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Creation Date: June 14th, 2013 05:27 AM
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SpaceBadger's Blog: BBCodes stopped working in this Blog Description, so I moved my Links down to a Blog Entry and made it Sticky, so the latest new Blog Entries will actually be below (following) the Links entry.
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In Moot Member Blogs Proofreading Traveller 5.v10 Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #65 New May 10th, 2019 02:55 PM
Proofreading Traveller 5.v10

One of the nice things about the Internet is the variety of distant people that it allows you to meet, converse with, and form friendships with, despite never having seen them face-to-face. One of the first things that I did when I got online in the early 1990s was to become active in Usenet groups and email lists related to my favorite games, Traveller and GURPS (their fusion in the form of GURPS Traveller wouldn't happen until 1998). I even managed to participate in some playtests for various GURPS books that interested me, exchanging emails with the writers and contributing enough to earn a playtest credit in Vehicles 2E.

Despite having been a Traveller fan since 1978, I never "met" Marc Miller until I discovered CotI in 2013 and bought some items from his FFE website. I wouldn't claim we're best buddies or anything, but we've exchanged emails from time to time and, despite my contact with other game designers and writers in the 1990s, there's still a kind of thrill to sort of get to know someone who was central to the creation of a game that has given me so much enjoyment for over 40 years!

So when I learned back in April that the new v10 draft of Traveller 5 was complete, the huge Big Black Brick divided into three slightly-less-huge Big Black Books to parallel the original 3 LBBs of Classic Traveller, I immediately emailed Marc to volunteer my services as a proofreader. Others have complained about this or that rule or design system in the original T5 and subsequent revisions, but something that really bothered me were the large number of typos, wrong words, warped sentences, duplications, and other problems that didn't reflect at all on the game design, only on the need for some careful proofreading. I was quite happy when Marc accepted my offer and sent me an invitation to the Dropbox, and I dug into Book 1, Characters & Combat, as soon as my headaches would allow.

In working my way through Book 1, I have mostly refrained from commenting on rules systems, not only because it is a bit late in the process to expect any change there, but because my brain injury from the 2015 surgery makes it very hard for me to grasp large amounts of organized information, such as a complex rule system; not only frustrating, but physically painful, as the attempt to grapple with something overly complex is guaranteed to send my headache level up through the roof. However, the injury doesn't seem to have damaged my ability to spot typos or bad sentences, so at least straight proofreading is something I can still do.

And there is certainly a need for it, about one or two errors per page generally. It has been tempting to look back at the last revision, T5.v09, or even the original T5 text, to compare and see if these are old errors never fixed, or all new errors introduced during the revision and addition of new text. Either way they're blemishes on a fine work, and I'm happy for the opportunity to help smooth them away to let it shine the way it ought to.

There have been a few issues of producing proper notes output for Marc and his people to read. Because of the devices I'm using, phone and tablet, I'm making my notes in OneNote, which lets me carry on seamlessly with one device while the other is charging, and also let's me apply bold/italic/underline/strikethrough formatting, plus color highlighting. I've used the formats and highlighting a lot in my notes to clearly indicate suggested changes. Unfortunately, OneNote on my phone proved incapable of creating PDF output that would be legible on other devices once uploaded to the Dropbox. OneNote on my tablet succeeded in creating legible PDFs, but had no provision for page breaks, just one long page (I have no idea why they'd be different, in fact I thought they were the same app, both from the Android Play Store). But wait, Marc still can't read the PDF, and sends me a screenshot of unreadable blurry text that has me scratching my head in puzzlement. I double-check the PDF that I uploaded, even getting out my laptop to check it in Chrome and Acrobat; it looks fine in both, and I'm relieved, emailing Marc to suggest looking again in a different viewer.

I still have about one-third of Book 1 left to go. I think that will be all for me, as I can see that other people have been working on Books 2 & 3. It is hard to plow on until I hear back from Marc on whether he has resolved his viewing issues; my work won't be much help if Marc can't read it. But I'm not really well enough to concentrate on proofreading this morning anyway, and this afternoon I have to get a ride to pick up our car from the brake repair shop before the weekend. Maybe by the time I'm done with that I'll hear back, and can get more work done this evening.

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It seems odd that people in the T5 forum keep looking at "T5.10" as if it were a decimal, dropping the trailing zero and calling it T5.1. No, that's not a 1, or .1, it's 10, as it comes after 9, which came after 8... Maybe best to add a "v" in there for version or revision to help them keep it straight. I think I'll start using T5.v10, to make it clear it isn't a decimal.

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