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MGCJerry
09-20-2007, 11:54 PM
I registered here last night after following a link from somewhere and found a lot of the information on this forum VERY useful and informative. I've already tossed a few posts around the forums but refrained from thread necromancy with a lot of others. :p

I'll spare you the other boring "about me" details, and stick with just the mapping that I've done.

I'm a CC2 user as well as an avid MS Paint Mapper when needed. However, I still prefer the tried and true method of paper and pencil. Most of all my maps are on paper, and the largest being a map of my homebrewed game's galaxy on a 7' x 5' (2.13m x 1.52m) sheet of newsprint that I'd like to digitize at one point with CC2 with links and all to link together an interactive map of the system where my game takes place in.

I've been a CC2/CA user for a number of years until getting into using 3D applications for character portraits so now, I stick with CC2 for my general mapping needs.

Hmm... I cant think of anything else since I'm otherwise boring so I guess I'm done with my intro. :)

Look forward to hanging around, seeing some nice stuff as well as learning more tricks even if I am a bit of a lurker most of the time.

ravells
09-21-2007, 06:18 AM
I'm glad you find the forum useful, MGCJerry, and welcome!

I'm surprised that as you're a 3d user that you haven't got into Photoshop/Gimp or similar apps for UV texturing.

Anyway, enjoy your stay and looking forward to seeing your work and/or hearing your views!

Ravs

NeonKnight
09-21-2007, 08:57 AM
Welcome to the Insanity!

RPMiller
09-21-2007, 01:58 PM
Welcome to the forums MGCJerry! We look forward to your contributions and posts and hope that you become an active long term member.

Regarding the large map you have and want scanned, hunt down Gamerprinter on these boards. He has a printing/publishing business and large format scanners. He may be able to save you are great deal of time and energy and scan that for you. With it being newsprint though it may be too delicate, but I'm not familiar with the new scanners out there so talk to him.

jaerdaph
09-21-2007, 03:08 PM
Welcome, MGCJerry! I'm a long time CC2 (and now CC3) user myself, and the TCG forums are a great resource for using Profantasy software.

pyrandon
09-21-2007, 04:49 PM
Welcome--especially because you entitled your post "YAHP", which I think will be my new favorite acronym! :)

I do hope you post some of your hand-drawn maps!

MGCJerry
09-21-2007, 06:22 PM
Thanks for the welcome everyone. Friendly bunch. :}

I'm now going to address some of the comments...

ravells:
Oh, I've gotten into Photoshop (version 5 LE) and trust me... I don't texture. ;} I'm not good at it and I have doing every single minute of UV Mapping and texturing. Despite all the times I've tried using Gimp, it always has stability issues with my configuration and crashes and quits a lot.

My old tool used to be Photo Finish 3 (yes, a windows 3.1 app) and I've done tons of mapping with it. To this date, I still have yet to find a replacement for it that is as feature packed, but lightweight... And inexpensive. PhotoFinish 4 is a totally different monster. :{ PhotoFinish 3 does not work on XP, 2000, Vista or anything newer even with the compatibility setting.

Anyway, I prefer to spend my 3D time doing stuff that I like doing and most of it being illustrations and such. This is also if I dont spend a lot of time programming since there are VERY few website solutions geared towards RPG sites, especially the "nuke" portals. Of course this has to be balanced between work, and other stuff. :{ Sometimes I wish we had more hours to a day.

Thanks for the welcome. :}


RPMiller:
I've seen his posts around as well as him discussing his large format scanners.

The one map I have isnt too big since it consists only of 3 8x11" pages and can easily fit in my scanner one page at a time. Now the other one is a totally different monster. I'm wanting to keep that one since it is used frequently but I'm also working into digitizing it with CC2. I'd hate to see an image file thats 5 feet by 7 feet at print resolution on a computer. Its handy for wargaming so mailing it out will be a real bummer which is my main concern. :{ Its my only copy.

I've definately thought about contacting him and mailing off a few of my 11x17" maps also for one-shots. Nothing fancy, but they were fun.


pyrandon
Hehehehe... I like thinking outside the box a bit and even coin a new term if I can. If you use it, know where you heard it first. :p


Anyway... Thanks for the welcome once again. Here I'll show you all another map that was used in a game a few months ago whose concern was showing how a location was laid out. Not really too accurate, but it got the point across to how the place was setup. This image (and that domain) resides on a server located in my house, so its uptime will not be constant.

http://mgcjerry.net/school.gif

RPMiller
09-21-2007, 06:50 PM
I believe your local Kinko's should have the ability to copy that large map even in sections if need be. If you wouldn't be too distraught about cutting it up you could probably cut it into long strips that would fit their scanner as well.

Just tossing out an option. I was mainly thinking that if you could get it scanned into an image you could then drop that image into CC2 and then trace over it which would probably save you a bunch of time. Image size shouldn't be an issue if you have the imaging software to resize it. IrFanView is a great solution in that regard as it is free. :)

RPMiller
09-21-2007, 06:51 PM
Anyway... Thanks for the welcome once again. Here I'll show you all another map that was used in a game a few months ago whose concern was showing how a location was laid out. Not really too accurate, but it got the point across to how the place was setup. This image (and that domain) resides on a server located in my house, so its uptime will not be constant.

http://mgcjerry.net/school.gif

I'm guessing that was done in MS Paint? :)

RobA
09-21-2007, 09:25 PM
This is also if I dont spend a lot of time programming since there are VERY few website solutions geared towards RPG sites, especially the "nuke" portals. Of course this has to be balanced between work, and other stuff. :{ Sometimes I wish we had more hours to a day.

Thanks for the welcome. :}


Welcome aboard! I didn't quite follow your comment on website solutions...what do you mean? (I've done a bit of PHP and plugin work for S9Y so am always looking for dabble ideas)...

Anyhow, wrt the big map, ever thought of taking a bunch of pictures with a digital camera and stitching them together using something like Hugin (http://hugin.sourceforge.net/)? If it will stitch together a 9000x3000 panoramic photo from 15 hand-held and randomly snapped shots (speaking from experience) then it should be able to stitch your 5'x7' at something like 120dpi from photo's, no problem. It will also do parallax and perspective correction and such. (of course it can also stitch multiple images from a small scanner, too (http://hugin.sourceforge.net/tutorials/scans/en.shtml))


Lastly - you have a Cobalt RaQ at home? Cool.

-Rob A>

MGCJerry
09-21-2007, 09:27 PM
Thanks for suggestions. :}

I'm not all concerned with saving the large as an image on the PC. When I originally drew the map, I drew guidelines on it which luckily I've kept so it'll help me bring it into CC2 by using its precise drawing tools. It just has soooooo much stuff on it that it is definately not a weekend gig.

Plus, I'm wanting to link it with others so when someone clicks on a system, it loads up the next FCW file of that system with links to info about stuff present in that system. In a couple areas I'm looking at 8 levels of "zoom" to help me consolidate all my other large maps as well as get the others out of my head and onto paper and/or mapped.

I'd like to keep the big map intact if at all possible. ;}

That other cheezy map is all 100% 2 minute map drawn in Paint. I needed it in a hurry as the players wanted to see a basic layout of this particular area. My game being freeform, there really isnt too much material I can complete prior to a session since the players choose where they go. Usually, after I create a basic map the players will usually return to the area or even stay there and I can flesh out the location as needed. With that map, the players were not interested in hanging around, so I never fleshed it out. Most of my gameworld locations are pretty consistent if they're on the same planet so on-the-fly mapping isnt an issue.

Anyway, I still have the old Slowview. Its a handy app. :}

Edited: To address Rob's post
At the time, I had to create a races info script, character registry (for a non-die based game) as well as some other assorted stuff. I'm also in the process of coding a database system for my game to use as an info tracker (characters, locations, technology, magic, etc) as well as a random item/character/children, etc creator.

Thanks for the suggestion about getting the image together. Unfortunately I dont have a digital camera anymore. :{ I'll be sure to check out Hugin. Might save me A LOT of time especially for its price.

Actually, I have 2 servers in-house..

Cobalt RaQ4 with the 550 OS loaded
Compaq Proliant DL580 (G1)

However since a couple of the drives in the other one is a little iffy it kills the RAID 5 array so I keep it offline most of the time. Otherwise its a general file server, and linux play box for when my main machine is busy or using it as a LAN gaming machine for starcraft and such. Other than that, it was my leading SETI cruncher and my dual core AMD 4400 can barely keep pace with it. The proliant has 4 700MHz P3 Xeon's so it kicks pretty well. ;}

The Cobalt is just a webserver, and when I'm running my OpenRPG server, its on that server also. All 450MHz of it. :p

RPMiller
09-22-2007, 03:38 PM
OpenRPG eh? Have you taken a look at RPTools' MapTool? We used to use OpenRPG for our weekly Hero System game, but the level of frustration got worse and worse, and we recently converted it to MapTool. I personally have been using MapTool for several months now and I have to say for a free VTT is far superior to OpenRPG and the development group is very responsive and are constantly working in new features weekly.

MGCJerry
09-22-2007, 07:14 PM
I've actually had VERY good luck with OpenRPG. Heck, I used to be a user of WebRPG back in the day (before UGO made it pay for a bit) and I've really grown to like how OpenRPG operates. I also find it quite simple to modifiy. I've also had my hand in setting up one of the old OpenRPG website maintaining the minis library as well as general development. I've personally worked with Chris (Posterboy) and Tom (tdb30_) with some of the metaserver.

Unfortunately the last time I've run my game online was February 27, 2004 so I actually doubt I'll be runnining a game... I've looked at Maptools info after hearing a bit about it over the past several months. I havent played with it or anything yet though. However, if I think I might run another campaign I'll be taking a look at it. Its not too likely since I have found VERY few people who play freeform homebrew sci-fi games. Otherwise, I just lurk.

The only issue is (and its minor), is that its written in JAVA. Me and a friend who play this game frequently in-person (which we've used OpenRPG frequently) and he REALLY, REALLY despises anything written in Java... Especially since the WebRPG days. It really only applies when we use OpenRPG when we decide to play the game-then again, our in-person sessions moves too slowly on a VTT to be fun.

Anyway, when I poke around with Maptools, I know who to bug with questions. :p Hehehehe

RPMiller
09-22-2007, 10:26 PM
I would be happy to answer questions you might have about MT. Not sure why anyone would have a disdain for Java, but to each his own I say. ;)

MGCJerry
09-23-2007, 11:02 PM
Ironically after playing with maptools last night, OpenRPG refuses to load the server browser or do anything online today... I can connect to games if I type in the address manually... Heck, it worked last night just fine.

So it looks like Maptool is looking like a better option... So, now you know what that means. >:}

I have two major burning questions...

Portability is key especially since I keep NOTHING on my C drive as I have multiple OS's I boot with via C drive swapping. As a result, I carry my game data with my on a removable drive. OpenRPG is installed on this drive and anywhere I go I have all my game data as its all saved as XML files. I assume the similar way to do this with MapTool is to "Save Campaign As", then "Open Campaign" the next time maptool is run. Is this correct?

One more... My game doesnt really rely on stats and dice too much and it seems most of everything with MapTool is stat/die related. A lot of my games info is text and various other data that doesnt really fit well within "properties". Is there a way to add custom fields to "Core" data located in the "Properties" tab?

Overall, I like maptool's interface and I shown my friend (who hates java) and he likes the app and is willing to try it out. :)

RobA
09-24-2007, 10:18 AM
If you are not running on-line, a really nice tool I have used for managing campaigns is DM's Familiar (http://www.paladinpgm.com/dmf/). It has a heavy free-form component (Codex Tree) that lets you manage most anything. No VTT support (AFAIK) but a handy DM tool.

-Rob A>