With the launch a little over a week away, yesterday I thought I had better pay my $25 to Inkarnate.com so I could use it commercially for the maps that have been made so far – and I got quite a pleasant surprise. Now in addition to being allowed to use the images produced using Inkarnate – the pro option also has hundreds more images and textures and is double the resolution! Not only that, but it is much nicer and easier to use – before once I had laid something down there was no way to delete it or move it, now everything can be shifted around or deleted/changed, etc making the program very flexible and more useful than ever before..
To test it out, I made up a quick map of the Central Aelutian town of Mythbury – and because its so high resolution, its possible to zoom in or out to reveal or hide small details, with several maps being able to produced from a single one as in the example below.
Since the beginning I had some idea of how I wanted to maps to be used – with large scale maps drilling down to become progressively smaller and more detailed – and the same with the areas described in each of the lands. Given time, each listing could become its own page like I have done with Mythbury – and then, most ambitiously of all, if there could be a way to stitch all the maps together – well, how awesome would Eletreus be if it was like google Earth? You could zoom in and out of the various locations, clicking to explore an area, and drilling down to the smallest detail.
The new improved version of Inkarnate makes this pretty easy actually – as for example trees are not individually placed but randomized with a brush – and now they have the same thing for villages, towns and market places, so for example, it would be theoretically possible to map out an entire city street by street using this software in a fraction of the time it would take to detail otherwise.
I am still exploring the software, and will have to put it on hold to focus on other areas of the site, but I really do like the potential it has to create micro and macro maps of all types, with the ability to make fortresses, mountain ranges, and even non human settlements such as ‘Dwarven villages’ and ‘Elven Capitals’ with the odd monster or Dragon thrown in for good measure.
Well done Inkarnate, pretty darned good value for $25..