Information Density

Information Density

A design journal, sort of.

One of the things I like most about the Mothership RPG books is how they manage their information density. There is a LOT crammed into each page, and it all still works. The Player’s Survival Guide is a decent example of this, using a traditional two column layout, but the adventure modules like Dead Planet and beyond are where this really starts to ramp up.

Page for page, there are thick layers of info, but it’s all presented in such a way that you’re never lost. You can see the obvious care that went into every inch of the layout, where every idea is given its due. Considering the physical constraints of a “page”, there’s no sense of compromise.

In terms of getting projects out the door, applying “information density” has been a big motivator for me. As someone who has trouble being concise with their ideas, the value of being able to add more is very appealing. Combine that with design challenges that force me to narrow my overall scope, such as a “business card” jam, or a “one-page adventure” and my productivity seems to find a sweet spot. Draw me a box, show me how much space I have to work with. When it’s full, I’m done.

Currently, I’m working on a pamphlet adventure for Troika! A pamphlet. Two pages, six panels. Inside, outside. That’s it. Perfect. So I thought I’d examine my process on this one and see how I managed to fill up each box and be happy with calling it “done”.

Continue reading “Information Density”