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Map Making Theory: orientation and symmetry

Posted December 20th, 2009 at 03:21 PM by dok
This is the third post in a series about the theory of mapmaking. Part 1 was about glyph placement, and part 2 was about map footprint size and shape. This installment is about map orientation and map symmetry.

When I say "map orientation", what I'm basically talking about is the angle between the two opposing sides with respect to the hexagonal grid. There's two basic ways this can work:
  1. Traveling from your end of the map to your opponent's end involves zigzagging back and forth slightly with each move.
  2. Traveling from your end of the map to your opponent's end involves a straight shot along one row of hexagons.
I'll call the first version "zigzag-oriented" maps, and the second version "linear-oriented" maps.*

I tend to prefer zigzag-oriented maps, for a couple reasons. First, zigzag-orientation compresses the map. It's easier to put the startzones close to one another in inches in a zigzag-oriented map, while keeping...

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