This writing will be updated with GREP expressions for use in InDesign that I find useful.
When I first started doing layout for RPGs, I was given marked up text and I tended to use that early on. The copy would come from the editor or author and be full of what looked like HTML in brackets or angle-brackets: [em]this would be set in italics[/em], <dice>8</dice> would mean to put in an 8-sided die graphic, while [ih]this could be an inline header (and it took me forever to find out what “ih” meant). The work would consist of taking this plain, unstylized text, and doing several grep searches inside InDesign to replace the markup copy with stylized copy.
For projects like The Fate Codex, I had this pretty much down pat. It worked for that because that project was a series of documents, all using the same paragraph and character styles.
Late last week, Modiphius released links to preorder their new Star Trek roleplaying game, Star Trek Adventures. Visually, it looks cool, perhaps up there with Fantasy Flight Games’ Star Wars RPGs, a series of game books that does a lot of things right. The cover of the collector’s edition is a very interesting angle of The Next Generation’s Enterprise’s main hull, rendered by the same people that provided the 3d model for the Star Trek: TNG Remastered series. The cover of the regular edition is original artwork — an illustration!1 The one spread we have of the interior also features an illustration of Picard’s Enterprise being harried by Romulan ships (and the announcement comes with another illustration of a starship battle!). This leads me to believe they’re going full-on illustration with the game rather than just using stills from existing movies and television shows2
But that spread — I’d like to take a few minutes and write down what I really like about it and what I see in the layout.
- Aside: When we worked on Firefly, we had illustrations for the covers. We heard from the distributors that they would not sell unless we had photos of the crew instead of illustrations — a claim I always thought of as full of crap. It’s great to see that a game based on an existing IP is going forward with an illustrative cover. [↩]
- Firefly chiefly did that to save money on production costs. [↩]