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 4 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 fully-working draw/paint tools, textures, and layer-management tools (to edit stacking order and/or group assets together).

Click here to download the MapForge Alpha Release 4 for Windows (Zip, 220.3 MB)

Click here to download the MapForge Alpha Release 4 for Windows (7-zip, 83.5 MB)

Click here to download the MapForge prototype for Mac OS X (Zip, 229.6 MB)

What’s New

This release primarily adds support for Drawn Shapes and Filter Effects. Drawn Shapes is actually farther along than you’ll be able to see; I’ve had to “close off” some already-completed functionality due to portions not being quite ready for prime-time, and it would have caused confusion and frustration to leave it accessible.

Other improvements include an in-app Help screen and the addition of Undo/Redo functions. Oh, and the popup menus (I think Windows calls them “drop-down lists”) actually work, now.

Alpha 4 comes with two free Add-Ons that you have not seen in earlier releases: “Greytale’s Tavern” and “Component Sewer Pack” (both are fantasy genre). Feel free to also pull over the other free Add-Ons from earlier Alpha releases. They should continue to work, but I have omitted them here to keep the download size reasonable.

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).

Technical Tips

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 November release date for the Beta), 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: Any maps produced using this Alpha Release that incorporate other artist’s artwork should not be used commercially or published.

Feedback Requested

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)

What’s Next

This is the last Alpha release. The Beta release, due out later this month, will be the last release before MapForge v1.0 ships (probably in early December).