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I'm interested in creating a map for a world I've been creating. I've done some research to determine which software would suit me best, and it came down to Inkarnate, Campaign Cartographer, and Wonderdraft, and possibly Fractal Terrains. While it's good that I have three good options to choose from, I'd like someone with experience to give me advice. Here are things I would like to have with the software, in order of importance.

  • Control over what goes where. Complete randomization is good for getting lots of detail very fast, but I don't have much if any control over the result. I need to be able to control the shapes of continents and add or remove mountains as I please.
  • It isn't too hard to use well. I'm okay if I can't make complete continents with the click of a button, but I don't want to spend half an hour on one river.
  • It can help me make things more realistic. This includes helping me decide which biomes are where, perhaps by showing rainfall and average temperatures, and taking the curvature of the world into account.
  • It isn't too stylized, for lack of a better word. I want my world have a very natural and real feel, so I want my map to have a matter-of-fact tone. Having everything look like it was drawn by hand risks giving everything a little too much whimsy for my liking.

Currently, my ideal seems like it would be Fractal Generators 3, if I can control where the land is, paired with Campaign Cartographers 3+. What do you recommend?

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  • $\begingroup$ Please clarify your specific problem or provide additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it's hard to tell exactly what you're asking. $\endgroup$
    – Community Bot
    Nov 12, 2022 at 5:35
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    $\begingroup$ I'll warn you now that if you want an accurate depiction of biomes or climate, you will have to do the hard work yourself. Fractal Terrains, for instance, does generate rainfall and temperature estimates, but those are likely to be incorrect. I'm not aware of any program that can generate wind patterns or ocean currents automatically given an arbitrary map, not with much accuracy, and you need those to calculate everything else. If you want more details on how to do this, my answer to this question should give you a good how-to guide. $\endgroup$
    – Palarran
    Nov 12, 2022 at 14:03
  • $\begingroup$ I checked out your answer. I'm honestly relieved I at least don't have to run a whole fluid simulation. $\endgroup$
    – zucculent
    Nov 12, 2022 at 16:37
  • $\begingroup$ I've used Krita for what I need. You'll need to invest a bit of time in terms of learning to use custom brushes, but it's the most flexible tool I've found while being free. $\endgroup$
    – JuanIsFree
    Nov 20, 2022 at 20:41

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Azgaar Fantasy-Map-Generator will give fairly accurate biomes and climate based off of the generated heightmap and where you place the map on a globe. Most settings are fully customizable if you don't like the map it auto generates.

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    $\begingroup$ Your answer could be improved with additional supporting information. Please edit to add further details, such as citations or documentation, so that others can confirm that your answer is correct. You can find more information on how to write good answers in the help center. $\endgroup$
    – Community Bot
    Jan 16, 2023 at 19:09

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