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RPGObjects News
Posted by Chris Davis on 2009-04-10
I've introducing a new type of book, called the WebBook, starting with Modern20. If you already own Modern20, you can give it a try for only $2 via the Bundle+(you only pay for the book you don't own).

I'm hoping people will respond to this new format. For more on how this came about and its future please read on...

Sometime ago I started putting Modern20 into a database. I was doing this for a couple reasons: 1) to get the basic text into DB format to eventually make a character generation tool, and 2) to help facilitate creating a book importable to Amazon Kindle. If I had known I would get mixed results on #2 (due toKindle's limitations), I might not have done it. But I'm glad I did because along the way I started to create something different; something I now call a WebBook.

The WebBook is basically an online (or Web2.0 if you want to get fancy) version of the standard PDF, but in theory is a lot easier to use. At least I think so.

What is in a WebBook now

1) Quicker Navigation and drill down -The navigate tree (on the right) allows you to move like Bookmarks in the pdf. But unlike bookmarks, it allows you to drill down and only show the content you want. If you want to see the Tank class, just like on the tank node. If you want to see all the classes, click on the character class node.

2) Popup Rules - Some of the important rules (like feats, skills, etc..) will be highlighted so you can just click on them to see the rules in a popup. Makes it so you don't have to navigate to find feat X if it's referenced in a class or skill.

3) Printer Friendly HTML and PDF pages. - Once you drill down to the rules you want, you can export them to a printer friendly HTML page or PDF. Save a tree and only print the stuff you need printed.

The future of the WebBook

If people are receptive to the idea (and buy), I'll of course make new WebBooks and improve the interface.

1) Import the rest of Modern20 line - And if people are really receptive, I'll eventually do my entire catalog.

2) Keyword search - not sure this required right now with only 1 book, but as the catalog grows, and good way to search the text.

3) Custom Made PDFs - allow you to not only export a drill down to PDF, but actually allow you to flag certain rules (sections, feats, etc...) and build your own custom PDFs. For example, say you want to make a PDF just for Tank characters encompassing all the feats, skills, etc... for Tanks.

4) iPhone or mobile front end. Again, if people really support this new format, I'll look at creating other front ends such as a iPhone or Mobile version.

I've been using the WebBook to prep for my gaming sessions and it's much faster than using my books or PDFs. And I also use it to print handouts (such as a character class or a skill description).

I'm commited to giving Voyages of Discovery the same treatment, but beyond that it really depends on the response.

So if you like the idea of the WebBook, please support the idea by purchasing full access. If you already own Modern20, it's only $2.

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Posted by david jarvis on 2009-04-10 17:17:59

This is brilliant.
Posted by Chris Davis on 2009-04-10 17:49:34
We'll see. :)
Posted by Paul King on 2009-04-10 18:50:35
I agree with David. :)
Posted by Walt Robillard on 2009-04-13 11:12:19
This is a great idea. When you begin to publish this way in the future (c'mon, you know we are going to buy in and you'll have to do it again) and the book is released in Web Book format, will it also include the PDF or will that be a separate purchase?

Posted by Chris Davis on 2009-04-13 14:13:29
The WebBook will always be an add-on like it is now. So if you buy the PDF or Print, you can get the add-on for a few extra bucks.
Posted by Curtis Owings on 2009-04-19 02:52:06
Sounds good, but a small demo would be better. Do you have something that shows us how this works exactly?
Posted by Curtis Owings on 2009-04-19 02:56:01
Found the demo, heh! Pretty cool. My guess is it would come down to personal preference. I like to print off my PDFs, but as a web tool, this is great.
Posted by Andrew Franke on 2009-04-22 03:06:39
What if you were an idiot(like me) and purchased Modern20 on RPG now? Will you have a record of books purchased that way? I haven't yet but have bought other Titles before I found I could direct purchase here.