View Full Version : Ruins Under City (MS Paint)

02-09-2009, 07:23 PM
Here's a map of another one of my adventures. It's a WIP at the moment, I haven't finished the legend yet.

Steel General
02-09-2009, 08:01 PM
Very nice, you should check out some of Turgenev's dungeon work.

02-09-2009, 11:52 PM
Just goes to show you. You can do a good job with just paint!

Have some rep for old school tools.


02-10-2009, 08:59 AM
should check out some of Turgenev's dungeon work.

Yes, his stuff is nice. A little too crowded for my taste (DMing not mapping) but his stuff is good.

02-10-2009, 02:48 PM
Nice work, but, uhm... why would anybody want to use MS Paint? Serious question, it just seems.... very limited.

02-10-2009, 05:04 PM
Well, if you're a good story-teller or writer then all you need is a simple map...the writing fills in the flavor and a simple map leaves much more to the imagination.

02-10-2009, 10:53 PM
I didn't mean to say that a map has to be fancy, but MS Paint is just terrible to use.

02-11-2009, 01:40 PM
Nice work, but, uhm... why would anybody want to use MS Paint? Serious question, it just seems.... very limited.

Well, I’ll agree with Ascension in that a map need not be pretty, particularly dungeon maps. Since usually the DM/GM is going to be describing the map to the players (rather than simply showing them the map as they go) it’s almost better for some folks just to add details from their imagination rather than describe every crack and crevice on a very pretty detailed map. (A good adventure module should have nice details about the locations in on the map written in the location text, rather than rely on the map itself to provide them.) Also, the style that the map displays closely matches my nostalgic memory of the maps from the old school D&D modules from my childhood.

However, that’s not really what you asked. You want to know why someone would use MS Paint to make a map. Well, I could spin some BS about the simplified interface allowing one to focus on the important parts of the map. Something about how what’s important about a map is how it works in the context it is intended to, rather than how color coordinated the dungeon stones are. While there is some truth to that (mainly the simplified interface) it’s just BS. I use MS Paint because there aren’t any other options on my work PC. (I made these during my lunch hour, after work, or just whenever I needed to clear my head from the other stuff going on.)

Also, I don’t have much of a talent for graphical art. I’m a programmer. I write code. I can come up with functional things (like functional application interfaces or functional dungeon maps) but don’t ask me to make it pretty, because I fail hard at pretty. (There’s a reason I use only grayscale and it’s not necessarily that it prints better.) So there really isn’t any reason for me to go to something more advanced because I wouldn’t use 99% of the stuff in Photoshop, and actually that 99% tends to obscure the 1% that I do use. (Yes, I’ve tried GIMP and found it to be quite overwhelming. I used to do Photoshop on a Mac in high school, but this was like Photoshop version 1 or 2, so it didn’t have nearly as many bells and whistles as it does now-a-days.)

Now, being a programmer, I continually tell myself that one day when I’m really bored I’ll have to make my own version of MS Paint that has the features that I want without anything I don’t. (Like, I wish Paint could zoom more than x8, or that I could insert text while zoomed in. Also, I wouldn’t mind the ability to use alpha levels, or to be able to import my own custom bitmap fonts for use in the application. More levels of undo would be nice too, and a larger paint pallete and improved GIF support, and a “hand” tool for shifting the image while zoomed in… I should stop now.) The only reason I can see for myself to use Photoshop or GIMP would be to convert the PNG images I make into vector/line art images so that they will print out well at any scale. (Actually, that was what I mostly used Photoshop on high school for as well, only it wasn't for dungeon maps it was for scans of manga pages that I wanted to blow up and print.)

02-12-2009, 03:24 AM
Well not having anything else would do the trick. ;)

Gimp is totally overkill, and I actually do agree it would be a bad choice for you. For such dungeon maps, I think Inkscape may be a good choice. Or try paint.net, it's not perfect, but nicer than ms paint and it's free, too. There are probably other alternatives. But in the end, whatever works for you is the right tool, really. Thanks for the explanation tho.

02-12-2009, 10:44 AM
Gimp is totally overkill, and I actually do agree it would be a bad choice for you.

Sorry bartmoss, don't want to start a holy war, but gimp (or PS) isn't really overkill.

While I admit there is a learning curve to either of these applications it does pay off in the end.

I am NOT an artist... more of a programmer. The main reason I like gimp is because of the scripting capability it gives me...I can easily write programs to overcome my lack of artistic ability because of the framework gimp provides.

-Rob A>

02-14-2009, 07:55 PM
Wow! That shows you that you can do some good work with a simple tool.

04-09-2009, 08:09 AM
Not deliberately necromancing this thread, but for some reason when I looked, this thread was flagged up as today's latest :?: and I got interested in it, and thought I had something to add.
(Perhaps I entered the Twilight Zone, cos now it is today's latest. ;))

I've used MS Paint for a long time for pretty similar reasons - my artistic talents approach zero, it's all I had on my computer, and it's free.

I, too, figured there was no point getting new software that would have loads of stuff I couldn't use obscuring stuff I could use if only I could find it under all the clutter. I wanted MS Paint plus a little bit, and I, too, had a list of 'fixes', top of the list being negative zoom.

However, I recently got Gimp and I was pleasantly surprised at my ability to pick it up, even without an integral help file (which still won't load :(()
I'd heard all sorts of horror stories about how difficult it is to use, but that isn't my experience. I found it quite possible to use the basics and ignore the rest.

My conclusion is that either the scare stories are wrong, or the latest version of the software is much easier to use than earlier versions.

If it's the latter, then a new download of Gimp might just give you a drawing program that will improve your skills - as it has with mine.

Take a look at this thread to see my first attempt.


04-16-2009, 05:45 PM
Cool stuff, wormspeaker! I hope to see more.