Fractal Mapper 9 Development Status

Hi All,

I just wanted to provide an update on Fractal Mapper 9 and where it is with development.

Native 64bit Executable
Fractal Mapper 9 will be 64bit! Its already been successfully converted. It does seem a bit quicker, particularly on start up.

Tabbed Interface
FM9 will allow you to edit more than one map at a time. Each map will be in its own tab, much like different tabs in a web browser.

FM9 Packages
FM9 will feature a package system that lets you easily install symbols, textures, and patterns. The files can be placed into a zip file with a ".fmpackage" extension, along with a small metadata file in JSON format describing it. End users will be able to import the files in the package by simply using File->Open from the menu. No more worrying about placing files in the correct place!

Selection Improvements
Selecting objects with the pointer tool has been significantly improved. Previously, to select an object on the map, you had to click within an area defined by its control points - the points selected when the object was placed on the map. That often made it difficult to select fractal lines and other shapes, as their display might differ wildly from their control points. With FM9, you can select the object itself. For fractal lines, you can click anywhere on the line. In addition, the selection handles have been made a bit larger, and when you hover over a node, the cursor will change to indicate that you are over a selectable node.

Still to do (but not limited to):
- Painting by grid / updating the grid system
- Overhauling the scripting system, considering moving from VBScript to Lua.
- Improving Copy/Paste
- All new art - a complete replacement of the standard symbol set with higher resolution images.

I don't have an ETA available as of yet. Still hoping for some time this year. As always, there will be a discounted upgrade available to owners of the previous version.

(I keeping this thread closed so it can stay strictly informational and I can append new information down below, but if you have any questions, feel free to make another thread here in the forum or email me at the support address)


FM9.jpg 130.6K


  • Who's up for grid mode? You'll be able to paint by grid in FM9. This includes square, hex, offset square, and dot grids.

    You can also convert maps to grids. Here's an example of an FWE map converted.

    Or you can just go old school with your dungeon maps.

    There's an entirely new grid system under the hood in FM9. In addition to painting by grid, snapping also works on any grid type. You can also now snap to the center of a grid.

  • edited July 2018

    Oh, for grid painting, you can paint with a fill pattern, not just a solid color. Great for wargaming and miniatures maps.

  • edited July 2018

    In addition to the grid features, there's some other new functionality.

    The undo system has been completely redone. FM now features a full map undo, meaning any change to the map - including the map settings themselves - can be undone. And you can now redo an action after undoing it (if you haven't done anything new to the map).

    Also, there's this bad boy:

    This is the new map setup window. It will let you properly resize maps now. So you can expand that 100x100 mile map to a 200x200 mile map, and everything on it will be properly scaled. You can also select in which direction the map is resized.

  • edited October 2018

    Hi Folks, an update since its been a while...

    The scripting system has been updated. Previous versions of FM used Microsoft's ActiveScripting engine. While that worked well, its been depreciated, so there's no telling how long it will still be available. So FM9 is moving to a different, non-Microsoft VBScript implementation. Its compiled right into the program, so no external dependencies. This implementation is 90%+ compatible with the older one. There's a few changes here and there required for scripts - variables must be declared, for example. But I'm overall pleasantly surprised by its level of compatibility with MS's VBScript. I had played with the idea of switching to Lua (a language used a lot in game scripting) from VBScript, but that would be a large project and FM9 is already quite a task. Perhaps for FM10.

    I also removed a few scripting features, such as map events, timers, and global OLE support. I wanted to simplify the API and remove some features that are hardly ever used.

    Fractal Mapper Packages have also been extended to support scripts. This will allow for easy distribution of custom tools, features, and Inspiration Pad generators.

    Speaking of Inspiration Pad generators, FM9 will support them directly. So they will not need to be wrapped by a small script. Just drop an .IPT file into the plugins directory, and it will show up in FM's Inspiration Pad (the one built into FM, not the standalone Inspiration Pad Pro program).

    As always, do feel free to comment in a different thread. This thread is only closed so that all the updates can stay easily findable in one place.

  • edited January 2019

    Something that's different between Fractal Mapper 9 and previous versions is that people who download the 30 Day Trial version of Fractal Mapper will be able to activate the trial version and enable all its features without having to re-install the commercial version. Believe it or not, this is actually one of the more frequent requests I receive. So a complete activation system is being put in place to handle this. After a purchase, the buyer can enter the registration code & access code, which will retrieve and install the appropriate license information & artwork.

    Of course, the full installer will always be available. When using the full installer, no activation step is required.

    As always, do feel free to comment in a different thread. This thread is only closed so that all the updates can stay easily findable in one place.

This discussion has been closed.