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Jaxilon
08-02-2010, 11:50 AM
If I am releasing a pack for Maptools is it best to create the .campgn file with the lighting overlays etc or leave that out? If I want it to be useful in other VTTs I'm guessing the answer is, "No". Perhaps adding the fog of war layers should be left up to the GM or I should include maps with and withOUT the FOW layers?

Maybe I'm mistaken on .campgn files as well (now that I'm thinking about it). Maybe .campgn files are for including the game rule system - dang, have to go do some more reading...

Clearly I am only slightly versed in Maptool and not at all in any of the others.

torstan
08-02-2010, 12:20 PM
Okay, it depends on the type of pack. If you are releasing a pack of modular tiles that can be used to create dungeons then they should just be a zip of pngs or jpgs. If you are creating a single map that you want to be useful in maptool and other vtts then you can create a .cmpgn file with the map in (remember to get the distances right for 4E and 3.5/PF). I personally add in the light blocking geometry (VBL) and place some basic light sources (remember light sources differ for 4E - square - and everything else - round). Other vts won't be able to use maptool .cmpgn files so you also need to add in the unadulterated map as a jpg. I also add in a multi-page pdf of the map that people can print out at the gametable and use. This is best created in A4, and US letter.

If you can spare $2, pick up one of the map packs that I've done and you'll be able to see how I've tackled the different problems. I'm certainly not going to claim this is the best way to structure a map pack, but I've built up this format using the feedback from comments over the last 6 months or so. I'd suggest looking at the most recent:
The Low River Map Pack (http://www.rpgnow.com/product_info.php?products_id=82596&affiliate_id=203141&src=FantasticMaps)

And .cmpgn files are just used to store adventures. This can include a rules system, but doesn't need to.

Jaxilon
08-03-2010, 02:32 AM
You rock Torstan, thanks again for the information. I think I will pick up one of your packs so I can see how you packaged the whole thing plus, maybe I cab try running a session with it :) I'll take your advice and pick up your latest and greatest.

I'm not sure I understand what you mean about "get the distances right for 4E and 3..5/PF". I've mentioned before I use GURPS when I play but I was not aware that distance was calculated any differently in 4e vs. 3.5/pf. I know 4e likes lots of space and dangerous cliffs in the battlegrounds but hey, 5 feet was still 5 feet last time I checked.

As for light being square, are they serious? It doesn't honestly matter to me as long as I know what folks need. I suspect there a reason to throw natural law out the window although I can't fathom what that is. So, I guess I would need to create the light sources as squares and as circles?

Really need to go get that pack, maybe that will answer my questions.

Thanks again!

neofax
08-03-2010, 12:13 PM
I have bought most of torstan's map packs for MapTools and I have to say they are great! He makes it so easy for a DM to just use his product without much fuss. However, with the newer versions of MapTools, you don't need to make a .cmpgn file for them as you can now save out the map with everything on it as a .rpmap file and the purchaser can just import it with ease. If you need help using this feature, it is detailed on the RPTools forum under the WIP subforum, or you can just ask me.

torstan
08-03-2010, 12:57 PM
Hey there, thanks a lot for the comments. I'm really pleased they've been so useful!

Ive not played around with the map import/export function yet. Is it stable? If so, then this is clearly the best way to create the packs. I've not been keeping up with the most recent version numbers as b63 was pretty solid and I know there were some issues that arose after that. Is there a current 'most favoured' build? I'll be going back through the packs and updating them so I'd like to make sure I don't upgrade past the build most people are using.

Jaxilon
08-04-2010, 12:51 PM
I notice you have MACOS stuff in there, I don't know anything about Mac files is that going to be an issue or is that something easy to create?

torstan
08-04-2010, 01:25 PM
Hmm, that's probably left over from creating it on a Mac. Those shouldn't be relevant at all to the pack. Which files are you seeing?

Jaxilon
08-04-2010, 01:44 PM
Well the .zip file has 'Mappack' and '__MACOSX' and those both have full trees beneath them. There are a few more items in the 'Mappack' branch though.

Here are the trees:

__MACOSX\
__MACOSX\MapPack\BaseImages\
__MACOSX\MapPack\Items\

all of those have '._xxxxxxx' files that are pretty much the same as what's in the 'Mappack' side.

Midgardsormr
08-05-2010, 01:13 AM
I think those are linkages that MacOS uses to determine how to handle the files. They serve somewhat the same function as a file extension and registry entry in Windows—they tell the operating system what program to use to open a file when you double click on it. It's why sometimes you get Preview when you open a pdf and sometimes you get Acrobat—it depends on what's in that accessory file instead of what the extension is. When you're actually using a Mac, they're invisible, and if they're not present, the computer will build them as soon as the file is accessed.

neofax
08-05-2010, 01:08 PM
Hey there, thanks a lot for the comments. I'm really pleased they've been so useful!

Ive not played around with the map import/export function yet. Is it stable? If so, then this is clearly the best way to create the packs. I've not been keeping up with the most recent version numbers as b63 was pretty solid and I know there were some issues that arose after that. Is there a current 'most favoured' build? I'll be going back through the packs and updating them so I'd like to make sure I don't upgrade past the build most people are using.

It is very stable on B70 as I use it quite often. The "most favored build" right now is B70, but B72 should be released soon.