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      CommentAuthorMonsen
    • CommentTimeJan 31st 2017 edited
     
    Note: Please don't make any maps yet, this thread is for discussing the idea, and bring suggestions to the table.

    I'd like to propose that we do a community project here at the forums. Many of you know of the old Forgotten Realms interactive atlas and what a resource it could be, even for non-FR players. It had lots of maps you could use in your campaign, from continent maps to country maps to local maps to city maps to dungeon maps and so on. And they were all hyperlinked together, so you could navigate through them, "zoom in" to areas by navigating from the regional to the local map. And best of all, they were in .fcw format, so you could actually edit them and make them fit your campaign. This might be minor edits like changing names, or larger changes like moving mountains. You could change the map based on player actions in the campaign.

    So, I'd like to propose we as a community maps out our own world and makes a community atlas available for CC3+ users to download and use.

    To make this atlas, I suggest that people pick areas they want to map, and populate it as they want. Later, other people can come in and make a local map from an area on that map, or a city map, or a dungeon/floorplan map, etc. In short, nobody (as part of the project) will touch your actual map, but they can make a new map detailing a region/place from your map. All of these maps will then be hyperlinked together, making them navigable as an atlas.

    So, how to do this?

    Obviously, we need to start at the top, so we need some continent maps regional maps in place before it makes sense to design cities, dungeons and floorplans. So, I will start out by generating a FT3 world, and then export the coastlines so people can make continent maps. Once those are in place, we need to divide the continents into regions and map those. Once that is done, we have a basic framework of the world, and I am thinking people can decide for themselves what to map, basically by identify a feature (like a city) on one of the existing maps, and make a new map detailing that place.

    I am thinking we do this much like the FR Atlas, that is, we map interesting regions and places, but we don't make maps that fit edge to edge and map everything in minute detail.

    I'll handle the actual hyperlinking of the atlas (for now, at least), so all the rest of you really need to worry about is making the actual maps.

    Note that to get the full benefit of such an atlas, participants must be willing to provide their actual .fcw files. Those files is what makes this an incredible useful product as compared to a set of nice maps that doesn't fully fit in with anyone's campaigns. Furthermore, you must accept that the users of this products modify your maps (for private use withing their gaming group or similar, which may include them also posting rendered images of them on their groups website, VTT system, etc), but apart from that, all rights to the map still resides with the creator. I am aware that sharing of .fcw's isn't something everyone like to do, but for a product like this, it is the .fcw's that make the product great and gives it near infinite usability.

    Allowed symbols/fills/products

    Because users get hold of .fcw's, it is also important that they have access to the fills and symbols used, so they get a map and not a jumble of red X'es. As such, we must limit the use of symbols and fills to files the users can actually legally get their hands on, and easily install. These resources doesn't have to be free, after all, you will need to purchase at least CC3+ to open .fcw maps at all. I am also thinking that we need to require CC3+ compatibility, simply because when navigating the hyperlinked maps, they will all open up in the same program, so we shouldn't require them to open certain maps in another program.

    I don't want to force a special style on anyone. I am thinking this will be a jumble of different styles and mapping techniques. But each individual map is done by a single person, and therefore in a single style.

    So, this is a list of sources and thoughts:
    - Any ProFantasy product compatible with CC3+ (Including add-ons, symbol sets and annuals). These are all available for purchase and easy install
    - Community symbol sets like the Vintyri, Dundjinni, CSUAC and Bogie sets. These are available for download and install for everyone who wants them.
    - Custom symbols/fills. If you want to include your own custom symbols (or other symbols you are legally allowed to distribute), this is fine. Thanks to the $-operator for paths, custom symbols is easy to distribute along with such an atlas. BUT, that does mean that the actual symbol will be distributed with the atlas, so don't use custom symbols int he map unless you want to and are allowed to distribute them.

    Of course, the maps needs to be proper CC3+ maps, not a imported background image with a few symbols thrown on top or similar.

    When will it be done?

    Probably never. I envision this as a continuous ongoing project. You can never really be done mapping a world. And such an ongoing project allows new members that join our ranks to contribute as well, making it a living and including resource.

    How many maps must I make?

    As many as you want. If you make 1 map for the project, that is great. If you make more, that is even greater. And take your time. This is not a time-limited project. We may have a time limit on some of the main maps to get the project going, but once the framework is in place, people will just base their next map on what is available, without waiting for a particular map to be finished.


    So, this is my suggestion. Now I am curious as to what the community thinks about this. If this is interesting to enough people, I'll make an initial framework to start the project. And in this case, interesting means that you would consider making some maps for such a project. At this stage, we need people to make maps, not people who just want to use it.
    Do note that everyone's maps will be welcome, regardless of skill and artistic level. Don't feel that your maps is not good enough for such a project. The only restriction I will set is that you are good enough to handle the very basics of mapping with CC3+, so your maps can handle things like sheets, scale and the usage of symbols reasonably well.
    I think a project such as this is good for both the community at a whole, allowing people to learn from other people's maps, and learn themselves by providing maps to such a project.

    Please, let me know what you think.
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeJan 31st 2017
     
    I'm cautiously interested...

    If I take part, however, the map(s) I produce will not contain anything other than the standard CC3/+ symbols and fills, because I don't have any of the additional symbol sets other than Bogie's Mapping Objects, and they aren't really all that suitable for world mapping.

    I wouldn't be able to use any map that contained anything else either, so I would only be contributing - not using.
    • CommentAuthorShessar
    • CommentTimeJan 31st 2017
     
    The thought of how you are going to coordinate all of this makes my head want to explode, yet I find the idea impossible to resist.

    Count me in.
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      CommentAuthorMonsen
    • CommentTimeJan 31st 2017
     
    Posted By: Loopysuethe map(s) I produce will not contain anything other than the standard CC3/+ symbols and fills
    That's fine. Those maps will be the ones easily usable by the most people as well.

    Posted By: Loopysuend they aren't really all that suitable for world mapping
    Well, as I described above, I do want people to map cities, dungeon, inns, mansions, temples, gardens and everything in between. We do kind of have to have some of the basic overland maps in place first.

    Posted By: LoopysueI wouldn't be able to use any map that contained anything else either, so I would only be contributing - not using.
    Considering you are an author, and not a roleplayer, I think that is just to be expected. But I still think everyone may be able to get some inspiration from the various maps though. I do think we should make a render available as well, allowing people to see the map without owning all the products.

    Posted By: ShessarThe thought of how you are going to coordinate all of this makes my head want to explode
    Please don't. Your family would be mighty angry at me if that would happen.
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeJan 31st 2017
     
    Is there a place on the server where the maps could be shown as a single world?
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      CommentAuthorMonsen
    • CommentTimeJan 31st 2017
     
    Well, the maps can't really be assembled to a single world the same way the guild world/city you have been contributed to lately would, since this suggestion is based on a atlas-style approach, not seamless tiles in a common scale.
    But the plan is to have a world map where you can click on the various regions to go to those maps, and clicking on interesting features on those maps will take you to the relevant dungeon/city maps, etc.

    As for the server, that is a minor problem. Either, if ProFantasy donates some space, it can be hosted there, if not, I'll just set it up on another server, the internet is full of them. I plan on having all the maps rendered to images as well, so the atlas is browsable from the web.
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeJan 31st 2017
     
    A clickable book is just as good :)
    • CommentAuthorShessar
    • CommentTimeJan 31st 2017
     
    Posted By: Monsen
    Posted By: ShessarThe thought of how you are going to coordinate all of this makes my head want to explode
    Please don't. Your family would be mighty angry at me if that would happen.


    Haha!!

    The truth is, I am excited at the idea of a community project. This will offer something for everyone!

    Just in case there is anyone not familiar with how an interactive atlas works, if you have the Tome of Ultimate Mapping, check it out starting on page 111.
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      CommentAuthorDogtag
    • CommentTimeJan 31st 2017 edited
     
    The Forgotten Realms Interactive Atlas (FRIA) is possibly the greatest gaming accessory off all time. Just sayin'.
    • CommentAuthorJimP
    • CommentTimeJan 31st 2017
     
    Uhm... I can do that, but I likely have the most maps here. Crest of a Star, I think, has about 1,000 surface maps.
    • CommentAuthorLorelei
    • CommentTimeJan 31st 2017 edited
     
    If i can swing it, i would love to participate in this......The Guild City over at the CG is a bit much for me right now, as i am dealing with family health issues (and being the family nurse the burden falls heavily on me) and coming up with an original city plan is a bit too much for my plate.....recreating maps of a beloved fantasy setting.....? count me in :)

    EDIT: Seems i didn't read Monsen's post thoroughly through....I will lurk in the shadows on this project, unfortunately. I also am relinquishing my plot of land in the City Guild due to family obligations. Can't wait to see what you all come up with! Perhaps i can work on some dungeons later this year when the project gets to that point :)
    • CommentAuthorBarliman
    • CommentTimeJan 31st 2017
     
    This sounds like fun. :)
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      CommentAuthorQuenten
    • CommentTimeJan 31st 2017
     
    Count me in. Can't wait to get started. Give us a choice of voting on a few FT worlds, though
    • CommentAuthorTonnichiwa
    • CommentTimeJan 31st 2017
     
    Alright, I'm in too. I know I can find the time to do something eventually. The types of maps I have the most experience making are regional maps though. Although I am willing to work on any kind of map.
    • CommentAuthorJosh.P.
    • CommentTimeJan 31st 2017 edited
     
    Guys a suggestion if I may.

    Realm Works is out there and already has all the functionality required to make an interactive atlas. It also now have Import/Export functionality of realm data. What this means is someone can create the map in CC3+ and load that map into Realm Works and then start bringing it to life.

    Here's my Interactive Map of Faerun as an example: Realm Works - Forgotten Realms Faerun Interactive Map
  1.  
    I will jump in as well. I do suggest that we use a single style though for the world map; just so it looks cohesive.
    • CommentAuthorShessar
    • CommentTimeJan 31st 2017
     
    I agree with Charles. A single style for for the world map is a good idea. Then regional, city, building and dungeon maps could be any style.
    • CommentAuthorTonnichiwa
    • CommentTimeJan 31st 2017 edited
     
    Posted By: daplunkGuys a suggestion if I may.

    Realm Works is out there and already has all the functionality required to make an interactive atlas. It also now have Import/Export functionality of realm data. What this means is someone can create the map in CC3+ and load that map into Realm Works and then start bringing it to life.

    Here's my Interactive Map of Faerun as an example:Realm Works - Forgotten Realms Faerun Interactive Map


    I love that Realmworks finally put in the Import/Export functionality because I do own the program, however, not everyone on this forum owns Realmworks or even wants to. But, everyone here probably owns CC3/3+ already, thus making it easy to use the built in ability of CC3/3+ to make an interactive atlas. And it is fairly easy to share between those who own CC3/3+.

    And that's a great looking atlas you've made by the way.
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeJan 31st 2017
     
    If we are going to use one style across the whole thing, will that be Herwin Wielink or Schley?

    I don't have any of the annuals or extra symbol sets or anything.
    •  
      CommentAuthorMonsen
    • CommentTimeJan 31st 2017
     
    @daplunk: That is a nice suggestion and a nice piece of software, but I want to make the Atlas using CC3+ itself (Just as the FR atlas was), because this provides the users with navigable and editable .fcw files. It is more about providing a navigable and editable set of maps than adding and providing lots of information (I image GM's using this will want to add their own information in any case to fit the maps to their own campaigns).

    I'll keep the suggestion in mind though, perhaps as a companion service or similar.


    @Lorelei: It would be a new setting, not recreating FR maps (that would probably be copyright violation, even if provided for free). But I am thinking people could make the kinds of maps they feel like they have the time for. And even if one don't have the time right now, if we start this, this project will still be around many months from now (hopefully years)


    @Charles: That is a good suggestion. We should probably do the main world maps in Mike Schley overland, both to make the first level look cohesive, and to ensure that users without any add-ons can at least browse the top level.
    • CommentAuthorJosh.P.
    • CommentTimeJan 31st 2017
     
    Agree Monsen.

    Keep in on your radar though. Realm Works could prove to be a great distribution platform for maps in the future.
    If anyone wants to get creative we are running our own Community Project currently to create a Dungeon. There's currently an ask for a barbarian village map.
    Community Project currently to create a Dungeon

    Will be following this project closely :)
  2.  
    I agree Monsen, the Mike Schley style is in the basic CC3+ release and it has a wide variety of symbols that allows us to represent various cultures. How big do you imagine the world map to be? A single continent or multiple continents? What will be the scale? Just curious, you may not be that far yet. 😀
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      CommentAuthorQuenten
    • CommentTimeJan 31st 2017
     
    I agree with Monsen about using the Mike Schley style for the top level map, as everyone should have that. It also should definitely be a NEW world/continent (and give us a few choices to vote on first). And let's keep it just to CC3(+) plus add-ons. (sorry tonnichiwa and daplunk)
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      CommentAuthorMonsen
    • CommentTimeJan 31st 2017
     
    Posted By: CharlesWayneRobinsonHow big do you imagine the world map to be?
    I am thinking Earth sized and roughly earth-like with a few larger continents, and some smaller. But that's just some basic thoughts. This is a community project, so we should decide on that together.



    Posted By: QuentenGive us a choice of voting on a few FT worlds, though
    Absolutely
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      CommentAuthorQuenten
    • CommentTimeJan 31st 2017
     
    Great so far. What projection - Hammer, Equirectangular or AE Hemispheres. I do love the latter, but I know most people use equirectangular, despite its severe area distortions at the higher latitudes.
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeJan 31st 2017
     
    We could use an equirectangular if the continents clustered very slightly away from the poles, so no one would have to map a country that was all squished up at the north or south pole. That's what the Guidworld map is, and it seems to work really well :)
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeJan 31st 2017
     
    Alternatively we could do a flat world? Not Mercator, but genuinely flat. No curvature worries at all then.
  3.  
    Let's keep the world map as simple as possible when it comes to the general map type. It would be different if we were doing a Sci-fi world. I have too many headaches as it is Ha, ha! 😃. I love the idea of an Earth size world with multiple continents. 😉
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeJan 31st 2017
     
    Flat is about as simple as it gets ;)
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      CommentAuthorQuenten
    • CommentTimeJan 31st 2017 edited
     
    Still not fond of flat. Here is an example of a FT equirectangular world (without any editing) I ran just now.
    I'msure there can be better ones.
      Sample.jpg
  4.  
    I prefer world maps that doesn't look like a few oversized islands. I have seen several worlds like that. I hope we get some decent size continents and lots of cool islands. I know we all have our likes and dislikes. It may be cool if we could rank a set of FT maps and get the one with the highest score. I did that for a commission. I gave them several landmass designs and went with the one they liked the best. Only then did I move forward with the project.
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeJan 31st 2017
     
    You mean we should all donate an FT world and then someone picks the best one?

    How about we do that and the PF team choose the best one?
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      CommentAuthorQuenten
    • CommentTimeJan 31st 2017
     
    I agree with Charles. My example was just a completely unedited FT map. Normally I would add lots more small islands, and use Global smoothing, Fill Land Mass and add rivers - even a few craters. Also reduce land mass on one side of big mountain ranges, and expand it on the other side. (eg, think Australia and South America and USA)
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeJan 31st 2017
     
    I thought we were only using FT to get a decent coastline?
    • CommentAuthorTonnichiwa
    • CommentTimeJan 31st 2017
     
    Yeah, that's my understanding of it. We're only using it for a coastline. That way people can draw the maps how they like, without having to follow a pre made map of where mountains are and where rivers are.
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      CommentAuthorMonsen
    • CommentTimeFeb 1st 2017
     
    Posted By: LoopysueI thought we were only using FT to get a decent coastline?
    I'll say that depends on what people want. Everything about this project is up for discussion at this point.
  5.  
    I personally prefer using it just for the coast. I love the idea of member generated FT's. I will not be able to submit one myself, I do not have that particular add-on. I cannot afford to buy it or the new annual until I find a new job now that I have graduated.
    • CommentAuthorShessar
    • CommentTimeFeb 1st 2017
     
    I also prefer working from just the coastlines. I'm not always happy with how and where FT places the mountains -too many massive mountain peaks smack in the center of the range.

    I'll be satisfied with however it is decided on choosing a world. I own FT, but have never really done much with it. As a result, I've never generated a world that I've actually liked so I probably won't submit an entry.

    (I know this sounds like I'm criticizing FT. I'm not. I've just never needed to generate an entire world all at once so never bothered to learn how to use the software. I only bought it to support ProFantasy. :D )
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeFeb 1st 2017
     
    I really like FT, but I do understand what you mean about mountains in the middle of the continent. There's a limit to what a fractal can do all by itself. You have the same problem with any land generating software. I get it with Vue and Blender as well, so its a known problem.

    You just can't beat it for coastlines, though.

    I don't mind spending a couple of hours messing around trying to get a decent-ish shape or two. As a tip for others - I find it helps to make the world quite a lot larger than the Earth ;)
    • CommentAuthorjslayton
    • CommentTimeFeb 1st 2017
     
    http://fracterra.com/CGTutorial/index.html is an example of FT usage that lets you pretty much get what you want where you want it. It was written against FT Pro after the first Cartographer's Guild community worldbuilding project and I think that it's what Robbie used as the technique to generate the first iteration of the second CG community worldbuilding project. All of the techniques should still be applicable for FT3. At the very least, this tutorial addresses the most common "mountains in the middle" complaint and shows how to use the Image Climate shader and prescale offset editing. I did get a mega-continent, but that was mostly because I was just piddling about quickly (a couple of hours of non-constant effort) to demonstrate the ideas.
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeFeb 1st 2017
     
    Thanks jslayton :D

    I'll give that a go later on tonight ;)
    • CommentAuthorJimP
    • CommentTimeFeb 1st 2017
     
    I doubt I'll have the spare time for this.
    •  
      CommentAuthorMonsen
    • CommentTimeFeb 1st 2017
     
    Posted By: JimPI doubt I'll have the spare time for this.
    I know time is a premium for a lot of people, me included. This is why I am suggesting this is a long-term project, where people can work on mas when they have the time, and feel up to it. No time limits, no pressure. Except for the first few continent maps which are needed to set up the baseline world, I am thinking people should take exactly as much time as needed for any map submitted to this project. After all, the world is more than big enough that even if you take 6 months on your chosen region, other don't need to wait for you to finish, they pick somewhere else.
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      CommentAuthorMonsen
    • CommentTimeFeb 1st 2017
     
    Seems to be enough interest that it is worth a shot starting this up.

    How about, in about a week, I put up a selection of FT worlds we can vote upon, and if anyone else want to make a nice FT world, send me the .ftw file for the world, and I'll include it in the voting. Sounds good?
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeFeb 1st 2017
     
    Sounds like a great idea :D
  6.  
    Yup, sounds like a great idea to me too. I have Fractal Terrains but honestly I have never ever used it for anything so I'm a complete Fractal Terrains noob. I picked it up just in case I wanted to make a world that looked like the kind you can make in Fractal Terrains but I just haven't dedicated any time to it yet.
  7.  
    Sounds good to me as well Monsen. Question, how will we "reserve" a section of the world map to work on or any other project? It would be very frustrating to spend weeks working on a particular project and then have somebody else submit a finished project for the same thing.

    Thanks for setting this up Monsen! :-)
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      CommentAuthorQuenten
    • CommentTimeFeb 1st 2017
     
    If we are to use the same top level world map, we need to have the main mountains and rivers in place. An Ft world, exported to CC3(+) will do this. Editing the FT map along the lines in jslayton's tutorials (which i have used plenty of times now) is the best way to start - it enables the main mountains, rivers and land masses to be exported and edited. I will do one as an example, and convert the CC3+ export into Mike Schley style - just give me a day or three.
    •  
      CommentAuthorMonsen
    • CommentTimeFeb 1st 2017 edited
     
    Posted By:QuentenIf we are to use the same top level world map, we need to have the main mountains and rivers in place. An Ft world, exported to CC3(+) will do this. Editing the FT map along the lines in jslayton's tutorials (which i have used plenty of times now) is the best way to start - it enables the main mountains, rivers and land masses to be exported and edited. I will do one as an example, and convert the CC3+ export into Mike Schley style - just give me a day or three.
    You could probably wait with the CC3+ part of the job until we have decided on a world, but an FT world for the voting would be nice. I do agree that we need to have some of the main features in place though, but not so many as to lock in the mapper's creativity either.


    Posted By: CharlesWayneRobinsonQuestion, how will we "reserve" a section of the world map to work on or any other project?
    I'll maintain a registry of who is doing what. You'll basically make a request for something you want to work on, and I'll add it to the registry so people can see what is being worked on.
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      CommentAuthorQuenten
    • CommentTimeFeb 1st 2017
     
    Sounds great Monsen. FT mapping, here we come.