Map Making

Group to discuss boardgame Map Making. Where amateur and published map makers can discuss and assist each other with techniques and methods used in creating boardgame maps. (not a group for arguments about what map style or software app is best)

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Comment by Joseph Youst on December 31, 2016 at 6:05pm

If you are truly going to go digital with your map-making, Adobe CS is the only way to go. All printers can handle those files, and any other program will have overprint and color control issues until you filter them through CS. It is the standard if you intend to actually produce more than 100 copies of a game.

Comment by Greg Blanchett on December 31, 2016 at 4:55pm

Scale of the map doesn't depend on the app... HexDraw will do all the stuff listed. However, it only does hexes and not squares. Lance is right that Jo has been into other projects and I don't know how it will work with Win10... but for now it works great for me making prototypes.

Comment by Hernan Ruiz Camauer on December 31, 2016 at 2:13pm

HexDraw and my own app will be fairly different tools, which produce maps for completely different scales. Mine is for tactical-scale battlemaps (e.g, 1 square = 5 ft., or 1 hex = 3 ft.)

I'm planning on having a lot of professionally-produced content available for it. Some as free downloads, others as paid Add-Ons. And of course you'll be able to use your own artwork, as well (or bitmaps you've downloaded from the net).

Comment by John Kantor on December 31, 2016 at 2:06pm
I have and use Photoshop and Illustrator, but I would love an easier option for some projects and for prototyping, especially if it supports downloadable symbol and style libraries.
Comment by Lance Runolfsson on December 31, 2016 at 1:25pm

Hex Draw does most of what I want done. The problem with it is that it seems to be unsupported at this point by the developer and not much of a comunity remains. So my fear is that it stops working when I am forced to go to windows 10 in 3 years. How much of what Hex Draw does will your new program do? If anything?

Comment by Rick Barber on December 31, 2016 at 8:31am

I'm just starting into the digital realm myself, and this software sounds like it would be a good way to go.  Count me in when you start the Kickstarter!

Comment by Hernan Ruiz Camauer on December 31, 2016 at 7:55am
Hi folks. I am going to be creating cross-platform map-making software (for Windows and macOS), suitable for creating both for print-resolution maps and lower res maps suitable for use with virtual tabletop software. The program will be sort of a spiritual successor to Dundjinni, but with a greater focus on stitching maps together from pre-existing map tiles and then customizing the resulting map (with additional decorations, etc.) to suit the GM's particular needs.

The program should appeal to GMs of face-to-face game sessions and those using any VTT software, who want to create their own slick-looking battlemaps but who find existing mapping programs (including image-editing tools such as Gimp and Photoshop) too intimidating/confusing/expensive. 

In late January or early February 2017, I'll be launching a Kickstarter campaign to try to fund the program's development. The software will be priced to be very accessible/affordable, likely in the $20-$25 range (at least during the Kickstarter campaign).

I'm trying to gauge public interest in this, so please let me know if such software would be of interest to you.
Comment by Christian A. Strasser on February 10, 2015 at 5:24pm

GIMP doesn't have "scatter" per se, but it does allow you to specify a level of "jitter" to brushes.

Here's what seemed to work pretty well:

1)  Add a new layer to the image and place it just above the existing woods layer (call it RoughWoods)

2)  Click on the Brush tool and select an irregularly-shaped brush (such as Acrylic 04); a size of 20 (the default) seems to work fine

3)  In the Tool Options, go down to the "Apply Jitter" checkbox, click it and enter an amount of jitter (something between 0.75 and 1.50  seems to work pretty well).

4)  Trace over the woods perimeters with this brush in black

5)  Use the "Select by Color" tool and increase its threshold to 70 or so (to allow it to grab all the gradients of black); then click on one of the black elements of the new layer

6)  In the "Patterns" window, select the custom woods pattern

7)  From the menu, select Edit / Fill With Pattern; then from the menu, select Select / None 

Comment by Christian A. Strasser on February 10, 2015 at 4:49pm

That sounds promising.  I'll do some research and see if it's possible.  Thanks!

Comment by Tim Allen on February 10, 2015 at 4:34pm

I am afraid I dont know how you would do that in GIMP, but in Photoshop you would do it by taking a basic round brush and changing its attrubutles so it scatters.  then add a pattern


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