Thursday, December 10, 2009

Tools of the Trade

Recently, I've been putting blogging on the back burner and have been focusing on other things.  I've been investing most of my time on a top secret RPG project.  While taking breaks from that, I've been playing around with an application I downloaded called MapTools.  I found out about this program from The Savage Blogger (which is a pretty good blog for Savage Worlds fans.  Check it out.) and am having some fun with it.

If there's one thing that's damn near impossible for me to do, it's getting my friends together to run a game session.  Everyone's got an excuse: "I have to work in the morning," "I'm tired," "I'm having sex with five women in a UFO."  It's so hard to get people to come together at someone's house.  So the prospect of playing RPGs over the internet sounds promising.  All you need are some friends with computers and an internet connection (which shouldn't be hard) and you can set up an online gaming table.

MapTools lets you create your own battle maps, complete with buildings, terrain, objects, and creatures and player characters to keep track of battles.  I have heard of other programs, but I'm kinda liking what I'm seeing so far with MapTools.  There is a chat function, but, as The Savage Blogger mentioned, Skype would work well with this.  If you want to check out MapTools, go to their website, which has all the applications, tutorials, and resources you need.  I definitely recommend the tutorial videos, as they help you get around the program and make the most of it.

To give you a simple example of some of the things you can do with MapTools, I made a little scene with cavemen in a skirmish against some lizard men.

Not to mention that this is a tiny hint on the secret project I'm working on.  (Those who already know are sworn to secrecy under penalty of making you wish you were dead.)

Kaiser out


  1. I'm in the process of doing some map designs myself, I've been trying out a bunch of different programs are the tutorials for getting going on MapttTools any good?

  2. It sounds like you're looking for something more along the lines of cartography. If that's the case, then MapTools won't help you much.

    I probably should have been clearer on that. It actually allows you to take pre-made image files, such as maps, objects, and terrain, and use them to set up a virtual gaming table where you can run RPG battles with a group over an internet connection. There are some tools on there that can, theoretically, work for cartography, but they're about as advanced as MS Paint.

    If, however, you are looking into using images to make maps for online play or a place to make use of your created maps, then MapTools does an admirable job. I've seen similar programs with some better features, but they cost money to download while MapTools is absolutely free.

    As far as the tutorials are concerned, I would say you can't do without them. The tutorials saved me a lot of time while I was playing with the program.

    Either way, Tyson, go out there and make some kick-ass maps!