View Full Version : Greetings!

12-15-2009, 10:50 AM
Hello there!
I just found this site, and I don't really have any work to show yet. I've been hand-drawing maps for years (I thought I was the only one!) but I don't have much experience at drawing them on computer.

I don't just create maps; I try to do all aspects of world-building: creating people, cultures, languages, etc. I have a fantasy world that I've created named Esseronas, which I have dozens of maps for, but I haven't ever managed to map it fully to my liking. I have mapped a few of the continents with a fairly decent level of detail, but the rest of it is still incomplete. What I'd really like to do is have a world map that I can zoom into (if not smoothly, having at least 4 zoom-levels), with more detail becoming evident as you get closer.

Like I said, I'm (almost) a total n00b when it comes to software-aided drawing, so any advice or recommendations for a program that would meet my needs would be most appreciated. I should mention that I'm using a rather old (circa 2001) laptop running Windows XP. If anyone has a free program that they'd recommend, I'd like to hear about it.

I hope to soon be sharing some work and reading some critiques!

12-15-2009, 11:43 AM
Welcome to the Guild!

As to software, depends what you wanna spend. GIMP = FREE, Profantasy's CC3 = $70+

12-15-2009, 11:46 AM
You're in the right place, we all do the same thing to some degree (some more some less) when it comes to creating maps and worlds and what not. Here's what you need to get started...a free program called GIMP. It's like Photoshop but has it's own quirks and does some things better and some things worse...but that's natural. I would recommend a tablet for drawing naturally but it is not necessary, just a perk. If you have Christmas money to spend then I'd suggest looking through the Software Discussion thread and see what grabs your eye and I would also suggest looking through the Finished Maps section to what sort of style grabs you then check to see what was used to make it. Howdy and welcome.

Steel General
12-15-2009, 02:50 PM
Welcome Aboard!

12-16-2009, 01:42 AM
Whenever anyone mentions 'zoom' I have to think of Viewingdale. If you're a world-builder rather than just a map-maker it might blow your mind. :)

It's not free, but it's not costly. Check it out either by the link in my sig, or just google it.

12-16-2009, 08:01 AM
Thanks everyone for the warm welcome and suggestions!
I'm anxious to check these out. :)

12-17-2009, 12:10 PM
Ambition, I like it. I don't think I've seen a 4x zoom map yet but then I sure haven't seen everything this place has decorating it's walls.

I'm looking forward to seeing what you start putting out once you get going.

I'm pretty new to using the computer to create maps myself and I started with Gimp (http://www.gimp.org/) and Inkscape (http://www.inkscape.org/) which are both free. Gimp is more artsy and Inkscape is better for labels and such. (At least that's my impressions so far).

Not being sure if I was going to enjoy mapping on computer, I didn't want to spend any money. Now that I'm getting into it, it might be worth buying something although I think a tablet takes priority.

Welcome aboard

12-17-2009, 08:10 PM
I cant resist posting a demo of what you are looking for. Although there are a few options for doing a world map with zoom I dont think there is one as capable as ViewingDale. But its Windows only and needs a moderate graphics card which is not such a big deal these days compared to when it was released.

I have a movie here in x264 encoding which is very compact (12Mb) but not all players are up to that codec.


If you have any problems seeing it then I recommend downloading VLC (http://www.videolan.org/vlc/) which is free and plays almost anything.

12-17-2009, 11:58 PM
Redrobes, that was cool.

I'm glad I have looked over the Community efforts because I was able to recognize the various parts of the world.

So, are you taking all the stuff that's been created and porting it into ViewingDale?

Thanks for the link!

12-20-2009, 06:38 AM
Well all the CWBP stuff is CC (Creative commons) licensed so you can reuse it, modify it, add to it etc and you don't have to ask permission for that. That is what a CC BY-SA-NC bit gives you. There is more on the CC website.

One of the guild members here put some of it with a google maps interface to it but I think that site has been down for some time. Anyone could do the same in Google Earth, Celestia, or Worldwind I believe (I don't think any of them restrict what content you can put into them).

But yes, since the start of it I have been adding every map that I see posted into it and id give it out to anyone who asks. The motto of ViewingDale is "Share the Vision". Its a two pronged message in that the app makes it easy to share maps because it sends them over the network and also secondly that we should be sharing our work to make a huge collection of maps that everyone can draw upon. Thats my 'vision', as opposed to the other visual map viewing bit of it being the other 'vision', and the CWBP fits right into that. It would not bother me if it were ViewingDale or some other app that enabled that but this one is built with that as its prime directive. As yet I think the CWBP is the closest I know about for a common shared community built world. All the VTT capabilities for the app are secondary to the ability for it to view worlds to infinite detail. For example, even if you used MapTool as your VTT of choice to play in the world then I still think its worth having ViewingDale too as its organizer.

I should also add that you can import hand drawn stuff in too and that there is no requirement that an imported map becomes CC licensed when building a world. Its merely a hope that I have that people will share their stuff through it.

12-20-2009, 10:07 AM
Redrobes, I am starting to think that icosahedron is just another nick of yours. The way he keeps pushing Viewingdale is starting to get suspisious... :D

Maybe you should give him a commish or something. ;)

All Kidding aside, from what I saw of it it does look good for what you want to do Imzogelmo

Welcome and have fun

12-20-2009, 10:31 AM
Redrobes, I am starting to think that icosahedron is just another nick of yours. The way he keeps pushing Viewingdale is starting to get suspisious... :DNo no, just a happy customer :D We all have our pet apps. I think its one of those things where when you build a world all as one with fast zoom its really hard to go back to loading up each map in turn. I think maybe I should sponsor a monthly challenge with a copy or two and maybe more people will see the light.