Map editing software
Hey guys, so out of curiosity what software do you use to draw out your maps? I've been using Paint but I don't know if there is a better program to do the job. One problem I've noticed with paint is that when I draw a straight black line (Color number #000000) the edges of the line turn out to be an off black color. Do the lines on my map need to be perfectly black? Also, another quick question, how thick should my lines be?
Hey guys, so out of curiosity what software do you use to draw out your maps?
Lots of different things you can use...
Paint.net is probably the easiest to use if you are accustom to working with paint. Its a free shareware piece of software and is very easy to learn.
GIMP is another free shareware software app. It is extremely versatile however, it is much more challenging to learn (at least from my perspective).
I've been using Paint but I don't know if there is a better program to do the job. One problem I've noticed with paint is that when I draw a straight black line (Color number #000000) the edges of the line turn out to be an off black color.
Paint all round sucks... but you probably have the antialiasing enabled which is distorting the edges of your lines.
Do the lines on my map need to be perfectly black?
Also, another quick question, how thick should my lines be?
They can be whatever you want them to be. 1-3 Pixels is probably the most common settings I've seen.
Traditionally, it is suggested the lines to be 1 pixel tick only, for what you will use to get the polygons, tho I personally like them being thicker, WAW style, but this is mostly related to personal preferences without relief and if you want the map looking fairly nice also when switching off map details (with relief on, it doesn't matter the thickness, as you can cover anything, aside from some zoom related behaviours).
Instead of deciding on the thickness before starting drawing, you can rather draw all 1 pixel tick, and preferably use that to auto find connections and placement, then (in GIMP) you can select all such borders and use "Select/Grow", then "Edit/Fill with FG Colour" to get the (in this case, odd numbers only) thickness you want, keeping the original 1 pixel tick saved, so that you can redo as you wish.
Keep in mind that 1 pixel is going to be very thin for 4k monitors, and I always also suggest to draw your map so to be fairly good for them (territories big enough for having 100% 48x48 pixels units at least, preferably 100% 64x64 pixels).
@Hepps & @Cernel thank you for the advice! I think I'm going to look some more into GIMP. I personally like the look of 3 pixels width but wasn't sure if that would work or not. I'll keep you up to date with project (Canadian Civil war during the 1960's separatism movement).
Sounds like an interesting project, even though I never heard about the historical circumstances that could lead to a Canadian civil war.
I have used windows paint a lot, but one has to learn how to deactivate that anti-aliasing the program wants to make.
I also use PhotoFiltre, PhotoShop and GIMP. Plus a few other special tools. Just found a sweet tool for enlarging pictures to like double seize with best looking results (SmillaEnlarger).
I once described how I do a lot of the map graphical work to @BeorntheBold
Maybe you will find it usefull reading: http://tripleadev.1671093.n2.nabble.com/How-to-make-new-map-graphic-from-scratch-td7593642.html
Thank you @Frostion I will take a look at that!
Vive le Québec libre I guess?
@Cernel That would be a very short and lopsided affair. =)
@Hepps it would be one sided... except the Anglo's don't see it coming and with the help of separatist organizations like the FLQ they launch a pre-emptive strike on the rest of Eastern Canada. Completely caught by surprise the rest of Canada is like "What's going on Eh?" The West has some troops but are far removed from the action. Ontario and the Maritime provinces end up taking the initial brunt force.
Anyways the idea is that the Franco Alliance will have the advantage of troops at the beginning but the Anglos have higher production. If the Anglos can hold off the initial assault they might have a chance of repelling the Franco Alliance.
It will take a lot of work to get it to where I want it but that's ok. I have time! :)
@VonnVary Absolutely love the idea!!!
I can't wait to see this. Can you possibly name one of the Ontario's Infantry units "Heppell's Highlanders" ? =)
@Hepps LOL is Trudeau a Prime Minister or General in this?
@Hepps to answer your question first I will make an Infantry unit called the Heppel's Highlanders. They will be given to Ontario at the start and are irreplaceable. They'll probably be a 2/3 infantry unit. Where would you like them placed? London? Kitchener? Toronto? .
@prastle you are correct that Trudeau Sr. was PM during the last couple years of the 1960s. In my alternative reality of events here is what happens that leads us to a Violent Quebec separation.
During the 1960's the FLQ launch all their violent attacks but to no avail. Alone they are not powerful enough to overthrow the government. Until 1967 when Charles Degual came to Canada and gave his Vive de Quebec speech which sparked the imagination and ambitions of the general Quebec and Francophone populace. During this time the Union Nationale party (a separatist conservative party) is in office in Quebec. Joined together with separatist groups like the FLQ and the support of the Francophone community they begin their attacks to separate from the rest of Canada and to free their Francophone Allies living in the Provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Manitoba.
At this time PM Trudeau has just been elected. However, an unprovoked attack on Ottawa dismantles parliament and the Federal Government is quickly dissolved. This leads to a coalition of different provincial forces with the goal of restoring the Federal Government.
That's basically the story behind it. The U.S.A will play a support role only (if Ontario and New Brunswick hold border towns they will be rewarded with Financial Aid from the USA).
@VonnVary Interesting alternative history idea.
@VonnVary Still loving this idea!
Heppell's Highlanders would be a Toronto based unit. =)
@Hepps HEY THERE! Dont leave out the golden horseshoe country hicks! :)
So I was busy last week as I was out of town so I haven't gotten too far on the map making. I do have a question/idea I'd like to run past everyone as it will affect the layout of the map. Should I make only the cities worth PU's and the rest of the country side worth nothing? This would create a more objective based style of play. Or do you think that would detract from the way the game was intended to be played?
Also, how big should each territory roughly be? Any thoughts on this?
I always also suggest to draw your map so to be fairly good for them (territories big enough for having 100% 48x48 pixels units at least, preferably 100% 64x64 pixels).
I think territories should be as big as the ones of Total World War or (preferably) bigger. You should really keep 4k in mind, in my opinion, and that means TWW would be really bare minimum.
It depends on your map, but I would say go for territories, especially all the important ones, being able to have 8+ units at 100%, fairly well spaced (packed units are kind of annoying and overflow lines are definitely not aiding).
In my opinion, here you can take TWW as a good example and NWO etc. as bad examples; in particular, absolutely try not to do something like WAW, in which you have wildly small and relatively large territories and super packed mini-circles where tons of units use to stay.
My suggestion is to have the map meant to be usually kept at 50% zoom, tho sadly the TripleA zoom is not very good.
If you are making the units anew, I suggest 64x64 pixels.
In my mind, ideally all maps should have the "average" view (you want to keep most of the time) at 50% zoom, and this is the proper way to have a map that you can actually zoom in (by going over 50%). I think 100% should be like the level at which noone can possibly want to zoom in more, not the normal setting for the map.
Tho, I can't strongly suggest that, as TripleA really needs a better zoom and, then, also a setting for having a default different from 100% per map and a mouse scroll that works well and smoot in changing the zoom setting (the current one is so bad it is basically unusable).
However, you can keep an eye in doing the relief, so to have them zoom friendly (Feudal Japan is an example the map looks very good zoomed at 50%).
So guess there isn't a 'One size fits all' answer when it comes to the overall size of the map. Just as long as each territory has breathing room for all the units? I also like how you mentioned that the territories should be relatively consistent in size. I will keep this in mind as I build my map. There are 3 sections of the map (Southern Ontario, St. Lawrence River and Eastern Canada) where I will have to blow up the map, kind of like what 'Great War' does with the Eastern Front and Africa). If I do that I can make the territories more uniform and avoid the mess of having too big/small territories.