Now this might seem as if it’s not a bit strange to put this up here as it might not seem as something that’s Twitch related. However this is one of the Patreon tiers that itmeJP has for his Twitch show RollPlay. In this article I wanted to go over the behind the scens stuff that went into creating the page, my own ideas about it and the RollPlay Magazine (name still not decided) creation.
I think a lot of you are aware of these things. Used both by partnered and non-partnered streamers. Both are an easy way to have subscribers without having to be a partner and add a lot more benefits (sadly no emotes) for non-partners. For partnered streamers it allows them to offer more to their audience both for those that can afford more and those that can’t, yes you should have a lower tier below 4.99USD. Dont’ get greedy and instead get crafty.
There’s nothing worse than to see those that have GameWisp or Patreon with a 1USD tier offering “eternal gratitude” or “digital hug”. I understand that a lot of streamers think that since it’s lower than the subscription you can’t offer anything at that tier and the only important one is the 4.99USD to make it feel as if it’s a subscription. Still even at that level I often see nothing that makes the patron get any value out of their description besides a “good feel”.
Now the RollPlay Patreon might be a bit of an exception since it’s not just a way to support itmeJP’s channel but to support the show that he runs called RollPlay. RollPlay is a brand within the itmeJP brand and with that it allows him to create content for those that love that show. You can take that idea and push it on your channel as well after all you do have your own show and brand being you. Think about what you actually can give your audience that shows that you’re ready to go above and beyond and be ready to love them before they love you. I’m sure you have content that you constantly create for your stream that you don’t show and you can wrap that in a bow and reuse it.
In this case study we’re talking about a magazine for the 20USD+ Patreon subscribers. This is way above and beyond that 1USD tier of course, even if the 1USD tier still gets you behind the scene videos (something of actual value) that don’t take a huge effort. At 10USD you get mp3 podcast versions of the shows and that brings us to the 20USD tier where you get the magazine.
For those that don’t know I had a life before Twitch and that was in graphic design. Back in those days I did a lot of magazine layouts, illustrations, cd and book covers. It was fun but it wasn’t the freedom that I needed to grow even more as a designer. Fast forward to this project and using everything I learned back then and combining it with what I know now and you get a whole new beast.
When I do magazine layouts I use InDesign (in combination with Photoshop (for Photos) and Illustrator (for Illustrations) to do all of the object, table, paragraph and character presets. I probably should start with explain that InDesign is a program that’s made for layouts for magazines, books and packages etc. It’s part word editor and a touch of illustration art board with some other tills thrown in there. The benefit of using something like InDesign is that it’s allows for freedom over where you put text fields, much like Photoshop or Illustrator, but at the same time have tools that let you do some advanced text formatting. Add on that it’s possible to do several different presets easily that can be applied and changed on the fly. I’m simplifying things here of course but what I want you to understand is that InDesign is the program for doing these type of projects.
Case study RollPlay magazine
At this level we’re talking about things that actually needs time and money to produce. The text was written by Adam Koebel (the RollPlay dungeon master) and given to me in .docx format. Now this is something that we need to work on in the future since .docx formattting is horrible to import into InDesign. Importing something isn’t just to copy and past but rather it actually brings in all of the formatting, styles, headings etc. from Word, and as you might expect Word isn’t really the best program in the world. In the future Adam will work in .rtf format and that only allows for the most standard formatting and in turn allows me to easier import and add in my own formatting.
This issue is focused on the show Court of Swords and that’s supposed to have a more a regal and royal feel to it. In the overlay I used a lot of gold and notes of purple to give it that look. However here I wanted to stick to a very simple color palette and use the simplicity to highlight the content instead.
I decided on using CMYK, since Adam mentioned that some might want to print it out themselves, instead of RGB. CYMK allows for the printer to (most of the time) give it the correct color when printing (CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black/key) are the colors that you have as ink in your printer).
The color is a dark golden color that I took from the overlay and converted it to the CMYK color space. Using it by simply combining it with white and black to create different looks without having to add a bunch of colors and graphics.
I got free reign on the style and layout of the entire magazine. At first I opted to create the same style for each header but when every page was set I ended up with a lot of white space that needed to be addressed. At first I asked if Adam had any scans from his note book or character sheets but that didn’t exist for this issue so there wasn’t really anything to fill the white space with.
What I did at that point was to look at what I could do with the headers to fill out space without messing up the flow of the pages. The episode chapters both got a similar look since they’re related in content. The same principle, but not layout, was repeated with NPC’s and they all got a separate box around them to show that each box is a new NPC. All of these similar layouts are to easily show that certain sections belong in the same group. Be it colors, style or typefaces together they’ll signal to the reader the flow of each page.
The typefaces were selected for the same reasons the colors were. With the headline typeface I wanted something that could signal the quality of the product and make it all feel classic without feeling old. For the body I used the same type of ideas and opted for a classic Serif typeface that both has the classical feel but also prints well on paper.
I did run into a problem since Adam had decided to use special characters for one of the areas. These characters didn’t exist in the typeface so I had, in those spots, replace the typeface with another one but I did find a similar one to the one selected so for the untrained eye it shouldn’t even register.
I’m not talking about the illustrations at the end of the magazine by David Stokes but rather the ones that was created specifically for this issue by me. They’re rather simple and if you include the triangle it’s only four of them. However let’s talk about the three ones that are under “The Gods”. Since Court of Swords are related to the tarot cards and that style I looked up the first three gods on the list, provided by Adam, and at first I thought that I was going to vector the cards and put them on the page. As I tired I noticed how much space they took at a size that would look decent.
Instead I started to analyze the cards and noticed that they all had some sort of symbolism on them. I copied each illustration into Photoshop and cut out the symbols and added/removed where it was needed. Got that into Illustrator and used Image Trace. What Image Trace does is simple trace the image and since the shapes was so simple I played around with the settings until I got the result I wanted. I could have traced them myself but I would have lost some of the roughness that they have on the cards. I could also have recreated them in a modern style but that as i tested it out it would look a bit strange on the page, specially when you relate it to the content of the page and the narrative that exist in Court of Swords.
Overall the style is modern with a touch royal golden feel. Made so we’re able to create more similar content in the future combined with the same feel but also by easily changing the golden color and typeface to reflect the content of that months issue.
Edit: A lot of people have been asking for a complete Table of Contents so they can see exactly what they get in this issue of the RollPlay Magazine so here you go.
Time for a new week and new projects! Let’s start the week by going on a positive vibe and get going with all of those projects that we might have put on hold. Not anymore! Now is the time!
If want to know more about what I do with Twitch branding and what I can do for you check below or at the top. Talk to you soon again!