Electronic Digest

I said before that I really like the trend in digest-sized rpg manuals. I recently picked up Mongoose’s reworked RQII, Legend, for a dollar from Drivethrurpg just to read it on my iPad.

I also recently came across the blog How Not To Run A Game Business. Although it rants on the border of incoherent at times, the March 5th Post makes some good points about the inflexibility of print media and how we’re not using all of the software and authoring techniques available to us today.

It made me think about what I want from a game, particularly as my iPad is my main reading tool these days. Here’s a short list:

  • I’d like it in a digest format, purely so it fits on the iPad screen. But to go even further – some games come in the full pdf and a “print friendly” format. How cool would it be to have an iPad edition and a full-size edition?
  • I’d like a hyperlinked document. Really I’d like a document constructed like a wiki. I put a high value on a good index and being able to search a pdf, but it would be even better if when a core concept is mentioned (e.g. Lace and Steel’s “Self Image”) it links back to the definition.
  • I’d like printable resources that I can also edit. For example, it would be nice to take a branded character sheet and edit it for the players.
  • I’d like those resources to be legally distributable to my players, so they can read the system and plan their character.

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p>The other thing I’d like to see is a voucher for a PDF version of a game I buy in print. That way I could still get a nice glossy book to go on the shelf, and have a portable electronic version for everyday reading an annotation. These days new music on vinyl will include a voucher for the mp3, or even a CD.

But honestly I’m not attached to my physical copies any more. I’m willing to pay for the electronic product but if it’s on my iPad, I’d like it to be fit for purpose and not just a copy of a print version twice the size.

(Don’t worry, brick-and-mortar shops – I’ll always have a boardgame habit).

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