Gen Con, ENnies, Concrud and back to height maps again….

gen-con-logoBack 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.

Anna AlyssaGot 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 mapsScreenshot 2014-08-13 12.16.26

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.
Screenshot 2014-06-05 13.44.05

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.

Screenshot 2014-08-21 14.46.32

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!


My ENnie vote!

ennies 2014 nomineeFirst I want to urge you to vote on who of this years nominees you want to see awarded.

So who are my favorites among this years nominees? Here are my favorite from this years nominees. These are my highly subjective opinions, based on the fact that I haven’t had the chance to play with or even see all the products nominated. So my selection will be based on my at times limited experience.

2014 Judge’s Spotlight Winners

For me the favorite in this category is:  Deep Magic – by Kobold Press. A huge 376-page tome full of great Pathfinder magic, a perfect thing for my game where I’m playing or running games!

Best Adventure

Again this is an easy pick for me:  Rise of the Drow – by AAW GAMES LLC. I pledged in their Kickstarter and I’m impressed with all the cool material as well as the adventure. Now I’m thinking about running an underdark Campaign in Greyhawk again.

Best Aid/Accessory

The Kobold crew strikes again, and its another tome full of great Magic:  Kobold Guide to Magic.

 Best Art, Interior

Here I have two nominees that I both find to be top picks for me: Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Inner Sea Gods – Paizo Publishing and Shadows of Esteren Book 2 – Travels – Agate Editions. They both have lots of fantastic and to me highly inspirational art.

Best Art, Cover

Wayne Reynolds, makes fantastic cover art. This seems to be both the judges and my opinion so his art is on two of the nominees in this category this year. But I like dragons far more than were sharks so my pick is  Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Mythic Adventures – Paizo Publishing.

Best Blog

I have two favorite blogs nominated this year:  The Other Side by Timothy Brannan and  Dorkland!  by Christopher Helton. Both will give you a good amount of gaming news and thoughts, and more.

Best Cartography

Well I’m too biased to give any advice in this category 😉 The other maps are beautiful and made by some of the best Cartographers in the industry that I’ve been a fan of for many years. My map of the flanaess is different on both style and scope, and even if you don’t like the “satellite” maps style, the sheer size and level of detail in my Map of the Flanaess makes it a worthy competitor for the award, in my humble opinion!

 Best Electronic Book

Well to be honest, I haven’t had the chance to see any of these books yet so I haven’t made any favorites in this category.

Best Family Game

I’ve had some experience with two of the nominees in this category:  Little Wizards –  by Crafty Games and Fate Accelerated Edition – Evil Hat Productions. Both are great fun to play and a good way to introduce newcomers or youngsters to the world of RPG’s.

Best Free Product

Since my map isn’t nominated in this category ;), I have to pick Pathfinder Module: We Be Goblins Too! – Paizo Publishing, which is a great adventure!

Best Game

Among the nominated this year is Fate Core System – from Evil Hat Productions. I haven’t had the chance to play 13th age or Numenera yet. But I’ve had the pleasure of playing Fate a couple of times and I must say I’m impressed by the fluid and narrative way of playing this game. So for me it has to be what I choose.

 Best Miniatures Product

Miniatures have never been my thing really. My lot in gaming life used to be to buy all the rulebooks, plan and run the games as the Game Master, so I made my players by and paint miniatures. Then I introduced a projector and used digital markers. So even though I love to look at miniatures, my knowledge of any of the nominees aren’t enough for me to pick any favorites.

 Best Monster/Adversary

I love the Midgard bestiary but its only nominated in its 13th age incarnation, so my pick will therefore be:  Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Bestiary 4 – Paizo Publishing. Even though I’m not much of a Cthulhu fan it has a lot of cool stuff to offer a GM set on making an impression!

Best Podcast

My favorite podcast Gamerstable isn’t nominated this year, so I’m choosing what I consider to be the 2nd best RPG podcast: All Games Considered. Great stuff, I especially like their news section!

Best Production Values

Of the nominees I have to pick: Numenera Corebook – Monte Cook Games, LLC. Monte have done a terrific job with his Numenera game so he gets my vote in this category!

Best RPG Related Product

Again this is a category where none of the products are familiar enough for me to have enough of an opinion to cast a vote.

Best Rules

I liked Fate Core System – Evil Hat Productions enough to want to see them awarded. Quick, fun, creative and easy to play, a winner in my opinion!

 Best Setting

Well you know what setting I prefer to run my games in ;). But when I’m a player I prefer to be part of games not set in Greyhawk, that way I will not spend the time being irritated about changes made to my favorite setting I have made differently. That said I haven’t played in any of the settings nominated this year, which means I need to start playing more!

Best Supplement

For me there is a sure winner in this category: Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Ultimate Campaign  – Paizo Publishing. This is a book I have wished I had for years, and now I have it. As a Game Master it is a treasure trove of rules and things to use in your campaign, a top pick!

Best Software

This year this is an easy category for me. Despite the fact that their is one map making program and my favorite virtual table top among the nominated, my winner is: Realm Works – Lone Wolf Development. It is a special kind of software that I have dreamt of for years, Lone Wolf Development have done a fantastic job developing Realm Works!

Best Website

This is hard one for me this year, since i haven’t visited any of the sites that much. But I’m very fond of SRD’s so I’ll give Fate SRD a nod!

Product of the Year

Among all the great products nominated this year, I will pick two: Fate Core System – Evil Hat Productions, due to its great game play experience it has given me. And Numenera Corebook – Monte Cook Games, LLC, for making a game that interested me a in a genre I used to not like at all, my hat off to Monte and Co for a great work!

That was who I voted for this year. Now I hope you go to The 2014 ENnies voting Booth and cast your votes on the entrees you want to see win!


ENnie voting have begun!


From today until July 30 the voting is open at : http://www.ennie-awards.com/vote/

So grab your chance to to cast your vote for the game products, sites, podcasts software and more, that you like!

I’ve been overwhelmed by all the supportive comments coming my way since the nominees were announced, thank you so much it means alot to me.

ENnie nomination and Gen Con


My Map of the Flanaess have been nominated for an 2014 ENnie award for best cartography!

Its an impressive list of nominees and I urge you to check it out  at http://www.ennie-awards.com/blog and be ready to cast your vote from July 20 to July 30!

It made me very proud and it also mean that I will go to Gen Con this year. Thank you all for all the help and support you have given me, it means a lot and I couldn’t have done it without it.

The past couple of days have been a bit tumultuous, since I’m doing the finishing touches on two projects and then receiving a unusual amount of correspondence. So if you have sent me an email and I haven’t gotten back to you yet I’m sorry, I will get back to you soon.

The days I’m at Gen Con are from the Friday the 15th to Monday the 18th. Most of the time I will spend to meet as many of gaming friends that I normally don’t get a chance to meet face to face. So if you’re at gencon don’t hesitate to send me a message!