Thursday, May 26, 2011

Advice on publishing / Helping a blogger out

I'm thinking about pushing the Black City towards becoming a downloadable PDF product, maybe even later this summer after we get in some play testing.  It's got some interesting things going for it - it has a sweeping scope, it's got some awesome art, and Vikings exploring a frozen, alien city is cool.  I think my role model would be Stonehell and Michael Curtis - he's the closest to a hobbyist blogger that posted pieces of his megadungeon campaign in starts and stops and pulled it all together into an awesome book at one point.

Self-publishing is well-worn ground for other folks in the blogosphere - does anyone have suggestions for tools?  The level 1 dungeons are all currently drawn on graph paper with hand-scrawled notes; I'll need to scan them and redo them as graphics.  Does everyone use Photoshop (I'd need to learn some basic GIMP) or is there a simpler dungeon mapper for making basic old school dungeon maps?

I'd have to learn the basics of laying out pages, too, so recommendations on a basic layout program would be helpful as well.  I'm not ignoring the epic amount of work to edit it - it's one thing blathering on a blog in verbose mode, another to write economically for a page count.

Finally, an "official" edition decision would need to be made.  It seems to be a practical decision of licensing and understanding the OGL (of which I haven't looked much into either, since my home games are Frankensteins cobbled across rules-sets).  I've seen plenty of hobbyists write Labyrinth Lord compatible stuff - Labyrinth Lord must be easy to identify.  I'm not sure if Realms of Crawling Chaos is open in the same way - I'd hazard to guess it is.  I think I've seen some hobbyist stuff that's Swords & Wizardry compatible, nothing for LotFP (probably means it's a closed license).  If folks have insight on the license side of things, it'd be super helpful.

Comments, links to posts on other blogs, or tutorials would all be welcome - before I reread the daunting effort outlined above and talk myself into keeping this just a blog project!  If you'd rather drop a line through email, you can send a note to dreamsinthelichhouse via gmail.

Thanks all!