An Interview with Sven Werlen, aka Dorgendubal, creator of Moulinette.
This article is paired with an AMA (Ask Me Anything) at the Foundry Reddit. Questions for Dorgendubal? Find the AMA link *HERE*
Moulinette fr. / mu.li.nɛt /
- A Food Mill.
- The ostentatious twirling of a sword when facing multiple opponents, suggesting the turning sails of a windmill.
Dorgendubal chose Moulinette for his suite of modules because “most of what my modules do is transforming data into something else. Moulinette Cloud automatically converts images to webp format, then the Tiles module reuses the images and converts them into tiles, tokens or articles.”
Moulinette is a series of modules created by Sven Werlen, aka Dorgendubal, a talented programmer from Switzerland who now lives in Montréal, Canada. The modules consist of a core and 5 sub-modules which have different functions. You only need to install the core and then you are free to install whichever modules suit your needs.
- Moulinette Forge – Scenes: seamlessly import fully built scenes into your world. Share your scenes with the community.
- Moulinette Forge – Sounds: bring your own sounds and let Moulinette manage them for you (or search from a massive database). Search and play a sound on-the-fly or create a playlist. Create a unique soundboard using icons to represent sounds.
There’s a lot here so let’s dive in! First up we hear from Sven and learn how this fantastic suite of modules came about.
FHub: What does Moulinette do for Foundry users?
SW: Moulinette provides a set of tools to help DMs managing and searching their assets. You can drop all your assets in one or more folders and the module will index them in order to access them in Foundry with user-friendly interfaces. For example, an image can serve as a tile but also as a token (for a character) or even as a journal.
On top of that the module also implements a few integrations with external search engines like game-icons.net, the BBC sound effects library or even image search using the Creative Commons search engine or Bing.
You are in the middle of a game and a player asks you for a description of the inn? You can within seconds search for images with terms like “rpg medieval inn” and generate a journal that you can share with your players.
The Moulinette Sounds module also provides a soundboard which allows a GM to quickly play a selected or randomly chosen sound from a list, as well as decorate the sounds on it with different icons.
FHub: There’s a lot of powerful tools here. How (and why) did you develop such an advanced set of modules?
SW: I discovered Foundry in April of 2020 and immediately fell in love with its flexibility. As I built my campaign (as a DM), I ran into some repetitive actions that I tried to optimize. I started by developing macros, then modules. Then, a few people from the Francophone community began to appreciate certain elements and to suggest improvements. In summary, initially, it is above all for my games that I developed these modules. And I still use them a lot.
FHub: You’re obviously a talented programmer. How did you develop that skillset?
FHub:What drove you to create this series of tools?
SW: It is very rewarding to see other users enjoying your work. I have a particular motivation because, as a DM, I use my modules every week. But I’m impressed with the amount of great suggestions for improvement coming from users. And I especially love chatting with creators, understanding how they work, and trying to find ways to make it easier for them. If I can save one hour an artist spends “wasting” his time in packaging and publishing his creations, that means that this same artist can spend that hour creating amazing assets.
FHub: What’s next for Moulinette? Where do you see the development of this module going?
SW: I am now focusing on the cloud part of Moulinette. My goal with this project is to bring creators closer to their users. Moulinette Cloud offers fast hosting capabilities for creators which can save them a lot of time. For example, Moulinette Cloud automatically converts images to webp format or even generates thumbnails for videos. It also offers integration with Patreon to secure your assets. On the other hand, users no longer need to download, update, host and index assets from the content creators they support. As soon as a creator publishes a pack, it becomes immediately available to his supporters (through Moulinette’s interfaces and searches). You don’t even need to reload your page.
Creators interested in joining Moulinette’s cloud service can check it out here.