Page 1 of 1

Format issues across all titles

Posted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 9:23 pm
by Simonsays
Let me preface this criticism with a clarification. I love MGT. It's probably one of my favorite systems and the 3rd Imperium is an amazing setting. One of the things I love most about MGT are the tables. However, one of the things I hate the most about MGT is...the tables. Specifically; the lack of relevant labeling of the tables. There's nothing more frustrating than reading a block of text about a particular rule and have that text interrupted at some bizarre moment by a table that has no header or label, and I have to spend the next 5 to 10 minutes trying figure out how this table relates to the rule I'm reading (or maybe a rule I haven't even read yet). This time is sometimes massively multiplied by the fact that the table hasn't been labeled. This was a minor issue with only a few tables in the main rulebook but once I'm reading, for example, the Supply Catalogue; the problem becomes massive.

I don't know if I'm asking too much, but I believe this fix would make a huge difference and also help to iron out some of the issues of vagueness/contradictions in the supplements.

Re: Format issues across all titles

Posted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 9:52 pm
by MongooseMatt
This is indeed something you will see sorted in coming supplements (among many other changes).

Re: Format issues across all titles

Posted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 11:01 pm
by Simonsays
Thanks for the reply, and I'm very happy to hear it. As it stands, the Supply Catalogue in particular is impenetrable to all but one of my players, whom actually has the free time to parse the issues associated with that supplement.

Re: Format issues across all titles

Posted: Fri Apr 11, 2014 2:08 am
by Prime_Evil
msprange wrote:This is indeed something you will see sorted in coming supplements (among many other changes).
This is good news. I think that freshening up the layout and graphic design of the books will not only improve readability but also do a lot to increase the appeal of the game to the general public.

Keep in mind that a lot of gamers use tablets at the table nowadays and may be consulting the digital version rather than the dead tree edition while running a session.

I know that this is subjective, but here are a few thoughts of my own about the design choices in the Traveller product line:
  • Use vector-based graphic formats rather than raster-based graphics wherever possible. Especially for deckplans. If you give us deckplans as non-scalable bitmaps ever again, we may get violent. 'Nuff said.
  • Use the features of the PDF format to your advantage - bookmarks, internal hyperlinks, etc. These add value to your products.
  • Use adequate white space and margins to break up the material into digestible chunks. Some of the pages in the core rulebook and the supply catalogue are a bit too busy. In particular, leave a bit of whitespace abound images to give them some room to breathe. There are a couple of pages in the core rulebook where everything is simply crammed in together with little separation between different elements. This hurts readability. Also, there are some very nice illustrations in the rulebook, but there isn't any space to admire them - it all feels a bit rushed.
  • Revisit the formatting of used for level 1 headings. I'm not sure that an outline font was a good choice here - the top-level headings in the 2300 AD books are better, but are still a bit murky due to the use of an inner shadow. I'd prefer a plain but distinctive font with good contrast - the Industria Solid font used for the 2300 AD product line is OK as are similar commercial fonts with a futuristic feel such as the Serpentine Family. (Actually, Serpentine Bold Oblique or something similar might work). The font used for the chapter headings in the core rulebook isn't that distinctive, doesn't capture the 'feel' of classic Traveller, and has poor contrast against the page background because it is an outline font. It might work if it was a white font against a black background, but that would suck ink like a vampire if you try to print it out.
  • Consider using markers such as section tabs and dividers to guide readers.

Re: Format issues across all titles

Posted: Fri Apr 11, 2014 2:55 am
by AndrewW
Prime_Evil wrote:
  • Use vector-based graphic formats rather than raster-based graphics wherever possible. Especially for deckplans. If you give us deckplans as non-scalable bitmaps ever again, we may get violent. 'Nuff said.
Most of the newer deckplans should be vector already.

Re: Format issues across all titles

Posted: Fri Apr 11, 2014 3:32 am
by Simonsays
Prime_Evil wrote:
msprange wrote:This is indeed something you will see sorted in coming supplements (among many other changes).
This is good news. I think that freshening up the layout and graphic design of the books will not only improve readability but also do a lot to increase the appeal of the game to the general public.

Keep in mind that a lot of gamers use tablets at the table nowadays and may be consulting the digital version rather than the dead tree edition while running a session.

I know that this is subjective, but here are a few thoughts of my own about the design choices in the Traveller product line:
  • Use vector-based graphic formats rather than raster-based graphics wherever possible. Especially for deckplans. If you give us deckplans as non-scalable bitmaps ever again, we may get violent. 'Nuff said.
  • Use the features of the PDF format to your advantage - bookmarks, internal hyperlinks, etc. These add value to your products.
  • Use adequate white space and margins to break up the material into digestible chunks. Some of the pages in the core rulebook and the supply catalogue are a bit too busy. In particular, leave a bit of whitespace abound images to give them some room to breathe. There are a couple of pages in the core rulebook where everything is simply crammed in together with little separation between different elements. This hurts readability. Also, there are some very nice illustrations in the rulebook, but there isn't any space to admire them - it all feels a bit rushed.
  • Revisit the formatting of used for level 1 headings. I'm not sure that an outline font was a good choice here - the top-level headings in the 2300 AD books are better, but are still a bit murky due to the use of an inner shadow. I'd prefer a plain but distinctive font with good contrast - the Industria Solid font used for the 2300 AD product line is OK as are similar commercial fonts with a futuristic feel such as the Serpentine Family. (Actually, Serpentine Bold Oblique or something similar might work). The font used for the chapter headings in the core rulebook isn't that distinctive, doesn't capture the 'feel' of classic Traveller, and has poor contrast against the page background because it is an outline font. It might work if it was a white font against a black background, but that would suck ink like a vampire if you try to print it out.
  • Consider using markers such as section tabs and dividers to guide readers.

Re: Format issues across all titles

Posted: Fri Apr 11, 2014 3:34 am
by Simonsays
Simonsays wrote:
Prime_Evil wrote:
msprange wrote:This is indeed something you will see sorted in coming supplements (among many other changes).
This is good news. I think that freshening up the layout and graphic design of the books will not only improve readability but also do a lot to increase the appeal of the game to the general public.

Keep in mind that a lot of gamers use tablets at the table nowadays and may be consulting the digital version rather than the dead tree edition while running a session.

I know that this is subjective, but here are a few thoughts of my own about the design choices in the Traveller product line:
  • Use vector-based graphic formats rather than raster-based graphics wherever possible. Especially for deckplans. If you give us deckplans as non-scalable bitmaps ever again, we may get violent. 'Nuff said.
  • Use the features of the PDF format to your advantage - bookmarks, internal hyperlinks, etc. These add value to your products.
  • Use adequate white space and margins to break up the material into digestible chunks. Some of the pages in the core rulebook and the supply catalogue are a bit too busy. In particular, leave a bit of whitespace abound images to give them some room to breathe. There are a couple of pages in the core rulebook where everything is simply crammed in together with little separation between different elements. This hurts readability. Also, there are some very nice illustrations in the rulebook, but there isn't any space to admire them - it all feels a bit rushed.
  • Revisit the formatting of used for level 1 headings. I'm not sure that an outline font was a good choice here - the top-level headings in the 2300 AD books are better, but are still a bit murky due to the use of an inner shadow. I'd prefer a plain but distinctive font with good contrast - the Industria Solid font used for the 2300 AD product line is OK as are similar commercial fonts with a futuristic feel such as the Serpentine Family. (Actually, Serpentine Bold Oblique or something similar might work). The font used for the chapter headings in the core rulebook isn't that distinctive, doesn't capture the 'feel' of classic Traveller, and has poor contrast against the page background because it is an outline font. It might work if it was a white font against a black background, but that would suck ink like a vampire if you try to print it out.
  • Consider using markers such as section tabs and dividers to guide readers.
^Agree

Sorry about spam above, my dog stepped on my tablet before I could type.

Re: Format issues across all titles

Posted: Fri Apr 11, 2014 2:21 pm
by Rikki Tikki Traveller
Sure, blame it on the dog!

I have to agree with the table headers. That was one thing about CT, especially HG, that worked really well. The tables were collected all together with the text in the pages before and after. Once you understood the system, you didn't need the text and it was nice to have all the various tables all together in one place. Headers definitely worked.