Sewers battle map

The December Annual 2016 brings you another overland style – also created by TJ Vandel. While working perfectly as a standalone style, it also can be used in conjunction with this year’s previous overland style Scorching Sun and Realms of Legend to vastly expand your symbol and texture options.

To facilitate combining these drawing styles this Annual issue also contains a tutorial on the topic. It discusses how to combine symbol catalogs, set up new catalog settings, merge bitmap fill styles as well using drawing tools from one style in another.

The 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.

 

Eastern DornmarkSweeping mountain ranges, trackless deserts, endless oceans and deep forests, that’s the stuff the Realms of Legend are made of. Fearless cartographers brave these mythic landscapes to chart the paths heroes must take to defeat ancient evils, soulless necromancers and barbarian plunderers.

TJ Vandel’s latest overland drawing style lets you create beautiful maps of the lands we have always loved in our games, where dragons roam, courageous princesses save their loved ones and the next treasure-filled dungeon is just around the corner. They are the Realms of Legend and your adventurers are just waiting for the right map to lead them there.

The November issue is designed to mesh well with August’s Scorching Sun and the upcoming Dark Realms style to give you a huge selection of symbols and textures to choose for your maps.

The 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.

Old-time map This is a bit of a personal announcement by me (Ralf), meant to clear up any confusion that may arise in the coming weeks: I’m taking some time off to travel and realize my life-long dream to see Australia and New Zealand. I’ll be away for three months (from November to end of January) and my duties at ProFantasy will be taken over by Simon, Mark and – welcome to the club – Jeff Salus (Dogtag on the forum). You are in good hands!

The Cartographer’s Annual will be appearing as normal; everything is prepared for the time that I am away and should be running smoothly. In fact, you can preview the November and the December issues now, as well as the 2017 Annual. Jeff will be handling tech support and the community forum is always there with many helpful voices.

I am very much looking for my first time in the southern hemisphere and hope to bring back many inspirations for future maps. See you in February next year!

Early morning startOctober is the month of colorful trees, cold nights, autumn holidays… and SPIEL. The world’s largest consumer fair for boardgames takes place in Essen, Germany (in fact many visitors just call it “Essen” instead of “Spiel”). I’ve been manning the ProFantasy booth there since 2002, and it’s always a great opportunity to see old friends and many new games – though I rarely get to play any of the games.

Setup at SPIEL is usually quick, but there tend to be “surprises”. This year the convention center introduced a a new parking ticket system. It had a great advantage for setup, as we were able to get much closer to the booth with the car, but it would prove chaotic on the visitor days. Exhibitor parking got swamped and you had to be there very early to get into the garage under the center.

Gordon and family“We” is usually me and Gordon, a stalwart friend and old-time CC3 user who always helps me with setting up and running the booth. His lovely wife and daughter use it as a base to tour the show – for the whole four days! It is so amazing to see what energy a six-year old can muster when she is surrounded by the wonders of the show. This year she didn’t even take a nap below the tables.

SPIEL is different from GenCon in that is more about shopping and less about actually playing. Basically it’s one gigantic exhibitor’s hall without the events, seminars and gaming halls surrounding it. It’s also not so much about role- but about board-gaming, which is huge in Germany. Still we have a nice little corner of the even stocked with German and other (mostly British) rpg publishers.

Big PublishersBut the amount of visitors that shuffle through the halls on the weekend is staggering. In the bigger halls it can be really tough to get from one place to the next. Compared to that it was positively peaceful on our booth on Saturday – a bit surprising because it also tends to be busier for us. I am not sure why that this year – all days were pretty much as expected except for the Saturday. I wish I had a way to view measure the visitor paths through the halls – perhaps the “currents” got diverted from our place this year.

Map workBut enough old and new customers showed up for us to have good business and great fun! I demoed CC3+ a lot, and especially the city and dungeon features caused many astonished and delighted comments. One very interesting development started last year: Chris, a lecturer from Brunel University (London), picked up CC3+ at SPIEL and introduced it to his Games Design class. It looks like that was very successful, meaning the university will pick up more software licenses – and I might get to give an introduction to CC3+ to the students myself. I’m excited and a bit scared, but very much looking forward to that.

Concerning my own gaming, I was positively frugal in my own shopping, but I did have a big piece to carry home: I picked up Perdition’s Mouth by Dragon Dawn Productions as payment for a little map I created for Timo Multamäki and his crew. I haven’t played it yet, but it does seem intriguingly different from your usual crop of dungeon crawlers.

And then the four days were over again. The halls close at 6pm on Sunday and our booth was all packed up 10 minutes past that – the advantage of easy-to-carry software over heavy books and huge boardgames. Luckily there are no flight that I can miss or be delayed on the way back from SPIEL, only a 1.5 hour Autobahn drive.
Der Schlenderer
[Photo by Karl-Georg Müller (schlenderer.de)]

To our delight the Vintyri project has collected, painstakingly assembled and released another amazing collection of artwork for CC3+: The Dundjinni(tm) Archives.

I’ll let the project lead, Mark Oliva, say it in his own words:


Our series of free add-ons for CC3+ has finished and has reached its end. All of these products are licensed for free personal and commercial use. All of them integrate into City Designer 3, Dungeon Designer 3, Symbol Set 3 (Modern), Symbol Set 4 (Dungeons of Schley) and Cosmographer.

The final release versions of the last two chapters of the Dundjinni Archives for CC3+ now are available for download:

1) The Dundjinni (TM) Archives for CC3+, Volume 2. This is a huge add-on with loads of resources, a total download of 2.4 GB. To avoid download problems, we’ve split the package up into five separate ZIP files.

2) The Cosmographer Extension of the Dundjinni Archives for CC3+. This is an optional extension of the archives needed only by users of Cosmographer (12 MB).

We began offering our series of add-ons for ProFantasy products several years ago with the Vintyri (TM) Cartographic Collection. The series took a big leap forward this year with the improved CSUAC 2 and two newly authorized releases from the Dundjinni zone: First, Bogie’s Mapping Objects and now the Dundjinni Archives.

These archives essentially are the same product as offered to Dundjinni users via the Dundjinni forums. However, the following objects are not included in the CC3+ version: Symbols and fills already included in Bogie’s Mapping Objects and those created by Dundjinni users who do not allow commercial use of their products. The latter, fortunately, comprises only a very small part of the Dundjinni Archives.

Please note that the Dundjinni Archives for CC3+ are an expansion of the CSUAC 2. You must have the CSUAC 2 installed before you install the Dundjinni Archives. If the CSUAC 2 is missing, the Dundjinni Archives application will not work correctly, producing instead a gigantic collection of red Xs.

The Dundjinni Archives offer you 12,321 new bitmap (raster, PNG) symbols and 373 new bitmap fill styles. The package is in three volumes:

Volume 1 includes bitmap ISO (3D) symbols and covers for use in overland maps.

Volume 2 includes bitmap fantasy RPG symbols and fills designed first and foremost for City Designer 3 and Dungeon Designer 3 but accessible to all CC3+ users.

Volume 3 includes modern and science fiction bitmap symbols. The modern symbols integrate into and expand Symbol Set 3 (Modern). The science fiction symbols integrate into and expand the resources of Cosmographer. Of particular interest are large catalogs of human and alien figure symbols for deckplan maps and a catalog of additional plants for starmaps.

With the release of the archives, the Vintyri website now offers free add-ons for personal and commercial use with a total of 20,425 new bitmap symbols and 708 new bitmap fills and with a total download size of 10.4 GB. The archives include Dundjinni user creations from 2008 to the present. The other packages are:

1) CSUAC 2 for CC3+: This package is similar to the Dundjinni Archives but instead for the years 2004 to 2008. It includes 4,904 fantasy, modern and science fiction bitmap symbols and 82 fill styles. The download package has a size of 702 MB. When the Dundjinni Archives are installed after the CSUAC 2, they are integrated seamlessly into the CSUAC 2, sharing the same menus
and toolbars.

2) Bogie’s Mapping Objects: This is the best of our download site. Dan Roy, aka Bogie, is a community leader at the Cartographers Guild, an admin at the Dundjinni forums, and one of the very best symbol creators at both. Everything in this collection, geared primarily toward CD3 and DD3 mapping, is A1 quality, the mapping equivalent of a Premier Cru from Bourgogne. The
Viennese “Schlagobers” – spoon of whipped cream atop the coffee – of Bogie’s Collection is his Redthorn Tavern package. It is the definitive set of symbols for making fantasy RPG tavern floor plans. Our project group has made more than 100 tavern floor plans, and Redthorn Tavern symbols are essential to every one of them. The download ZIP weighs in at 370 MB. It includes 1,384 bitmap symbols and 141 bitmap fills.

3) Vintyri Cartographic Collection: This is a set of 1,816 bitmap symbols and 112 bitmap fills geared first and foremost toward CD3 users. Most of the symbols represent buildings in various roof styles, the majority of them based on real world prototypes from the continental European Middle Ages. The download weighs in at 6.9 GB due to the many huge structural symbols in VH resolution that run from 50 to 100 MB each in size. The collection is divided among several ZIP files.

Download links:

For links to all of the above:

http://www.vintyri.org

For direct links to the Dundjinni Archives and Cosmographer extension downloads:

http://www.vintyri.org/vintyri/djindex.htm

Please note that we support our products. If you have problems or questions, you can send them by E-Mail to info@vintyri.org or you can post them here on the forum.

If you wish to modify any of these symbols and distribute your modification:

1) With Bogie’s Mapping Objects, the CSUAC 2 and he Dundjinni Archives, please do so legally via the Dundjinni forum. The instructions for doing that are in your user’s guides.

2) With the Vintyri Cartographic Collection objects you may do so freely, provided that you include the Open Game License with your distribution. The details on how to do that are explained in your user’s guides.

The Vintyri Project is a non-profit organization. We sell nothing. Everything that we offer is free. We neither solicit nor accept donations. We do no kickstarters.

Happy mapping,

Mark Oliva
The Vintyri Project
http://www.vintyri.org
info@vintyri.org

You know the summer is over and fall is coming in the Northern hemisphere, when we head over to Essen for the International Spieletage, or SPIEL for short. 4-days packed with board and role-playing games on the world’s largest consumer fair for board games – what’s not to like?

Come on over and check out the latest add-ons and updates for CC3+, have a chat with me (Ralf) about mapping, and wander the halls for the latest and greatest in boardgaming. What are you waiting for? See us in hall 2 at booth C-117.

Hall 2 plan

To celebrate the 35th Anniversary of her gaming group forum user Shessar hosted a map-making competition on the forum. You can see all the entrants and the rules here on the forum thread.

Here are the winners.

Bill – The Journey Begins (3rd place)

This is a perfect vehicle for miniatures when printed out at a suitable scale.

2nd – LoopySue – Henge Portal

I love the lighting in this, which provides a sense of mystery and foreboding.

1st – Monsen – Breaking Through

This map cleverly combines the mundane modern with the archaic and occult.

Here are a couple of others which show techniques I particularly like – this shows a great use of outer glow and bevel effects on the walls, as well as glows from the symbols.

This demonstrates CC3’s lighting features, and a variety of pallets to contrast the different areas

 

The Horror House on the Hill“See the brooding old villa up on the hill? A family used to live there, but a terrible fate befell them…”

Does that sound familiar? Who hasn’t read, watched or played through that old trope of the haunted hause on the hill? But still the ominous walls draw us towards the creaking stairs and warped doors. We examine the family’s fate, peek under the bed and get scared when the monster jumps out of the close behind us. Now Pär Lindström has created the perfect drawing style to map out the twisted interior of such a terror-infested house for the October issue of the Cartographer’s Annual 2016.

The 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.

CA117 Example 1A busy marketplace full of people shouting and haggling. A nimble, but over-confident cutpurse scrambling to escape the clumsy city guard. A dark alley at night with a party of assassins lying in wait for the heroes.

Do you need a map for this kind of scenario? Then the City Streets style created by Alyssa Faden is for you. As the September issue of the Cartographer’s Annual 2016 it provides everything you need to map out a vivid street scene, either as a reference map or a full battlemap to put on the table. And the included mapping guide tells you how to go about drawing it!

The 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.

06_AboveCloudsThis is a bit of a personal look at this year’s travel to Indianapolis and my experience on the ProFantasy booth at GenCon. Read on if you enjoy this sort of thing.

I enjoy traveling very much, but a transatlantic flight is still a tiring thing. It takes me about 2 hours to get to Frankfurt airport from where I live, so it always means an early morning start for me. There are no direct flights to Indianapolis from Europe, so the first leg of the journey usually takes me to New York, Detroit or Chicago. Then there’s immigration, another security check and the domestic flight to Indy. All of this easily eats up 20 hours or more. As I can’t sleep on the plane, you can imagine the general state I’m in when I arrive in Indy on Tuesday evening. I have to to say though, that recent changes in the way the US handles the immigration/security checks has reduced waiting times immensely. Where I used to stand 30 minutes to 2 hours in line, I can now just walk up to an immigration terminal and get through the whole thing in 10 minutes. Great!

09_BoothArrivalWednesday is set aside for booth setup. I meet up with Doug and Tommy, who’ve driven over from Columbus the day before, and we usually start building the booth around 10am – if the booth material has arrived yet, as it had this year. Having done this for a few years, we are a practiced team and get it done pretty quickly. As we are sharing the booth with Pelgrane Press and they have a lot more to do with all the heavy books to shift, we usually manage to help them out a bit. Often there’s a problem to sort out: Electricity hasn’t been laid, tables are missing, we need more chairs, etc. which means a trip to convention services or asking around at other exhibitors. This year was fairly easy on that, but Mayfair Games were very helpful in storing some palettes we didn’t have space for. Doug is the champion in getting help – he just has a way with people.

20_ArmadaWednesday evening there’s usually a little time available where I can get in a game or two. Tommy usually brings along some good games, and this year we managed to try a session of Star Wars: Armada which neither of us has had a chance to play before. My Imperial fleet managed to decimate his rebel scum – taking on Star Destroyers in close combat is not such a promising tactic after all. Yay!

Gaming takes my mind away from the jet lag exhaustion at this point, helping to get into the 6-hours-delayed day and night rhythm. If I’d retire to the hotel room, I’d just fall asleep and later be awake most of the night. Still I start waking up at 4am and then sleep only in small bursts until it’s get time get up. By the time I’m acclimatized, it usually time to fly back home to Germany.

25_DemoRunningThursday is the big day – the actual convention starts. It’s early hours for us, since the first customers can enter the exhibitor’s hall at 9am (VIGs – very important customers – spend extra on their tickets for this privilege). Since there is usually some last minute setup to do, things to check, and the computer to boot up, I’m in the hall at 8am, the earliest time you can enter as exhibitor.

The real rush begins when the hall opens to the general public and it’s always fun to see the crowd hurrying towards the booth with limited product or special offers. Fortunately they’ve now managed to convince everyone that running though the aisles is NOT a good idea – even if it had to be through threats of removing ticket privileges. More customers start arriving at our booth around that time, and I get into my routine of explaining (“What are you selling here?”) and/or demoing CC3+ (“Can you show me how it works?”) or the add-ons (“How do I create a starship deckplan”)?

22_RedCarpetWe had the the just released Perspectives 3 installed, but unfortunately no discs or boxes yet. That always makes it a bit hard to generate interest, but I was able to demo the isometric map-making to quite a few people and they liked what they saw! It’s great to see familiar faces and get wonderful feedback from old-time customers, but the largest part of the booth work is getting new people interested in CC3+ – and that is very rewarding. We’ve added at least 60 new people to the fold of CC3+ users over the course of the show, and I am sure several of those will show up on the forum with their work or come back to the booth next year to chat about their experience.

Thursday afternoon and Friday tend to be quieter which gives us the chance to take turns to wander the halls and look around. There’s never enough time to play an actual demo game at one of the many tables, but at least you get to check out new releases, special offers and old friends at other booths.

34_EnnieThursday night is usually reserved for the ProFantasy dinner where we enjoy a good meal together with some freelance cartographers. Unfortunately Alyssa Faden couldn’t make it to GenCon this year, but Mike Schley was there. I can’t say much about it yet, but I’m happy to hint, that there’ll be some cool stuff coming up from further Schley/Profantasy cooperation.

Friday is gala night where the ENnie awards are given out in a big ceremony. ProFantasy wasn’t involved, but Pelgrane Piess always is and won an amazing number of ENnies this year. Congratulations to our booth compatriots!

43_BatmanSaturday is always the busiest day of the show and we do the bulk of our sales. Fortunately it doesn’t get rowdy, but some customers do seem to go to extremes. Thanks, Batman!

Saturday evening I reserved for gaming with friends and we got a nice playtest session in for an upcoming Tolkien-themed deduction game from Ares Games, where the Nazgûl are hunting for the hobbits on their way from Bag End to Rivendell. I got to play Frodo, but the pesky ringwraiths managed to thwart me and recovered the One Ring on the road east of Bree. So much for Middle-earth!

35_DismantlingThings start to slowly wind down on Sunday, with the exhibitor’s hall closing at 4pm. Dismantling the booth and storing everything for shipping went well this year (it can be a pain) and we waved Tommy and Doug goodbye as they headed home. For us long-distance-flyers the trip home is on Monday, giving us time to gather for the big Pelgrane dinner and some drinks in the hotel bar later. Another GenCon well done!

Somehow the trips back to Germany always prove troublesome for me. This year I ran smack into the big Delta Airlines mess up. I missed the connecting flight from Detroit to Frankfurt and had to spent the night and most of the next day in Detroit. At least on the way back it’s not so stressful, as I wisely never place any important appointments on the two days after my return from Indianapolis.

39_IndyAirport
Again it was a wonderful 4-days of gaming (well, mostly work actually, but still) and I’m looking forward to being back in Indianapolis next year!


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