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Asking for input: N4 book readability

Discussion in 'News' started by Varsovian, Sep 26, 2020.

  1. zapp

    zapp Well-Known Member

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    I yesterday had a look into the core book, not the rules.
    I can read that book, but I find it unpleasant. Too much wall of text with a very small font and very thin pages. Indeed not a very good package for the money.
     
  2. Arschbombe

    Arschbombe Well-Known Member

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    It's not that bad. CB is not alone in using small fonts. Someone reading this thread might think that CB is breaking new ground in unreadable rules. I pulled out an old rule book from a game published in 1982 and the text was about the same as N4. There was no internet back then, but I don't recall any readability discussion in the magazines we had.

    The N3 book used PTsans-regular 9.2.
     
  3. Nuada Airgetlam

    Nuada Airgetlam Nazis sod off ///

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    Please don't dismiss pages upon pages of people telling you it is that bad for them.
     
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  4. Arschbombe

    Arschbombe Well-Known Member

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    I'm not. I am responding to the hyperbole in the last few posts. The books are fine, not grossly out of line for the industry and not some new aberration designed to screw with vision-impaired people.
     
  5. AmPm

    AmPm Well-Known Member

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    If others do a poor job it means you can do a poor job too right!?
     
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  6. Arschbombe

    Arschbombe Well-Known Member

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    Whatever you say, hoss.
     
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  7. A Mão Esquerda

    A Mão Esquerda Deputy Hexahedron Officer

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    And it’s worth remembering that if the specific changes needed for a specific and likely quite small subset of consumers are too extensive and too cumbersome, they’re unlikely to happen. The books will be made in specific dimensions, with fairly fixed pages lengths, and the content will be formatted as well as it can to fit that space.
     
  8. Nuada Airgetlam

    Nuada Airgetlam Nazis sod off ///

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    Do you happen to work in the publishing industry that you talk about industry standards?

    Or are you again rudely dismissing the opinion of those of us who do, some of us for decades?
     
  9. Nuada Airgetlam

    Nuada Airgetlam Nazis sod off ///

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    Spoken like somebody who hasn't even bothered to look into the books and see the excessive amount of white space wasted on each page.
     
  10. A Mão Esquerda

    A Mão Esquerda Deputy Hexahedron Officer

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    Did you hear the one about the Mormon, the gaucho (RS, not CN or RV) and the All Black?
     
  11. Nuada Airgetlam

    Nuada Airgetlam Nazis sod off ///

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    Could you please start your first thread on this Forum after ~2600 posts and start being constructive for once, instead of creepily stalking around people you don't like?
     
  12. A Mão Esquerda

    A Mão Esquerda Deputy Hexahedron Officer

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    Or the one about the vizcacha, the wallaby, and the ratel?
     
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  13. Arschbombe

    Arschbombe Well-Known Member

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    I'm not talking about the publishing industry. I'm talking about the gaming industry. I've been a gaming customer for 40 years. This is first time I've seen discussion about type/font sizes. That doesn't mean they haven't happened, just that I have not personally seen them until now.

    So I pulled out an old game to see if tiny fonts are a new thing. I pulled GI: Anvil of Victory from Avalon Hill published in 1982. The font turned out to be no larger than what N4 has for main rules text. So tiny font is not new. It's been around a long time.

    I looked at a GW pdf, the 2007 Blood Angels Codex published in the pages of White Dwarf magazine. It's using Optima 9, smaller than N3, but larger than N4. FFG's X-Wing uses Eurostile LT Std 8.5 in their rules reference. I'm active on Dakka and the FFG forums. I have not seen discussions of this type there.

    It would seem that posters in this thread would prefer a minimum font size of 10 points, but I've not seen any movement to make that an actual industry standard.

    I sympathize with Varsovian and others who have problems with the physical N4 product and I think CB should do something to make a digital version of the Core book available to them. However, that doesn't mean I think the N4 book is poor.

    The only one I see being rude in this thread is you.
     
    #93 Arschbombe, Oct 15, 2020
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2020
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  14. Nuada Airgetlam

    Nuada Airgetlam Nazis sod off ///

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    Back to Ignore you go.
     
  15. A Mão Esquerda

    A Mão Esquerda Deputy Hexahedron Officer

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    Hmmm... so no to the first two... how about the one about the Ram, the Buff, and the Pioneer?
     
  16. ijw

    ijw Ian Wood aka the Wargaming Trader. Rules & Wiki
    Infinity Rules Staff Warcor

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    Give it a rest.
     
  17. A Mão Esquerda

    A Mão Esquerda Deputy Hexahedron Officer

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    And “of concern to a small group” does not make the book poor. Might there be room for improvement? Almost certainly. Are the changes as simple as some folks without their feet in the sand seem to believe they are? Almost certainly not. Declaiming ex cathedra how things “should” be doesn’t make it so.
     
  18. Varsovian

    Varsovian Well-Known Member

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    Okay, first of all I'd like to ask you guys to keep it civil. This is meant to be a constructive thread to bring a serious matter to CB's attention, not another personal fistfight between members.

    Anyway...

    I don't know. I don't work in publishing, but I've seen a lot of gaming books in my life. And I can definitely tell you that N4 could use its page space better.

    Is it a bad book? Overall, it's looking nice, so it's not a disaster. I've seen books that looked much worse. But it has its faults - which, for me, really make the book unreadable, unfortunately.

    Seriously, I'm pretty certain, that if CB gave me their source files and some book-designing software, I'd be able to put together a book that would read better without adding more pages. The page wasting is really glaring in some places.

    I honestly believe that the font size in N4 *is* out of line. I'm pretty sure I could examine all the gaming books I have at home and I would not find another book with such a small text. Some books come close, true, but N4 still has the smallest font I've ever seen in such a book. It's not an industry standard by any means.

    BTW. You mention 1982... Well, it was 42 years ago. I think that, across that time, our societies learned a lot about being inclusive toward people with disabilities etc. So, I can imagine that back in 1982, not many publishers cared whether a book could be read by as many people as possible. What I find frustrating is that, apparently, some publishers (or people involved in computer games, or others) don't care about it *now*, in 2020...
     
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  19. Arschbombe

    Arschbombe Well-Known Member

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    For the rules at least you've got the pdf which can be edited. I've already done some of that and shown it in this thread. To redo the entire document and get it printed is a more daunting task, but may end up being the best option for you if you prefer the physical product over digital as I do.

    I don't think there is an industry standard. Everyone does their own thing and that mostly seems to mean fonts smaller than 10 points.

    I think most people don't care about things that don't affect them. Businesses care about requirements imposed on them by laws and regulations. I don't know what legal requirements gaming companies have in this regard. The fact that font sizes haven't gotten larger in my lifetime tells me there must not be much in the way of rules for that despite the progress societies may have made on accessibility more generally.

    I have never seen a large print edition of any gaming product ever. I have also not seen or heard of an audio book version. In CB's case I think it's apparent that they've not thought about this before either. They shrunk the text from 9.2 in N3 to 8 points in N4 for reasons that made sense to them.

    Do you have a physical copy of N3? How legible is it?
     
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  20. Nuada Airgetlam

    Nuada Airgetlam Nazis sod off ///

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    And now you've dismissed the whole field of typography and how it's been developed and utilized for the last 1000 years since earliest movable type?

    Damn, Dunning-Kruger is rough.
     
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