Creative Commons source material

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Gee4orce Gee4orce's picture
Creative Commons source material

I'm a little confused - I want to produce a new layout of the EP core rules, but I can't find anywhere to download the source material. Do I have to literally copy and paste the content from the rules PDF (that's going to be very tedious !) ?

I'm really stoked about the Creative Commons licensing - but it would be nice if it were a little easier to produce derivative works...

Rhyx Rhyx's picture
Re: Creative Commons source material

Hey you might actually want make a word/.doc version of Eclipse Phase and release it into the wild. Sure it will be tedious work but A) you'll give something interesting to the community and needed to the community and B) you'll be making the tool you want in return. Isn't that the awesomeness of creative commons? I'm sure that the Linux people had to do a lot of cut and pasting before it became what it is!

See this as an opportunity instead of a drawback!

Best of luck and if you find or make a copy, please share!

Gee4orce Gee4orce's picture
Re: Creative Commons source material

I was actually thinking of producing an HTML version, for fast, portable viewing with good cross referencing, etc...

Rhyx Rhyx's picture
Re: Creative Commons source material

*Thumbs Up* That's awesome and it's the kind of thing that can be not only useful to the players but also to creative types that want to make something else out of EP as well.

I remember a few years back when I was big into D&D 3.5 I used this great site instead of digging:
http://www.d20srd.org/

If you could make a portable equivalent for Itouch/pad/phone and such I'm sure the community would be ecstatic!

Gee4orce Gee4orce's picture
Re: Creative Commons source material

Well, having access to source files like an XML export of the document text would make life a lot easier. If I have to resort to cutting and pasting, I can't see this idea getting off the ground sadly.

The Doctor The Doctor's picture
Re: Creative Commons source material

Gee4orce wrote:
Well, having access to source files like an XML export of the document text would make life a lot easier. If I have to resort to cutting and pasting, I can't see this idea getting off the ground sadly.

I have had success using the 'pdftotext' utility from poppler to extract the text from the EP core book for various purposes. It requires a bit of editing but it works rather well.



AdamJury AdamJury's picture
Re: Creative Commons source material

Producing a clean "manuscript" version of Eclipse Phase that includes all the changes that have happened to the text during layout is something we've considered, but it's time-consuming to take text OUT of InDesign while properly maintaining the necessary formatting and stripping out/normalizing other formatting.

I've considered if "EP Manuscript" as a premium Hack Pack product would be the correct way to handle things, but I'm not sure if it's financially responsible compared to other projects!

Gee4orce Gee4orce's picture
Re: Creative Commons source material

No problem - you deserve all credit for sharing your work as freely as you do already. I can only hope more games companies see the light….

AdamJury AdamJury's picture
Re: Creative Commons source material

So, what's the best way to compensate us for our time to get this done? What's it worth to the people that want to have the raw text to hack at? :-)

OneTrikPony OneTrikPony's picture
Re: Creative Commons source material

I'm gonna go out on a limb and say a premium hack pack should be worth 30 - 40 bucks (per book) at least. I'd proabably buy it for that, just incase I decide to do something with it later. I have no progects in mind right now. But I know people who do.

Actually I might be lowballing there. This is only going to have utility for people who don't want to do data entry on thier own progects. Personally I think you guys are selling both digital versions of Sunward too cheap. So, um... Thanks for that. :D

[Edit] Heh. It just occured to me that there are other compensations beside money. (I should be ashamed to call myself an eclipse phase player :( ) But, it makes me wonder what else PS+ might need.

Mea Culpa: My mode of speech can make others feel uninvited to argue or participate. This is the EXACT opposite of what I intend when I post.

Rhyx Rhyx's picture
Re: Creative Commons source material

Quote:
But, it makes me wonder what else PS+ might need.

What else, reputation, as in if you have the opportunity to introduce new people to the game, talk about it, mention it, make it known. In a more general sense make known your support for the Transhuman agenda (or at least the parts you like). Put it this way, if you are in support of transhuman themes the more you share your alternate point of view with "normal" people, the less they will be taken aback when other people start to mention it and when the ideas try to make headway in the everyday. To me I would think that would be a very good way of thanking them for their good work in a manner that's not monetary compensation.

nielsk nielsk's picture
Re: Creative Commons source material

I just converted Sunward to ePub/Mobi and I used the copy&paste way. I didn't use PDF2text because I figured that I am faster copying & pasting seeing what goes wrong, than checking the whole text afterwards. There's too much additional text that isn't needed (like the page-numbers, chapter-text in the sidebars of the core rulebook, little symbols that turn out to be interpreted as text and not as graphic), all headings turned to be out to be interpreted as mixed case (thanks @TextMate for your "Convert to Title-case"-function) and then there is the location of all the text-boxes and interpreting what the best place is to put them. Plus some little stuff like line-breaks where no line-break should be.
I guess that copying Sunward cost me ca. 3 - 4h, while reformatting took another 6 - 7h. But I am not sure. It took me more or less the whole sunday to do it - sometimes I had to look up some syntax, did some testing, experimented with the workflow in the beginning (not to count several days before to find the best way to do it actually).

But The Doctor wrote that he had pretty good results. So maybe you try that or The Doctor is so kind and sends you the plain-text-version, he already has :)

Regarding a text-release of the books. I am all for it. Right now the hack packs are not really interesting for me because I do not have InDesign because it is a bit on the expensive side and it seems that only InDesign can read the files. But if there would be one which includes a text-version of the book, I'm in.

The output-format should be plain-text, rtf or clean html without fancy stuff (like boxes or tables for layout). All can be used on all operating systems w/out having to shell out money for a software that will probably display it correctly (cough, Word, cough) But I actually do not care about the formatting. As long as the text-boxes are at the right place, headings are in title-case, paragraphs are correct, unnecessary hyphenation is removed and layout isn't in my way to work on the text I'm happy because I can reformat the rest easily myself.
The only problem are the tables. That's why I am suggesting html. You could add tables and have a way to mark several heading-levels.

When I am thinking about compensation the economist (not the MBA but the political economist ;)) in me starts to think.

I don't know how much work it is to actually extract the text from InDesign. Therefore it's hard to say what the costs are and probable profit gains are kind of speculative as well but it seems that there are people out there who'd like to have something like this. And probably extracting the text is faster with the InDesign-files than doing it with the PDF. Reformatting takes some time, too.

Depending on your fan-base you could even let us extract the text from the book and do some formatting. If it's html w/out any fancy-stuff only the CSS should be provided. You could split up the book into portions and hand out some promo-material to the people who do it. You just would have to set a deadline each time you assign someone a part of the book. Or you could let people register for parts of the books and giving out points or something. Depending on the length, people get more time and can exchange the points to promo material. If time's up and people didn't return what they pledged to do, they can extend the time once and after that other people can re-register for the part. That way people who are just talk or have some other reason not to fulfil their pledge won't stall the project too long.
If you set the terms right, you could sell the generated product afterwards anyway…
And you could also convert as well if this model doesn't work out but you wouldn't have to do all the work by yourself.

Right now you charge an additional 5$ for the hack pack. I would split up the pure text into an additional product that costs a third or half of the full PDF (e.g. Sunward 5$; EP 7,50$). Most people have already the core rulebook or the hack pack and I guess they wouldn't buy an additional hack pack for 20$ or something. Therefore an additional product for the already existing books would be the better way.

For later products you could offer 4 products: PDF, PDF+InDesign, PDF+Text, PDF+InDesign+Text.
Maybe you could even streamline your workflow in a way that will make it easier to create a text-variant. I think that is possible, because when you know that you not only want a PDF as output-format but also a text-variant you can shape your workflow that will fit into the result. Until now (some time period after releasing Sunward ;)) I guess you considered only the PDF as output-format.

AdamJury AdamJury's picture
Re: Creative Commons source material

Considered vs. "decided to do" are two very different things ... ;-)

krank krank's picture
Re: Creative Commons source material

AdamJury wrote:
Producing a clean "manuscript" version of Eclipse Phase that includes all the changes that have happened to the text during layout is something we've considered, but it's time-consuming to take text OUT of InDesign while properly maintaining the necessary formatting and stripping out/normalizing other formatting.

Ever considered a workflow focused on linked files in stead of editing in place in InDesign? =)

(And also: You are aware there's a perfectly good export feature, right? To INDTT (InDesign Tagged Text)? And it's not that hard writing something that can convert from INDTT to other formats...)

Warning: Anarchist, postmodernist, socialist, transhumanist, feminist

wint-R-mute wint-R-mute's picture
Re: Creative Commons source material

I don't really like the idea of the hack pack being sold. There is a middle way here: Use a service like http://www.kickstarter.com/
Everyone interested in the hack pack can pledge what he wants to pay. If the amount of money, that Adam and co think is sufficient to justify the additional work, is reached, it happens and the hack pack is release into the wild (think cc turning open source). Otherwise not.

In a perfect world I would see the Posthuman Studios guys keep working on new and exciting stuff, while some freelancer would do the conversion.

There is always the tex source us guys over at http://www.eclipsephase.com/core-rulebook-lightweight-version have extracted. There you can find the (imperfect) pdf. And the html version is taking shape as well: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/2190127/EP/Eclipse%20Phase%20The%20Roleplaying%20Game%20of%20Transhuman%20Conspiracy%20and%20Horror.html

AdamJury AdamJury's picture
Re: Creative Commons source material

krank wrote:
Ever considered a workflow focused on linked files in stead of editing in place in InDesign? =)

Wouldn't work particularly well with our workflow, which includes InCopy, and multiple Stories per chapter -- we don't thread text into sidebars and the AR windows, they stand alone.

Linked files really only work one way: update the linked file, and InDesign updates the text inside it. It doesn't make it any easier to get the text OUT of InDesign, and unless the original manuscript is even more tightly formatted than our current ones are, all hell can break loose.

Quote:
(And also: You are aware there's a perfectly good export feature, right? To INDTT (InDesign Tagged Text)? And it's not that hard writing something that can convert from INDTT to other formats...)

It's perfectly good for exporting out a single Story. Converting out the dozens of stories in each chapter, then re-arranging them back into a coherent manuscript ... that's work, regardless of the technical means used to get the text out.
krank krank's picture
Re: Creative Commons source material

AdamJury wrote:
Wouldn't work particularly well with our workflow

Gotcha

AdamJury wrote:

Linked files really only work one way: update the linked file, and InDesign updates the text inside it. It doesn't make it any easier to get the text OUT of InDesign, and unless the original manuscript is even more tightly formatted than our current ones are, all hell can break loose.

Agreed. It all depends on workflow; I tend to use a lot of linked files and rely mostly on automatic style conversions etc, but I understand and appreciate the fact that not all InDesign users have the same workflow. Whatever works for you =)

Warning: Anarchist, postmodernist, socialist, transhumanist, feminist

Rhyx Rhyx's picture
Re: Creative Commons source material

Hmm so that means that there is no backup of Eclipse phase on a Word .doc or rich text format because that would have been the cheap way of doing it. However if you are using InCopy from the start I can understand why it would be harder to extract it. But in the end using InCopy must make it a lot easier to lay it out in InDesign after.

Gee4orce Gee4orce's picture
Re: Creative Commons source material

wint-R-mute wrote:

There is always the tex source us guys over at http://www.eclipsephase.com/core-rulebook-lightweight-version have extracted. There you can find the (imperfect) pdf. And the html version is taking shape as well: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/2190127/EP/Eclipse%20Phase%20The%20Roleplaying%20Game%20of%20Transhuman%20Conspiracy%20and%20Horror.html

You made me realise how silly that link is ! Please update your bookmarks to:

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/2190127/EP/ep.html

'-)

AdamJury AdamJury's picture
Re: Creative Commons source material

krank wrote:

Agreed. It all depends on workflow; I tend to use a lot of linked files and rely mostly on automatic style conversions etc, but I understand and appreciate the fact that not all InDesign users have the same workflow. Whatever works for you =)

Yeah, there's 30-some paragraph styles and nearly as many character styles in a typical Eclipse Phase book. Trying to get our authors to use them all correctly would not be fair to them. ;-)

AdamJury AdamJury's picture
Re: Creative Commons source material

Rhyx wrote:
Hmm so that means that there is no backup of Eclipse phase on a Word .doc or rich text format because that would have been the cheap way of doing it.

Cheap in actual money, not cheap in time, as explained here: http://www.eclipsephase.com/creative-commons-source-material#comment-11429

Quote:
However if you are using InCopy from the start I can understand why it would be harder to extract it. But in the end using InCopy must make it a lot easier to lay it out in InDesign after.

Well, the prime advantage of InCopy is Rob can input corrections directly -- this means he doesn't have to write out a list of corrections for me to make. Faster and more accurate because it means I have to make judgement calls on how to edit Rob-and-Author's pristine words less frequently. ;-)

Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: Creative Commons source material

Then there's one other option you might want to consider, Adam... simply giving volunteers access to the InDesign file so they can strip out the text themselves.

Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age.

Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.