Dungeon Hatching

There’s a lot of old-school gaming posts going round today, and I thought this one would fit in. This isn’t really a tutorial, more a set of thoughts on different ways to indicate walls on a line map.

1. Hatching

This just looks great. There’s no doubt about it. If you want to see a great example of this style, check out matt jackson‘s work. When I’m doing hatching I tend to do loose hatching first – with each set of lines blocking out a square of space. Then I go back in and fill in the remaining space with lines. The hatches are 2-3 blocks deep around the walls.

After hatching the walls, I go back over the wall lines again to make them darker. Or you can do what Matt does, and use a heavier weight pen for the walls than for the hatching.

2. More basic hatching

In this case I’ve gone more simple. This is a simple shading with 45 degree lines. I then go back over the region closer to the wall with another set of lines at right angles to the first set. This helps darken the region close in and lends a sense of depth. The main advantage of this is speed.

3. Circles

This style lends itself to dungeons in loose rock or earth. Draw dots around the walls, with a higher density close in and fewer dots further out. This can be very time consuming but it gives a nice effect. It’s also the easiest style to encode in a photoshop or Gimp brush which speeds things up a lot.

5 thoughts on “Dungeon Hatching”

  1. I’ve been doing example #1 for ages, but I actually really like the look of #2! I’ll have to give that a try. Thanks for the example. 🙂

  2. Just found your site, what a great collection of tutorials and beautiful maps! Would you recommend hatching for large battlemaps like 1″ x 1″ squared maps? what have you found works best? I’m no artist but am learning!

    1. If you’re hand drawing, then hatching is a good solve. I’d definitely recommend it. But just hatch along the walled edges – don’t fill the whole thing.

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