Infiniverse Exchange Early Access

Doc Gordon
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Re: Infiniverse Exchange Early Access

Postby Doc Gordon » Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:29 pm

I missed your deadline, Eric, but that's alright, I've been sort of stumped on what it is I would like to do, anyway, though I definitely would love to write and put things together. I work with transparent .PNGs often, though I tend to take a lot of time removing transients, perhaps more than I should. I would be happy to work with folks to make transparencies look really nice, by the way.

However, though I would not have anything done by December 8th, I do have a question or two concerning InDesign... I have never even looked at the program, it's entirely too expensive. I'm already paying $100/year for Office 360, so is it absolutely necessary to pay $240 a year for InDesign if we want to design products for Torg? Or, would it be possible to do so in Office?

Eric USNA
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Re: Infiniverse Exchange Early Access

Postby Eric USNA » Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:24 am

You definitely do not have to use InDesign. That's why we provide the transparent image files as well - so that you can import them into any desktop publisher. Word will work, but it's not ideal. There are other inexpensive solutions with a little more power. I haven't used Publisher, but I assume that would have some decent capabilities.

Some other inexpensive options include Scribus (free) and Serif PagePlus (currently very cheap because it is being shifted to a new product line in the near future).

Whatever you use, I do recommend picking up a full version of Acrobat if you're going to be putting out a lot of PDFs. Most desktop publishers (even InDesign) aren't great at a lot of the finer points of PDF editing during output. For things like adding metadata, combining PDF files, and resaving as a more compressed file, you'll want to do that directly in Acrobat.

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Kuildeous
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Re: Infiniverse Exchange Early Access

Postby Kuildeous » Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:33 am

So how important is the look? I can use Word to present a workable two-column format with headings and paragraph styles, but it obviously won't follow the InDesign template, and it won't even have the same layout features as InDesign. But the information can be presented in columns and tables.

I suppose my main question with the graphics is: Are they mostly included so that we can fluff it up a bit with pictures of possible scenes and characters?
The Boneyard – Friends and foes within Tharkold's Blasted Land

Infiniverse Exchange Word template – Infiniverse Exchange template for MS Word users

Eric USNA
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Re: Infiniverse Exchange Early Access

Postby Eric USNA » Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:44 am

We strongly recommend you use at least the layout graphics as much as possible. The more you follow the style guidelines and the general Torg layout, the more people will find it appealing as a product. If you're using Word, you can put the full-page background behind your 2-column text and adjust your margins so that it matches. If you do that and use the fonts that we use, you can do a reasonable approximation. With a little tweaking, you can even line up your footer so the page number is in the right place.

Speaking as a publisher myself, I can tell you that the look of your product matters quite a bit. Even if you keep it simple, you'll still want to make it look like you've done more than just throw up a Word document. Don't forget that DriveThruRPG generates a page preview of your product, so people will get to see the layout before the buy.

Doc Gordon
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Re: Infiniverse Exchange Early Access

Postby Doc Gordon » Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:25 am

Eric USNA wrote:You definitely do not have to use InDesign. That's why we provide the transparent image files as well - so that you can import them into any desktop publisher.
Excellent! I have Publisher, though I've honestly never used it; I have been able to make Word sing in the past. I'm certain I can do the same with Publisher, I just need to learn how to use it, quickly.

Whatever you use, I do recommend picking up a full version of Acrobat if you're going to be putting out a lot of PDFs. For things like adding metadata, combining PDF files, and resaving as a more compressed file, you'll want to do that directly in Acrobat.
Saving as PDF for Word does a passable job, for certain, but I remember the last time I had the full version of Acrobat I really enjoyed it, so I'll certainly look into that.

Eric USNA wrote:Speaking as a publisher myself, I can tell you that the look of your product matters quite a bit. Even if you keep it simple, you'll still want to make it look like you've done more than just throw up a Word document. Don't forget that DriveThruRPG generates a page preview of your product, so people will get to see the layout before the buy.
Then I shall endeavor to learn Publisher and make her look as close to 'reality' as possible :) .

Thank you, sir. I'm grateful for your insight and look forward to putting my skills to use, soon.

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Stewbacca
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Re: Infiniverse Exchange Early Access

Postby Stewbacca » Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:32 am

If you go to Adobe, you can "buy" InDesign for a month for $29. It doesn't have to be a recurring month over month expense. Just saying.

Doc Gordon
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Re: Infiniverse Exchange Early Access

Postby Doc Gordon » Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:47 am

Yes, I saw that last night, and I'm contemplating. :)

Eric USNA
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Re: Infiniverse Exchange Early Access

Postby Eric USNA » Thu Nov 30, 2017 12:19 pm

I will note that InDesign has a VERY steep learning curve. If you want to go that route, plan on spending some time with it. And likely with some tutorial videos.

dchart
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Re: Infiniverse Exchange Early Access

Postby dchart » Fri Dec 01, 2017 11:14 am

Eric USNA wrote:I will note that InDesign has a VERY steep learning curve. If you want to go that route, plan on spending some time with it. And likely with some tutorial videos.

Yep. This is why my first product, at least, will be laid out in LibreOffice; there's no way I can get up to speed on InDesign before the deadline.

There'll probably be a LibreOffice template available at the end of it, BTW.

Doc Gordon
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Re: Infiniverse Exchange Early Access

Postby Doc Gordon » Fri Dec 01, 2017 11:35 am

Alright, thus comes my next question -and, perhaps I missed it somewhere: where can I find the layout stuff, the template materials you want us to use, Eric?


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