FSpaceRPG article

Status: Official

Looking at software and file formats, my professional toolkit is as follows

InDesign CS4 (software and file format) - page layout
Illustrator CS4 (software and file format) - vectorart
Freehand MX - legacy - moving to Illustrator CS4 or InDesign (software and file format) - vectorart and page layout
Photoshop CS3 - upgrade to CS4 pending (software) - images
Acrobat 8 Professional (software) - PDF production

These are the rock solid key professional apps I use for gamebook products.

Text/Word processing I’m leaning towards using Apple’s Text Edit and retaining everything in RTF format.

The Adobe products are an expensive suite, but are robust professional tools, and Acrobat is the only way to manage the creation of pre-press grade PDFs for POD production as I know. Actual PDF versions are typically supported by earlier versions of Acrobat - I think v6 is typical.

InDesign has not cross-software compatible file formats. It converts older ones to it’s format, and gives a slight interchange to prior InDesign versions.

Illustrator is more flexible.

For images I’m tending to keep everything in TIF file formats, either RGB or CMYK - in most cases layered. A number of other image editors can’t handle layered TIF files.

I do use Photoshop PSD and EPS files when I store duotone or similar images, but tried to save out to RGB or CMYK based TIFs for production use in ebooks.

File format list moving forward for me:

Page layout
INDD CS4 (.indd)


RTF (.rtf)

or PSD, EPS (raster)

For spreadsheets I haven’t decided.

Databases is used is now all moving to MySQL based for me. I still have Filemaker hanging around, but it’s fast dropping out of the mix. SQLite will be part of my future mix however.

For web formats I hand code these days, and images are derived from TIF sources and turned into appropriate GIF, JPG and PNG

My 3D modeling format hasn’t been finalised. I was Strata user, but due to cost, and continual outdated nature of software I need to switch - this will probably be open source.

Video is an area open to context of use, devices etc. I won’t lay down rules, except in what format you might want to supply a video file to me for use - just to fit with tools I have.

So now I’ve got to suggest a set of opensource packages (plus file formats) that Windows/Linux and Mac users can all use, collaborate and contribute into the toolset I used above.

That will be next email, and where I’m sure you’ll have something to say.

I’ll also put together a little workflow model so you can see how this is going to work.

Categories: Development

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