27 May

When to start playtesting – or – Earlier than makes sense

Playtesting is more important than you think!So you’ve got your idea, you’ve got your stack of index cards, your pen, your pencil, your coloring markers, water colors, word processor, online sharing, blog, and, while we’re dreaming, signed 20% royalty contract. Fine. But where do you start the route to finished game?

You know the answer to that one: with a crude prototype and lots and lots of playtests. But how crude is crude, how complete does your prototype need to be in order to start playtesting it, what do you need?

Answer: Nothing. Not a thing. Read More

21 Jan

Writing rules the web page way

Clash of Culture rules - a list using graphics

Clash of Cultures Amazon rules – a list using graphics

You get a new game. You tear off the shrink, gently pry open the lid, inhale that beautiful new-game-chemicals stench, grab the rules and work your way through them, cover-to-cover, word-by-word, underlining and making little notes in the margins.

Or not. If you’re anything like the average gamer you’ll fiddle with the bits first. Then you’ll enjoy the pictures on the covers for a little while. Then you scan the rules, maybe looking for what a particular bit does. Only then you’ll read the rules.

Except that you won’t read the rules. You’ll scan them, skimming as much as you can while still retaining the information. When you hit a snag you’ll backtrack, looking for a clarification.

Are you really reading? Read More