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yu gnomi
07-30-2008, 07:48 PM
After many hours spent searching through posts and forums- finding and downloading objects, and a few hours spent actually mapping, I am ready to show off my first mapping effort with Xara that didn't go horribly awry (in the end it did go slightly awry).

The map isn't finished, some rooms on this level still need to be furnished and I haven't eveen started upper and lower levels yet. The map also has no concept as such. I don't know who lives in this dungeon, I created in order to get in practice with my new software.

I welcome any comments or suggestions on it.

yu gnomi
07-30-2008, 09:00 PM
I thought it might look a little better with a different background than the blue. I tried a parchment background.

jfrazierjr
07-30-2008, 09:17 PM
I thought it might look a little better with a different background than the blue. I tried a parchment background.

Yep, much prettier. Now... make a higher res version! 10 or 20 px(50 or 100 px per square, assuming a 5 foot square) per foot would be be excellent for use in a VTT.

Joe

yu gnomi
07-30-2008, 09:28 PM
I hadn't thought about vtt. Xara exports in a variety of formats, it should be able to do better quality than this jpeg. The proprietary Xera file is much better resolution.

I'd be very interested in tips on downloading or making decent looking wall sections (from a top down view). Have so far been leaving blank space for walls to be put in.

Likewise for doors with swing direction. I need a better variety.

jfrazierjr
07-30-2008, 09:42 PM
I hadn't thought about vtt. Xara exports in a variety of formats, it should be able to do better quality than this jpeg. The proprietary Xera file is much better resolution.

I'd be very interested in tips on downloading or making decent looking wall sections (from a top down view). Have so far been leaving blank space for walls to be put in.

Likewise for doors with swing direction. I need a better variety.

I can't help you with that as I don't know Xara. TheGamePrinter uses Xara for a lot of his mapping and could probably give you plenty of pointers. If he does not pipe up within a few days, you might shot him a PM. Also, Ravells uses Seric Drawplus(??) which I take it from their discussions between each other that the two tool are closely related, so he might pipe in with some help. You may also want to take a few minutes to search for posts started by either of them to see if you can find any of their work that you might want to try to emulate.

BTW, I really like what I can see of the map's shape. If you can make up version of minimum VTT size (10px per "foot" scale) and have no objections, I could most assuredly use this map in my campaign.

Joe



Joe

yu gnomi
07-31-2008, 05:06 AM
Gamerprinter mentioned awhile ago that he would soon be posting a tutorial on making dungeon maps with Xara. I should probably email him about it.

Xara can export to a high quality pdf, if that helps any. Otherwise, give me a short list of file types that could work. And I will see if I can export a version which meets your req'ments. I will work a bit on the other levels.

Another experiment for me is to see how big and complicated a map Xara can handle. I wonder if a 3 level map with 12 layers will cause it problems.

RobA
07-31-2008, 10:08 AM
Try PNG - it compresses in a lossless fashion... much nicer than jpg.

-Rob A>

yu gnomi
07-31-2008, 10:32 AM
This is as far as I have gotten on other two levels. None of the levels are fully furnished, upper and lower levels don't even have doors yet. Quality of the export files is not as good as I would like, but I haven't played with settings in Xara's export manager yet.

I used a strange fill (called "rocks in moonlight" or something like that) for the surface of underground. I think it looks very neat, but will probably have to go.It seems as if it will obscure other features of dungeon level.

These maps are not really intended to be printer friendly, I am exploring the more "gee whiz" aspects of using Xara.

jfrazierjr
07-31-2008, 03:03 PM
This is as far as I have gotten on other two levels. None of the levels are fully furnished, upper and lower levels don't even have doors yet. Quality of the export files is not as good as I would like, but I haven't played with settings in Xara's export manager yet.

For VTT play, thats usually preferable. For example, let's use a pile of sacks filled with x (flour, beans, whatever). Let's say the characters surprise a minotaur in this room and he is to far away from his axe (or his axe gets broken, or whatever) and he wants to start using the sacks as weapons. If they are hard printed to the map, then it looks a bit odd. If they are dropped onto the map from within the VTT as objects, then when they "move" in the VTT, they move. In generally, if you are targeting a VTT, anything that would be movable by a strong human should not part part of the map background. Personally, I am ok with stuff being on the underlying map, but other VTT players would really love you if you leave the moveablve stuff off or make a second copy (kind of a GM's placement guide) with the stuff on it.





I used a strange fill (called "rocks in moonlight" or something like that) for the surface of underground. I think it looks very neat, but will probably have to go.It seems as if it will obscure other features of dungeon level.


Yea, it's a bit much. Perhaps in a limited scene such as inside a teleport circle or something like that it would look cool?

yu gnomi
07-31-2008, 03:56 PM
Each level of map has multiple layers. All furnishings have their own layer. Anything secret such room names, encounter numbers, secret doors, notes, has it's own layer.

Making maps that don't show furnishings is simple. Just hide layers, and export image.

Gamerprinter
08-01-2008, 12:29 AM
I posted the Dungeon-Xara.pdf tutorial in the Tutorials forum...here... (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?p=28218#post28218)

GP

yu gnomi
08-01-2008, 02:22 PM
I've decided to switch gears and make a map that I would want to use while DM'ing a 4ed adventure. I only have sketchy details so far, and map as it is reflects this. Even the planning stage is still sketchy.

So far I have Bert the Troll lives in his cave, and sometimes teams up with other local monsters to waylay wayfarers on nearby road. Bert's ambush hiding spot -underneath bridge (not shown) is not yet shown.

Joe, I can export higher quality bare versions of the three levels of my practice dungeon and post them in this thread, if you want me too. I will leave in immobile objects like doors and stairs, but remove other furnishings. Just post and tell me.

I've figured out how to export .pngs of higher quality than the ones I posted before, and I will also alter the fills so that all three levels use sensible fills- maybe just the fill I used on the entrance level for all three. I just don't want to squander Cartographer's Guild resources if no one is interested.

Midgardsormr
08-01-2008, 08:52 PM
Bert's ambush hiding spot -underneath bridge (not shown) is not yet shown.

A bridge troll! I haven't used one of those in ages. Probably because the last time I dropped one in a game I had to put up with two hours of billy goat (http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/type0122e.html) comments.

Steel General
08-01-2008, 09:40 PM
Baaah! Baaah! Baaah! (sorry couldn't help myself :D)

yu gnomi
08-02-2008, 09:06 AM
I made a tile for bert's lair. I had a little fun replicating it and fitting it together, and made a picture for posting.

Picture is of four copies of same tile, which I rotated and placed in Xara. The round black bits at one end of each tile are bevels, that indicate a steep slope. For two of the junctions, where the walls meet, the bevels should be ignored. Other two either a slide down, or a steep climb is indicated (depending on which direction you are traveling).

I am hoping it is obvious which bit is supposed to be higher than the other. I intend to do a whole set for this month's contest.

yu gnomi
08-17-2008, 10:52 PM
Have finished most of terrain outside of cave itself. Rest of terrain will have to wait until I find/make good rock textures and rock/grass transition textures. I am also looking for foliage that can be placed on layer atop grass terrain layer, without completely obscuring details underneath.

Scale of map is 1 in = 20 ft. However the terrain tiles I used are 1/2 in (10' square), because this seemed like best scale to make terrain features like roads and trails appear how I wanted them to.

I have constructed most of the tiles I will use for the cavern complex, but they are still unfurnished. Completing the cavern complex will probably be my next step. On this scale of map, all cave tiles will appear tiny.

yu gnomi
08-17-2008, 10:55 PM
I thought I attached this to last post. Here is current progress of map.