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Hex Flower Game Engines

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Hex Flower Game Engines

Have you seen the "19 Hex Power Flower" design by Goblin's Henchman? The original summary defines it as "a versatile game engine using 2D6 and a 19-Hex Flower (it’s like a random table, but with a memory)." But the approach is broadly applicable, and turns out to be quite useful for all sorts of interesting things: not just wilderness navigation, but weather, NPC moods/reactions, and even whole game systems. You can also download a hex template for making your own versions here. It's a good mix of flexibility and simplicity, in a nice, tight package.

The original post is here:

Since then, a number of other people have jumped in, using this basic mechanic to design additional games and subsystems, some of which can be found here. Totally worth checking out.

Hex Flowers are interesting

I've been following some discussions of these over at the Gauntlet forums. It seems like a very interesting idea!

I still can't quite figure out whether it is a genius way to organize and simplify information, or an unnecessarily complicated method which doesn't really fulfill its promise. It's interesting to think about, in either case.

I came *this* close to posting about this in your Hex Chess thread, but eventually decided to hold off, because, aside from the hexagonal grid, the concepts aren't really all that related.

What do you see as the strengths of the Hex Flower?

Strengths of the Hex Flower

I haven't used it for anything (yet), so at this point my attraction lies mostly in its marriage of function and structure in a concise and elegant form. I'm a sucker for things like that. A Systemophile. :-)

The first thing I'd do, when creating a Hex Flower for some purpose, would be to determine the edge rules (i.e., what to do when you go off an edge), because it seems to me that there are some variable fields in the world that are well-modeled by the mechanic of "Chaotic Leaps" and other structures that aren't, and this second type might benefit more from a "decelerated rebound" such as you see in normal models of collision detection.

There might be still other dynamic fields best served by a simple "stop at the edge" model, and -- who knows -- others best modeled by branching off the main flower into a secondary one when reaching an edge. This last type, (to tie into my Deleuzian musings) could represent a phase shift of the entire system into an Actualized Virtuality; a "mini-game" or "mini-model," if you will.


I have seen versions of the Hex Flower which number the hexes (from 1 to 19), presumably with each number representing how likely that hex is to be visited.

If that math holds up, it could be a very interesting tool. (I’m not sure how to verify that, without it taking days of writing out probability paths.)

I like your thoughts on connecting “leaving the field” with some profound shift in gameplay.

Unfortunately, that won’t work at all as written, I think (leaving the field happens very regularly when using the Hex Flower, and is, in fact, the most likely outcome of the first roll, so attaching that to something of real significance would be difficult to justify).