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@Justin That's rough I'm sorry to hear about what you're going through. I'm sure everyone here understands that family comes first. Still very excited about a printed copy at some point down the line and the maps you've release so far have been top quality. Hope you're doing alright mate.
Good afternoon, folks. I just wanted to stop in and drop a few comments to let everyone know I’m still here and still working on wrapping up the project. Yesterday I released 80 new icons, and tonight I will be releasing another 80 plus the first batch of custom maps I have completed.
I apologize for going radio-silent over this past week, things have been very hectic due to a family emergency. As a practice I generally don’t share negative news; I feel like the world has enough of that as it is, but it’s impossible to explain my absence or how the coming week will proceed without doing so now.
Last week my Mom was rushed by ambulance to the hospital as her health took a dramatic and sudden turn for the worse. She was placed in ICU and has been mostly unconscious and on assist since. For the sake of her privacy I won’t share more detail except to say that she’s dealing with multiple very serious health issues and things have been consistently going downhill. The first good news and positive gain was this morning. My Dad has been by her side between short and broken shifts of sleep.
It’s been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster dreading what each day will bring, as well as a dramatic shift away from my normalized schedule. I’ve struggled quite a bit with focusing on anything creative consistently. So, I’ve been focused mostly knocking of technical tasks such as building the Interactive elements of the Table of Contents for the Big Book of Maps PDF.
I’m continuing to work on maps and icons this week on getting things rolled out, but to be completely honest I’m working at a slower pace than usual, and I don’t know what the coming week might bring. We’re still well over five months ahead of schedule and making process to finish up the last pending 9% of the project.
I’ll be making an official update just as soon as we are done. I don’t want to fill a thousand inboxes with negative news of a personal nature, but I did want to provide an answer here for to those who have expressed concern about the sudden silence this past week. Thanks again for all of your support. Keep an eye out for more releases to the Digital Distribution Tool this week.
@farkshinsoup: Hi! Summary files are uploading as I type this, they should be available in about two and half hours (sometime around 10 AM CST). Another update will be posted this morning, I'm just waiting for the batch upload to complete before posting. Plus, there will be some bonus content in the update later today. Have a great morning!
Hi, very happy so far with your communication and delivery targets, as well as the maps themselves!
Wondering if there is a further update, as it's October 15th, the date mentioned in your last update? I know you delayed September's bulk downloader. I'd like to get access to all of Septembers maps without having to download them individually - just not sure what your new plan is.
Thanks and keep up the good work!
And regarding the newest, thanks for the update that the next release will be late. You are so startlingly far ahead, your busy month seems to have barely taken a dent out of your buffer.
Stuff looks great, keep it up!
"Non-Update" Status Update: Some of you might have noticed that for the past several days I’ve been inactive with releasing maps. I apologize for the delay. Last week I had an order for more than thirty maps come in from a publisher with a two week deadline. I took several days off to work on those maps to meet the unexpected short turnaround time, and then spent most of today assisting a publisher with launching their Kickstarter that I will be involved with. We are still 164 days ahead of schedule here, and regular release of map and icons will resume now. In fact, I just added the newest map. We’re getting very close to the end of the creation phase now. I’m still *hoping* for the end of September to have all the maps and map icons released. Thanks again for all your support!
@Bruce Gray: Thanks! I'm really glad to hear you're enjoying the maps. The Cartographer's Toolkit hasn't been released yet, but when it is, it will be released as one of the "Map Icon Packs" and will be able to be downloaded via the "Map Icons" section with the other sets. I hope to be getting it out the door in the next few weeks. Sorry about the delayed response. I've been fighting off some crud, and though I've been pushing maps out to the DDT, I haven't logged into Kickstarter to check messages this week before just now.
Hey! I was just checking out the pages of info on the Big Book of Maps and found some references to a "Cartographer's Toolkit". and a few other goodies. How do I, as a backer, access these files?
Hey! I just want you to know that I am =really= enjoying your "Big Book of Maps" - and that I fully intend to get myself placed on your Patreon list as soon as finances permit. I think you are doing a wonderful job! Keep the presses running!
It took nearly the entire start of the week to get things squared away, but it appears that the content hosting issues have been resolved. Some of the standard server "management" settings they have in place have also been disabled to hopefully prevent a repeat of the issues that have been recurring over the past two weeks. I'll start pushing out content this evening, and with any luck we'll be caught back up tomorrow. Well, we're already *way* ahead of schedule on this project, but we'll be caught back up to where we would be had the server not freaked out. Thanks again, and sorry for the inconvenience.
Note: The delay in maps releases this weekend is a result of FTP issues at the DDT webhost for the content. The issue is being looked into on their end, and as soon as they have the account up and working again, map releases will resume, including the delayed maps from Saturday-Monday. Really sorry for the hold up. Presently working with them to upgrade the account with the hope that hosting on a different tier will mitigate these issues without the need for me to retool the website for another service.
Just a heads-up, my content hosting company had a technical hiccup today, and they had to do a restore to their data drive. This reset all the files to hours *before* I started to uploaded our month-end summary files for July. I am currently in the process of transferring those files over (again). As soon as they are completed, and the month-end ZIP downloads are available, I’ll be posting the July Month-End Summary update. Unfortunately, that takes several hours to complete. Sorry about the delay!
@Dicemad: Thanks for the kind words! To answer your question: it's impossible to say with certainty, however I can give you a reasonable estimate: Currently, the hosted zipped map files are utilizing roughly 22 GB of space. Since we're essentially at the half-way point now, I would suggest doubling (and rounding up) the needed storage capacity. So, for digital maps somewhere around 50 GB of storage in the end. Honestly, I think you will probably be able to fit all the maps and final PDF version of the book onto a 64GB portable flash drive. I think those run in the $30-$40 range for USB 3.0. Hope that helps! Thanks, again. :)
I forgot to ask. I'm considering getting an external hard drive that will be able to hold the entire map package. What size would you suggest, please?
I was very happy to read your latest update. You are amazing. But please, don't work so hard that you burn out. And give yourself some time off to go to Cons if you can. Besides, if you finish too early, some of us just may die of shock!!!
@Kurt Stoffer: Thanks! Very happy to hear you're enjoying them. More on the way! :)
These maps are FREAKIN AWESOME !!! Keep up the good work !
@Satheian: I understand your frustration. The monthly summary downloads are available to be download for the entire month after each Month End Summary is posted before the next batch goes up. Alternatively, once all the maps have been released there will be a master ZIP containing all of the maps in a single download. Honestly, with the rate we're getting the maps released (already over 90+ days ahead of schedule, and coming up on the halfway mark in just a little over two months), there probably is only going to be a couple more summary downloads before we have the project complete and the master download is available. To answer your question though, it's all down to file size management on the hosted server. The final huge master download will be distributed via it's own third party CDN stream. Sorry for any inconvenience.
I noticed that the bulk downloads only include the current month's work; and that the bulk files are deleted at the end of each month; is there a reason you can't keep all of the bulk files available longer?
I just downloaded the June version, but now the only way to get all of the previous files is to DL them one at a time? I guess I should have been paying more attention, but now I'm 35 maps behind, I didn't realize there wouldn't be an ongoing option.
@Geoffrey burnett: No, you're on the right track for the most part. The $10 pledge level provides the PDF book of the maps, which will be going out at the end of the creation phase. Those who backed $20 level or higher get high-resolution digital downloads of every map. All backers get access to download the new "map icon" packs I've been releasing. To download the icons, just log into the Digital Distribution System at (http://www.bigbookofmaps.com) and login using the e-mail address and PIN/password you provided when you submitted your Kickstarter survey. Also, if you decide later you would like to have the high-resolution digital map downloads, there you can use the Digital Distribution System to upgrade your account to a higher pledge level. Just check out the "My Account" page once logged in. I hope that helps! Please feel free to send me a message if you run into any issues.
I havnt been paying attention. I just backed at the 10$pdf level. I was just waiting for the end and wnated to download everything at once...thats a thing right? Or did i miss stuff in my inattention lol
@Jon Lamkin: Sorry you didn't get a response to your most recent post. I completely overlooked it until just posting the summary update below. I'm sure you noticed the additional map icons when they went live. Have a great weekend!
Just a heads up this Saturday morning (July 1): Sorry about the delay in getting the Month End Summary out this go round. I have been trying to get everything live for you all for the past day. We did *so much* in June that the summary downloads are huge. I made two attempts to upload the high resolution ZIP (3.6 GB), and both times [after many hours of uploading] failed due to my local ISP. I have decided to break that download up into three different ZIP files to prevent this, and have started uploading those three files now individually so the process can complete. Since I intend for July to be as productive (if not more so) I will be repeating this (multi-file download) process moving forward. Here in southern Kentucky we don’t have the most reliable internet access and the speeds are relatively abhorrent. Normally I don’t complain and I can work around this issue, but a nearly-4GB upload was apparently just more than the ISP could stomach. Anyway, those files are uploading now, and the summary update post will be rolling out this afternoon or evening. Thanks for your patience!
I too am enjoying the maps.. but I feel like I am harping on the icon sets too. You had mentioned that you were going to release two of them 5 days ago (in a couple of days) . Is it possible to get the second one too. I am only asking as I find these as useful as the maps.. sometimes even more so when I am gaming on my VTT and even my digital desktop I use at gaming stores when I bring a tv screen for displaying maps.
@Roy Hartford: Glad you're enjoying the maps! I actually have quite a few plans for future projects that are directly related to map collections for tabletop and VTT gaming. I don't want to get ahead of myself -- we're only about 1/3rd done with this project, and it's getting my full attention when it comes to my non-publisher workload. However, that being said I wouldn't be surprised to see me working on something similar that included a focus on urban maps in the future.
I understand the focus of this (rather large) collection is dungeon maps. Have you considered making an urban/city/town collection? Regardless, thank you for making these quality maps and for releasing them so promptly.
@Jon Lamkin: Thanks! I should have two icon packs coming out in the next few days. These next two were held up a bit while I worked to include some new icons for a couple of the custom maps I'm working on for the project. By Friday we should be back on track (and caught up) with weekly icon sets. :)
Last week you forgot the latest Icons update. Icon set #9 was uploaded on the 10th/11th and the one for the week after that was skipped. I know the Icons are not as high a priority to you.. but I love them and use them a lot along with the maps for my FG games..
@Wusi: Thanks for the heads-up! I'm guessing the upload must have had a hiccup. I test the downloads every time, but I haven't been testing unpacking them. I'll re-upload the "All" ZIP today, and make it part of my routine to start test-unpacking the ZIPs for each map. Sorry about that.
Hey Justin, I just saw Map 44 online (man, you're fast), and tried to download the full package as usual but couldn't unpack it.
The individual files work just fine though, so it's no big deal but I still thought you'd want to know
By backer request, I have added an additional Month End Summary download ZIP which contains all of the Lower Resolution versions of the maps. The option to download this ZIP has been added to the summary download section on the DDT which can be found at the very top of the “My Account” page.
Since the lower resolution maps were not included in last month’s summary download either, this month’s low resolution summary download includes all 35 maps released to date. Thanks!
@Jon Lamkin: Opps! Sorry about the delayed response. When I saw the notice from your comments in my e-mail, I thought they were from the original comments you posted last week. By now you've figured out that yes, the late icon packs were released, and the bonus set, and then another has since been released as well. :)
Really glad to hear you're enjoying everything. Have fun!
I am excited and looking forward to Icon set 6. Thanks for all the maps too
Thank you Justin!! :)
Any luck yet Justin? :)
@Jon Lamkin: Nope. It's not you at all. It's all on me. The project I'm wrapping up this week for a publisher is kicking my butt. I tried to get the new icons out for you all yesterday afternoon, but by the time I could step away I was totally spent. I'll still get this set out (I'm really hoping by the end of the day today). I'll also be pushing out another icon set over the weekend to make up for the delay this week. In either case, the project deadline I'm working on (and its last minute update/change requests) is tonight. If I can't manage to squeeze them in tonight, I absolutely will be able to get them to the DDT for download tomorrow.
I'm really glad to hear you're enjoying the maps! Remember there's a new map being released every day this week through Sunday. If I can knock out a few more of the custom maps we may try to keep that release schedule next week as well. :) Thanks, and have a great week!
I feel like I am being paranoid now. Did the Icon's release yesterday and I am not seeing it for some reason? I am enjoying the maps and such BTW. Thank you!
Running a bit behind with the icon pack release this week, but should have it out by tomorrow afternoon or sooner. In addition to that I'll also be releasing another icon set before the next scheduled icon set release next week. In addition to that, starting this past Sunday we're doing a map release every day for the entire week. That's five bonus maps this week in addition to the two schedule core maps! :) Sorry about any inconvenience with the shifting schedule for icons. I'm juggling around my work schedule a bit in anticipation of an upcoming release I'm involved with while also working several of the backer custom maps. We're really getting some good momentum going now though, two weeks into the first full month of the project and we're already over 10% completed in all.
No worries, glad I can help :)
@Jon Lamkin: Ack! Nope! Totally an oversight on my part. I've been so busy starting off this week that I completely forgot to upload them on Monday morning. I will fix that ASAP today. In a push to get through the "custom maps" for everyone faster, I've started taking them on four at a time, and I'm attempting to get the "Cartographer's Toolkit" completed for everyone by this coming weekend. We should have more bonus content coming out later this week as well! (managed to get a few bonus maps released last week in addition to the core releases). Thanks for pointing it out, I may not have noticed until I went to upload the icon set for next week. Sorry for the inconvenience.
I can see last weeks Icon Set #3... is this weeks Icon set #4 delayed for some reason? I am not seeing it on the site?
@Mario Butter: If you download the ZIP files again, this should be fixed. I have updated the VTT download, the ALL Files download, and the Lower Resolution download. Thanks!
The VTT map for #4 (Dungeon Crate Promo: Bandit Abode) has the grid embedded in the image; can you update this with the grid removed?
@Stephen: I appreciate that very much! Always great to work with you. Thanks! :) Hope you are enjoying the maps that have been released so far. Have a great weekend!
As the Event Coordinator of AetherCon Online Tabletop RPG Convention I can personally vouch for Justin's work with us as being of high quality and timely. And I put my money where my mouth is :)
@JR: Sure thing! I wanted to be sure to keep everyone updated on new features and such, but didn't want to bombard e-mails with actual updates. The comments section seemed like a good alternative.
When I do the summaries at the end of each month, I'll include a section that details all the updates for the record, but this way anyone who is curious can see what's new. :)
Wow, nice updates. Thanks!
GENERAL UPDATE: I've added a map index option to the menu of the Digital Distribution Tool. This loads a "quickview" index of all the released maps in ascending order from newest to last. Each is hyperlinked to jump direction to that map's download options on the Digital Maps Download page.
Additionally, I have completed the inclusion of upgrade options for every relevant pledge level. Wish you had pledged at a higher level during the Kickstarter campaign? Well, now you can. Just click on the "Upgrade Account" option on your "My Account " page. Each level has upgrade options for any pledge level up to the Cartographer's license. Payment processing handled by PayPal. The price point is the same (Cost of New Pledge Level - Cost of Current Pledge Level = Upgrade Cost).
The Add-On options on the "My Account" page now link to the appropriate update here at Kickstarter if they were not purchased during the kickstarter campaign. This just makes it convenient for folks who want to buy the add-ons later (who didn't get them during the Kickstarter) can get to the information quickly without having to hunt through all the backer updates.
Updates have been made to the "Lower Resolution" conversion routine that creates the low resolution version of downloads. It now assures that all three files included with the lower resolution download option are under 5 MB each to allow for quick import into Roll20 VTT.
The annoying bug that was preventing some account levels from seeing the Map Icon download has been fixed. Everyone should now be able to see and download Map Icon Packs as they are released.
More updates coming soon as I hone the DDT to fit the dynamic needs of backers. If you have any questions, or are experiencing any problems/issues, please message me.
Have a great week, everyone! :)
GENERAL UPDATE: I've added an "UPDATE" option to the menu of the Digital Distribution Tool. When you click on the link it will open a schedule calendar. Here you can see what work I've done, am currently working on, and the schedule for several weeks in advance. This includes DDT updates, bug fixes, map and map icon releases, as well as scheduled monthly summaries and other details. Hope it helps to keep everyone in the loop! Thanks!
GENERAL UPDATE: Regarding a small bug. When I exported the data from Kickstarter, I overlooked the fact that the "number" field type was automatically applied to the PIN numbers provided by you all in the surveys. This means that if your PIN *started* with a zero, that zero was dropped. So, for example: If your PIN was 01234 you will need to use 1234 to login instead. Very sorry about the inconvenience for anyone whose account was affected. I totally missed it when sanitizing the export for the account database.