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Scribus for rule writting

5 replies [Last post]
larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008

While searching for an alternative to Quarkx, I stumble on an open source software called Scribus:

I did not have a chance to try it yet, but it seem pretty like the kind of software useful to write rules. Maybe some people want to check it out.

First I thought of using latex from writting rules but I then realize that in rule writing the page layout is really important. You need to be able to place pictures where you want. I could also do it in Corel draw, but maybe Scribus has some logical text formatting options like latex.

kungfugeek's picture
Joined: 09/10/2008
Have you tried I use it to make my playing pieces (cards/tokens) as well as rulebooks. It's good enough for me, and free.

Lucas.Castro's picture
Joined: 10/22/2008
Word Processor VS DTP Software

Comparing a word processor to a Desktop Publishing application is like comparing night to day. But to be fair, it depends on your purpose: if you just want a quick draft of rules while testing, word processors will work fine (maybe even better, as you do not need to do layout, only quick, but frequent changes).
On the other hand, for a nice prototype where you will have graphics placed specifically, maybe text columns, background image, etc, there is no substitute for DTP software. You will save yourself a great deal of headaches (this is coming from a novice Graphic Designer, who has worked with Adobe InDesign several times).

As far as Scribus goes, I’ve recently downloaded it, but have not tried it yet. I’ve seen a video that shows the basics working quite well. The deciding factor for me would probably be STYLES. This is the single most useful aspect of InDesign for me; I can create a style for a couple of different titles, paragraphs, and frames. You can then easily apply these styles to new objects, and changing the style changes all instances automatically. This is an IMMENSE pain if using just the basic functionality of word processors (to be fair, these do usually have styles too, they are just less robust and not so easy to apply).

Anyhow, if I get around to trying it, I will give an update here.

clearclaw's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Why not LaTeX?

I'm not sure what gives you the idea that you can't do layout, embedded images, breakouts, sidebars or any and all the other standard aspects of DTP in LaTeX. It is most certainly possible and not hard at all.

fecundity's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008
I use LaTeX for formatting

I use LaTeX for formatting rules, and it's possible to do anything in it. However, it's sometimes more like programming than it is like using a word processor. A document in a typical application may look ugly, but it will almost always print something. With LaTeX, a document that has a syntax error will not produce any printable output until you debug it.

As others have said, it depends on what you want to do. If you are making a prototype that you'll just be sending to publishers, a word processor is fine. The only reason to produce a finished document is if you're releasing it yourself.

larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008
My objectives & The flaws of latex

My primary objective is to make the final version of the rules for print and play game. I currently use corel draw for making the prototype print-out, so I do not need any other software.

As for latex, I like later but it seems to be limited when you need to do a very intensive layout formatting. For example, you cannot place pictures at specific places on your page and makes text wrap around it like in a news paper layout. Pictures generally float around your document the way latex wants them. I never found a way to make side bars ( I searched every module, tried marginal text, Searched the FAQ, etc. and it does not works).

In order to make the rules clear, since it often requires illustrations, I thought I could use that kind of software instead of latex. Corel draw allow some text management and placement, but it does not offer any logical formatting options ( like this is a new chapter). Since Scribus is a text only tool, I thought it could supply this kind of features (that is probably what the styles are for ).

Anyways I might give a second chance to latex.

By the way, I heard a rumor that they wanted to release a 3rd version of latex, does any of you knows anything about it?

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