Yucatan Updates

When I have to create a historically inspired map, I use many sources to get the look and feel right. Here you can see that I am using a one map for rivers in Honduras and a different map for the coastlines of the Yucatan. I am using yet a different map for Cuba (upper right, outside of crop). The image below is a small portion of the overall map that I am creating for “A Time for Sacrifice,” it is also resized to 25%.

Pre-order New Comet Game’s Call for Cthulhu adventure “A Time for Sacrifice” on Kickstarter!

Current Projects

I am forever grateful for New Comet Games. thanks to Ben Burns, I finally have an updated computer setup for my mapping. Instead of that ancient 2009 iMac and Wacom Intuos 5, and am now rocking a 2012 Mac mini and a Wacom Cintiq 16. I know the 2012 is still an older model, but GOOD LORD! it is a HUGE improvement on that relic of a computer. With this setup I will be working on the maps for New Comet Games’s Call of Cthulhu KickStarter A Time of Sacrifice. I am working on a giant map of the Yucatan and some fo the surrounding areas for this module. I will be posting updates on that map here and on my Instagram, where you can find some rough outlines.

I am also finishing up maps for a Dave Butler novel, you may be familiar with the maps I created fort his Witchy War novels. This book is not in that series, but here’s a little taste.

Makin’ a Hex Grid.

Draw a line.
Copy and Paste the line and Rotate the new line 120 degrees.
Copy and Paste the Rotated line and Rotate that new line 120 degrees.
Bring those lines together.
Copy and Paste that contraption a few times. This would also be the time to put in some numbers if you’re going to need a numbered grid.
Copy and Paste that, stack it, then edit it to create this pattern.
Go crazy.

There are many ways to create a Hex Grid, the easiest is to snag one. You could copy paste hexes made in Illustrator and have a fun time trying to arrange them to form a grid. There’s another Illustrator way to measure the length of various parts of the hex and use two or three Transform Effects to create a grid–haven’t tried that–but, for the regular “I don’t really know what I’m doing with my life” kind of a guy like myself, these 7 steps is way to go.

If you need to number all these damn hexes, gods have mercy upon you. Align the number during Step 5. After the grid is created you will have to edit the text and re-number everything, but if you did it right, the alignment should be correct throughout that beast… that’s something at least.

The Wacom USB Port

I picked up the Wacom Intuos 5 a long time ago when my ancient Graphire 4 died. All my gear is old, my computer is a late 2009 iMac and I should have replaced it 6 years ago with a new model etch a sketch. I have an abacus that is newer. While the poor state of my computer is an article for another time, I’d like to talk about what to do if you’ve broke your Wacom in the same exact way I broke mine. It’s an extremely common problem.

The chances are good that you have or will break the USB port if you use one of these things.

Now, some people have had success in resoldering the USB port, but there’s a chance that trying that will brick the tablet. Since I only know how to solder copper pipes together, I was not going to try it myself. Also, no electronic repair guy would touch mine.

Here’s the best solution: buy a new one. If that’s not in the cards, and it wasn’t for me, this is what you can do and it still invovles buying a few items.

Wacom Wireless Accessory Kit

Wireless kit. If your Wacom USB port is broken and will not talk to your computer you will need this.

Now. The wireless kit comes with a battery, and the battery normally charges via the USB cable, through the port that is BROKEN! So…

Onite Universal Battery Charger

Battery Charger. You will need something like this for the battery. The universal chargers have little adjustable prongs on the side and a spring loaded slider to grip the battery in place. It’ll charge any kind of cell phone style battery, I’ve charged camera batteries when the damn proprietary charging cord has been lost to gods knows where.

One headache of the variety that probably only happens to me was that the first charger I bought never showed up in the mail. POOF. VANISHED. Was never found. Amazon, the battery charger company and USPS were unable to do anything. The second charger I bought–different company–was defective, but I was eventually sent a replacement and a refund as a bribe to remove my negative comments.

Now I did look for these kinds of chargers locally. I couldn’t find them anywhere. Your luck might be different, but I had to go online.

Probably a fire hazard.

On a full charge the battery lasts as long I can stand to sit in one place and work on my maps… which is a long time. With any battery is a good idea to only charge it when it gets low… there’s something called “battery memory” that kills the life span if reutinely charged before they’re completely dead. Or so my dad says. Who knows. I charge mine over night every so often and pray for the best.

I suppose I’ll write article on my other computer problems. I might explain why my keyboard is in a shadowboard made of foam that you would normally only see in roll around toolboxes. Short answer: cats are assholes.

His Royal Fluffiness, Joey XVIII