Page 1 of 3 123 Last

Thread: Some of my maps

  1. #1

    Some of my maps

    OK, here are some of my maps from games past.


    Centrus is the world map for my previous campaign setting. I'm kicking off a new one now so this is now nostalgic. It is actually a simplified version from the one I originally had and grew tired of after 5 years.


    Deathnought.jpg
    This is a creation of mine called a Deathnought and is sort of the aircraft carrier of a necropolis. It was for a spelljammer like game I ran for a bit


    Dwarvenhall.jpg
    This map is one of the larger ones yet simpler ones I used. It was for the climactic battle between the party and a very mean read dragon that had turned one of those ginormous dwarven halls into its lair. This map was large enough for the dragon to fly and maneuver in.


    Level1.jpg
    And this is the first level of my new dungeon (the party just crossed into level 2 last weekend so I can display this now). It represents my new style of dungeon map making in that I don't use a gridded floor tile anymore. Since FG adds a grid anyways I just include a square in the corner of the map to set the grid to and let the program draw the lines for me. This way if the grid is off a bit, it isn't glaringly obvious like when my grid lines don't match the FG lines.



    And that's it for now. You notice I don't add furniture or scene elements to the maps. I figure that should be taken care of through narrative. My level 2 map is much better and I should be able to post it after a game or two... Cheers!

    Note: Attachments are acting wonky. I tried to insert the images in the body but it didn't work well. Sorry
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Penchant; July 20th, 2010 at 05:13.

  2. #2
    Ok, so I've got 50 views and no comments. not a 'cool', not a 'meh', not 'that blows'. Obviously I'm not great at mapmaking, my skills are still relatively novice. What I do want to do is improve this particular skillset of mine. So I would like some sort of feedback. please? pretty please?

    Also, I'm going to try making maps for needs other than my game, since I only need a new one every month or so for that purpose. If you have suggestions or requests for maps that you could use, let me know and I'll try it out.


    That said, a few thoughts about mapmaking for FG:
    The types of maps that you find that look like they should be printed in a module or as a fold out in a boxed set (if there is such a thing anymore) are not best for FG. Print maps don't have to be concerned with bandwidth. However since the DM has to host the maps on his internet connection things really slow up when you start preloading a sizable map out to 6 players. Myself, while I have a decent download speed, my upload is severely limited. This is why anything the pc's cannot see is filled with blackspace instead of the usual stone pattern you see in print books. I export my maps as .jpg which compresses flat colors very well. Small map files reduce the amount of times the players complain that Fantasy Grounds is lagging.

    As I stated above, I've stopped putting gridlines on my maps. It should be obvious that they just aren't useful anymore. I include a blank square as a registration mark to line up the map when I set it up in FG.

    Scenery... As yet I have added little to no scene elements. I have done a few maps that included them, but I was really uncertain if they made a difference to the experience. I could see an argument both ways. On one side you could say that providing a detailed map enhances the experience, especially if you are using text chat to play. A Picture is worth a thousand words, or so the saying goes. On the other hand, focusing on what is just a tactical representations could detract from what is supposed to be a largely narrative experience. I use Skype in my online game so I rely on descriptive narrative to set the scene.


    So, disagree... agree? lets discuss

    Penchant

    ps. I include below an example of a high detail map I created, the flat belonging to a notorious pirate captain.
    Piratecabin.jpg
    Last edited by Penchant; July 22nd, 2010 at 17:18.

  3. #3
    I like the use of the shadows in your dwarven hall. I've been challenged by that in the past. How did you generate it.

    Also, good work on using the pillows for the pirate flat to break up the re-use of the rug images. You might want to trim the tiles so they stay within the boundary of the walls, as well as give the walls some a texture or pattern of some kind.

    You can find some great shared texture files at the forums for Dundjinni - even though the software is almost abandoned-ware the forums still have dedicated users and the search function is good enough to find a lot of interesting things.

    http://www.dundjinni.com/forums/default.asp

  4. #4
    The dwarven hall was one of my better maps. the shadow is a combination of two layers (I use corel BTW). The first layer was the lighting. This was a tool that corel had that highlights a center point and darkens the rest of the picture on a gradient. The tedious part was the column shadows, of course. i created a new layer and drew guidelines from the light source out to the edges of the columns reaching to the edge of the map. Then on another layer i used the rectangle tool with a solid black fill to block in where the shadows would stretch from the columns to the edge of the map. This gave me my shadows. Then I applied a blur to the layer to make it shadowy. The only think left was to delete the guideline layer and adjust the transparency on the two shadow layers, because they were a bit too dark.

    the pirate cabin was my attempt at cheating . I went to textile websites and clipped product images of tiles, rugs pillows, etc. Then I cleaned up the images and used them like stampers. after all that easy cheating, for some reason I felt the need to hand draw the top-down view of the curtain partitions (I hope that it is clear from teh shadows) that divide the room.

    Thanks for the dundjinni tip. i'll see about that.

  5. #5
    Phystus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    420
    Blog Entries
    20
    Very nice! And decent file sizes too. Well done.

    I also avoid putting a grid on my maps. I just draw two dots up in the upper left corner to help set the grid in FG. Or just use an area I know is 5'x5'.

    What are all the those things in the dungeon? The ones that look vaguely like fans?

    ~P

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    California
    Posts
    6,448
    My experience is simple maps are best both because they tend to be smaller file size wise and because the players don't really care. Don't get me wrong - they will ooh and ah a pretty map... and then move on. So for me at least - is the few seconds of ohs and ahs worth all the extra time it takes to make a production quality map? And the answer for me, is no.

    I have also found that too detailed a map can slow an online session because the players will want to interact with the details on the map. Ironically, I have found simpler maps sometimes seem more immersive just because the players fill in all the details while a nice detail map can just kill immersion if something is wrong about the detail(s) on the map.

    I'm not in favor of just plain floor and walls but just them and the key furniture or other detail in the area seem to work best for me. Some people do enjoy making maps and if so there is nothing wrong with making beautiful detailed ones if you have the time.
    Last edited by Griogre; July 23rd, 2010 at 04:56.

  7. #7
    @Phystus - yes. The map represents the ventilation system for the dungeon. The pc's entered through an exhaust vent. so those are indeed fans. And yeah, i just got a simple pic of a ventilation fan and stamped it into the map.

    @Griogre - I agree with you 100%. less is more, right?

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Griogre
    My experience is simple maps are best both because they tend to be smaller file size wise and because the players don't really care. Don't get me wrong - they will ooh and ah a pretty map... and then move on. So for me at least - is the few seconds of ohs and ahs worth all the extra time it takes to make a production quality map? And the answer for me, is no.

    I have also found that too detailed a map can slow an online session because the players will want to interact with the details on the map. Ironically, I have found simpler maps sometimes seem more immersive just because the players fill in all the details while a nice detail map can just kill immersion if something is wrong about the detail(s) on the map.

    I'm not in favor of just plain floor and walls but just them and the key furniture or other detail in the area seem to work best for me. Some people do enjoy making maps and if so there is nothing wrong with making beautiful detailed ones if you have the time.
    Right, or that you put some detail on your map that you expect the players to interact with but they don't because they didn't notice or didn't care.

    So short of a sign and an arrow saying "THIS IS INTERESTING - LOOK HERE!!!", you can't count on you map to convey anything subtle to your PCs. I think it's different on a live tabletop where you can have several square feet of map available to convey your ideas.

  9. #9
    Zeus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Olympus
    Posts
    2,656
    Blog Entries
    2

    Nice maps Penchant.

    Map quality is quite a subjective topic as its driven by personal tastes and by each groups setup. If for example like me your fortunate enough to have a 'fat' internet pipe, decent spec PC or Mac and good graphics card and display, having 1MB+ size map/images isn't a big deal as you might think.

    Sure there's a small delay in getting greater size files over but if you like hand drawn or tile based maps its definitely doable.

    I tend to agree with Griorge though, I think 'clean' maps tend to work better in play, for this reason and when I have finished my other 4E extension updates I plan to catchup with Foen and revisit the multi-layer image extension.

    I plan to use simple room layouts (similar to the ones I have published to date) as a base layer and use tokens on a separate layer for 'furniture and dressing'. PC and NPC tokens will be operated on yet another separate layer eliminating token stacking issues.

    This I think will significantly ease production time of mapping in FGII for DMs whilst offering flexible options for quality and depth of colour.
    FG Project Development
    Next Project(s)*: Starfinder v1.2 Starship Combat

    Current Project:
    Starfinder v1.1 - Character Starships
    Completed Projects: Starfinder Ruleset v1.0, Starfinder Core Rulebook, Alien Archive, Paizo Pathfinder Official Theme, D&D 5E data updates
    * All fluid by nature and therefore subject to change.

  10. #10
    Thanks, DrZeuss. I've admired your map skillz for a while.

    Actually I've thought about the possibility of making furniture, dungeon features and such as tokens at the same scale as the figure tokens but I didn't know of a way to create separate token layers in FG. This is an idea that I think should be developed. A community library of scenery tokens to flesh out and customize maps would be in the spirit of this board...and awesome

    Hmm. I wonder what the feasability would be of creating whole dungeon tiles as tokens on a separate layer that could then be locked. Just like real dungeon tiles you could build on the fly, adjust the map, have semi-interactive dungeons (like moving rooms) and destructible environments. hmm. if size becomes too large you can remove whole sections that the party has already cleared. I'm no coder, so I'd just have to leave this ideer out in the aether.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Log in

Log in