Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fantasy Flight Games Gets It

I have been watching Fantasy Flight Games with much interest over the past couple of years.  Their recent announcement of the Deathwatch role-playing game and the promotion surrounding it made me realize - they actually get it.

What do I mean?  First of all, take a look at the introductory adventure for Deathwatch that FFG released for Free RPG Day.  Unlike those released by some other companies (which I won't name), you can actually play this one with no other materials.  Dice, pen and paper are all you need!  And it looks great!  You didn't manage to get a physical copy from your FLGS?  No problem.  You can download the PDF right HERE.  What?  You just want a web version to read on  your laptop or fancy new iPad?  Try the version HERE.  Fantasy Flight Games gets it.

Let's say that you are interested in Deathwatch but want more information.  That's fine.  FFG has posted a short, professionally produced video HERE that gives you an overview of the game from the designers and some glimpses of what's in the book.  Filled with previews of the book's great art it looks like it would also be a great (and free) promotional tool for a game store as well.  Just set it up on a loop and let it run.  Fantasy Flight Games gets it.

Is all this not enough for you?  Do you want a FAQ for the game?  Extra pregenerated characters for the free introductory adventure?  Previews of the rulebook?  Try the game's website HERE.  I know I might be coming off sounding like an FFG fanboy, but I can't stress enough how much this impresses me.  Why don't other game companies spend this much effort promoting and raising their customers' awareness of their new games?  I have no clue.  I'm just glad that FFG does.  They get it.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Hexographer is Cool

I recently purchased a license for the Hexographer program and it is pretty darn cool.  I have zero artistic talent and I have still been able to create some quick maps that while they aren't exactly cartographic masterpieces, don't look too terrible.  While the user interface isn't completely intuitive, I still find it much easier to use than any other mapper that I have tried.

The advantages to Hexographer are many.  The basic version is free to use online and the pro version costs less than ten bucks right now for a year's license.  The program is also written in Java and so it should run happily on almost any platform.  I have successfully used it myself on both PC and Mac machines.

You can use the program to generate maps that are reminiscent of the old D&D 'gazetteer' series of modules, but that's not all.  You can also generate maps of cities and even star maps for sci-fi games.  If you are particularly adventurous, you can even import your own symbols (at least in the pro version).

Also exciting is that the author is planning to release another program called Dungeonographer that promises to do for dungeon maps what Hexographer has done for overland maps.  I can't wait!

Below is an example map that I literally banged out in five minutes.