Hi folks, I'm rather new here, but I have a specific plan in mind. I'm in the process of writing a browser-based game which is is need of some very simple top-down views of small villages / towns which will be image-mapped to allow the user direct access to various areas in each location.

I've been looking around at some of the work presented here and am rather impressed with the quality of the artwork, although I'm still struggling with the best course of action.

I experimented briefly with scripting a random based town -- and while it does look vaguely possible, I'm not sure the time spent on the code would be justifiable - rivers, roads, fields, buildings -- all possible, but time consuming to get looking right.

So, instead of using my existing skills, I though I'd inquire as to a set of suitable tools and/or tutorials that would be worth obtaining / reading.

For reference, my OS platform of choice is BSD, so that limits me rather badly when it comes to the tools available as far as I can see. My graphical skills are limited - I've used PoVRay a bit, and have a (very) limited experience of the GIMP as well.

The type of maps I'm currently looking at will be based in a jungle so no pretty beaches I'm afraid, although that may make life easier. Simple top-down views are all that is needed, possibly a few variants of trees/bushes, perhaps a wooden fence, cleared ground, several building designs, simple rough tracks / roads, the odd small river with bridges if necessary etc. The images will not need to be generated in real time -- rather they are static for each location in the jungle, and there will be perhaps up to 15-20 different town / village plans needed.

Suggestions gratefully received.