Re: [nbos] Some FM8 questions - a critical flaw
"Mark Oliva"
Tue Jul 24th, 2007
> From: Joe Frazier, Jr []

I would assume it is not in the product because no one has ever tried it before and requested this as a feature. I personally would never be able to work in this way, so hat's off to anyone who can.

Could be. I've been mapping for a dozen years or so with CC2, CC2 Pro and CC3 and am looking at moving to FM8. If I remember correctly, you're a CC user too. Most of the CC mappers whom I know personally use this method to make vertical maps. I'm surprised you wouldn't be able to work in this way. Placing symbols and texts at an angle of 90° or 270° basically is no different from doing it at 0°.

This would probably be your best bet in the short term. You may want to even consider building a new top level menu for any converted to a different angle so as to keep them quickly findable,

The symbols I'm using all are CC3 PNG raster symbols, so the easiest route to take - if one is forced to take another route - probably would be to create a new symbol folder with all of the used PNGs in it and then simply rotate the original PNGs and save them.

That notwithstanding, I'd still argue that FM8 should have the following two missing abilities:

1. The ability to set one's own default symbol angle.
2. The ability to set one's own default symbol scale.

These should be menu and dialog box options, not operations that require scripting.

FM8 is a superlative mapping program. These things should be in it. I'm not the only one who acquired it with the idea of possibly switching from CC3 to FM8. I know several other people who are doing the same testing right now. If NBOS wants to make its customer base grow - and I think it has a real chance to do so right now - it may need to take care of things like this that are a problem for some potential CC3 converts.

One of the many benefits to me of FM8 in comparison to CC3 is the considerably greater speed with which I can map. Yesterday, in mapping large areas of mountains and forests where I want individual symbol selection, I quickly determined that the lack of these abilities cancelled that advantage and made FM8 mapping much more time-consuming than CC3 mapping in this case.

It doesn't matter at all if other list members think tipped maps are sensible or not. That's totally irrelevant. It's the way the members or our project group work and will continue to work. From customer contacts, we also know a fair number of our customers work in the same manner.

The products we've released to date have a pretty large user base. All of our maps for previous material are available for download in the native CC2 Pro format so that GMs can adapt them and modify them to suit the needs of our own campaigns. With our new Vintyri (TM) World campaign setting, the availability of native format maps that can be modified by GMs is of critical importance. That means that GMs who acquire our material also will need to acquire the same mapping program that we use if they want the map modification ability.

Until yesterday, the scales were tipped heavily in FM8's favor, but the extremely inconvenient steps necessary to put symbols in at a 90° or 270° angle at a wrong scale have changed that.

Coming from the CC3 camp, I see no reason why I should do all kinds of scripting, symbol conversion or other operations just to set symbol scale and angle. I think the program should offer it. That's something NBOS should consider if it wants our business. Wasting time is one of the biggest negative factors that a program can have upon our project group. It's one of the three main reasons why we decided - after 12 relatively happy years - to consider moving from Campaign Cartographer to Fractal Mapper.

Mark Oliva
Webmaster, the Vintyri Project (TM)

Am Hasenlöhle 12
91481 Altershausen, Germany
Tel.: +49 9166 99 54 10

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Inh. Gerdi Oliva
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