More about Hex Map Pro 1.1

10 May

Hex Map Pro 1.1 is in the hands of the App Store reviewers now.  As I said yesterday, I expect it will be released to the store next Friday.  My daughter helped me work out some final UI glitches last night (and add an “Easter egg”).

What made it into this release?  The new feature is the ability to import your own background image for a board.  Implementing this in a (hopefully) user friendly and fairly intuitive way required quite a few other changes.

  1. Hex Map Pro is no longer a “one-screen” app.  Now when it starts up you arrive at a landing page that gives you big friendly buttons for: return to your last board; open a different board; import an image; and create a new board.  (The iPhone version includes a 5th button taking to a page on this site that I haven’t created yet; for no good reason the iPad version doesn’t include that link–I’ll fix that in 1.1.1.)
  2. When you create a new board you can either get a standard one (the way it has always worked, or you can have it based on an image you’ve imported.  The size of the board will, in the latter case, be based on the size of the image.  Really big image –> really big board.  Small image –> normal sized board with the image in the upper left corner.
  3. When you’re interacting with a game board (the normal screen you’re used to), there are a few changes.  First, I got rid of the Add/+ button to create new board.  You have to go Home and create a new board.
  4. In place of the Add button is an Info button.  Tapping that brings up a view that shows you the name of the board (editable), the current font (tap to cycle through a few different options), and some other mundane stuff.
  5. The “control panels” (the thing at the bottom and the game token editor for the iPad version) are now more swipe-able.  You can close and open them with a swipe of your finger instead of a tap to the small close icon.  On the iPad version, you can make the game token control panel small and simpler by swiping up to make it shrink.
  6. I fiddled with the min and max zoom parameters and the size of the default map to address the complaint that you couldn’t zoom out to see the whole board.  I hope these new values are an improvement.  The problem/risk is that zooming out all the way uses more memory and causes the device to work harder.  So redrawing can take longer and in a worst case scenario, the app can quit unexpectedly.  It’s been stable in my testing, but I imagine both will be more of an issue with iPod touches and earlier model iPhones.  Do let me know if you experience crashes, so I can improve stability.

I think that’s everything.  Before the app is in your hands I hope to post some video tutorials about how to use the new import option.  I think it’s intuitive, but perhaps only after you’ve watched someone do it.  Importing a picture is easy; lining up the hex or square grid that the app provides with a corresponding grid included in the picture is the tricky part.  It’s still not hard, but given that you have to adjust the magnification of the picture and the location of the picture, it’s an iterative process.

Ok, enough about this.  You’ll see it soon enough, and then you can remind me that what you really want is to be able to draw on the map, have better, most custom game tokens, “fog of war,” export/print, saved sets of token, and lots of other cool stuff that I want too. 🙂

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2 Responses to “More about Hex Map Pro 1.1”

  1. Adam Teece May 11, 2012 at 7:41 pm #

    Just got the app myself and even 1.0 is a big help, I can’t wait for this update. Now when you import your own image, if there is a grid on it already, can you align the grid so it is the proper size and such?

    Thanks a ton for all your hard work. I have suggestions for the app over time too, but just what it is definitely works.

    • Kirke May 12, 2012 at 8:26 am #

      Yes, that’s exactly how it works.

      1. You get somehow get a map into your photos library on the iPad (or iPhone). For example, you find a cool map on a Web site and you tap and hold and select Save Image.
      2. Then you fire up Hex Map Pro 1.1 and tap Import New Background and then Import Image to select that image.
      3. After a little silent whirring, the image appears on the screen along with some controls to zoom in/out and shift the image around.
      4. Tinker with it (and switch the type of grid as necessary) until it all lines up right, save, and you’re done.
      5. Now start a new board with this as the background and the tokens snap to the grid on the original image.

      Step 4 can be a bit fiddly, but I’ve been very successful at being able to line up the grid to random maps I’ve found on the Internet.

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