View Full Version : Well met ! From Redrobes

12-02-2007, 01:16 PM
Well I have been lurking for a long time but thought id actually join up now as I have a few things coming out shortly that I thought would be of interest.

I am Redrobes on various sites or the Saracen on the occasion where that moniker has already been used.

I write the mapping and virtual table top application ViewingDale which is a 2D zoom browser for large scale mapping. You can take existing raster maps and import them, set up the scale and then all the other maps and icons will relate to it at correct scale. It uses graphics card hardware acceleration and has infinite zoom capability. So an ant to solar system zoom all in one map.

I also write GeoTerSys which is not released yet but in Beta now. Its a 3D terrain mapping system for auto generating outdoor terrain. Its calculating rivers, vegetation, ice, lava flows, and a whole host of other stuff. If your interested, then check out the movies on its website.

I am also one of the admins for Me-Dem where were trying to build the Middle Earth map at a ridiculous scale, something like 20m res, using a variety of tools including GeoTerSys.

On the ViewingDale web site you can find some free tools and I have already looked over posts requesting this sort of stuff so try them out. I think the Dragon Flight 3D might be interesting to some folk as well as the Instant Islands. Both are quite minimal little apps but might help out here and there.

Well I see a few known faces here already, but greetings (seasonal or otherwise) to everyone !


12-02-2007, 01:46 PM
Hello and Welcome!

12-02-2007, 05:05 PM
Welcome to the Guild, Redrobes. :)

The Cartographist
12-02-2007, 06:21 PM
Redrobes, Welcome!

12-02-2007, 07:07 PM
Hi Redrobes! Welcome to the Guild. Thanks for de-lurking and looking forward to checking out your programmes!

12-02-2007, 07:20 PM
Thanks guys !


12-02-2007, 10:46 PM
I'm totally looking forward to that GeoTerSys program! Make sure you keep us posted on that one! Thats phenominal looking.

Welcome aboard!!!

12-03-2007, 01:28 PM
Hi as well!

I too am interested in GeoTerSys. I had looked at the demo video a while back and it seems quite powerful. In particular, the erosion model.

-Rob A>

12-03-2007, 06:23 PM
Hey thats pretty cool. Its about Geo that I am here really. For a long time I wanted a really detailed RPG realm and in the last half dozen years we have the tech to do this. I was writing a mapping program from a real long time ago but about 5 years ago I really hit at it a bit harder and used the new graphics cards and game APIs to get something that you could see the whole realm at once. Any point - zoom in right down to the battle. And also to add all the text and stats to the map right at the point where it counts so you don't have to cross reference stuff or look it up. So that was ViewingDale.

The problem with it tho is that to make a large realm with sufficient detail that it makes it worth going in all the way to the battle means an awful lot of work. So stage 2 has always been to create this vast RPG realm at a silly amount of detail. Thats where Geo comes in.

Stage 3 is where we put all the houses and roads in, caves and caverns, castles and citadels. Thats kinda the fun bit but its hard to start that with no place to put it all. So its a catch 22. Its like boot strapping a universe !

So now that these tools are beginning to come together I wanted to discuss what kinds of things people thought were essential and important in an RPG realm so that I don't miss out on stuff. I would like to know how many people run campaigns in deserts, jungle, snow and ice, etc. What kind of scale do people think are important and so on. Would a hundred miles be too small and is 4000 miles too big ? This kind of thing. And does it need to fit on a CD, a DVD, a few DVDs or maybe P2P torrent kinds of thing. Does it need to be kept up to date etc etc - loads of stuff like that.

Were doing Middle Earth but thats all fixed. Its nuts because of the size and res required but I would also like to have a custom RPG world thats constantly in development. A living world where you can edit it.

A couple of B.T.W's too. Firstly Arcana - was looking at that compass 3D model. Wow real nice work there.

I also mentioned the Dragon Flight 3D the earlier but failed to mention that there are some downloads on the web site to get a few models and textures of some very old terrains. At the bottom of some of the world maps there is a link to download a zip of the Dragon Flight sets. Chuck them in a folder, add the DF exe and run it up. You'll see what I mean.

E.g. - Vulture creek...

12-10-2007, 09:00 PM
I was reading the description of the Middle Earth project and I have a curiousness. You are projecting the map onto a globe, yes? How are you dealing with the Aman issue? The undying lands are unreachable by Men because the seas are "bent." I'm not sure precisely what that means, save that it means that it should be rather difficult to map that western ocean.

12-11-2007, 08:07 AM
What is your quest ?...
What is your favourite colour ?...
How are you dealing with the Aman issue ?...


I shall seek the wisdom of our resident ME guru and get back to you on that one...

12-11-2007, 03:05 PM
Hehe- monks from ME-DEM here.
Aman was removed from Middle Earth at the Cataclysm. ME-DEM are building the M-E post Cataclysm (3rd Age).
M-E was intended by Tolkien to be Earth with an alternate timeline/ history, hence why it can be mapped as an Earth sized globe.
One is to view the pre-Cataclysm M-E as flat much like pre-
Renaissance men thought Earth was flat.

My personal view is that Elves and Men exist with different projections in their heads: that is Elves see the world as still being flat (and whatever else), whereas Men see it as being spherical (in spherical projection). This would/could account for the ability of Elves to see extremely long distances because they don't 'see'/ experience the curvature of the Earth: I remember an objection to Legolas being able to see Minas Tirith or something....hence why Elves are able to take the 'Straight Road' to the Undying Lands. This fundamentally different experience of the world would also account for why Elves can 'fade away'.


12-11-2007, 06:01 PM
M-E was intended by Tolkien to be Earth with an alternate timeline/ history, hence why it can be mapped as an Earth sized globe.

That's quite a statement! Do you happen to have a reference? I'm quite a Tolkien-phile myself, and I do not recall running into anywhere that Tolkien stated or even implied that Middle Earth was intended to be an alternate version of Earth.

Granted, I left off reading the History of Middle Earth after The Lays of Beleriand, so there's quite a bit of material I haven't seen, and what I did read was quite a few years ago.

Your interpretation of the world being flat the elves and round for men is intriguing. I will have to think on that for a while, though I'd hate to overthink it--too much explanation spoils the wonder for me.

12-11-2007, 06:11 PM
I should've warned you he's crazy :D

12-11-2007, 09:32 PM
This is the reference on "Where on earth was ME"? I had read before:

the ‘mortal lands’ of Middle-earth, which according to Tolkien himself is part of our own Earth, but in a previous, mythical era
-Rob A>

12-12-2007, 05:34 PM
Yes, I've seen that link RobA- very cool.
Midgardsormr- read Tolkien's Letters (for starters)! He even gives us approximate georeferenced equivalents for Hobbiton and Minas Tirith. We chose Sarehole in Birmingham as The Bywater Mill I believe. the War of the Ring is said to exist about 5-6000 years ago in our history.Tolkein says that he somewhat regretted not being more historically accurate regards geology, geography.
People have tried to set M-E as literally 5-6000 years ago and warp the map to fit Europe (which was Tolkien's belated wish had he had another lifetime to start over) as in the link, but there' s too much ice around. Britain was covered in ice and that probably leaves the little old Shire under a 1000m of ice cap unfortunately- if taken literally.

Tolkien also wrote about time travel (yegads!) in the Notion Club Papers- an exercise in working out how he was going to deal with the Atlantis Myth: Fall of Numenor. I could go on and on...hehe


12-12-2007, 06:34 PM
Thanks; I'll be sure to keep an eye out for those in the future.

12-24-2007, 07:15 AM
Merry Christmas everyone - ill be off now for a day or two.