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Author Topic: Rules Publishing Questions  (Read 663 times)

Offline Rich H

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Rules Publishing Questions
« on: March 13, 2019, 09:52:42 AM »
Morning all,

Iíve concocted a set of sub-platoon level rules that have been kicking around for a couple of years.  They are at the complex end of the scale but for small forces and the theatre warrants the detail. 

Itís been quite heavily tested in our small group and works well Ė we think.  Our group has a good mix - we have the ideas man, the rule-stretcher, this historian and the engineer.

The ideas man keeps coming up with content, the engineer writes the rules, the rules-stretcher tries to exploit the rules and the historian keeps us on track in the theatre.

So my questions:
It has the same core principals as another well-known set.  Itís some of the principals that are the same in some places but not the detail, it will be recognisable in places Ė is this a problem? 

How would be best to alpha test it?  - itís been tested by my local group and by a slightly wider group but it needs testing by people without a vested interest in it and who aren't afraid to call out anythign that doesn't work Ė itís the only way to get proper feedback.

Publishing Ė Iím tempted to publish them for free as a PDF Ė now I know this is a bit odd given how much work has gone into it but it means that Iíve  a much lower responsibility for maintaining them Ė sounds like a cop out but Iíve a full time job and a small ankle biter at home plus a hobby to sustain Ė I donít need more responsibility ;)

Anyone got any thoughts?

Offline fred

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Re: Rules Publishing Questions
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2019, 12:46:23 PM »
Our group has put a lot of effort into writing rules - we have shied away from publishing them, even as free downloads.

If you are going for a free set, then I wouldn't be too worried about the re-use of mechanisms, particularly if you have re-worded things, rather than copying text verbatim. I would certainly acknowledge the source set.

With rulesets (both home brew and some commercial) the harder part is taking the rules as a written document in isolation, and trying to understand this as a game. As gamers we all have previous knowledge of games, which gives a view on how things (mechanisms) in a game should work. This can lead to rules missing out basics, as they are assumed knowledge.

I read a particularly bad example of this recently, with a set of rules that had a page or two talking about wargaming in general, but then the movement rules consist only of some distances for different unit types - no details about direction of movement, terrain, interpretation etc (and this is for a battle set of rules, not a skirmish).

So I think what I am trying to say, is if you want to go wider, make sure that you have things to help the first time reader 'get' the rules. Examples really help, including things like example force lists (another rule set I read recently I was really struggling to get a feel of what size a typical force would be, as the point costs of different units were very different, but then I found an example PDF with a couple of armies, and had a good feel for what a starting force could look like.

When you are immersed in a rule set, its really quite hard to step back and think what does this look like to a fresh pair of eyes, as you (and your group) have a load of assumptions and common knowledge that you don't even need to think about when you play the game.

I'd go for, you can setup a blog to host the rules, and this will allow you to later add extra content easily if you choose to.

Offline Rich H

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Re: Rules Publishing Questions
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2019, 05:19:19 PM »
Thanks Fred.  food for thought!

Offline Dentatus

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Re: Rules Publishing Questions
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2019, 08:40:53 PM »
In line with this, I was wondering about the viability of supplementing visuals in an indie commercial rule set with pictures of miniatures and terrain from a personal collection. With permission and attribution, of course. I've seen it done in Song of.., Dragon Rampant, Tomorrow's War, Future War Commander, to name four off the top of my head. Is this poor form? Stepping on IP and Copyright? 

Call me naive, but given those examples, I figured so long as you weren't swiping the company's official images, logo, or claiming to be an official product, it wasn't an issue.

Online Ultravanillasmurf

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Re: Rules Publishing Questions
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2019, 03:02:11 PM »
In line with this, I was wondering about the viability of supplementing visuals in an indie commercial rule set with pictures of miniatures and terrain from a personal collection. With permission and attribution, of course. I've seen it done in Song of.., Dragon Rampant, Tomorrow's War, Future War Commander, to name four off the top of my head. Is this poor form? Stepping on IP and Copyright? 

Call me naive, but given those examples, I figured so long as you weren't swiping the company's official images, logo, or claiming to be an official product, it wasn't an issue.
The best thing is to ask first, then get it in writing.

Offline Rich H

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Re: Rules Publishing Questions
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2019, 03:08:29 PM »
I'd go with asking first but I can't see any company turning down free advertising especially when it's tyring to push a product that will sell even more of their products! 

Offline Dentatus

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Re: Rules Publishing Questions
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2019, 03:12:44 PM »
Yeah. Figured the same. Already on it.

Not a real problem if companies refuse. I'll leave them out or find other images. Just thought it would be nice to see their miniatures/terrain in action and put to use.

Perhaps that only applies to generic miniature ranges, figs unaligned with dedicated rules. So no GW or Infinity.

Offline Rich H

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Re: Rules Publishing Questions
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2019, 03:14:22 PM »
It would be hard to tell for most generic ranges I guess. 
Most privately owned forces will have a mix of makes anyway. 

As you say if any of them refuse then simpy remove them.

Offline Dentatus

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Re: Rules Publishing Questions
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2019, 11:11:51 PM »
So far, the companies i' have contacted either don't respond at all or seem to think I want an endorsement or to use their official images or logos. Which I don't. Guess I'll leave any Bat-Reps or In-Game shots on my web site and stick to simple artwork in the actual rules. Oh well.