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Author Topic: Mapping and Graphical Software  (Read 7810 times)

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Offline Wingnut

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Mapping and Graphical Software
« on: August 28, 2003, 11:03:39 AM »
In a attempt to increase my selection of free mapping software, what mapping software does everyone use?

I use several;
Dungeoncrafter - http://www.dungeoncrafter.com/
Izandawo - http://www.realmcreator.com/
Hex Mapper - http://www.paonline.com/zaikoski/ak/
Autorealm - http://www.gryc.ws/autorealm.htm
Wilderness Mapper - http://www.netrpg.com/programs/wildernessmapper.html

Anyone have any others?
« Last Edit: October 14, 2008, 04:21:37 PM by manfred »
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Offline Ylorea

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« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2003, 01:59:48 PM »
I often use Interactive dungeon, though I have no idea where I got it from.

I have autrealm, but I hardly ever use it.

I have hex mapper and use it to draw islandmaps... If I am too lazy to do it by hand.

I have been thinking about dungeon crafter but it seems too much work to download all the needed stuff.

I have seen some others, but they did not seem practical enough to use or where not freeware.

Some nice stuff can be found at www.mapmage.com but like I say, the mapping tools are not free.
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Offline CaptainPenguin

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« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2003, 05:19:03 PM »
I don't use mapping software, I draw my maps myself.
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Offline Strolen

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« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2003, 08:41:28 PM »
AWESOME list of links. Thank you!!

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« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2003, 09:37:16 AM »
wheres a good place to get high quality Fantasy  pics  for my characters ?

Offline Exit

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Mapping software
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2003, 06:33:41 PM »
Heh.  I just typed these recently

http://epilogue.net/
http://deviantart.com/

also Elfwood.  I know of a few others, but it'll take some searching to remember the URls.  Give a hollar if you want them.
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Offline Exit

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« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2003, 06:35:29 PM »
Oh, and that list of links is extremely helpful.  Up to this point in time, I've always just used Paint to create my maps.  Nothing too fancy, but it turns out a presentable, abet not professional, looking map that is clear and concise.

Now, on the other hand, I can finally get some cool looking maps.  Thanks.
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Offline Akihikio

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« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2004, 11:01:50 AM »
I went and downloaded dungeon crafter yesterday and I love it! You can easily make your own images. All they have to be is in Jpg format!

Now I can make simple easy maps in no time at all! With the baby it's frustrating to try and sit down and make a map only to have to stop a few seconds later. It took me three days to do my dungeon map by hand because I had to stop a lot.

The downloading was tedius, but you really don't need to. It's a great program.
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Offline Grevenon

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« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2004, 08:36:28 PM »
For bobbalobstein, try www.bluelaguna.net. although it focuses on media, it has some great pics. also, just search for images on google image search. thats where i found a lot of mine.
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Offline Ancient Gamer

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« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2004, 07:41:08 PM »
I have used some mapping tools from Dungeon Crafter to CC2.

My current favourite is Fractal Mapper.

This is the link to the trial version: Download Fractal Mapper trial
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Offline Ancient Gamer

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Mapping software
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2005, 08:25:15 AM »
Tip of the day:
The Silven Crossroads e-zine  has begun an article series about mapmaking with photoshop.  

The december issue is where the first mapmaking tutorial starts.
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Offline manfred

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Re: Mapping software
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2007, 01:43:58 PM »
BUMP!

Some old, but good tools can be found in Irony Games

A few oldies, and the HexMapper

Updating the main website for Autorealm (the old site still works, but this has much more flesh)

Some more resources are listed in http://www.roleplayingtips.com/downloads/supplemental_12_maps.txt , not sure of what quality.
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Offline Chaosmark

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Re: Mapping software
« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2007, 05:31:32 PM »
Aherm.

This is your mapping resource: http://forum.cartographersguild.com/index.php

Something I would like to mention however, is that mapping software is only as good as the user. There is no 'best tool' with cartography. Some are easier to use, and some have better options available for their use, but none is inherently better for mapping.

Prime example: I'm currently mapping with the GIMP, and because it's graphics software instead of mapping software, I have much more freedom with regards to how things appear and work out. I don't have to rely on someone else's city algorithm; instead, I can make mine however the heck I want. However, the trade-off for that freedom is that I cannot automate the majority of the map-making process as you could with something like CC2/CC3, which are designed to let you map quickly.

The point is, think about what you're looking for. Are you wanting good looking, personalized maps? Invest in some CG skills. If you're looking for a quick dungeon-crawl map, grab a random generator.
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Offline Stomphoof

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Re: Mapping software
« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2007, 10:33:19 AM »
Here is something I posted over at Treasure Tables (its a GM Forum/Blog) as I am currently curious about the various Map Programs and Options

1.  AutoRealm
Offical Description (From the Website) - AutoREALM is a Free GNU mapping software (a "cartographer") that can design maps of castles, cities, dungeons and more. AutoREALM is generally used by Role-playing Game practicants who enjoy doing their own maps. But it could fits the needs of other people. If you are a Role-Playing gamer or else, you are cordially invited to join the AutoREALM community: fellows gathered around a free hobbyist map tool. Originally made by Andrew Gryc (say "grits"), AutoREALM is now Open Source, creating a unique opportunity for the RPG world to mix graphics and computer programming.

My View - After looking at the site, and the various images and such it appears to be a very clean and simple interface, for those of us who are used to PCs that is.  One of the benefits I can see is it being open source.  I am rather impressed by its look, and I intend to give it a more in depth review once I have a day off (I am gonna download it and try to use it and see just how easy it is)

2.  Campaign Cartographer 3
Offical Description from the Website - CC3 is the fastest and most powerful map-making software for gamers. So if you're a busy person who wants the best, this is the software for you. In minutes you can learn all you need to rapidly create beautiful maps for campaigns, games and even real-world applications.

My View - Once again, after looking at the site, it appears that this program has amazing potential.  With a large slew of possible expansions, and the ability to make high quality maps, its a map makers dream program.  However, it does not appear, at first glance, to be that easy to use, and is not the cheapest option there is.  The basic program is $44.95 and each little upgrade is more money.  Also, it doesnt appear that they have a demo of the program available.

3.  Dundjinni
Offical Description - Dundjinni is a full-featured fantasy map creation program. It allows users to create walls and floors, place objects, insert text, and more. It boasts an intuitive interface and an impressive selection of objects and textures (over 190 images). It also allows you to author d20 adventures in a simple yet elegant way.  Available for both PC & Mac.

My View - I actually tested the demo for this yesterday, and personally I was not impressed.  The tiles didnt even appear where I tried to place them.  Strangeness.  It boosts a nice community and people appear to like it, so maybe the demo is just broken or an older version, I dunno.  But I am not willing to drop $39.95 on something that MIGHT work.  Also, the interface was not pleasant to me.

4.  MapTool
Offical Description - MapTool virtualizes the battle map, miniatures, and wet-erase markers. In combination with Voice over IP software this allows GMs and Players to get together virtually and interact much like they would at a session around the table.

The virtual tabletop in MapTool can do things that the classic battle map couldn’t easily do. Prepared maps from other software can just be dropped into the background and tokens moved over the top. You can also save the entire campaign at any point to resume later.

My View - It appears to me that it is more of a virtual tabletop then an actual mapping program.  It may be useful for people who play online, but as a pure mapper I think there are better options.

5.  Dungeon Forge
Offical Description - Dungeonforge is an easy-to-use map creation program for Role Playing Games. It is fast and flexible and can produce maps in the style of Dungeoncrafter and Dundjinni (as well as using the same range of art).

The maps can be printed for tabletop use or used in online games.

My View - Its free for one, and boosts some decent features, however it does not appear to have been fully updated in a LONG time, and so may have some bugs and other issues with it.  I am going to try this out along with AutoRealm and give a more in depth review.

6.  Fractal Mapper 8.0
Offical Description - With Fractal Mapper, creating worlds has never been so easy! Fractal Mapper is a high-powered mapping system that lets gamers create a wide variety of of maps - dungeons, continents, cities, and more! With it's easy to use interface, powerful features, and unique capabilities, making high quality maps with Fractal Mapper is a breeze!

My View - Now this program has me interested.  After looking at all the various screenshots I am impressed by how neat the dungeon AND overland maps look.  Its on par, cost wise, with both Dundjinni and CC3, at $34.95 (it is cheaper by a bit), and also offers a free trial, which I shall try of course!

7.  Microsoft Excel / OpenOffice Spreadsheets - Not technically a "mapping program."  However the latest Treasure Tables Blog Entry has a link that deals with using Excel (and thus OpenOffice) as a Mapper!  Check out Excellent Maps.  I am going to test this method out as well.

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Offline valadaar

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Re: Mapping software
« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2007, 10:43:44 AM »
I've used Autorealm, but not enough to give it a detailed review.  At 'free' it is prerry darn good.

I'm playing around making a world map with Gimp and my scanner/laser printer.  I have hand-drawn the basic outline and am now using GIMP to touch it up and start to make the various 'layers'. 

   
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Offline Dozus

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Re: Mapping software
« Reply #15 on: October 02, 2007, 10:48:31 AM »
I've made a couple of maps with AutoRealm.  I'm no cartographer, but I found it pretty easy to use after a little interface practice.
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Offline Stomphoof

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Re: Mapping software
« Reply #16 on: October 02, 2007, 11:02:14 AM »
Apparently a friend of mine (And fellow DM) uses Fractal Mapper 7 and loves it.

The maps that Fractal Mapper can produce are pretty darn impressive in my opinion.
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Re: Mapping software
« Reply #17 on: October 06, 2007, 04:36:02 PM »
I was commanded by the almighty M.A.N.F.R.E.D. to post this here:
http://www.rpggateway.com/Software/Map_Generators/
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Offline Kinslayer

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Re: Mapping software
« Reply #18 on: January 24, 2008, 08:12:47 PM »
Izandawo became MapX.  It then morphed briefly into DEWMap, which died quietly in its sleep.  Now it looks like it will develop into DungeonForge, or some part of it.  I can't wait.  I've missed MapX/Izandawo (I only have Windows versions of either, and currently use Ubuntu Linux), and am looking forward to a new version I can run.
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Offline Ancient Gamer

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Re: Mapping software
« Reply #19 on: May 17, 2008, 10:43:31 AM »
Imagine that... Dungeon Crafter is out in its 3rd edition.

I am starting to feel old here.
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Offline Ancient Gamer

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Re: Mapping software
« Reply #20 on: May 17, 2008, 10:46:52 AM »
Izandawo became MapX.  It then morphed briefly into DEWMap, which died quietly in its sleep.  Now it looks like it will develop into DungeonForge, or some part of it.  I can't wait.  I've missed MapX/Izandawo (I only have Windows versions of either, and currently use Ubuntu Linux), and am looking forward to a new version I can run.

Download VMWare software and run Windows, FreeBSD, or whatever inside Linux. You will never miss your favourite programs ever again.
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Offline Kinslayer

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Re: Mapping software
« Reply #21 on: May 17, 2008, 12:58:24 PM »
It would seem that virtulisation is a bigger pain than Wine.  I haven't tried either.  I have a laptop with an Ubuntu/Vista dual-boot, so I can use Windows programs if I really need to.  However, it's a pain to have to reboot to do so.  Though it came pre-installed, the laptop barely ran Vista by itself, so I don't know how well it will handle Vista inside another OS.  Running Ubuntu SE 8.04 alone, it is like it is powered by pure awesome. 

In the absence of good game mapping programs, I have been playing with Gimp & Inkscape & making maps the old-fashioned way.

In a related note, I found a how-to for fractal coastlines in Gimp.  The results were highly satisfying for small islands, even if they wouldn't work (for me, at least) for the major continents--I wanted specific features, that involved a more hands-on approach. http://forum.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=875

Maybe I'm just too picky.  Back when I made the Midian world maps, I was using Windows & had a plethora of software options.  Most of the mapping programs available--free or purchased--didn't offer the right look I was seeking.  Also, these programs tended to focus on only one scale:  kingdom, town, or dungeon (in the 10x10 corridor sense).  I am both picky and lazy--I wanted to only have to deal with one program that handled all of these, as well as fine details of a single room, and most importantly, it had to let me build my big world map.  Izandawo offered all of these things, and nothing else I saw did. 
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Offline manfred

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Re: Mapping software
« Reply #22 on: May 18, 2008, 04:34:41 PM »
"Though it came pre-installed, the laptop barely ran Vista by itself..."
...Sounds familiar. :/

Wine can run quite a few things, actually, you may want to give it a chance. Of editors I still remember AutoRealm with fondness, it can do quite a few things.
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Re: Mapping software
« Reply #23 on: May 19, 2008, 04:57:32 AM »
Virtualization has a bad name, and it has it for a reason.

However, time has passed and virtual machines have matured. Even MS VPC is now far more stable than it used to be. VMWare is, however, THE virtualization provider and products I wholeheartedly endorse.

Ahem. Back to topic.
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Offline Kinslayer

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Re: Mapping software
« Reply #24 on: May 20, 2008, 06:24:19 PM »
Back on topic...  RPTools products look promising.  There are different programs that augment rather than replace tabletop gaming.  The MapTool isn't just for drawing the map, it helps you use the map in a client/server mode with fog-of-war & tokens & such.

http://rptools.net/doku.php
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