13 October 2020 at 6:30 pm #10524lmourirParticipant
I bought and have been using the unlocked version Worldographer (and Cityographer and Dungeonographer) for about a week now, and it’s pretty cool! I have some feedback based on the things I’ve been doing with the tool so far. It’s intended to be “helpful” rather than “whiny” so hopefully it will be read in that spirit. The mapping tool I used previously was Azgaar’s, just as a point of reference.
My biggest complaints with the program are around UX/UI. Extracting information from map tiles (elevation, population, notes, etc.) is cumbersome. Clicking on things rarely does what you want (or anything at all), unless you are in exactly the right modal state to accomplish the particular task you want to at that moment. To be clear, there’s lots of information available within the map; it’s just difficult to access on-the-fly. It would be nice to have more mouseover notes, or more layer-specific information and visualization that can be toggled on and off (climate zones, political boundaries, elevation, etc.).
On a related note, it would be really helpful to be able to select all adjacent hexes matching a parameter, “magic wand” style in order to make mass changes. Ctrl-click to select multiple hexes would also be REALLY nice. Ctrl-click PLUS magic wand would be even better still!
More consistency in placement of tools would also be great. It’s a bit of a mystery to me why the select tool on the terrain tab is at the bottom, underneath ten million terrain tiles I have to scroll through first. On the features and labels tabs, it’s on a column on the right. For the shapes tab, it’s at the top. It contributes to a feeling that the UI is disorganized.
As I mentioned, I came to Worldographer from Azgaar’s, and my first ongoing project has been converting the world map I generated there to Worldographer. I created a png of the map and started getting it set up. One thing I have quickly discovered as I create my coastline and lakes is that I frequently switch between wanting to see the map at 0% alpha and wanting to see it highly transparent to see the under drawing I’m tracing. I really wish I could toggle between two transparency states with a hot key (or even a single mouse click if that were the only way to do it).
I couldn’t get coastline to auto-generate. It would be nice to know what rules the system needs in order to to that. In any case, I really wanted to match my old map, so I was probably going to end up generating by hand in the end. I did notice that the textures available in the shape tool vary from what are in the tiles (although many match very close). I wish that I had access to the exact terrain textures that I could apply when drawing shapes so that I could color/texture matched exactly to the rest of the water or whatever terrain I was editing. I would even settle for having access to those art assets so I could create my own textures as-needed, but those assets don’t seem to be available to me as a user (I could be wrong).
I found myself wishing I could define continental shapes and then let the program generate biome data algorithmically. I liked the biome data from my original Azgaar’s map, but not so much that I feel like I HAD to recreate it, other than not having another option. I would have gladly unloaded that task to the computer. Same with height data. From blue sky feature perspective, it would also be nice to be able to “paint” hills and mountains in some kind of semi-intelligent way (i.e. multiple passes continues to raise height) and have the terrain art adjust (hills to mountains, but maintain forest or other biome information) based on raising or lower the height numbers.
Lastly (and I’m sorry this post is so long), the city building tool is an idea I’m in love with, but I’ve found the execution hard to use. I haven’t been able to get it to generate good looking cities and I’ve had difficulty getting high population cities to generate at all. The maps are very basic and missing interesting geographical features. It’s pretty clear that a lot of hand touching of the maps is necessary to get them really looking good. That would be *ok*, if it at least generated street names, for example, and district names. Or districts at all. This is going to sound harsh, but I feel like I just get a network of streets (lines) with homes haphazardly scattered along them. There’s no central square or market area. There are no parks or statues, or points of interest of any kind to give character — nothing making it feel like a real place. Again, I love the idea, but it feels undercooked currently for anything other than generating suburban housing developments.
Sorry if this seems like a bunch of complaints. I’m really enjoying learning this new tool, and I’m committed to using it. I’m in it for the long haul! Just wanted to give some (hopefully constructive) feedback in hopes of making it even better in the future!
Thanks for reading!
16 October 2020 at 2:42 pm #10529lmourirParticipant
- This topic was modified 6 days, 2 hours ago by lmourir.
Follow up, in case anyone actually reads these posts: layers seem like they’re pretty limited in terms of how they’re used. For example, the actual terrain tiles aren’t assigned (or assignable) to their corresponding layers, which is…really confusing. Having that type of tile layering would allow for some of the visualization I alluded to above. The actual use case for me is (again) with tracing over an existing map, where being able to turn off certain layers and see the underdrawing would, in many cases, be a superior option to transparency, which affects ALL layers, including the layer on which you’re currently doing your tracing. Political boundaries, adding features and notes — there are a lot of instances where I would like to have certain parts of the map invisible, while still being able to see my work and a reference drawing from which I’m tracing.
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