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Incline Grid Cartographer - Best Tool for Drawing Classic RPG Maps

Hidden Asbestos

Grid Cartographer
Developer
Joined
Jun 2, 2013
Messages
494
Location
UK
Hey guys! After Stormcrowfleet pulled some pretty cool stuff for online D&D with Grid Cartographer, I bought it too and tried tinkering with it.
Wanna use it for online tabletop rpg stuff as well - mostly mapmaking - , so it's kinda off-label use and I'm still not sure whether its the right tool for the job. So basically what I'm trying to do is to make a regional hex map with custom tiles as the available tiles are pretty decent but not very numerous.

My problem is that importing of tiles doesn't work out the way I hoped. Let's say I have some custom hex tiles in 32x32 format, like this: https://opengameart.org/content/hex-tileset-pack
No matter what I do, I get a result similar to this:

9fFTP1W.png


Also, some bug I found: when I choose 'Import as Tileset' and enter an invalid size, e.g. 40x40 clicking the grid button in the lower left corner causes the program to stop responding. But I guess this won't get me closer to my goal anyways.
So, my question is, is it possible to import hex tiles properly at all? How can I align them with the grid properly? Or do I have to resort to seamless square textures for hex maps as well?
Hi Snorkack, yeah the hex tile import isn't the best it could be - it's built around seamlessly tiling squares that are meant to indicate a general theme of a biome, it doesn't work with properly hex shaped tiles at the moment, sorry.

Thanks for reporting the grid bug, I'll make a note to take a look.
 

rohand

Arbiter
Joined
Aug 20, 2014
Messages
591
Location
Planet Escape
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/

Hidden Asbestos
I know Realms of Arkania doesn't have an auto tracker; however, is it possible for gridc to read my arrow key inputs from the dosbox window and move the avater "bulldozer" accordingly?
 
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Wysardry

Augur
Patron
Joined
Feb 26, 2004
Messages
277
I just bought the Pro version from Steam to use in an upcoming game jam.

Does anyone know of any tutorials on using GC to create dungeons for computer games? I have been learning the basics using trial and error, but I have limited time before the jam starts.

Also, is glTF ever likely to be supported as an export format? It seems to be an option for most game engines these days.
 

Butter

Arcane
Joined
Oct 1, 2018
Messages
4,942
You can export GC maps as .obj files. I haven't tried plugging one into Godot or Unity to see how it works, but it's probably straightforward.
 

zwanzig_zwoelf

Graverobber Foundation
Developer
Joined
Nov 21, 2015
Messages
2,853
Location
デゼニランド
You can export GC maps as .obj files. I haven't tried plugging one into Godot or Unity to see how it works, but it's probably straightforward.
It's straightforward and you get a nice UV mapped mesh from this. It can have somewhat messy UVs at time (if you're using rounded corners), but I've already reported this issue and hopefully it'll be fixed in the next update.

Apart from that, I suggest exporting XML data instead and using it to build the dungeon in your game engine of choice.
 

Hidden Asbestos

Grid Cartographer
Developer
Joined
Jun 2, 2013
Messages
494
Location
UK
Also, is glTF ever likely to be supported as an export format? It seems to be an option for most game engines these days.
It could be on the cards one day - I've not studied the format much but I'm down for supporting more than just obj.

One pro-tip is to click the "..." button next to the mesh export to take you to a bunch of options. I hope to replace that relic of an earlier UI design with a more "modern" dialog box one day.

Currently working on JSON export to mirror what the XML can do.

(I fixed the corner UV thing already, that'll be in the next update.)
 

Wysardry

Augur
Patron
Joined
Feb 26, 2004
Messages
277
I don't know much about glTF either, but when I was comparing game engines I noticed that many of them now support that format. It is also the native format for the engine I chose, although it supports many others.

I believe the files can optionally be written using JSON, so it might be worth you looking into whether you can kill two birds with one stone.
 

KeighnMcDeath

RPG Codex Boomer
Joined
Nov 23, 2016
Messages
7,455
I need to see if i can attach Azalta to GC. It'd make mapping the overworld so so so much easier.
 

KeighnMcDeath

RPG Codex Boomer
Joined
Nov 23, 2016
Messages
7,455
To update my version (I bought the pro edition before steam so no need for me to buy a Steam version I hope), do I simply download off the main GC site:

PROFESSIONAL EDITION (64-BIT) 2021.4

Every time I boot it up I keep thinking there is a UPDATE tab if I'm online (perhaps I'm thinking of my video/audio programs instead of my mapping programs. It isn't a big deal if I have to overwrite, I'm just wondering.

Currently I am running Grid Cartographer 4.4.1_f2 - Pro-Edition (64-bit)

edit - I just overwrote it. Seems to work effortlessly. Now showing:
Grid Cartographer 2021.4 - Pro-edition (64-bit)
 
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Hidden Asbestos

Grid Cartographer
Developer
Joined
Jun 2, 2013
Messages
494
Location
UK
I changed the version system from "4.4.1_f2" (old fashioned nonsense system) to "2021.4" (cool person version numbers) a few updates ago and, where possible, dropped the "4" from Grid Cartographer. This is to match the fact that it's now a one-time purchase product - v4 will live forever under this new scheme and any customers who own v4 can enjoy updates to Gamer, Pro or Steam as long as I keep making them with no extra charge. Each update is ostensibly better than the last and you can overwrite it -- the only caveat being that maps saved with newer versions are not going to load in an old version (only likely an issue if you don't update and then download a map from somewhere)

There isn't an update checker in the non-Steam version any more - but I'm trying to release monthly updates (made more challenging since I've recently become a Dad for the first time) so check every month or two and see what exciting thing I've done to the software :D
 
Joined
Sep 23, 2009
Messages
930
Maybe this was asked (and maybe I asked myself), but is there a way of having two instance of GC on Steam open at the same time? I use it for D&D, and I'd like to share one screen with the FPS view (which I already do) and have the other in 2D top down to check my content. Right now I screenshot it and open it as a picture, but it's less efficient. Thanks.
 

Hidden Asbestos

Grid Cartographer
Developer
Joined
Jun 2, 2013
Messages
494
Location
UK
Maybe this was asked (and maybe I asked myself), but is there a way of having two instance of GC on Steam open at the same time? I use it for D&D, and I'd like to share one screen with the FPS view (which I already do) and have the other in 2D top down to check my content. Right now I screenshot it and open it as a picture, but it's less efficient. Thanks.
I'm not sure Steam will let you - but there's nothing in GC to stop multiple instances from running. Try finding the .exe in the Steam install folder and run another copy from there ?
 

udm

Arcane
Patron
Joined
Aug 14, 2008
Messages
2,217
Maybe this was asked (and maybe I asked myself), but is there a way of having two instance of GC on Steam open at the same time? I use it for D&D, and I'd like to share one screen with the FPS view (which I already do) and have the other in 2D top down to check my content. Right now I screenshot it and open it as a picture, but it's less efficient. Thanks.

This is actually a pretty neat idea!
 
Joined
Sep 23, 2009
Messages
930
Maybe this was asked (and maybe I asked myself), but is there a way of having two instance of GC on Steam open at the same time? I use it for D&D, and I'd like to share one screen with the FPS view (which I already do) and have the other in 2D top down to check my content. Right now I screenshot it and open it as a picture, but it's less efficient. Thanks.

This is actually a pretty neat idea!

I've been using this for years now for dungeon crawling. It's literally the best shit out there:
  • Just enough visual for visual-fags to be satisfied, but doesn't give out too much information so they still have to map
  • Easy and clear to map since it's square-based and they know exactly how many squares to draw, hence it's faster and better for everyone
  • What I use to draw (i.e. GC), is what I use to play. No double tasking: I draw once my dungeon and I just switch my view for my players.
  • Easy to work with, copy-paste, etc.
We just need it integrated into some kind of online playing tools with dice rolls, etc. and we'd have the perfect software.
 

Siveon

Bot
Joined
Jul 13, 2013
Messages
4,507
Shadorwun: Hong Kong
I'm not sure if I said it here or anywhere else, but a free-form map tool for something like King's Field or Ultima Underworld would be a godsend.

It'd be basically asking for wizardry (heh) if I asked for King's Field integration, but that would be a holy grail for me.
 

Sacibengala

Arbiter
Joined
Aug 16, 2014
Messages
867
I'm not sure if I said it here or anywhere else, but a free-form map tool for something like King's Field or Ultima Underworld would be a godsend.

It'd be basically asking for wizardry (heh) if I asked for King's Field integration, but that would be a holy grail for me.
I've finished all of the king's Fields without mapping, like 10 years ago, but I never got the chance to complete all the content within each title. A mapping tool would be pretty great to do that, I agree.
 

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