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Fractal Mapper v8.0 $34.95 $29.01
Publisher: NBOS Software
by Bruce L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/22/2012 10:32:48

I was a bit intimidated by this program, at first. I really could not just 'figure it out' on my own. Finally, I opened up the tutorial, and followed it, step by step... The tutorial does not cover every aspect of the program -- after finishing the tutorial, there are still a great many elements left to be figured out on your own, but you will be able to put together some beautiful maps, nonetheless.

I have had my campaign world maps since I created them, back in 1983. I have expanded them in the past 29 years, and I have fleshed out many areas of my world maps, as players have ventured into different areas. I had hoped that I could control the overall shape of the continents within this program so that I could make digital versions of my hand-drawn, and crude computer drawn maps of old. Unfortunately, this program only allows limited control of the overall shapes it generates. This means that I will have to alter the shapes of some of the continents which the PC's are already quite familiar with, but the program delivers so much more professional results, it is sooo much faster to use compared to the old programs and methods, that I really do not mind at all.

This program does, in fact, allow you to create a world map, which can be rendered into a spinning, turnable, globe! Now that is one very fun thing to do! I will be expanding my world design, as a result of using this program, plus I can finally see it all, as a spinning globe. I can even rotate the globe, so that I can see the polar regions, while it is spinning. This may seem like so much wasted programming, but in reality, it allows the world designer to see spatial relations between continents which would otherwise be impossible. It really is a hoot, as well as being useful.

To make detailed maps of continents, islands, countries, or even counties, the GM simply creates a 'continent', and stretches it off the edges of the map, or leave one, or more, edges showing, to create a coastline. Add in land features, such as rivers, and lakes, mountains, hills, swamps, etc. Multiple layers can be created, to allow for GM maps showing everything, and PC maps, showing only what the GM wants them to know.

Dungeon maps can also be created, with the same ease, and speed (there is a tutorial for dungeons, as well, which is highly recommended to get you up to speed quickly! The layering feature could be quite useful here. This program would work superbly for projecting the dungeon onto a tabletop, for miniature use. I've seen such video projectors available for less than $200 retail, new, around Christmas time. This would allow the GM to project the map onto the tabletop, without need of pens, or tiles, or 3D dungeon props; it would be completely fluid in design, with minimal set-up time (depending upon the number of layers used...).

Overall, this is a highly useful, and amazing program to use. If you produce a nice map, and you would like to have it produced professionally, check out this company for transferring your map to vinyl: http://www.bannersonthecheap.com/rpg-maps-and-banners Cheers!



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Fractal Mapper v8.0
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