We are making good progress on Perspectives 3, November means Black Friday sale, and the December annual is demoing. Definitely sounds like the year is coming to a close, doesn’t it? Let’s take stock with this month’s newsletter.
The Big Sale
From 27th November until 1st December Tuesday morning, all of our cartography software is available at a 30% discount, including bundles and upgrades.
Use this voucher in the checkout to take advantage of the offer: BLACK@30%.
Get full versions in the store, and upgrades from your registered users page.
- A new version of the CC3+ manual is available for all registered users.
- The November Annual has been released, expanding on TJ Vandel’s Ancient Realms style with a set of beautiful vignettes.
- Ralf let’s you peak at the big thing on his desk: Perspectives 3.
- Take a look at deluxe Battle Scenes map, both for the upcoming Annual and as a book my Pelgrane Press.
Over at Pelgrane Press and Fire Opal Media, they’ve been working hard on a new supplement for 13th Age code-named Battle Scenes. It is a collection of icon-themed encounters for all levels of play, packed with dangerous hand-picked foes on terrifying terrain, and I’ve been one of the people to help bring this “terrifying terrain” to life, not least because I’ve been using the playtest version of the book for my own games, as seen here.
For me these battle maps required a lot of special terrain effects, for which I had to import new bitmap fills, create lots of new sheets with specialized effects, and generally had to think outside the box of a specific drawing style. Naturally we’d like to make these ideas and tools available to more CC3+ users, so we created the December Annual issue to make that happen.
In addition to a tutorial with chapters on combining assets from different styles, custom artwork, working with water effects, showing elevation and cliff faces, creating multiple layers in one map, and lighting effects, the December Annual also contains 4 highly detailed example maps (2 of them straight out of Battle Scenes). Here is anther scaled-down example out of
High Magic & Low Cunning: Battles Scenes for Five Icons.
“Have you read the manual?” We know this can be an annoying question, and many of us would much rather dive into a new piece of software without such hassle. That’s a bit like learning to drive a car without any instructions – certainly possible, but likely to cause frustration (luckily it’s not as dangerous). Trust us, the CC3+ manual is easy to follow along and extremely helpful to familiarize yourself with CC3+.
In fact, we have (or actually Remy Monsen has) been silently updating manual will all the new features and changes to the interface that have arrived with CC3+ and made the book even better. If you own CC3+, you can download the fully-indexed and hyperlinked, 97-page manual from your registration page right now.
If you don’t own CC3+ yet, and want to check out either some of the differences to CC3, or just want to an impression of how our software works, we’ve got a 12-page excerpt for your, the chapter on creating “Our First Map.” You can download the pdf from this link:
CC3+ Manual – Our First Map.
And here’s the map that you can create from just following along those 12 pages. I case you own CC3+, you can find this map in your /Tutorials/UserManual/ directory of your CC3+ program data folder.
Shall we take another look at what maps the Profantasy users shared last month? Of course we shall, what kind of stupid question is that? So without further ado, here are the user maps of November.
Kalnaren‘s series of maps for the Rise of the Runelords adventure path are a glorious place to start. They’ve been drawn with the Jon Roberts Dungeon style and complimented with a selection of DD3 symbols.
Continue reading »
Perspectives is clearly dominating my desk this month, so let’s take a look at what’s coming in this new edition of one of my favorite add-ons.
In addition to the two old vector styles that Perspectives Pro came with (vector symbols in color and in black and white) Perspectives 3 offers two new bitmap-based style. One is based on the artwork from Dungeon Designer 3. In fact the artist, Kai-Uwe Wallner, created 3D models of almost all the DD3 symbols and exported these in 8 views to serve as our isometric symbols. This means you can create matching isometric views of your DD3 dungeon maps!
The other bitmap style was created by Herwin Wielink, in the same look as his Isometric Dungeon style from the Annual Vol 6. In fact, the two can be combined for an even greater variety of available symbols. And unlike the Annual style, floors and walls can be freely created at any angle in Perspectives 3.
In fact getting bitmap styles to behave properly in isometric view has been one of the major design challenges, but we are happy to report that these have (mostly) been overcome.
A little programming remains to be done, but even without it Perspectives 3 performs wonderfully in creating isometric bitmap-based maps. Doors and windows for example, just like their vector predecessors, align to angled walls by simply moving the mouse cursor over the wall baseline when placing them.
Taking a cue from City Designer 3, the Global Sun option will also create dynamic shadows and lights on the walls, allowing you to adjust these on the fly. The difference in shadows in the image on the right has been created with only a quick adjustment on the Global Sun direction.
Like in Perspectives Pro, all the these tools and styles will be available to create outdoor maps with buildings. We’ll incorporate lessons that have been learned in the Source Maps line of maps into the tools and the manual to make this even easier and quicker.
Our plan is currently to have Perspectives 3 ready for pre-order before Christmas, and then do the full release early next year. I hope you’re looking forward to it as much as I do!
As promised this month we are expanding last month’s Ancient Realms style by TJ Vandel with a whole bunch of additional location sybmols.
Several dozen gorgeous little vignettes show places like exotic cities, mystic stone circles and fobidden caves. They will pique the interest of your players and send them off to many places of adventure. Click the sample map on the right to see some of these symbols in use.
The November issue is available both for CC3 and CC3+. You can download both setups from your registration page on the Subscriptions tab. If you haven’t subscribed to the Annual 2015 yet, you can do so here.
After attending Spiel, the big German boardgaming fair, our work on updating all the add-ons and symbol sets for CC3+ continues. And we have the compatibility update for Symbol Set 3 for you this month.
- CC3+ Update: The compatibility update for Symbol Set 3 – Modern is here!
- The October Annual includes a great new overland style by TJ Vandel. It will be expanded with more wonderful artwork in November.
- Check out September and October’s round up of user maps from the community forum.
- The Vintyri project has a released a new version of their Cartographic Collection. Download their huge selection of new bitmap fills, floorplan and city symbols for free.
- On the Cartographer’s Desk – What are we working on right now?
- Ralf reports on his four days at the world’s largest board gaming fair: Spiel in Essen.
ProFantasy software is a small company, but our network of contributors is incredibly international ranging from part-time editors in Australia through freelance artists in Germany and Sweden to shipping and programming in the US. While the headquarters and office are in London, much of the day-to-day work is done from a small town in Germany. To give you a little insight what goes on at that German ProFantasy office, I am starting this column on the RPGMaps blog where I intend to five you a monthly status update on what is on this cartographer’s desk at the time. I hope you enjoy it, and feel free to ask any questions in the comments or over at the community forum.
Spiel’15 in Essen, the big boardgaming fair, definitely dominated the first half of October, meaning I was out of the office for a week. Prior to that, helpers had to be organized, stock brought in and assembled, and my absence to be planned for. You can read up on my time at Spiel here. Let me just say that it’s always fun, but also a very exhausting affair. Back from Essen, I was busy with putting material back into storage, settling the accounts and reporting back to HQ. Unfortunately I brought a stubborn cold back with me, which took the whole next week to leave my system. Crowds are dangerous!
Next up on the desk was getting out the CC3+ compatibility update for Symbol Set 3 – Modern. This also required preparing the next update for CC3+ (version 3.69). While the majority of work, like beta-testing and building the installations, had been done before Spiel, I still had some fine-tuning to do and the actual release to prepare. As I type this, SS3 and Update 3 should be safely out and available to our users.
But the big thing lurking on my desk is another beast: Perspectives 3. After Spiel I dived back into assembling catalogs, fine-tuning symbols, creating varicolors and all such things for an add-on with thousands of symbols. I’m currently producing a rough working version, so we can tackle some necessary programming work that using isometric bitmap artwork entails.
As you can see from the little sample, Perspectives 3 will not have one, but two new bitmap artwork styles – doubling the symbol work, yay! What you can’t see is that one styles will also have 8 directional views for each symbol, instead of the 4 in Perspectives Pro. Even more, yay! Hopefully next month the cartographer will have a couple more elaborate samples of Perspectives 3 on his desk. Until then!
The next compatibility update is here: Symbol Set 3 – Modern is now available for CC3+. Symbol Set 3 provides a variety of styles modern maps: 3 different floorplan styles (two bitmap-based, 1 vector) and two overland styles, one for Ordnance Survey-style topographic maps, the other for modern political maps.
Click the example on the right to see a large-scale version of the bitmap-based floorplan style created by Jonathan Roberts for Symbol Set 3, and click the left image below for an example of the modern political style, based on the work of Brian Stoll. The right image shows an example of the Vector Ordnance Survey style.
If you already own Symbol Set 3, you can simply download the setup for CC3+ from your registration page. If you do not own SS3 yet, you can get a copy here.
The installation of Symbol Set 3 for CC3+ requires the latest update (CC3+ Update 3). Make sure to download and install it from your registration page before SS3.
This is my after-action report from this year’s Spiel convention in Essen – the biggest board game event around the world.
“Spiel was very nice, though tiring this year. I’m pretty sure they’ll be announcing a new visitor record again, but there were some problems due to so many visitors and some train troubles (due to a fire in a big rail center). Friends reported 45 minutes wait times (and more) for shuttle services from parking to the halls. Each morning the center would announce they’d be opening the doors 15 minutes early due to crowding at the entrances.
We didn’t feel the crowds so much at the Profantasy booth. Our part of the hall was relatively quiet for most of the time, and I wasn’t too thrilled that were we wedged between several mead, wine and beer booths and the big UltraPro (card sleeves and folders) stand. I’d have much preferred a space adjacent to one of the smaller German RPG publishers like Prometheus, Uhrwerk or Mantikore. That’s not to say that those exhbitors weren’t very nice – they actually were very kind and a little mead-tasting is nothing to be sneered at. It’s just that I think we supplement the rpg publishers so well.
Setup and all technical prep went without problems. Gordon helped with setup on Wednesday and Carsten arrived on Thursday morning (with a little delay due to the afore-mentioned shuttle service). Despite the crowds, Thursday and Friday were a bit slow, giving us time to have a look around the halls in turns and do some more leisurely demos at the PC. Traffic picked up heavily on Saturday, for one of busiest days (on our booth) in recent years. Sunday morning started extremely slow, but then came a big rush around 2pm with kept going for at least 90 minutes, where all three of us were constantly talking, demoing and selling stuff. That made Sunday a very good day too, bringing 2015 up to par with last year which was also a very good year (where the first three days were all similarly good and then saw a sharp drop off on Sunday).
Overall we had a few more individual sales than last year, but less overall product sold. Prices were a little higher due to the weak Euro, which might have contributed to people buying smaller bundles.
I had the large 13th Age map in Mike Schley’s style on the table and that was a big draw. People love his style and were (as usual) very impressed of how quickly you can put together a good-looking map with his symbols. Feedback of existing users on CC3+ was also very good, with equal praise going to the new artwork and the improved performance.
The focus at Spiel continues to be on new customers. There’s about an equal number of people who’ve never heard of Campaign Cartographer and those who’ve seen it before and are interested. Existing customers are a few less, and they usually have bought everything they want via the web store already. Some turn up with questions or problems, or to check what’s upcoming, others
just to say hello. Only a subsection of these buys stuff at the booth.
We had good fun together, especially with Gordon’s daughter at the booth. Gordon and Nicole (his wife) always take great care of me. Together with Carten and Annue we went out for the Profantasy dinner on Saturday to our usual haunt and took Cat with us. We are all looking forward to next year.
The only bad thing I took home with me is a nasty cold which is coming out now. My voice is still gone and I’m sneezing quite a bit.”
A larger gallery of pictures from Spiel can be found on G+.
P.S.: That cold lasted the week after the show, but is (mostly) gone now!