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Arcane Mapper
Platforms: PC
Languages: English
Jan 10, 2017 @ 1:52am
Apr 28, 2017 @ 4:29pm

View Arcane Mapper in the store

Store page
Recent Announcements View All (3)
Arcane Mapper Has Been Greenlit
Next Steps
I will continue to work towards a testable release and then, once I know the program is stable and has good performance characteristics I plan to release under early access. The first EA release will be fully usable for building dungeon and interior maps. Releases after that will continue to expand the functionality to include exteriors and interiors on the same map, advanced printing options and Digital Tabletop features.

Tentative plans for release
  • Door System Update - adds plans for proper doors that seamlessly match the walls and allow for multiple states and in-between states. For example you can have a swinging door that you open a quarter of the way.
  • Stair System Update - adds support for built in stairs, straight, curved and spirals.
  • First Beta Release (for testing) - this release will support large maps, more rendering options, UI polish and performance enhancements.
  • First Early Access Release - this will include procedural liquids, dirt, moss, object states and other refinements.
  • The following releases will add promised features such as support for exterior areas, advanced printing options, digital tabletop features and more.

Update - Raised Areas and Pits
Raised Areas and Pits

Pits were shown a few updates ago but were not complete, there are still features I intend to implement in fact. Since the last update I have implemented raised areas - think of these as the opposite of pits, using essentially the same system. You make a raised area in your room, such as a dais or raised platform, simply draw the shape in your room. It will default as a pit but that is easy to change in the UI. If you build a raised area in a normal room, the walls will look a lot like the normal walls, which means you can use this to draw in extra walls inside your rooms, for making pillars and other obstacles.

If you draw a raised area inside of a pit instead, then the walls will match the pit wall look, allowing you to draw "moats" and islands. If your pit or wall overlaps one of the parent room's walls then the system will connect it up so you can just extend the walls or make walls that just drop into deep pits.

Height fog has been implemented for pits allowing you to draw in deep pits that drop off into the blackness or are filled with dense fog. You can control both the color and opacity of the fog for different effects. In the future you will be able to fill your pits with water, slime, lava and other liquids.

Snapping Features

Beyond extra features, several existing features have been cleaned up or finished. Objects now have snap to grid features like the room editing. Objects can snap to grid vertices (intersections) and grid centers, whether the grid is a square or hex grid. The UI allows you to enable or disable grid snapping and choose whether you want it to snap to the vertices, centers or both. Room grid snapping is also toggle-able. It features the ability to snap to edge, snap to center, snap to vertices and includes an optional quarter snap - for making thinner gaps and walls easily.

The rotation gizmo now supports angle snapping and you can set arbitrary increments to snap to. The default is 22.5 degrees, which is great for the square grid. If you use a hex grid instead 30 degrees is a better option since that hits all of the hex directions properly for both vertical and horizontal hex grids. Finally the scale tool also supports a snap feature, snap to percentage scale. In addition the "diagonal" handles now scale uniformly by default, though you can hold "ctrl" to scale non-uniformly.

Sometimes you don't want snapping features enabled for specific actions but its a pain to go and turn it on and off each time. To fix that if you hold the "alt" key than snapping is ignored for all tools while the key is held. This allows the features to be left on while still making arbitrary placement easy.

Coming Updates

Two of the next big systems that you will be reading about soon are Doors and Stairs. Doors will allow you to make swinging and sliding doors easily in your maps, connecting up to the walls making them seamless. You will be able to open or close them or easily move them into an in-between state. If you place doors over a pit instead of near walls, they will form trap doors or gratings over your pits. The system will support fantasy, sci-fi and modern day style doors.

The Stairs System will make it easy to make straight, curved or even spiraling stairs. The goal is to make it illusory, which basically means that the height won't actually change but give the illusion instead since readability and fast editing are usually more important. However you will be able to use stairs with raised areas or pits shown in this update so you can have the change in height when desired.

Many other features are planned for the near future including:
  • Snap to wall - this will allow objects like torches to automatically orient themselves to walls when you move them near one. This will make placing features on walls much quicker, especially when walls are oddly sloped or later curved or ragged.
  • Wall Decal - this will allow an object, like a painting, to be aligned to the wall automatically - including taking on the correct perspective.
  • Easy curves - this will allow a set of walls to be selected and turned into an adjustable curve, allowing for circular rooms and gently curving halls.
  • Cave walls - draw out simple walls and allow the system to build rough cave walls from them with minimal work. Of course roughness/smoothness will be adjustable.
  • And more!

If you want to see more and want to see this product on Steam, don't forget to vote for it. Your support is greatly appreciated.

What is it?
Arcane Mapper is a mapping tool designed for Digital or Virtual Tabletops and printing for physical play. Put together high quality maps for D&D, Pathfinder, GURPS, Hero or any other Pencil and Paper RPG system - whether on the table top or virtual. It features a simple to use interface for drawing out rooms, adding objects and adding atmosphere with high quality lighting. Ideal for dungeons and interiors with support for outdoor environments coming before the first release.

What is the goal?
The initial goal is produce an easy to use tool for building maps for roleplaying games. The tool can produce top down, forced perspective 3D looking environments that mesh well with simple images for objects - no modeling or 3D experience required. With free assets available for private use on the internet, this software will allow you to put together high quality maps for your games with less effort, without constraining you to predefined map pieces, tiles or limited assets. Easily render out high quality images for Virtual Tabletop games or print out maps for a physical tabletop game. Even save out .PSD files that preserve the layers for Photoshop if you are more artistically inclined.

Longer term after the initial release, I am planning on adding Digital Desktop and possibly Virtual Desktop features with high quality real time lighting and fog of war with an easy to use interface for GMs and players.

What editing and mapping features will the software support?
  • Rendering high quality images (such as JPG, PNG, PSD) for use with Virtual Tabletops such as Roll20.
  • Printing high quality images from your maps for Physical Tabletop play.
  • Drag and Drop images directly onto your map, drop folders or selected files to add many images at once to your Library.
  • The ability to import and export libraries where assets are already setup with scaling, lighting and shadow settings.
  • Easy to use interface for adding objects to your maps, scaling, moving, rotating and placing them rapidly. Supports a full set of configurable hot keys.
  • Full undo and redo support.
  • Layers to organize objects and environments with the ability to decide which layers cast shadows and are affected by lighting.
  • Draw arbitrarily shaped rooms and easily connect them together. Each room can have its own settings, textures and look.
  • Draw pits, lowered sections, stairs and raised platforms right into your rooms.
  • Procedural liquids to fill your pits and help you create sewers and water ways.
  • Procedural details such as dirt, mold and spider webs.
  • High quality lighting with soft shadows, any object can be a light and any object can cast shadows.
  • High quality ambient occlusion to ground your objects in the map.
  • Seamless exterior and interior maps with layers to support roofs.
  • Multiple maps in one - see maps below the current map with fading or fogging - to give large buildings and dungeons a sense of depth.

How far along is it?
You can get a good idea by watching the videos. Currently rooms can be drawn with forced persective 3D geometry generated, they can be easily connected together, objects added and dropped onto the map, support for duplication, copy/paste, rotate, scale, fast "Shift+RClick" object placement, horizontal and vertical flipping, deletion, full undo and redo, save and load, high quality lighting and shadows, settings for object lights and shadows (such as object height), grids (square, horizontal and vertical hexes), grid snapping, easy to draw pits with controllable depth, high quality rendering for VTT and more.

What is left to go before its usable?
  • Room connections
  • Proper UI for saving and loading
  • Better UI for color picking
  • More work on high quality rendering, saving and printing.
  • More UI work in other areas such as room features, lighting features, grid settings and map settings.
  • Optimizations and polish

What systems does this support
  • GPU that supports OpenGL 3.0 or newer
  • Windows Vista, 7, 8, 10.
  • Memory requirements based on art and map size, recommended 4GB or more.

What about Mac and Linux?
These depend on the demand and interest in the product. Ultimately supporting another platform is time consuming and so can only be done if there is enough interest.
Popular Discussions View All (1)
May 5, 2017 @ 9:06pm
I need help
< >
KOOD Feb 19, 2017 @ 9:14pm 
Congratulations with the Greenlit, green lights from here on! Very excited!
Arcane Architect  [author] Feb 19, 2017 @ 2:03pm 
All of the slots for the initial Beta test have been filled, thanks everyone. As stated in that discussion, the Steamworks paperwork is complete and this can be released as soon as its ready. However it probably won't be ready for initial testing for several more weeks and how long it takes from testing to release depends a lot on how that goes.

I have a tentative release window in mind but I will wait until things solidify more before making promises that may be broken. I can say its "soon" but not this month (there's still some major work to be done and not enough time left).

Once testing is ready to begin I will open up the Store Page - though the product will be "coming soon" obviously. The Steam Community group will stay the same but the Steam Greenlight page will not be updated after that point.

If you have any questions or comments about this, feel free to post it here or in the Steam Community group.
Jason_c_o Feb 16, 2017 @ 8:47pm 
Congratulations on getting Greenlit! I can't wait!
MY HAND Feb 16, 2017 @ 5:14pm 
Fantastic! Can't wait to jump right in!
Arcane Architect  [author] Feb 16, 2017 @ 12:20pm 
If you are interested in participating in a Beta test in the near future, please visit the Steam Community Group and reply to the Beta Testing discussion.
Arcane Architect  [author] Feb 16, 2017 @ 10:36am 
Well less than a day after answering the "what if Arcane Mapper doesn't get Greenlit" question and it gets Greenlit. :D I will continue working towards the release as discussed in the latest update, thank you for your support.
Arcane Architect  [author] Feb 15, 2017 @ 9:06pm 
Jason_c_o: Honestly I' m not sure yet, with regards to Steam Direct it greatly depends on the final fee. Though, assuming the fee is manageable I think Steam Direct is a no-brainer for me. :)

Unfortunately we'll have to wait and see. You guys have shown a lot of support, Arcane Mapper is in the top 10 for non-game Software on Greenlight - so I'm pretty confident that it can get Greenlit if Valve does another Software batch. However they have gone months between batches for non-game titles in the past so I have no idea whether there will be another batch for Software before Greenlight ends.
Jason_c_o Feb 15, 2017 @ 5:15am 
What are plans if it's not greenlit by the time Greenlight is discontinued? And plans for Steam Direct? (Hopefully it get's greenlit before then!)
MY HAND Feb 14, 2017 @ 9:54am 
Honestly, I'm surprised this hasn't been greenlit yet. I really hope it will be.
Arcane Architect  [author] Feb 13, 2017 @ 8:42pm 
Thank you for the words of encouragement. Hopefully we can get this project greenlit in time. :D