The Forge Forums

General Forge Forums => Independent Publishing => Topic started by: Jason Pitre on August 09, 2010, 03:14:08 PM

Title: Scribus? (split)
Post by: Jason Pitre on August 09, 2010, 03:14:08 PM
Has anyone been watching Scribus since the last post?  I aspire to produce my game with the program but would much prefer to go for the best version or branch of the program. 

Title: Re: Scribus? (split)
Post by: Ron Edwards on August 10, 2010, 03:45:55 AM
Hi everyone,

The above post was split from Scribus? ( Jason, it's no big deal.

The topic is sound and any input is welcome.

Best, Ron

Title: Re: Scribus? (split)
Post by: Eero Tuovinen on August 10, 2010, 10:44:47 PM
I did use Scribus a while back, but I think it was in 2008 last time... so it's been a while. Can't really say anything about it that I didn't say in that original thread. I'd be interested in any fresh experiences too, though, if anybody can share.

Title: Re: Scribus? (split)
Post by: Jason Pitre on August 12, 2010, 04:11:03 PM
I know that the program is perfectly usable for single page documents at the very least.   I have produced draft character sheets with the program and was fairly satisfied with the outcome.  I must say that the learning curve was steep, but that likely has a great deal to do with my lack of experience in graphic design.

I suppose my question is how useful the "master page" functionality is.  If I can build the default layout, dump all my text into a single continuous box and then start adjusting the individual pages sequentially it would be relatively painless.  If this is not possible and I would need to unearth my rusty python skills, it will be significantly more challenging.  So yes, if anyone has managed to deal with Master Pages I would be grateful to hear about it.   

Title: Re: Scribus? (split)
Post by: Eero Tuovinen on August 12, 2010, 11:13:30 PM
My last experience with the program used master pages, yes. It's by no means impossible to use, no more so than the other facets of the program. I can totally believe that if you read the Internet about it you'll see a lot of bitching, but how much of that is going to be from people who don't know how this feature is even supposed to work and therefore complain about perfectly normal functioning that often has good reasons for being the way it is?

If master pages are your main concern and you're not intimidated by the various petty complaints such as the occasionally unreliable text editing properties and the highly counter-intuitive user interface, then I'd say that you shouldn't have any unexpected trouble with the program. I know that we say many sceptical thinks about Scribus, but that has to be taken in context - I wouldn't recommend the program, but that's only in relation to the very expensive professional software that I use routinely myself. Scribus is perfectly usable if you know what you're doing or have the patience to learn, and it's a good choice for occasional, non-professional layout work.

Title: Re: Scribus? (split)
Post by: Jason Pitre on August 13, 2010, 07:45:02 AM
You are quite right, I was scared off to some degree by the critical noise on the internet.   Still, as a value for money proposition Scribus can get the job done?  If so, it's worth pursuing that route. I have partially learned the software, am making a point of supporting open source software and use the GIMP routinely so I do think it's an acceptable route.

If I survive the process, I might post some tips for others who follow in my footsteps.

Title: Re: Scribus? (split)
Post by: Graham W on August 13, 2010, 08:14:44 AM
Play Unsafe was laid out in Scribus. I wouldn't recommend it: it's clunky and frustrating.

It's worth looking at the $9.95 version of Serif Page Plus, which is much better. (Although, um, it keeps blowing up on my Windows 7 machine).

That said, Scribus will get the job done. Eventually. Frustratingly.

Title: Re: Scribus? (split)
Post by: Jason Pitre on August 13, 2010, 09:15:35 AM
What is specific makes it so clunky?   What are the frustrating aspects of the program?  I am currently used to some of the open source interface principles so I am uncertain if the same difficulties would apply.

Title: Re: Scribus? (split)
Post by: Jason Pitre on September 22, 2010, 02:46:27 AM
So, I managed to use Scribus to layout my gamechef entry "A Sojourn in Alexandria".   Master pages worked fairly well and I was able to automate decently enough and I was able to tackle ~10 pages of final pdf over a span of 3 hours or so.   The problem I found is that often it would take far too long to complete some kind of operation, such as adding a new image.  I don't know if that was a problem with my particular document or a systematic one, but worth noting. 

It turns out that once you learn to create a character sheet with Scribus, layout for a book is ridiculously easy by comparison.  There is a learning curve for certain, but with the open source philosophy and the price tag of $0, I think that program is worth your while to investigate if you don't have other means of doing layout.  If you happen to have a copy of InDesign it likely much better, but I'm not personally willing to spend the hundreds if not thousands of dollars on that program.

Title: Re: Scribus? (split)
Post by: Clay on October 03, 2010, 01:02:34 PM
Clinton Nixon laid out at least one version of The Shadow of Yesterday with scribus.

I've used it to lay out documents, but it wasn't easy.  Graphic design programs work differently than other programs.  It's not like using a word processor, even though both are used for putting text on the page.

Kind of like how making forms in Microsoft Access, or a complex spreadsheet, isn't like programming, even those both are used for processing data.

Title: Re: Scribus? (split)
Post by: arithine on October 03, 2010, 01:04:51 PM
I use indesign myself, loads more documentation and user support.

Title: Re: Scribus? (split)
Post by: Moganhio on October 05, 2010, 10:36:20 PM
I did. I had quite a few tables. And I had to give up.

I you're going to use tables in the book, just don't do it.