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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Names, backstory, and wanting to stab yourself in the brain...

One of the most boring parts about writing this gang supplement for DF2020 is coming up with names and backstories for the multitude of NPC's that are invovled.  Unlike with other sourcebooks, where most of the characters have real names, or a few nicknames... with gangs nearly everyone has a colorful nickname, and to be honest I am just not that creative when it comes to this stuff... I run into this problem with every sourcebook... but with this one it seems compounded... because with gang members, their backstories have to be pretty similiar for the most part, in at least they share the same goals and outlook... but how many times, how many different ways, can you say "This guy is a violent sociopath who wants to rip your face off and chew on your lungs!" 

At the end of the day I continue to slog through it, finding myself distracted as much as possible, often fooling myself with the excuse of "maybe this will give me some inspiration" before my random boredom has me looking a t pictures of cats for an hour...  I will get more focused as the project continues, I always do... but until I can see the end, usually about the halfway point of the project, I never can be totally focused on it...

I have noticed one thing though.  When I first began doing sourcebooks and articles for Datafortess 2020 they were purely online affairs.  Simple HTML, using netscape (then later Seamonkey) and the built in composer.  But a few years ago, I converted all of it to PDF for ease of use.  Now I write the articles in word, writing for the PDF you could say.  And then convert the article to HTML.

Writing for one format is vastly different than writing for the other.  They both have pros, and they both have cons.  Writing for HTML in a composer, it allows you too keep and work on the sections seperately, without screwing up the format and layout of the entire project.  Its a much more organized way of doing it.  Unfortunately when you keep everything in separate folders (curse you OCD), it means you end up spending a lot of time recompiling everything when you are done so the images and links match up correctly.  Writing to a document for PDF, its all their, which is nice.  You have a lot more simplicity when it comes to layout and formatting, both due to the standardized restraints inherent in page size uniformity, and the fact that the tools for creating tables, image placements, and so on, are much simpler to use overall.  Placing images is a simple copy paste awesome sauce.  Unfortunately you lose a lot of the format, and the images are renamed when converting doc to html. Converting either format to the other is such a massive headache, especially when it comes to the images, that it is easily my least favorite part of any given project....

Trying to think of a new way to approach this... maybe doing them both simultaneously.

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