I want something incredibly simple and quite specific.
The program should ask me the size of a grid I want. Say 35x45. And it opens up a black grid of that size.
Then I pick a “tool” corresponding to one of the icons used in the Legend and by clicking on the grid I start building the dungeon. Add an “erase” tool and that’s it.
Is it even possible that something this simple DOESN’T EXIST?
This is what it should end up looking like:
And this is a Legend they used:
So basically I need something that makes me put those icons and type of thing on a grid, so that I can make my own layout very quickly.
Was this image generated with some specific program? It’s not the first time I see that kind of style, so I’m wondering how people put together these kinds of images (or if it’s just something like Photoshop configured manually for this).
All those tools are bloated with stuff I don’t need and probably don’t have what I need.
Say I want to use Photoshop. I imagine I can set up a grid, but how can I organize a kind of toolbox with the various square icons so that I can click on one of them and then start “painting” the map?
I’m not an expert of these programs, so I know how to select, cut & paste, but here I need a way to do with as many selections I need for each icon, select one and use it, select another and use it, etc…
Took me 23 minutes in Excel. I know there’s one glyph at the bottom missing, but I was getting bored. Honestly, I’ve looked into dungeon mapping software, and unless you need it to look very pretty, I really do think that Excel is your best bet. I’ll be quiet now.
Instead I spent lots of time trying to make something like that in Gimp. I figured I could make a custom brush, so ideally I can set up a brush for every icon I need to use, create a grid, and then use the brush with snap to grid to draw my layout.
But at least in the Windows version of Gimp the snap to grid option does absolutely NOTHING.
Instead with an old version of PSP the grid works well, but I can’t create custom brushes the way I like.
Not close to what you requested but certainly worth looking into: Tiamat the Tile Mapper. It’s a tile mapping program with hundreds (1000s?) of tiles.
I used it often when I was DMing 4e and using my overhead projector to display maps with fog of war. They allow you one free map per month. I made some REALLY kick ass dungeon and cave maps with this tool.
Some pics of a simple Goblin mine I made. The original maps were full 1" square maps, shrunk to 25% here. I added some goodies (objects mostly) in photoshop.
I wondered how difficult it would be to put together something relatively simple to fill your stated need. I’ve been wanting to look at HTML5 for a little while so I figured this could be something fun to try it out. So here’s this:
Mind you, it contains only the barest of functionality. You can only save your maps as a .png, there’s no way to save and load map layouts yet and the layout looks terrible. But it was fun to work on and I hope it might help you out in some way.
I plan to keep messing around with it in my spare time so if there are any comments, complaints, criticisms or other “c” words you want to express please do so.
That’s beautiful in its simplicity. I’d pay good money for that if it had save/load, an additional item type “Item” (which could be whatever you designated, like treasure, key etc), and the ability to add a text comment to any item (to identify monsters, record text on walls, note the function of switches etc etc).
Not that I’m expecting you to do that, but really that’s all that would be required to satisfy most grid-based mapping requirements.
I would suggest you look into 2 dimensional CAD programs. What you want is perfect linearity and grids. That’s more of a CAD thing than a photoshop thing.
Here are some decent free options. Most of the major CAD vendors have put their 2D only products out for free now. I use professional 3D CAD so I’m not an expert on these but most all allow you to easily define your own “blocks” with exact dimensions, include layering, and various grid patterns built in. EG, you can make an array of blocks x tall by y wide with custom spacing. CAD is probably better for doing the basic layouts. Then if you want to add textures and colour you could import into a graphics program like gimp which I believe all can read standard vector cad format.