First off, since my adventure is more of procedural there will be several folks to speak with and places to investigate. One of the first things I needed to do was after figuring out the adventure was to develop a file. It's easy enough to grab forms off the internet to give it a real feel. And the organization that the players are working for doesn't like computers so I'm mixing a little 70's tech into it also. Like the files are written on old paper, with a typewriter. I accomplished this by a couple of simple tricks. For the typewriter, I found different type fonts. Easy enough. There are many different kinds. Secondly the paper, I went to the art section and bought the cheapest sketch paper I could find. It has a texture to it that makes it feel older.
Within the file there are also photos of people and places. Last year Staples was having a sale on photo paper. Big and small. When I sale, I mean free. I bought a few boxes that are close to Polaroid size or at least the smaller sized pictures and then some full 8.5" by 11". With these and a good printer I can make some great older photos and newer ones. The visual of the photo is cool to have when your players crack open that file. And they aren't just greeted by a wall of text.
To also help with the look, I scavenged a couple of old files from work. Beat up 6-tabs beasts that are ready for the bin, but thought they would look great. Markings and scribbles on them. Different textures from where labels were placed on them and then ripped off. If I were doing an game set back in the 80's or 70's I would probably go with the plain manilla folder.
|A great example of a game file from Propnomicon.|