What artifact should players download?

Context: I’m making a digital solo journaling RPG and leveraging Ink & HTML to present an immersive experience as players record their trip through space in a ship’s log.

At the end of the play session I’d like to offer players the opportunity to download a copy of what they’ve written in-game, with some formatting/art provided by the system. This could be for personal record keeping, to share with friends, or to connect with other players about their shared experience. But what kind of file should they download?

My first reaction is a PDF, since it gives me options for formatting and the player can still grab text or take screenshots of the document as desired, but is that what a player would want?

I don’t think any image file would be appropriate as it loses the text data, and a text document alone wouldn’t support formatting. Are there better options than PDF for sharing on social media? (I can’t think of a time I saw a tweet and thought "ohh, neat word doc) If players want to edit their output before sharing is a PDF to large of a barrier to bother? If I set up a page to archive players’ uploads would people be interested in scrolling through PDFs?


PDF isn’t terrible but if the player wants to do anything with the text, it’s a nuisance.

Zip file containing HTML and images? (Awkward for players to use, since it’s not one-click.)

HTML with images as data: URLs? (This is really inefficient if an image appears more than once.)

RTF? There are open-source tools for it. I think modern word processing tools can read RTF; it’s ancient but also well-understood.


…I’d say you should have an option for “download as plain text” no matter what other formats you use.


I agree, I can’t think of anyone who would want to edit a PDF. Perhaps pure HTML would work best as it allows formatting and I can skirt around images by only using CSS.

And thank you for the suggestion of a plain text download, I wasn’t sure if anyone would opt for it if there was another choice.

Perhaps I’ll take inspiration from those old read-me files and put in some ascii art (jk, I know those are horrible for screen readers).

Sharing on social media is quite a distinct use case from downloading for their own records. For sharing, can you make a unique HTML page containing those results? If you add open graph tags then you can also represent those results as an image for embedding in other sites.

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I wonder if epub would be an option? It’s zipped up HTML etc. with a particular structure. I don’t know how much formatting you can do, and I know different readers have different levels of support, but you get some.


A zip archive that includes a markdown, an HTML, and a PDF version?

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An alternative would be a .svg file. You could then include any amount of fancy images, generated on the fly, such as the player’s course across the star systems. Text is still text, so could be copied, and the whole file can be edited with InkScape (which is free).