View Full Version : Sci-fi mapping tyro checking in.

06-18-2012, 03:47 PM
Hello all,

Brought here from the post on the Reddit worldbuilding subreddit, and currently running around in a mad state trying to make myself some maps for a Roll20 virtual tabletop game I'll be DMing soon. I'll need all the help I can get!

I'm particularly interested in sci-fi mapping advice, as the majority seems more of the Tolkien fantasy style. Also, I'm going with hexes (I'll be running GURPS) which adds an extra wrinkle :) Thankfully, the virtual tabletop will apply hexes to any map uploaded, but it would be nice to build my maps with that in mind.

I usually use Pixlr as my image editing service of choice (its both free and online) but I bought Campaign Cartographer 3 yesterday in a fit of enthusiasm, and then got promptly baffled after finishing the quick start tutorial.

Thank you all for such an interesting resource, and I'll be scouring the boards for tutorials, tips and sympathetic advice.

06-18-2012, 07:58 PM
Welcome to the Guild Bioluminescence. Hm, I wouldn't have thought CC would have been the most fitting choice for a Sci-Fi map; I would have thought a more photorealistic map style (such as Ascension's Continent Style or my Eriond style) would have been more appropriate. I'd recommend checking out Ascensions Continent map tutorial first (it's easier than mine) and see if if matches what you are looking for.


06-19-2012, 10:02 AM
Thanks, arsheesh for the welcome and advice :)

I took a look at the continent style tutorial on your advice (and very good it is too - no wonder it's so highly regarded) but I'm currently doing OK for region or country scale maps (after doing some Google maps patchwork).

The part I'm having trouble with the most is the more intimate scale maps - maps of individual outposts, the interiors of shuttles, battlefields, etc. I've been dabbling with a rough shuttle interior using SketchUp, which I might see if I can do a paint-over for some much needed grunge.

06-20-2012, 05:35 PM
Hm, never worked with Sketchup (though its on my agenda to explore), but I've heard it's pretty powerful, and pretty intuitive. There are also several town tutorials floating around in the tutorials sections, as well as some battle map tutorials that might be of use to you.

06-24-2012, 08:00 AM
Welcome! You may also want to check out the sci-fi WIP forum; if/when you find a style that really appeals to you, you can always ask how they did it :) We do seem to have a dearth of sci-fi tutorials but I think there's a few buried in there.