Thursday, 1 April 2010

Map Making Progress


This is my first attempt at making a map with Campaign Cartographer 3.


It’s just a week since I received this map making package. I was expecting it to be complicated and difficult to master, and it has not let me down. The agreement was for Jan to take on learning how to use CC3, and eventually to take on the map making. But the summer, or at least the spring, has arrived here in Spain and she has been busy in the garden. I have spent about 20 hours trying to master it, she has spent about 2. So it looks like I will have to find time to attempt map making with CC3.


My first impression is that it is much more complicated than I feared, and also much less user friendly. It appears to be aimed at fantasy wargaming rather than historical wargamers. It is not just a matter of clicking on a pen tool and getting on with it. There is a whole new concept to grasp, including layers and sheets.


There are tutorials, which are very easy to follow and understand. But of course they never cover the thing you are having problems with. My first problem was roads. There was a thin line and a dotted one, but I could not make a double line such as you might find on a map. After many wasted hours I found a forum, and explained my problem. The response was prompt, and explained that I had to download an update. It solved the problem, but there were many more to follow.

So far I have spent all of my spare time working on it, with not a lot of success to date. I started trying to make a map of Spain, but I kept finding new problems. So instead I have decided to try to make a copy of my hand drawn Tactical map. Its early days, but the map at the top of the blog is my first attempt.

This is the hand drawn map which I copied it from




It was a good idea to tackle a smaller project, as it has given me a lot of confidence and allowed me to master simple tasks. And I am sure the maps will improve with time.

Meanwhile everything else has suffered, even our wargaming. I will have to find a way of easing off on the time spent map making, without losing the drive to master the new concepts. In the past I have not been very good at computer games. They always seem to require a comprehensive understanding of how the game works, rather than a historical knowledge of tactics and strategy.

It will be interesting to see whether CC3 becomes another discarded computer tool.

3 comments:

Caliban said...

Hi, I'm pretty much cartographically challenged myself, so I can sympathise. I've started using the Battlechronicler program from, funnily enough,

http://battlechronicler.com/

I use it for maps of tabletop games, but after seeing your map squares I realised that there is absolutely no reason one couldn't adapt it for campaign maps. It's really easy to use; it isn't fancy; and each square could be a campaign area instead of a tabletop one. It comes with terrain types and you can re-size them to suit yourself.

Might be worth a look!

Paul

thistlebarrow said...

Thanks for the link.

I wish I had heard about battlechronicler before I committed to CC3. Having bought CC3 I am determined to give it a good go to see if I can make it work.

I have seen excellent campaign maps produced using CC3, but I am not sure that I will be able to master it sufficient to produce maps of a similar standard.

Caliban said...

Yes, I know what you mean. I looked at a previous version of Campaign Cartographer and just couldn't get my head around it. I was lucky enough to see it being used by a friend who was well into computers. I reckoned it would take a lot of work to make it worth my while.

Good luck!