Need help clarifying a rules document

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Hey all,

I’m designing a game with a buddy of mine. With any game, of course, there needs to be a set of rules outlining how to play.

My problem is that I’m not a great technical writer by any means, and I’d really appreciate it if someone could give me some feedback as to thing I could clarify in the document to help them understand how to play better.

Thanks in advance.

Link here.

 
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Your document needs to specify a lot of information. Is it a board game or a card game, or both. Is it a video game or do you buy it in a box, or is it a video game that simulates a board/card game? Can players customize their decks or are they all premade?

Etc. etc.

It sounds like you’re going for a variant of Heroscape to me. Is that what you were going for?

You need to think about how people who have no idea what’s in your head will imagine your game based on what you wrote.

 
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Thanks for your response!

I’ve added an introduction, which should hopefully clear up some things about what Onemus is. Are there any other sections that need help?

I haven’t played Heroscape, but I can say for certain that they’re both hex-based.

 
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Meep, get this book. It’s super good.

(I know I keep posting that link but it will probably help the OP a lot if he reads that book. The book would probably be more helpful than anything anyone could say in this thread.)

 
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Originally posted by GameBuilder15:

Meep, get this book. It’s super good.

(I know I keep posting that link but it will probably help the OP a lot if he reads that book. The book would probably be more helpful than anything anyone could say in this thread.)

I personally understand you, i draw manga, and i had the same reaction to Scott Mcloud’s books.

 
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Another thing you can do is sit down with the rules document and play a sample game by following the rules you outlined.

Any question regarding what to do next should always result in looking it up in the document, do not use your knowledge of what you think the game should be in order to answer questions until the rules document proves lacking. At which point, you add it to the document.

 
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Originally posted by Draco18s:

Another thing you can do is sit down with the rules document and play a sample game by following the rules you outlined.

Any question regarding what to do next should always result in looking it up in the document, do not use your knowledge of what you think the game should be in order to answer questions until the rules document proves lacking. At which point, you add it to the document.

This is a good practice. If you’re having a hard time separating your thoughts from the actual document, go put a bunch of design documents in a pile with the names covered up and read them at random while trying to imagine how they would be played.

 
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As practice you could try putting your rules in code and try making an AI. Computers are dumb in the way that you have to spell out the rules for them. If a computer can understand your rules, anyone can.

 
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Perhaps the best way to test your document, is to set up a physical version of your game, a board-game prototype, say, and invite a mixture of gamer, and non-gamer friends to play. See how well the instructions as you currently have them set up, map to each individual’s experience of the game. See where they stumble, or where they try to follow the instructions only to have it all go horribly wrong.

you’ll get a good idea there, how to improve your instructions from the point of view of actual players.

Because they’re not involved in the design process themselves, they will go in without any foreknowledge, exactly as most players will when encountering the finished game for the first time.

 
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Jesse Schell says that you can even test FPSs with a board game prototype.

 
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Originally posted by GameBuilder15:

Jesse Schell says that you can even test FPSs with a board game prototype.

It’d be trickier than some other games, but I don’t doubt it.