Welcome to the DMDJ User Guide, we hope you have a good read and that this will help you use the application, to the fullest extent of its features and capabilities, we also hope that you will enjoy many hours of cool sessions of your favorite pen & paper role playing game, enhancing them with DMDJ, the complete RPG experience.
To easily explain the functionality of DMDJ and the best way for the user to handle it, we need first to make a quick explanation of some key concepts and to give you a little background on what exactly this application does and how can it add extra coolness to your RPG sessions.
First of all this application runs on iOS and Android mobile devices, it can be easily run from your smartphone but for the best user experience and if available the tablet offers a bigger screen. Also, DMDJ is designed for playback through a Hi-Fi sound system. To get the optimum audio experience, please connect your smartphone or tablet device, with your domestic sound amplification system. This can be your Hi-Fi set, Home Cinema speaker setup or similar devices. Please consult the documentation of both your smartphone or tablet and chosen playback device, in order to connect them using a proper and safe method.
You can easily find specialized connector cables from your device to the amplifier that also feature USB cable extensions to charge your device while playing; this can help you keep long sessions under control without losing juice. Another solution can be to connect your device directly from the headphone output to your amplification system by using the appropriate cable, depending on each device’s inputs and outputs, this must comply with the recommendations of the device manufacturer, and you should consider reading them, in order to avoid damaging your equipment or your hearing. Either way, the best is to consult the documentation of all the devices and choose the best option that your devices support.
Let us move on to some key concepts, regarding the sound of DMDJ and what it can add to your fun.
The whole idea for DMDJ, came to us when playing and we tried to add some environmental and ambient sounds, together with music and sound effects into our sessions. Being game developers ourselves and on the same time half of the team are skilled musicians and producers, so we thought, what cooler than an app to do that for as! Of course, at the time we had the idea, there was no mobile platform to support the functionality we had in mind. We wanted something next-gen, something modern and full of features, which will allow this application to grow and grow and grow. We knew that things are going to get big in the mobile industry, having already seen the news and advertisements of the iPhone and other devices that were soon to come to the market. So we got down to business and started developing the application you now know as DMDJ, and we plan to use it to revolutionize the way RPGs are played and the way Digital Storytelling works.
Now you will ask, what DMDJ does, it’s very easy to explain, so here we go.
DMDJ is an application specially designed to playback and mix, elements of sounds already extracted and isolated, using random settings that are changing through time, creating ambiances of specific environments and places, in a way that it doesn’t get irritatingly repetitive. The power of DMDJ lies in the depths of its Audio Playback Engine, which is developed after many years of research, and it can be used to playback audio with the same quality and algorithms, used by hi-end desktop games, to provide the player with a top-of-the-line audio experience.
To get a little more on details, and only to give you a small idea of what DMDJ does, imagine that we have a recording of a forest. We process the sound, and we can extract separate layers of noisy loops that contain the noise fingerprint of the forest sound without the melodic parts (bird chirps, air gusts, etc.), then we extract the melodic elements of the captured forest audio, bird chirps, air gusts, etc. We then combine them with the powerful audio engine of DMDJ, to a complete environmental preset that when selected, it will playback all those extracted features randomly changing them over time, processing them with extra effect algorithms, like reverb to add the correct “space” for each environment and give depth for immersion to the ambience of each preset.
On top of that, we included extra sound effects and weather phenomena, which will playback through the space reverb of each environmental preset and filtered for indoor or outdoor settings, for added reality to the sound.
Let’s get down to the features of DMDJ by exploring the user interface and the application’s capabilities.
The Main Screen
The main screen of DMDJ features all the functions that you need to create a great atmosphere for your sessions. Let’s take a look at each section below.
The Now Playing Field
In this field, you will always see which environment is playing back. Easy and straightforward as that.
The Snapshots Button
With this button, you can access the favorite snapshots you created and saved for ease of access. More on that later in the manual, but for now, just keep in mind that you can store the status of DMDJ, meaning which environment is playing and, if you have added, music and weather, to a preset list, to be able to access that later with one touch. That way you can work your favorite scenario chapters before your sessions and them be ready to use them at once.
The Environment Types Panel
This panel gets you to the corresponding list of environmental sound presets. The lists are broken down into six different types; we have Nature, Town, Dungeon, Battle, Special and final Music.
The last button, Music, also features a play/pause button, so in case you are playing back music together with an environment, you can quickly pause the music and restart it anytime.
Keep in mind that each environmental preset that you select, is not just a sound file playing back in a loop. Each preset consists of many sounds playing back at the same time, with varied properties and digital effects that change over time, to give a complete representation of a natural environment. That way, the audio never repeats, keeping your mind immersed into the experience of your game.
The Intensity Level Panel
This panel gives you control over the intensity of each environmental preset. Don’t think of volume gain; this is a complicated control made easy. For instance, if you are playing back a town preset with people, the more intensity will add up people voices, cars, and other elements. In an arachnid lair, you can increase or decrease the appearance of arachnids and the creepiness of the cave. You get the picture!
Try changing the intensity of various presets, to get the idea of what it does with each one.
The Day/Night Cycle Toggle
Apart from being able to change the intensity of each live environment, you can also set if you want it to simulate at night or day.
This can also be set in the app settings to change from one state to the other automatically, within a specific time that you can set.
The Weather Button
DMDJ features the ability to emulate various weather conditions. You can access the list of available weather conditions from this button.
Have in mind that those weather presets will play back together with the environment that it’s playing.
One key concept to understand, is that DMDJ features a complete environmental audio simulator, so for example, if you choose a heavy rain weather to play while you are in a cave environment, the simulation will play back the rain as you would hear it from within the cave if it were raining outside the cave. Every sound is correctly simulated in order to play as it would be in reality, that way you can achieve a better immersion for your storytelling.
The FX Button
Sometimes a special effect at the right moment can make all the difference in storytelling.
DMDJ features many effects, categorized in different lists. You can access those lists from this button.
Again, as standard, each sound effect that you will choose to play, will play with the right filters in order to sound as it comes from the environment that you are already playing back.
On the same philosophy, each effect that you choose is not a sound, but a container of similar sounds that play back with some randomness added for a more immersive experience and to add reality for the listener. Try it, play back a dragon effect from the monsters category and then play back the same dragon effect another time, it is not the same sound, those are different dragon roars that play. How cool is that?
The Mixer Button
The mixer button is a fast shortcut to the mixer settings, from there you can easily choose the level of the music, the fx and the weather groups of sounds and quickly make a choice between three different states to assist your storytelling. You can choose to mute the app completely in order to take a moment of silence, to dim the sounds so that your voice can be heard clearer on the table, or to return to the default playback mode.
The Dice Panel
From the dice panel, you can access the different dice types that DMDJ offers in order to throw dice quickly while you play.
In order of appearance we have the Advanced Formulas, which contain sets of dice the user can roll with one touch, you can make your sets and name them as you like also. Second is the Custom Dice sector which contains dice that the user can create, and each side can have its label, weighting, and even a sound effect when it’s rolled. The last is the Quick Roll, which offers a simple one dice or many dice adding roller tool, with the extra option named “Matrix Results” in which you can roll and see the results of a set of many dice of the same kind. All those buttons are on/off state, which means that you press once, and you are in the corresponding tool, then to exit and return to the main screen, you press the same button again.
The types are Advanced, Custom, and Quick and we will learn more later on this manual.
The Edit Mode Button
From this button you can switch the whole application to edit mode, in that mode you can change the settings and preferences of DMDJ, you can create snapshot presets, favorite fx presets, make your advanced dice formulas or custom dice and more.
Edit mode is a toggle just like the dice buttons are; that means that when you press them, the app turns into edit mode, and you can see what you can edit because the rest of the elements are dimmed down. To return to the default functioning mode, you have to press the editor mode button again.
The Environment Lists
When you choose an environment category from the main screen, you will be guided to a touch-scrollable list of all the environments that fall under each category. You can choose which environment you would like for DMDJ to simulate and return to the main screen with the “Back” button at the button of each list.
In the general app settings, you can also choose to stay on a list after selecting a preset, locking the app from returning to the main screen automatically after selecting a preset.
Music Tracks List
The Music Categories List
This list features different categories with music files that the team of Blueface Games gathered from talented composers, to give you a head start with your storytelling.
By choosing a category, you will them be guided within this category in order to select a music track.
The Music Tracks List
From here you can choose which music track you would like to hear together with the rest of the sounds and atmospheres.
You can choose the track to play “Solo”, and that will mute the other sounds and play back only the music, or “+Env” that will add the music to the rest of the sounds that are already playing.
If you look at the top right section, you will see that there is also a “User” tab. By choosing this tab, you can select one of the tracks that you uploaded to the device, either by making individual playlists in iTunes for iOS, or by creating a special folder on your device for Android.
You can read more about how to insert your music playlists to use with DMDJ on the links below:
The Edit Mode
When you press the toggle button titled “Edit Mode”, DMDJ turns only to what you can modify.
From here you can change the settings of the app, perform some actions, edit your lists of snapshots and fx favorites, access this manual and our official support portal or read the credits.
As you see, you can also edit the presets of the Advanced Formulas and Custom Dice.
To exit this mode, you must touch again the “Edit Mode” toggle button.
The Settings Pages
When you are in Edit Mode, and you press the Settings button you will go to the Settings pages. Let’s see what you can find there.
Page 1: General Settings
In this page, you can set if you like the Day/Night Cycle to be automatic, by checking the “Day/Night Cycle” checkbox. You can also adjust the time that the cycle takes to change from day to night and from night to day. There you can also choose if you want a sound to play back every time there is a cycle change, choose from a variety of sounds, the best that fits your game theme.
Page 2: Mixer
Here you can set the volume of each group of sounds and access the quick buttons of Master Volume playback (Normal, Dim, and Mute), in order to help your storytelling.
You can use the Master Volume states as:
Normal: DMDJ functions as intended, this is the default and standard state that you should use while playing.
Dim: This state keeps dimmed all the sounds at a minimal level, in order to help you if you want to speak up and not get interrupted by sounds or music. You can use this to duck the sound as radio producers use to do while talking. Don’t overdo it, as this can break the immersion of your players.
Mute: This is self-describing, it will mute DMDJ until pressed again.
This page can also be accessed quickly from the main screen, by the “Mixer” button.
Page 3: Auto-Return
As every user plays differently, various functions of the interface can be set to stay on the same page or return to the main screen when a sound/preset/environment is selected.
For example, many users like to auto-return to the main screen from all the lists except the Snapshots List and the FX List.
Choose what you think is more suitable for your style of interaction with DMDJ.
The Actions Page
When you are in Edit Mode and press the “Actions” button, you will see the actions page; this page reflects the actions available on your platform and device.
In this page, you can choose to “Refresh User’s Content” or “Restore Factory Presets”.
The first option will scan your devices content for user content such as music and import it for use from within DMDJ. Check out the corresponding section of this manual regarding that.
The second option will erase all your settings, dice presets, snapshots, etc. and return DMDJ to the factory state. That is the state that it had when you first installed it.
All those actions will supply a confirmation dialog, and you will be able to accept or cancel the actions before it takes place.
Above you can see a confirmation dialog after the user content importing action is run, asking the user if he/she likes to erase the current records of the user content and import the newly found items in the database for use from within DMDJ.
Please note, there is no undo on those actions.
The Snapshots Editor
The snapshots editor is where you can create, edit, save and delete your favorites.
You can make a new preset and then choose the environment that you would like to simulate, the music and how it will play, if it will be day or night, the weather you like and the intensity of the environment. Then you can save this as a new preset in the snapshots list. The list that you can quickly access from the main screen with the photographic camera (the snapshots button) on the right of the now playing field.
The FX Favorites
From here you can edit a list of your Favorite FX and then access them fast from the FX button on the main page under the second tab called “Favorites”.
Each effect that you choose to be on your favorites list will have a star on the right. From this editor, you can also remove effects from your favorite fx list.
Advanced Dice Formula Editor
Advanced Dice Formula Editor
With this editor, you can create your own formulas to quickly use them while playing. You can add new presets, edit the old ones, delete and test the preset of dice that you would like to roll with each press of this preset.
Custom Dice Editor
Custom Dice Editor
DMDJ offers the ability to make your own die. This is very useful when, for example, you like to create custom dice for random encounters, hit location, monster spawns, etc.
You can change the weighting of each side, making your die truly custom and giving your player an easy or a hard time if you like. Keep in mind that the chance fields of all the sides of each custom die must sum up to a total of 100% for you to be able to save that custom die preset. You can use the “all chances are equal” button to distribute the weight automatically, equally on all sides.
A great feature that you can also use here is the ability to connect each side of your custom die with a sound effect. Perfect to announce to your player a random encounter, right? Use your imagination; the sky’s the limit!
Here are some quick tips to get you better started in using DMDJ!
- While you are planning your story/scenario for the sessions to come, use the Snapshots Editor to create and store the best possible environments that will complement your story. That way you can later focus on playing/storytelling and quickly find the sound that you like for the corresponding place in your story or map. Name the snapshots with the chapter titles of your narrative.
- Do the same as above when you have finished designing your map. Give the same names of the locations on the map to the snapshot presets for ease of access.
- Before the guests arrive, do what the audio engineers and musicians call “a soundcheck”, connect DMDJ with your playback system and give it a try. Does it have a surround mode? DMDJ is designed to work well with all those extra techniques that domestic sound machines offer. Try them all out. Also, try to place your speakers apart from each other to fill the room with sound. DMDJ is not designed to play with a particular speaker placement, giving the users the freedom to perform great sound with any setup.
- Prepare all your favorite lists, dices and fx have a lot of variety and sometimes it’s hard to choose while you are narrating. If you have some specific monsters that you know that you are going to use, the add them on the FX Favorites list. Same goes for dice; you can have your advanced formulas all ready to roll when the time comes and also make your own custom dice. Did you know that, in custom dice, you can add a sound effect with each side, so when that side comes a sound will also play. Ideal for random monster encounters, damage, hit locations and anything else that could benefit from such function.
- Ask for support only through our Official Support Portal. If you post your questions or suggestions on app stores, forums and other places, we will not be able to help and answer you.
- Subscribe to our newsletter on the bottom right of our website, that way you will always get news and updates fast and directly. We don’t spam, and we are going to make some pretty cool offers to our subscribers only in the near future.
To get the best support, please use our Official Support Portal.
If you post issues or questions in various app stores, forums, etc.in order to, we will not be able to help you. So please use the official suppotosend us your questions, suggestions or just to say hi!
Thank you for choosing DMDJ to give life to your adventures, we wish you many long hours of fun and victories not only in the games but also in life!