25 Quick and Dirty Map Tutorials

I’ve recently been looking at the 25 Quick & Dirty Map Tutorials Guide Google+ community on the net; the community contains numerous maps created by Michael Tumey and some good tutorials on how to create maps using most modern graphics packages; although the tutorials that I have read so far assume a certain level of technical competence. I like to think that i’m fairly intelligent when it comes to computers but, not having used certainly features in Photoshop before (the package that I have on my computer), I did have to avail myself of Google and some experimentation to get the desired results.

Part of the aim of the community is to drum up interest in the kickstarter for the printed Guide that will be starting at some point in the near future, in addition to providing a forum where people can have discussions, show off their work and ask questions about all things map related. I think that the community fulfils its purpose admirably although it may be a little daunting to anyone not experienced in using a computer graphics package.

Official website for the Guide is here:

I’ve posted the two (rough) sample forest maps that I worked on using one of the community’s tutorials below:

Addition 26/06/13 23:45 

I asked Michael Tumey about the lack of specific information related to the most popular graphics packages and was told the following:

“That would be the advantage of having the book, as there will be a chapter on Explanation of Terms where we look at what is the intent of a given task, with corresponding subsections for Photoshop, GIMP, Xara, Inkscape and several other common applications, giving more specific instructions on which tools in those applications needed to perform the same task.”

Given this additional information I will certainly be planning to support the kickstarter and would have no problem recommending the book (even at this early stage) for those interested in map/world creation.

6 thoughts on “25 Quick and Dirty Map Tutorials”

  1. I'm a freelance cartographer also doing some game development with another small publisher, even though I have a day job. Which means I only have so much time to dedicate to another project – in this case set of tutorials guides. While I'm doing this as a POD printing arrangement through Lightning Source (same as CreateSpace or Lulu), however they don't publish anything, they print it – I'm the publisher. All the cost is in creating and publishing it, not printing it. Aside from the time it takes me to do the writing and tutorials, plus 75 sample maps (3 per tutorial) using the same techniques of the tutorial, I need to pay a professional freelancer to edit the book(s) and no sane writer/publisher edits his own work. Is all the work going to pay off; is it a book that people will purchase? Creating any book is not cost free.

    The Kickstarter has nothing to do with the POD printing (which basically costs me nothing, unless a purchase is made), the time and effort in months of work between me and other freelancers is why I need a Kickstarter to fund it.

    I also plan on creating and publishing 3 additional tutorials guides covering 25 advanced tutorials, a hand-drawn mapping tutorial guide, a 3D mapping tutorial guide, and a couple of custom map object sets (all as stretch goals) – so it's not just for 1 book.

    If it doesn't fund, then I know my time will be better spent doing more map commissions and not being able to offer an instruction guide for gamemasters to create their own maps. It's a project I want to do, but only a Kickstarter can tell me if it's worth doing at all. Plus Kickstarter is a great marketing platform.

  2. The 25 Quick & Dirty Map Tutorials Guide Kickstarter has been launched on Friday, August 2nd and running to Sunday, September 1st. 4 days in and we are 3/4's of the way to goal. Thank you everyone for contributing, but please continue to spread the word on this!

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