Yesterday I had the chance to check out MapForge a pretty cool tactical map making software package that is currently on Kickstarter. Even though I was only able to evaluate a prototype demo, there is evidence that the full program will be a very robust and easy to use product. This is the next generation of map making software and the future is looking bright. At one time, Dundjinni was the gold standard in afforable map making software for the massess. Dundjinni is dead, long live MapForge!
From what I have seen in the publicly available demo, this program will be leaps and bounds above Dundjinni’s capability from back in the day. The interface is easy to use and pretty intuitive. There are tons of map packs available through the Kickstarter and they have a host of artistic partners that will be creating an ever increasing amount of content in the future following the Kickstarter campaign. The developer asserts that the final product will also be able to import existing mapping resources from sites RPGmapshare and the Dundjinni.
The demo was wicked easy to use and manipulate. Tile selection was point and click and tile rotation was a mouse click. This software though not fully implemented in the demo, will do more than just dungeon maps. It will do overland maps, but not at the world building level. MapForge is meant to create to artistically superior tactical maps for all sorts of roleplaying games.
• Quickly assemble existing map tiles into a large map layout.
• Support for layers (to adjust the stacking order of items on a map).
• Group layers and show/hide/adjust the entire group as a whole (e.g., the contents of a given room), for greater project organization.
• Randomization features for textures (to avoid repeating patterns) and for placed items (e.g. randomly scatter trees, automatically varying their size and rotation).
• Adjust the location, scale, rotation and opacity of any placed item.
• Toggle between day & night versions with the click of a button.
• Media Types: Tiles, Tile Overlays, Items, Textures, Walls, Masks
• Ability to mark media that should only appear on the GM version of a map (e.g. room key numbers, traps, secret doors, etc.).
• Apply bitmap filters, for special effects such as Bevel, Glow, Drop Shadow, Stroke, Color Adjustment, Brightness/Contrast, etc.
• Convenience of the MapForge Add-On format: The software knows how large each tile should be (in grid squares), where the exits are, what tiles can be placed next to it and connect properly, and makes it easy to find content via tags and keyword searches.
• Export the entire map at once, or just the parts you want.
I’m looking forward to seeing this one hit the street and to having the ability to put it through it paces and provide you guys with a solid and reliable review of its capabilities. In the meantime, check it out. Let me know your thoughts on the program and the perceived capabilities.