Sunday, October 21, 2018

On Formatting

Oh dear, I didn't expect to be posting again so early. Some people over on Chris McDowall's Discord (Which you, if you haven't yet, should join) were wanting to know my secrets as to how I formatted my first adventure. Lucky for them and you, I am pretty lenient with the methods to my madness.

Now, just to put some context to this, my experience is pretty much limited to about a quarter of a year spent in a graphic design class in freshmen year of high school and the program I use is the oh-so-free Google Docs, so don't take my word as gospel. So here it is, some sample documents and general tips about how to make alright looking formatting in Google Docs:

First, for some tips. Feel free to ignore them if you just want to go grab some documents with my formatting already applied.

  • While my formatting does look like it is in two columns, I don't actually use the integrated feature of columns under the format tab in docs. In fact, I don't use anything under that tab except for line-spacing and text alignment when text occasionally has to be centered.
  • Instead, I use tables, holy Gods so many tables. Tables are very nice because you can fiddle with so many of their settings (just right-click on the table and select "Table Properties" to get there) such as cell padding (how much blank space there is surrounding the text in a table), row width or height, border width (which you can set to 0, very useful), cell color, and very importantly, merging or unmerging multiple cells
  • Fun fact, tables can be created within tables, I use this so much, maybe too much. Basically, I have one overarching table that contains the title of the adventure and sets precedent for the two-column look. Then within this is multiple other tables for different areas.
  • Just as some extraneous information if you want a similar look to my stuff:
    • My font is "IM Fell English", it comes with docs by default.
    • Whenever I create documents, the first thing I do is go under the file tab, go into page setup and make the top and bottom margins a size of 0, and the left and right margins a size of 0.1. This is so I can fit as much stuff as possible onto one page.
    • My font size for...
      • The main title of the adventure is 20.
      • The main title for different areas and/or sections is 14.
      • Regular text is 11.
Anyway, that mess of tips aside here is a sample document with all the formatting you need. This gives, well, the actual settings of how I do my formatting, but it also has tips on how I notated my adventure (and how I'm going to notate future adventures unless I stumble upon better formatting with a free and easy to grasp software such as Docs.)

I have also used similar formatting to make GLOG class templates, which you can find here. The example classes I use in here are from the excellent Type1Ninja.

If you are having troubles with this formatting, just dig through the settings within the tables, I'm sure you will find what is plaguing you. Feel free to copy the document, use it for your own stuff. The next post will return back to basics and be some gameable content that is just a tad more coherent.