Designing RPG products for mobile phones

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Big Mac
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Designing RPG products for mobile phones

Post by Big Mac » Thu Oct 10, 2019 12:47 pm

DMs Guild have posted a guide for designing PDFs that work on mobile phones: Phone PDF Information and File Creation Guide.

They are also giving away a free Phone PDF of a RPG product, so you can see an example of what they want these to look like.

Would you want to buy RPG PDFs specifically designed for mobile phones?

Would you want to make your own Phone PDFs?
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Tim Baker
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Re: Designing RPG products for mobile phones

Post by Tim Baker » Thu Oct 10, 2019 6:59 pm

As long as it's not the only format available, I'm supportive. I keep a few of my favorite systems on my phone for (relatively) easy reference, and wouldn't mind if the PDFs were more friendly to the small screen size.

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Re: Designing RPG products for mobile phones

Post by brassdragon » Sun Oct 13, 2019 2:46 pm

I am in favor of offering formats beyond replicas of 8.5" by 11" printed books. These days, almost all of my RPG purchases are in electronic format and most of my RPG-related reading is on a tablet. And sometimes my phone happens to be the reading device I have with me when I have a little time to kill.

Part of my library is in Kindle and/or ePub formats, which are great for reading text but tend to leave out illustrations. Formatting tables also seems to be challenging.

My dream format for electronic reading would let me adjust text size but also have PDF-level support for illustrations and tables and sidebars. Which is probably flatly impossible short of having layout done by AI smart enough to be doing more important things, but I did say it was a dream.

I can say that I've started reading the Pugmire "phone PDF" and it looks good and is quite readable on my phone. I don't necessarily expect many publishers to go to the trouble of producing a second completely different layout for their products, though.

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Tim Baker
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Re: Designing RPG products for mobile phones

Post by Tim Baker » Sun Oct 13, 2019 9:01 pm

brassdragon wrote:
Sun Oct 13, 2019 2:46 pm
My dream format for electronic reading would let me adjust text size but also have PDF-level support for illustrations and tables and sidebars. Which is probably flatly impossible short of having layout done by AI smart enough to be doing more important things, but I did say it was a dream.
D&D Beyond does a nice job of striking a balance between readability (flowing text, control over font size) and presentation (all tables and images are retained). My concern is that no official D&D digital toolset has lasted for very long. By investing in a proprietary format, you run the risk that all of your content vanishes if D&D Beyond loses their license for D&D or run into financial problems. Contrast this with books, which not only last for as long as you take good care of them, but you can sell/gift to others, or PDFs, which you can't resell or give away, but can backup copies on cloud drives. I still more confident making purchases of these types, but it's interesting to see that the technology to support something like D&D Beyond already exists.

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