View Full Version : Are there any good programs out there to make battle maps?
Hi, I'm looking a program (freeware if possible) that can make really nice (Graphical) D&D style grid and/or hex maps. I would prefer that the program take less than a year to learn if possible. Thus far I've found very few promising leads. The Pyromancers.com Dungeon painter is the closest thing I've found to what I have in mind. Easy to learn, good selection of tiles and free. It does seem to be a bit buggy and limited in scope though...For some reason it doesn't seem to handle walls and floors right for me... I've tried searching around in other forums and some suggested this one as a good place to start so I decided to try and post here.
I've seen some really great looking maps posted on other sites that claimed to have been made from just photoshop or gimp but I really can't make heads or tails out of Gimp so I thought I would try and see if there was a program that was made with this kind of map making in mind.
Thanks in advance,
11-11-2012, 10:19 AM
The easiest ways to do what you want to do are with mapping programs like Fractal Mapper (TM) 8, Dundjinni (TM) and Campaign Cartographer (TM) 3.
I think that the shortest learning curve (a week to be an expert) is with Fractal Mapper 8. It's the program we use for our products. Unlike most other programs, you can try it out free and also get the complete tutorial documentation free. It has the shortest learning curve of the most popular mapping programs, but it also can do almost anything that any other program can. The trial version of FM8 is different from the full license version in only two respects:
1) You can't save maps with the trial version.
2) Fewer mapping symbols are delivered with the trial version.
You can download the trial version here:
NBOS Online Exchange (http://www.nbos.com/nox/index.php?action=1001&id=144)
You can download the beginning documentation and tutorial here:
NBOS Online Exchange (http://www.nbos.com/nox/index.php?action=1001&id=125)
You can download the advanced raster mapping tutorial here:
and the free supporting files for the tutorial here:
There's no time bomb in any of these products. You can use them for as long as you wish.
11-13-2012, 12:29 PM
If you'd like to give the Gimp another try before starting in with something you'll have to pay for, take a look in our Tutorials section. There are lots of tutorials for Gimp, and plenty for Photoshop that can be adapted to Gimp once you've got some experience using it. And if you want some very quick dungeon maps, try out RobA's Subterranean Map Prettier Script (http://www.cartographersguild.com/automation-scripts-actions/2759-subterrainian-map-prettier-script.html).
11-13-2012, 01:00 PM
Some of us have better luck with vector applications like Inkscape or Illustrator (I use Xara Xtreme), instead of image editors like Photoshop or GIMP. Vector is a completely different design paradigm than painting with GIMP - easier, faster, and if used right looks no different than a PS created map.
Thanks for the help guys. The fractal mapper seems like a good tool. With just a couple small tutorials I was able to jump right in and start making maps. I was wondering what exactly you get in the full version though? $35 for a few extra graphics and the save map function don't really seem worth it to me...
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