink]( (
([red]m[/red]([aqua]F[/aqua]([blue]g[/blue]( (
Is F under or right of E? Or is it left?

I am not sure, but I figure the list tag code could be a good base to start with.

Just that alone would be awesome help. Playing chess, quote the map, find my piece, change the coordinates and post. Much easier when it looks something like this during editing,

[map h=8 w=8]
[* @=H5][red]K[/red]
[* @ = C3][blue]Q[/blue]
[/map]

But once that is done, a lot of extras could help make it even better, such as,
[* type=line start = G9 end = K9] [red]#[/red]
to fill a line with #

Rooms and even dungeons could be done this way. Not as good as an image, but certainly much smaller memory footprint, easily editable and clear, a bit tedious for doing a whole dungeon, but still doable.

Also, would be real neat if you could tag a cell as having that reverse color effect that some folks get for their posts (the one where the background of the post gets the background color normally used for the background of the name and tagline)


Idea One
Then I realized that those tables only do squares.

So I had the idea of making hex ones, whether via plain text like current easy tables, or via table tags like the above suggestion.


So what do others think of this idea?
horus
 member, 273 posts
 Wayfarer of the
 Western Wastes
Tue 26 Sep 2017
at 13:05
Tables and text grids.
I'm no developer, but will just observe that a hex grid can be simulated by offset rows or columns of squares.

If one uses a square subdivided into an odd number of smaller squares (say, a 3 X 3, 5 X 5, or 7 X 7 array), the resultant grid will have a smaller square at the center of each larger one.  This may be important for positioning of pieces on a board map.

Using text characters, it may be difficult to depict true squares.  This would seem to be the only drawback.  (Well, that, and trying to draw offset squares in a message at RPoL using the characters +, |, and - results in a really wacky looking Easy Table...)

Just an observation.  I started out in wargaming so long ago that offset square maps were all the rage as they were cheaper and quicker to draw up.
DarkLightHitomi
 member, 1205 posts
Tue 26 Sep 2017
at 13:31
Tables and text grids.
This is much better than offset squares, it just isn't as good or clean looking as the easy tables.

 _
/R\
\_/
                _A
              _/ \_B
            _/ \_/ \_C
          _/ \_/ \_/ \_D
        _/ \_/ \_/ \_/ \_E
      _/ \_/ \_/ \_/ \_/ \_F
    _/ \_/ \_/ \_/ \_/ \_/ \_G

This message was last edited by the user at 13:31, Tue 26 Sept.

horus
 member, 274 posts
 Wayfarer of the
 Western Wastes
Tue 26 Sep 2017
at 19:01
Tables and text grids.
In reply to DarkLightHitomi (msg # 3):

Hmm... I can definitely see the intent of a hex grid better, but that's nowhere close to a regular hexagon.  Let me play a bit (using bold and monotype characters):

  _____         _____         _____         _____
 /     \       /     \       /     \       /     \       /
/       \_____/       \_____/       \_____/       \_____/
\       /     \       /     \       /     \       /     \
 \_____/       \_____/       \_____/       \_____/       \
 /     \       /     \       /     \       /     \       /
/       \_____/       \_____/       \_____/       \_____/
\       /     \       /     \       /     \       /     \
 \_____/       \_____/       \_____/       \_____/       \
 /     \       /     \       /     \       /     \       /
/       \_____/       \_____/       \_____/       \_____/
\       /     \       /     \       /     \       /     \
 \_____/       \_____/       \_____/       \_____/       \
 /     \       /     \       /     \       /     \       /
/       \_____/       \_____/       \_____/       \_____/
\       /     \       /     \       /     \       /     \
 \_____/       \_____/       \_____/       \_____/       \


This grid uses \, /, and _ (underscore) characters.  Five underscores are used in each horizontal line segment.  Vertically oriented hexes will be more problematic and may take a bit of thought. (The | (pipe) symbol does not align cleanly with the ends of / or \.

No text-hex will be an actually regular hexagon, but this gets pretty close. On my monitor, the horizontals are about 15 mm and the diagonals are slightly shorter, about 14.8 mm.

Pasting this segment onto the bottom or top repeatedly will extend the grid at need:


 /     \       /     \       /     \       /     \       /
/       \_____/       \_____/       \_____/       \_____/
\       /     \       /     \       /     \       /     \
 \_____/       \_____/       \_____/       \_____/       \
 /     \       /     \       /     \       /     \       /
/       \_____/       \_____/       \_____/       \_____/
\       /     \       /     \       /     \       /     \
 \_____/       \_____/       \_____/       \_____/       \

LonePaladin
 member, 646 posts
 Creator of HeroForge
Tue 26 Sep 2017
at 19:37
Tables and text grids.
That's pretty good. Each hex would have a 45-character space for text. (The bottom of each line could be done with underlined text. It looks fine with the Mono characters, not so much with <tt> tags.)

 \_____/
 /This \
/ is an \
\ exam- /
 \_ple_/

horus
 member, 275 posts
 Wayfarer of the
 Western Wastes
Wed 27 Sep 2017
at 00:22
Tables and text grids.
In reply to LonePaladin (msg # 5):

I suppose the hex could be scaled up if more text space is needed.  Never thought about trying [tt] tags.  Let's see:


  _____
 /     \
/       \
\       /
 \_____/



Empty hex looks good...


  _____
 /     \
/-Hill- \
\ 431A  /
 \_____/



Light text in hex looks ok.  Reminder:  two slashes each diagonal, five underscores each horizontal.

Scaling up one row might work:


   _______       ________
  / Test  \     / Test 2 \
 / 5 Lines \   /Still 5 ln\
/11 spaces**\ /12 spaces***\
\Room to get/ \ But hex is /
 \Fancy...*/   \wider now /
  \_______/     \________/
   7 under       8 unders


and no need for underline text to disrupt the hex.  Now scaled to three slashes and seven underscores.  Tried eight underscores, too, but as can be seen, it's a bit too squatty.

Using the teletype tag works fine so long as one avoids using the bottom lines for text.  Note also that using an odd number of underscores yields a centered text space (with one character on each line in the horizontal center of the alotted line space).

Note further that using tags within a large hex array of this type will disrupt the visual sense of the map until one previews it.  Code for the example above:

<b><tt>
   _______       ________
  / <u>Test</u>  \     / <u>Test 2</u> \
 / 5 Lines \   /Still 5 ln\
/11 spaces**\ /12 spaces***\
\Room to get/ \ But hex is /
 \Fancy...*/   \wider now /
  \_______/     \________/
   7 under       8 unders
</b></tt>


I don't use hex maps in my games, but I see where they might be useful for other folks.