Hex Kit is the well loved baby of some software engineers and an illustrator. The engineers are Ross Squires and Pierre Laferriere, the illustrator is me, Cecil Howe. Originally, Hex Kit was just a zip file full of tiny hex map tiles I illustrated after finding a honeycomb stamp at an arts & crafts store for bored grandmas. I took the stamp home and used it on some paper, then painted scenery inside the tiny hexes it left. At first it was a fun art project for myself, but I had just left my job as a bartender to illustrate RPG maps full time, and decided it could also be a decent way to floor my income. I figured I could illustrate a few hundred tiles, sell them to people who like hex maps and repeat the process a few times to generate some cash when commissions were sparse.
The art project side of Hex Kit ballooned though, and I illustrated over a thousand of those little babies before finally shoving them in a zip file and uploading them to DriveThruRPG in August of 2016. It turned out to be a huge success, but there was always one consistent complaint: using image editing software to build the maps was kind of tedious.
Around the same time that I started illustrating what would become Hex Kit Volume One: Fantasyland, I had also started hanging around a small Slack team called RPG Talk, founded by Ross. Ross and I got to know each other, and in December when the demand for some Hex Kit software was pretty high I sent him a proposal for a desktop app, with the intent to Kickstart the development costs. Ross said yes to that dress and brought on another developer he plays RPGs with (That was Pierre) and we immediately got to work. Roughly five months later here we are, having taken project HexKit.exe from development to Kickstarter, to your hard drive.
We couldn’t have done it without the 816 people who backed us on Kickstarter. The crowd funding period for this project was fantastic and the support of our backers has been overwhelming to say the least. If you’re reading this, and you’re one of the people who helped us raise the development costs for Hex Kit then pat yourself on the back (or get someone nearby to do it) because this wouldn’t even be a thing if it weren’t for you.
Cecil Howe, 2017
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