About Dynamic Dungeons

Dynamic Dungeons is a one-man effort to get tabletop gaming looking as good as possible. My name is Tamas, a Hungarian 3D designer, musician and dungeon master, father of three.

I started making living maps in 2018. In less than two years a supportive community of more than 4000 patrons has been developed around this concept and turned it to a full-time job.

I am extremely grateful to my generous patrons who made this possible. Be a part of it, join now!

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DD EDITOR HELP

What is Dynamic Dungeons Editor?

Dynamic Dungeons Editor was developed for game masters who use a TV or projector to map different premade backgrounds, videos, and images. The software is not part of the patronage of Dynamic Dungeons but can be bought separately. The app is in constant development and future updates are included in the price. Animations and particle effects, tokens, and audio files can be used to immerse your players. Import Dynamic Dungeons maps or your own images or video files into the storyline and make a playlist, cover and reveal areas with the fog of war feature, and apply custom size hex or quad grid overlay. Although there are many customization options available and custom 2D maps can be created with the application, this software is actually for displaying and customizing premade maps. The software is in constant development and available to buy as an “early access game”. In the upcoming months, we will fill the library with more free static and animated assets.

Where can I find more maps and assets?

Check out the Dynamic Dungeons back catalog: Archive catalog 2018-2019 and Archive Catalog 2020-2021 where you can get more than 300 animated maps if you join as a patron. You’ll have immediate free access to the back catalogs. As a Patron, you choose a donation tier for future releases, and you can cancel your patronage anytime, but I hope you’ll be satisfied and keep supporting me. Patrons who support every creation per month receive additional exclusive maps. Join here.

You can also load third-party maps, images, videos, and props from other creators. We’ll also expand the built-in particle effects and animation collection this year.

How should I use it?

Once the software is in your Steam folder, start it from there, then click on ‘create a new story.

Then, you’ll see this image, that we call STORY VIEW:

Story view

You can extend the story with new tiles in the Story view, using the ‘plus’ buttons beside the tiles. Each tile represents a single scene, with an image or a video background as a map, on which you can load props.

Before you get started, it’s worth checking the settings. (the second gear icon from the bottom)
– The player monitor ID should be 2. (Your tv or secondary monitor should be used in extended mode rather than mirrored. You must restart the application for the changes to take effect.)
– Set the default prop scale value higher than 1. (7,5 will work fine if you have a 40″ secondary display. You can adjust this and experiment with other values later
)

IMPORTING A BACKGROUND IMAGE OR VIDEO

Click on a tile, then you immediately get to background mode within the SCENE EDITOR.

If you click on ‘import background’ you can upload an image or video, then by clicking on ‘play’ in the menu on the left you can now try how it looks on your extended screen after mounting it.

If a background is already loaded and you want to replace it, click the library icon (a bulleted list icon on the menu) and find some built-in props or use the + icon in the library to add your own files. (Read more about this in the library section below)

CUSTOMIZING THE SPLASH SCREEN

After you stop playing, your players will see a default splash screen (looking like a bluish drapery) which is actually a wallpaper between scenes. If this is good for you, skip this step and continue with getting to know the four basic modes of operation and the menu in the next sections. If you want to set a background image that fits your story, you can change the default splash screen if you go back to story view (left arrow icon or Esc) and click on this upper button:

The button below helps you in adjusting your splash image on the screen, fits it on the screen, or uses its original aspect ratio. You can set up custom splash screens for each of your stories.

THE FOUR BASIC MODES OF OPERATION

You can choose from four modes of use in the scene editor: background mode, props mode, the fog of war mode, and grid mode.

In background mode, you can position the background with the right mouse button, and you can resize it by scrolling the mouse.

After closing the background panel you get into prop mode, which is there to move, resize, and color image and sound files, tokens, and effects. You can still also move your background in prop mode while clicking and holding the right button. Want to load some props, like tokens, WebM effects? Click the library icon (a bulleted list icon on the menu) and find some built-in props or use the + icon in the library to add your own files. (Read more about this in the library section below)

If you don’t want your players to see the whole map, then by clicking into FOW mode (covered eye icon) and clicking ‘cover everything’ you can make everything go dark on the map for them. Then as they uncover the realm, you can gradually reveal it with the brush or the rectangle tool. Even if you leave this scene, the software will remember which areas were visible or hidden from your players.

If you don’t have a grid on your map, then you can add a quad or hex grid onto it in grid mode. You can set up its width, color, and opacity, too.

Understanding menu buttons and functions

DD editor toolbar
  1. Background mode: This button brings you to background mode and opens a window where you can set a background image or video
  2. Prop mode: If a prop is selected, a window opens where you can edit the selected prop
  3. Fog of war mode: Use this button to open the Fog Of War settings
  4. Grid mode: Use this button to open the grid settings
  5. Group selected props / disband selected group
  6. Remove selected prop(s) from a group
  7. Move selected props up in hierarchy
  8. Move selected prop down in hierarchy
  9. Volume mixer
  10. Scene title and notes: Here you can add a title, and make notes for the current scene
  11. Global enhancements: Here you can adjust the look of the whole scene – exposure, contrast etc.
  12. Export a screenshot of the current scene: You can make a snapshot of the current scene
  13. Fast scene selector: Brings up the story view in a smaller size, so you can switch to a different scene
  14. Open the library: Opens the background and prop library on the right, where you can load various static and animated props
  15. Save & return to the story view: Return to Story view
  16. Play / pause story: Stops projecting scene on the secondary display
  17. Save story
  18. Application settings
  19. Help: Brings you to this page

Background settings

On this panel, you’ll be able to adjust the look of your background video or image. If a video is loaded, it’ll be looped.

You can position the background by clicking and holding the right mouse button, and you can resize it by scrolling the mouse.

After closing the background panel you get into prop mode, but you can still also move the background while clicking and holding the right button.

  1. Opens a “File Open Dialog” to select a new background video or image
  2. Change the tint of the background.
  3. Pick a color between white, color and black, or Input a custom Hex-Value for the color.
  4. Hue: Change the color of the background. Saturation: Amount of color in the background (Left = Black and White | Right = More colors). Brightness: Amount of light in the background (Left = No Light | Right = Only light). Contrast: Amount of difference between light and dark parts (Left = High Contrast | Right = Low Contrast)
  5. Mirror the background on the vertical / horizontal axis.
  6. Puts the background in front or behind the grid

Fog of War settings

  1. Brush or Area Fog of War tool: Round = Brush Tool | Square = Area Tool
  2. Cover everything: Fills the background with Fog of War
  3. Reveal everything: Clears Fog of War
  4. Sets the transparency of the FoW (Left = Completly Transparent | Right = Completly Black) Note: This has no affect for the Player Window
  5. Hardness: Hardness of the Brush
  6. Size: Size of the Brush
  7. Square or Round Brush

Grid settings

  1. Type and thickness: choose a grid type and thickness
  2. Tint: Change the color of the grid
  3. Input a custom Hex-Value for the color.
  4. Offset: You can position the grid while clicking and holding the right button.
  5. Set the size of the grid (4,10 is suitable for 40″ TVs)
  6. Alpha: Ptransparency of the grid

Volume mixer

Displays all sound-emitting objects

  1. The name is displayed at the top
  2. Percentage of volume and a slider to adjust the volume
  3. Mute this object

Notes

Opens notes regarding the Scene

  1. title: Input a name. This will be displayed in the Story view
  2. edit: bold, italic buttons
  3. list buttons
  4. Input notes for the scene

Global Adjustments

Opens the Global Scene Adjustments

  1. effects: Exposure
  2. effects: Contast
  3. effects: Saturation
  4. effects: Hue
  5. vignette: Intensity
  6. vignette: Smoothness
  7. vignette: Rounded
  8. global shadow alpha: transparency of the shadow
  9. Change the tint of the shadows in this scene.
  10. Change the angle of the shadows in this scene
  11. Shadow distance by exact number
  12. Input a custom Hex-Value for the color

Export Screenshot of the Current Scene

Take Screenshot. Opens the Export Window

  1. Export an Image of this map with all Props in PNG or JPG formats
  2. set resolutions
  3. export a file

Library

Opens a Panel for backgrounds and different types of props.

  1. hierarchy panel
  2. library
  3. search bar
  4. Browse any kind of supported file
  5. Browse and import an entire folder
  6. Static backgrounds: ALT + drag will load the selected image or video as a background. Normal dragging will load the image / video as a prop
  7. Sound files
  8. Video backgrounds: ALT + drag will load the selected image or video as a background. Normal dragging will load the image / video as a prop. MP4, M4V and VP8 webm
  9. 3d models (in experimental phase)
  10. Animations (more to come soon)
  11. Particle effects (more to come soon)
  12. Collapsible category tags
  13. Browse and load backgrounds or props
  14. ALT + drag will load the selected image or video as a background. Normal dragging will load the image / video as a prop

Prop settings, loading a prop

The first time you load a prop, it may appear on the scene at a very small size. This is because you have not yet set your ideal default prop scale value. You can do this in two ways: one is to scale up the prop, then click on the “set as default scale” and from then on all other props will be set to this scale value. Or you can set it to a value greater than 1 in the program settings (gear icon on the menu). As for the default settings, a value of 7.5 is suitable for a 40-inch TV.

To load a new prop (png, mp3, webm etc) go to the library (bulleted list icon on the menu, or the small 〈 icon on the right side of the screen) and click the plus icon to add a prop or more props to the library. On windows, you can simply drag and drop a file into the scene editor.

  1. thumbnail
  2. You can add a custom name for the prop and display it above or below the prop. It’ll be visilbe for your players.
  3. Name of the prop
  4. Set the size and the position of the prop
  5. rotation of the prop (90 degrees left and right buttons)
  6. The actual scale value will be applied to every prop / the two icons below mirror the prop
  7. This prop will be above / below the grid
  8. Set the tint of the prop
  9. Various coloring and transparency settings
  10. Add notes to this prop
  11. Prop shadow settings

Application Settings

Opens the Configuration for the Editor and Player

  1. Player monitor ID: The monitor the Player Window will display on. (Can’t change ID while the window is open.)
  2. Shows or hides Tooltips: Best expirience if “Show” is selected
  3. Selects the Default Shadow Type for Props:
    None: No shadow
    Global: This prop will use the global parameters for shadow (this settings will create a directional shadow)
    Local: This prop will use indipendet shadow parameters (this settings will create a directional shadow)
    Soft: This prop will cast a shadow, that is all the way around the prop
  4. Sets the default Scale for new placed Props As for the default settings, a value of 7.5 is suitable for a 40-inch TV.
  5. Selects the default prop visibility, (the only gm function is currently malfunctioning, leave it at “all”. the bug will be fixed soon)

Hotkeys

  1. Remove a prop from the scene: Control / Command + Delete or Backspace
  2. Undo / redo: Ctrl + Z / Ctrl + Y
  3. Copy / Paste: Ctrl + C / Ctrl + V
  4. Shake the prop: Left Control / Command + click
  5. Multi Select Modifier: LeftShift or RightShift
  6. Snap Modifier: LeftAlt
  7. Grid Toggle: LeftControl or LeftCommand and G
  8. Mute Scene Key: LeftControl or LeftCommand and M
  9. Cover With Fog: LeftAlt or RightAlt and C
  10. Reveal With Fog: LeftAlt or RightAlt and F
  11. Duplicate Prop: LeftControl or LeftCommand and D
  12. Ping: LeftControl or LeftCommand and Space
  13. Group: LeftControl or LeftCommand and G
  14. Nudge Left: LeftArrow
  15. Nudge Right: RightArrow
  16. Nudge Up: UpArrow
  17. Nudge Down: DownArrow
  18. Nudge Modifier: LeftShift or RightShift
  19. Exit or go Back to the story view: Esc

Known issues

– Video looping is not seamless on Mac (unfortunately this is the weakness of Unity video player on OSX), but we’re already working on it to fix it

– The default prop visibility in the setting is currently malfunctioning, do not use the gm only mode, leave it at “all”. This bug will be fixed soon.

– Drag’n drop on the application from an outside source (for example file explorer) doesn’t work on Mac.

– Some of the .animation files made for the previous edition don’t work here.

– There are only a few particle effects is available in the software, and the 3d model compatibility is in an experimental phase, but you’ll have more free assets in the upcoming months.

– The public Unity project file that lets you create your own effects called ‘prefabs’ is not ready yet

If you find a bug in the program, you can report it here: BUG REPORT

FAQ

If I become a patron, will I get the application too?

The software is not part of the patronage, you can buy it for 30 USD. The app is in constant development and future updates are included in the price.

I’ve already bought the previous version of the Editor, should I pay for this one, too?

No. If you purchased any previous edition before, then you were sent a steam key to the email address which is connected to your PayPal account. If you don’t have access to that email address anymore, or you forgot which email it was then please get in contact with us at mate.voros@dynamicdungeons.com and we’ll send you the key to download and install the new version of Editor for free.

How should I activate the Steam key?

Please follow these instructions to activate a new retail purchase on Steam:

  1. Launch the Steam client software and log into your Steam account.
  2. Click the Games menu option at the top of the Steam client.
  3. Choose Activate a Product on Steam…
  4. Follow the onscreen instructions to complete the process.

Read this article on Steam about how to activate a product.

Props are very small when I drag them to the scene

The first time you load a prop, it may appear on the scene at a very small size. This is because you have not yet set your ideal default prop scale value. You can do this in two ways: one is to scale up the prop, then click on the “set as default scale” and from then on all other props will be set to this scale value. Or you can set it to a value greater than 1 in the program settings. (small gear icon)