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Friday, June 21, 2013

Is it a new Digital Age?



I am sure you have seen the chatter about Digital Books and Digital Codex online. Is going Digital the way of the future? Don't go burning your books just yet though. 





Drkmorals here, dropping some deep thoughts and random text about something that has been on my mind lately. Is Digital the new direction we are going? Before I would clearly tell you that while interesting and fun for some digital isn't a mainstream solution just yet. However with GW now putting all the content out across multiple platforms and not just those of us with Apple logos stuck on the back of our tablets, is that the major shift that will push the community more in that direction?

I think to get to the bottom line of this you have to understand that not all the products are the same and that the pro's and Cons of each choice are going to be very different depending on what type of gamer you are. Let me break it down in to smaller categories to illustrate what I mean.



White Dwarf

Personally I have held a physical copy and compared it to the digital version side by side. If it's just you looking at the thing, then hands down the digital version wins. It has extra content and linking. The ability to click on the pictures to get full screen views and sometimes 360 spin-able views plus the integrated video files in the magazine are simple impressive. The direct linking to the GW store is cute, but not a selling point. The only time I could see not going digital is if you share this magazine with your buddies. Passing around the new White Dwarf with your room mates or with your club at your meet up? Do you share them out from time to time with buddies? If so stick to physical for that community experience you already have going. If you personally read and collect these Digital is awesome.


Black Library

Reading up on the Horus Heresy books? This is going to be a media preference then. I have found that a majority of people I know prefer this content in whatever form they already consume other books in. So honestly my circle of evil falls about half and half when it comes to this. Half prefer the paper version that they can carry with them or loan out after done. Perhaps even the hardback version to add to the collection in the old book shelf. While the other half enjoy reading these in digital format without the clutter and easy to access. My personal preference is I consume books in digital format and if I really like them I normally buy a hardback to add to the ever growing collection.



Apps

The main application that comes to mind is the psychic power application for your phone. However I assume that this isn't going to be the last of these to be released. Is this awesome? Well I don't personally own this, but the people I know that got it love using it.. However.. a majority of people seem to have gone with the cards GW has been selling, or making something themselves. I think the phone idea is cute but while it might help you, it doesn't help your opponent keep track of your units with markers. This just doesn't seem as good so I encourage you to stick with low tech on this option.



The Codex

This is the one that people talk about the most. First off we do like Digital rules, I don't know many people who don't have a pdf of some of the rule books. Most people own a PDF for every physical Codex they own because its convenient to be able to look up a rule real quick on your phone for example. I don't want to talk much about PDF versions though I want to talk about the new Digital Codex.

If you haven't used one of the new Digital books you need to understand that it isn't simply a PDF scan of the codex. It has several of the features that the White Dwarf has. Just about every picture in the codex can be blown up to HD full screen quality. This includes the painted models in the book, and a majority of them can be rotated 360 degrees once you enlarge them. A feature if you haven't used it again is a nice look at some of the new models. The outline is a little different but all the same content is in the Digital version, and I believe the digital version get's updates. The real awesome thing that most people don't talk about too much is the quick links. First off every unit in the book is hot linked so you can jump quickly between its stats, back story, model picture. The best feature in the Digital book for those of us that don't play several times a week is that every rule and war gear item is clickable to remind of the stats despite where you find it in the book.  The draw back is the USR's don't do this. Also as a note the Digital version is much nicer to use and faster than a PDF.

The cost of the books is the exact same as the physical version which can turn several people off the product. Also it wouldn't be fair to not mention that the new book format of hardcover, nice pictures/content is very sharp. I was not excited about the hard cover change and the price change, but now that I own a few of these books they are sharp and leaps above the paper version of the codices they had been putting out IMO.

So which is better? This one is going to be a preference again, and while I really enjoy owning the digital version for the armies I play. I am going to say that I would currently stick with the physical book if I have to choose. The idea of having all the books light weight in my bag for events is awesome. However as cool as it is to use the digital format book. It still isn't as convenient or as quick as the physical one most times is my experience. Not to mention if someone wants to see your book you have to be willing to hand basically a stranger your tablet. Now in a perfect world if I could afford both, or I got a free download with each codex, I would carry the digital one's for all the armies I am not playing for reference without the weight.

Now if you are a basement gamer and you only play with your buddies most the time. There is no issue between either or. However for just about everyone else Digital just isn't there yet in my opinion.

That's my experience having used both Digital and Physical versions.

 How does it stack up to your experience?






5 comments:

  1. Here's how I break down...
    White dwarf - digital
    HH - paperback - damn them for forcing hard back on me! I won't change - I'll just wait.
    Codexes -I don't play any more, but if I did I would me the switch to digital, unless I specifically wanted a collectors edition ;)

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    Replies
    1. What is the reason you don't play anymore? I am just curious Zab.

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    2. It's a combo of family time vs hobby time so i chose paint over play, but also i started to feel like i was always studying the rules like i was prepping for an exam and it started to suck the joy out of it for me. They have just gotten so complex lately and in my area there are lot of groups who just take the game WAY too seriously. I respect that for tourneys but day to day pick up games? Come on. I am a painting snob and dislike when some one shows up with an unpainted army but i understand when you just gotta try out the new unit or your brand new army. i have never walked away from a game but i have had people turn their nose up at me because my army "was gonna get tabled" after 2 turns! I'm sure it will all come back around. When my kid has no time for me or takes an interest in playing the game I'll come back for sure :) I just get more reward from the painting side right now and if i'm honest the politics with GW are a little disturbing too - that will come back around to cool someday as well I'm sure.

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  2. I like the digital because of the ease of use, but there has to be a better reader. I always find myself looking at multiple pages (usually the same ones) at once; I can't do that on the digital copies. If there was a page mark button that was on the top of the screen or something when I press it and it goes to a specific page that would be great. Also, currently it seems just another way for GW to get more of our money by selling both versions. I would be more than happy to buy a book AND get the digital copy too. I might even pay more for that, but I will not buy both at separate prices.

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    Replies
    1. I believe you can bookmark pages to jump between them Digitally, however it still isn't as fast as the actual book lol.

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