I just wanted to introduce myself. I'm Korbein, I am a long time RPG player and n amature mapper (and not very good at it yet) and I have always used CC2-Pro in the past. I recently came accross this site and saw what I could do with with GIMP. I'm really impressed and probably won't upgrade to CC3 now.
I really new at using GIM so I'll have alot of questions. I', currently working on a map for my boardgame. Its a fantasy Axis & Allies type game with a lot more realm mgmt.
Well see you on-line!
Welcome to the group.
Don't totally write off CC3. Does some amazing stuff, and can really help, and then be 'ported' to Gimp for additional touch up.
Ultimately, you will probably find GIMP won't meet your needs. While FM8 is an easy-to-approach program and has a superior scripting capability, CC3 has more built in features (as you are likely aware if you ever used CC2 Pro). The new raster graphics in it are a great way to compromise between ease of vector maintenance and power of CAD with the visual appeal of rasterized graphics.
Welcome (if it isn't presumptuous of a guy who just joined one day earlier).
Welcome Korbein. The best way to find out which software is right for you is to play with them all and use the one (or ones) that you are most comfortable with. Different types of software are better at achieving different types of look and feel.
Enjoy your stay at the Guild!
I think you will see a lot of different techniques on this site, and various applications used to make those maps. Different apps seem to be suited to different styles of map. I use GIMP for mapping (with a bit of help from Inkscape) and when it comes to power its incredible for mapping, and I think its unrivalled (Photoshop users feel free to chime in here). Its just my personal view obviously, but if you want to see some examples of the type of mapping its capable of just type "RobA" into this site's search engine.
Have a great time here, and feel free to ask any questions you have regarding Gimp.
It really depends on your style, ability, and the amount of effort you want to put into a map!
If you look at the tools of most professional fantasy cartographers, you will find photoshop and illustrator as their top tools. The closest open source (and free) option to these are gimp and inkscape. These tools tend to need some artistic ability and experience to get decent looking results.
Programs like cc, fm and dj all have two huge advantages in that they are tailor made for producing maps, and they come with big sets of clip-art.
The best idea is to pick one that you are comfortable with, and explore it's capabilities fully. Remember, software doesn't make maps.... cartographers make maps ;)
Hi Korbein, and welcome to the Guild. Make sure to post your works in progress, either to ask for help or just to show us what you're up to. We love maps all the way around, of any and all types, so we'd love to see yours! (It's kind of like a clean version of "I'll show you mine if you show me yours"!)
Glad you're here!