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  1. #1

    Dundjinni: cheers or jeers?

    Hey everyone, I'm finally planning to break down and get an actual mapping program. At the moment I'm looking really hard at Dundjinni and I'd like input from some of you who've used it, particularly if you have comparisons to other programs. I'll also be grateful for any info you might want to share about using it with FG.

    I have Paint Shop Pro and am more than competent using it (though by no means a master) so resizing, stitching images together, etc. shouldn't be a problem. Also, Campaign Cartographer and its addons are pretty much out of the question because 1) they're outrageously expensive and 2) I've tried them out and find the interface extremely clunky.

    I've already found some alternative suggestions "search"ing the forum, and plan to take a look at them. Just the same, suggestions of other programs are also appreciated, especially if you can give some info on having used them.

    Much thanks in advance for some guidance, too many options make my head hurt...

  2. #2

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    Dundjinni works pretty well, and as a program, it's probably marginally worth the money. They've added some functionality I don't use because FG pretty much does part of it, but the graphics portion of the program makes good use of layers, tiling, and random "stamping" of sets of graphics (all features you can probably also get out of Photoshop if you are proficient with it, but Dundjinni makes them easy to work with).

    However, I personally think they charge too much for their graphics packs. Fortunately, you can add your own if you're a passable artist, and there are a few people who have made some graphics for Dundjinni that they've made available for free (easily found via Google).

  3. #3
    Yenooc's Avatar
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    Non-Guru

    As a computer illiterate, I can't get anywhere with Campaign Cartographer without a lot of tedious, hands-on guidance.

    That's no dig against the program--it's just that it takes someone with at least a smidgen of competence to use. (We used the slide rule in high school for calculations--to give you an idea of my techno-base. )

    Dundjinni, on the other hand, is a breeze for me. And that's no dig at that program, either, since it can be used to create some pretty awesome maps for use in FG.
    Sed quid custodiet ipsos custodes?

  4. #4
    Sigurd's Avatar
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    Campaign Cartographer is at its base a dos CAD program.

    It is good at consistent maps once you have learned to use its interface. The interface is by modern terms hideous. It is harder to use than Autocad and once learned the skill is alot less useful.

    If you need to have distances between points in your fictional world accurate and precise or you really like their map style it is a good choice.

    I find a good general graphics program the best option myself.


    Sigurd
    J.R.R. Tolkien wrote, "I wish life was not so short. Languages take such a time, and so do all the things one wants to know about."

  5. #5
    Yeah, I didn't have too much trouble figuring out Campaign Cartographer, though the learning curve is certainly steep and it thus takes some time. Even after figuring it out, though, I just find it's much too cumbersome to use. I suppose you have a point, Sigurd, about it being good at precision, but it's hard to imagine needing that kind of precision for gaming.

    Dundjinni seems to have an unusual, but not necessarily "difficult" interface, and I haven't had too much trouble catching on to how to use the demo. I guess I'm mostly looking for input on the functionality.

    Also, I tend to like drawing my world maps by hand and then putting them into Paint Shop Pro for further work, so I'm mostly looking for a program for location, dungeon and town maps, rather than overland.

    Thanks for the replies so far

  6. #6
    Valarian's Avatar
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    I'm going to defend Campaign Cartographer. I think it's one of the best mapping programs out there. The interface is difficult to get in to, but once you are there the results can be outstanding. Even I, with no artist ability and only a sense of aesthetics to fall back on, can create decent looking maps.

    The key to Campaign Cartographer is the tutorials. You can't just pick this program up and use it. You have to download the full manual from the registration section and go through each of the tutorials ... twice. Then look for the advanced tutorials the master mapper people have put up on their websites. It'll take a while before you can produce a masterpiece, but persevere and you'll be developing your own style and producing maps to be proud of.
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  7. #7
    My vote goes to Dundjinni.
    While it aint perfect (not all that intuitive to start with and complex maps can really cause it to grind it to a halt) it does give nice results for lazy sods like me with zero artistic ability
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  8. #8
    Sigurd's Avatar
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    I really have tried to like Campaign Cartographer - I bought it after all.

    People have done some amazing work in it. My comment about precision also applies to reproduction and consistant output. If you like the style of a map in CC3 or CC2, you can reliably stretch that style over any project you do. This is an advantage over general graphics programs. Generalized graphics programs will tend to be a little different in every instance which can spoil the 'document feel' of a larger project.

    If you want to make an atlas of a whole world with consistency between one map and the next Campaign Cartographer will give you that - if you learn it.



    Looking at the rest of the market however, I think CC3 is expensive and the interface is badly wanting. Profantasy should do more for the money it is asking.


    Sigurd
    Last edited by Sigurd; June 19th, 2007 at 09:43.
    J.R.R. Tolkien wrote, "I wish life was not so short. Languages take such a time, and so do all the things one wants to know about."

  9. #9
    I agree on all the points stated. That being said Campaign Cartographer cannot be beat for building detailed city maps. Yes CC is a pain in the *** to use (they should just fire their interface designer), but being able to lay down streets of random houses while also controlling the look and feel is very powerful.

    Dundjinni just needs a new version. With some peformance upgrades and the adoption of a more Photoshop-like layering and compositing method they would have an amazing product on their hands. Still, Dundjinni cannot make the same city maps that CC can, you can try, but it will take you ten times as long.

  10. #10
    I'm a huge fan of CCx, I've been using it since the DOS version. I migrated to Dundjinni because it simply looked better. Dundjinni was incredible for making battle maps (which is a big part of the mapping needs of the FGII community). It's simple to use, the output is phenomenal, and the Dundjinni community contains some great artists.

    With the release of CC3 the output differences disappeared. CC3 is now capable of using the same type resources as Dundjinni and creating nearly identical output. It's actually a superior program once you get the hang of layers, sheets, and effects. That said, it is still a very complex program.

    Example:
    In CC3 I created a clearing. Then I created multiple layers that contain different modifiers to the map (Camp site, Alter, Standing Stones, Pond, Etc.), then I use the layer/sheet function to turn them on and off and I have one map with many uses.

    Another example is a map I made with multiple conditions. I made the original map and then using layers I modified it with various flood, destruction, and fire conditions for my scenario. Once it was complete I just cut the layers on/off and took the beauty shots.

    I keep both programs installed. I use Dundjinni for quick maps and test maps, and I use CC3 for everything else. For a beginner, I'd recommend Dundjinni, and CC3 for later.

    Edit: The CC3 interface was obviously designed by a CAD user. If you know CAD a little, it's not so bad.
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