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Subject: Rules and a numbering system rss

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Confusion Under Fire
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Whilst numbering a rule system which I am creating, I began wondering if there was a set of 'rules' on how a numbering system should work. For example if section 3 was
'3.Components'
then each component may be numbered
'3.1 Units'
'3.2 Hit Markers'
'3.3 Command Cards' etc.

If those components were further broken down then you may get
'3.1.1 German units'
'3.1.2 Russian Units'
and so on.

Where would this numbering system stop if you had several sub sections?
I have seen Roman numerals used and lower case letters but I was wondering if there was any written or unwritten rules about numbering and if not how do rule writers overcome the "many sub sections" problem, I don't think I have seen more than 4 or 5 digits in a section, but then again I may be wrong?

While I am talking about rule content is there anything that should be added to the list below?

Plenty of diagrams and examples
A full turn example
A glossary of terms
An index

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Brandon
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whatambush wrote:
Whilst numbering a rule system which I am creating, I began wondering if there was a set of 'rules' on how a numbering system should work. For example if section 3 was
'3.Components'
then each component may be numbered
'3.1 Units'
'3.2 Hit Markers'
'3.3 Command Cards' etc.

If those components were further broken down then you may get
'3.1.1 German units'
'3.1.2 Russian Units'
and so on.


That seems reasonable to me and it can go on indefinitely.

Letters and Roman numerals are usually reserved for enumerated lists. (edit: see below)

Anyway, I just let LaTeX take care of it for me.
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junkers doll
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whatambush wrote:
While I am talking about rule content is there anything that should be added to the list below?

Plenty of diagrams and examples
A full turn example
A glossary of terms
An index


Adding to the glossary/index bit: referring back to relevant sections, rather than expecting the player to remember every keyword. Putting those numbers ([3.1.4], etc.) everywhere - in other sections, on the map, on the reference charts.

I haven't read a great many rulebooks, but the Napoleonic 20 series is fabulous at this. As someone new to the system, and wargaming in general, it always felt welcoming, never overwhelming.

You should also be stealing ideas from that inventions thread.
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Confusion Under Fire
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jakobcreutzfeldt wrote:

That seems reasonable to me and it can go on indefinitely.

Letters and Roman numerals are usually reserved for enumerated lists.

Anyway, I just let LaTeX take care of it for me.


It's the indefinitely bit that's worrying me. a string of 6+ numbers may end up becoming less useful.

I do have some lists so may see how they look with letters or if I can find a font, Roman numerals.

I am dreading to ask, but what is LaTeX?

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Confusion Under Fire
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junkers wrote:
whatambush wrote:
While I am talking about rule content is there anything that should be added to the list below?

Plenty of diagrams and examples
A full turn example
A glossary of terms
An index


Adding to the glossary/index bit: referring back to relevant sections, rather than expecting the player to remember every keyword. Putting those numbers ([3.1.4], etc.) everywhere - in other sections, on the map, on the reference charts.

I haven't read a great many rulebooks, but the Napoleonic 20 series is fabulous at this. As someone new to the system, and wargaming in general, it always felt welcoming, never overwhelming.

You should also be stealing ideas from that inventions thread.


Thanks Junkers, I will be referencing sections in other sections. I don't own Nappy 20 but I do own some of the other games in a similar series. They are well produced rules in a minimal space. The small inventions list is being followed, in fact I made a post in there.

Welcome to the hobby and Good luck with your wargaming.
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Leo Zappa
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When writing rule sets (like the one I'm doing now for my campaign system for Star Trek: Attack Wing), I tend to do the following:

3 - Campaign Format
_3.1 - Round 1 - Initial Border Battles
__3.11 - Battle Set-up

Coming from a background of writing and reading construction specifications, this just seems natural to me!
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Russ Williams
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whatambush wrote:
jakobcreutzfeldt wrote:

That seems reasonable to me and it can go on indefinitely.

Letters and Roman numerals are usually reserved for enumerated lists.

Anyway, I just let LaTeX take care of it for me.


It's the indefinitely bit that's worrying me. a string of 6+ numbers may end up becoming less useful.

But in practice I rarely see such deep nesting. Personally I prefer that style with arabic numerals, rather than mixing with letters & roman numerals.

Quote:
I am dreading to ask, but what is LaTeX?

Text formatting software widely used e.g. in academia and other technical projects.
https://www.latex-project.org/
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Have you asked this in the game design area? You might get a different set of responses.
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L. SCHMITT
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Quote:
Where would this numbering system stop if you had several sub sections?

IMHO you should stick to 3 letters. More becomes annoying in the core of the rules when you quote them many times. And more are not needed, otherwise it would mean your rules (sub)section is too long and ought to be reorganized differently.

Quote:
Plenty of diagrams and examples
A full turn example
A glossary of terms
An index

All of them are welcome, but it is a fastidious stuff for you as a designer. Personnaly, I don't like rulebooks that start with a too long glossary.
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Juan Valdez
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russ wrote:
whatambush wrote:
jakobcreutzfeldt wrote:

That seems reasonable to me and it can go on indefinitely.

Letters and Roman numerals are usually reserved for enumerated lists.

Anyway, I just let LaTeX take care of it for me.


It's the indefinitely bit that's worrying me. a string of 6+ numbers may end up becoming less useful.

But in practice I rarely see such deep nesting. Personally I prefer that style with arabic numerals, rather than mixing with letters & roman numerals.

Quote:
I am dreading to ask, but what is LaTeX?

Text formatting software widely used e.g. in academia and other technical projects.
https://www.latex-project.org/


LaTeX is superb for technical documentation.

If rulebooks were formatted in LaTeX and the files hosted on, say, github, I'd be mighty inclined to contribute examples, fixes, rule clarifications, rewording, etc etc etc. Would be a great way to crowdsource rules.

I suspect this will happen, eventually.

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Brandon
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whatambush wrote:
jakobcreutzfeldt wrote:

That seems reasonable to me and it can go on indefinitely.

Letters and Roman numerals are usually reserved for enumerated lists.

Anyway, I just let LaTeX take care of it for me.


It's the indefinitely bit that's worrying me. a string of 6+ numbers may end up becoming less useful.

I do have some lists so may see how they look with letters or if I can find a font, Roman numerals.

I am dreading to ask, but what is LaTeX?



If your nesting is getting too deep, then it's probably a structural problem. Section, subsection and numbered paragraph/case should be enough, I think. Anything below that could probably be reorganized as an enumerated list within a paragraph/case, for example.

LaTeX is a very nice system for typesetting text, in which you provide a plain-text file with some markup (kind of like HTML) and it outputs a PDF. The main concept is that, unlike with a word processor, you don't worry about formatting at all; you just provide clues via markup as to the structure of the text and the system takes care of the rest. That said, on its own it's not user-friendly by current standards, since it requires running command-line programs to do the formatting. However, there are many graphical user interfaces which hide the markup and command-line stuff from you, providing a Word-like experience (but still sticking to the paradigm of "let the program do the dirty formatting work for you"), such as LyX or TeXmacs.
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Brandon
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desertfox2004 wrote:
When writing rule sets (like the one I'm doing now for my campaign system for Star Trek: Attack Wing), I tend to do the following:

3 - Campaign Format
_3.1 - Round 1 - Initial Border Battles
__3.11 - Battle Set-up

Coming from a background of writing and reading construction specifications, this just seems natural to me!


Seeing that format makes my head hurt. What happened to 3.2 through 3.10?!
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Pelle Nilsson
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I think the way of working with LaTeX (plain text style separated from content) is the ideal, however my rulebooks attempted look like academic papers. But I think there is definitely possible to do nice books with better templates:

http://tex.stackexchange.com/questions/1319/showcase-of-beau...

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Confusion Under Fire
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jakobcreutzfeldt wrote:
desertfox2004 wrote:
When writing rule sets (like the one I'm doing now for my campaign system for Star Trek: Attack Wing), I tend to do the following:

3 - Campaign Format
_3.1 - Round 1 - Initial Border Battles
__3.11 - Battle Set-up

Coming from a background of writing and reading construction specifications, this just seems natural to me!


Seeing that format makes my head hurt. What happened to 3.2 through 3.10?!


My components list is at about 16 items which would not work with this system but I think on a smaller ruleset it would be a good method.
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Pelle Nilsson
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Here is one of the rulebooks I have made with LaTeX that is also happens to have the code available to look at (see link at bottom of first post):

(2012 PnP Solitaire Contest) Advance Guard 1914 (Contest Ready)
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Pelle Nilsson
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In my reading of very old wargame rulebooks I learned to appreciate the style they often used. Something like:


The Map

§1 Some rule about the map.

§2 Some other rule about the map.

The Units

§3 First rule about units

§4 And so on.

So the paragraphs just keep going up from 1, not resetting for each section, and the sections have no numbers. Lots of cross-references as well. I think it works pretty well. Might try to do that for fun for some prototype rulebook. Already a few days ago I googled to find the LaTeX magic required to set up a document for that style. Now I just need to find a good font for it.
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Brandon
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pelni wrote:
Here is one of the rulebooks I have made with LaTeX that is also happens to have the code available to look at (see link at bottom of first post):

(2012 PnP Solitaire Contest) Advance Guard 1914 (Contest Ready)


Nice! I'm working on a translation of a Japanese game at the moment, which I'm doing in LaTeX. I'm trying to stay close to the original's formatting, though, so I've had to get in there and redefine, e.g., how section/paragraph counters look. However, it's nice that I just set it in one place and then forget about it and use \section{} and \paragraph{} as normal..

Next level: adding figures and diagrams using PGF/Tikz. cool Don't be afraid of the 1000-page manual...
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Tony Doran
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I have always preferred the system used by SPI and various others. They did section numbers by topic, with subsections numbered as eg.:

1

1.1

1.2

1.3

2

2.1

2.2

And so on. The numbered sections were topics, like "Sequence of play," and "Movement," and "supply." This made cross reference very simple and inexing a breeze.

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Brandon
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jakobcreutzfeldt wrote:

Letters and Roman numerals are usually reserved for enumerated lists.


I take this back, since I noticed rulebooks by The Gamers, at least, use letters for their paragraph/cases:

1
- 1.1
-- 1.1a
-- 1.1b

They've never caused me any problems, but of course if you have more than 26 cases, you might have to get creative.
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Jon Gautier

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jakobcreutzfeldt wrote:
Nice! I'm working on a translation of a Japanese game at the moment, which I'm doing in LaTeX.
Which one?
 
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Brandon
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junkers wrote:
jakobcreutzfeldt wrote:
Nice! I'm working on a translation of a Japanese game at the moment, which I'm doing in LaTeX.
Which one?


It's a small folio game that's not yet in the database, but it looks like the little brother of Battle of Oshi-jou: same designer, same topic (The Siege of Oshi), same desktop-published look, just smaller. I picked it up for 500 yen on a recent trip to Japan, mostly as a means to warm up my translating chops for tackling a much larger and more interesting project: Sekigahara 1600. I'm not fluent in Japanese and the main problem is my lack of knowledge of a lot of kanji characters, but with a kanji dictionary and a bit of work, I've been able to make sense out of the rules. It's just slow-going at the moment. I'm hoping that my efficiency improves...
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Brandon
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Dieroll Honker wrote:
1.1aa


And there you have it...
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Kevin Bernatz
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Active developer here for GMT and Compass Games.

1) First, realize that there is (in general) no consensus on what numbering scheme to use. It is almost entirely up to the design team (developer + designer) to decide on the scheme. My experience has seen that older designers tend to prefer a: 1. , 1.1, ... 1.10, 1.11, ... etc. system, while younger designers tend to prefer a 1.1, 1.1.x, 1.1.1.x, 1.2, etc. system. My preference is definitely the latter, which is what you are using.

2) You just arbitrarily assign a maximum number of indents. I try to cap it at 3 numbers, so 1.1.1 would be the maximum indents under section 1. If you need more indentation, I just use a font-change header, e.g.
1.1.1 WRITING RULES
...text....
. Indents

This allows you to call attention to a subsection without going beyond three indents...but as others have mentioned, it also means you need to take a good hard look at your rules and see if you can't break up a cumbersome section into two (or more) sections.

FWIW, on rare occasions I have gone to four indents (3.x.x.x)...but that makes laying out a 2-column table of contents sometimes hard...

3) As others have mentioned, a section on the map and counters should be there. I also think a brief intro section + components section is nice, as well as 'victory' (obviously). I'm a fan of having victory at the beginning of a rulebook, so that when a person starts reading they know up front what they need to do to win. This sometimes helps in processing rules (i.e. they know both what they can do, but also why they would do it). Examples + graphics are also nice, as different people learn different ways.

4) Remember red-green color blindness...

5) Remember to refer to numbers under twenty (in general) in the written out form, unless you are talking about a factor (and even then you can often do it). I.e. instead of saying "Example: Kevin rolled 6 dice to achieve a result of 33", you should say "Example: Kevin rolled six dice to achieve a result of 33".

6) 'grammargirl' is your friend (google it).

-K

whatambush wrote:
Whilst numbering a rule system which I am creating, I began wondering if there was a set of 'rules' on how a numbering system should work. For example if section 3 was
'3.Components'
then each component may be numbered
'3.1 Units'
'3.2 Hit Markers'
'3.3 Command Cards' etc.

If those components were further broken down then you may get
'3.1.1 German units'
'3.1.2 Russian Units'
and so on.

Where would this numbering system stop if you had several sub sections?
I have seen Roman numerals used and lower case letters but I was wondering if there was any written or unwritten rules about numbering and if not how do rule writers overcome the "many sub sections" problem, I don't think I have seen more than 4 or 5 digits in a section, but then again I may be wrong?

While I am talking about rule content is there anything that should be added to the list below?

Plenty of diagrams and examples
A full turn example
A glossary of terms
An index

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junkers doll
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jakobcreutzfeldt wrote:
junkers wrote:
jakobcreutzfeldt wrote:
Nice! I'm working on a translation of a Japanese game at the moment, which I'm doing in LaTeX.
Which one?


It's a small folio game that's not yet in the database, but it looks like the little brother of Battle of Oshi-jou: same designer, same topic (The Siege of Oshi), same desktop-published look, just smaller. I picked it up for 500 yen on a recent trip to Japan, mostly as a means to warm up my translating chops for tackling a much larger and more interesting project: Sekigahara 1600. I'm not fluent in Japanese and the main problem is my lack of knowledge of a lot of kanji characters, but with a kanji dictionary and a bit of work, I've been able to make sense out of the rules. It's just slow-going at the moment. I'm hoping that my efficiency improves...
I'm in the exact same boat with the The Battle of Mikatagahara. Very slow going.

But let me know if you'd like a proof-reader on your project - another set of eyes can sometimes be just what you need to tie it all together.
 
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