Small random rant about book layout and organization

This is about fugly layouts in some White Wolf books. If you don’t care about role-playing games or this would offend you deeply, I won’t resent your clicking right past to the next entry on your Friends list. 🙂

Blame for starting a thread on RPG.net about the importance of good evocative art in RPGs. I want to expand on this and see better layout in games. Amusingly, although the trad-gamer’s view of indie/small press games is that they look like something made by a 10-year old with crayons and a stapler, these little games frequently show the best, clearest, most focused layouts in recently released products.

I was thinking about this because we have a Scion game tomorrow night and I’m highly unimpressed with the organization and layout of this book. It’s cluttered, makes it hard to find what you’re looking for, and despite the lavishness of the printing, not very professional. The logo looks completely amateurish and the collection of fonts used merely screams “Look at my cool font set!” rather than supporting the feel of the game. They are distracting, not helping.

But that’s nothing compared to WW’s World of Darkness core book, which I recently picked up at Half Price Books. While the part of the WoD that most interests me these days is simply to play mortals against weird supernatural critters, which I could do with this book, I’m stunned at how cluttered and ugly it is. Was the goal of the graphic designer simply to use every font available on the company’s computers? Doesn’t anyone care about functionality?

I guess not.

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