GenConThe bags are packed and we are ready to head out across the pond to Indianapolis. What for? GenCon of course, the best four days in gaming!

As always ProFantasy will be sharing the booth with Pelgrane Press. Like last year we are right at the front of the hall: Booth 101 across from Paizo and Pathfinder. Come find us there, to get the latest products and news. See you in Indy!

USA with RiversThe August Annual is here and introduces a new resource and method for importing real-world data in CC3. Not relying on Fractal Terrains 3, we take public domain vector data from the Natural Earth project (in ESRI format for the initiated) and convert it to DXF files, which in turn can be imported into CC3.

This opens the door to easily include real-world coastlines, country and state borders, rivers and all sorts of other data in your CC3 map. You can just create your own beautiful map of earth or a specific country, or use it as a basis for alternate earths, possible futures and other deviations.

As a subscriber you can download the August Annual issue from your registration page. If you haven’t subscribed to the Annual 2014, you can do so here.

Does Not Fit The Gaming TableItalian boardgame company VentoNuovo Games has been publishing Block & Hex wargames for a couple of years, and they’ve been using Campaign Cartographer 3 for two of these now (Blocks in the East and Blocks in the West). Recently I helped them out a little with some technical support and advice (just within my normal job) and they then asked me whether I’d like a copy of the recent map. Sure, I said, it’s always nice to look at the finished thing.

What I did NOT expect was to get this huge poster in the mail, that won’t even fit my gaming table! It looks gorgeous and I have trouble getting an adequate photo of the thing. Many thanks to Emanuele and VentoNuovo Games for this!
Detail Shot

Example Map: ScotlandDear Cartographers, welcome to the July newsletter!

An update on CC3+, new issues of the annual, and great maps from our users are highlights of this month’s newsletter.

And for a limited time, we are offering our four symbols sets at chunky 25% off from the ProFantasy Store.

News

Resources

Map-making articles

The Tomb of the Witch-KingWe are very happy to announce the winners of our recent “Lairs” competition. This time we asked Annual contributor and accomplished fantasy cartographer Pär Lindström to be our judge. Here’s his verdict:

I was asked by Simon to be the Judge in the latest competition (April to June 2014). I gladly accepted, and actually felt quite honoured that he asked me.
First of all I must say that I am impressed by the overall quality that the community has, and selecting one winning piece wasn’t an easy task.
When deciding which map I thought was the best I looked for what I would have liked to see in an adventure. That didn’t really make the choice easier but after having looked at the maps for a long time there were three maps that kind of stuck out. The Tomb of the Witch-King, the Necromancer’s lair and the Troglodyte lair.
And in the end, having to choose between three very good maps, I decided for The Tomb of the Witch-King as the winner. What I really like with that map is the general layout, the flow of the map. Also the water makes a very good contrast to the rest of the map which makes it catch your eyes. When I look at it I really want to use it for my players to explore, which usually is my children, and maybe having them fight a skeleton or two.

Congratulations to our winner Gary Barker (Raiko), who receives an Unlimited Patron License, meaning he’ll be automatically getting any past and future Campaign Cartographer-related ProFantasy products for free.

And not to forget the runners up: Oliver Piotrowski (o1i) with For his Necromancer’s Lair and Flavio Hickel (anomiecoalition) with the Troglodyte Lair. They each win a $100 voucher for the ProFantasy web store.

Thanks to all participants for your amazing work!

Our estimate for the release of CC3+ was “in the first half of the year,” which, like many software deadlines, whizzed past at an unedifying speed.  So, time for an update. We aim to release CC+ in mid August, at GenCon. Character Artist 3 purchasers entitled to a free upgrade will get an alpha version to download (optionally) before then.

new large icons interface

First, technical stuff – the main reasons for the delay.

We want to make CC3+ as future proof as possible, and we have to keep an eye on Microsoft operating systems and development environments. In addition, Mike Riddle (the developer of the CC CAD engine) became available for a few weeks’ work. This was an umissable opportunity. So, he’s massaged the assembly code, worked around bugs in Visual Studio 2013, and even persuaded the Microsoft team to include bug fixes. It now compiles with vs2013. This doesn’t guarantee functionality with future versions of Windows, but makes it much easier to fix if there are issues. This gives Joe Slayton more tools and compilation enhancements, too.

We are moving all resources away from the program files folder and into the Windows-specified location, which is a quite a knotty problem. We are also switching from registry entries to human readable files where possible, and finalising changes to the effects architecture. We can’t update all the templates until the effects are nailed down.

The main improvements are listed here, with notes from me as to what this really means.

Speed: CC3+ runs twice as fast as CC3. A combination of hardware optimisation and eldritch programming sorcery means more map-making, less waiting – simple as that. [The main benefit is that you can work with effects on on most machines, most of the time. so WYSIWYG]

Style: Award-winning cartographer Mike Schley provides you with a complete new attractive map-making style. Nothing new to learn, just better looking maps. [nothing new to learn, just nicer looking maps]

Effects: You asked for PhotoShop-style effects, now you have them, with faster, better, streamlined and consistent filters your maps will look better than ever before. You can test your effects on the drawing before applying them. And, again, CC3+ is doing the work. [we've been inspired by map-makers such as Par Lindstrom who have created maps in CC3 then done more work in Photoshop]

Ease: A context-sensitive floating cursor lets you know what CC3+ is thinking. [I thought this would be annoying, but now it's indispensible.]The Print Wizard makes it easy to export your maps at any scale, tiled across paper [I use this mainly with a PDF printer]. CC3+ also gives you better and cleverer editing, clearer icons, and you can drag and drop images from the internet.

Integration: CC3+ puts roads, rivers, symbols and other map-making tools up front and center right where you need them. Whatever map making style you choose, the tools you need will appear, visually, and ready to go. [We've added the drawing tools to the symbol catalog window, in an order which reflects your process flow. This is more intutive and speeds up map creation. It's also easier for new map makers.]

Clarity: We’ve fixed bugs, plugged holes and cleaned up the interface. CC3+ is Windows 8 able, and it’s cleaner on the inside and outside. [CC3+ also gives us a platform to improve all the add-ons, too and release Perspectives and Dioramas, too]

Whether you want a world overview, and solar system map, a starship deckplan, or a map of a star empire many light years across, we have the software for you. CC3 has limited SF facilities alone, though you can certainly do an old-style Traveller map, but Fractal Terrains, Cosmographer 3, symbol sets and Annuals, you have a much wider array.

 

This map is created with CC3 plus the August issue of the Cartographer’s Annual 2013.

Artemis Tau SystemThis sector map was created with Created with Cosmographer 3 and CC3 for Ashen Stars.

http://www.mapsandmore.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/The_Bleed.png

Created with Cosmographer 3 and CC3 for the Traveller RPG. More here.

Cos3 Traveller Marava Class Far TraderCreated with Cosmographer 3 and CC3 for Ashen Stars

Created by Jonasgreenfeather on the ProFantasy Forum with Cosmographer 3 and CC3.

Cosmographer 3 calculates and shows 3D distances for star systems as in the small isometric sample.

Cosmographer Isometric Starmap

Created with Cosmographer 3 and CC3

Created with Cosmographer 3 and CC3

https://secure.profantasy.com/images/cos3/gallery/gallery09.jpg

Top down satellite cartography with CC3 and Annual 2012.

Example of the Annual Satellite style

Created by forum user Micco40 in about ten minutes using FT3 and CC3.

Neuvo Orleans.JPG
Created with Fractal Terrains 3

Example Map: ScotlandThe July Annual introduces a new contributor to our subscription: Steff Worthington, who’s beautiful map artwork you can peruse on his WordPress page.

Inspired by one of his maps – a depiction of Athurian quasi-historical Britain – the style produces clear, legible and very beautiful maps. They are based on a selection of bitmap textures, accentuated by a small selection of symbols and careful text labelling. Take a look at the example map of Scotland (done in CC3) shown here and compare it to Steff’s original artwork.

As a subscriber you can download the June Annual issue from your registration page. If you haven’t subscribed to the Annual 2014, you can do so here.


Here is the list of entries for the latest ProFantasy competition, entitled “Lairs”. We announced it to celebrate the release of Symbol Set 4: The Dungeons of Schley and Simon’s brief went as follows:
Create a small underground lair – a bandit hide out, a cave taken over by a dragon, a mine used as a cultist HQ. The whole area the map covers including map embellishments should be no more than about 100 m / 300 ft square. The best will win an unlimited patron license to all our cartography software forever; two runners up will receive vouchers.

- It can be in any style, past, modern or future.
- You have to create it with CC3, and any other ProFantasy map-making software you wish to use – annuals, symbols sets, whatever you like,
- It can include third-party art as symbols or fill styles long as that art is available for commercial use by anyone.

For large-scale versions of the competition maps, click on the images below.

#1 Troglodyte Lair
Flavio Hickel - Troglodyte Lair

#2 Tomb of the Witch-King
Gary Barker - Tomb of the Witch King

#3 The Betrayer’s Cave
Jim Street - The Betrayers Cave

#4 Kobold Lair
Kevin Mathis - Kobold Lair

#5 Brownie Bandits’ Hideout
Lee Whipple - Brownies

#6 Necromancer’s Lair
Oliver Piotrowski - Necromancers Lair

#7 Underground Fort
Paul Bernhardt - Underground Fort

#8 Wizard’s Lair
Paul Nowak - Wizards Lair

#9 Weeping Rock Springs
Mary Mosman - Weeping Rock Springs

It’s high time to showcase the great maps from our user community again, since we haven’t done so since April! So without further ado, let’s take a look…

Steve Travis posted on the first maps drawn in the Dungeons of Schley style of Symbol Set 4. I love it, as well as other great maps for the “Das Schwarze Auge” game.
13_HiddenTomb
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