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Thread: Howdy! ...and Help!

  1. #1

    Help Howdy! ...and Help!

    I'm matt and am completely new to this site and this whole world of gaming and cartography.

    I stumbled onto a post on this site while looking for a fun father-son project for the summer. After wandering through the forums a bit, I was amazed at the artwork and intrigued to learn more about the games that they were created for. That has birthed a desire to create maps and game boards, and of course you can't adequately design a map or game board for a game style you've never played. Thus my addictive personality style has gotten the best of me, thanks to the wonderful artists on this site, and I blame all of you!

    That said, I now ask for help. Either some form of intervention to wean me off of this new found interest, or some form of mentor to teach me everything there is to know about this stuff!

    I (and my friends and family who've listened to me blather on about this for the past week) Thank You!

  2. #2
    Guild Adept Alfar's Avatar
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    Well, first off, welcome aboard, Matt! Happy to have new folks stop in.

    I guess you can say that making maps is the game for some of us. Others have games (mostly role playing games I suppose) where the maps serve as accessories, and others still use the maps for publications - along with their novels set in the world described by the map, for example. In short, there are plenty of reasons to make maps.

    A cheap (free) way to get into role playing games could be to download the open beta version of the Pathfinder RPG from Paizo (http://paizo.com/pathfinderrpg) - I'll warn you that role playing is rather addictive (or can be, at least.)

    To get you started, I'd suggest you try out a few tutorials, see what works for you. You'll need some software, and again, I'll suggest a free option: the Gimp (http://gimp.org/) is available for both Windows and Mac (and Linux of course), and there are quite a few tutorials for that one.

    Thanks for stopping by, and once more, welcome!

  3. #3
    Guild Artisan töff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattperry View Post
    ... my addictive personality style ... some form of intervention
    S double-O L, my friend.

    Welcome, though

  4. #4

    Praise Thanks again!

    Quote Originally Posted by Alfar View Post
    Well, first off, welcome aboard, Matt! Happy to have new folks stop in.
    ...
    Thanks for stopping by, and once more, welcome!
    Thanks for the head's up...

    I'm an IT guy and have been working in the desktop publishing world for a few years now, so hardware and software I know. And as an open source and linux nut Gimp, Inkscape, etc. are great recommendations.

    I've spent decades staring at code, and am trying to be 'creative' for once. So thanks again for the help!

  5. #5
    Guild Journeyer msa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattperry View Post
    And as an open source and linux nut Gimp, Inkscape, etc. are great recommendations.

    I've spent decades staring at code, and am trying to be 'creative' for once. So thanks again for the help!
    I'm sure you've hit the tutorials section and seen the wide range of Gimp-related documents there. If not, RUN, don't walk, to that section and check them out. I also got a tremendous amount of initial inspiration from these tutorial for photoshop on youtube (don't worry... most of the stuff is applicable to gimp):

    http://www.youtube.com/user/ZombieNirvana?blend=2&ob=1

    Like you, I'm a linux/gimp/code nut that's been playing with GIMP for many years before I came here. With those tutorials in hand, I was almost immediately creating maps that were, in my mind, startlingly pretty and miraculously simple. I have a tiny bit of artist in me, but not much... its really just a matter of the ease of producing a pretty map once you have a few tricks up your sleeve. In fact, virtually all of my mapping is done using scripts, filters, random noise, and very very general sketches. I promise you will be amazed at what you and your son can produce.

    As far as inspiration for maps... that can come from anywhere: video games, fiction writing, role playing, treasure hunting, architecture, or just plain for its own sake. I come from 2 decades of D&D and table top RPG playing, and if you wanted to start out on that I would recommend D&D 4e for its simplicity, consistency, and ease of play. Pathfinder/3.5e, which is what I play, is great but its a lot more complicated and advanced so I don't recommend it for kids and beginners. Otherwise... map the yard, or a spot of woods that your kid likes to play in (do kids still play in woods?), or write a little short story, or something else that is auxiliary to the maps. Making maps will give you the most bang for your buck in terms of time invested and goods produced, IMO.

    Good luck! And welcome!

  6. #6
    Community Leader Facebook Connected Steel General's Avatar
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    Welcome Aboard!
    My Finished Maps | My Challenge Maps | Ghoraja Juun, my largely stagnated campaign setting.

    Unless otherwise stated by me in the post, all work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.



  7. #7
    Community Leader NeonKnight's Avatar
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    Welcome to the Guild!
    Daniel the Neon Knight: Campaign Cartographer User

    Never use a big word when a diminutive one will suffice!

    Any questions on CC3? Post them with CC3 in the Subject Line!
    MY 'FAMOUS' CC3 MAPS: Thunderspire; Pyramid of Shadows; King of the Trollhaunt Warrens; Demon Queen's Enclave

  8. #8
    Guild Adept Alfar's Avatar
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    I too am a code nut, but really... you don't consider coding a creative endeavour? Oh my.

    Also, there are quite a few ways to script gimp. the built in script-fu is some kind of scheme, it seems, and there's a plugin to enable python support. Of course, there's support for plugins written in c as well. Fun stuff!

  9. #9
    Administrator RobA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattperry View Post
    I've spent decades staring at code, and am trying to be 'creative' for once. So thanks again for the help!
    Hey - some of my most creative efforts are code related (I am lazy!), hence all the gimp scripts I've cobbled together (check my sig...)!

    And welcome!

    -Rob A>

  10. #10

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    Oh I feel that coding is usually full of creative ways to get from point a to point b, but most folks don't see coding as 'creative'...and coding for gimp and inkscape is always fun...

    ...in hindsight, perhaps I should have used the term 'artsy' or the like...now watch all the 'artsy' folks find offense...lol

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