Taking RPGs and Story Games to a Digital Format

edited November 2011 in Story Games
So, I'm an avid game designer. If it's not RPGs/Story Games, then it's video games, both educational and recreational. I've been working in Unity3d a lot lately, but frequenting this website a lot in my off-time, and I've been trying to come up with a way to marry the two together. In other words, I was considering creating some kind of game that was an RPG, but delivered in a software format.

What do you guys think about this concept?
Would you be interested in a Story Game or RPG that was delivered as an Android or iPhone app, complete with chargen and dice roller?
Do you have any cool ideas for this but need someone with some programming and video game design knowledge to help see it through?
How viable of a business model do you think this could be?
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Comments

  • I think we'll get a better sense of this once Apple approves the pending Dungeon World app for iOS.
  • edited November 2011
    It's completely possible!

    The first two games I know of in this format, Dungeon World Basic and Powers for Good: Issue 0 are both on the way to the app store right now. Dungeon World Basic was actually approved yesterday but when I downloaded it I noticed a bug I just couldn't let slide, I'm resubmitting now (as in: this very moment).

    For this first iteration I'm only aiming for the text plus some media features: nice navigation, sound, commentary, that kind of stuff. I'd love to add chargen, even a dice roller, but I'm trying to stick with good software design here and put out a solid first version, then iterate.

    From the feedback I've gotten there's rabid interest in this, just based on the concept. I'm guessing that our launch will be big. Granted, Dungeon World is already successful, so that helps, but people do seem to want this.

    As a viable business model, I think without some other version available it won't see much play. Powers For Good is launching as an app first, so we'll see how that does. Maybe I'm wrong.

    As far as the technical stuff, I've worked out a framework that uses HTML to do some of the heavy lifting, hopefully that will mean easier development for others and easier porting across platforms. I'd love to see what someone could do going the native code route, working within HTML does lock me out of some platform features (or require updating the native framework to do some javascript interop).
  • edited November 2011
    Thanks for the insight Sage. I didn't realize you guys had plans for an iPhone version of DW. How was you experience with iPhone Development? I dabbled in it a few months back but never actually submitted anything to Apple. Plus, I had difficulties programming in the native apple language coming from a c# background. Did you just use the standard tools for development?

    Unity3d is primarily a 3d application (obviously) but they have a pretty easy to use GUI system that I've been tooling around with. I was thinking one could couple a GUI-based product with some actual 3d features. I was thinking along the lines of a multi-media RPG package, with some interactive fiction or a themed graphic novel to help convey the setting of whatever game it was, some music that the group can listen to in the background as they play, maybe a chargen system that could export to pdf, an interactive "gm screen", quick access to web content for the game and things like that. Bottom line is it can be a multiplatform release, covering Windows, Mac, iPhone, Android, even Xbox 360.
  • A role-playing game "delivered" in a software format (instead of the more common book format or pseudo-boardgame format): yes, interested.
    Software for a smartphone: no, not for me.

    What I'm interested in seeing, though, is role-playing games which use different tools, like software, to push the boundary of what a role-playing is — rather than just providing "more of the same" in a shiny new package. What Ben's doing with Matriarchy sounds interesting to me, for example.

    Also, whatever you do which happens to be software, please make it Free software.
  • @Rafu I am all for free software, but this could also be an opportunity for indie designers to make some money via a service that cannot be pirated (easily).

    I wonder if a game could sell the paper/pdf version followed by some digital services add-ons that add to the physical game in a novel way. I wouldn't want a dice roller for example.. rolling physical dice is fun.

    It all depends on market size really.
  • It depends on what sort of digital publishing you're talking about, I think.

    In the ebook sphere (by which I am referring to Kindle and similar ereaders), I don't think it's really that promising. A few months back I interviewed a number of textbook publishers about their ebook efforts and they all more or less told me the same thing: It's important to innovate in the space, but the current technology is really conducive to novels and not at all conducive to reference texts. Graphics, charts and the like just don't play that well with the format. And moving about inside the text can be tedious. While they're all putting their toes in the water, actual sales are pretty dismal.

    iPad and other devices with more processing power and display capabilities could be an entirely different story, but there's been less experimentation on that front, at least in the textbook field.
  • @Rafu
    I'm a big advocate of free stuff, so unless I had to sink an awful lot of time or money into the project, it would most likely be free, or at least have a free version available.

    @Ivan
    That's one of the ideas that was floating around in my head. You buy the PDF of the game, you also have access to the mobile app for reference, and vice versa.

    @Thor O
    Yeah, I have no intentions of going after e-readers. They always seemed like glorified PDF readers to me and that's not really what I was aiming at.
  • Ivan: Indie designers _SO_ don't have to worry about piracy. It's a non-issue. The more people looking at our stuff the better.
  • For Apple's store at least, giving away the app to those that already have a PDF or some such is a problem. Apple has pretty strict rules on any content that can be unlocked via purchase being available through their store as well, which means they get a cut. There's no simple way to just give away an otherwise pay app to those that have the PDF, instead you have to have an in-app purchase that's automatically unlocked for PDF purchasers, which means a lot more infrastructure for a developer to manage. It's certainly possible (it's basically what Comixology does) it's just an annoying hurdle.

    Piracy isn't something that indie developers really need to care about, which is good, since mobile apps are just as susceptible to piracy. There are stories from iOS devs of seeing significant parts of their leaderboards filled with non-purchasers. Distribution as software is not a magic anti-piracy bullet.
  • @ ivan & Sentient: when I say Free, I'm not talking "gratis" at all. That's a very different concern, and one which has to do with marketing strategies and revenue plans, which I'm not an expert on except inasmuch as I can say: that what you do is Free affects your marketing and revenue strategies a little, but is no big deal. On the other hand, so-called "piracy" (which, if anything, is even more commonplace for software than for books) practically shows how "I will restrict people's access to my content/code unless they pay me money for explicit permission" is nowadays a very poor revenue strategy which already failed miserably.
  • edited November 2011
    Posted By: ivan I wonder if a game could sell the paper/pdf version followed by some digital services add-ons that add to the physical game in a novel way.
    D&D Insider has been doing something like this for a long time. You could certainly play 4E without their online tools, their character and monster builder and their Compendum encyclopedia, but I would never want to.

    DDI is a monthly subscription to an hosted service, so it has that nice steady piracy-resistant revenue stream that the accountants like. It also locks in players to some degree: once your character is built in the character builder, you're not going to be able to export them without hand-copying them onto paper. If you unsubscribe, you lose access to your character. Hope you printed them out!

    I don't think anything of the scale of DDI could ever be contemplated by an indie developer. Wizards has built a tremendous amount of software for DDI and has rolled a lot of content live with it. I think their most impressive accomplishment has been the tight syncing of their new product release schedule with their DDI content release schedule.
  • edited November 2011
    Posted By: SentientGamesWould you be interested in a Story Game or RPG that was delivered as an Android or iPhone app, complete with chargen and dice roller?
    Posted By: sageAs a viable business model, I think without some other version available it won't see much play.
    I think Sage is right.

    My usual table of nerds has a culture of rulebook sharing, so for a normal game, having fewer rulebooks than players is not a big deal.

    We are about 50% Android / 34% iOS / 16% non-smartphoned. If play requires each player to have access to the app, then we can't play your game even if you do both Android and iOS versions.

    I am curious to see how the Dungeon World app will improve on a plain old searchable / indexed / cross-referenced PDF, but I won't be able to use it because I'm an Android user.

    (edit: please don't read that as criticism of Sage's software strategy. I understand that it is not reasonable to expect cross-platform development from the tiny DW shop!)
  • edited November 2011
    ...
  • For the first generation, the biggest differentiation from PDF is the UI polish. There's not much you couldn't do in principle in a PDF, but the UI is tailored to it. Take the table of contents, for example: a PDF could have a link back to the ToC on every page so you can jump from chapter to chapter easily. In DW:Basic and PfG:Issue 0 you can double tap to bring up a ToC overlay which lets you scroll between chapters.

    There's also developer commentary at some points. In a PDF these could be margin notes, some overlay layer, or just a link to an end note and a link back. In the app you can tap on a section with commentary and the text rotates around, revealing commentary "hidden" behind it. Tap again and the text rotates back.

    The one thing that is different from a PDF is that the text can be re-flowed. Viewing a PDF on a device that you can hold in different orientations often means holding the device in the orientation the PDF was designed for, or having the text scaled dramatically. With re-flowing text the "book" adapts to each orientation as well as smaller screens. With some smart design, there's still layout touches as well. It's really kinda cool.

    Like I said, this is the first generation. It's on par with Wired's app, if you're familiar with that, but with an open development model. In fact, once you get started with the framework, it's amazingly simple. Once I finish dealing with actually getting DW and PfG out I'll be putting together a how-to for everyone else wanting to try it, it really is quite simple.

    I think the next generation will feature two things: advanced interactivity, like a character manager built into your book; and games designed for this format, taking full advantage of the tools available. For all their shortcomings books are actually one of the best ways to convey written text, apps can only do so much to challenge that. The inflection point comes when the games start being designed for the format.

    Of course there's some lockout issues with requiring devices. The DW/PfG path should mesh well with other formats, even desktop, but I haven't proven that yet.
  • edited November 2011
    Posted By: sageI think the next generation will feature two things: advanced interactivity, like a character manager built into your book; and games designed for this format, taking full advantage of the tools available.
    How is your app's searchability?

    To me, a smooth search -- with fast performance, keyword highlighting, contextualized hit-lists, etc -- is the key feature of an electronic reference text.

    Re-flowing: yeah. I dig that, and I bet it's nice to do design without having to design differently for different output devices. I am always super impressed whenever I see an indie developer ship a PDF that is screen-friendly.
  • Search isn't implemented. Is that really a common use case?

    Let me toy around with ways to do that. There are some constraints to the format that present challenges, as does making it fast.
  • Posted By: sageSearch isn't implemented. Is that really a common use case?
    As a datapoint, I play DW over skype with the pdf open, I'm searching constantly to hop around it. Part of that is due to having it open in Chrome so I don't get page numbers. A filterable index would likely work better, though.

    Super interested in what the app does, as I have noodled on this very subject myself.
  • Posted By: sageSearch isn't implemented. Is that really a common use case?
    No idea. It might not be important to most of your users.

    All I can say is that given the choice between the app you've described and a plain old searchable PDF, I think I'd use the PDF every time. I don't need flashy developer commentary while I'm playing a game; what I need is to be able to quickly find out whether my maximum encumbrance is based on my strength score or my strength modifier.

    Also, every PDF viewer I know of has one-click access to a ToC, so that's not something new.

    Lest I sound like a negatron, I am still jazzed to see game designers exploring this new media. And I bet that your HTML-centric approach will have a big advantage in display performance over a PDF. My experience with heavy PDFs on a tablet isn't great, with lots of laggy behavior as the little tablet CPU struggles to distill the right pixels out of all those megabytes.
  • edited November 2011
    Posted By: sageSearch isn't implemented. Is that really a common use case?

    Let me toy around with ways to do that. There are some constraints to the format that present challenges, as does making it fast.
    I actually stopped reading at that question, feeling stunned that you had to ask.

    For me, search is THE reason to prefer electronic formats over paper (and I do prefer them, if they have search).
  • Reference is certainly on the top of my mind, I just don't see search being key to that. Search is a workaround for content that wouldn't otherwise be easy to reference, which isn't the case here.

    I wanted to test this a little, so I came up with this fairly reasonable case: I need to see some details on the Fighter's Signature Weapon. I know it's a Fighter starting move, that's it.

    Starting from the first page of the PDF and the first chapter of the app:
    Goodreader: took four taps and about a second of search
    App: three taps with no load time

    This is a little skewed as the state of the app's cache affects load time, but I'm sure there's similar performance characteristics in Goodreader. I also ignored the 16+ taps and couple of seconds to enter the search query. Additionally Goodreader's search is linear and the move is near the start of the book, if I had started from the page after it the search time would be longer.

    For reference, in Goodreader:
    Tap to bring up controls
    Tap on search
    Type in query
    Tap Search
    Wait for linear search
    If the search goes past the end of the book, tap "Yes, begin at beginning"

    In the app:
    Double tap to bring up ToC
    Scroll to Fighter chapter
    Tap fighter chapter
    Tap Starting Moves



    For me, personally, this app serves my reference needs better. That may just be me though! I can't wait for everyone else to see it and tell me what they think.
  • Posted By: sageFor Apple's store at least, giving away the app to those that already have a PDF or some such is a problem.
    What about selling the app for 30 dollars and then users enter their address into the app and you send them the book and pdf after verifying the purchase? That way the app is the point of purchase.
  • edited November 2011
    Yeah, searching is definitely not something that's as convenient on a touch device as it is on something with a keyboard. And a good TOC and alphabetical index can definitely mitigate the need for search.

    The Ruby Pickaxe PDF is outstanding in this regard, I only rarely resort to keyword searches on that book because its indexing and organization are so good. The D&D 4E Rules Compendium (sadly, not available as a PDF) is another terrific example; it's a big thick book but the organization and indexing are good enough to make it very functional as a reference.

    That said, I still appreciate being able to fall back on a keyword search so I can search in a way that the author and indexer don't anticipate.

    For instance, look at hard moves in DW. They're a core concept, but because they don't appear as a heading (at least they don't in the Red Book) they're probably not going to show up in a TOC.
  • I would think that the ability to toggle optional rules and fan created hacks/hombrewed rules/playbooks and have them seamlessly integrated into the rules text would be the key feature. Then you could have monetized DLC in little chunks.
  • Posted By: mease19Posted By: sageFor Apple's store at least, giving away the app to those that already have a PDF or some such is a problem.
    What about selling the app for 30 dollars and then users enter their address into the app and you send them the book and pdf after verifying the purchase? That way the app is the point of purchase.

    And then Apple gets a cut of your book sales, is I believe the main issue.
  • Posted By: mease19I would think that the ability to toggle optional rules and fan created hacks/hombrewed rules/playbooks and have them seamlessly integrated into the rules text would be the key feature. Then you could have monetized DLC in little chunks.
    This is effing gold.
  • Posted By: mease19I would think that the ability to toggle optional rules and fan created hacks/hombrewed rules/playbooks and have them seamlessly integrated into the rules text would be the key feature. Then you could have monetized DLC in little chunks.
    You'd need some kind of sharing in there so that game masters / hackers could share their special snowflake hacks with the rest of their table.

    I think that's why some games (especially wargames like ASL or SFB) have their rules numbered, so that slipstreaming in hacks and optionals can be done in an organized fashion.
  • I was thinking more of things like Fiasco's Playset of the Month, where the best fan material gets converted into code by the app admin with the permission of the creator. Also, I'm not saying everything should be a $0.99 download. You could make a lot of things available for free through updates (for example, guest commentary by other designers/notables/podcasters). You could also implement things like a designer blog into regularly scheduled updates (or even, gasp, adsnotifications for other designers' games that you support). Alternately, it would be easy to do something like a $200 ransom to put out an update with new material. When it comes to people mainlining their own code into the app to hack the rules, you run into the problem of GM's not being able to implement it on their player's versions of the app (which is what would be really cool) without being more trouble than its worth. I think there's a lot you could do when your rules text is also a dynamic mouthpiece.
  • Posted By: johnzoI think that's why some games (especially wargames like ASL or SFB) have their rules numbered, so that slipstreaming in hacks and optionals can be done in an organized fashion.
    Nice idea, but I've only seen it used for 'tech support' or by Star Fleet rules lawyers to absolutely crush the fun out of playing. No idea if there are ASL players like that. The only numbered 'hacks' that I have ever seen have been major releases from the publishers.
    --
    TAZ
  • Honestly, if an electronic product is nothing more than a PDF, which is basically the analog of a book, then it's not worth it. It's missing the point. HTML is actually a better electronic format. It's cleaner, it's easier to parse and use in interesting ways, and it's designed to take advantage of the unique possibilities in electronic media. The only reason I believe publishers still go with PDF is because they want a way to secure their content, they're comfortable and familiar with books, and their customers are the same.

    And despite the fact that I'm actually working on a few RPG apps, I still feel that if an RPG or LARP or Storygame needs an electronic aid to play, then it could be better designed. There are exceptions (like Smallville, which could use a good diagramming tool), but they're extremely rare. Being IRL based is kinda one of the points to this medium.
  • Posted By: anon.adderlanHonestly, if an electronic product is nothing more than a PDF, which is basically the analog of a book, then it's not worth it. It's missing the point. HTML is actually a better electronic format. It's cleaner, it's easier to parse and use in interesting ways, and it's designed to take advantage of the unique possibilities in electronic media. The only reason I believe publishers still go with PDF is because they want a way to secure their content, they're comfortable and familiar with books, and their customers are the same.

    And despite the fact that I'm actually working on a few RPG apps, I still feel that if an RPG or LARP or Storygame needs an electronic aid to play, then it could be better designed. There are exceptions (like Smallville, which could use a good diagramming tool), but they're extremely rare. Being IRL based is kinda one of the points to this medium.
    Man, I would love HTML versions of games. All of the options and features of that format have really not been explored. See Geeknights.
  • Posted By: anon.adderlanBeing IRL based is kinda one of the points to this medium.
    Just wanted to mention that I've played more games over Skype and bought more (mainly indie) RPGs online this year than I have over the last decade.

    Yeah, HTML has a lot of potential for a more dynamic product even if you don't bring in additional media types. For example, before my SW:SE game died, I integrated the first four or five books into an NPC generator (in javascript.) Try to imagine a game book with a million NPCs included.

    Hell bells, what if your book included a Mythic GM Emulator style function? D&D 5.0... GM Included. :-)
    --
    TAZ
  • HTML is actually a key part of the DW and PfG apps. I don't want to go into too much detail here (since there's a LOT of detail to go into), but that's a big part.

    As for added content, that's certainly the plan. Being able to push updates is a huge boon: with PDFs you have to get the person to come back and download again. With an app they get a notification, a painless in-place upgrade, and they have new content.
  • Posted By: sageWith an app they get a notification, a painless in-place upgrade, and they have new content.
    This makes me wonder -- why a native app instead of a web app? Web apps can be painlessly upgraded (from the user POV, anyway), are inherently cross-platform, and appear to support all the features you've described for the DW app.

    The only advantages of a iOS native app (that I can see) are those of the App Store: it's easier to monetize and you don't have to worry about hosting.

    (I bet you get this question all the time, apologies if it is a tiresome one.)
  • edited November 2011
    Posted By: sageReference is certainly on the top of my mind, I just don't see search being key to that. Search is a workaround for content that wouldn't otherwise be easy to reference, which isn't the case here.
    Use case #1: Hey, I saw these two seasoned Dungeon World players on a forum, arguing about something called "Wealth and Taste". I just got the game and want to find what that is.

    Use case #2: Woah, my players did something unexpected and I need some opposition fast. I remember the sample adventure had something called an "Orkaster". Where was that again? Quick!

    Also, search is something that computers are really good at and humans are really bad at. Seems like leaving it out isn't playing to the platform's strengths.

    As another data point, I almost never buy paper books any more for two reasons: 1) I don't have the shelf space and 2) because they cannot be searched.
  • johnzo - Native offers higher visibility, offline use (possible with web apps, yes) and in many cases a higher quality of interaction. That said, web app is something I'm completely looking at for the future, it should be a relatively easy port.

    Lester - Good point, I may have missed something important with search. The framework I'm using is aimed at books and magazines, so search isn't on their radar. I'll have to code up a solution myself, which means its at least a version away.
  • Posted By: zircherJust wanted to mention that I've played more games over Skype and bought more (mainly indie) RPGs online this year than I have over the last decade.
    Well THAT'S good news :)

    However, do you play over Skype because you want to, or because you have to? Perhaps these tools are necessary and useful, but not because they're ideal.
    Posted By: johnzoThis makes me wonder -- why a native app instead of a web app?
    The reasons are default functionality and development time. The reason I use Silverlight 4 is because it has literally everything I need for most of the RPG apps I'm working on, even though it limits me to Mac, Windows, and apolitical Linux platforms. If I went with a web app, I'd need to find or write a number of general support components such as data sources and grids, make sure they work together, and I STILL wouldn't be able to get the audio and video streaming, all before I even START writing the game parts.
  • Posted By: anon.adderlanSilverlight... limits me to Mac...
    Correct to "Macs whose owners are willing to install Silverlight". Only about a quarter of the Mac users I know do so. I am not one of them. I have no idea what the official penetration into the platform is, but I'd be floored if it was over 50%.
  • Posted By: anon.adderlanThe only reason I believe publishers still go with PDF is because they want a way to secure their content, they're comfortable and familiar with books, and their customers are the same.
    Let's not forget that PDF allows you to present the art in a way that you can control so that it won't look ugly. Remember, the industry standard is "lots of shitty art on every fucking page, okay?" even though we have a verbal hobby. PDF makes more sense in light of the inexplicable and pointless love affair with art RPGs have.

    Why no, I don't hold any prejudices about this!
  • anon.adderlan - I work on the Silverlight team at Microsoft, I'd love to see how your apps turn out.

    As for art, the DW and PfG apps present art in similar terms to the DW book, it's just our design philosophy. Big art at the beginning of a section, mostly, though the apps have a little more art throughout. Our presentation framework actually makes presenting art well while still reflowing for devices pretty easy.
  • Posted By: sageReference is certainly on the top of my mind, I just don't see search being key to that. Search is a workaround for content that wouldn't otherwise be easy to reference, which isn't the case here.

    I wanted to test this a little, so I came up with this fairly reasonable case: I need to see some details on the Fighter's Signature Weapon. I know it's a Fighter starting move, that's it.

    Starting from the first page of the PDF and the first chapter of the app:
    Goodreader: took four taps and about a second of search
    App: three taps with no load time

    For me, personally, this app serves my reference needs better. That may just be me though! I can't wait for everyone else to see it and tell me what they think.
    That makes sense. What you've described actually is what i was thinking of by the term search: a way to quickly jump to the desired content, without having to scroll maunually page by page.
    If you can tap to quickly get the equivalent of an index, that index being comprehen sive enough that you can then with a couple of taps jump to the content you want, it's exactly what I meant.

    I was coming from my experience of using PDFs on a laptop, where the absolute quickest way to get to any content is nearly always,:
    * type a well-chosen key phrase in the seach bar
    * click find a couple of times
    * and voila, there it is.

    To emulate the speed of that on a touch device seems like it would need well designed and comprehensive reference linking, and if you have it, excellent.
  • Posted By: Wordman
    Correct to "Macs whose owners are willing to install Silverlight". Only about a quarter of the Mac users I know do so. I am not one of them. I have no idea what the official penetration into the platform is, but I'd be floored if it was over 50%.
    And I hate to be an ass but this is really not my problem. The capability is there, and so is the choice for the user to use it. And these are RPG tools, so it's not like I care about massive market penetration anyway.

    Here are three elements which drive software use: Utility, Politics, and Fear. If Utility is the determining factor, then as a developer I can create a compelling and useful app. However, if Politics or Fear are the determining factor, then there's nothing I can do about it. So I choose to focus on utility.

    I also choose to work with tools which preserve my time and sanity. That means no Android or Flash, but really, I think Mac and Win will be enough for me to live comfortably and still love what I do.
  • Posted By: anon.adderlanI also choose to work with tools which preserve my time and sanity.
    Hey, me too!
  • ...

    And it turns out that I'll probably need to use HTML/Javascript anyway, as users need to be able to extend the app without needing access to Microsoft tools. However, that means I have to finish the component project first.

    Damn, I was really hoping to get this done quickly.
  • Sage,

    I'd love to hear more about your development tools, framework, and process for the Dungeon World app. Have you already talked/written about that somewhere? Would you be willing to?

    Your fan,

    John
  • I've left some little bits and pieces around the web, but I will be posting a complete, end-to-end guide. The only issue is finding time to do it.

    That said, if you have specific questions now, I'd be happy to answer them.

    Oh, and just in case you haven't heard: both Dungeon World Basic and Powers for Good: Issue #0 are out today!
  • edited November 2011
    So, I'm flipping through PfG on my phone and having thoughts:

    I feel really lost, like it's just hard to absorb any information when the text is presented this way. I'm not sure why, and I am just one data point - hell, maybe I'm just having a bad brain day.

    I want to say I'd be finding it easier if there were a lot fewer words - like, if the default text mode were a lot closer to straight procedures-of-play.

    Also, everything I'm looking at is gray. Would color make this easier to pick out concepts, or would it just add noise? I dunno, I just feel like the gray is putting me to sleep.

    I've been flirting with iBooks lately and finding that the page-turning actually really works - the short-chapter structure of PfG is really appealing to present in this array of side-by-side scrolls, but it contributes to a feeling that I don't know where I am.

    And just to take it to crazy-town: what if there were a zooming structure? If at the default level of viewing, there was a very sparse PoP document, and as you clicked on points they got expanded upon? That would probably really irritate a lot of readers and delight a few of us.

    Maybe the takeaway here is that a procedural text like a game book needs to have multiple ways of viewing it when it goes truly electronic.

    There's my big splatter of brain-dump. HUZZAH
  • edited November 2011
    The lack of color is somewhat intentional: art was ordered B&W for print, so it's all about making use of what we have. Could a more colorful option exist? Totally. Just not with the resources I currently have.

    The structure honestly comes slightly from ease of development. Zooming sounds really interesting, but it's also not as easy to do on my side. Something to look into, certainly. The side-by-side scrolls are somewhat standard (see: Wired, New York Times, etc.). I had thought they'd feel more comfortable than something crazy, but I could be wrong.

    The tone of the text was a choice. Maybe it wasn't the right one!
  • For what it's worth, I just read through PfG on my phone and I think the format works really well (and I can imagine how great it would be on an iPad for actual play). I like the page-turny interface of iBooks for reading PDFs, but for something like this that is built from the ground-up as an app, the scrolly interface is way better. (Can you imagine how awesome it would be to have an app like this for each Fiasco playset?)

    Quite apart from the format, the game looks like a lot of fun, and I can't wait to try it. I really like the GM's power economy and how it relates directly to difficulty numbers and the length of scenes. Good work!

    Also, not to thread hijack, but are the PfG character sheets available yet? I went to the link listed in the app and it just took me to an index page.
  • Dangit, they should be there. I can't mess with my server right now, but I'll get them up. Sorry!
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