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Mapping Tool for players?

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Mapping Tool for players?

PostAuthor: Kinjara » Thu Jul 13, 2017 1:19 pm

Does anyone know of a good simple tool for mapping the world as one explores it, other than plain ole pen and paper? There seems to be tons of tools for creating areas but I am looking for something to use in mapping out a region of the world as I explore it. Ultra simple is what I am after, not something where I am expected to map each tile in an area but rather just mainly the transitions such as the route to get from Blandenberg to Equaloria, or Zvid to Le'or and what areas one would pass through on the way.

Since every area is pretty much square or rectangular I was thinking of just using an Excel spreadsheet, and that would serve my purposes but I thought perhaps a tool already exists for this exact purpose. The ability to add notes and/or images to a specific area's info would be great too.

Note: It should start out as a blank canvas and the user adds the areas as they travel, I am not looking for any kind of cheat tool that will show me the map as the game files define it.

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Re: Mapping Tool for players?

PostAuthor: tizmo » Thu Jul 13, 2017 2:02 pm

I do mapping in a few ways.

1. Pen and Paper. I have a 1000' x 3' roll of white paper and I cut large chunks off for each city/server/sewer area and draw my maps very free-form little by little as I explore. Once I get most of the area fleshed out, and the map is a total disaster, I cut a new piece of paper and make a more clean map. Or in some cases I'll go to step #2 to make it nicer.

2. Screenshot with the minimap window open and crop out the minimap window. Then put all of those minimaps together using flow chart software. Import the minimap images as nodes and add lines connecting them plus wording overlayed on and around them.

3. Flowchart software with rectangles and lines connecting the rectangles plus some wording overlayed on and around them.

For #2 and #3, once you've completed the maps in the Flowchart software, I export them and save to PDF for easy viewing while playing.

The flowchart software I use is called OmniGraffle. If you're PC bought any of the Ferrell Lost Canyon Falls maps from Ewnin, I used method #2 above to make those.

Cheers!

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Re: Mapping Tool for players?

PostAuthor: Kinjara » Thu Jul 13, 2017 2:18 pm

Thanks Tizmo, flowcharting sounds like the perfect solution. I am on Windows (Omnigraffle seems to be iOS only) so I will look for something similar.

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Re: Mapping Tool for players?

PostAuthor: silverfields2 » Thu Jul 13, 2017 5:02 pm

I was lucky enough to join a lot of guilds who had members who liked making maps and I printed them out and put them in a binder. :D

The maps I made for myself were simple flow charts done from quick sketches.. I still printed them out and put them in my binder. :D
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Re: Mapping Tool for players?

PostAuthor: Gorgon » Thu Jul 13, 2017 5:05 pm

LibreOffice Draw flowcharts would probably do the trick, and it doesn't cost you anything. I remember using old PowerPoint for the PE Deglos maps with the AJA version, using the mini-maps linked by simple vector lines for transition points, but a flowchart would be the simple way to go.

For personal use, you don't have to convert to pdf, like the PE maps, with the page width/height limits, and fixed size mini-map pics (tizmo's Ferrell one has a single continuous page version, which is nice). You can just make a big zoomable one, with area maps that scale up to full screen ones from screenshots IG, though that is a lot more work (you said you wanted easy :mrgreen: ).
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Re: Mapping Tool for players?

PostAuthor: Kinjara » Thu Jul 13, 2017 5:30 pm

Good input all! I found the open source tool Pencil and seems like it will work fine too.

Thanks for the ideas!

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Re: Mapping Tool for players?

PostAuthor: Jazz » Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:27 pm

I just made screenshots of all minimaps and put those together in Paint ]8) Works fairly well, most areas seem to be connected.
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Re: Mapping Tool for players?

PostAuthor: Tel » Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:43 pm

I tried once upon a time, I used Excel and just put each map into a cell, and then I had notes on the cells with information about the map I wanted to know... by the time I'd done a few maps I realized I'd memorized the stuff and gave up on the project.
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Re: Mapping Tool for players?

PostAuthor: galen_macbyrne » Fri Jul 14, 2017 12:09 am

You mean you people DON'T put transitions, crafting spawns (and which are better on first picking), monster spawn triggers, traps, treasure chests, lootable houses and DCs of their locks, and so on, on your maps??? :+)

(Team has told me my maps WILL NEVER BE FOR SALE)
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Re: Mapping Tool for players?

PostAuthor: tizmo » Fri Jul 14, 2017 1:27 am

galen_macbyrne wrote:You mean you people DON'T put transitions, crafting spawns (and which are better on first picking), monster spawn triggers, traps, treasure chests, lootable houses and DCs of their locks, and so on, on your maps??? :+)

(Team has told me my maps WILL NEVER BE FOR SALE)


Oh yeah! This is a good point in the conversation to say, if you have any intention of making maps to sell or distribute IG, they must go through a review by the team for approval.

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Re: Mapping Tool for players?

PostAuthor: Elradra » Fri Jul 14, 2017 4:08 am

tizmo wrote:
galen_macbyrne wrote:You mean you people DON'T put transitions, crafting spawns (and which are better on first picking), monster spawn triggers, traps, treasure chests, lootable houses and DCs of their locks, and so on, on your maps??? :+)

(Team has told me my maps WILL NEVER BE FOR SALE)


Oh yeah! This is a good point in the conversation to say, if you have any intention of making maps to sell or distribute IG, they must go through a review by the team for approval.


Well that's good to know. I was going to have Rade start making tactical maps of various dungeons and fortresses for future use by her and her peers. Do we just send the stuff in a PM to all DMs for approval?
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Re: Mapping Tool for players?

PostAuthor: tizmo » Fri Jul 14, 2017 6:07 am

Elradra wrote:
tizmo wrote:
galen_macbyrne wrote:You mean you people DON'T put transitions, crafting spawns (and which are better on first picking), monster spawn triggers, traps, treasure chests, lootable houses and DCs of their locks, and so on, on your maps??? :+)

(Team has told me my maps WILL NEVER BE FOR SALE)


Oh yeah! This is a good point in the conversation to say, if you have any intention of making maps to sell or distribute IG, they must go through a review by the team for approval.


Well that's good to know. I was going to have Rade start making tactical maps of various dungeons and fortresses for future use by her and her peers. Do we just send the stuff in a PM to all DMs for approval?


If you want to get permission first, send a PM to Dungeon Master alias and describe what you intend to do and ask for permission. Or, if you want to make an example to show, put the file(s) in your google drive and send a PM to dungeon master alias with a share link to it.

Generally, here is what I've understood from the review of my maps (not hard rules):
- no triggers, spawn points, creature stats, lock stats, respawn rates, etc.
- generally ok are area layout/connections, rough location of craftables, rough location of danger

I don't know if there is more or less flexibility if your maps are guild-only vs publicly sold, so state your intent when you send the PM.

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