Finding the ways to fill the time
I have spent a frustrating day trying to find a world map generator trying a variety of fractal map generating software, game-world map building software, joining Yahoo groups which are the final storage points of rare world and nation building simulators (there’s a reason no one uses it anymore), downloading Java to run Fracplanet and trying the trial version of Nbos Fractal Mapper. Plenty of applications I never even got working because they required a programming environment I couldn’t be bothered learning how to use. Others produced ugly, blocky single continent planets, or bubbled, swollen terrain in a globe shape that I couldn’t tweak realistically with the data Stargen provided me, such as the percentage of the world covered with ocean and ice.
Finally, I found donjon. The website is a trove of handy tools, aimed more directly at RPG players, with generators for various char-sheets, scenarios, dungeons to trawl through and treasures found there. And for me: two world generators! One actually called “Scifi World generator” which provides everything from the name to the chemical make-up of your atmosphere (speaking of atmosphere, there’s also a weather generator).
Because I already had the data provided by Stargen, the general world generator allowed me to plug in my hydrosphere percentages and, with no downloading required, I happily created a stack of maps, traced them off the screen onto a piece of paper and voila, planets are born.
Now back to the FARP tutorials page for ideas on how to garden all that new exposed geography into a feature-filled cartogram.