How long have you been using Campaign Cartographer?

How long have you been a user of Campaign Cartographer. Additionally how would you rate yourself?

The oldest evidence I have for Campaign Cartographer is 2003. When I was working on a campaign map. Over the years I haven't got much better. I do like to support the program and have bought quite a few products. (Love that I actually bought the physical discs)

I still only consider myself a rookie. Not very good, but I may put in some effort this year.

  1. User level?19 votes
    1. Pure Novice - good enough to look at maps
    2. Rookie - minor alterations to maps
    3. decent - change most things on a map
    4. proficient - design a basic map start to finish
    5. experienced - make a map using many effects
    6. semi professional - made a few maps for people for money
    7. professional - make maps for a career
    8. design level - I've worked on the program or work for ProFantasy


  • MonsenMonsen Administrator 🖼️ 46 images Cartographer
    edited May 2

    That's a pretty good question. The earliest map I could find in my collection that I actually made and used for a game is dated 2005, but that was not the first time I used CC.

    I think my first encounters was with the cut back version - Campaign Mapper - which shipped with the Core Rules 2.0 product back in 1999. I remember picking this up pretty early after it's release. I think I also got the FR Atlas around that time, probably around 2000.

    Most of my early maps were simple modifications of the FR Atlas maps.

    Don Anderson Jr.Royal ScribeLoopysueMapjunkieEukalyptusNow
  • LoopysueLoopysue ProFantasy 🖼️ 39 images Cartographer

    I'm a relatively recent user compared to many. I bought the software back in 2016 with the intention of creating a map for my never finished novel. My first finished map was done in the Herwin Wielink overland style.

    The novel is still not finished and probably never will be, but I now work for Profantasy - creating assets and providing community support. That's much more fun than writing ;)

    Royal ScribeTonnichiwaDon Anderson Jr.MapjunkieEukalyptusNowScornado
  • I've been intermittently mapping for about ten years, and like @Loopysue I write - or try to! I come and go between the to but my maps are more certain to be finished than my stories.

    I'm much happier with the Overland styles but I've set myself a challenge to gradually work through all the templates I purchased since 2015-ish and that includes dungeons and perspectives. The last named will almost certainly be a too-hard nut to crack as I have spatial awareness glitches, the blueprints template was nearly a task too far and that's why its not graced the forum even as a plea for help.

    LoopysueDon Anderson Jr.Mapjunkie
  • Loved the Dungeon CC Adds, finally bought it when I had my own "Personal Computer" (CC2)

    Have credit in the FRIA (Just found my certificate 😋 ), and the original scanned maps CD (but no CD reader anymore 🤨)

    But alas not much to map now-days...

    My "dream" to find the "best" style for castle mapping and map the many real castles of UK...

    MonsenLoopysueRoyal ScribeDon Anderson Jr.Mapjunkie
  • Newbie, more or less. Been using CC3+ for a little over 3 years, have gotten reasonably proficient - though I’m still learning.

    LoopysueRoyal ScribeDon Anderson Jr.Mapjunkieroflo1
  • I started in 2020, was overwhelmed at first and worked off and on for a couple of years. I'm a retired business major so it was quite a challenge for me to re-orient to the commands. I'm still struggling with basics, but there is no better way to supplement your role playing gaming.

    LoopysueRoyal ScribeDon Anderson Jr.Mapjunkie
  • My first purchase was in May, 2002, and I've been a steady user since then!

    LoopysueRoyal ScribeDon Anderson Jr.Mapjunkie
  • I think, @Glitch , most folk find the initial learning curve is steep, but when you get a 'map' of any type finished it is so well worth it! I might dig out one of my very early Overlands and put it in my gallery. Sadly I don't have the .fcw files from then. 😏

  • I got the program in 2013, but did very little with it for a few years afterwards. I've only been especially active with it in more recent times, notably since about 2018, primarily in contributing items for the Community Atlas.

    Using the program more frequently and regularly has certainly improved my grasp of what its capabilities are, something that's true for most people, I think. Finding the time, and sometimes the inspiration, to do that can be more of a challenge though!

    LoopysueRoyal ScribeDon Anderson Jr.
  • I used campaign mapper just before it became cc. But my first maps were so terrible, and I haven't kept them except this one for the land of Al'ayn (which I have since upgraded to 13th Age). I think I made this in CC in the 1990's

    Royal ScribeDon Anderson Jr.roflo1Shessar
  • I'm pretty new to Campaign Cartographer -- or, rather, I've owned the software for ages but I'm new to actually making maps.

    I keep saying I bought the software five years ago, but upon reflection, I think it was around 2016. Eight years ago! I played around a bit with Fractal Terrains, but everything was so intimidating! I had this idea that I could just fiddle around and learn it through trial and error, much like I've learned various desktop publishing and illustration programs and over the years. Didn't work! I didn't grasp the approach of choosing what you want to do and then picking the objects you want to do it to. It was counterintuitive and opposite of the image editing software I've used before, where you select the object and then select what you want to do with it.

    I thought I could sit down and read the PDFs and learn that way. Nope! Every time I tried to map something, it looked nothing like the pretty pictures I'd see here. (Pro Tip: Even when you understand that sheet effects exist, you still have to turn sheet effects on to see the pretty effects!)

    Finally in mid-2023, I decided to watch one of the tutorials. I started with one of the then-more recent Lives, and that was way too advanced, but it gave me a hint at CC3+'s tremendous power and potential. Then I found Joe Sweeney's tutorials, and everything clicked. His "Parrot Island" tutorial gave me a basic foundation, and then I plowed through the rest of his, and then ProFantasy's more "Intro to CC3"-type tutorials and the brief videos about specific functions and techniques before making my way back to the Live videos.

    I was fiddling around with map-making in the second half of 2023, but mostly it was to practice specific techniques rather than design a proper map. I created an account on these forums in December of 2023 and posted my first attempt at a proper map (my Castle on a Cloud) in January of 2024 -- mere months ago!

    I still watch the Lives every time there's a new one (and I always, always learn something new). I was watching the old ones in the downtime, but I think I've watched almost every single Live already (a few more than once, especially when there's something I want to attempt that I remember Ralf or Remy demonstrating). I've also watched Jim Sweeney's, Dogtag's, Remy's, and Joachim de Ravenbel's tutorials as well. (I find it quite peaceful and Zen to watch a blank canvas get turned into a work of art in under an hour!)

    WyvernDon Anderson Jr.Mapjunkie
  • Yes, have to say Joe Sweeney's video tutorials (pretty much all there was some years ago; things have greatly improved since!) were key to my learning how to get more and more out of the program too.

    Royal Scribe
  • DaltonSpenceDaltonSpence Mapmaker
    I'm not sure how long I've used it (it was CC2 when I started) but the earliest map I have on file is dated 2004.
    Royal ScribeDon Anderson Jr.
  • pvernonpvernon Betatester 🖼️ 34 images Surveyor
    edited May 2

    According to my list, I bought CC DOS in 2000.

    Royal ScribeDon Anderson Jr.
  • MonsenMonsen Administrator 🖼️ 46 images Cartographer

    Interesting. I don't know exactly when CC2 (The first Windows version) arrived, but the earliest ads I could find were from 1997, several years earlier. Do you remember why you went for the DOS version at that time?

  • Monsen asked: Do you remember why you went for the DOS version at that time?

    To paraphrase from "The Simpsons" TV show, obviously...





    Royal ScribeMonsenDon Anderson Jr.CalibreLoopysue
  • I first used CC2 when it was a big deal in the late D&D 2e age, maybe very early 3e. Around 2000, I guess. It wasn't my copy, though. It was on a friend's PC. I expected to open a window and drop a beautiful map onto the screen with a few clicks. Boy was I wrong. It was my fault, of course, but you couldn't convince me of that. I think that friend hated it for a similar reason.

    Then at Gen Con 2022, I saw the ProFantasy booth. I was again lured in by the fancy maps. I talked to somebody, but I forget who it was! We talked for a while, and he kept pointing at somebody sitting down, saying, "He knows this or that technical situation," etc. They convinced me to buy a package. This person said again and again, "Watch the YouTube videos! That's the key to beginning to learn." Again and again in this 5 minute conversation. That was my first real purchase.

    I got home and installed it. I was overwhelmed again. Then, that voice boomed in my head: "Watch YouTube..." I did, and everything clicked. Then, I discovered the forums, and it set me on the right path. I do think these forums are an under-advertised part of CC3, and one of the best parts.

    So, whoever that was at the booth: Thank you for convincing me!

    Royal ScribeLoopysueDon Anderson Jr.EukalyptusNowShessar
  • pvernonpvernon Betatester 🖼️ 34 images Surveyor
    edited May 3


    I am not so sure that my sheet is correct. (I have a list of each thing I have bought, the order number, date, what, serial number, and code.) I am missing order data for CC2 V6, CD2, DD2, SS1, and FT. The 2000 receipt may be for FT which makes more sense. The copyright on the CC DOS floppy is 1996 so that may be a better year of acquisition. The CC DOS box has all of the missing in it but only the one receipt.

    Wyvern, I have that on a T-shirt. :)

  • I honestly can't remember! I know it's been a few years, but I can't pinpoint it in my mind. Unfortunately, I can't even remember how I stumbled on CC3+. I think it was when I watched a Sweeny vid and I knew I had to have it. Just an awesome program.

    I've had extensive training in Graphic Arts and Advertising design using Illustrator, Photoshop and so on, so it wasn't as difficult for me to learn CC3+ as it may have been for others; but, I still have a great deal to learn. There are, of course, aspects of CC3+ that I find 'missing' from my Illustrator/Photoshop days, but despite my OCD, I've learned to deal with all that heh heh.

    All-in-all, just love it.


    Don Anderson Jr.EukalyptusNow
  • thehawkthehawk Surveyor
    edited May 3
    Since the days it was accepted that maps that looked like this were still 'good' (enough) maps:

    Skill level: since I have such a backlog of maps that look like that, and very little time to invest, it's about what you'd expect looking at the above.
    Royal ScribeCalibreQuentenEukalyptusNow
  • I think I started using it in 2010-2011 to make maps for my wargames and occasional maps for other people. I've had about a 18-24 month break but am now using it again. Time to relearn a bunch of stuff...

    Don Anderson Jr.EukalyptusNowCalibre
  • jslaytonjslayton Moderator, ProFantasy Mapmaker

    Note that working on the program is in no way associated with the user level. I've worked on the software a fair bit and still can't generate an attractive map.

    I bought the giant binders of CC-DOS back in the 1990s (I want to say mid 90s) but couldn't produce anything useful. I tried again with CC2, but still no talent. Same with CC3+. I'm sure I'll try again with CC4.

    Hmmm... Maybe it's not the software that's at fault?

    Royal ScribeLoopysueDon Anderson Jr.CalibreMapjunkieShessar
  • C.C. CharronC.C. Charron Traveler

    I think my first experience was with CC2. If I remember correctly, there was a D&D box set that came with a CD, blue minis, and starting rules. I'm pretty sure there was trial, or a limited examples. I still have that box store away with my D&D collection.

    Royal ScribeDon Anderson Jr.
  • OMG 23 years (yes, April 2001) when I won a prize and used half the cash to buy CC2 and all the add-ons. No better than average though even after all that time ... partly because I always find styles don't let me do what I want or don't have the right symbols ... and partly because the maps support my gaming, they're not the reason of themselves.

    Don Anderson Jr.
  • Wow, I imagine things have changed a lot in 23 years!

  • RalfRalf Administrator, ProFantasy 🖼️ 18 images Mapmaker

    I can't quite remember when I bought CC-DOS, it probably was in 1995 here in an rpg store. The purple box with 3.5" disks.

    The first map I created my Jhendor world map:

    LoopysueMonsenQuentenDon Anderson Jr.ShessarRicko HascheRoyal ScribeWyvern
  • edited May 8

    I started with Campaign Mapper from the Core Rules 2 software but when I could not get it to print because of old drivers I got CC2-v5. I think this was sometime in the late 90's. The software is a windows 95 version so dates are uncertain.

    I've been away for a few years and am just trying to get back into gaming and mapping.

    Ricko HascheLoopysueRoyal ScribeMonsenWyvernDon Anderson Jr.
  • June 2011, Tired of drawing maps by hand since 1989 when I started playing at 12 years old, I thought: - it's not possible that there isn't a specific program for that...

    After asking Saint Google, I found CC3 and my world was about to change... At the end of July I moved from my home country, and arrived in another country with just a backpack on my back. Without a computer and in need, CC3 was obviously far from my priorities.

    Time passed and my difficulties became fewer. I had a computer and I felt a deep desire to draw again. Searching the page again, I saw that it had a lifetime guarantee... how wonderful! September 2021I installed the program again and here we are today.

    LoopysueRoyal ScribeShessarDon Anderson Jr.
  • edited May 8

    Here are some of my handmade drawings, when I was 15/20 years old.

    most of them based on my reinterpretation of Forgotten realms

    Royal ScribeLoopysueMonsenShessarMaidhc O CasainWyvernQuentenMapjunkieDon Anderson Jr.roflo1and 1 other.
  • thehawkthehawk Surveyor
    Wow @Ricko Hasche , even your hand-drawn maps are beautiful works of art! The part about how it showcases how much some of the rest of us suck at this aside, I'd frame those color ones.
    Ricko HascheDon Anderson Jr.roflo1seycyrus
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