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Wonderdraft vs Inkarnate - First Impressions
First, I want to get one thing out of the way: I SUCK AT DRAWING MAPS!
And when I say "suck" I truly mean it. To show an example of my first attempt many years ago, using my 1st Gen iPad Pro, at the time, here is what I came up with when I was first envisioning Stonehaven. And I want to preface this image by stating, there is MUCH more to this world now...
You don't have to tell me, I already know what you're thinking: Work of art. Right? Right? Anyone?
Okay, so, now that you understand the level of creativity I have when it comes to drawing, you'll understand why doing my own maps just isn't in the cards for me right now. And if you're wondering why I have a map to begin with? Well, when you have a 65+ books planned out for a universe, you kinda need a map just to keep it all straight in your mind! When I drew that map back in 2017 I was working on a 6-book series, The 5th Compass. Luckily for me, the quartet I'm working on now takes place in roughly the same area. Now, I don't want to leave you thinking the above is the extent of my drawing abilities. I have shown some improvement using Adobe Photoshop since then. Here is my "whole world" and beside it, the little section I'm zeroing in on for this set of books. You'll notice how that zoomed in area almost matches my original map:
The match-up for which program I will decide to use moving forward is between two that I've heard of the most in the kind of social circles where map-creating is mentioned. I need a program that will not only be easy to use, but give me the least amount of headache to use at the same time. Here are some key FAQs you may need to know for the two programs in question:
COST: $29.99 [One-Time Purchase]
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS: Download App Only | Win/Mac/Linux | 6GB RAM | Intel i5+
COST: Free Version or $25/yr or $5/m
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS: Web Only
My intention is to take each program and tinker in both, creating the same map to see which one:
Yields the best looking map that I envisioned.
Was the easiest to use throughout the map-creating process.
Below is a look at the map I was able to create after just one day and about 1 - 1.5hrs spent on each one. I'm looking to create a "black and white" version of my map. At the time I was not able to easily figure out how to make a colorless version of the map within Inkarnate, but I'm sure I'll figure that out in time.
Wonderdraft - Downloadable program. I prefer to use a heavy lift program like map-creating as a separate app because web browsers are inherently RAM hogs already. I would be worried about the browser crashing and losing all the work I did.
Inkarnate - The user interface (UI) is much easier on the eyes. I like the clean lines and just the looks of everything.
Wonderdraft - What I was looking for was easy to find and nearly self-explanatory on what each feature did. Or I could easily hover over each button to get a description.
Inkarnate - The lack of lag-time using each tool was impressive.
Inkarnate - Web browser only is a problem for me. I hate relying on a browser to not crash when visiting a site that will have a lot of caching and work to do. It's happened to me enough times to know it's never a good thing. I hope a separate downloadable app is in the works...
Wonderdraft - It looks and feels like I'm using a program that was designed in the 80's and never updated. Intentional? Not sure. I would just love it to be a bit brightened up maybe and more modern looking icons? Would go a long way for me.
Inkarnate - The ability to delete errors escapes me. I'll need to do more research (something I'm trying to avoid) to figure out how to delete. Right now I'm having to "undo" which is not ideal especially if I see an area I want to update or change later on...
Wonderdraft - The lag on a downloaded program I think is unacceptable. Granted, I am using a "beta" version and may change this CON if I discover the lag is because the beta has bugs causing it...
For the rest of the week and into next I hope to add mountains, trees, and building that will make this map really come alive and look less plain.
May the best map-creating program win! And if you know of any other map-making program that is worth testing and comparing to these, please let me know in the comments at the end of this post!