Fractal Terrains Developer Takes on a New World – CC3+

We are very fortunate to have taken on Joe Slayton as a programmer for CC3+ work. From his free terrain general Wilbur, he created Fractal Terrains, now on its third version. You can get a better idea of his take on life and programming in this interview. He is a C and C++ expert and one of few people in the world who can work with the FastCAD code base and mass of additional code we’ve built up over the years.  He’s already wowed our existing developers Mike Riddle and Peter Olsson with his innovative approach – doubling the speed of CC3+ effects just for a start. He’s also honed code which is tangled with age to make it more consistent and easy to read.

Using Joe’s Fractal Terrains 3 is more like exploring an apparently infinite set of worlds than creating them from scratch, and the process of discovery makes the imaginary worlds it creates makes them more real. Just for example, here is something I knocked out while playing with FT3 and exporting into CC3. It took about fifteen minutes. I used Ralf’s Jhendor colour scheme with Roughness, Percent Sea and Large Size sliders a little over to the right, and I spotted this rather appealing island. I added rivers at custom resolution, then a bevel and blur on the coast in CC3.

FT3 Complex Island

Ralf has also used FT3 to create a campaign world, Jhendor. Here is a sample output from FT3.

Dyra's Globe

So, if you are interested in world building, exploring variations on the real universe, or just starting from a billiard ball you can try the demo here.

3 Responses to “Fractal Terrains Developer Takes on a New World – CC3+”

  1. […] Fractal Terrains developer takes on CC3+ […]

  2. I would like to leave a comment, but if the reader is not interested in negative feedback, it would be best to skip this one.

    I’ve tried FT and have found it to be a crashing disappointment – and that’s a first from Profantasy. Although I can see real genius in the online evidence, I cannot create it myself. I find FT’s interface to be alien, clumsy, unworkable, and half-inoperative.

    The fault lies with me, not the program. I have used Profantasy products for years now – I started with CC-DOS, for which I had every add-on. I was nearly computer-illiterate back in those days, yet I caught on to CC-DOS rather easily.

    Now, Profantasy is running the CC3 line, and it’s better than ever. Aside from serious stability problems – which are nothing new with Campaign Cartographer, believe me – CC3 is an outstanding product. So are all of its add-ons that I have used.

    I was hoping to be able to map out entire planets, not just continents. Using FT, I was hoping to place my creations on globes, and then move on to making up more worlds. But that is not going to happen, not for me.

    I think that, for a user like me, FT’s automation has gone too far. There is not enough creative control, and I can’t figure out how to manipulate the appearances of the images.

    The bizarre interface of FT reminds me of the interfaces of MS Paint and Adobe Photoshop. There are substantial differences, but the interface seems very similar to the interfaces of those other programs. I’ve tried and abandoned those programs because the interfaces were too frustrating. I’ve grown accustomed to CC3’s very much hands-on approach, so the mostly automated action of FT is not something I can handle.

    A specific example is this: If I select an area on the image (shape of selected area not relevant), and then click the “Rougher” button, I would expect the terrain in the ellipse to become rougher – likely, more hilly or mountainous.

    As an aside, if I were using CC3 to do something similar, I would, of course, change a fill style in a given area to (for example) Wasteland or Mountain bitmap and add in a few mountainous symbols.

    However, in FT nothing happened at all. Obviously, it doesn’t work that way. I’m aware that I’m thinking very much like a Campaign Cartographer user, and it seems that FT’s interface commands don’t work like CC3’s do.

    All in all, I do not recommend Fractal Terrains for anyone without at least minimal experience with Paint, Photoshop, or other similar programs. For a die-hard Campaign Cartographer user like myself, the interface just doesn’t work – sometimes literally.

    If you have experience with similar programs, knock yourself out. The online evidence clearly shows images of beauty and good use. But this program is a flop for me. Fractal Terrains is one comet that dove straight into the sun as far as I’m concerned.



  3. Hello Jim,

    we are sorry to hear about your view on FT3. FT3 is really a very special kind of program, very different from anything else I know. It’s not a graphics editor as such, it’s a world generator with some editing features. It has many fans and people produce stunning worlds with it, but for others it doesn’t do what they need.

    You can get great help on FT3 on our forums, as Joe Slayton himself is active there.