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Post Mar 02, 2018 18:39
I'm looking for offline mapping software to make hex based overland maps for my pencil and paper Pathfinder RPG group. Since I primarily want to use it for hex maps it seems my only option is the more expensive pro version, is that correct?
Also the vast majority of the created images I see are square and the few hex map examples I have found are just solid colors so I'm not really sure what the app can do and I don't want to commit to the pro version just to find out it doesn't really do what I want/need. Here are the features I'm interested in if someone could please let me know if this software is a good fit:

1) Expandable canvas - I'm creating the world as the players go through it instead of all at once. As such I'll need to grow the map each time they reach an edge and I don't know which edge they are going to go to in advance. Being able to increase the canvas size in a specified direction is pretty important... ideally with the ability to specify a different default tile for the new section each time it grows.

2) As noted in the intro paragraph pretty much all of the examples I see are square grids and the few hexes I see are just solid colors. That's not a show stopper but ideally I'd be able to have mountain hexes with triangles on them and forest hexes with trees on them etc. I don't even mind making the hex tiles myself in my raster image editor of choice if necessary.

3) Towns, Cities, Capitals - Right now I'm using a solid black circle for towns, cities have black filled white circles inside the outer black circles, and capitals have white stars inside the black circle. It doesn't have to be those specifically but some set of at least three "stamps" that can snap on any terrain hex (instead of having to make all three+ for every different terrain type). These would be on a different layer than the underlying terrain that can be toggled on/of.

4) Roads and rivers - This is essentially the ability to draw lines on a different layer than the underlying terrain and the towns, cities, and capitals in 3) (over terrain, under towns, etc.) Blue lines = rivers, brown lines = roads or similar. Ideally these lines would connect the center point of each hex but be able to turn to curves based off those control points so the roads and rivers aren't a series of jagged angles.

5) Political borders - This one isn't a showstopper but it would be nice to be able to draw lines along select faces of the hexes on it's own layer (topmost or at least above the terrain and road layers) to designate political borders. Maybe have a few types (solid, dashed, etc.) and color options to designate between political levels (like local, state, national)
This layer would also support an on/off toggle.

6) Toggle-able grid - Also not a showstopper but it would be nice to be able to toggle on/off the hexes themselves.

I believe the app already supports things like magic wands, painting, and flood fill from what I've read but those would be really nice. Right now I'm making maps hex by hex in paint.net so I'd REALLY like a tool to help.

If you made it through all this then thank you for taking the time to do so and I hope everything works out and I've finally found the software I'm looking for. (I already got burned by CC since you apparently need a PHD to operate it.)
Site Admin
Post Mar 02, 2018 19:29
Asmodai wrote:
Mar 02, 2018 18:39
I'm looking for offline mapping software to make hex based overland maps for my pencil and paper Pathfinder RPG group. Since I primarily want to use it for hex maps it seems my only option is the more expensive pro version, is that correct?
Also the vast majority of the created images I see are square and the few hex map examples I have found are just solid colors so I'm not really sure what the app can do and I don't want to commit to the pro version just to find out it doesn't really do what I want/need. Here are the features I'm interested in if someone could please let me know if this software is a good fit:
Hi, thanks for taking the time to ask about Grid Cartographer. I hope I can help explain a little more and perhaps others will join in too.
Asmodai wrote:
Mar 02, 2018 18:39
1) Expandable canvas - I'm creating the world as the players go through it instead of all at once. As such I'll need to grow the map each time they reach an edge and I don't know which edge they are going to go to in advance. Being able to increase the canvas size in a specified direction is pretty important... ideally with the ability to specify a different default tile for the new section each time it grows.
Grid Cartographer doesn't work like that. There's no hard limit to how big your maps can be and you don't have to bother with stating the map size up-front and manually resizing it later (although you can set a fixed size map if you so wish). Behind the scenes Grid Cartographer handles dynamically allocating the needed memory as you draw onto the map canvas in a new area - but all you see is an endless plane of tiles, your party can go any direction they want on a whim without any forms to fill in.

(small pedantic disclaimer: There will obviously be practical limits of system ram and CPU speed if you make truly enormous maps, so it's :airquote: 'infinite' but not strictly so - however I've yet to see a map that it can't handle.)

Image
Asmodai wrote:
Mar 02, 2018 18:39
2) As noted in the intro paragraph pretty much all of the examples I see are square grids and the few hexes I see are just solid colors. That's not a show stopper but ideally I'd be able to have mountain hexes with triangles on them and forest hexes with trees on them etc. I don't even mind making the hex tiles myself in my raster image editor of choice if necessary.
Yeah, sorry that's my fault, I've typically focused more on the square grid cRPG stuff as that's the roots of the program and I should put more time into promoting the hex features of the Pro Edition since I know that's what a lot of DMs like to use. There are some hex examples in the gallery using 'custom tiles', eg. this Greyhawk inspired map: viewtopic.php?f=21&t=1371 and I hope to see more activity there.

Image
Asmodai wrote:
Mar 02, 2018 18:39
3) Towns, Cities, Capitals - Right now I'm using a solid black circle for towns, cities have black filled white circles inside the outer black circles, and capitals have white stars inside the black circle. It doesn't have to be those specifically but some set of at least three "stamps" that can snap on any terrain hex (instead of having to make all three+ for every different terrain type). These would be on a different layer than the underlying terrain that can be toggled on/of.
There's a fixed set of layers to a Grid Cartographer map, hopefully it's sufficient for you. The main two are the terrain and, above that, markers. Both of these layers can be toggled on and off, if you drew your towns and cities as markers on top of the terrain you could hide all the points of interest without removing the underlying terrain layer. You can use the built-in markers or import your own.
Asmodai wrote:
Mar 02, 2018 18:39
4) Roads and rivers - This is essentially the ability to draw lines on a different layer than the underlying terrain and the towns, cities, and capitals in 3) (over terrain, under towns, etc.) Blue lines = rivers, brown lines = roads or similar. Ideally these lines would connect the center point of each hex but be able to turn to curves based off those control points so the roads and rivers aren't a series of jagged angles.
This is where you might find some difficulties/limitations, I'm not sure. There isn't support for an in-grid road/river layer unfortunately. You can draw on the edges of the hexes with your coloured lines but if you wanted to make something more complex then you'll need to make bespoke markers for it the river going in each direction, etc.
Asmodai wrote:
Mar 02, 2018 18:39
5) Political borders - This one isn't a showstopper but it would be nice to be able to draw lines along select faces of the hexes on it's own layer (topmost or at least above the terrain and road layers) to designate political borders. Maybe have a few types (solid, dashed, etc.) and color options to designate between political levels (like local, state, national)
This layer would also support an on/off toggle.
If you mean something like this then yes ;)

Image
Asmodai wrote:
Mar 02, 2018 18:39
6) Toggle-able grid - Also not a showstopper but it would be nice to be able to toggle on/off the hexes themselves.
Yes, the hex grid lines can be turned on and off and controlled with some flexibility. The grid is composed of the expected base lines that form the squares/hexes. On top of that are regularly spaced 'major tiles' outlined by darker lines. The major tiles can be 2-128 tiles in size and you can do things like limit the map to MxN tiles worth of map (if you didn't want an 'infinite plane'). Both the major lines and minor lines can be turned off and the grid can be set to appear above or below the terrain layer. You've also got controls for number/letters next to the origin axes (or repeated along the edge of each major tile)

Before I waffle on too much more - here's a screenshot of the grid setup page for the full range of options: https://i.imgur.com/JLNcDkp.png
You can get some quite varied results from these options but by default it's an 'infinite' space with 20x20 tiles - like this: https://i.imgur.com/8CxVxHH.png
Asmodai wrote:
Mar 02, 2018 18:39
I believe the app already supports things like magic wands, painting, and flood fill from what I've read but those would be really nice. Right now I'm making maps hex by hex in paint.net so I'd REALLY like a tool to help.

If you made it through all this then thank you for taking the time to do so and I hope everything works out and I've finally found the software I'm looking for. (I already got burned by CC since you apparently need a PHD to operate it.)
Thanks for the post, I hope I've answered all of your questions, please feel free to ask more :)
Post Mar 02, 2018 22:11
Wow, thanks for the quick and thorough response! I do have a few more questions though:
David Walters wrote:
Mar 02, 2018 19:29
Grid Cartographer doesn't work like that. There's no hard limit to how big your maps can be and you don't have to bother with stating the map size up-front and manually resizing it later (although you can set a fixed size map if you so wish). Behind the scenes Grid Cartographer handles dynamically allocating the needed memory as you draw onto the map canvas in a new area - but all you see is an endless plane of tiles, your party can go any direction they want on a whim without any forms to fill in.

(small pedantic disclaimer: There will obviously be practical limits of system ram and CPU speed if you make truly enormous maps, so it's :airquote: 'infinite' but not strictly so - however I've yet to see a map that it can't handle.)

Image
That's even better for creation purposes but ultimately the output I will create for the players will be a printed picture. How do I get from an infinite canvas to the specific portion of the map I wish to print? Do I just draw a rectangle over the area I want and export that to a PNG or something? I'd ultimately want a digital image to post to our private Facebook group for the players to look at between sessions (without needing specialized viewer software) and a paper printout of the area they're currently in to have at the actual game sessions (where we don't have electronic devices).
David Walters wrote:
Mar 02, 2018 19:29
Yeah, sorry that's my fault, I've typically focused more on the square grid cRPG stuff as that's the roots of the program and I should put more time into promoting the hex features of the Pro Edition since I know that's what a lot of DMs like to use. There are some hex examples in the gallery using 'custom tiles', eg. this Greyhawk inspired map: viewtopic.php?f=21&t=1371 and I hope to see more activity there.
So the 'custom tiles' support hexes (the feature list on the site seems to imply squares only but I may have read it wrong). Are custom tiles just like PNGs at the supported sizes or some sort of specialized format? That picture looks great though... that's the type of thing I'm looking to make.
David Walters wrote:
Mar 02, 2018 19:29
There's a fixed set of layers to a Grid Cartographer map, hopefully it's sufficient for you. The main two are the terrain and, above that, markers. Both of these layers can be toggled on and off, if you drew your towns and cities as markers on top of the terrain you could hide all the points of interest without removing the underlying terrain layer. You can use the built-in markers or import your own.
I definitely don't need unlimited layers so a fixed set is fine as long as it is enough to cover my original list. Of course it sounds like everything isn't a layer like my original post had it so if you have a different/better way to do things I was treating as layers that's fine. From the sounds of it using "markers" as my cities, towns, capitals on top of the "terrain" layer would be fine.
David Walters wrote:
Mar 02, 2018 19:29
This is where you might find some difficulties/limitations, I'm not sure. There isn't support for an in-grid road/river layer unfortunately. You can draw on the edges of the hexes with your coloured lines but if you wanted to make something more complex then you'll need to make bespoke markers for it the river going in each direction, etc.
Ok I'm not 100% clear on what you're saying here so let me clarify... I do not want my roads and rivers to be on the edges of the hexes (like how the "borders" below are done). If a city for example is a circle "marker" that nearly fills a hex I want the road to be a fairly thick line (thinner than an edge but not a 1px line either) that runs into the hex, under the city circle, and above the terrain layer. If I can draw lines through hexes as "markers" that's fine but if cities are also markers I need to be able to make sure the brown road marker doesn't draw over the black city circle (different layers?) I'm sorry but I don't know what "bespoke markers" means. For rivers IDEALLY it would work like roads however I can get by with making rivers light blue hexes in a pinch... (that's what I'm doing now actually, I'd just prefer if they were more like the roads...)
David Walters wrote:
Mar 02, 2018 19:29
If you mean something like this then yes ;)

Image
Yes! That's EXACTLY what I want visually for political borders. Is that on it's own layer that can be toggled independently or are they "markers" that would share a layer with cities or what?
David Walters wrote:
Mar 02, 2018 19:29
Yes, the hex grid lines can be turned on and off and controlled with some flexibility. The grid is composed of the expected base lines that form the squares/hexes. On top of that are regularly spaced 'major tiles' outlined by darker lines. The major tiles can be 2-128 tiles in size and you can do things like limit the map to MxN tiles worth of map (if you didn't want an 'infinite plane'). Both the major lines and minor lines can be turned off and the grid can be set to appear above or below the terrain layer. You've also got controls for number/letters next to the origin axes (or repeated along the edge of each major tile)

Before I waffle on too much more - here's a screenshot of the grid setup page for the full range of options: https://i.imgur.com/JLNcDkp.png
You can get some quite varied results from these options but by default it's an 'infinite' space with 20x20 tiles - like this: https://i.imgur.com/8CxVxHH.png
Again sorry for the confusion but I'm not sure I fully grasp this either. I grasp the major tiles on square grids because a big square can easily be composed of a bunch of little squares. With a hex map though I'm not sure what a 'major tile' would be as a hex is not evenly composed of smaller hexes nor do hexes even fit in a square. I'm not really concerned with limiting the infinite plane for development use (just for printing and saving to an image)

Thanks again for putting up with all these questions. Also on a side note do I have to install java or steam or anything to run this if I do buy it or is it pretty much self contained?
Site Admin
Post Mar 02, 2018 23:13
No worries, it's no problem to answer your questions so you can make an informed decision.Hope that I've answered everything, feel free to prod me for more details if I've not (or very possibly made it more confusing)!

I think I made the major grid lines sound more confusing than they are, it's basically just a darker line every, say, 20 tiles that creates a regular higher level pattern. You can see it in the picture from my previous post: https://i.imgur.com/8CxVxHH.png. All I was basically saying is that those dark lines can be turned off.

The edges in that political map can be independently turned on/off from the View menu in the editor viewport.

In terms of the rivers thing, sorry but I'm not sure what you're suggesting will work too well. You're right in assuming that only one marker can be present per hex so you'll need to use terrain under a city. I'm not sure there's an ideal solution for roads and rivers right now. I think you might have to approximate it, or perhaps do something as post-production. (Bespoke markers just means custom tiles, sorry to be inconsistent).

There's no large additional installations like Java required to run it, this is a simple native 64-bit C++ program with everything mostly built in. It uses DirectX9 on Windows and OpenGL on Linux/macOS. If you look on the buy page there's some system requirements which lists some Linux system libraries that are needed.

Image export (which writes PNG files) doesn't have a cropping feature. For that I'd recommend you copy-paste the sub-section you want into a new "region" tab (A region is like a tabbed workbook in Excel) and export just that bit. Also, there's no printing support, you'll need a 3rd party application for that (combination of not wanting to wrestle with printer support on 3 platforms and the assumption you'd want to do some post-processing first anyway).

Custom tiles are square images you load in in PNG format and can be used on both square and hex maps. For markers they're placed in the centre of the hex as you'd expect. For terrain usage they work a bit differently. It basically treats the custom tile as a repeating pattern (like the floor in Doom or an old Windows 3 desktop) and then cookie-cutters out hexagon shapes from it to make the image. However because a hexagon and square don't really line up very well if you have, say a mountain in the middle of your custom tile, that might not line up with the centre of every tile. I'm sure I've made that sound really complex and the solution is basically to use markers for details like mountains, but it's a bit of a gotcha and I figured I'd explain now.

I think that's everything!
Post Mar 02, 2018 23:49
David Walters wrote:
Mar 02, 2018 23:13
I think I made the major grid lines sound more confusing than they are, it's basically just a darker line every, say, 20 tiles that creates a regular higher level pattern. You can see it in the picture from my previous post: https://i.imgur.com/8CxVxHH.png. All I was basically saying is that those dark lines can be turned off.
Gotcha!
David Walters wrote:
Mar 02, 2018 23:13
The edges in that political map can be independently turned on/off from the View menu in the editor viewport.
So is that view menu toggle considered a "layer" or is that entirely different?
How about text labels can they be toggled independent as if on their own "layer" or do you write directly on the "terrain" or "marker" layer? This one's not a big deal because I can add the text post-production if necessary but I'm curious as to how it works.
David Walters wrote:
Mar 02, 2018 23:13
In terms of the rivers thing, sorry but I'm not sure what you're suggesting will work too well. You're right in assuming that only one marker can be present per hex so you'll need to use terrain under a city. I'm not sure there's an ideal solution for roads and rivers right now. I think you might have to approximate it, or perhaps do something as post-production. (Bespoke markers just means custom tiles, sorry to be inconsistent).
If there's only one layer of "terrain" though and I put the roads and rivers on the "terrain" layer I won't be able to toggle them without losing pretty much everything correct? It's not a showstopper (and it's less important for rivers than roads) and I can try to do it post-production but the issue there would be drawing a line (road) would overwrite the hex grid and the "markers" as well as anything I do in post-production would be limited to the "top" layer conceptually.

Is there a fair chance of a lines (roads/rivers on their own "layer" between "terrain" and "marker") capability (perhaps with snap to hex center and vertex points) being added in the future? I'm not looking for a firm commitment or anything just curious if it's outside the scope of what you want the program to do.
David Walters wrote:
Mar 02, 2018 23:13
There's no large additional installations like Java required to run it, this is a simple native 64-bit C++ program with everything mostly built in. It uses DirectX9 on Windows and OpenGL on Linux/macOS. If you look on the buy page there's some system requirements which lists some Linux system libraries that are needed.
That's great!
David Walters wrote:
Mar 02, 2018 23:13
Image export (which writes PNG files) doesn't have a cropping feature. For that I'd recommend you copy-paste the sub-section you want into a new "region" tab (A region is like a tabbed workbook in Excel) and export just that bit. Also, there's no printing support, you'll need a 3rd party application for that (combination of not wanting to wrestle with printer support on 3 platforms and the assumption you'd want to do some post-processing first anyway).
I'm not worried about print support as I have any number of programs that can print a png once exported. So I can "copy and paste" an arbitrary sized subsection of the overall map into this "region" tab and then just print that to png? If that's correct than that's prefectly fine. Heck as long as it doesn't scale it down too much and lose detail exporting the whole map as png and cropping it to what I want to give the players wouldn't be the end of the world.
David Walters wrote:
Mar 02, 2018 23:13
Custom tiles are square images you load in in PNG format and can be used on both square and hex maps. For markers they're placed in the centre of the hex as you'd expect. For terrain usage they work a bit differently. It basically treats the custom tile as a repeating pattern (like the floor in Doom or an old Windows 3 desktop) and then cookie-cutters out hexagon shapes from it to make the image. However because a hexagon and square don't really line up very well if you have, say a mountain in the middle of your custom tile, that might not line up with the centre of every tile. I'm sure I've made that sound really complex and the solution is basically to use markers for details like mountains, but it's a bit of a gotcha and I figured I'd explain now.
Ok the "marker" part sounds perfect so long as it supports transparency so I can make say a black circle marker that fits inside an hex that is transparent around the outside to show the underlying terrain and not fill the entire hex.

For the terrain layer though you're saying it puts down the square custom tiles first and then overlays the hex grid after? I'm not sure I really understand why if I put the mountain at the center of a tile it wouldn't still be in the center of a hex. Having the little mountain or tree graphic not centered would be problematic and while moving it to a different layer would be acceptable if the only other layer is the same layer the cities are on that would be a problem. That said right now I'm just using solids too so it's not a downgrade and thus not a showstopper for my purchase I was just hoping to get pretty graphics like some of those screenshots and it does seem to be a showstopper for using non-solid terrain. It sounds like I will be sticking with solids if I buy it for now though.

I guess the biggest issue is the roads thing... everything else is either great or I can get by without. Ideally it would support a few more layers than two but again that's not a showstopper and I can do some of the stuff through post production. The roads need to be above the terrain but below the cities (markers) and hex lines so it's not easily done. Plus drawing them freehand without any support for snapping to hex center/vertices would be a bit difficult. Anyway once again thanks for all the answers and it's definitely something I'm going to seriously consider... doing it one hex at a time is killing me.
Site Admin
Post Mar 03, 2018 08:42
Asmodai wrote:
Mar 02, 2018 23:49
So is that view menu toggle considered a "layer" or is that entirely different?
How about text labels can they be toggled independent as if on their own "layer" or do you write directly on the "terrain" or "marker" layer? This one's not a big deal because I can add the text post-production if necessary but I'm curious as to how it works.
Yes you can turn text labels on and off independently too. Also when exporting you can override a lot of things to create a tailored 'player/party view' of the map so on your computer you can see everything and when exporting your players see less.
I guess you could call all of these view options "layers" but you can't re-arrange the order. Fog-of-war is always on top of markers which are always on top of terrain, etc.. Probably better if I'd have called them view toggles.
Asmodai wrote:
Mar 02, 2018 23:49
If there's only one layer of "terrain" though and I put the roads and rivers on the "terrain" layer I won't be able to toggle them without losing pretty much everything correct? It's not a showstopper (and it's less important for rivers than roads) and I can try to do it post-production but the issue there would be drawing a line (road) would overwrite the hex grid and the "markers" as well as anything I do in post-production would be limited to the "top" layer conceptually.
That's correct yes, turning off the terrain applies to everything on that layer.
Asmodai wrote:
Mar 02, 2018 23:49
Is there a fair chance of a lines (roads/rivers on their own "layer" between "terrain" and "marker") capability (perhaps with snap to hex center and vertex points) being added in the future? I'm not looking for a firm commitment or anything just curious if it's outside the scope of what you want the program to do.
I'm afraid I wouldn't imagine that will be coming along any time soon. My task list is already pretty full.
Asmodai wrote:
Mar 02, 2018 23:49
I'm not worried about print support as I have any number of programs that can print a png once exported. So I can "copy and paste" an arbitrary sized subsection of the overall map into this "region" tab and then just print that to png? If that's correct than that's prefectly fine.
Yep that's right.
Asmodai wrote:
Mar 02, 2018 23:49
Ok the "marker" part sounds perfect so long as it supports transparency so I can make say a black circle marker that fits inside an hex that is transparent around the outside to show the underlying terrain and not fill the entire hex.
Yes, markers and terrain both support transparency and can be drawn in their original colours, or converted to greyscale and tinted to one of the 256 colours in the palette (so you can, for example, make a number of different coloured outposts on your map from one graphic).
Post Mar 03, 2018 14:10
David Walters wrote:
Mar 03, 2018 08:42
Yes, markers and terrain both support transparency and can be drawn in their original colours, or converted to greyscale and tinted to one of the 256 colours in the palette (so you can, for example, make a number of different coloured outposts on your map from one graphic).
Just a few more questions prompted by this response.
Terrain supports transparency? In my mind the "terrain" layer was the bottom... what's below that for you to see if you make the terrain transparent then? Is it a single solid/texture for the whole map or is there an always at the bottom layer that you can have different colors/textures per hex/square?

For the palette if I'm making terrain/marker custom tiles I can easily save them as 256-color pngs. Each one would conceivably have it's own 256-color palette though. Are you saying that each entity doesn't have it's own palette and instead the entire map, with all entities (terrains, markers, etc.) are limited to a single 256-color palette?

The grayscale and tinting thing is interesting as well. Are you saying I can make a single terrain tile type that's solid white and then grid unit (hex/square) by grid unit tint the solid to different colors from the 256-color palette giving me all my terrain types (by color: light blue for shallow water, dark for deep, light green for plains, dark for forest, yellow for desert, etc) with a single tile type (solid white).
Site Admin
Post Mar 03, 2018 22:40
Asmodai wrote:
Mar 03, 2018 14:10
David Walters wrote:
Mar 03, 2018 08:42
Yes, markers and terrain both support transparency and can be drawn in their original colours, or converted to greyscale and tinted to one of the 256 colours in the palette (so you can, for example, make a number of different coloured outposts on your map from one graphic).
Just a few more questions prompted by this response.
Terrain supports transparency? In my mind the "terrain" layer was the bottom... what's below that for you to see if you make the terrain transparent then? Is it a single solid/texture for the whole map or is there an always at the bottom layer that you can have different colors/textures per hex/square?

For the palette if I'm making terrain/marker custom tiles I can easily save them as 256-color pngs. Each one would conceivably have it's own 256-color palette though. Are you saying that each entity doesn't have it's own palette and instead the entire map, with all entities (terrains, markers, etc.) are limited to a single 256-color palette?
Transparent terrain isn't something you might need to use when making a world map but it is supported in case you did. Behind the terrain layer is a background colour determined by the map theme selected for the region (usually a solid blue, black or white but there's also one with a parchment texture).

For colour tiles you've got a full 24-bit colour available, the 256 palette is only a restriction for applying a tint to mono tiles.
Asmodai wrote:
Mar 03, 2018 14:10
The grayscale and tinting thing is interesting as well. Are you saying I can make a single terrain tile type that's solid white and then grid unit (hex/square) by grid unit tint the solid to different colors from the 256-color palette giving me all my terrain types (by color: light blue for shallow water, dark for deep, light green for plains, dark for forest, yellow for desert, etc) with a single tile type (solid white).
Yes that's entirely correct. Draw a thing in white on black, load it in and draw that thing on either layer tinted to any one of the colours. The default palette was chosen to have a nice wide range of hues and you can redefine them if necessary.

I knocked up this image in a few minutes and hopefully it shows everything, including the default palette. I just quickly doodled a castle in photoshop:

Image

Then imported it as a mono tile, and drew it on as a marker in various colours. I then used the built-in solid block to make a background and added some kind of border line to finish it off. Also limited the grid to one 20x20 region to show you how that looks.

Image

Hopefully you can see the strengths of Grid Cartographer in terms of rapid creation of maps like this. I've always considered the program to be more on the functional side of things than a tool for making beautiful artwork, but that might be because I'm not much of an artist myself. I've seem more creative maps and certainly something more attractive can be made given a bit more that a couple of minutes effort for this post!

e.g.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZkLrNpz8fs
Post May 04, 2018 03:41
I must say, I'm extremely impressed with the author's replies to all of the questions, it gives me confidence in buying this software :)

Two quick questions though:

1) I saw mention of a Steam key. I will not use Steam. Is Grid Cartographer available standalone on Windows (not using Steam)?

2) I'd like to try the standard version and maybe upgrade to pro after I try it out. Is there an upgrade discount to go this route?

Thanks in advance!
Site Admin
Post May 04, 2018 11:48
Woofin wrote:
May 04, 2018 03:41
I must say, I'm extremely impressed with the author's replies to all of the questions, it gives me confidence in buying this software :)

Two quick questions though:

1) I saw mention of a Steam key. I will not use Steam. Is Grid Cartographer available standalone on Windows (not using Steam)?

2) I'd like to try the standard version and maybe upgrade to pro after I try it out. Is there an upgrade discount to go this route?

Thanks in advance!
Hi Woofin, thanks for the questions.

1. Grid Cartographer is currently available as a stand-alone product you buy from me directly (payment is handled via FastSpring). If you do so you'll have access to an installer to download and be e-mailed a serial key to enter. Beyond that there's no involvement with any third party distributor or client (i.e. Steam).

My plans for Steam have been somewhat delayed and it hasn't been launched yet, however when it does I intend to continue to operate the web store here in addition to having Grid Cartographer "on Steam" - it will be the same product available from two different places that you decide based on your own preference. I don't intend to force Steam on anyone who doesn't want it.

2. There isn't a discount for the New Customer -> Gamer -> Pro path, nor is there any significant penalty (99c) - by design the total you'll pay is about the same.
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