Mike Schley Style DetailDear Cartographers, welcome to the January newsletter!

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Jaw Peninsula East Close

Create a map of an island, less than three miles wide. The prize? The best will win an unlimited patron license to all our cartography software forever.Example Treasure Map

  1. It doesn’t have to feature treasure, and it can be in any style, past, modern or future.
  2. You don’t have to create it with CC3 but it must be originally created for this competition and not posted elsewhere.
  3. You grant us permission to post the map, though you retain all other rights
  4. Only one entry per person
  5. If there are more than three entries, and the winner is not an amateur, then there will be an additional prize (a voucher worth $100) to the best amateur.
  6. To submit, post your entry on this forum thread, or email us a file, no more than 2MB.
  7. Competition closes on 1st March 2014.

Good luck, cartographers!

We are very fortunate to have taken on Joe Slayton as a programmer for CC3+ work. From his free terrain general Wilbur, he created Fractal Terrains, now on its third version. You can get a better idea of his take on life and programming in this interview. He is a C and C++ expert and one of few people in the world who can work with the FastCAD code base and mass of additional code we’ve built up over the years.  He’s already wowed our existing developers Mike Riddle and Peter Olsson with his innovative approach – doubling the speed of CC3+ effects just for a start. He’s also honed code which is tangled with age to make it more consistent and easy to read.

Using Joe’s Fractal Terrains 3 is more like exploring an apparently infinite set of worlds than creating them from scratch, and the process of discovery makes the imaginary worlds it creates makes them more real. Just for example, here is something I knocked out while playing with FT3 and exporting into CC3. It took about fifteen minutes. I used Ralf’s Jhendor colour scheme with Roughness, Percent Sea and Large Size sliders a little over to the right, and I spotted this rather appealing island. I added rivers at custom resolution, then a bevel and blur on the coast in CC3.

FT3 Complex Island

Ralf has also used FT3 to create a campaign world, Jhendor. Here is a sample output from FT3.

Dyra's Globe

So, if you are interested in world building, exploring variations on the real universe, or just starting from a billiard ball you can try the demo here.

CC3+ incorporates a new complete symbol set from expert cartographer Mike Schley. We’ve worked with a number of professional cartographers to create Campaign Cartographer styles, and the process is now pretty slick. We are either adapting an existing style (as with our recent World War 2 annual issue) or creating one from scratch. This is the process:

1. We take a cartographer’s existing map, or the cartographer develops a new map style, always by creating a small map sample. Here is an early one Mike Schley produced for the new CC3+ overland style.

CC3+_SampleMap_New

 

2. Once we’ve approved this, the cartographer adds more symbols and tools to the example map, and then does more as stand alone files. For a full ad–on or symbol set, this is a very big job. Usually the cartographer works in Photoshop, with layers on, so we can easily extract elements to create CC symbols and drawing tools.

3. Once the map-maker has finished, Ralf duplicates the style in CC, developing the set of drawing tools and adding effects to match the original.

MikeSchleyPreview

mountain range

4. Ralf creates the full set of symbol catalogs in all resolutions, with varicolour areas.

new large icons interface

The very first example map we did with Campaign Cartographer was of my campaign setting, the Jaw Peninsula, and we intend to continue this tradition with CC3+. You can see the history of the map here and Ralf has rendered the eastern section of the map in his new style. Click the image for the full high-resolution map.

Jaw Peninsula East Close

And here is a close up

sec

And just to give you an idea of how detailed the symbols are – little works of art – here is a close up. Click for extreme close up.

Jaw Peninsula East Detail

ProFantasy PosterSo, “Spiel”, you ask, how is it, the biggest games fair in the world? It’s big: more than 150,000 visitors, 828 exhibitors from 39 countries (numbers from 2013), 4 days of gaming madness. You’ll also notice that I’m not using “convention” to describe Spiel, since it differs from events like GenCon or Dragonmeet, in that playing games itself is not the primary focus. Sure, a lot of gaming does happen, but the main activity is presenting, selling and buying games.

The BoothI’ve been working the ProFantasy booth at Spiel since 2000, first helping out, and then from 2002, running it. Its four days from Thursday to Sunday alway go by in a whizz and whir of activity. ProFantasy usually has a booth in the “Role-playing and Import Games” hall, which in recent years also holds a lot of LARP supplies and miniature games. Boardgaming is a much more mainstream activity in Germany than in other countries, and accordingly many visitors to Spiel are families and “casual” gamers.

Explaining CC3Role-playing is much smaller segment of that hobby, and our hall attracts only part of the great Spiel crowd. You notice that in the differences between the weekdays and the weekend. On Thursday on Friday, the hall is much quieter and we have time for detailed chats with individual customers, but on the weekend the aisles are sometimes thronged with people just glancing at the booths and pushing through. The other halls are often dominated by the large publisher’s enormous exhibits where they present the newest releases. But there are also a lot of retailer booths and smaller publishers tucked away between the large booths and in the corners.

The ThrongIf you want to visit Spiel and have a good chance to play some nice boardgames, come early. The seating for demo games is limited and it can be hard to find an open spot for the more popular games. Coming on Thursday or Friday also helps, as the halls are less busy. On the other hand if you come to buy games the Sunday is the best for you can sometimes find a good deal as the merchants are eager to get rid of their stock. But beware, the most sought after releases tend to sell out quickly on the earlier days.

[Photography by Gordon Gurray]


Oh, and one thing is very different from conventions in the US like GenCon. We have beer booths in the hall!
Beer at Spiel

It’s been a while since we did a collection of users maps here. First the convention season didn’t leave us enough time and then the Character Artist 3 release took a lot of resources. But now we’ve been able to take a breath over the holidays, we’ve looking at the forum again and there are so many nice maps. Here’s the collection:

suntzu created this amazing set of isometric dungeon and outdoor maps with Herwin Wielink’s Isometric Dungeon style.
01_IsoDungeon

This beautiful little gem of a Knight’s Crypt was posted by Modric.
02_Crypt

This interesting cave map is the result of work in DD3 and Photoshop by Avotas. It’s being created for a commercial D&D/Pathfinder adventure, therefore the grey watermark overlay.
03_Cave3D

Drednort posted a stalwart adventuring party, freshly created with Character Artist 3. You’ll find more character portraits in the forum thread when you click on the image.
04_characters

While deceptively simply this black and white map of the world Maioria by Miafeya is one of my favorites. Designed for a 2-page spread in a book, it suits that purpose very well.
05_maioria

TolrendorDM shared several maps for his Annual 2013 challenge, you’ll find them in the thread linked through this example of the CC3 Overland Hex style.
06_challenge

I’m always happy to see star ships created with Cosmographer 3 and craigo730‘s Mercury-class Battlestar is no exception.
07_battlestar

KenG shared another great dungeon map, King Ranier’s Vault with the community. And it comes with a complete adventure!
08_vault
He also created this collection of boats and rafts, very useful if you need a quick way to get across that river on your battlemap!
09_BoatsandRafts

I don’t really need to say much about Clercon’s (Pär Lindström) New Year Village map, after all he’s done several Annual styles already. But his city and village maps are always particularly impressive.
10_ChristmasVillage

Educational use of CC3 always delights me, so I was thrilled to see languard and his students create these SciFi tiles for a boardgame of their own making.
11_GameTiles

What would a user map collection be with one of Sadizm‘s gorgeous Deadlands battle maps. A lot less exciting that’s for sure!
12_Deadlands

TolrendorDM, one of our community members over on the forum, set himself the challenge of creating a map for each and every issue of the Annual 2013.

He now completed the challenge and you can see all the of the great results over on his blog.

See the final (December) map here on the community forum:

It might have slipped by silently due to the holidays, but the first issue of the Annual 2014 stalwartly appeared on January first. It’s a beautiful area map style by Michal Cross, as seen in the Achtung! Cthulhu adventures by Modiphius Entertainment.

You can subscribe to the Cartographer’s Annual 2014 here.

The accompanying mapping guide also takes you through the steps to take a real-world map from an online map service and convert it to a WW2-era style map in CC3. Here is an example:
Freusburg on the Sieg

Next year’s Annual is now available for purchase. Order it now to receive the first issue – World War 2 Area Maps – on January 1st.

If you are a previous subscriber and haven’t received an email last week with your re-subscription discount offer, sent us an email – the offer still stands.

World War 2 Area Map Example

Character Artist 3 is out now!

Character Artist 3 lets you create attractive, high-quality portraits of characters for your games. When you’ve made your character, you can place a high-quality image onto your character sheet. You can add your portraits to counters, create silhouettes or make stand-up card figures.

Emails have gone out to all existing ProFantasy customers who haven’t opted out with a discount offer, an in addition, if you are an existing CC3 customer then until 1st January 2014, Character Artist 3 includes an upgrade to the next version of Campaign Cartographer 3 when it’s released in 2014.

CC3+, to be released in 2014, will be twice as fast as CC3, easier to use, and include a new map style and amazing effects.

 

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