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Game Mapping Programs

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Mostly I used them for the campain world itself. I just thing it just looks better then the hand drawn ones.

 

I found them also useful for GM map and even a battle map (if there are no figures are involved). A duplicate map can be used secretly by you down to the hex/square of were everything is. (trap, line of sight for an arrow slit, etc)

 

Towns are quickly generated and the programs come with allot of options to put in them. Some of the options gave me ideas on new scenarios.

 

Dungeons are the same way. I never really used that part much.

 

Some programs come with online chat systems that people can roll dice, chat and have battle maps. I would not consider this option if distance was not a factor. But pretty cool still the same.

 

So to sum it up I like them and would suggest checking out some demos that are online out there.

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We use dundjinni - it's nice, but there's a definite learning curve. not all the icon sets are free, but there seems to be a decent selection of user created ones. one thing it's NOT good for is quick changes to a map (for instance, use in an on-line game is MUCH faster for paint once the original map is created)

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I think that you need to match up how you are going to use the various possibilities with the options. You can produce very attractive maps with any of them, but there are differences.

 

I've only used Campaign Cartographer of the three that you list, and it is a bear to learn (which I never fully did). Having a large store of maps to examine and use is certainly a plus.

 

Dundjini looks much easier to learn, but the cost in ink for printed maps looks prohibitive, especially at a large scale.

 

I've heard AutoRealm is a decent alternative.

 

I've mostly done deckplans and maps for Traveller, so the best choice for me is Canvas, a professional "swiss army knife" (or jack of all trades) type graphics package, that I use in my professional life as an interaction designer.

 

Ron

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We've occaisionally looked at Campaign Cartographer over the years, and the learning curve has only gotten steeper. I used to use Business Filevision (wish that had stuck around, or that there was at least some sort of replacement for it). Currently, my husband uses Illustrator.

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Autorealm is okay, but better for technical style maps in my opinion. The best thing it has going for it are the icons you can download and add to it. The rest of it has always been very clumsy, in my experience.

 

I like it - especially for mapping cities - but it can be clumsy.

 

DungeonForge looks to have picked up where DungeonCrafter fell off the planet. It's icon-based almost to the expusion of everything else, but easy enough to pick up too.

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Here's a paste from one of my old posts on the Conan RPG forum. It seems laborious at first if you are new to Photoshop-style programs, but in return you get custom maps with any features you can rubber-stamp. I made both letter and legal size to lay out gradually as the "fog-of-war" dissipates in the game.

 

I use The Gimp. It's a free photo-editing program similar to Photoshop (Gnu Image Mapipulation Program) Here's what I do:

 

1. I learned to make custom brushes and patterns from a tutorial and made a one inch square. I saved the square as a pattern. Then used the bucket-fill feature to fill a white 8x11 or 8x13 background with it to get my starting sheet with gridlines.

 

2. Then add another layer of white to obscure the 1-inch grid sheet completely. Then use the Eraser tool to un-obsure the relevant gridlines on the map. It's like the old school art project where you'd heavily color a picture with black crayon and scrape it off in a pattern to reveal the masterpiece underneath.

 

3. Then add a transparent layer and name it terrain. This is where I draw contour lines for hills or draw pits, boulders, or immovable wreckage. You could also make a cobblestone brush for roads in civilized areas, or a pillar brush, or whatever. I design my brushes to fit into a 1 inch square for precision, but you could make them as large as you want if you dislike clicking a lot to paint a sheet.

 

4. Then add another transparent layer and name it foliage. I've made custom brushes for jungles and coniferous forests. You could also add a little number on the terrain and foliage brushes to indicate that jungle slows movement by 25%, or trackless jungle by 75% etc.

 

The amount of layers you can add is limited only by your RAM, but I've not needed more than 5 per map and this old PC handles that just fine.

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sounds pretty interesting about GIMP & map making, I'll have to try that out sometime (just "picked" up GIMP so I'm not to familar with it, but something for down the road)

 

I bought CC2 (I think that was version) many years ago when I had my P2 & it was bear to learn, heck I just mainly doddled with it but like alot of people so far the product maps were something to see, espically with all what wa involved in them.

 

wouldn't mind picking up the latest version, as those look great as well. Espically with all the supplements you can get for that.

 

RM

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CC2 is awesome once you learn how to use it.

 

I did about a dozen maps for a CAV1 campaign a year or two ago, and once I got the templates set up they took no time at all to finish.

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CC2 is awesome once you learn how to use it.

 

I did about a dozen maps for a CAV1 campaign a year or two ago, and once I got the templates set up they took no time at all to finish.

 

And now you can upgrade to CC3 ::D:

 

Another program worth mentioning is Fractal Mapper V7.0 by NBOS Software. While not quite as "robust" as CC2, it is a pretty versatile program. An added bonus is that a number of the various "add-ons" for CC are standard features within FM.

 

AJC

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