Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Now I Want My RPGs in "Mobi" Format - Say Hello To My Little Friend - Kindle Paperwhite

I'm a geek. A geek that's been working steady overtime since July. I just had to check out the new Kindle Paperwhite.

As a bit of history, I had the first Kindle upon release, the Kindle 2, the DX (in the hope of reading RPG PDFs) and now the Kindle Paperwhite.

Already my mother wants one for Christmas.

Hey! Maybe I'll finally finish reading Playing at the World!

In all seriousness - the adjustable backlight, the touch screen, the sharp lettering - I think I'm falling in love all over again.

I just need more RPG releases in Mobi format - not sure what there is right now besides Fate and Dungeon World...


  1. You can search by Format on the RPGNow/DriveThru website. On the left side of the home page.

  2. I am torn, I was thinking of getting the Kindle HDX because they are so damn small and lite and I want mine really for nothing more than reading (minus the distraction of constant G+ notifications I mentioned on my blog)...this might be even better.

  3. Can't you just download the PDF to your Kindle?

    1. You can download PDFs on a Kindle, but it usually sucks. The more thoughtfully-designed the PDF, whether for print or desktop screens, the *worse* it is for reading on a tablet or handheld reader, in general: Things like columns and sidebars, background images, and other decorations, that can be useful for print readability, usually make the document harder to navigate and read comfortably on the Kindle.

    2. Does converting the file to .mobi format fix those things? Or is it not a question of file format, but page format?

    3. Converting a PDF file to .mobi can have results ranging from terrible to marginably usable, depending on the layout and format. If all the text is properly encoded, using only one column per page, and there are no page numbers, page headers, page footers, margin boxes, or footnotes, it might result in a pretty clean conversion. Anything more complicated can result in text that is mixed up in strange ways in the ebook document, sometimes making it unreadable and unusable. In text is arranged in multiple columns, for example, your eye knows to stop reading a line of text at the column margin, and go down to the next line, instead of continuing in the next column, but conversion software doesn't usually get that right.

      It's far easier to convert the source file, like a Word document, into an ebook *before* you create a PDF.

    4. Right - that was my point. There's nothing magical about the .mobi format. You could use .pdf format just as easily, as long as it was formatted properly.

    5. font size isn't scaleable in PDF on the Kindle - mobi is

  4. Amen!

    Please, RPG publishers reading this, publishing in ebook formats is actually easier than making PDFs, and they are much better for reading on a portable device. The format is based on HTML, and you can quickly and easily convert HTML and other files into multiple ebook formats using a utility like Calibre. Compared to all the layout work that goes into making a PDF, ebooks should be low-hanging fruit!

    I get it that not everyone wants to mess around with HTML, but it's not the only way. You can also easily convert standard word processing documents—and heck, even plain text is better than a PDF for portable readers: Your customers can set the text to a comfortable reading size without awkwardly zooming and panning around the document; easily make their own highlights and bookmarks; and quickly search the text for a word or phrase.

    Why did Erik feature the game Dungeon World at the top of this post? Despite his positive reviews of DW here, it's not because Dungeon World is anywhere near his favorite game. It's because Sage Kobold thought ahead and made the game available in ebook formats in addition to PDF from the beginning, and they sell it as an "electronic bundle".

    When I picked up Dungeon World back in March, I was also attracted to Barebones Fantasy which was about the same price, but alas Barebones only came in PDF. There were other reasons I picked DW over BBF, but the format was a major consideration: I use a computer all day for my work, and I love it, but I don't want to look at it when I am gaming. Most PDFs are a chore to mess with on my Kindle, and some are just so memory-intensive with all the fancy background images and other decorations that they crash or fail to open—but the DW rulebook is brilliant and snappy.

    One more thought: I realize that some publishers might hold back because the ebook formats don't offer so much control over presentation, and you might be afraid that the product will look unprofessional. Please get over it! Your customers understand that this is a hobby, and we will enthusiastically embrace publishers who offer great content in a format we can use, even if it's a little rough around the edges as you learn the ropes.

    Thank you, Tenkar! And thanks also Sage Kobold for thinking about the future.

    1. With Rogue Games, I've had ePub and Kindle versions of all releases available from day one. Heck, I even include them in the Buy the Book get the PDF for Free. For me, content is content, the format the content is in, is just a handy holder.

  5. I much prefer the Kindle Fire. Any version. Fullcolor and you can surf the web on it easily.

    Have all 2000 something issues on 2000 AD comic mag on mine that I am very slowly working my way through.

    The problem with the Paper White deal is that most printing paper actually isn't white. It is a blue white. Otherwise your eye merges white with black type and you ge a greyish look. Most office paper, for example Xerox 4200, is this blue white, which has to be compensated for in digital printing.

    Novels and paperbacks, on the otherhand, are a yellowish white, depending on how thoroughly they bleach the paper.

    Appparently this a big publishing secret that they won't pass on to tech engineers.

    Which is why all the Paper White still looks sort of grey and looks nothing like a novel.

  6. Try reading on a tablet on the beach at midday in Summer. Nope. Try reading on a tablet in town any time of the day any time of the year. Nope. Tablets make no sense for reading outside, and I have a N10, which has one of the best screens in commerce. No sir. What I really would like is a 7" with LCD on one side, and E-Ink on the other one. Win win. Alas, it doesn't exist, and it would probably be priced too much to be successful anyway.

  7. I have no problems with my iPad Mini. Its perfect for gaming, surfing the web or reading a book. Of course I am not a person that has to do all those things outside. Tablets and such are meant for indoor use, and never really were designed for people to sit outside in the hot blazing sun to read.

    1. Tablets are "meant" to replace print media. As such they should be expected to work anywhere that a user would consume such material.

      In a car in sunlight, on a park bench in sunlight, at the beach in sunlight. See a pattern here.

      I don't need a digital pad to read shit I have at home already.

  8. Hi there! If you are searching for a reliable tool to easily convert your epub or mobi formats into pdf files for a better reading experience, I recommend trying this free converter http://kitpdf.com/ that doesn't need installation.


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