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Thread: Dungeon Making with Xara

  1. #1
      yu gnomi is offline
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    Post Dungeon Making with Xara

    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.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Dungeon Making with Xara-entrance-level.png  
    Last edited by yu gnomi; 07-30-2008 at 06:52 PM.

  2. #2
      yu gnomi is offline
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    I thought it might look a little better with a different background than the blue. I tried a parchment background.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Dungeon Making with Xara-entry-level-2.jpg  

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      jfrazierjr is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by yu gnomi View Post
    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
    My Finished Maps
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    Explanation of Layer Masks in GIMP
    How to create ISO Mountains in GIMP/PS using the Smudge tool
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    Unless otherwise stated by me in the post, all work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

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      yu gnomi is offline
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    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.

  5. #5
      jfrazierjr is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by yu gnomi View Post
    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
    My Finished Maps
    Works in Progress(or abandoned tests)
    My Tutorials:
    Explanation of Layer Masks in GIMP
    How to create ISO Mountains in GIMP/PS using the Smudge tool
    ----------------------------------------------------------
    Unless otherwise stated by me in the post, all work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

  6. #6
      yu gnomi is offline
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    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.

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  8. #8
      yu gnomi is offline
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    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.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Dungeon Making with Xara-underground-level.png   Dungeon Making with Xara-upper-level.png  

  9. #9
      jfrazierjr is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by yu gnomi View Post
    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.



    Quote Originally Posted by yu gnomi View Post
    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?
    My Finished Maps
    Works in Progress(or abandoned tests)
    My Tutorials:
    Explanation of Layer Masks in GIMP
    How to create ISO Mountains in GIMP/PS using the Smudge tool
    ----------------------------------------------------------
    Unless otherwise stated by me in the post, all work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

  10. #10
      yu gnomi is offline
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    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.

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