CA110 The Coast at JiabannanWe have the Feburary Annual issue ready for you to download and enjoy: the overland style Empire of the Sun. It’s a wonderful design by TJ Vandel that lets you create overland maps in a quasi-historical style reminiscent of Japanese and Chinese cartography. With more than 350 symbols, the style allows you to easily put together varied landscapes and coastlines.

The February issue is now available for CC3+ from the registration page for all subscribers. If you haven’t subscribed to the Annual 2016 yet, you can do so here.

Vintyri ProjectThe Vintyri Project released their enormous content collection for City Designer. Here is the announcement from Mark Oliva.

We now have completed release of the entire Vintyri (TM) Cartographic Collection for ProFantasy’s Campaign Cartographer 3+ and 3. This is a collection 974 CC3+ and CC3 raster symbols in the VH, HI, LO and VL resolutions and 122 fill styles along with templates and drawing tools, also in the VH, HI, LO and VL resolutions. Additional templates and drawing tools can be downloaded and installed by users of City Designer 3 and Dungeon Designer 3 with CC3+ or CC3.

The cartographic collection can be used with CC3+ or CC3 alone, but it is of full benefit only to users who also have ProFantasy’s City Designer 3. The collection is fully integrated into CD3. It uses CD3 roof shading, street alignment, demographic building coloring, automatic layer assignments, etc.

The Vintyri Cartographic Collection is released for private and commercial use under the Open Game License 1.0a. It is a free program. The Vintyri Project is a non-profit, non-commercial organization. We sell nothing. We neither solicit nor accept donations. We do no kickstarters. We’re strong supporters of open source gaming.

We have prepared a 30-page, free bookmarked PDF Vintyri Cartographic Collection Installation Guide that will show you step-by-step with screen illustrations exactly how to do things right. PLEASE use the installation guide. A number of users didn’t when installing the preliminary releases. We got to read their tales of woe by private E-mail. Think of the old acronym from the early days of PCs: RTFM! (which meant “Read the @!&* Manual!). Save yourself hours of work unmangling a mutilated CC3+ or CC3 installation. It’s easy to install the collection, but you have to do it right. You can get the free installation guide here:
http://www.vintyri.org/downloads/vcc_install_guide.pdf (11 MB)

If you’re uncertain whether the collection is for you, you can preview it online here:
http://www.vintyri.org/vintyri/preview_01.htm

The preview shows you all 974 symbols and 112 fill styles. The cartographic catalog content is based upon real-world prototypes from the Middle Ages.

The PNG graphics that make up the symbols and fill styles have a total download size of 4.4 GB. Because several users have reported problems downloading huge files, we have split the symbol and fill style downloads up into 13 smaller ZIP files. We know that this is irritating for users with very stable high-speed Internet connections, but it’s necessary to make the cartographic collection to all users.

After downloading and installing the collection, the \Data Folder\Documentation folder will contain a 202-page bookmarked PDF book entitled Vintyri Cartographic Collection Guide for CC3+ and CC3. We released an earlier edition of this book several years ago for Fractal Mapper (TM) 8 and Dundjinni (TM), and we received a lot of feedback from users who found it to be extremely useful. This new edition is filled with brand new content and is tailor made for users of CC3+, CC3, CD3 and DD3. Even if you’re not particularly interested in most of its content, we STRONGLY urge users to read the back sections regarding known issues and restoring the CD3 integration!

During our test phase, both we and our testers found issues in both CC3+ and CC3. These issues have been reported to ProFantasy, and we’ll let ProFantasy decide whether they’re bugs. Regardless, these are issues where CC3+ and CC3 did not perform in the manner we thought that they should and where they created some genuine problems while mapping. We managed to duplicate these problems on a new PC upon which the Vintyri products never have been installed, so we’re rather convinced that these issues are with CC3+, CC3 or CD3 and not our software. Be that as it may, the collection guide explains these problems and how to solve them or work around them, if possible. If not, the book tells you how to avoid them.

The topic of restoration also is important. It’s possible that reinstallations, the installation of CD3 or DD3 after the Vintyri installation and/or future ProFantasy products might overwrite Vintyri files. The section on restoration tells you what to do in such a case to have both the ProFantasy and Vintyri products working properly.

To go directly to the download site, go here:
http://www.vintyri.org/vintyri/vccindex_cc.htm

Mark Oliva
Webmaster, the Vintyri Project (TM)
Internet: http://www.vintyri.org
E-Mail: info@vintyri.org
The Vintyri Project is a non-commercial service

CA109 Northwestern MythicaAnother year has passed, another Annual subscription is complete and we are seamlessly moving into the next year. A Happy New Year to you all. 2016 here we come!

Pär Lindström starts the new year with his large-scale overland style Here Be Monsters. All manner of weird and amazing sea creatures are now ready to populate the edges and corners of your maps, and show the terror the uncharted open ocean would hold for early mariners. Here Be Monsters, indeed!

The January issue is now available for CC3+ from the registration page for all subscribers. If you haven’t subscribed to the Annual 2016 yet, you can do so here.

Tenrock HoldLike most years, we publish a free bonus issue for the current Annual around Christmas. This time you’re getting a collection of six high detail battle maps created with the techniques described in the December issue.

Raft the tumultuous Razoredge Gorge, defend the walls of Tenrock Hold, and sneak along a Forest Path to ambush your enemies in their Forest Camp. Edit and adjust the maps in CC3+ to your own needs. This bonus issue is a free download, you don’t need to own the Annual 2015 to use it. Just head over to the Annual 2015 page for the download links.

We’ll shortly offer current Annual subscribers the option to re-subscribe to the Annual 2016. If you want to take advantage of the reduced rate, you can still quickly subscribe to the Annual 2015 here.

CA108 WarehouseThe December Annual is now available for download. Check out an 8-page mapping guide on creating deluxe battle maps, with tips and tricks on merging different map styles into one, adding new sheets and effects for features like cliffs, water, height transitions and multiple floors, and using lighting to give your maps that bit of extra polish.

The December issue is available both for CC3 and CC3+ (sample FCW files CC3+ only). 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.

ManualWe 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.

News

  • 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.

Resources

Articles

  • 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.

Orc Lord Epic Tier MapOver 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.
Prince of Shadows Champion 1

Manual“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.
FirstMap

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.
01_RiseOfTheRunelords3
01_RiseOfTheRunelords2
01_RiseOfTheRunelords1
Continue reading »

Example DD3 Bitmap stylePerspectives 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.

Four Styles

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!

Example Bitmap Herwin WielinkThe 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.

Aligning Bitmaps

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.


Example Shadows
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.

Casting Shadows

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.

The Plan

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!

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