Earlier this year, shortly after Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple won a special judges' award at Origins, Booklife requested an interview. Do's editors Ryan Macklin and Lillian Cohen-Moore joined me to discuss the finer points of editing RPGs, how to edit mechanics, and writing for games. Here's a snippet!
BW: As editors, how does your approach differ when you edit a game versus other kinds of manuscripts?
Ryan Macklin: I’m primarily a game editor. A game has many different contextual channels, more than fiction or even most text books. Games books need to serve as instructional text (along with examples and other methods that facilitate learning) and sources of inspiration. That means text flow is as much of a page design consideration as what’s on a given page.
Since people learn by different methods, including having others read a book and teach, a given section needs to take that into account, as well as blend in evocative tone and color to facilitate learning the context of the game and giving additional points of reference to remember a given rule or piece of advice.
Lillian Cohen-Moore: Since I’m primarily a copy editor for games, I have to pay attention to whether I’m reading something with mechanics in it. If I don’t keep that in mind while changing passages to fit a style guide or clear up unclear text, I run a risk of taking a machete to text that’s essential for understanding gameplay.
Read more at Booklife!