David Somerville
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You guys! I had such a good playtest last night!

The game formerly known as Trove (more on that later) is built for 2–4 players, and is best with 4. In a test with all-new players last night, one of my 4 dropped out at the last second, so we tested with 3 for the first time. And it WORKED!

I'm somewhat excited, as you can tell. I had to do some fast rule-inventing/interpreting on the fly, but regardless, it was probably the smoothest version of the game I've played yet.

To refresh your memory, Trove was the "fully asymmetric" game where one person played as the dungeon, one as the fire-breathing dragon, one as the army of goblins, and one as the valiant hero. Since I last posted much on these boards, the game has undergone a theme shift (for various reasons) to an Indiana-Jonesy Aztec temple adventure called Quetzalcoatl. Same exact mechanics, supporting the same kind of experience — but set in a temple with a feathered serpent rather than a dungeon with a scaly serpent.


(Awesome quetzalcoatl art by DeviantArtist Kezrek — http://kezrek.deviantart.com/art/Quetzalcoatl-162566634.)

We've had some life changes recently (finding a new place to live, mostly) which have put game design on the back burner, so I'm excited to bring some focus back to Trove Quetzalcoatl.

All of which brings me to my call for help. I really want to put this game up as PnP, and get your input on it from an experienced gamer perspective ... but it's the first game I've written rules for and, while they're consistent, I find that I don't know how to write rules without being wordy and incomplete.

Is anyone out there just REALLY GOOD at writing rules? Can you give me a few pointers, or direct me to a great resource or thread on rule-writing? I think the game is at a good playable point, I just need to move it from my table to yours.

Any help much appreciated!
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Nate K
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Just... start writing, dude. Use a lot of bullet points and short sentences. I tend to use a structure like this:

--Theme-related paragraph (usually in italics) to help get the player(s) get into the story

--Introduction (quick overview of the game)

--Winning the Game (explain what the players are trying to do)

--The Rules (step-by-step explanation of how to play, starting with the things that the players need to know in order to set up the game and play through the first turn)

--Glossary of Terms (list the words and phrases that may not be generally known and what they mean in your game)

And, if you're feeling ambitious:

--Strategy Tips (snippets of advice for intermediate players looking to tighten up their gameplay)
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David Somerville
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kurthl33t wrote:
Just... start writing, dude. Use a lot of bullet points and short sentences.
This is great advice. Since posting this, I've been able to do exactly that -- and I actually followed a structure very similar to what you laid out!

I'd love your input on it, if you have a few minutes. It can be found here: http://boardgamegeek.com/article/14969949. Thanks!
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