Tuesday’s Gone with the Wind

Today was a day of looking way into the future and getting a lot of stuff done.┬áMission accomplished. No storms. Just the weight of preparation for the convention next week which, I think, is pretty much done. I’ll fine tune some characters and get a few things printed, but I always get wound up right before a show and this one is no difference from that mind-set, but it is from a practical standpoint.

We’ve focused a lot on PDF products this past quarter as we gear up for our releases and have been giving more serious consideration to Kickstarters. It’s an interesting model, and I hope to have more than one discussion about them at the shows this fall. In other news, I’ve been working on RunePunk and have been refining the races. I wrapped up the Andari yesterday and did a write up of a new race as well (which I got to trick out a bit today).

As is evident from this post, my mind has been a bit scattered. It seems that I don’t have the magnifying lens to concentrate all my energies on one specific thing, so my attention is diffused. It’s strange, but okay. I’ve fiddled around with Campaign Cartography a lot in the past and recently installed it on the new computer and am hoping to toy with it a bit when I need a break from writing and don’t have any layout work pending. I have long enjoyed making maps, but haven’t done it in some time. The worse case scenario, I’ll have some decent reference maps, while the best case scenario means I can create some maps for some of our lines myself. If I had focused on mastering the software, I’m confident I would be a lot further a long. It’s a robust suite and it’s a fun way to pass the time. If I come up with anything decent (or even half decent), I may share it up here.

Now, I’m going to delve back into the software for a bit, but I’m curious, when it comes to maps, how do you handle them? Draw them by hand? Use your imagination? Use some particular software? Share your war stories of what went wrong and what went right.

Until next time, I bid you, dear reader, adieu!





6 Notes on, Tuesday’s Gone with the Wind

  1. Primarily I use Photoshop and/or Campaign Cartographer. If you want some inspiration, to find some gifted cartographers, or want to ask some mapping questions, including questions about Campaign Cartographer, there is no better place that I can think of than the Cartographer’s Guild (http://www.cartographersguild.com/).

    If you visit, please stop in and introduce yourself in the introductions forum.

  2. http://www.gnomestew.com/tools-for-gms/hexographer-a-review

    Hexographer. Simple, intuitive, quick, and the maps have an old school Greyhawkian feel to them.

  3. I use Campaign Cartographer with all the suites. It’s a fantastic program, but it has a steep learning curve. Once you get the hang of it though, it can make some beautiful maps. It’s not just limited to maps though, you can make some very nice art and backgrounds in it once you learn the tricks.

    I’ve just installed it on my Mac (it runs slick in Parallels), and hope to get back into it once I get a bit further along in my manuscript :)

  4. I used to use Dundjinni back in the day, but support for it has almost completely dwindled to nothing. There are a few on the forums trying to keep it alive, but it’s more like playing Weekend at Bernie’s. Honestly, it was a little clunky even back then, but it was an easy way to create battle maps that looked beautiful.

    I’ve considered CC3, but the price and learning curve were always a barrier for me. After a while, I also realized that I sometimes spent more time creating the maps than I did prepping the adventure and making sure the session was as good as it can be. That’s when I switched to using existing maps.

    I started scanning maps or importing them from PDFs from modules I ran or from other supplements such as Dungeon Magazine. I’d then pull them into MapTool which I used as a virtual tabletop even during face-to-face games (everyone had a laptop). It worked really well. It was easy to prep and set up the maps before the game (tokens, notes, room descriptions, etc.), and there was very little clean up after the game (Ctrl-S). We were even able to stop game sessions in the middle of combat and pick up exactly where we left off. MapTool has some drawing tools, but they’re very crude and cumbersome.

    Lately I’ve returned to the old vinyl mat or a basic Flip-Mat, but I’ve been considering going back to using MapTool on a laptop hooked up to a large TV or on connected with individual laptops.

  5. I used to use Dundjinni also, it worked well, but did not quite meet my expectations of what I wanted for maps. About a year ago I took the plunge, shelled out the money, and picked up Campaign Cartographer 3 and a couple of the add-ons. As mentioned, it has a really steep learning curve, but the videos on YouTube by Joe Sweeney are spectacular. (Profantasy needs to pay that guy.) The one thing I am convinced of when it comes to CC3 is the more I think I know about it, the more I discover it can do.

  6. I’ve used CC off and on for a number of years. It’s been a LOT of years since I’ve touched it, admittedly. I have thought about joining Cartographer’s Guild, so I’ll definitely pop over there.

    What I’m really looking for, more than anything, is a clear set of directions on exporting files from CC3 for modification in Photoshop/Illustrator or whatever. I get pixellation. Any help is appreciated.

    A breakdown of this size map should be sent to this file format at this resolution sort of thing.


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