• On The Map - Interviews with Cartographers 16

    Continuing our series of interviews with cartographers, this month we're talking to Dan Roy, known to many as Bogie. He's best known for his battle maps and their level of detail, as well as always being positive and friendly.
    We asked him 7 questions, as we will in each interview.

    1) Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background...
    My name is Dan Roy, most of you know me as Bogie. In real life I am an Optometrist living in southern Maine, USA where I have been helping my patients see better for almost 40 years. My wife & I have two adult children who both live in Los Angeles. I enjoy kayaking, sightseeing, snorkeling and I still play a pretty decent game of racquetball. After hanging around DundJinni Forums for so long I became a moderator and then eventually an Administrator. I still try to do as much as I can to help people with Dundjinni, but unfortunately the site and software is failing. In 2011 someone suggested I enter one of my maps in Cartographers Guild Challenge and I joined the good people here. Eventually, I was offered a position of Community Leader and I have been helping by running the Lite Challenge ever since.

    2) How did you get into mapping?
    I started playing D&D in 1980 while I was in the Army at Ft. Campbell, KY. In all the years I have been a DM I have never been happy with the blueprint type dungeon maps that came with the old game adventures. in 2007 I was surfing the web looking for new D&D related sites and I stumbled across the DundJinni Forums and I was blown away by these highly detailed color maps. I got my hands on a copy of DundJinni and couldn't believe the battlemaps I could make with it. I have never had any drawing skill but DJ let me get past that. I find it interesting that while I can precisely use a sharp instrument to remove a tiny piece of metal embedded in a patient's eye, I can't draw a straight line or circle. I've always been a fairly good photographer and back in my early days I figured out how to turn top-down photos into realistic looking mapping elements. I picked up an old copy of Photoshop and by trial and error, lots of error, I learned how to make objects like tables out of photo textures. I've gotten pretty well known for my mapping elements.

    3) Do you create maps professionally, or for fun? If you've sold your work, how did you get started? Any fun/horror stories to share about commissioned work?
    Mostly I map for fun, but I have done quite a few commissions. I have made maps for a bunch of indie game publishers like Super Genius Games, Adventure-a-Week and Eldrich Enterprises. For the past three years I have been doing a lot of private commissions for an individual who has me upgrading many of the old 1st ed AD&D gme module maps so he can play online with his family & friends. Right now I am even DMing B3 - Palace of the Silver Princess for him using the maps I made. I am almost finished with all the maps for the Judges Guild - Caverns of Thracia. The only horror stories I have are a couple times in the beginning I made some maps for free so that I could work with some big names in the business and thereby get some "exposure" only to have them forget to credit me for the cartography. Live & learn.

    4) What kind of computer setup/equipment/software do you have? Any advice or tips for learners?
    I have a pretty basic Toshiba Satellite laptop running Win 7. Dundjinni is still my main mapping program ( along with Photoshop CS2 for modifications ) and DJ doesn't play well with Win 8 & 10. My advice for newbies is "Don't be afraid to try new things, ask for and listen to the advice of others and try your hand at the Lite Challenge, it is a great way to push yourself to get better. AND play nice. One of the great things about Cartographer's Guild and the DundJinni Forums is how wonderful the community is. But it is also very obvious that just one or two people with the wrong attitude can sour things for everyone, Don't be that Guy (or girl). If you like confrontation, go to Facebook.

    5) What are your favourite kind of maps or favourite map makers from history?
    While I occasionally stray into making other types of maps, my niche is clearly semi-realistic Fantasy Battlemaps. There are lots of current mappers whose work I love, but I have not really studied historical maps.

    6) What do you consider your best piece of work? How about your favourite, if different?
    I've been really pleased with how a couple of my recent Challenge maps came out; Dark Shadows-Collinswood manor, and The Tomb of the Lich Brothers. Of my older maps, I always liked Twin Falls Fortress and Lair of the Sorcerer's Apprentice.

    7) Where can we find you on the web?
    Here at Cartographer's Guild, on DundJinni Forums when they are working,
    I also have a large gallery on Deviant Art where I am Bogie-DJ ( because "Bogie" was already taken)
    and I have a Facebook page showing some of my maps.
    Comments 8 Comments
    1. Mouse's Avatar
      Mouse -
      Oh Bogie that's fascinating

      You have some beautiful dungeon maps, and you've shared so much with the mapping and RPG community for so many years - thousands... possibly tens of thousands of high quality and outstandingly beautiful mapping elements too.

      Thanks for sharing these maps and your story with us
    1. Diamond's Avatar
      Diamond -
      All hail Bogie, master of semi-realistic Fantasy Battlemaps!

      Seriously though, nice to read a little more about you - you're a welcome element of stability and reasoned thought here, not to mention talent.
    1. Jaxilon's Avatar
      Jaxilon -
      Excellent and great to get to know you better friend. Thanks again for the Jester's Eyrie! My group made a mad dash securing their favorite rooms.
    1. Ilanthar's Avatar
      Ilanthar -
      That was a good read . I bet there are so many people (including me) that thanked you in front of their screen for the incredible amount of maps and mapping elements you posted.
    1. ChickPea's Avatar
      ChickPea -
      Great interview, Bogie. Thanks for taking part!
    1. ThomasR's Avatar
      ThomasR -
      Thanks for sharing Bogie ! As Diamond said it before, you're a pillar of the Guild and the element of stability he talked about is one to be saluted
    1. Bogie's Avatar
      Bogie -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jaxilon View Post
      Excellent and great to get to know you better friend. Thanks again for the Jester's Eyrie! My group made a mad dash securing their favorite rooms.
      Thanks Jax, I love hearing that your players had favorite rooms!
    1. Bogie's Avatar
      Bogie -
      Thanks everyone, I really appreciate all the nice comments!