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Humble Bundle - Campaign Cartographer Deal - Thoughts?

Since it looks like I'll be using a VTT for the foreseeable future, making maps will be useful to me. However, I'm not especially technically awesome (putting it mildly). Do any of you have experience with the Campaign Cartographer 3 suite? If so, what do you think of it?

Humble Bundle is running a deal this month, and I'm thinking about picking it up.

 

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Agamon

Adventurer
Do you have CAD experience? If not, expect a very heavy learning curve.

I've been using CC since it was CC2 in the early 00's, but it took a long time to become proficient.

These days, personally, I use Wonderdraft/Dungeondraft. Haven't used CC3 for years, and would likely need to relearn it if I wanted to.
 

innerdude

Adventurer
I spent a lot of time learning CC3 when I bought it way back in 2009, only to realize that the results you could get from it were wholly dependent on which of their tile sets / map style assets you had available.

I don't regret that time spent using the software for the most part, because it taught me a bunch of tricks I could later apply using actual image editors (Photoshop / Affinity Photo), but I would literally never use it again.

If I was going to spend money on a program for digital mapping and didn't want to pay Photoshop's exorbitant subscription price, $50 for a copy of Affinity Photo will be the best money you can spend. Then go over to cartographersguild.com and go through as many tutorials as you have time for. You'll be much, much better off in the long run. Affinity Photo is close enough functionally to Photoshop that most of the Photoshop tutorials should be pretty easy to follow along.

Obviously you could spend $0 and just use GIMP as well, but I personally find the $50 for Affinity Photo's amazing interface, speed, and live filters to be infinitely worth the investment. Stuff you'll spend hours fighting with in GIMP are literally 2 mouse click fixes in Affinity.

If your focus is primarily going to be dungeon / city mapping, you might want to start with Affinity Designer (the vector editor) first. It has more tools for doing bitmap polygon fills for doing dungeon floor tiling and can also do cool bitmap brushes for quickly laying down house layers along streets.

All in all, my thought is if you're going to fight through a learning curve to do digital mapping, better to go through that learning curve in a way that will develop actual transferable digital design skills.
 

Do you have CAD experience? If not, expect a very heavy learning curve.

I've been using CC since it was CC2 in the early 00's, but it took a long time to become proficient.

These days, personally, I use Wonderdraft/Dungeondraft. Haven't used CC3 for years, and would likely need to relearn it if I wanted to.
I struggled through an AutoCAD class in high school in 1992.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Disclaimer: I picked up the bundle last night.

So, a friend who loves making maps has been using CC for well over a decade and really likes it. Which says nothing about my own personal ability. This is still an unknown I can't give much feedback on. CC does have a very active and supportive community.

I'm starting a new campaign tonight, part of which will be exploration of the new world. So I need good maps, and maps that are not already populated by cities, roads, etc. Much of what I find online (and lots of good people on patreon as well as general web) are already settled continents.

There is a large community collection of free maps - which since they include both images and the files means that I can edit them to remove signs of civilization.

CC3+ (by itself) is on sale for $22.xx (under the $30 of the bundle) directly from Profantasy if you want to get in as cheap as possible. But the bundle has a bunch of additional stuff that any one of would make it the better price. Plus some of the purchase goes to Doctors Without Borders.

I have also heard a lot of good things about Wonderdraft and Inkarnate. I beleive they both have limited free options (I know Inkarnate does), and those might fit your needs.
 
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Steel_Wind

Adventurer
On the subject of Mapping Programs....

  • I first used CC2 back in the 90s. Like many, I had great plans for it, got a tablet even to help with input and...
And I lost interest. My game later moved to using a projector on the tabletop, and I didn't need printed cad engine output for that sort of setup.

  • Fast forward a number of years, and I ended up buying Dundjinni Platinum in the late 2000s. It was a good program for what it is and had a great community. But it was limited in many ways. I tried it, liked it, and then...

Then I didn't need it, as I moved to running Pathfinder APs with most maps already provided.

  • Fast forward to 2012 and I started to do more work and map modification for use with VTT's. I got GIMP and...

And I got proficient with it. But I also learned there were lighting tools in Photoshop that GIMP just didn't have and that I needed. I learned Photoshop was what I wanted. It was expensive though.

  • Fast forward again to 2016, and a program called Mapforge promised to do all that Dundjinni ever did (and then some) and it ran a cool Kickstarter, I backed it and ...

And after the KS ended, the developer then revealed he programmed on a Mac. 9 months later, he finally told us that he used a 32 bit compiler on the Mac to create the version for Windows. The result was that tthe program never had the memory to do what he promised. Mapforge was a KS that technically delivered, but it never really worked. Disappointment reigned.

  • Fast forward to 2017 and I said "screw it" and I got a Photoshop monthly subscription. And...
And I still use it weekly. Yes, it's got a steep learning curve too, but I've kept up at it and can achieve pretty good results, even from scratch (though it takes time!). So when Dungeon Painter and Inkarnate rolled out their respective software and software service? I mostly ignored them. "Nah. Photoshop will do, thanks."
  • Fast forward to last week and I saw the Profantasy Humble Bundlein my in-box. It was too good a deal to pass up. I bought it, downloaded it and...

    And before I actually installed it, I saw another post on reddit talking about the Humble Bundle Deal. This poster told me that what I really wanted (after I had already bought it!) was Dungeondraft. And ...

    And I went to Dungeondraft's homepage, watched the video, and bought it 8 second later for $20. And..
    .


    And I still haven't installed anything I bought in Profantasy's Humble Bundle. And to be honest? I probably won't.

    Dungeondraft is what you want. It's the slick new cool kid, that does everything Mapforge promised to do (and then some) and didn't. It's supported by a number of Patreons, directly and indirectly. Its maps are supported on import for use in Foundry VTT (which is a sh#t hot feature, truly).

    I won't say that the Profantasy Humble Bundle is a bad deal. It really isn't. In fact, objectively speaking, it's a pretty good deal. But the underlying software is based on a 12 year old CAD engine with a steep learning curve.

    You are much better off getting Wonderdraft for $30, Dungeondraft for $20 and a year membership to Inkarnate for $25. You will use the maps those programs make FAR more often - and with vastly better results -- than anything you will create with Profantasy's software.

    And if that sounds like more than you need? Just stick with Dungeondraft.

    Moreover, if you play via VTT, or on a digital battlemat, or you otherwise have Photoshop/GIMP to amplify what you do in Dungeondraft, you will be much better served than with anything you might try from Profantasy.

    tl;dr: Profantasy's Bundle is a good deal, but Dungeondraft is a far better one - and it's even cheaper.
 
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