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Jürgen Hubert's LiveJournal

April 1st, 2007

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06:54 pm - New Playtest Draft!
I really should update more often...

On the other hand, this update is a fairly big one - I've uploaded a new playtest draft in PDF form, which you can download here. It now exceeds 120,000 words in length... and that doesn't include the new Table of Contents or the index!

This time I have formatted the entire manuscript in LaTeX, and the final product will also be done with LaTeX. The formatting still has a few rough spots, and I still need to do some serious proofreading and working out some other problems... but I think you'll agree that this is a vast improvement over the previous version.


(4 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:April 2nd, 2007 03:23 am (UTC)
Interesting. I've wondered about LaTeX for a while - there was even a period in the dark age before OpenOffice 2.0 that I seriously considered getting over the technical hurdles of running it. Looking over the results, it is not as high-quality as its proponents make it out to be, but it's definitely adequate for most purposes.

Out of curiousity, what were you using before?
[User Picture]
Date:April 2nd, 2007 04:24 am (UTC)
I just copied and pasted the website to OpenOffice Writer.

And as for the LaTeX-made PDF, that's just a first try. The learning curve is somewhat steep, but I am confident that it will look better in the future.
[User Picture]
Date:April 2nd, 2007 11:25 am (UTC)
Honestly, the only things that cry out to be improved are in the white space:

1. The "inside" portion of the page (depending on whether it is even or odd) has more white space than the "outside" portion. This is fine if you are printing it double-sided and binding it - then it looks normal. As a PDF, however, the text jumps left and right throughout the whole document, which is irritating.

2. The top and bottom of the page have enough white space for a second book. I suspect that the defaults for translating from LaTeX's native US Letter to A4 are simply bad, since A4 is a taller page format.

3. The gutter between columns is too narrow. Given the rest of the layout, 0.5cm should be sufficient. Why Knuth, such a madman for giving the reader tons of white space to relax the eyes, chose to make the column gutters so damned narrow, is beyond my understanding.

4. Give the footnotes more breathing room. Or just don't use footnotes -- LaTeX does not appear to have an adequate understanding of how to make footnotes attractive. Since most of your footnotes could be subsumed in the text fairly easily, I'd favor the latter. Or maybe try the margin-notes method instead of the footnotes method.

Everything else about the formatting (font, justification, column-balancing, hyphenation, etc.) is perfectly adequate.
[User Picture]
Date:January 7th, 2008 09:53 pm (UTC)
Can I suggest placing a link to the playtesting Wiki on the front page of the website? I think it would be a great place for people to add information that they develop about the setting. You've put alot of work into this and I know, especially at this point, people would love to help.

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