Episode #74: Rules for Writing Rules

Listen Here: http://traffic.libsyn.com/theforbiddenlimb/BGBP074.mp3

Learn all about Jeremy’s “7 Rules for Writing Rules” and what Richard and Brian think about them. We actually disagree on this on more than most episodes!

  1. Force yourself to write your rules right away and have them ready for your first playtest with real people.
  2. Start strong. Tell a story as you give the theme.
  3. Use software to maintain your rules and keep them always up-to-date.
  4. Add notes to add diagrams later.
  5. Put a component list at the end of the rules use a component diagram with labels.
  6. Use 2nd person to specify “you”.
  7. Use white space and formatted lists.
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Top 5 Tips for Designing a Reference Card

Today we attempt to define what a reference card is, which isn’t as easy as you may think, and then we pull them apart and figure out which games need them and how to design them clearly. Then we end with a Top 5 list of tips to make your reference card better. Here are some questions and topics we discuss:

  • Which games do we wish had them that do not?
  • Which games have them but don’t need them?
  • Do we need one for each player?
  • The psychological effect of having a reference card.
  • Can a game be too simple to have a reference card?
  • The cost of a reference card.

Top 5 Tips for Designing a Reference Card:
#5) No Walls of Text
#4) Use 1 Double-Sided Reference Card
#3) White Space is Your Friend
#2) Make Them Visually Distinct
#1) Use Symbols

 

Podcast/Audio Version: http://traffic.libsyn.com/theforbiddenlimb/BGBP057.mp3

 

 

Writing Rules!

Richard, Jeremy, and Brian talk about writing rules. Here are some of the topics we cover:

  • Different styles of reading and writing rules
  • Rules layouts
  • Managing versions of rules
  • Rules editors
  • Sanity test
  • Reference cards vs. rules
  • Rules for an expansion
  • Blind playtests

Podcast/Audio: http://traffic.libsyn.com/theforbiddenlimb/FLP026.mp3

Resources:
The Game Crafter Sanity Tests