There are several ways to organize your maps, both inside and outside of CC3+. We’ve previously talked about linking your maps together to make a navigable atlas, and how to index your maps to make them easy to search to find the map you want. Today, I’ll talk about the bookmark feature in CC3+. Using bookmarks, you can create lists of maps, for examples maps belonging together, or maps with a common theme. For example, in the community atlas, I have bookmarks for the different types of maps, for example one bookmark set that contains all the overland maps, one the contains all the dungeon maps, and so on.

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Lews and Harris
“Leogus et Haraia” – Latin for “Lewis and Harris” the twin main islands (or island?) of the Outer Hebrides, as depicted in the Blaeu Atlas of Scotland* published in 1654.

Wouldn’t it be a perfect candidate to reproduce in the Mercator style of CC3+? Well, the mapping project will have to wait a while since I’m headed there for the next couple weeks to take a first hand look. In fact I’ll be hiking the Hebridean Way all the way from Barra in the south to the northern end of the Western Isles at the Butt of Lewis.

PreparationsI’m very much looking forward to an international trip after two years of mostly being confined to our national borders and to stretching my legs on a long multi-day hike again. I’ll keep an eye out for any mapping related topics and share my finds when I’m back. Sue (on the forum and Facebook), Remy (on the forum) and Jeff (on tech support) will be around to help out with any issues. In the meantime, keep up the great mapping!

*Image of the Blaeu Atlas Map taken from the National Library of Scotland and used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) licence.

If you own a lot of ProFantasy products, or have installed one or more of the large community symbol packs, you will have a lot of symbols. By default, CC3+ will give you easy access to the symbols belonging to the current map style through the symbol catalog buttons immediately above the map window, but sometimes you may wish to search for other symbols not made for the current style, which may fit anyway. But how to best find these symbols? Let us check out a few ways which may be of assistance to you here.

 

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Exhibit HallIt’s been more than two years that I’ve done any travels for ProFantasy and it makes me very happy that I can say that I’ll finally be in the US and Indianapolis again this coming August. I’ve been missing this.

Of course it’s GenCon that is bringing Profantasy and me there. The show takes place from August 4th to 7th as usual at the Indianapolis Convention Center. Thousands of gamers descend upon the city for that event, and I’m really looking forward to seeing many old friends again, as well as wandering the exhibitors’ hall and actually playing some games.

IndyYou’ll find as sharing a booth with our sister company Pelgrane Press again, actual booth numbers will be announced closer to the show. Personally I’ll be at the booth most of the time, demoing CC3+ and talking to any of the map-makers stopping by. Stop by and say hello if you are GenCon this year.

Travelling to Indianapolis can be exhausting, as there are no direct flights to and from Germany. I’ve been stuck at Newark, Detroit and Chicago in the past, most often on the way back as the International flights don’t wait for any delayed domestic ones. But that’s part of travelling and I usually don’t mind it much – it just becomes another story to tell. Still, fingers crossed that my first intercontinental flights in years go off without a hitch. See you in Indy!

Monthly Symbols Example Part 1

Our freely available small monthly symbol sets, created by Mike Schley have been very popular (no surprise there!), and we are now nearing the completion of the first full year. The big example map that I use to try out and show all the symbols has become a wonderful, sprawling mess depicting lots of weird places and happenings.

So far all the symbols have been for overland maps and we are considering a variation in theme once we reach June and the second year of the program. There are still lots of ideas for overland maps, but we would also like mappers to profit from the free symbols, who are not doing so many overland maps.

Monthly Symbols Example Part 2

It will still be Mike doing them, and currently we are thinking of doing dungeon symbols for a while, complementing his Dungeons of Schley style. But of course we’d like to hear from you, what you would like to see in the free monhtly symbols.

Should we stick with overland symbols for a while? Is the idea of Dungeon symbosl fine? Or would you like to see something else entirely. You can also submit more specific ideas for what should be in the sets, like what you would need in an overland map or dungeon floorplan.

Send us an email, post in the comments here, or head over to the Profantasy community forum and reply there.

A few weeks ago, I hosted a live stream taking a closer look at the drawing tools. Making this the perfect time to talk a bit more about the more advanced aspects of the drawing tools and how to utilize them properly and explaining a few things in more detail than appropriate for a stream.

Examples of advanced use of drawing tools is to draw aligned fills, drawing a path and have symbols placed along it or drawing a polygon and having it filled with randomly placed symbols. Basically, a lot of the things you can do using multiple steps with regular CC3+ commands can be automated and streamlined by making a drawing tool for it.

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People who have browsed the Community Atlas website have probably noticed that you can search maps, not just by name, but also by text in the map. So, how to I manage to do that, the maps on the website is just images, right? Granted, there are tools available that tries to understand text in images, but these are not good with noisy backgrounds like a map is. However, the community atlas website is of course backed by the actual community atlas product, the .fcw files themselves, and this is where the text comes from.

This is all done by using an excellent command in CC3+, the create index command. This command was originally made for searching through multiple drawings quickly without the search function having to read each map file every time, but the index it generates is a nice plain text file which can also be used by other tools, such as a web search. If you own products such as the Forgotten Realms Interactive Atlas or World War II Interactive Atlas, these come with an index file out of the box allowing you to quickly search the maps therein, but of course, you can also easily make your own index file for your own set of maps.

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Have you marveled at the beautiful city maps that Mike Schley has created for the D&D role-playing game and other brands? If not, head over to his web page to see a great selection. Myself, I am a particular fan of his isometric city views like the Candlekeep map you see as the first listed on that page. They give a great overall impression of the location, while also haviong enough precise information to make them really useful as a gaming tool.

Of course I’ve been advocating for a symbol set using this art style for a while here at Profantasy, and I’m now more than happy that I have the first symbols on my desk for by an upcoming set by Mike himself. He’s been busy creating the inked outlines ofr the buildings and kindly provided a few colored ones as well, that I can show off here. Take a look!

Isometric Cities Preview

So far my job concerning this product has mostly been looking over the incoming symbols, nodding and saying “Yes, they are great, thank you” by way approval. I’m looking forward to diving into creating all the symbols for CC3+ when more of the colored versions come in, and trying my hand at creating isometric city maps with them myself.

According to our End User License Agreement, you need our permission to publish floorplan-scale maps consisting predominantly of our artwork commercially (when the maps are a product of their own and not part of an adventure or such). This is mostly to protect our artwork rights and to keep the floorplan-market from getting flooded by cheap, extremely simple maps. Recently Matthew Verdini approached us to get such a permission, and seeing the quality of his maps, we were more than happy to grant that permission. See for yourself!






We also asked him to say a few words about himself and his work, so here he goes:


First off, I will admit to being a fan of the Profantasy line of products since they first debuted in the 90s. I remember seeing their ads in Dragon magazine and thinking how cool the software looked. I eventually mustered up some funds and got myself to the nearest gaming shop I could find so that I could buy a copy of Campaign Cartographer to use in my home brew world building.

The product was a far cry from the work that can be done today, but there was nothing like it at the time. As a student, I would slowly pick up additional products as I could while trying to build my worlds.

Graduating college and getting a graphic design job eventually afforded me the ability to buy all their products as I continued building worlds, cities and dungeons for my adventures. All my games were in person for a long while, therefore there was a great amount of time spent printing out pages and taping them together. However, now I play entirely online, allowing me to easily utilize the maps as needed.

The amount of time I put into my maps grew as I relied on them more and more in the digital landscape. Admittedly my work is not done strictly within the confines of the software or only using the assets they provide. The artist and designer in me adds some of my own tweaks to the assets as well as post production adjustments like lighting, textures and so on. In the end though, the heavy lifting has been done with Profantasy’s products.

When the pandemic hit, I began to explore some side businesses and ultimately opened up an Etsy shop for geek clothing and accessories, with a strong bend towards roleplaying. As I continued to grow the shop, I thought it might be interesting to explore a line of assets for Gamemasters. With that, I recently took my first step into attempting to sell premade maps.

Since my interest in cartography began with Profantasy, I thought it would only make sense that the work I share be part of that.


You can find Matthew’s maps in his Etsy store: https://www.etsy.com/shop/MasonandMansfield.

Our Dynamic Dungeon project is moving along, and for this installment of the series, I am going to address several interesting concepts and techniques.

  • Creating custom entities so we can store our settings with the map.
  • Creating dialogs to change settings. Here I also show how we can use owner-drawn lists to draw comboboxes with previews of the fill from the map. We’ll also create macro versions of the settings commands.
  • Accessing the drawing InfoBlock to find fills.
  • Making sure our tool stop at the map border, the same way that CC3+’s drawing tools does.

I am including the interesting bits of code right here in the article, but I have made minor changes all over the code from the previous articles to accommodate some of the new features from this article, so don’t forget to download the complete project from the link at the end of this article.

To be able to follow this article series, you should have read my earlier articles in the series.

As with the previous installments, here is a short video showing our results so far.

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