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Subject: Posting rules helps sell games. rss

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Robert Kuster
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When looking at new games and with so many being released on a continuos bases it really helps when I am able to download the rules to the game. I have based many of my recent purchases after reading the rules because although I like many types of games and especially those that have great eye candy and outstanding components there have been times when the gameplay is just to dry or lacking theme.

So to all those designers and distributors please consider releasing the rules to your games online and it may just help your games to sell better.

A good example is Fantasy Flight who provide rules well in advance prior to shipment of all their games and including all expansions. I almost own everyone of their games.

There are a couple of new titles that I am reluctant to purchase and one of the main reasons is that I can't find the rules for them, these are Magnifico and Heroes of the World.
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Tony C
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Agreed. The best way to know if I want to buy a game, is to play it. The second best way is to have access to the full rulebook. The one caveat to that is that the rulebook has to be well written. I tried browsing one rulebook for a game I was interested in, and the rulebook actually turned me off the game, it was so poorly written, poorly laid out, and confusing.
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Rick Vinyard
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I will absolutely second that.
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Evgeny Reznikov
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Third that...
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Dan Beale-C
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I'd agree with this.

I'd go further - people's helpful clarifications and player aids on BGG also help sell games. (And help people make use of games they've bought.)

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Karl Hiesterman
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I agree one hundred percent. I'd say at least 80% of the purchases I've made over the last three years have been done only after at least looking over the rules first. In fact I find myself rapidly moving into the realm of refusing to buy a game unless I can first read the rules...
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Jeremy Brown
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roberious wrote:
A good example is Fantasy Flight who provide rules well in advance prior to shipment of all their games and including all expansions. I almost own everyone of their games.


Another good example is Z-Man games.

I find that reading the rules for a game that I am eagerly anticipating is exciting in that it is a step closer to actually playing the game rather just thinking about it...except that after I've read the rules and still want the game, I just want to play the game more and sooner...but often have to wait a while.

So, sometimes reading the rules can just be a tease (albeit one that I appreciate nonetheless).
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Jeff Binning
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Although I agree completely that rules should be available before publication to give a good over-all view of the game, they don't usually help me.

I've been learning and teaching games since the 60's. I love learning games. Rules for me are like good books once I have the games learned.

The initial comprehension and learning though, almost always needs to be done with game components in hand. I first inventory all components, to make sure I'm aware of exactly what the rules are describing. Without those parts in front of me, I sometimes have trouble conceptualizing what's being talked about. I need that visual aid to "lock in" the information.

For simpler games, this isn't necessary, but for deeper games, certainly for war games, the rules by themselves don't give me a full appreciation for the game.

Once I know the game, then going back to the rules is great. I can then understand the context, and pick up on the subtle inconsistencies that might have caused trouble.
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Chris Jones
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Though possible dodgy, being able to have two copies of a rule book (printing out a second) around the table is such an advantage.

I also second/third/fourth etc. theat rule books sell games. I can think of about 5 games bough on this principle.

CHRIS
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Bob Roberts

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Could not agree more.
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Matt Robertson
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Amen to this suggestion!
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Ralph T
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It should be noted that when the rulebooks are bad, like in the case of Agricola or Neuland, there's no benefit to posting the rulebook. Player written rule summaries are better for selling games.
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Brandon Pennington
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One of the main reasons I love GMT games. When I am buying Eurogames, it doesn't usually matter too much if I can have access to the rulebook before hand as it is usually pretty easy to tell from reviews and such if I will like the game. However, when it comes to wargames, I will almost never buy a wargame without playing it first or having access to the rulebook.

Notice I don't own very many MMP games.

I understand not wanting people to play the games online or make their own version without reading the rules. I like GMT's solution for most of their games by making the rulebook available, but not publishing the playbook on the web. (that being the book that contains the scenarios)
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Mendon Dornbrook
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Agreed.
Also, in several circumstances, a friend has bought a new game and emailed the rules so that when we got together, we'd all read the rules. It makes teaching much easier. This will help sell games on the strength that a bad learning game is less likely to occur.
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Richard Morris
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I am sure it is a bit of a two edged sword. I have bought several new (to me) games recently, and in several cases got the rules online and read them before I bought. In all those cases, I was confident that the game would be a success, and so it has proved.

However, there are also several games that I was interested in, and read the rules, and decided to not buy, on the strength of the rules. You could argue that having the rules online lost the publisher sales in those cases. However, had I bought blind, and been disappointed, it would have probably made me wary of other games from the same stable. So I am convinced that it is to the long term benefit of the publisher to publish the rules online.
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Michael Lucey
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I'd rather see good play session reports from playtesters. I'm more concerned with how the game plays then how it reads. I have a bookshelf full of games that read well, hell Monopoly reads well that I just can't play because they bore me to tears.

I don't need to read a 32 page document to find the CDG plays 'just like POG', a simple session report will give me that and a whole lot more. Almost every game have mechanics similar or taken from other games so comparisons work fine for me.

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Steve Russell
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Let me add one word to the title of this post:

"Posting rules sells GOOD games".
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Aaron Silverman
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TGov wrote:
One of the main reasons I love GMT games. When I am buying Eurogames, it doesn't usually matter too much if I can have access to the rulebook before hand as it is usually pretty easy to tell from reviews and such if I will like the game. However, when it comes to wargames, I will almost never buy a wargame without playing it first or having access to the rulebook.

Notice I don't own very many MMP games.


I agree with you, but remember that the rules to the Gamers series games from MMP are all available online. It's only the ASL and IGS stuff that isn't posted.

I've read rulebooks online that have gotten me to buy a game and rulebooks that have dissuaded me from buying a game, but in general I don't even consider buying a game unless I have a chance to either play it or read the rules ahead of time.
 
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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Goldenturkey wrote:
Though possible dodgy, being able to have two copies of a rule book (printing out a second) around the table is such an advantage.


Simmons Games shipped two sets of rules in the box for both Bonaparte at Marengo and Napoleon's Triumph. I'm surprised more publishers haven't followed suit.
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Mark Buetow
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Sphere wrote:
Goldenturkey wrote:
Though possible dodgy, being able to have two copies of a rule book (printing out a second) around the table is such an advantage.


Simmons Games shipped two sets of rules in the box for both Bonaparte at Marengo and Napoleon's Triumph. I'm surprised more publishers haven't followed suit.


Then again, Bowen's entire approach to showcasing his games online is open, engaging and beyond what most publishers do. He does everything to make it as if you have the game in front of you, short of, well, having the game in front of you!

I've bought games without online rules available, but it's a much tougher call. That really relies on the strength of the reviews and session reports. I'll also tip my hat to GMT's way of posting rules well in advance. In many cases, they do it even before games are in print; that helps with the P500 process I'm sure.
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J C Lawrence
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Anecdote is of course not the singular of data.

I rarely read the rules of game before I purchase them. Games rules are an inefficient vehicle for extracting my interests. I'm essentially interested in two things:

1) What is the basic logical problem represented by the game?

2) Has the game-designer actually thought that problem through?

Both questions can usually be answered more readily from other sources than the rules. The result is that online rules neither assist or hinder my purchasing decision. Instead the main visible function of online rules is to distract both the publisher and other players away from the things I find important. Admittedly, that's sometimes a welcome relief, but most of the time it is just more dreck to wade through and past.
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Marc-Andre Blanchet
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What's a publisher to do?

a. Post the rules. Those who buy blindly will still buy it, those who read rules will buy it if it's good.

b. Do not post the rules. Some people will try it anyway, and the poor bastards who want to read the rules prior to a purchase might miss on a very engaging, fun and interesting game. And not give the publisher any money.
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Jennifer Schlickbernd
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Another reason I love posted rules is because it gives me an additional copy of the rules that I can use at gaming sessions instead of (or in addition to) the printed rules. Also if I misplace the original copy of the rules, it's easy to replace them.
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Thom Barchet
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I have not read a single post in this thread, but I agree.
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Neil
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I sure wish rules for Warriors of God were available.

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