Building with Hexagons that Don’t Look like Hexagons

It’s no secret that the hexagon is the basic building block of pretty much everything in Ladon. The obvious easy choice would have been squares or cubes, but the world doesn’t need another Minecraft lookalike. Hexagons are a little tougher, as far as the math, but I find them a lot more interesting.

Hexagons tile together in the same way that circles tile together. The pattern has some really interesting properties, if you’re a math nerd. At some point, though, I realized I was kind of beating the player over the head with the hexagon thing. The ship is made of them, the enemies are made of them, the space grid is divided up into them… It might be a little too much.

I decided that I wanted to tone it down by not making the ship tiles actually look like hexagons. They still are, in the sense that they tile together hexagonally, but each tile now has a different shape depending on what it’s connected to.

New “tile base” pieces in version

Nothing changes about the way ship building works, but it looks a little more subtle, which is nice. The “tile base” pieces that connect together can still have interesting 3D models and textures, if I ever get to that, so they won’t be boring.

For the curious, there are 64 possible combinations of neighbors for a given hexagon. It can have anywhere from zero to six neighbors, and 26 = 64. But many of these combinations are just rotated versions of themselves, and there are actually only 13 unique combinations if you don’t count the rotated versions. The result is that I only had to create 13 unique 3D models, which is great, because when it comes time to fancy-up those models, the 3D artist only has to work on 13 models instead of 64!

Check out version here.

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