My players have suffered over the years through shitty MS Paint drawings, a few maps made using various online tools/tilesets (Tiamat before they disappeared), and frequently with none at all, forsaking tactical play altogether (A17, Monster Hunters in 1640's Ireland, and Prohibition Mob).
Today I realized however, that I've already spent 93 hours playing a game that allows for exactly the sort of mapping that is extremely useful for a modern setting- Prison Architect. Now, I picked up Prison Architect because I needed something fairly light and time consuming that my laptop can handle while I travel up to Maine every couple of months- when I'm not mourning the death of my pet in Nethack.
Here's an initial attempt at an area my next campaign might feature (this is not for Prohibition Mob):
|Literally saved on my Computer as "ShittyShipMap"|
I see a few big weaknesses with this approach:
- As of yet I don't know a way to export a section of map in high-res. Screenshots are workable, but they lose a great deal of the detail available within the game itself when you zoom in hyper close. It's also a pain in the ass to get the part I want to screen-cap into focus without HUD elements in the way.
- Lack of sprite/object variety. This is a mixed bag. At worst, things will start to look the same or I might have to find appropriate sprites to fill in gaps. On the other hand, once players are used to them, it will speed map comprehension, hopefully causing less "Hey, what's that grey thing on the map?" moments.