I'm a total newbie at making maps. I've collected up some textures and pieces and parts, from other sites. But I don't know how to put it all together yet.
I'm wanting to build an entire campaign around a large city arena, with multiple competing guilds. Only I will need a HUGE multi level arena, and the guild halls around it, to pull it off.
So I'm looking for
IDEAL: Someone to create a starting point for me, and teach a method to wash rinse and repeat so I could finish it myself.
SUFFICIENT: Examples of others work that is similar.
Welcome dLANbandit! I believe you came over from the link I posted at MapTool, assuming I recognized the name? Great to have you here.
Now then to address your request, the first thing we need to know is what applications you have available for mapping in. Also, we'll need to know what sort of style you would like to use. Maybe a link or post of an existing map that you would like to emulate? Also, are you only looking for the arena and none of the surroundings?
Finally, it just so happens that this weekend we are updating the site so there may be some delays in getting replies until things are up and running full speed again.
yes I cam over from RPtools. SO I use MapTools, for gaming. I have done some very basic photo manipulations and logos in the GIMP. I'm willing to acquire any additional tools that I need.
I have no idea what to tell you about style. Maybe this stuff counts. I like top down, with little to no angle on it, and I also like to have the maps be as bare as possible. What I mean by bare, is all things that might ever be nice to move, or reconfigure in the 'real' world are separate objects from the actual map.
My hope was to start with something simple like just the arena.
And move on to the outer areas later.
And all the insides of the outer areas last.
It definitely sounds like you are well on the way actually. You have GIMP so you don't need much more than that. You can grab a lot of elements from both RPGMapShare (which you obviously already know about) and also the Dundjinni forums.
I would suggest that you actually start with the outer areas first so that you have an idea of size and placement that you'll need. It can just be a rough sketch with nothing fancy, but from it you'll be able to have the outlines of the various buildings that you will need to fill in as well as the scale of them.
Perhaps start with some simple shapes ovals, rectangles, etc and size and position them where you envision things being. Then go on the hunt for building images from the aforementioned sites and plop them down over the shapes. I think you'll find that the map will basically take on a life of its own and just grow as you see the available objects that you can drop down.
That would require the least amount of graphics know-how on your part. As for the arena, a similar process can be used. Start by determining how many pixels in size it will need to be and draw an oval to that size. Sketch in simple objects again to be the different areas within the arena. Using layers you can easily trace over these objects to create your walls and then drop in objects and textured polys for the different areas.
The key is to get the process started and then share your work here and we can provide a bunch more help and direction and tips to get you where you want to go.