Orb Crafter

Current status: in development

Target platforms: Windows, Linux

Create large-scale realistic fantasy maps of countless worlds with ease. Real-time procedural generation, combined with intuitive editing allows for a smooth, multi-scale world crafting experience.

Orb Crafter - quick example (world map)
A quick example world map showcasing tectonic features, and satellite-like vegetation combined with an (optional) enhanced topographic mode for better map readability.

Orb Crafter aims to be an intuitive tool for users while maintaining the goal of delivering great-looking fantasy maps. The specialty of the software, its distinctive spin on map making, comes from GPU-accelerated wizards and brushes implementation, which are tailored to yield a special realistic, “satellite-like”, rendering of very large scale maps, both on topography and biomes.

Target Features

  • Real-time automatic world generation wizards: tectonic landmass with topography, plausible biomes.
  • Optional automatic detailed river network generation across the planet.
  • Real-time coherent spherical brush work.
  • Switchable world map projection (with coherent editing preserved).
  • Switchable map style (eg. realistic vs stylized).
  • Symbols, paths, grids and labels.
  • Detailed maps: worldmaps are refinable into any number of regional maps, with automatic globe flattening and resolution enhancing.
  • Export maps – at abritrary resolutions – to common image formats, heightmaps and other targets.

Internal Design

  • Creating large-scale fantasy maps means dealing first and foremost with entire planets. In order to achieve this, the maps in Orb Crafter are bound to be more than just images. They are de facto proxies to full-fledged 3D worlds. The map you see on screen acts as an interface, a window, for visualizing and editing the globe. All user edits are internally automatically translated to actions in the 3D domain. This avoids artefacts at world map boundaries (longitudes 180°W, 180°E), and deals nicely with the north and south pole singularities.
  • This design choice enables other key features, including:
    • The tectonic world wizard, which runs in real-time (thanks to a full GPU implementation). It partitions the planet into 3D tectonic plates, and then decide, based on user parameters (rifting amount, island arcs presence, landmass coverage), what the final continental distribution will look like.
    • The ability for the user to choose and switch anytime between a number of world projections. Four of them have been implemented: Equirectangular, Wagner VI, Kavrayskiy VII and Sinusoidal.

Find out more about Orb Crafter’ scope and development status


World mapping:

Local maps extraction from world maps (WIP):