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Scribus

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phpbbadmin
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Joined: 04/23/2013

Folks,

There is a new Page Layout program (similiar to Adobe Pagemaker or Macromedia Freehand) that is freeware that may be worth checking out. It's called Scribus and you can learn more about it here:

http://www.scribus.org.uk/

Interestingly, this open source program supports python scripting, so it may be good tool for creating a card database program. Anyone want to take a whack at it?

Have fun,
-Darke

VeritasGames
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Joined: 08/01/2008
Scribus

Darke, I have been meaning to look at Scribus. I'll take a look at it to see what it's capabilities are, however, I am strongly guessing that it won't be better at laying out cards from a database than Serif Page Plus 10 and 11 are. About the only complaint I have about Page Plus is the 255 character import limit.

I did a test drive of Indesign, and it wasn't without a lot of effort, capable of doing anything approaching the automated card layout that's possible pretty trivially with Page Plus.

Maybe Scribus will surprise me. I'll let you know. If it can be programmed then it's probably got possibilities. It's just questionable whether it's worth the effort given that Page Plus is so well suited to laying out cards based on a database.

phpbbadmin
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Scribus

VeritasGames wrote:
Darke, I have been meaning to look at Scribus. I'll take a look at it to see what it's capabilities are, however, I am strongly guessing that it won't be better at laying out cards from a database than Serif Page Plus 10 and 11 are. About the only complaint I have about Page Plus is the 255 character import limit.

I did a test drive of Indesign, and it wasn't without a lot of effort, capable of doing anything approaching the automated card layout that's possible pretty trivially with Page Plus.

Maybe Scribus will surprise me. I'll let you know. If it can be programmed then it's probably got possibilities. It's just questionable whether it's worth the effort given that Page Plus is so well suited to laying out cards based on a database.

I understand you like Page Plus, but also understand that Scribus is freeware, hence is infinitely better in regards to cost. A lot of people design games as a hobby, so keeping costs down is a must.

Please let me know what you find in regards to Scribus. I will also dig into it further.

-Darke

Rick-Holzgrafe
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Scribus

VeritasGames wrote:
Darke, I have been meaning to look at Scribus. I'll take a look at it to see what it's capabilities are, however, I am strongly guessing that it won't be better at laying out cards from a database than Serif Page Plus 10 and 11 are.

Scribus can apparently be used on Linux and Mac OS X systems, which Page Plus (so far as I know) cannot. I'll be looking at it. Thanks for the pointer!

VeritasGames
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Scribus

OK, so after 15 minutes of playing with Scribus I developed a loathing of it. It's just not as user-friendly as Page Plus. Not by a mile. I'm ready to eat my words if somebody programs a beautiful solution in Scribus, but it ain't for me.

VeritasGames
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Scribus

Darkehorse wrote:
I understand you like Page Plus, but also understand that Scribus is freeware, hence is infinitely better in regards to cost.

Except that if you have to spend 40+ hours of programming to accomplish similar things, then time is money.

As for free software, it won't likely do the imports and dynamic layout of Page Plus 10, but there's an earlier version of Page Plus that's also free online.

Quote:
A lot of people design games as a hobby, so keeping costs down is a must.

It's a bit clumsy now, but I've been debugging the Battlarium Collectible Card Game Maker. It's not ready for primetime yet, but it's new version may be. I'm gonna do a review of it for my site, for BGDF, and for RPG.NET when it comes out. That costs $20.00 and looks pretty well suited to database driven card layout on a budget. I _think_ that version 2.0 of this product will be available for Windows and Macintosh. If it meets my hopes (uncertain right now), then it may be the budget solution of choice.

If Scribus has plug-ins specifically for card layout then my opinions of it might change. For right now, I looked at it for about 15 minutes, and tons of stuff in it was just massively counter intuitive and clumsy.

I think I could make it work for laying out text. Probably totally cool for that. But what I can't see myself doing is laying out cards with it with even a modicum of conditional formatting.

Ska_baron
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Joined: 08/02/2008
Scribus

Newb post:

Are these programs you're discussing used to format and make cards for games? Thanks.

Jon

VeritasGames
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Scribus

Page Plus SE is a low end freeware application which is reasonably powerful. While I find it much more intuitive than the test drive I just took with Scribus, I'm guessing Scribus is more powerful if you know where things are. Scribus is the most cross platform of the products, but I found it very bewildering to use. I had to look at the documentation for even really basic things. But it is cross platform and Freeware.

Page Plus 10 and 11 have a photo and text merge feature which make them just about perfect for dynamically laying out card games. They have lots of great features with a text file database, and if you have a relational database behind them, you can do some cool conditional formatting. All versions of Page Plus are (to my knowledge) Windows only.

The Battlarium Collectible Card Game Maker v. 1.0 is not ready for prime time. But I think v. 2.0 will be. It is specifically designed to layout CCG cards and store the text for them in a database. It has two downsides -- it only likes laying out horizontal text (so no vertical text) and it saves only in JPEG format. It is primarily designed to produce JPEGs of CCGs for online play with front ends like Lackey CCG. It will (I think) have Windows and Mac compatible versions. I think version 2.0 will be about $20.00 and, when it comes out, if it does what it is supposed to do, it'll be a great low budget way to layout lots of cards without being a graphic designer or programmer.

Scribus and Page Plus are both full page layout apps. The Battlarium program only does layout of cards for card games.

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