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Hello -- entrepreneur designer here

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Angrycyborggames
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Joined: 04/02/2018

Hey guys,

I've been a lurker for a while. Thought I'd start participating.

I'm an entrepreneur first and foremost. I run an ecommerce store specializing in handmade leather notebooks and other leather goods. Like most e-commerce stores, I slow down big time in the off season (February through to summer).

So I figured, with all this down time, why not focus on a design and share the process along the way?

Also I wanted to pick your brains on a particularly neat little project. I'm collaborating with a bigger name in the community on bringing a designer's notebook -- refillable, templatable pages for prototyping, playtesting, general design, etc. If any of you here are pen-and-paper-first designers, I'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas on what would make a great notebook.

Thanks!

A

Corsaire
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Joined: 06/27/2013
I use scraps of paper and

I use scraps of paper and many different notebooks as well as spreadsheets.

The best quality I find in a notebook is having a mix of graph paper and lined paper. I have an inventor's notebook I received from a prototyping company which has features in common with a scientist's notebook: a place for a date, title, and page number on each page.

Some rough reference items could be useful like standard sizes for cards, boards, chits, etc. possibly rough (and quickly dated) manufacturing prices for components. Maybe some simple probability formulae.

Size is important, because I'll carry a 5x8 notebook everywhere but not an 8.5x11. If there were both and the larger one was a bit like a mothership that might be cool.

A straight edge, place to store a few pencils and pens. Depends on how far you want to go with it.

Jay103
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Joined: 01/23/2018
What would it consist of

What would it consist of other than, well, paper?

Beyond "paper" and "graph paper" (and, for some projects, "hex paper"), I'm not sure what I'd need out of a custom-ish notebook.

There are lots of things you COULD put in it, like blank card templates, but a designer who didn't need blank cards wouldn't get much out of that, and really if I'm *designing* I don't need my cards to be card-shaped.

Angrycyborggames
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Joined: 04/02/2018
Jay103 wrote:What would it

Jay103 wrote:
What would it consist of other than, well, paper?

Beyond "paper" and "graph paper" (and, for some projects, "hex paper"), I'm not sure what I'd need out of a custom-ish notebook.

There are lots of things you COULD put in it, like blank card templates, but a designer who didn't need blank cards wouldn't get much out of that, and really if I'm *designing* I don't need my cards to be card-shaped.

Yeah, we were thinking templates, log books, prompting questions, that kind of thing. For the same kind of minds that need guided journals over blank sheets.

But thats the kind of feedback I'm looking for -- I know this won't be for everybody. Thanks!

let-off studios
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Joined: 02/07/2011
Notebooks

Angrycyborggames wrote:
I'm collaborating with a bigger name in the community on bringing a designer's notebook -- refillable, templatable pages for prototyping, playtesting, general design, etc.
Hello and welcome to BGDF!

Regarding your project: I find reusable notebooks quite useful for the playtesting process. I've not invested in anything significant or pricey myself, but that doesn't mean the market isn't out there.

Additionally, it appears that someone else has put together single-use notebooks via the custom printing platform Scout Books, specifically for playtest, game design, and note-taking. Unless you've already seen it, I suggest you have a look here:

http://onethousandxp.com/journal/

Best of success to you. :)

FrankM
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Joined: 01/27/2017
Standard sheet sizes / hole patterns

Welcome to BGDF!

I can see a couple different paths for a notebook system like this.

First, you could pick a standard page size using a standard hole pattern. Your role would be to provide useful page templates, as well as one or a line of premium covers (which is where the pencil holders, etc. come in). This should be fairly easy to source, though the drawback is that it would be easy for anyone else too.

Second, you go with some custom paper size and hole pattern. That would be more expensive, but would give some insulation against competition.

My instinct would be to go with the first option, and hang the business on providing a variety of templated page sets (i.e., consumables). These could be packs of graph paper, hex paper, card outlines, etc. as well as single fact sheets. Game component vendors could make their own price sheets. Customers mix and match according to their needs.

PhaseShift
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Joined: 03/28/2018
From a newbie to a lurker,

From a newbie to a lurker, welcome and glad to see you here!

As for your notebook, I am 100% a pen-and-paper guy. But I also love whiteboards. I've often thought it would be really handy to have a miniature whiteboard on the inside cover of a notebook. It'd be real nice when spitballing with someone and you want to whip up a quick diagram or example, or even just for yourself so you can take a snapshot with your phone real quick. Yeah, there's always pencil, but there are too many crappy erasers out there and...well, I just like working on whiteboards for some things.

Also, perhaps it could be handy to have a convenient spot for business cards for when you're running around a convention trying to build support and/or meet publishers? Eh, that might be too much.

the_mediocre_poet
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Joined: 04/11/2018
Welcome!

I am new to the site as well, but welcome anyway!

Aside from what's been mentioned, I think maybe a calendar would be helpful. You could easily set goals and deadlines for creation, as well as track your progress.

pelle
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Joined: 08/11/2008
I have a few books I got

I have a few books I got printed from lulu. Just wanted to try their service, so I uploaded a PDF with some different sizes of square and hex grids, so that is what each of the books contains. I use them now and then when brainstorming some rules. It is nice to have a notebook with some grids. If I make new ones I would also include pages with just lines for notes.

Angrycyborggames
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Joined: 04/02/2018
Thanks for all the input,

Thanks for all the input, guys. We’re jotting down everything we can.

The notebooks I make are handmade and designed in house, so simple designs are key else they get prohibitively expensive. But what I’m thinking so far:

- a5 size (8”x6”) is portable but still large enough working space
- refillable / “customizable” with your own sheets
- grid or hex grid paper, potential template “starter” pages with calendar sheets, probability sheets, playtest logs and prompting questions, that kind of thing
- a single pocket or sleeve for loose sheets, business cards, etc

- an embossed logo — would anyone be interested in a custom logo of their company or game name?

And, lastly, what kind of price point for a custom book like this makes sense to you? Honestly goes a long way — handmade leather goods are a premium, but there are alternatives to fit any budget.

Thanks for all the thoughts! Noted!

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