Raster (bought) [e.g. Photoshop, PaintShopPro, Painter]
Raster (free) [e.g. GIMP]
Vector (bought) [e.g. Illustrator, Corel Draw, Xara]
Vector (free) [e.g. Inkscape]
Vector (Symbol driven) [e.g. CC, Dunjinni]
Online Generator [e.g. City Map Generator, Fractal World Generator]
Fractal Generator [e.g. Fractal Terrains]
3d modelling [e.g. Bryce, Vue Infinite, Blender]
Scanned hand drawn maps
Drawing Tablet and pen [e.g. Wacom]
The tricky part when comparing VTs is that for the most part, if you can drop down an image for the background, and put images down for tokens, you'll pretty much get the same result from every VT.
The key is finding a way to compare the unique features, or perhaps illustrate what makes each map particularly interesting for each VT.
As you mention that, I'm reminded of a for-fun "contest" we had a number of years back: Make a the cliche forest road scenario in one minute
Here's one that Dorpond put together:
http://rptools.net/dorpond/demos/QuickMap/QuickMap.html (1 minute)
http://rptools.net/dorpond/demos/Qui...QuickMap4.html (2 minutes)
And one he did with a slight modification on theme (2 minutes):
iirc (correct me if I'm wrong redrobes), it doesn't have drawing tools, so all of your page content has to be premade images or text. And there isn't a visual way to browse for images to put onto the map, which would make map making a tad tedious (unless you have all your image names memorized).
Although this could just be me not knowing the UI well enough.
Maybe Redrobes can post a screencast of him building a map from scratch, perhaps the "Forest Road" scenario. (Note: I've seen the tutorials on his website, but I didn't see one that constructed a scene from scratch, just one that connected two already created map sections together, let me know if I've missed one)
Coincidentally, a user just posted a map he created using dungeon tiles that will be part of the official MapTool 1.3 build:
complete with downloadable campaign file, might be a good starting place
Your right, it does not have drawing tools you do have to make tokens with a raster package. You can ask for a new token and it brings up the text browser of token file names. For each file you can get a preview by pressing space bar on any token from there you can use up and down arrows to get previews of next and prev tokens. On the latest version there is a create directory contact sheet option too so you can create all of the tokens on one page on one collection which makes finding the right one easier when there is a vast array of them to look at.
The problem here for me is that normally each token is the base of a hierarchy so the visual effect of that token is the tokens image and all its child tokens and all their (grand) children etc so the token is not a static bitmap with a thumbnail to be stored away somewhere for quick browsing.
This is what makes me feel a little daunted by the comparison with all the mapping ability. If you try to force the app to make the maps like the others then it probably wont come off as good. However if you tried to make the kind of maps that VDale likes with the others then I think they would come off worse. The comparisons could be open to a lot of prejudice.
Right, ill get a cuppa, boot up CamStudio and try the 1 minute challenge ! I think here it will shine...
I believe I was involved with that one minute challenge. I think it was back when I first started getting serious about using MapTool in fact. Here is my attempt from way back when:
Oh, and now with the new random drawing macro, I'm betting we could do these in like 30 seconds and make them look awesome.
wow, that was from a loooong time ago, the UI has changed a lot ! It's fun to look back where we've been
Ok here we are. My god I have had some problems with the video conversion tonight. Dont know why but had to use the Cinipak thing, convert to H264 and then into XviD before it was happy to play it. I think I have broken my MediaPlayer....
Anyway, the one minute path in a forest. Heres the vid. Took another 45 secs to put the arrow and text down.
I then went on and added 45 secs more of dressing...
...and then another two minutes adding some forest fluff and some characters to the scene.
So what this is saying is that for a whopping 3-4 mins of effort you can get a pretty decent battle map with characters placed down and it looks pretty reasonable zoomed up to character scale too - which is the whole point of using the zoom browser feature of a mapping app.
I have also used the preview mode in a few places just to show in action.
Hope thats explained it a bit more.
EDIT -- Just gotta fiddle with it a bit more. Prob half hour in total. Pic below.