Many of you have likely been disappointed by prior map-making software, so a healthy degree of skepticism is expected. That is why I am making MapForge Alpha Release 3 publicly available. Download it and try it out for yourself, in order to evaluate the software. Take the program for a spin to see if this is going to be the program you want/expect it to be.
But do keep in mind that this is an Alpha Release, and thus is not yet feature-complete. The main things that are still missing are draw/paint tools, textures, and special effects (drop shadows, glows, image filters, etc.).
Click here to download the MapForge Alpha Release 3 for Windows (Zip, 192.2 MB)
Click here to download the MapForge prototype for Mac OS X (Zip, 201.6 MB)
This release includes two free Add-Ons, so that you can have some content to play around with:
“Modern Streets Tiles” – This Add-On contains Tiles and Items, but no Tile Overlays.
“Castle Walls” – This Add-On contains Items only (i.e. you won’t see any content until you switch to Items Mode). You might want to download a nice grass, earth, or cobblestone texture to use as a background on which to build your castle. Note that some items in this Add-On (e.g. the castle walls) have a “Don’t Rotate” restriction in place. This is because they are made available in both horizontal and vertical versions. So don’t be surprised that the rotation functions don’t work with these Items. It’s intentional. Also, note that the various pieces of art in the Castle Walls Add-On aren’t DESIGNED to seamlessly come together (edge against edge) if the Snap-to-Grid feature is enabled. You should be stamping them down with snapping disabled and manually aligning them so that they are touching.
License not required
For the duration of the Alpha Release testing period, you can use the MapForge Alpha Release fully unlocked, as long as you have an internet connection when you first launch the app. That means you can enjoy creating and exporting maps at high resolution (although 200 dpi is recommended if you are using art from the Add-Ons).
All users: If you see a message asking that you please install ShockWave, don’t. Shockwave is not required. Most likely, you have not heeded one or more of the instructions provided below. MapForge is entirely self-contained, meaning you don’t need to install any additional software or frameworks. If you see a message to that effect, ignore it; the problem lies elsewhere (contact me for troubleshooting assistance once you’ve tried all the suggestions below).
Windows users: It’s recommended that you unzip the downloaded file using the built-in Windows unzipping utility, rather than a third-party tool, and to not attempt to launch MapForge from within the uncompressed Zip file. Don’t install MapForge in your Programs directory. If you want to launch MapForge from your desktop, don’t simply move the executable there. It needs to reside in the same folder it comes in so that it can access the Support Files, Xtras, etc. Instead, drag an Alias of the MapForge app to your desktop. Norton Security Suite might false inform you that “MACAddress.xtra” is a harmful file. Ignore that warning, it’s a false-positive.
Users with Windows 10 64-bit OS are advised to run MapForge as an administrator and in 32-bit compatability mode.
Mac OS Sierra (or High Sierra) users: this Alpha Release is not code-signed, and therefore Mac OS’s Gatekeeper feature will not allow the program to launch unless you first follow the “special measures” mentioned in Kickstarter Update #22. If you launch MapForge and it immediately starts asking you for files it can’t locate, it’s a sign that you have not properly followed those one-time instructions.
Many features have yet to be implemented (hence the October release date), but there is enough there for you to evaluate the user interface, the planned featureset, the performance, and the ease of use. I advise everyone to read the included “MapForge Hotkeys” document, since by doing so you’ll discover lots of stuff you can do that you wouldn’t otherwise know about.
Disclaimer: The EULA restrictions for Add-Ons are not yet implemented, so any maps produced using this Alpha Release and other artist’s artwork should not be used commercially or published.
Please provide feedback to let me know what you like, what you don’t, to suggest improvements, report bugs or to request features. Email me at support (at) mapforge-software.com
Alpha 4, due out later this month, will be the last Alpha release. Alpha 4 will feature a wide variety of drawing tools, which, in conjunction with textures, you’ll be able to use to create things like floors and walls, and apply effects to them (e.g. drop shadows, glows, etc.). I’m really looking forward to Alpha 4, as it will finally take MapForge beyond its current state of only being able to stamp down pre-existing artwork.
One or two Beta releases will come out in October, and MapForge v1.0 is expected to be released by the end of that month.