Night’s Black Agents Layout Taster

Here is a sample provisional layout for the forthcoming vampire/spy thriller from Kenneth Hite – Night’s Black Agents. Fred Hicks of Evil Hat is overseeing the layout design and we think it looks pretty awesome. What do you think?

You can download it as a PDF here.

12 Responses to “Night’s Black Agents Layout Taster”

  1. Neal Dalton says:

    Please let me preorder.

  2. John Harper says:

    There are some good elements here, but the main thing I’m feeling at first glance is: Where’s the white space?

    Everything is crammed together on the page, bound-in by those heavy borders and header. The text in the sidebars is brushing up against the edges of the box. It feels claustrophobic, like I need to scrunch my shoulders and duck my head from the low ceiling.

    The placement of that initial text box makes my eye confused. I see “TELLS” as the header for the section, but then immediately get “THE COLD WAR? OVER.” What’s that have to do with Tells? Then my eye jumps over to “Likewise, the Director builds…” but that’s not the first paragraph. The actual content starts down below with “In poker, tells are…” but that’s buried under the big red box. The layout is fighting the reader.

    Sorry to be so negative! But that’s my honest reaction. Needs more white space for the text to breathe (a LOT more!) and be careful about where those sidebar boxes are placed.

  3. Fred Hicks says:

    The white space up top I plan to address — when we added extra smudge to the border, it ate up some of the space that had been planned for, and I never adjusted the column heights to accommodate for that.

  4. Steve Moss says:

    I don’t like it. It is difficult to read, far too cluttered and crammed in like sardines in a tin. I understand that blood is a linked to vampires but this is not subtle. Anyone printing out this from the PDF will have to buy a new ink cartridge. I order everything that Pelgrane publishes but I wouldn’t order this. It’s a mess. Please rethink this layout.

  5. Ville Halonen says:

    The colors fit the theme and nicely remind both of spytech and blood. But the world map is a weird choice for a game set in Europe.

    Also, THE COLD WAR box looks like a sidebar even though it should be the intro to the game. I’d say it deserves its own page. It also seems like it’s limited to the inner side of the page (sorry, I don’t speak layout) and would look weird if the page on the left side of it didn’t have a similar color there.

  6. Beth Lewis says:

    The actual text that is on the page is just placeholder so please ignore the titles and what should be intro or not, we’re just looking for feedback on the layout itself.

  7. Ian Kirby says:

    Great work, I’m liking this game more and more with the layout. The layout really evokes the atmosphere of the game. It’s going to be a fine addition to the Gumshoe line.

    A couple of minor points:
    – please could you not line break partway through a word. (eg. In the bullet points on the right column)
    – agree with the above post regarding the PDF version, but I don’t think this should influence the layout as it stands. We could do with a layered PDF or a printer friendly version of the PDF when released though.
    – personally, I find the spacing fine and don’t find it cluttered. I’d rather the info is in the book and the spacing kept down, rather than increase the spacing and have to leave stuff out because of page counts.

  8. Jeb says:

    Nice concept. I agree though that in the balance between blood and white that there needs to be more white. In particular, the sidebars are too dark.

  9. Kairam says:

    I think the upper part of the page is a little too big. The contrast between the letters and the background could be increased to make reading easier and I was thinking about using a less geometric blood motif (like splashes, drops, etc) around the page when possible (keeping in mind clarity) or turning boxes into laminas for blood samples (those glass pieces used in microscopes).

  10. Steve Moss says:

    It’s also quite D20 Modern.

  11. hüth says:

    Detailed comments here:

    Also, while viewing the pdf in Preview there was a slight issue with the transparencies. The drop shadows appeared to have faint, hard edges on the outside.

  12. Kairam says:

    Nice points, hüth.

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