21 Aug 2014
Back home again after my first Gen Con, and it was a fantastic experience. Had the chance to see and meet so many wonderful gamers of all sorts, Greyhawk fans, gaming legends, designers, cartographers and a whole bunch of just passionate gamers just like me!
The ENnies, what an evening! It was a great experience despite I didn’t win this time. Just to be part of the celebration of role playing and the many people that makes the fund games being celebrated for an evening was an experience of a lifetime.
Got the chance to meet some of my gaming friends and colleagues I’ve only have had met online with before. One of the first one I found at her booth was Alyssa Faden, Cartographer and Game designer extraordinaire.
Had a chance to hang out with the Kobold Crew and enjoy they gave me a great time. The same goes for the evening I spent with the Greyhawk Meet and Greet, thank you “Mortellan”, Jayson, Skip and “Baronzemo”, you gave me an evening to remember!
Also had a chance to talk business several times, so there is a chance that I will be busy and long time to come, being involved in a variety of projects. Thank you all for your help and support, I wouldn’t have got this far without it!
When I got home the so often talked about Con Crud have affected me, so I apparently missed my Fort save. Despite a runny nose and feeling a bit feverish I’m back at my desk working on creating height map templates. Its one of the most boring parts of 3D map making, but to know how to create precise height maps
is an essential part of it. Here is what can look like in Photoshop when it is color coded, in order to be easier to read. This is then saved as a grayscale image to be used as and base for the fractal work in World Machine. Using Photoshop to create it makes it easier to convert an existing map into a 3D fractal generated virtual landscape.
The fractals can then be draped in pixels and exported from world Machine back to Photoshop again as a terrain for a top down map, or to Vue to be rendered from any angle as an illustration.
Below are a screenshot from World Machine, it is one of my terrain experiments trying to work out how to create the transition from savanna to desert. It is a bit like playing god to be able to play around with a whole virtual world, having it all at your fingertips and being able to shape it any way you want.
One of the hardest things is to try and match a map that already exist like the Greyhawk map. Using Bryce it took me years of trial and error basically, by hand painting fractals and keep doing it until I got the results I wanted. Now I can do so much more much faster. Here is an detail view of a 10 mile bit of the coastline at the city of Admundfort on Walworth Isle in the middle of Nyr Dyv.
There are not texturing and only the coastline and surrounding waters are defined. Basic terrain with erosion are in place and I’m pleased with the results, with terrain details and texturing it will be a highly detailed map, enough to pick the spot for your castle!