Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Tale of the Wizard's Eye: The adventure module begins formatting and things I've learned.

Scroll Illustration created by: Phoenix O'Faery
Art on this page was created by:  Phoenix O'Faery

Tale of the Wizard's Eye

What a wild ride it has been getting it published.

For those of you new to this blog, let me recap the history of this book (in short form, for details read prior posts):

The adventure module began as a large adventure campaign book for an existing RPG that I was really wanting to publish for.  I made attempts to secure license for such a release, was in contact with the license holder, but we were never able to finalize the license.

Having secured art for that book, I had an obligation (both to myself and to the artists) to release the best module I could possibly create.

From the earliest development, I had told my art team, that if the license didn't come through I would rewrite/recreate the adventure in a generic format.  That is precisely what I did. 

I found that in translating it from one mechanic to another and from a specific setting to a generic that the module lost much of its spark.  So I set that version aside, took a long look at the game mechanics I was writing to (5th edition Open Game license material) and set off to do a complete rewrite.

Title changed, adversaries changed, and I was able to sculpt an adventure that made good sense, was playable, exciting, and most importantly that was enjoyable!

Much of the art for the original module wasn't suitable to the new version, but with the new adventure being a single session design (with additional materials provided to allow the Dungeon Masters running the module to expand it into multiple sessions), I was able to use some amazing pieces of art for the new book.

Tale of the Wizard's Eye is a wonderful module, that is easy for dungeon masters to use.

Cover Art by : Phoenix O'Faery


Here is a little tip for anyone who is going to be using InDesign for creating their PDF file for publication:

Work up your drafts, conduct your edits, format in your art in those drafts BEFORE you do it InDesign. 

Unless and until you are professionally proficient with InDesign, I find it is far easier to work in Word (which I have a LOT of experience in), after carefully selecting my page settings to mirror the final product settings that need to be applied in InDesign.


Let me tell you.

I have my play test versions in Word.  I get feedback from my play testers and I'm able to edit in an environment I am proficient in.  Once the book is "done", I have that file on hand.

Then, I take begin my InDesign formatting.  I work up my master page (this is where you will layer background art, set up your page numbering, etc.).  I can then use my existing file as a guild in building my pages. 

How effective is that? 

Well last night I was able to completely format 17 pages in a very short time. This was the first time I had tried to format more than a single page, as I had only been toying with InDesign previously to become familiar with the interface. In that time, I was able to correct some grammar issues, reorder some sections on those pages, make editorial changes, etc. and still get those pages in and looking nice.

Text boxes are your friend.

Copying and pasting text, still leaves you with some work to do with regard to test you may want in bold face type or in larger font.  That is okay.  Highlighting and changing those properties is a snap in InDesign.  I am using templates provided from DriveThruRPG.com and they have a nice tutorial with them that works very nicely to familiarize you with the software and to do what you really want to do. Those templates have guidelines that will allow you to line up your text boxes in the format you need and to manipulate them if you need to change them.

What does that mean for me?

It means I'll have my entire book formatted with page space available for some material I'm still waiting on (maps and one image).  I'll then be able to upload my PDF file within minutes of receiving those documents.  Minutes!

So now I'm more confident with the software.  I don't dread formatting the books I've written (though proof reading is all important).  I am now, finally, going to see this first book publish. 


I'm proud of this module, and I hope you enjoy playing it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Remember you can find Sinopa Publishing LLC on Facebook :  HERE

And please do take a look at, like and share the KickStarter Campaign:  HERE

Thank you for joining me on my adventure into publishing.

I hope to see you next time!

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