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.

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.

Barbed DevilWhat it’s in the works here are Profantasy HQ at the moment do you ask? Well, apart from behind the scenes work on Campaign Cartographer itself, the ongoing Annual development and the daily routine, we are getting close to finishing the next installment of the Token Treasury series.

The artist, Rich Longmore, has delivered as wonderful new collection of nasties (and not so nasties) for your games and maps, and I am now converting them to CC3+ format, creating varicolor versions and building catalogs. Look for the release later this month! You can check out the first installment of the Token Treasury here.
Preview01

It’s an extremely busy desk that the Cartographer is dealing with at this time: Not only is the next Annual issue waiting to be published and GenCon getting very close, there is also the latest Symbol Set to finish up. Everybody is eager to get SS5 Cities of Schley into their hands and I’m happy to report that the first beta version has been sent out to the testers. The chance to pre-order Mike Schley’s new symbol set and get your hands on the early access copy will arrive very soon after GenCon. In the meantime, here are two example maps created with the color version of the Cities of Schley style:

The Town of Weepingford
SS5 Weepingford

The Village of Briarpond
SS5 Briarpond

I’m sure you all would like to know what is currently in development and when the next add-ons for CC3+ will arrive. Well, I can report that Cities of Schley is very close to completion now and that the next Token Treasury is chugging along nicely.

Cities Of SchleyCities of Schley

Mike has finished almost all the symbols for the set, and is now working on the bitmap textures that we need to go along with them, so the City Designer house tool can create matching buildings.

Sue Daniels has been helping us with creating the roof maps and as you can on the right, they look great. She’s also suggested a great way to give you more variety in the roof shapes without compromising the shadow’s on the city map (as mirroring a symbol within CC3+ would do).

TT2Token Treasury 2

Seeing that there is still a vast army of fiends and critters lurking in the shadows to pounce on hapless heroes, we’ve decided to drag a few more into the light of the virtual tabletop.

Rich Longmore is creating another set of monster tokens and I’m always delighted when a new one charges through the doorway (or slithers through a crack in the wall).

We do have a few slots for new monster available in the list, so if you have something special that you would like to see as a token, let us know in the comments below!

Orc HutYou might be wondering what yours truly has been up to now that the first Token Treasury is out. Here’s a little update about what’s on my desk.

There is of course the Cities of (Mike) Schley you’ve all been wondering about. Progress has been a little slower than expected for a while, but we are now moving along nicely again, with Mike regularly submitting new house symbols – check out the gorgeous little orcish hut here. Of course the map (shading) files for all these houses need to be created, but we do have an expert on this now, don’t we?

CrocodileSecondly, after the Token Treasury is before the Token Treasury. We are very happy with the artwork that Rich Longmore has produced and our customers seem to agree. So we’ve commissioned him for a second set and the first pieces are rolling in. Check out the gorgeous Papa Croc (my nickname) on the left.

There are a few slots left on our monster list for issue two (the list of monsters for the first issue is here), so if you have any wishes, post the below!

Finally ProFantasy will be exhibiting at a new convention (new for us that is) this year. We’ll be at UK Games Expo in Birmingham, and that wants to be organized including travel, rooms, booth space and everything that goes along with that. I’m certainly looking forward to being in Birmingham for the first time!

Let’s take another look at the two products we are working on at the moment: The Token Treasury and the new symbol set by Mike Schley.

Token Treasury

BarghestFor the token treasury, Rich Longmore keeps sending over his finished monster portraits for approval, and it’s a rare piece that we have to ask him a few adjustments for. For example see the Barghest here. The original version (left) looks great – but it felt a little too natural for, a wolverine came to my mind instead of a supernatural monster. So I asked Rich to make the face a little more unnatural (bony face, fiery eyes) and he produced the second version (right) in no time at all.

We’ve also decided to make the tokens available in round AND square formats, so Rich had to go back and add a little bits and pieces to existing ones here and there, but that’s all finished now and we are chugging along nicely. I am converting the artwork into symbols as we go along, which should make producing the final products once all graphics are done fairly straightforward.

Cities of Schley

Cities of Schley PreviewI know you are all eagerly waiting for the new Symbol Set “Cities of Schley” by Mike. You’ll be happy to hear that Mike has finished all the ink outlines of the buildings and is now working on the coloring. You can see just a tiny section of his preview here. To get an idea how detailed his work is just let me tell you that the original of this graphic is 9000 pixel across!

Once I get the colored versions, I will start adding the roof shading to the symbols so they will work with the automated lighting just as the other CD3 symbols.

Dio3 New Map WizardAs mentioned before on this blog, I am currently working on the full new version of our paper-miniature building add-on – Dioramas 3. I am pleased to report that we have a completed alpha version and release of the beta version is not far off. All the new assets are in place, and have been arranged in multiple drawing styles: two different bitmap styles and one vector style, recreating the old Pro-version style with some sheet effects added.

Next up is updating the Essentials Guide to take all the new stuff into account and producing a nice, big new example Diorama set. Checking on the Facebook community group people seem to be mostly looking for some common village buildings, so it’ll be a inn and tavern I’ll be creating – I’m looking at you, Tendril’s Oak Inn.

This will probably also mean breaking out my paper cutter, ruler and glue and getting my hands sticky to actually build the thing. It’s been a while since I’ve done that and I’m looking forward to it!

Here is the very first Dioramas building I ever designed and built, updated with the new bitmaps of Dioramas 3. It’s a rough recreation of the Sage’s Tower symbol from the “Fantasy Colors” set included in Symbol Set 1. The actual model I built has long gone the tragic way of all paper models: crumbled up and vanished into the recycling bin. But hey, now it can reincarnate as a new and prettier one.
Dio3 Sage's Tower

Dioramas ProWhat have I been up to recently, you may ask? Well, I will answer, I’ve been working to make Campaign Cartographer 3 obsolete. But, I hasten to add, only by updating everything to work with CC3+!

Campaign Cartographer 3 and CC3+

When we release a new version of Canpaign Cartographer, we go through a long process of making all the add-ons compatible. While the process continues, users need to keep CC3 and CC3+ installed to use all our add-ons. That process is nearing its end.

Dioramas Pro

The only standard add-on that wasn’t available for CC3+ yet, is Dioramas Pro. While we are also working on Dioramas 3+, we decided to release the compatibility update for Dioramas Pro, so you don’t need to keep CC3 installed for that single add-on. That compatibility update is available on the registration page now, among the other Diorama downloads. It allows you to use all the existing functionality and example maps in CC3+.

This removes the slightly frustrating issue that the popular Fantasy Mapper bundle still required you to install CC3 if you wanted to use all of its assets.
Dio 3 Textures

Dioramas 3

But of course we don’t want to stop at that. The main project I’ve been working on is updating and expanding Dioramas into a true version 3+ product, with expanded bitmap support, drawing styles and everything. To that effect, Sue Daniel has created new tiling bitmap textures to greatly expand the range of available “materials” that can be used for the models, from straw-covered floors, via adobe walls to roofs of corrugated tin.

Dioramas 3+ will be our next big release and we are excited to see all our drawing add-ons updated to full version 3 standard.

Which brings me to the final products that need to be updated: the Source Maps series.
Bellegarde 3d

The Source Maps

Remy has created compatibility updates for SM: Castles, SM: Temples, Tombs and Catacombs as well as SM: Cities and is working on one for the World War 2 Interactive Atlas. I’ve created the setup files for the formerthree and these are currently in beta-testing and – barring any major issues showing up – should be available next week.

After Dioramas 3+ we’ll be looking at giving the Source Maps products the “version 3+” treatment, though we are not entirely sure how that will look yet and how many new maps it will entail. We’ll keep you posted, but in the meantime here is a little sneak peek how parts of it may look:
Hatshepsut 3d

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!

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