Building a Game - VI

By now we have a general layout of what our game should look like. 

For the example that I am trying to convey here we have a basic game structure, a theme and how it´s supposed to be played, using a game map, cards and some counters. Next comes one of the hardest parts, that is making all that into something akin to a real game.

For while you can create a game that might use rather intuitive or simple mechanisms or even is based upon some sort of common knowledge rules, you need rules nonetheless. Unlike a make-up game or good old tabletop roleplaying where the mind and imagination can fill a lot of the gaps, everything that happens in the game we are trying to create is based upon the idea, that you want it to happen. Nothing happens in a boardgame without a rule for it, so to speak. But to get to that part, we need rules first.

And thus we come to a part where all good will and help can´t make the jump for you. Each and every designer, from top to bottom, has to realize and learn, in what way he writes rules. Of course, certain restrictions always apply, for example good grammar, clear language and some sort of understandable language, but these are so basic that they aren´t really mentioned.

Every designer has his/her own way to design rules. Some envision the game as it is played and go from there to flow this idea into text, while still others develop the rules text piece by piece during prototyping game play. How you do this is completely up to you. To give you an example, I´ve included an image of the way I´ve written rules and how that looks afterwards.
Be careful, this might seem a mite complex. You see, I am one of those guys who already start from the outline we made earlier and envisions the game in his head, so writing each part down amounted to thinking more about the wording of each rule than what I am trying to do because the effect of the rule has already been determined.

But no one says that this has to be your way. I cannot stress this enough, for this is also the point where designers are shed alongside the way. Writing rules can be one of the most cumbersome thing for young designers to do, because for many there seems to be no fun or creativity in the process. I wouldn´t say that is true, but that is only a perspective I have, not necessarily the only real one.

What it is, however, is the point at which you need to translate your creativity into something that another person can look at and go "Oh, so that´s how it goes!".

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