Saturday, January 23, 2010

Adventure/Supplement Format, a question

Several people stated that they liked my commentary at various points in the Majestic Wilderlands. Most of them were like designer's notes explaining why I setup things. Is this type of commentary useful? Should such commentary be inline with the text or set off in a sidebar or a text box.

12 comments:

Jeff Rients said...

I like sidebars for that sort of thing.

Flynn said...

I enjoy that kind of insight into others' creativity, and I agree with Jeff that such comments should be set aside from the regular text. Whether they are sidebars or text boxes doesn't matter to me, per se, but I do want a way to distinguish them from the actual text of the core work.

Hope This Helps,
Flynn

James said...

Useful. I would prefer it to be part of the regular text. I kind of like the idea of a module/supplement, doubling as a design notebook.

The Rusty Battle Axe said...

The cool thing is that the information is there, regardless of format, but I think I'm with Jeff and Flynn: Sidebar or Text Box.

Timeshadows said...

I think I am with James on this one.
--Part of the fun of reading the DMG is reading Gary's philosophy.

Dan said...

Sounds like a web pdf to me. Why waste valuable paper on something that means absolutely nothing to how the game is played? That kind of stuff (designer notes) is just for people who read, but don't play.

Verhaden said...

I have to disagree with Dan. Those designer notes could inspire a referee to change, build, or take the idea presented into new directions. "I like that, but what if..."

Rob Conley said...

@Dan - a large proportion of readers are the type that just use the internet to buy products and not for socializing. Offering a web enhancement would not reach everybody.

the comments are generally short and lulu is not that price sensitive for a half dozen or less extra pages.

as for the designer notes issue what I plan to write is more like if you and I bump into each other a convention and started trading tips and observations.

This style also impact the idea of a web enhancement as commentary works better if it is somehow tied to the text as you are reading it.

And finally the internet being what it is I could quite easily offer two versions.

Alex Schroeder said...

I like designer commentary, and I like it to be visually distinguished from the rest of the text. I remember enjoying it in Monte Cook's Experimental Might, even if the "sidebar" used half a page.

Phillip said...

Rob, I would make two versions with the one filled with designer commentary called "The Director's cut".

Jimmy Simpson said...

That is one of the things I liked about the GURPS books. The sidebars that were used for various things. Explanations of why, examples, things that reinforced the main text and such.

Tenkar said...

Useful. Interesting. Occasionally entertaining. Definitely sidebar, that way it doesnt interupt the flow of the rest of the text.