Monday, June 11, 2012

Oooooh! Pretty!

Sandwyrm here. I just discovered Apple's 'iBooks Author' app last night. Turns out, it's what GW used to create their overpriced iPad version of the Space Marine codex. This is exactly the sort of digital book creation application that I've been looking for. So I've been playing around with it all morning. Which has me re-considering my rules workflow somewhat.

No, don't worry. I'm not intending to make the M42 rules iPad-only. There will still be a PDF version produced in parallel, which no doubt most folks will print in order to use. But an iBook does offer lots of advantages over a simple PDF. 

While GW focused solely on turning their codex into a fancy catalog of spinning models and whatnot, I see a lot of potential here for increased clarity. Demonstration videos and full 3D models can be embedded. Plus things like complex deployment diagrams could be broken up into a series of steps that read much more clearly. If you've ever tried to decipher the mission diagrams in Flames of War, you'll know exactly what I mean.

As far as workflow, I've been writing the rules in a word processor before posting them to the blog. But it might actually be better to start in iBA and then copy from there. Because the book templates are much better structured than Pages or Word and are easier to modify. 

And since this sort of publication is the future, well... I think it makes sense to embrace it as the primary design platform early on and then adapt it to a more standard PDF.


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