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May 22nd, 2009, 00:05
I was just curious to see if anyone else here uses Campaign Cartographer to make maps? I don't really play P&P anymore, but I'm an avid map collector and creator. Actually, I should say "map beginner" since I usually start too big of a map and never get around to finishing it. The only problem I have with CC is that the individual modules are sooo expensive! If you just want world maps, you could get the base program for $45, but then you'd have to get Dungeon Designer (for interiors), City Designer (for villages, cities, etc) and maybe even some of the symbol sets for variety. Each one averaging about $45. So it's an expensive hobby, plus it's kind of a chore learning it, but once you do, boy you sure can make some great stuff.

So uh… I didn't really mean this to turn into a mini review, so does anyone else use this stuff? Does anyone use something different? Know of any links? It's hard to find user made maps.
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May 22nd, 2009, 01:12
Call me old fashioned (or just old), but I always use the standby of pencil and graph paper. You can get it in an array of sizes, and even isometric or hex or what-have-you.

occasionally I'll use a sketch pad or just plain printer paper, if I'm not going to for anything other than a rough map.

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May 22nd, 2009, 01:23
I used to love drawing, but I would always get frustrated since I cannot draw a straight line! I know it's weird but I draw very shaky. You should see my hand writing, it's atrocious. I get VERY frustrated, otherwise I would love to hand draw these maps and scan them since I often wish I could add a little detail with a pencil…
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May 22nd, 2009, 10:39
I've tried the demos - and it seems a pretty excellent tool. My brother uses it for his campaigns, I believe - and he's very happy with it.

That said, it DOES seem pretty ridiculous with so many versions that all deal with their own tiny aspect of map-making. Not sure if you can get a compilation or something, but otherwise it might be prohibitively expensive to get a thorough package.
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May 22nd, 2009, 10:58
I used to do enormous quantities of maps, from entire worlds down to little villages. It's a lot of work, though, so I haven't done any serious mapmaking in years. I used to draw them either by hand, or with tools like Macromedia FreeHand.
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May 23rd, 2009, 08:37
A shaky hand is my problem as well. I compensate via apathy.

Mostly, years of typing, writing, and other such activities have damaged my wrist somewhat. I ignore it, but after a short while writing or drawing becomes less than comfortable.

In designing my own RPG, I've needed a LOT of maps, and more to come. But I've never needed or really wanted a computer program to do it in. I can make my own tiles for specific things, and copy-paste them into a blank image in OpenOffice Draw or Inkscape. Might take longer, but less expense by far.

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May 25th, 2009, 20:51
I tried the demo a few years ago, and I liked it.

What I didn't like (and still don't) is the price.

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May 26th, 2009, 07:54
At a glance in Google, it seems no one makes a true free program. I found a few dead links though, so I probably didn't use the right search term or just dig deep enough.

Inkscape, Gimp, and OpenOffice Draw are all freeware, and while you'll have to do a bit more work than if you had some templates set up, you'll still be able to get a map made in them without ever doing free hand.

I might convert a map for my RPG using them later, just to show it can be done. I'm still finding and installing stuff for my computer though so I may forget about it before long.

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May 26th, 2009, 17:56
Yes, I'm quite surprised that no-one does a program like the CC as Freeware as well.

Considering how much really weird stuff I'll never ever have any use for I found in the programs databases of my current Ubuntu system, I'm surprised that no geek never underwent the work to program such a thing, so to say (sorry 'bout my grammar).

People develop really strange stuff. But the CC remains a complete niche product.
Which is reflected by the prices. Pure monopolism.

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May 26th, 2009, 20:57
Yeah, there's no competition, so you get an overpriced product.

I don't think the coding would be all the difficult, relatively. At it's heart, we're talking about a specialized picture editor. We could be fancy, and have pop up info boxes and such on various tiles, but that wouldn't translate into printable forms very well.

You'd need various templates, and a graphics set that is clear enough that the user knows what the heck it is they're looking at.

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May 27th, 2009, 11:48
The thing about CC is that it's vector-based, which means a lot of math stuff for doing this properly. That's what makes it so flexible in terms of scale and what not.

I'm not saying it isn't very doable - but it does take some knowledge and of course the will to make something so relatively exclusive.
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