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View Full Version : Howdy! ...and Help!



mattperry
07-02-2009, 10:20 AM
I'm matt and am completely new to this site and this whole world of gaming and cartography.

I stumbled onto a post on this site while looking for a fun father-son project for the summer. After wandering through the forums a bit, I was amazed at the artwork and intrigued to learn more about the games that they were created for. That has birthed a desire to create maps and game boards, and of course you can't adequately design a map or game board for a game style you've never played. Thus my addictive personality style has gotten the best of me, thanks to the wonderful artists on this site, and I blame all of you!

That said, I now ask for help. Either some form of intervention to wean me off of this new found interest, or some form of mentor to teach me everything there is to know about this stuff!

I (and my friends and family who've listened to me blather on about this for the past week) Thank You!

Alfar
07-02-2009, 10:39 AM
Well, first off, welcome aboard, Matt! Happy to have new folks stop in.

I guess you can say that making maps is the game for some of us. Others have games (mostly role playing games I suppose) where the maps serve as accessories, and others still use the maps for publications - along with their novels set in the world described by the map, for example. In short, there are plenty of reasons to make maps.

A cheap (free) way to get into role playing games could be to download the open beta version of the Pathfinder RPG from Paizo (http://paizo.com/pathfinderrpg) - I'll warn you that role playing is rather addictive (or can be, at least.)

To get you started, I'd suggest you try out a few tutorials, see what works for you. You'll need some software, and again, I'll suggest a free option: the Gimp (http://gimp.org/) is available for both Windows and Mac (and Linux of course), and there are quite a few tutorials for that one.

Thanks for stopping by, and once more, welcome!

töff
07-02-2009, 10:45 AM
... my addictive personality style ... some form of intervention S double-O L, my friend.

Welcome, though :)

mattperry
07-02-2009, 11:13 AM
Well, first off, welcome aboard, Matt! Happy to have new folks stop in.
...
Thanks for stopping by, and once more, welcome!

Thanks for the head's up...

I'm an IT guy and have been working in the desktop publishing world for a few years now, so hardware and software I know. And as an open source and linux nut Gimp, Inkscape, etc. are great recommendations.

I've spent decades staring at code, and am trying to be 'creative' for once. So thanks again for the help!

msa
07-02-2009, 11:43 AM
And as an open source and linux nut Gimp, Inkscape, etc. are great recommendations.

I've spent decades staring at code, and am trying to be 'creative' for once. So thanks again for the help!

I'm sure you've hit the tutorials section and seen the wide range of Gimp-related documents there. If not, RUN, don't walk, to that section and check them out. I also got a tremendous amount of initial inspiration from these tutorial for photoshop on youtube (don't worry... most of the stuff is applicable to gimp):

http://www.youtube.com/user/ZombieNirvana?blend=2&ob=1

Like you, I'm a linux/gimp/code nut that's been playing with GIMP for many years before I came here. With those tutorials in hand, I was almost immediately creating maps that were, in my mind, startlingly pretty and miraculously simple. I have a tiny bit of artist in me, but not much... its really just a matter of the ease of producing a pretty map once you have a few tricks up your sleeve. In fact, virtually all of my mapping is done using scripts, filters, random noise, and very very general sketches. I promise you will be amazed at what you and your son can produce.

As far as inspiration for maps... that can come from anywhere: video games, fiction writing, role playing, treasure hunting, architecture, or just plain for its own sake. I come from 2 decades of D&D and table top RPG playing, and if you wanted to start out on that I would recommend D&D 4e for its simplicity, consistency, and ease of play. Pathfinder/3.5e, which is what I play, is great but its a lot more complicated and advanced so I don't recommend it for kids and beginners. Otherwise... map the yard, or a spot of woods that your kid likes to play in (do kids still play in woods?), or write a little short story, or something else that is auxiliary to the maps. Making maps will give you the most bang for your buck in terms of time invested and goods produced, IMO.

Good luck! And welcome!

Steel General
07-02-2009, 11:45 AM
Welcome Aboard!

NeonKnight
07-02-2009, 12:31 PM
Welcome to the Guild!

Alfar
07-02-2009, 12:35 PM
I too am a code nut, but really... you don't consider coding a creative endeavour? Oh my. ;)

Also, there are quite a few ways to script gimp. the built in script-fu is some kind of scheme, it seems, and there's a plugin to enable python support. Of course, there's support for plugins written in c as well. Fun stuff!

RobA
07-02-2009, 01:22 PM
I've spent decades staring at code, and am trying to be 'creative' for once. So thanks again for the help!

Hey - some of my most creative efforts are code related (I am lazy!), hence all the gimp scripts I've cobbled together (check my sig...)!

And welcome!

-Rob A>

mattperry
07-02-2009, 01:52 PM
Oh I feel that coding is usually full of creative ways to get from point a to point b, but most folks don't see coding as 'creative'...and coding for gimp and inkscape is always fun...

...in hindsight, perhaps I should have used the term 'artsy' or the like...now watch all the 'artsy' folks find offense...lol

jfrazierjr
07-02-2009, 01:54 PM
For myself, coding is creative laziness... I learned how to code by being tired of doing something over and over the "slow" way.

Immolate
07-09-2009, 07:42 PM
Welcome to the board. Pathfinder is an excellent recommendation. It is basically the successor to Dungeons and Dragons since Wizards of the Coast has taken the "New Coke" path. I believe they are releasing their system on August 8th, so only a month away. The book and the art is quite beautiful.