View Full Version : Going to be coming into money, should I buy Dundjinni?

01-15-2014, 07:11 PM
I'm a fairly new Cartographer (using paint.net/hand drawn maps mostly) and I've been toying with the idea of buying Dundjinni after seeing some of the amazing stuff that comes out of it on here. Plus, I use Fantasy Grounds to run my games so the higher the map quality the better really.

Just a general question to people that have used it as to whether you would recommend it or not, thanks in advance and keep up the amazing work!


Mark Oliva
01-16-2014, 01:03 AM
For the record ... I have Dundjinni, Fractal Mapper 8 and Campaign Cartographer 3. Dundjinni was a very good program for dungeon design and encounter scenarios. It's abilities with city/village maps and overland maps are very limited. In addition, the current 1.07 version of Dundjinni is 10 years old. The program was last updated in 2004. Another update (ever) appears to be highly unlikely. I would suggest instead that you consider FM8 or CC3 (in that order). The current versions can do much more than Dundjinni can and most of it better.

01-16-2014, 02:09 AM
I use Xara Photo & Graphic Designer 9 (http://www.xara.com/us/photo-graphic-designer/) which is not mapping software per se, rather vector drawing software. So it can do a lot more than just mapping - illustrations, PDF creation, page layout, graphic design, some image editing capability. It is $89 software. I use it for all my mapping. If you look at any of my maps, probably best just to click on the various award badges under my avatar for challenge win maps, but I have 100+ maps posted here. I use Xara to create professional maps for RPG publishers like Paizo Publishing, Rite Publishing and many others. There's a 30 day free trail, and excellent tutorials for using the basic program on the main Xara site to get you started. I have a couple tutorials posted on this site, but I have a bunch of quick tutorials posted on my G+ community (https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/109383565847958043404), as I am currently writing a series of map tutorials guides using any software (though I'm still using Xara to create all the sample maps and tutorial illustrations).

I also have Dundjini, Campaign Cartographer 3, City Designer, Fractal Mapper 8, Photoshop 7, GIMP, Adobe Illustrator and various 3D software applications - I'm a graphic designer in the daytime, and run my own graphic design/digital print studio - Gamer Printshop (hence my forum name). My studio has been in business since 1994, and I worked the print graphic arts industry for 10 years before that. So I have lots of experience with lots of graphics software, and personally, Xara Photo & Graphic Designer 9 is the best software for most mapping purposes (in my opinion). I find it easy to learn and use, plus its extremely memory compact, making it one of the fastest applications you'll ever use. Basically apply any effect and it happens instantly with infinite undo so you can apply, view result, back up and try again easily and quickly which really improves your production time for overall mapping.

That said, I am one of the only members on this site that uses Xara for mapping at all, so it's not necessarily popular or well known, but I think it's one of the best mapping packages out there.

Dundjini is nothing more than a tile stamp program. You need to create the custom tiles in another program, as Dundjini only allows you to place the tiles, but allows no custom creation itself. Both FM8 and CC3 are CAD programs, so steep learning curves, and though both are excellent mapping programs, neither really creates map objects (the things you place on maps - mountains, buildings, etc) only placing them on various layers.

It also wouldn't hurt to get GIMP for a powerful image editor (like Photoshop) but is FREE software.

With Xara I create most of my map objects: trees, buildings, monsters, mountains, pits, everything - and the map itself.

Also I do a lot of hand-drawing with pen on paper, then digitally scanned and imported to Xara to finish with colors, labels, grids, etc.

Mark Oliva
01-16-2014, 08:09 AM
Both FM8 and CC3 are CAD programs, so steep learning curves, and though both are excellent mapping programs, neither really creates map objects (the things you place on maps - mountains, buildings, etc) only placing them on various layers.

I have to disagree. CC3 is a CAD program, running on the FastCAD engine. FM8 is not a CAD program but rather a graphics program custom-made for cartography. Both have a limited ability to make objects (symbols), but neither will create new objects from scratch that have an alpha channel. Therefore, it's mostly correct that one needs The GIMP, Photoshop, Paint.NET (which the original poster already uses) or a similar program to create new objects. Once they have been created, they can be used easily in Dundjinni, CC3 or FM8. I agree that CC3 has a steep learning curve. If one reads the ProFantasy forums, one finds quite a number of people who have been working with CC3 for some time who still are venting frustrations about not being able to do what they want to do. I certainly disagree that FM8 has a steep learning curve. If one works ones way through the two tutorials - which one can do in a few days time - one not only has the program mastered, but one also knows haw to use Paint.NET and similar programs to make new objects for it.

01-16-2014, 09:18 AM
Sorry, can I just ask what FM8 is?
And thank you for the replies.

01-16-2014, 12:01 PM
Welcome to the Guild Eon.

Ask a question, get a dozen answers.

First, FM8 is Fractal Mapper 8, Mark knows much more about it than I do.

Dundjinni is a great mapping program that lets you draw floors and walls using tile brushes and then stamp on objects and covers. One of it's strengths is that the objects can be moved, resized and rotated at anytime. While it does not create objects, we have a library of 75,000 objects and textures freely available on the DJ Forums, and they can be used in most mapping and art programs as they are mostly .png files.
The downside to Dundjinni is that it was originally written for Windows XP / Java in 2003. That caused a lot of problems when Vista came out, so Version 1.0.7 was made available in 2008. Every new generation of Windows makes it harder to install DJ.
The other problem is that the owner disappeared 2 years ago, and the webstore is malfunctioning and can't be fixed without her. The only way to purchase DundJinni is the occasional copy that shows up on Amazon or Ebay. I love the program, but would not recommend it for someone just getting started.
For the sake of full disclosure, I am one of the Administrators on the Dundjinni Forums.

01-16-2014, 02:36 PM
Thank you for the welcome, Bogie! I've seen your stuff about (and used some of it in my maps *whistles*) and they're amazing!
Which programe would you recommend for someone of pretty much Novice level mapper?

Thank you for all the help everyone in the thread!

01-16-2014, 06:42 PM
As I said, I use Dundjinni to make most of my maps. I use my camera and Photoshop to make most of the objects that I make. I was lucky enough to find an older copy of Photoshop at a yard sale cheap. The Gimp is very similar to Photoshop, is free, and can do most anything you want. There are a lot of tutorials on this forum to help you learn how to use it. GamerPrinter makes Xara Photo & Graphic Designer 9 sound like it would be worth at least checking their website. He does make great maps. Fractal Mapper 8 and CC3 are specifically made for mapping, but I have never used either. Dundjinni is very easy to get started mapping, but the lack of support and questionable future make it hard to recommend it. If you can even find it.

Good Luck

Mark Oliva
01-17-2014, 01:07 AM
Sorry, can I just ask what FM8 is?
And thank you for the replies.

For information on Fractal Mapper 8, click here: NBOS Software Home Page (http://www.nbos.com)

For information on Campaign Cartographer 3, click here: ProFantasy Software - map making for fantasy, modern and sci-fi games and for historical cartographers (http://www.profantasy.com)

If you have questions on FM8, feel free to contact me by private E-Mail at info-at-vintyri.org

If you want to see more than 100 samples of FM8 maps, click here: The Jrgar World - Map of the Week (http://www.vintyri.org/joerdhgardh/mapofweek_01.htm)

I'm not a good source for help with CC3. The only use I make of it is to adapt our symbol library for CC3 and experiments with the new Character Artist 3 add-on. There are a lot of folks on the forum here who can give you all kinds of help with CC3.

01-17-2014, 06:19 PM

I have Hexographer (Hexographer | World/Starmap/Wilderness Map Creation Software (http://www.hexographer.com/)), Cityograph, (Cityographer | City map/details generator & editor (http://cityographer.com/)), Dungeongrapher (Dungeonographer | Dungeon/Building Interior Map Software for RPGs (http://www.dungeonographer.com/)) the three by Inkwell, Fractal Mapper 7, and paint shop pro version 7.

I like each program for what they do. I have not found one program that does everything I need it to do. That is the catch, What do you want to do? Define what you want to do and then choose the program or programs that will work for you. The inkwell programs are Java based and will work on a MAC, PC, UNIX, or any platform that can run Java. They also have a free trial program for their products.

The last time I was at Gencon I hosted a panel on mapping in gaming. Before I did that panel, I went to the different mapping companies in the exhibitor hall. I asked if they had any handouts that I can give to the audience. I did not want product. I wanted advertising to hand out. The response from NBOS software (fractal mapper), and Dundjinni was impressive. They worked with me without issue and offered a special deal to anyone that went to the panel that wanted to purchase their product. I work for a publishing house I understand the need to make a deal like this for sales. The two companies went above and beyond. Additionally Inkwell which was not at Gencon has provided support, insight and good will though their site and communications with the designers of their product.

I hoped this has helped.

Good hunting.