Stick With the Familiar?

As I approach putting together a new version of The Artifact, I’m continually asking what needs to change. One of those things that probably should change is the software being used to lay out the book.

In the past I’ve used Apples Pages 4.0 to put together the books. If you were unaware, the current version of Pages is 7. The reason I use an old version is because Apple significantly nerfed the product at version 5 and you just don’t have the level of control there was in 4.

I’ve worried that an update in the OS would make Pages 4 stop working someday. That hasn’t happened yet thankfully.

The last game I put together was with the free beta for Affinity Publisher. It seems very capable, although The Artifact is by far bigger than that project.

Something that gives me pause using Affinity Publisher is that it’s not easy to import tables and The Artifact has a lot of tables. That would end up a hard slog. It would give me a chance to catch errors but would also introduce the chance of me introducing errors.

What AP (Affinity Publisher) does afford is better control over layout and the opportunity to go to introduce a new style for 4th edition. I don’t know what that style should be, though.

I could try bringing the book into a 6×9 format. That would ballon the page count and would require a lot more art assuming 1 piece of art per 4 pages as I tried to get for 3e. There are a number of people that strongly prefer 6×9 but I’m not sure it would suit The Artifact. For one, the maps would have to be reduced in size and that would make details less noticeable.

I could bring in a new set of fonts but I hate picking fonts. Georgia, while nothing exciting is a solid and respectable font.

The other big concern is that AP is an unproven solution. Sure it works and is stable, but will it last as a platform? I think the answer is yes. The Affinity suite is taking on Adobe’s unattainable prices and I think that’s going to win them a lot of small publishers. Still, the original versions of The Artifact were layed out on a program called MacPublisher that went belly up. While that gives me pause, I know my current solution is also going away.

Looking at the big picture, moving to AP is going to be a slog and it raises a lot of questions but I know I should probably do it.


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6 Responses to Stick With the Familiar?

  1. brainwipe

    I’m feeling strong deja vu reading this! I can’t carry on with old InDesign forever, much like your problem with Pages. The way I’m going to try with AP is to edit all my text first and then import last. That way, if AP can’t write do it, I still have all the text I need. I’m luck that I don’t have the tables in Icar that you do in Artifact. The big ones on the appendices don’t need tabular layout.

    Good luck, keep us posted!

    • Loc

      Your last post about your progress with Icar was what prompted me to write this so the deja vu is just because you inspired the post in the first place!

  2. brainwipe

    I was about to pen another one about choosing writing tools. Perhaps by riffing off each other* we can perform some perpetual blogging!

    * Does that translate over the pond? Not sure if that is a colloquialism from here or there!

  3. I use Affinity PagePlus x9 and while I admit that there is no direct way to import a table into the program. I found that with html based tables all you have to do is copy it to the clipboard and paste it into the publication. The process takes a few seconds but X9 does a decent job fitting it into a table and putting it on the page. The AutoFormat thing also works wonders when it comes to making things look right.

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