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GameTalk - Examples of Play

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I seem to remember ASLSK doing this.

This is an area quite close to my heart atm, as I am finalising the Fog & Friction rule book.

I think it's important to distinguish between an 'example' and an 'example of play'.  Rule Books definitely need examples to illustrate rules, as a picture can speak a thousand words etc.  Although I heard an interesting podcast the other day where a designer talked about how people misinterpreted an example diagram as a rules diagram.  They thought that the way the cards were arranged in the example were how they had to be arranged period.  So it's important to make sure examples are clearly stated as just that, examples... so in light of this I chose to always include 2 examples where possible to illustrate different situations for the same rule to help reinforce the fact they are examples of possible ways to do things, not just the way to do things.

As for examples of play... We have produced a separate example of play document to be used alongside the rule book, which takes players through 2 rounds of the game and so far it has proved very useful, not only for helping players understand the sequence of play in context, but also (and perhaps most importantly) to help identify those areas of the rule book that are weak or unclear.  "I wasn't 100% sure about rule X until I read the example of play and then it made sense"...

1: Write your rules such that you don't need examples of play.

2:  Edit your damn rules...a lot...

3:  Then include examples of play because, no matter how broad your circle of friends and testers (definitely not the same thing), somebody won't think about a rule quite the way you do.  Do not, however, use this as an excuse to violate rules #1 and #2 above.  "Mice and Mystics" is filthy guilty of this.

Oh, and, by the way, please make sure that your example actually comports with the rules.  "Fighting Sail", the new Osprey age of sail miniatures rules failed in this rather dramatically, although the author stepped up and owned it


--- Quote from: Staggerwing on August 03, 2015, 08:22:43 PM ---
--- Quote from: bayonetbrant on August 03, 2015, 11:20:53 AM ---What do you think of examples of play?

--- End quote ---

I'm generally pretty stupid when it comes to learning new games so including a decent Example of Play can be the difference between getting played or remaining shelf-candy.

--- End quote ---
My experience too. The emphasis of a "decent" example of play can't be overstressed, as it can be too simple, or so convoluted that the player is left scratching his/her head. A balance between a focused, concise explanation in straightforward language is probably best.


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