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Author Topic: Editing Wargame Rules  (Read 1076 times)

Offline vexillia

  • Mad Scientist
  • Posts: 506
    • Vexillia
Editing Wargame Rules
« on: September 22, 2020, 03:57:34 PM »
New blog post outlining my approach with examples:



https://work.vexillia.me.uk/2020/09/rebels-yankees-v20-released.html

Offline AndrewBeasley

  • Mastermind
  • Posts: 1157
Re: Editing Wargame Rules
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2020, 09:07:15 PM »
Interesting notes.

I was a little worried by the I believe wargames rules are essentially technical documents with visions of old fashioned modifiers for everything...

I would add a few of bits:
  • Use the editors capabilities to build your table of contents and index
  • Use the editors style controls to make a consistent look
  • Talk to your printers early on
  • Put things aside for awhile before re-reading
  • Save frequently and often
(Sorry for any font changes - this editor does not like iOS)

Offline Elbows

  • Galactic Brain
  • Posts: 9106
Re: Editing Wargame Rules
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2020, 07:00:25 AM »
Some good advice.  I'm a small fry hobbyist game designer.  However, I pick up several things every time I write a game.  One of the things I stress, and something I find lacking heavily - even from major manufacturers such as Games Workshop, is inconsistency in vocabulary.

I'm not a professional writer, but I remember style manuals from my journalism classes in college - bibles of "layout" and "vocabulary", etc.  This is a good approach for writing rules.  I frequently go back and edit things on cards/books to make wording consistent.

Because I enjoy writing/designing games I definitely notice weaknesses in almost every printed rules set I've seen.  Not game breaking at all, but it helps remind me to pay attention to my own stuff.
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Offline meninobesta

  • Mad Scientist
  • Posts: 706
  • Bastard Saint, Scorn of the Earth
Re: Editing Wargame Rules
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2020, 07:47:03 AM »
I really enjoyed reading these articles, and I share and agree with almost your opinions,
Although I don't write or edit rulesets I enjoy reading and understanding them (to be able to play essentially), and I've always noticed that they lack some kind of formal or more technical approach in their writing and organization -> this leads to having to read more pages or try to decode more text than actually is needed
In the end, I see myself rewritting a lot of rules in a simplified and more streamlined maner in order to have better reference material when playing - this process also helps me to better understand the overall processes and rules in the games

but I've noticed something on this article, which I have my own view about it:
https://work.vexillia.me.uk/2020/09/tables-redundancy-in-wargames-rules.html

It's about the resilience table, and in the overall, I think your ideas helped improve the table (and that there aren't perfect designs that fit all situations), but in my opinion:
* the table design is its bigger issue -> the results are in the leading row and not in the cells
I would design it to have 6 columns (one for each die pip) and have the possible resilience outcomes in the table cells (as abreviations), this way the table would be easier to lookup (players could "lock" on a particular row and would reference the proper column according to the die rolls).

There are several tables which follow the same design as the original one: specialy when you are searching for target numbers to roll equal or above to, but not to define a particular outcome from a particular dice roll interval
As a similar example: The morale effects table on the tooFatLardies games also "suffers" from this design option

anyway, nice reading  :)
Cheers,
Pedro

Offline vexillia

  • Mad Scientist
  • Posts: 506
    • Vexillia
Re: Editing Wargame Rules
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2020, 10:05:48 AM »
I really enjoyed reading these articles, and I share and agree with almost your opinions,
Although I don't write or edit rulesets I enjoy reading and understanding them (to be able to play essentially), and I've always noticed that they lack some kind of formal or more technical approach in their writing and organization -> this leads to having to read more pages or try to decode more text than actually is needed

In the end, I see myself rewritting a lot of rules in a simplified and more streamlined maner in order to have better reference material when playing - this process also helps me to better understand the overall processes and rules in the games

I've done the same thing.

but I've noticed something on this article, which I have my own view about it:
https://work.vexillia.me.uk/2020/09/tables-redundancy-in-wargames-rules.html

It's about the resilience table, and in the overall, I think your ideas helped improve the table (and that there aren't perfect designs that fit all situations), but in my opinion:
* the table design is its bigger issue -> the results are in the leading row and not in the cells
I would design it to have 6 columns (one for each die pip) and have the possible resilience outcomes in the table cells (as abreviations), this way the table would be easier to lookup (players could "lock" on a particular row and would reference the proper column according to the die rolls).

Why not post a picture of your table design?  I'd like to see your version.  So much easier than lots of words.

Offline vexillia

  • Mad Scientist
  • Posts: 506
    • Vexillia
Re: Editing Wargame Rules
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2020, 10:10:28 AM »
Interesting notes.

Thanks.

I was a little worried by the I believe wargames rules are essentially technical documents with visions of old fashioned modifiers for everything...

Rules are technical documents whatever style they are.  It doesn't matter if they are formal or written in a "mates down the pub" style they still have to have a strong technical core to work and play well.  Don't be fooled by the wrapping.

Offline vexillia

  • Mad Scientist
  • Posts: 506
    • Vexillia
Re: Editing Wargame Rules
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2020, 10:14:53 AM »
Some good advice.  I'm a small fry hobbyist game designer.  However, I pick up several things every time I write a game.  One of the things I stress, and something I find lacking heavily - even from major manufacturers such as Games Workshop, is inconsistency in vocabulary.

Thanks.  I agree vocabulary is important.  I've worked on rules where groups morphed into units towards the end of the draft.  :-)

Because I enjoy writing/designing games I definitely notice weaknesses in almost every printed rules set I've seen.  Not game breaking at all, but it helps remind me to pay attention to my own stuff.

I suppose it's all above finding a cost effective level of polish.  I suspect that's partly why rules get new versions.

Offline meninobesta

  • Mad Scientist
  • Posts: 706
  • Bastard Saint, Scorn of the Earth
Re: Editing Wargame Rules
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2020, 10:42:57 AM »
Why not post a picture of your table design?  I'd like to see your version.  So much easier than lots of words.

something like this, I've done only part of the table and there is not so much formating about it (using the forum's tools)

PeriodBeligerant123456
1861-1862UnionLacklusterLacklusterLacklusterSteadySteadyDetermined
1861-1862Confederate*SteadySteadySteadySteadyDeterminedDetermined
1863UnionLacklusterSteadySteadySteadySteadyDetermined
and so on ...

Offline vexillia

  • Mad Scientist
  • Posts: 506
    • Vexillia
Re: Editing Wargame Rules
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2020, 11:32:30 AM »
Hmm. Very busy - lots of duplication.  Starting from the left your version reads as:
  • Down column 1
  • Across a column & down column 2
  • Across to a column 3-8, looking up to row 1 for dice value, then back down to original row for result
Which is the same as my version except the third step:
  • Down column 1
  • Across a column & down column 2
  • Across to a column 3-5, then look up to row 1 for result
Looks like horses for courses ...

Offline tallyho

  • Assistant
  • Posts: 45
Re: Editing Wargame Rules
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2020, 07:12:19 AM »
You had me until I saw a whole page of rules for charging....

Offline vexillia

  • Mad Scientist
  • Posts: 506
    • Vexillia
Re: Editing Wargame Rules
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2020, 08:13:05 AM »
You had me until I saw a whole page of rules for charging....

:)

Offline Polkovnik

  • Librarian
  • Posts: 176
Re: Editing Wargame Rules
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2020, 11:52:38 AM »
You had me until I saw a whole page of rules for charging....

Why ? That doesn't seem particularly excessive, especially when the rules are formatted as they are (quite spread out and in sections / bullet points) and that page includes a table of move distances.

 

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