Exchange editable maps via email.
Making an encounter map is a nice way to show players where everything is. Figurines and erasable markers have been used during face-to-face gaming sessions for years. Irony Games' MapMagical Encounter Editor was created to give the same power to email game players.
The MapMagical Encounter Editor is a lightweight mapping program designed to draw small encounters. (If you uses the recommended scale, the mapping area is a little bit larger than 100 feet square.)
The advantage of using the Encounter Editor over other map editors and drawing programs lies in its compact map exchange data format. The "Save map" button encodes the map into a just a few lines of data that you can mail to the other players in your game.
At the other end, your friends copy those lines to the MapMagical Encounter Editor web page where they can view the map, make their move, and then mail it back to you. You don't have to worry about everyone having the same mapping program; now everyone has access to Irony Games' MapMagical Encounter Editor.
We'd like to know if you like this concept. While we are creating other and more powerfull MapMagicalTM editors, your feedback can determine if this kind of feature should be included. Please write and let us know what you think!
Map samples: Highlight from "*BEGIN" to "*END" with the mouse then use your browser's copy and paste commands to copy the lines into the text window above.
General Information: The MapMagicalTM Encounter Editor is modal: Start by selecting a mode (Example: "Add Line") by pushing one of the menu buttons at the top of the screen.
The mode "resets" by moving the mouse out of the drawing canvas. For example, when you are drawing lines, moving the cursor outside of the canvas ends the current line and lets you start another.
To draw a line, press the Add Line button and then click a starting position on the map. An animated line is drawn from the starting point to the tip of the mouse-arrow. Every time you click, you tack down a line segment and start to draw another.
To end a line, simple move your mouse out of the drawing area. Your line will then be redraw and made "bold." (3 pixels wide.) Clicking in the drawing area again starts another line ...
Neat trick! Pressing a key while drawing a line changes its color. The line color cycles to the next color in the color pallete each time you press a key. Use an alphabetic key, it doesn't matter which one; but the control and shif keys don't cycle colors, they are used for other tricks.
Neat trick! Pressing the control key while drawing contrains the angle to multiples of 15 degrees. (That's a 1/12 of a circle so that you can draw to grid or hex angles.)
These tricks also apply when a line is selected in Select/Change mode.
The Add Symbol button animates the selected symbol for drawing. Symbols appear in two menus on the left and right side of the map. The left menu as character and monster symbols; the right has place and thing symbols.
To place a symbol, move it into position on the map and click it into place. To place a different symbol, click on another symbol for either the left or right symbol menus and repeat the process.
Neat trick! You can change the size and angle of a symbol as you are placing it on the map. While the symbol is sticking to the cursor, you can enter scale/tilt mode by pressing the control key. (Don't click the mouse button yet, that will place it on the map as is.) While the control key is held down, pushing the mouse "up" makes the symbol larger, pushd the mouse "down" makes it smaller. Likewise, moving the mouse to the left tilts the symbol to the left and moving the mouse to the right tilts the symbol to the right. Release the control key when the symbol is at the desired size and angle. To place the symbol, move it into position on the map and click it into place.
Pressing the Add Text button lets you add a line of text to the map. In text mode, small line is draw where you click on the map. This is you text cursor (it doesn't blink) and it shows the position of where your text will appear. Go ahead and type ...
Three things end a line of text: 1) moving the mouse outside of the drawing window, 2) pressing the return key (that starts another just like you'd expect), or 3) clicking another spot on the map to position a new line of text.
If you catch a mistake while typing, you can back up with the backspace key and correct it. Otherwise, there isn't any text editing yet; you'll have to delete and retype it.
The editor can display four grid modes. No grid, a square grid, and both horizontal and vertical hex grids. Each time you press the Cycle Grid button, the next type of grid is displayed.
The grid isn't really part of the drawing and you can change grid modes at will without disturbing the map contents.
While the symbols are intialized to match the grid cell size; there's no reason you can't call the grid scale anything you want. Calling each cell 5 feet (or 2 meters) works well for close encounters, but you can just as easily declare the grid size to be 100 yards, a kilometer, or whatever size you need it to be show your encounter.
Note: The Cycle Grid botton doesn't start a new drawing mode; when you return the mouse-cursor to the drawing area, use resume drawing in whatever mode you'd previously selected.
Pressing the Delete button deletes the selected item. You can also delete items by dragging them off the map.
The Load Map button reads MapMagical maplet-data from the text window beneath the drawing area. To view maplet data that you've received via email, copy and paste it into the text window and press the Load Map button.
Note: The Load Map button does not clear the current map drawing. This provides a limited ability to merge maps. Usually, you'll want to do a "New" before loading a maplet-data.
Pressing the New button erases the encounter and clears the drawing area.
The opposite of "Load Map." Save Map encodes the maplet into MapMagical maplet-data and displays it in the text window below the drawing area. To send maplet-data to other people, use your computer's copy and paste menus to move this text to you mail program.
Pressing the Select/Change button put's you into the select and change mode. In select and change mode, clicking on an object in the mapping window "selects" it. A selected object is show with an orange box around it.
You can move a selected item by "dragging." (Dragging is done by clicking on an object and holding the mouse button down while you move it. When you release the mouse button, the object will stay in its new position.)
All items (except text) can be scaled and rotated. To scale and rotate an item, locate the handle at the upper right hand corner of surrounding orange box. Drag the box handle around to change the item's scale or tilt-angle.
MAPMAGICAL is a trademark of Ed Taychert's Irony Games.