adventures in desktop publishing
Posted: Sat Jul 07, 2018 10:01 am
In another thread, I asked about Mongoose Traveller writers' guidelines. If you already read it there, scroll past all the quotes.
This resulted in some replies, still off topic for the other thread:steve98052 wrote: ↑Sun Jun 24, 2018 5:10 pmGoing off topic a bit, can you point to Mongoose Traveller writers' guidelines?
When Steve Jackson Games had the license they had great writers' resources: how to write for the company in general (for on-line and print), how to write Traveller material, what kind of submissions they liked for JTAS, what they'd like for print, how to submit work, and even a "we're not interested in this kind of thing" list of things that people often wanted to do. Their guidelines are still on their web site (even the Traveller guidelines, which may not have been updated since their license expired). They had art guidelines too.
I'm sure Mongoose has such guides, but I haven't figured out whether they're visible on-line. If you have links, please point the way. I sold the only JTAS article I wrote, in part because their guidelines were so clear.
steve98052 wrote: ↑Mon Jun 25, 2018 7:21 pmThanks for the pointer!
It appears, however, that it only covers self-published material through the TAS sub-license. I don't see anything about "how to write for Mongoose". If that's because they do all their writing in-house, or that they have enough freelance writers to cover all their planned projects, it makes sense that they don't have a wish list.
But it would still make sense to have the house style easier to find, so that potential TAS writers can follow the same style. A house style covers more than type face choices, after all.
It also might be nice to have the In Design templates saved in Scribus format too; hobbyist writers don't usually want to spend $20 per month for desktop publishing software they rarely use. But if templates don't readily save-as, I suppose we can just look at published Mongoose books and follow their style, or use their own style.
The discussion flowed onto page two of the original thread:
steve98052 wrote: ↑Fri Jul 06, 2018 10:09 pmOK, I'm downloading a seven-day trial version of In Design. My oh my, it's a slow download. And if I ever need to open another In Design document beyond the seven days, I'll have to pay up. But at least I'll have that TAS template in Scribus format, assuming I can figure out enough about In Design to export the template elements, and create a Scribus template from them. Maybe I'll also do a Word template, in case Scribus feels like overkill.
Of course, I probably can't share the Scribus or Word templates without permission from Mongoose, even if I manage to get them to work. Anyway, time to wait 42 to 44 minutes for the rest of the download, then who knows how long to figure out how to use the darn thing.
While beating on this for the rest of the evening, I discovered another problem with the file, even for use as with In Design: the file "Trav4.psd" is missing; that's the Traveller logo with the letters in red all-caps (darkening top to bottom), the sparkle on the top-left of the first "E", and the arrow swooping around from behind the "T" across the front of the "RAVEL", as on the cover of current Mongoose Traveller books.steve98052 wrote: ↑Sat Jul 07, 2018 12:50 amUpdate:
It's probably obvious that I'm a bit frustrated by this process. I have to run errands. When I get back, I think I'll ask my wife if I can use her PDF editing software, and try to replicate it in Word. Maybe I'll do Scribus later.
- I've managed to install my seven-day trial of In Design.
- It didn't work at first because I forgot to install the four fonts listed on the design template page (Walkway, League Gothic, Code Bold, Alegre Sans.) I installed them.
- It still didn't work, because I failed to install some fonts not listed on the design template page, including some that were supposed to have been covered with the links on the page. I searched, and installed them. They're all at least legal for personal use, but I'm not sure they're all free for commercial use though, so they may not be permissible in a paid-for document. I couldn't find an exact match for one of the fonts (Trade Gothic Condensed No. 18), and had to do a manual substitution.
- I exported as EPS, as described in a procedure for converting things to Scribus, and I got some error messages, most relating to absent images. I searched for the absent images, and they were nowhere to be found.
- I imported with Scribus. Each attempted import took quite a bit of time, even though I have a halfway respectable machine with 16 GB of memory and an SSD. I got lots and lots of errors:
- traveller template_1.eps : Converting of 4 images failed!
- traveller template_2.eps : Converting of 145 images failed!
- traveller template_3.eps : Converting of 137 images failed!
- traveller template_4.eps : Converting of 146 images failed!
- traveller template_5.eps : Converting of 152 images failed!
- traveller template_6.eps : Converting of 1 images failed! [sic: It didn't change the dialog box to "image".]
- traveller template_7.eps : Converting of 1 images failed! [sic]
- traveller template_8.eps : Converting of 43 images failed!
- traveller template_9.eps : Converting of 41 images failed!
- traveller template_10.eps : Converting of 224 images failed!
- traveller template_11.eps : Converting of 1212 images failed!
- traveller template_12.eps : Converting of 229 images failed!
- traveller template_13.eps : Converting of 1172 images failed!
So far, my experience with In Design is pretty similar to everything else by Adobe (except Premiere, in spite of its quirks): I find it aggravating.