2 Comments

  1. Thomas
    July 5, 2017 @ 3:33 pm

    Congratulations are in order! You’ve put together a fantastic adventure, achieved an impressive Patreon goal, and have pushed the envelope in an exciting direction regarding adventure design.

    As with all things new and exciting, I hit a couple rough patches with the interactive PDF. Most notably, its interactivity was quite limited outside of Acrobat Reader. I tend to view PDFs in one of three places: In the Chrome browser immediately after downloading, in Google Drive where I keep my D&D documents organized, or in SumatraPDF on the desktop. Unfortunately, the PDF’s interactivity was inhibited in each of these places. In particular, the tabs (e.g., Foreword / Adventure Information / Credits & Legal) did nothing upon clicking.

    This is a problem I’ve actually had in other highly interactive PDFs, so I wasn’t surprised. I downloaded Acrobat Reader to see if the PDF worked as intended in there, and sure enough, it worked just as intended.

    The bugginess with the interactive PDF wouldn’t even be a problem, though, because your print layouts are more than a graceful fallback. They’re functional and look great, too.

    I don’t know if the interactive PDF is the inevitable future of adventure modules — not least because of what sounds like an exhausting workflow for the author! — but I think the thoughtful design and your willingness to depart from the status quo says a lot of good things for your future modules. I’m always impressed by design that considers how the product will actually be used; in this case, by the DM. What you’ve produced here is the kind of innovation that I’m hoping makes waves in the D&D community; I think it could be really influential.

    Anyway, that’s a lot of hot air to say thanks heaps for the free adventure, and thanks even more for the exciting work you’re doing. I’ve only been following your blog for about a month, but I’m already a huge fan. Keep it up!

    Reply

  2. Jonathan Hoffmann
    July 14, 2017 @ 2:20 am

    I applaud your efforts in making it easier for a gamemaster to read and run an adventure on a screen. I hope you don’t mind a few comments in the spirit of constructive criticism.

    I would have liked a linear method of reading through the adventure. That is, the text you can reach by clicking on various parts of each page should also be reachable by paging down. Having a linear path through the adventure would also help me orient myself as to where I am in the adventure.

    This is an issue I also have reading ebooks. With a real book you know if you’re about half-way through, or near the end, etc. Pages of PDFs help when reading online, but the interactive format erased that information for the reader.

    The text in the interactive PDF was too small. It also appears on a textured background which also hurts readablility. (Strangely your colour letter version was not as bad.) This was exasperated when trying to read it on my mobile phone. I think in this experiment you forgot one screen: the mobile screen. The interactive PDF is unreadable on mobile.

    Of course the standard 2-column PDF is also a pain on mobile. I’ve found the most readable PDFs for mobile are those formatted for printing at 6×9 inches. These are usually formatted in a single column layout, which makes reading on mobile much easier.

    I think a quicker and possibly easier way to make adventure PDFs more screen-friendly is to provide a single-column version (optionally at 6×9 so that text is larger) in addition to (or instead of) the letter/A4 version.

    Reply

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