Hey everyone, I'm Ryan. I'm 16, I'm from Canada, and I've been interested in cartography, worldbuilding/conworlds/geofiction, game designing and the like for quite a long time now. I found this website while just surfing the net (can't recall what I was searching for though... fantasy map-making I think... but anyways...), I made an account, and I've pretty much been lurking around without posting ever since, and now I've started to post! I've done lots of hand-drawn maps over the years, but I've never made maps on the computer before. At the moment I'm just working on a few test maps and trying to learn some basic knowledge from the tutorials and such.
Here's my one test map (far from finished):
Hi Ryan, welcome to the guild - we got a lot of good tutorials if you haven't noticed allready. Nice map you've got there - like the colors :) ... the coast is a little smooth, try to search for oldguys tutorial on roughing up the coastlines :) And go post the map in a WIP thread to so we can help you as you make it :) ... and have some rep for your first upload with my +7 mace of repping :)
Hey little buddy - welcome to the guild! - I just came back myself after a long absence. There's a lot of smart youngsters, and old farts like me around who can help you out with anything you need to know. Welcome aboard lad! Here's some websites to point you in the right direction:
http://www.profantasy.com/ (<- Not only a place to buy THE BEST MAP MAKING APPS OUT THERE - but you can join the forums for free - and get LOADS of great advice and info,)
http://www.openoffice.org/ (<- FREE! -Great for writing .PDF stories, game booklets, game materials and handouts with pictures, or putting your maps in an atlas in .PDF format if you want, Also has a free vector drawing app.).
http://www.ridgenet.net/~jslayton/wilbur.html (<- WILBUR is the forrunner of Fractal Terrains - it's free, and it's a great map making prog!)
http://dungeoncrafter3.com/ (<-FREE tile based map making app - good for making discrete towns, fortresses, cities, and dungeons. Look for the Legacy version 1 link - and version 2 also on the site - as well, so that you can get all of the tiles that you can use with it. Actually Version 1 (Legacy Version) is more complete - and really better than 3.))
http://autorealm.sourceforge.net/ (<- Free Map Maker for RPG / Wargaming)
http://www.dungeonmapping.com/df/public_html/ (<- Home of "DUNGEONFORGE" - another great free mapping app.)
http://www.welshpiper.com/ft-pro-and-real-world-data/ (<- Lots of freebies and info on mapping and world building!)
http://projectrho.com/starmap.html (<- everything that you will EVER need to know about star mapping and doing sci fi system maps.)
http://www.mentalwasteland.net/HexMapper/ (<- FREE hexmapping app..)
http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/Hexmapper_Haven/ (<- Place to get the free AKS HEXMAPPER - Probably the best looking free hex map app out there)
http://www.rmcomics.com/ak/tools.htm (<- ANOTHER place to get AKS HEXMAPPER - as well as a nice little tile based town builder)
http://inkscape.org/download/ (<- Inkscape is a free vector drawing app - a must have!)
http://www.gimp.org/ (<- The GIMP free image editor, also a must!)
http://www.gimp.org/windows/ (<- The GIMP for Windows!)
http://www.abstractfonts.com/ (<- I would say one of the best - if not the best free fonts place out there, one reason being that they give you the licensing info for each font so that you know what your allowed to do with it - and what you can't.)
http://www.scribus.net/ (<- like Open Office, a great and totally free desktop publishing app..)
http://download.cnet.com/Graph-Paper...-10037453.html (<- FREE GRAPH PAPER PRINTER, You NEED this for hand drawing paper maps, no denieing it.)
Ok son - if that doesn't set'ya up - nothing will, LOL :)
Thanks for the warm welcome everyone!
Thank-you Tilt for your comments and suggestions - The coast is rather smooth isn't it? I'll be sure to check out that tutorial you mentioned, because the map definitely needs some more realistic detail... By that I mean sharper, more jagged, "roughed up" shorelines, but also some different types of landscapes, and mountains, trees, rivers and lakes. I guess it's a long way from completion, but I shouldn't really worry about that at this point, and besides, getting there is half of the fun! And also thank-you Terraformer for all of the links!!! I already have OpenOffice and GIMP, and I've heard of a couple of the other things you've included on your list, but the rest I've never ever heard of before. They all sound pretty cool, so I guess I had better check them out!
Again, thanks everyone!