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Subject: For the love of player aids rss

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William Bussick
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I have now completed a project I undertook a year ago. The project was to produce 52 player aids in 52 weeks. You can see a list of the aids on my profile. This article is not to pat myself on the back so much as to have down it in writing that I can stop myself now, and just let it go.

A year ago, my boardgame hobby was reaching a critical juncture. My collection was up to several hundred games, and my weekly gaming group was starting its fourth year. The guys were asking "let's play that one from a few weeks ago" more and more, and I found myself unable to re-teach these games. This was a signal to me that I had a problem in my hobby. I had to either stop collecting games (bah!) or take matters into my own hands.

My memory has been going downhill since I had my daughter (not an unusual occurrence, I hear), and stopping a game night to spend 15 minutes re-reading rules---before teaching it again--just sucks. There was no way I could remember hundreds of rules well enough to play a given game at the drop of a hat.

I found that the games that had good player aids got up and running much more quickly after a lag in play. So, I decided that I would try to make 1 a week for as long as I could. (Later, I decided that if I could do this for a year, I could find some peace.)

Michael Weston
United States
Roswell
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I really dug the style of Michael Weston and used his aids as a template for my own. He had a great way of including every single rule possible, thus lending to never having to pick up the original rules again. Many of my quick reference guides aspire to do just this. I also try to read all of the game's forums to include as many rules clarifications as possible.

Don't get me wrong, I print out player aids from many other users. But I do gravitate towards information presented in a way that is logical to me. If my eyes can jump to the place I expect the information to be presented, I will print out the player aid and use that instead of making my own.

Chris
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Huntington Station
New York
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One of the users whose aids I love is Chris Conboy. He reached out to me early on in the project and created a new template for me. He's given me encouragement through the year, but my own self-satisfaction is what has driven me in this project.

Most of the player aids I created are of the "quick reference" format. Each is, by and large, a complete rules summary. I don't include pictures, and I try hard to fit everything on a single side of a page. It's low-tech, but intuitive. The average amount of time each takes is 2 hours. I don't think any were done in less than 90 minutes, and some took upwards of 6 hours.

Again, I'm not looking for recognition here. This project (and this article) was done out of love for the hobby and out of the deepest respect and gratitude for the users who create these fine aids. If an aid of theirs is valuable to you, please give it thumbs up. Some of them need your encouragement to continue helping you further your hobby.

As for me, I'm getting off this self-imposed roller coaster of a project. I expect that I will continue making player aids on a semi-regular basis, but it's more fun for me to research games on this site, and that has suffered in the last year.

Thanks for the help and happy gaming!
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Chris
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Ajax wrote:
This article is not to pat myself on the back

We'll do that for you!

Now we'll have tons of this stuff for our dotage, Great.

Michael Weston !!

Ajax wrote:
... I expect that I will continue making player aids on a semi-regular basis ...

Phew, relief. That was a close call. Because we'll need a few more (but can patiently wait until 'whenever').

Thanks for including a link to me. I used that to make sure I had some geekgold to give you a small token of appreciation.
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Daniel Corban
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Three words:
PDF, PDF, PDF.
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Slovakia Steph
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So, I went to look at the player aids, all excited... and I own two of those games. TWO.

Guess I need to buy some more games!
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Kent Reuber
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Congrats! I also do a lot of player aids, though I admit I couldn't keep up the pace of one per week. Have a !
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Wendell
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Wow, that is true service to geekdom, even if I haven't played any of those games!
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Samuel Hinz
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should be a geeklist with all the aides you made.

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Hey, I've created a video channel! Hover over my avatar to get more info! :) - Josh -
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historysteph wrote:
So, I went to look at the player aids, all excited... and I own two of those games. TWO.

Guess I need to buy some more games!


And I have ONE!


Another user who has made quite a few very nicely formatted player aids is:

Universal Head
Australia
Sydney
NSW
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Professional creative visual communication: www.universalhead.com
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Game summaries and reference sheets: www.headlesshollow.com
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They can be found here:

http://www.headlesshollow.com/freebies_games.html


But I have to give a huge

THANK YOU

to all users who create player aids, rules summaries, translations, corrections, paste-ups, and all those other wonderful resources in the files sections that enhance our gaming experiences yet receive such a shamefully small amount or recognition.

KUDOS TO ALL OF YOU!!!


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Jeff Michaud
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Ajax wrote:
Again, I'm not looking for recognition here. This project (and this article) was done out of love for the hobby and out of the deepest respect and gratitude for the users who create these fine aids....

opps, I read this too late before nominating and making you the...

Geek of the Week #366 - Ajax (William Bussick)
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