Reading posts from various game designers - I read a lot of stuff from all over - and I can see there is a fundamental difference between me and many of them. Many of them are trying to make art. I'm not. Everything in my games is purely functional, including the illustrations. When I make an illo, what I care about is that the information I am presenting visually is properly conveyed. That is probably why I prefer making my own illos - I can control the substance - and why I don't usually do illos for others.
These other guys
care deeply about the look and feel. They agonize over the kerning. The
typefaces. The way the 'art' is presented. The gutters. The binding. The
'heft' of the book. The texture of the paper. It's all about making
art, and there is nothing wrong about that. It's just something
fundamentally different than what I am doing.
I couldn't care
less about these things. As long as the text is readable, I don't care
about the typeface. I let the program I use to write with care about
kerning. The printed book is an afterthought for me. That's why I stay
away from two column format. It's terrbile for reading on-screen. The
book covers are there to protect the pages. So long as the paper is
think enough to prevent bleed-through from the opposite side, it's the
last thing I would think about. There is no art there!
think of the game book as art. It's just a medium to convey the game.
It's why I prefer pdf to print - I can more efficiently get stuff
across. I would ideally prefer to present this info in another way. I
prefer html or xml to pdf, but people don't pay for works in these
media. That's web stuff and it's free. Most people have finally gotten
to the point where they accept the idea of paying for a pdf. A printed
book is just a less efficient pdf. It has no hyperlinking or
flexibility, but people *like* printed books, and I am forced to use
By day I am a well-paid tech writer, who writes about
esoteric stuff like x-ray fluorescence and laser induced Raman
spectroscopy. In that field, we write pdf user guides because of
regulatory requirements and liability issues. The last thing people want
to see is a "wall-o-text" that they have to read through from front to
back. Really, nobody reads user manuals. Nowadays my real work is
writing "How Do I Do This?" web documents that link together text,
animation, video footage, e-learning, simulators, and whatever else is
the best way to get that information to the customer.
love to write a game like that, letting the reader explore the things
they are interested in, and not bother them with things they already
know or don't care about. My games tend to be big because I put lots of
group level tools in them. Lots of customization tools. If I could write
them the way I write my technical documentation, the game book would
only be as long as the reader wanted it to be.
Maybe Patreon is
the answer, but somehow I doubt it. I don't think there is enough
interest in what I do to support anything like this. I don't own the
tools I use at work to make this kind of construct, and those tools are