What is MapForge?
This low-cost and easy-to-use map-making software focuses on creating gorgeous hi-resolution tactical-scale battlemaps.
Intended for GMs that want to make their own slick-looking full-color battlemaps, but just don’t have the time or patience to learn to use a sophisticated image editing application like Photoshop or Gimp, or for those who have tried existing mapping software and been frustrated with the learning curve, the cost, the interface, and/or been disappointed by the results.
MapForge is intended to allow anyone, regardless of their art skills (or lack thereof), to create gorgeous battlemaps in record time. Some of the features are geared towards producing Photoshop-like effects without the steep learning curve that producing such effects normally requires. Easily add special effects like bevels, glows, strokes, blurs, and drop shadows, and (optionally) textures (e.g. stone, brick, cement, cobblestones, etc.).
When using Add-Ons, the software organizes the content into logical categories and groups together any variants. This makes browsing the content to find what you need very fast and efficient. The software knows how large each asset should be (in grid squares), and even lets you know if a given map you’ve created can be used in commercial/published projects (no other mapping app does this).
Use high-resolution output to print maps to use at the gaming table, or lower-resolution output for use in virtual tabletop software such as Roll20, Fantasy Grounds, or Foundry.
No recurring monthly subscriptions. Pay once, own it forever (even switch platforms for free). Or just use it for free (low-resolution output only).
Export all or just part of your maps to BMP, JPG, PNG, or TIFF, with optional square or hex grid overlay.
Note that MapForge is NOT a general-purpose mapping app; you probably won’t be using it to map out continents or entire worlds. It’s narrower in scope, focusing primarily on tile-based and grid-based mapping at tactical combat scale (typically 1” = 5 ft., or 1 hex = 3 feet). Edit: The software was also expanded on to allow the creation of hex-tile and isometric maps!