Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Cartography & Digital Map Making

Well, since my interest in gaming has returned; especially role-playing games, and being a gamemaster; I have become obssesed with maps and map making.  I have been searching for a good freeware mapping program, and I found another one yesterday.  It's called AutoRealm, and it seems it might be very good.  I experimented with it some, and there are a lot of features.  I also found a manual for it, but I haven't read it yet.

I was also experimenting some with Dungeonforge, and wasn't all that happy with it.  I was frustrated with trying to get a tile set I had downloaded into the right file.  I tried to follow the brief instructions, but they weren't much help.  I may discard Dungeonforge.  Dungeoncrafter 3 has possibilities, but I still need to work with it some more.  I also had trouble getting the tile files in the right folder, or to even work for that matter.  I am not sure what I was doing incorrectly.

I also plan on experimenting with Paint.  I can actually work on a map in DC3, and export it, and work on it in Paint.  I also want to download Inkscape, and see what that is like.  I would like some better graphics programs, but those just aren't in my budget at this time.  So far DC3 has been the best, although I haven't spent much time on any of the programs.

One thing I haven't ruled out is good old pen and paper map making.  I've started calling it analog map making, and I could get very creative doing this.  Plus, I can scan the maps, and have them printed.  If I have a particularly good map, I can also have it printed on canvas.  A nice, if not expensive option, for a player map.

During the search yesterday ( for the already forgotten object ), I found a remnant of my gaming past.  It was an old Gamma World map, the one that came with the original boxed set.  ( I forgot what I was looking for because I was excited about this map. ) My original GW book is long gone, but I still have the map!  I think I may use it in a Mutant Future campaign.  Unless, of course I can manage to replace my Gamma World book.  I'll try and get a photo of it up soon, but I've got a lousy digital camera, and it may not turn out good at all.

There is one thing bugging the heck out of me!  Is it map making, or mapmaking?  Two words or just one?  I've seen it both ways...


In yesterdays post I mentioned Origins 84, a national gaming convention. These days they are calling it,  Origins Game Faire , and the dates are June 23 - 27, 2010.  The deadline for entering an event submission was March 1st, but there is no way I can attend this year anyway so that's a moot point.  On a positive note I now have about a year to come up with something good to submit.  Origins has really good benefits for the GMs that run games at the con.  Work enough hours and they give you a spot in one of the volunteers room.  That would save you a lot of cash, but on the other hand you would spend much of your time running games.  It's been 25 years since I attended Origins 84.  Where did all that time go?

Speaking of conventions, this weekend I will be attending All-Con 2010, a local covention here in Dallas.  All-Con doesn't really have much gaming content; in fact very little at all, but that could change in the future.  All-Cons main motto is, "We Serve The Fan Community".  However, it really is a good convention, and supports fans of Science Fiction, Fantasy, Renaissance, Anime, Costuming, Theater, Performing Arts, Mystery, Art, Crafts, Collecting, and Film Making.

I will be giving a comic workshop on Friday, and we will be creating and publishing a "small press" comic.  I haven't done this since 2007, and look forward to the workshop.  Here's a photograph of me and one of the guests of the 2007 All-Con.  All I can say is WOOT!

The very attractive woman is Luciana Carro, she played Kat on Battlestar Galactica.  She's a very nice person, although I didn't get to talk to her much at all.

Later people, I need some sleep.

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