My reasons for purchasing Campaign Cartographer 3 (CC3) were twofold: Firstly, I wanted an application that would enable me to apply a constant theme to a series of maps and deliver predictable results. Secondly, I feel capable of producing what I want in pen and ink but the idea that one error could muff up the whole effort was daunting. These days I am a bit ham-fisted - I blame child-related exhaustion!
Anyway, I viewed the rather good tutorial linked to ProFantasy's website and decided that if the application could render a "Pirate Island" sized 1000 x 800miles it could certainly cope with Beimbach-Schönau. (on a 200x200 mile background) After playing around with the software, I can report that it is more than able to do so. My first effort shows, in low-resolution, the revised State boundaries.
The system works with "Sheets" and "Layers". A new approach to me but apparently old hat to CAD diehards. A good way of describing this to a layman would be to think of "transparencies". Your work is laid upon your background via a series of transparencies, each one laying upon the other with user-defined levels of opacity. Thus some can show the details on previous sheets others block the sheets below.
In practice this is simple to grasp, in reality things get confusing. My confusion stemmed not from user error (well not too much!) but from the rather annoying way the software automatically adjusts sheets and layers when you choose various map building features. For example you want (for your own peculiar reason) to add mountain graphics to your Contours layer. The software will change the layer to what it thinks is best as soon as you click on the mountain tab. This happens with sheets also and if you don't keep your eyes open you can get into a real mess.
I am sure there is a setting to turn off the "thinking" process but I didn't want to dabble too deeply in the advanced user settings when making my first map.
Another problem was creating an infill up to a border. Complicated jargon but in my case what I wanted was to show the State dissecting a given terrain feature without the terrain having to end just short of the border. Try as I might I could not find a way to do this other than tracing the border in extreme zoom and hoping you don't slip. This was the same annoying process that I had to use for the coastline and after many tries I was literally screaming at the PC. Again, there is probably a command to do this but I didn't find it after days of exploration.
For the record, the software crashed when trying to open different symbol sets - disheartening as your progress is lost. This was mitigated somewhat by the autosave but nevertheless such problems are annoying.
ProFantasy suggest that this is not an error with their application but is due to the inadequacy of users' systems. My Desktop is approaching three years old but has a fairly fast quad-core processor, decent RAM and full gamers-standard graphics acceleration.
After much stress I think that, for me, CC3 is not worth the effort. It is possible to create beautiful maps and once the interface is mastered, do so quickly. However, the inability of the software to turn the lovely high-res images into high-res PC viewable graphics files is a deal-breaker.
Your author will be taking advantage of the 14 day money back guarantee - pronto!
Steady that hand and get drawing!