When starting on a new book project, one of the first things I think of are the typefaces for the interior. How to choose what to use to convey the information to the reader? How heavy should the type look in a character, line, paragraph, and on the page as a whole?
I see four major areas for copy treatment when it comes to roleplaying games: the body copy, the headings, the sidebars, and the tables. Depending on the game, there may be statblocks that need to be detailed, but for the most part a treatment that incorporates the sidebar and table styles are a good starting point for these. I do not consider statblocks as high in the hierarchy of design elements as tables or sidebars are.
I know, this day’s #RPGaDAY question is supposed to be about a genre-mashup, but it seems that there’s been a few questions that touch on that and I’d rather talk about Marvel Super Heroes RPG, the first of the superhero roleplaying games that used the Marvel Comics IP.
Whenever I see this game system mentioned, people reflect on it with a sense nostalgia that I never had. I’d be willing to say that you’re thinking about good ol’ FASERIP now with a smile slowly spreading across your face. But for me, this was the game where I learned an important Truth in Gaming: dice tell crappy stories.
For the 29th of last month’s #RPGaDAY entry, the prompt was about the best-run rpg Kickstarater campaign I’ve backed. When I work on layout — and I come under contract before or duing the campaign — I always back the project for one dollar so I can see what communication goes out to the backers.
So far, I’ve only come onto two projects that funded through Kickstarter after the campaign ended: Bluebeard’s Bride and Bulldogs. It’s interesting to see how both campaigns handle communication with backers: Bluebeard’s Bride has everything done publicly — which I think makes it a marketing opportunity for post-KS sales — while Bulldogs has had several that were backer-only. Just because I can see Bulldogs, I’ll use this as an example: why not make that 2016 “Current Print Status” available for anyone to see when they can purchase the game in stores? I don’t know, but some creators like to have backer-only updates. As a person on the creative side, I’d like to see what they’re saying to backers.
I have thoughts about the design space in games and must write!
I have worked in the roleplaying and board games industry for over a decade as a graphic designer and layout artist. During the past few years, I have written for online publications where some of my reviews of game products delved into a serious look at the presentation of the object. Reviews, critiques, examinations of how graphic design evolved in a work — these are some of the things I enjoy writing about!
Although I would love to write about layout and graphic design in these spaces, I often find myself unable to justify devoting time for doing so. Patreon provides an incentive to create. You can directly prompt me to do what I love and, at the same time, develop my skill at writing.
I have two goals for this Patreon.
1. Write at least two articles each month about physical design in games.
2. Become a better writer.
When I create articles for the blog, I continually improve my writing; by improving my writing ability, I create more articles for you to read.
There’s a third, secret goal.
3. Write and develop actual game things.
…but I’ve written more about that in the first patron-only post.
I want you to join my journey to become a better writer.
By becoming a patron, you continue to improve my writing while learning about layout and graphic design in RPGs and boardgames. Joining up lets you suggest topics for future writings and adds you to a discussion forum where patrons can tell me what they would like to see come of my work.
It’s simple to become a patron: just click that link or the button below. Your generosity can start at as little as $1 per post (and you can even limit that to as few posts per month as you wish), although higher-level backers get access to one of the rarest things in the world: I’ll high-five you when we meet in person.
Some of my patrons
At the $3 tier, I’ll list a link to your work here.
G. Michael Truran is creating a Table-Top Role-Playing Game. Sword, Axe, Spear, & Shield is a low-fantasy table-top role-playing game about Nordic heroes trying to find their way in a changing world.
Do you need help with graphic design for an upcoming project? Does your company need a freelance graphic designer? Please contact me and let me know how I can help. All inquiries are responded to within the next two to three business days.