1. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Software for Town-building

    Discussion in 'Software' started by Wreybies, Jun 12, 2009.

    Wasn't sure where this should go, here or.... somewhere else. Mods, feel free to move if needed.

    I'm looking for a good, graphically potent, program to create a map of the layout of a town in my story. Yeah, I'm in need of some inspiration and the last time I created a world map for my story, a bunch of stuff just came popping out of my head as I was looking over my map, and.... well.... I'm hoping lightning will strike twice.

    But I already have fractal maps of my actual planet created. Now I need a town (actually three towns) where stuffity-stuff-stuff will take place. Program don't need to be free. Can pay. Must be not too ridiculously hard to use, and must give good quality, non-cheesy looking, graphic representation of the towns. I don't care about population stats, or how many elves vs dwarves vs humans vs orcs; I just care about how the end map looks.

    RPGers???? Helps??? :redface:
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    You could try Visio, It's not primarily for mapping, but it does serve well enough for many purposes. I'll bet there are useful third party shape templates that would be useful too.
     
  3. SA Mitchell
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    SA Mitchell Member

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    You can make buildings in Google Sketchup. Not really good for laying out a city but it might be good for making landmarks and it is free.
     
  4. jlauren
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    jlauren Senior Member

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    Why don't you try a simulator program like Sims City? You can build a 3D city and play the game at the same time! Just a thought.
     
  5. Northern Phil
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    Northern Phil Active Member

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    It all depends on what era your city is going to be set in. Then it depends on what your city is going to be like, i.e. a captial city, a mining town etc.

    This wikipedia page actually has a list of all major cities that have been around since 7000BC, the links then give information about the history and geographical region. Alternativly if your going for a modern day city then you can find city layouts in guide books. Most modern cities follow a similar layout; Houses, schools, shops, restaurants, hospitals, churchs, universities.

    A couple of quick searches have shown that Autocad appears to be the best at creating city layouts, although I think you've got to have some intesnse training before you can use that. You might also want to try City Creator.
     
  6. DavidGil
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    DavidGil Senior Member

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    It might not be too clever and the graphics may not be great, but you could try a program that's free to download. Autorealm.

    Personally, I use it for maps of a world if I ever want one for personal use. But I think it could also be used for a city/town.
     
  7. Dcoin
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    Dcoin Contributing Member

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    I think the idea of using a game might serve you well, although then you'd be limited to one artist rendition of what that city might look like.

    I played this game some time ago called "Civilization" and as you build the cities and maps they had many artistic renderings to look it.

    Now that were talking about it I might dust off an old copy and have a play.

    Also, don't forget, you can always use "cheat mode" to build without actually taking time to play the game.
     
  8. Tobinobin
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    Tobinobin Member

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    Slightly offtopic: where can I get a good program to make a map that looks old style (rustic etc) but easy?
     
  9. Gallowglass
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    Gallowglass Contributing Member Contributor

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    What I do is buy Elder Scrolls: Oblivion and use its construction set to make mods. The construction set is available for free, and is quick to download, with many tutorials on how to use it. You can build almost anything with it, with the game's excellent graphics. You can actually walk around your town, complete with furniture, characters, and can change literally everything. You can even put in your own voice acting, or in-game books with notes on random things!

    I use it a lot. You need to buy the game, though. Pirate copies and downloaded versions don't actually work with the construction set.
     
  10. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Has anyone ever made use of Dunjinni? I really like the look of the end product and it is Mac compatible. It just looks a smidge complex.
     
  11. dagda24
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    dagda24 Member

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    Mapping Software

    I'm sure someone will have asked this already, but I've had a little search and haven't found what I'm looking for.

    I'm trying to jot down a map of my fictional world (coast lines, mountains, plains, inland water etc) but am having several problems. Namely my lack of artistic ability and complete failure to generate scale. Does anyone know of any software (preferably free or cheap) that will be able to help me with this?

    I have a basic idea of the lay of the land but would really like something that's scaled to have as a visual reference as I'm writing.
     
  12. lordofhats
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    lordofhats Contributing Member

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    I can't say I know of any. Any programs actually dedicated to mapping probably aren't free. As you can figure, mapping software is kind of a niche market. The only people who really have use of them are in specialized fields. I can't imagine there's much of a commercial market for a map creator. This sort of thing would usually be covered by things like Paint and Paintshop.

    I'll say it know since I'm sure someone else will eventually. This sort of thing doesn't really benefit the story. Making the map might be nice, but its more like writer procrastination. You can describe an entire world in a few paragraphs as your own reference. It's probably best to do it this way anyhow, as its less time consuming than a detailed map, and words will be your primary means of conveying your world anyway.

    That said, I will admit I have found making maps helpful. I usually don't go that detailed but I might make a bunch of squares of varying size stick them together and put names on them :p.
     
  13. dagda24
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    dagda24 Member

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    It's really not to benefit the story, it's to help me more than anything to work out how long it would take to get from A-B etc. Also, I'm quite fickle, so various landmarks are liable to move unless they're stuck down somewhere.
     
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