I luv graph paper

In the process of building for Karinth I am remembering two things:

1. I love graph paper
2. There’s got to be a program that can do this.

Seriously, I love graph paper, and it’s an excellent break from sitting at the keyboard to go sit in my rocking chair (yes, I am 80 years old) with my folder and write (in pencil) in my area map pages.

However to give you an idea of why I wonder about (2) above let me tell you about how I go about building the area. First of course I think of about ten ideas and run it by the imps on the mud. We choose one and I send them a short proposal on that. When I get the go ahead I draw a rough (non-graphy) map and get an idea of exactly how many rooms. Then I ask for enough vnums (number of vnums = number of possible rooms) plus a little wiggle room.

Now I draw the map precisely on graph paper, usually drawing each room 2×2 on 4 sqs/inch (4 sqs/2.5cm) with connecting exits. I map the area on the mud and write in the vnums of each room on my graph.

But the mapping isn’t done yet. On any size area this 2×2/room map is fairly small. So I divide the map into reasonable sections and re-map at a larger scale (or smaller scale to be precise). For example, on my current area I have six pages of graph maps, including the overall 2x2sq/room map. On the section maps I add room names, special notes, mob repops, anything I would want to remember, or any idea that strikes me that I want to write down immediately.

As you can imagine this method, despite being fun for getting down into the physical artifacts of pencil and paper, has serious drawbacks and wastes some time over using a program that could zoom in, hold notes in a transferable form, etcetera. So I ask myself, where is this program?

It must be out there, if not as a mudding or RPG tool then as a general graphing or organizational application. I should take another look at the ascii map programs for muds, but I don’t remember them having the ability to zoom in a map to see all the fine detail at once — that’s what I really like about the method I use.

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