Travels_AustraliaAfter a full three months of travel, I’m back home in good old Germany and settled back into my own place.

For fun, I’ve created two little maps showing my itinerary with Pär Lindström’s excellent “Modern Journeys” style, published in the Cartographer’s Annual Vol 8 (2014), garnished with my own photos from the trip. This style is just brilliant to show overviews of travel itineraries.

The first part of the journey brought me to Australia, where I mainly traveled around the southeast and Tasmania. In Sydney I had the great pleasure to finally meet Joe Sweeney in person, the guy who creates all these lovely video tutorials for our software. One of the absolute highlights was hiking (or bushwalking as they say there) the Overland Track in Tasmania, one of the most beautiful multi-day hikes in the world. At the end of my stay I took a trip over to the other side of the country, staying a few days in Perth with Lindsay, our editor for all the mapping guides in the Annuals, and her husband. Again it was wonderful to meet people in person you only know via the Internet. Thanks for all the hospitality!

aboriginalCartography-wise I found this map of language families in Australia especially interesting, because it dispelled a lot of preconceptions of a monolithic aboriginal culture for me, which we tend to encounter in fiction and documentaries a lot.

Originally my plans were to travel to New Zealand only, but I am now very glad that I decided to include five weeks in Australia. While I saw only a little section of this vast country, both landscape and people were absolutely amazing and I wouldn’t want to miss a single day of my visit. Having only seen the southeast, Tasmania and Perth I now have more than enough reason to return and explore the rest of the continent.


New ZealandNew Zealand! It’s the dream destination of so many Germans – me included. Of course it is a very beautiful country, but our fascination with it seems to go beyond that. The popularity of the Lord of the Rings movies only added to an existing love for New Zealand – perhaps because it is pretty much the farthest away you can get from our home country on this blue planet. “Wanderlust” is a German word after all, and we have another one that described the longing to travel even better: “Fernweh”.

I did not really plan my itinerary to visit any filming locations of Peter Jackson’s movies, but there are so many of them on the islands that you often only need to take a little step off the path to see one. I’ve written a little piece about traveling through Middle-earth in another place. It’s in German, but if you read that language or want to brave a Google translation check the links.

NauticalI traveled the length of the country, from busy Auckland in the north down to remote Stewart Island south of the South Island. Some of the top highlights were walking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, swimming in the crystal blue waters of Able Tasman Bay, looking out across Lake Wanaka from Roys Peak, and reaching my southernmost point ever on Ulva Island.

Map-wise I was especially fascinated with the many navigational charts I encountered and I’m planning to create a Cartographer’s Annual issue around these.

As long as my trip may have been, it was still over much too soon. It was the weirdest feeling coming back: It felt like everything should have changed a lot after being away for such a long time, but in reality nothing much did. Everything was still the familiar old – which is a good thing. Did I take away something beyond a wonderful set of memories from this journey? Yes, I guess it would be: Do It! If you get the opportunity for a time-out away from everything, be it a month, three of them, or a year, grab it by the throat! You’ll never know when the opportunity presents itself again.

Just make sure you have a good map for your journey!

Spinning Globe

The community atlas project is a project where the ProFantasy community comes together and maps out a complete world for everyone to use. Here, we provide all kinds of maps, from world maps to continent maps to area maps to city maps to dungeon maps and much more, and they are all hyperlinked together in an interactive atlas.
Remy Monsen

Over on the Profantasy Community Forum a group of mappers has come together for a huge project: They are mapping a whole world of their own, collaborative design, and you can join the project if you like! It is a great opportunity to share world-building and map-making techniques, as well as learn a lot about CC3+ in the process.

Remy collects all the maps available on the project website, where you can view and download them at your leisure.

Here’s one of the contintental maps of the project, Kumarikandam, by Charles W. Robinson.
MappingProject

CA123 Black HillsSaddle up, pardner, we riding out into the wild, wild west. Venture into the deserts, mesas and plains of the American West with Pär Lindström’s new overland mapping style “Wild West”. Whether you’re running a historical campaign or a fantasy-version of the old west (for example using something like Owl Hoot Trail) this style allows you to create local and regional maps in the appropriate style.

The March issue “Wild West” contains a beautiful new overland drawing style for by Pär Lindström drawing Old West-themed maps. Dozens of symbols, bitmap fills and drawing tools, combined with a 5-page mapping guide, make creating this type of map a quick and easy endeavor.

The issue is now available for CC3+ from the registration page for all subscribers. If you haven’t subscribed to the Annual 2017 yet, you can do so here.


Good news for all fans of Joe Sweeney’s video tutorials: Joe is both updating the base tutorials for use with CC3+ and creating new ones in his “Mapping Master Class”.

Check out his Introduction to Mapping with Campaign Cartographer below, visit his YouTube channel, or directly subscribe to his Mapping Master Class:

Malvin's TowerDo you have an old CC2 map lying around that you really like, but that doesn’t look so good anymore? Does any of the CC2 maps in the ProFantasy user library catch your eye? Now’s your chance to convert it to a splendid CC3+ map with all bitmap artwork we’ve grown accustomed to.

The February Annual issue “Wizard’s Tower” contains a detailed tutorial on how to convert a CC2-style map to CC3+, as well as the showcase example of Malvin’s Tower, a wizard’s abode floorplan originally drawn in 1999!

The issue is now available for CC3+ from the registration page for all subscribers. If you haven’t subscribed to the Annual 2017 yet, you can do so here.

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

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