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Incline Grid Cartographer - Best Tool for Drawing Classic RPG Maps

Discussion in 'General RPG Discussion' started by Hidden Asbestos, Jul 2, 2013.

  1. Hidden Asbestos Grid Cartographer Developer

    Hidden Asbestos
    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Location:
    UK
    Grid Cartographer is a tool for making RPG maps on unlimited sheets of graph paper.

    *** VERSION 4 IS NOW AVAILABLE ***

    Home Page / Buy Direct:
    http://gridcartographer.com/

    Buy on Steam:
    https://store.steampowered.com/app/684690



    -----

    [​IMG]

    Chat with me and other map makers on the Discord server
    Join using this invite link: https://discord.gg/ncaMEM3


    -----

    Grid Cartographer has been in active development for many years and aims to be the ideal companion when mapping grid based RPGs - both old and new. People seem to like it and this thread got pinned, hooray!

    Here's a big map:

    [​IMG]

    ---

    Version 4 added a new feature 'Game Link' which, using a modified DOSBox, allows for split-screen play and, for certain games, automatic tracking of the player as they move around. The idea is to make drawing your own maps even easier while retaining the immersive experience of manual mapping.

    It's not just for cRPGs. Grid Cartographer is also made with original tabletop map creation in mind and supports hexagon based maps and extensive image export features, including a preset for exporting to roll20.net:

    [​IMG]

    ---

    Custom tiles can be added to make bespoke maps, like this one for Lords of Midnight:

    [​IMG]

    ---

    For game developers there's a simple 3D engine built in and you can export maps as OBJ format meshes:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2019
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  2. 7hm Scholar

    7hm
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    This is pretty cool.
     
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  3. Hidden Asbestos Grid Cartographer Developer

    Hidden Asbestos
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    If you've ever found yourself in one of those cheaper "budget edition" dungeons then you might find yourself climbing ladders instead of taking the stairs or elevator. Version v1.3.6 will help you map these frightfully low quality constructions with two new ladder tiles.

    I've also added a binary file format for data export, tweaked the stair art a to be a bit chunkier and a smoother exit process allowing you to save your work as you quit.
     
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  4. MightyHoax Educated

    MightyHoax
    Joined:
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    Location:
    Hyperborea
    Project: Eternity
    Looks great, but too bad it's only for windows -- who uses windows nowadays anyway??
    I like to play fullscreen on my pc, and my Amiga also uses the same screen, so an OS X version would be more useful/the only option for me.
     
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  5. FeelTheRads Arcane Patron

    FeelTheRads
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    :lol:
     
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  6. Hidden Asbestos Grid Cartographer Developer

    Hidden Asbestos
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    Thanks! but realistically a Mac OS version won't be coming any time soon. I'd need to actually buy a mac and accessories, recode Grid Cartographer into OpenGL and learn wxWidgets (or something Mac specific) and then test and support it. Not something I can really afford to do right now, sorry.

    I have heard it works on Wine (which I assume you can get for Mac ?) but I don't know much about that or whether it's still working or what is / isn't working fully. It would certainly seem to be the best way of running it for the time being though. Good luck if you pursue it (and I'd love to hear how you get on if you do).
     
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  7. Hidden Asbestos Grid Cartographer Developer

    Hidden Asbestos
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    I've just released v1.3.7. This adds new floor transform commands for Pro edition users - flipping and 90 degree rotation. This will be useful for games where your facing might not be too clear before you start drawing.

    I had this problem with Realms of Arkania - I didn't spot you started off facing south before it was too late!

    Hope this helps for more complex games where you might get spun around and not know which way is north.

    LINK: http://www.davidwaltersdevelopment.com/tools/gridcart/
     
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  8. Daemongar Arcane Patron

    Daemongar
    Joined:
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    Thanks for this - I hadn't noticed it and it looks worth $5. It also looks just enough like something productive that I could get away with running this for a few hours at work everyday. Now I have no excuse for not finishing Wiz 6 :(
     
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  9. mindx2 Codex Roaming East Coast Reporter Patron

    mindx2
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    Gazing at his now empty game shelves :-(
    Codex 2012 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Serpent in the Staglands Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech
    Nice rotation feature! Much appreciated... :thumbsup:
     
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  10. Hidden Asbestos Grid Cartographer Developer

    Hidden Asbestos
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    Hey, it's been quite a while but I've just released v1.3.8 !

    Grab the update / free edition here: http://www.davidwaltersdevelopment.com/tools/gridcart/

    Here's the full list of changes:

    * ADDED: New 'start' screen with quick access to recent files and new map type selection.
    * ADDED: 30 x 30 major grid lines setting for The Bard's Tale.
    * ADDED: Per-map file saving of block-based / edge-based setting. To make switching games easier.

    * PRO: Rotate and Flip actions (and keyboard shortcuts) now work when pasting and moving regions.
    * PRO: Rotate and Flip actions are context sensitive - if you have dragged out a selection then only that region will be affected.

    * CHANGED: The fill area tool now keeps the selection active, allowing you to drag it around and quickly paint several areas.

    Hope you like it :)




    Thanks - it should be even more useful now :)
     
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  11. Hidden Asbestos Grid Cartographer Developer

    Hidden Asbestos
    Joined:
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    I've just released update v1.3.9 at the usual spot: http://www.davidwaltersdevelopment.com/tools/gridcart/

    This is primarily a collection of bug fixes for the PC version I've discovered while making the code more portable.

    You may also be interested to know that I'm currently developing a spin-off project for Android devices called "Grid Cartographer Touch" :)

    I'm hoping for it to be a very close equivalent to the PC version, as close as possible feature wise. There's a lot of code to make touch screen compatible (and a fair bit of learning how to do so Android specific things) so it's still a way off yet, but the thought of being able to play games in full-screen, to doodle new map ideas while I'm out, and to transfer maps back and forth between the PC and phone/tablet is definitely making this project seem like a great idea.

    I've also made a short blog post about it here: http://www.davidwaltersdevelopment.com/blog/ and I'm happy to answer any further questions you might have.
     
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  12. Alchemist Arcane

    Alchemist
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    Awesome! I look forward to it. I have dual monitors for my desktop but when gaming on my laptop the Android one will come in handy.
     
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  13. elodman Novice

    elodman
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  14. Hidden Asbestos Grid Cartographer Developer

    Hidden Asbestos
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    Sorry for not posting here much lately, I haven't had much to report that I think would be very interesting!

    Work is progressing well on the Touch edition but there are a lot of differences between Windows and Android and everything seems to be a bit of a battle. For instance adding in Yes/No message boxes has ended up being a lot more work than I expected.

    There aren't that many things left to add now though. Primarily the jobs are: finishing off message boxes and testing them, moving to file selection dialogs and reading / writing to the SD Card and then it's onto a plentiful supply of minor tasks and further testing. I also need to resolve how best to handle keyboard input given that the native Android 'soft keyboard' is proving very difficult to work with.

    The good news is that this is definitely a good fit for tablet computers. I was using the S-Pen on my Note 10.1 yesterday to sketch out an original map and it was a lot of fun! Because of the accuracy of the pen I was able to zoom out quite far and see a lot of map area.

    Hi, thanks for the suggestion!

    Developing some kind of auto-mapping plugin for specific games would be a fun challenge. Something I might consider in future. It'd be a bit of a niche of a niche though!
     
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  15. elodman Novice

    elodman
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    You mean,
    for evey game a different plugin should be developed, and a common algorithm wouldn't be able to track party movements, and draw the map parallel?

    How would u begin creating a plugin to an old game?

    Almost niche market already developing your original mapping tool is, as todays spoiled games are already equipped with automap or of course mostly not grid based, or no?
     
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  16. Hidden Asbestos Grid Cartographer Developer

    Hidden Asbestos
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    I'm actually not too sure how I'd go about doing this in a general way. Each game would no doubt store things in a different way from another so you'd need a custom solution for each game. When I say plug-in I actually meant as an addon to Grid Cartographer - I'd need to leave the games themselves unmodified.

    There is a program, a utility for the game Dwarf Fortress, that scans its memory and draws a pretty isometric view of the game map. So something like this is technically possible, but I think the chances of this actually happening are very low. As you point out below, so many games have an auto-map already. I don't think there is the demand for an auto-map for the games which require you to make maps yourself. You can just use Google and find the full maps for these games instead.

    Absolutely, this is not a commercially successful project! But it's one I believe in and have developed anyway because of the great fan response.
     
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  17. Hidden Asbestos Grid Cartographer Developer

    Hidden Asbestos
    Joined:
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    v1.4.0 released!

    Here's a link: http://www.davidwaltersdevelopment.com/tools/gridcart/

    Change Log:

    * CHANGED: Border tool renamed 'Stroke'.
    * CHANGED: Tweaked wording of 'remove custom tile set' option.
    * CHANGED: Improved wording of exit with unsaved changes message.

    * ADDED: Close button on brush selection menu.
    * ADDED: Stroke toolbar icon.

    * FIXED: Limit grid and top-left origin modes didn't work together.
    * FIXED: Create border (CTRL+B) and top-left origin mode didn't work together
    * FIXED: The 'Simple block' brush was showing in colour on the toolbar.
    * FIXED: Some Windows message box icons were wrong.
     
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  18. mindx2 Codex Roaming East Coast Reporter Patron

    mindx2
    Joined:
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    3,783
    Location:
    Gazing at his now empty game shelves :-(
    Codex 2012 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Serpent in the Staglands Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech
    You are a true Codexian Bro my friend!! Keep up the good work. I absolutely LOVE your little program!!!
     
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  19. Hidden Asbestos Grid Cartographer Developer

    Hidden Asbestos
    Joined:
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    UK
    aw shucks :hug:
     
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  20. Spaceman Spiff Educated

    Spaceman Spiff
    Joined:
    May 3, 2013
    Messages:
    33
    As a more "casual" user I also wanted to thank you for this program.
    Never having mapped a game by hand before I used it for Wizardry VI and it was just perfect for a noob like me, especially the cut, copy and paste area feature to correct mistakes was very convenient.
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]

    Awesome work indeed.
     
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  21. Hidden Asbestos Grid Cartographer Developer

    Hidden Asbestos
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    The Android port "Grid Cartographer Touch" has now entered the testing phase. Not long to go now :)
     
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  22. Hidden Asbestos Grid Cartographer Developer

    Hidden Asbestos
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  23. Morkar illiterate

    Morkar
    Joined:
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    Just a minor thing but you should mention that the tool is great for pen&paper rpgs too. Dungeon masters can make easy maps with it and players can use the android version to map a dungeon in a session. The digital solution is better for correcting drawing mistakes which happen often.
     
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  24. Hidden Asbestos Grid Cartographer Developer

    Hidden Asbestos
    Joined:
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    Thanks for the suggestion! I've updated the store description to include a bit on traditional role-playing games. I wonder if someone would role-play an actual cartographer using this as a magical "slate of drawing" prop :)
     
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  25. Hidden Asbestos Grid Cartographer Developer

    Hidden Asbestos
    Joined:
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    UK
    Here's a sneak peek of an upcoming feature for Grid Cartographer: Labels

    http://i.imgur.com/TWaAnrB.jpg

    I've extended the note tool with an option to create labels that are visible directly on the map.

    There's still a bit of work left to do in finishing porting this feature over to Android as well as adding labels to the map image export, but it shouldn't be too much longer before it's ready.
     
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