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Subject: Which software for creating player aids? rss

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Jeff Coon
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There are some great player aids here on the Geek that are nicely done. What kind of software are people using to create these? A lot of them are offered via PDF - are people creating these from scratch in Acrobat? Are they creating in Photoshop and then saving as PDF? Are they using a publishing program of some sort?

Examples:
http://files.boardgamegeek.com/file/download/6w7k1j099m/Lond...?
http://files.boardgamegeek.com/file/download/5l0go7mjb1/WW_P...?
(Any of UniversalHead's player aids)

I'm not interested in using Word, Excel, etc. Although some of those player aids are useful, I don't fine them aesthetically pleasing. I'm definitely interested in using game artwork from the rules to make things look nice. I've got some Photoshop skills, so I'm confidant I could hack my way through this if I just knew what people were using.

Thanks!
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Nicholas Vitek
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InDesign
Illustrator
GIMP
Photoshop

Lots of programs to use, based on purpose, access and training.
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Nick Witchey
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Inkscape
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The neutral evil villain known as
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I would say indesign or quark would offer the most features to get it perfect. You could do it in any of the above suggestions tho.
The learning curve and price would be steep for someone that just wants to make this sort of thing...

If you have photoshop, you might already have illustrator or indesign.
Get a book and start learning. I suggest the "classroom in a book" series. I got my first job knowing no more than what was in one of those.


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Peter B
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I produced this Player Aid:

C&C: Napoleonics Graphical Player Aid

Using Apple's "Numbers" spreadsheet, which can double as an arbitrarily sized canvas for laying out graphical elements. Would have been doable in Keynote as well, but I used Numbers just because of the sheer size of it.
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Jeff Coon
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Thank you for the suggestions, everyone. I don't have InDesign, and Inkscape looks a little daunting to me - I've never learned a vector-based graphics application.

On a whim, I started playing around with Microsoft Publisher. It took some getting used to, but I was able to do almost exactly what I wanted with it. It took about 2 hours to whip up a 2-sided rules summary / teaching aid for London. I've submitted it to the files section, and will post here for anyone who wants to see it.

Thanks again for the help!
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Ah, I didn't think of publisher... It's a PC program so it's off my radar. But you're right it does pretty much the same thing as quark and indesign. It should work well for you and you can save out PDFS!
It's only around a hundred bucks too if someone else is looking for it.
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Jeff Coon
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Phil of Mars wrote:
Ah, I didn't think of publisher... It's a PC program so it's off my radar. But you're right it does pretty much the same thing as quark and indesign. It should work well for you and you can save out PDFS!


I think that's the answer I was looking for - that a publishing program like Quark / MS Publisher was a good way to go. I need to check out InDesign.

Here's the PDF I wound up creating if anyone is interested in seeing it. (constructive criticism is welcome)
London dual-sided Player Aid and Teaching Reference
 
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