Saturday, May 19, 2012

Map Aesthetics

While working on various things, I'm going through my inventory of maps and organizing. I've been floating back and forth to Dyson's site and was also looking at the D+D Maps that Tenkar pointed out... and I'm quite torn on how to approach maps going forward. I traditionally drew maps by hand, but once I learned how to use my computer to quickly plunk maps into a simple grid, I spent about two years doing all maps by computer... then I found Dyson's site, and learned again the joy of hand-drawn maps. Now, I'm going back and trying to unify my game stuff, and I find that the two styles have quite different aesthetics. I honestly don't know which I like better- or even if I have to choose! Is it possible to go with two different map styles and just move back and forth between them, or do you think it gives a game a more consistent look if all the maps are generated the same way? A few sample maps follow to show you how this plays out in practice...

First, two hand-drawn maps... then two computer-generated ones:


  1. I like both styles (big fan of Dyson Logos), but I prefer the bottom two. I've always really liked the look of Mythweaver dungeons.

  2. Thanks for the feedback! I think that the drawback of the computer-generated ones (from the design side) is that it's easiest just to plunk square and rectangular rooms down; I still need to draft them on graph paper in pencil, and then use that as the model by which to generate the final versions.