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Old May 4, 2017, 15:11   #1
Tibarius
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Player's Guide

Hey all, i am still working on a player's guide to Angband. I have a PDF version quite far to, lets say 75%. But there are a couple of issues with it, image conversion and no pixel perfect scaling between the application i use to write the guide (OpenOffice) and the exported PDF file. I work on windows and don't know if PDF is a suitable format for unix / linux based systems.

So here is my question to you all:
Better to use a simple text format with just courier new font and LF/CR signs (which is very likely to be useable on all systems) or the more graphic style oriented PDF file?

Thanks for any feedback!
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Old May 4, 2017, 15:29   #2
Derakon
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Linux can deal with PDFs just fine. How important are the images to the guide?

Kind of surprised that OpenOffice is ruining your images though. There must be some way to turn off resizing during the export process.
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Old May 4, 2017, 20:55   #3
Pete Mack
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@Tiberus--what version of OpenOffice are you using? It should be using TrueType or FreeType; font size just shouldn't matter.
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Old May 5, 2017, 02:21   #4
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are you just using the guide which is built into the game, or are you expanding it?
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Old May 6, 2017, 11:47   #5
Tibarius
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players guide

I am using OpenOffice 3.4.1. I use this version because the newer versions always require some kind of internet connection for updates etc. I do not like those kind of requirements.

The help pages available inside the game do explain quite some aspects. But i feel they miss out very important topics belonging into a(n advanced) players guide, which covers more than just explaining what is possible with the available commands.

Well, of course the pictures add a good deal of athmosphere in my eyes. So i would rather prefer a PDF version. I guess i will try to finish that and then see how i can get feedback here about it.
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Old May 6, 2017, 14:00   #6
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Absolutely agree with you. A more indepth player guide would really help make Angband more popular.

things, for example, which are invaluable now but i didn't understand back when i started:

1) mobs, OOD mobs, and uniques, which you are *NOT* meant to fight, and escaping in general as a major game tactic.

2) why resistances make such a difference and why instead AC, acid damage, etc are less important. (i.e. how to chose your equipment)

3) ALL the hidden game options, and how to find them, and WHY you should find them.

4) LOS tricks, turn count, resting, and in general explaining that this is a tactical game, not a RPG; one turn counts for a lot.

5) keymaps. and maybe inscriptions, but indepth.
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Old May 7, 2017, 03:15   #7
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All of which can be learned by watching Fizzix's excellent "Let's Play Angband" series on YouTube. Though, they may be becoming a little dated since all the changes.
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Old May 7, 2017, 07:38   #8
Ironshod Al
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tibarius
Hey all, i am still working on a player's guide to Angband. I have a PDF version quite far to, lets say 75%. But there are a couple of issues with it, image conversion and no pixel perfect scaling between the application i use to write the guide (OpenOffice) and the exported PDF file. I work on windows and don't know if PDF is a suitable format for unix / linux based systems.
Sadly, the world of printing doesn't think in pixels, so scaling of images tends to use a linear or bicubic filter. That works very well for photos and large images, but not for pixel art.
A possible workaround is to manually scale your images to match the print quality of the OpenOffice / PDF document while using a nearest neighbour filter. Usually that is 300 DPI, whereas screendumps and images for webpages are supposed to be 72 DPI or 96 DPI.
Scaling the image will increase the file size, but since the scaling use a nearest neighbour filter, it should compress reasonably well.

If you want to automate the scaling process, you can do so in GIMP. I don't have GIMP installed and have never used the scripting part of the program, so I can't help you with that. It is supposed to be Python with access to GIMP through an API.

With Python installed on your computer, you can solve the problem using PIL / Pillow. The example below is for Pillow, but should work with PIL as well.

First get Pillow through pip:
Code:
pip install pillow
Then run code similar to this with Python:
Code:
from PIL import Image

scale_from_dpi = 96.0
scale_to_dpi = 300.0

input_filename = 'Xenon 2 Megablast_1.png'
output_filename = 'Xenon 2 Megablast_1 (scaled).png'

original_image = Image.open(input_filename)
new_width = int(original_image.width * scale_to_dpi / scale_from_dpi)
new_height = int(original_image.height * scale_to_dpi / scale_from_dpi)

resized_image = original_image.resize((new_width, new_height), Image.NEAREST)
resized_image.save(output_filename)
The code should be self-explanatory, but feel free to ask questions. I used an old screenshot from DOSBOX (320 px by 200 px) and OpenOffice 4.1.1 to test the script. The result looked nice, both in OpenOffice and in the resulting PDF (viewed in Firefox).

Import the scaled image(s) into you document (I just used drag+drop), right-click and select 'Picture...' (or maybe it is called Image...), the click the 'Original size' button to ensure that the image isn't manipulated by OpenOffice.
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Old May 7, 2017, 18:37   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tibarius View Post
Better to use a simple text format with just courier new font and LF/CR signs (which is very likely to be useable on all systems) or the more graphic style oriented PDF file?
My 2 cents: Markdown is the best alternative by far. It's the perfect mix of portability, maintainability, and graphic quality. You can easily include images, screenshots, and code blocks containing ASCII art. You can convert it to PDF, HTML and anything else using Pandoc. You can throw it into version control. It's readable even as pure text. It's very likely going to be future-proof since it has gained huge traction now.
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