Both from a visual design aspect and in terms of mechanics my map concepts were in need of a redesign. So I have been working on a new system and creating the visual assets. James suggested a system of ‘nodes’ linked up as a web, rather than a grid/tile based system. So basing my new design on this, I’ve recreated and redesigned the map.
Initially I had designed new terrain icons in the new style, intending for them to still be used as tiles on a grid based map. Testing out colour schemes for different possible terrain. This will not go on to be used as tiles, but will still be useful as icons in the redesign.
When developing the new web/node map system, I began with creating a new fixed background, this would be necessary as there’s no longer tiles being used to fill the screen. I made a simple geographic height map, colour coded in muted natural green/brown colours, so that it is pleasing to the eye but doesn’t clash with or draw too much attention to the map itself.
Then I went about designing the web of nodes and the shape they would take. I knew they should be made of straight lines and polygonal shapes, so began with tessellating hexagons but I found that gave too many node segments. Next I tried squares tilted at an angle, I felt these fit much better with less nodes, while also fitting with my existing UI design a lot more.
Moving onto the nodes and how they linked together. I made smaller square icons for the nodes, greyed-out for unused nodes and solid black for selected nodes. With the paths I made the whole web greyed-out dotted lines to show the possible paths and used the solid black lines to represent the path the player has taken.
The final design paired with UI assists should look something like this mock-up screen I’ve created. I’m much more pleased with the outcome of this redesign as opposed to the original map design.