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Zombie Survival: The Board Game» Forums » Rules

Subject: Worst Rulebook Ever rss

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Sam Phillips
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I sure hope we get an FAQ posted soon. This has got to be the worst rule book ever.
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John
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It is odd because after previously vowing to never purchase a Twilight Creations game again (based on other TC games' shoddy rules), I was intrigued enough by this game's premise to read the rules online. At first glance, the rules seemed fairly (if not perfectly) clear and I decided to pick it up. But once I actually had all the components in front of me and we were playing "for real" everything fell apart. See my ridonkulously long list of unanswered question elsewhere on this thread. Personally, I think there is an engaging and innovative game hidng somewhere amidst all the clutter, but without better rules clarity, it's just going to sit on my shelf unplayed.
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Bernd Caspers
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thaphillips wrote:
I sure hope we get an FAQ posted soon. This has got to be the worst rule book ever.


Hmm...I was able to get a really fun game going just from reading the rulebook, I can´t say that from every game I have tried.
I agree with you on the FAQ however, there is a lot going on in the game, that can lead to all kinds of specific situations that are best dealt with through an FAQ.
To my knowledge, Kerry is working on that right now...
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Sam Phillips
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Maybe I should flesh out some rules and sell them as an expansion. :P
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Todd Breitenstein
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Hi Sam,
I am sorry that you had a problem with the rule book. I appreciate your frustration and we do wish that our rules were crystal clear for everyone. Unfortunately, that appears to be impossible. Especially when writing rules for a game such as Zombie Survival.

There are so many esoteric situations that "may" come up during the game that it is impractical to try to include them in a rules document. There are time and size constraints that limit the amount we can put in as well. Even if we tried to include all possible contingencies, there always seems to be a very specific situation we somehow missed or that never came up during play test. (Trust me, Zombie Survival was extensively play tested.) Our intent is to produce the best product possible.

Now, that said, we do have a FAQ here on the Geek. We tried to post it to the files section but moderators denied it for some reason. Kerry cut and pasted it in a forum post here:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/582742/great-game-lots-o...

We are also working on a new website that will be live after the holidays. It will contain the FAQ as well.

I sincerely hope that helps. Please feel free to post here or contact me directly if I can help you with the game.
Best regards,
Todd A. Breitenstein
Twilight Creations, Inc.

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Sam Phillips
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I think a video of some actual game play would really help. I am excited that someone with the company is actually reading these boards.
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Mark
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thaphillips wrote:
This has got to be the worst rule book ever.


You have you seen the Resident Evil: Deckbuilding Game rulebook?
 
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Matt Strange
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^^^ i was just about to mention the FaceEatter card game has the worst ruling ever!
 
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Nate Downs
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I just wanted to add a note to this. I really like Twilight Creations games (not just because "goth" is in my handle). In my opinion, virtually all of their games could benefit from better rules (not the games themselves, rather the overall appeal). I think a fair number of the games offered could really end up with a full point or so higher score here on BGG. I think that When Darkness Comes might suffer the most, in a way. A really excellent game with lots of possibilities...

Anyway, I find that during the process of the writing of the rules, the author seems to assume that the reader learns from inference. I also find that the general design of the rule books can be a step behind of modern books. I understand issues of budget and all that... truly. But I think if the next Twilight Creations game came out with a new style of instructions booklet, it might be something that pays off many times over.


I will say that Todd is someone who seems to always care enough about the games to check in on BGG so that questions may be answered. If you haven't met them at a show, I can honestly say he is every bit as sincere in person. One of the few that always makes a consistent and well meaning impression on me. I don't know him personally or anything, but I've been to his booth enough at Origins!
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Mark
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TCI rules style is to tell you what you can do, NOT what you can't do. I guess that save space. The games play pretty good, once you understand that concept. It always helps me to play a few turns as I digest the rules. The games are ususally good, and worth at least that much effort.

To be fair, jda 1974's "ridonkulously long list of unanswered question," includes questions that are answered in the rulebook (not saying eveything is eady to find, but some of that answers are there), and some questions about stuff they do not say you can do. For instance, going outside the house to fire back into the house with a weapon that cannot be used inside the house. It's a bit of to stretch to expect the rules to cover that.
 
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John
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Quote:
TCI rules style is to tell you what you can do, NOT what you can't do.


I'm just not following what you're saying. Can you give an example or two of this in action?

Quote:
To be fair, jda 1974's "ridonkulously long list of unanswered question," includes questions that are answered in the rulebook (not saying eveything is eady to find, but some of that answers are there),


It's been a while since I read the rules and since my two readings of them didn't turn out to be very productive, I'm probably not going to go back through and cross-reference every question I asked with the rulebook, trying to confirm it wasn't specifically addressed. So, I'll just offer apologies to the designers if I asked already-covered questions and note that to the best of my knowledge, only one question I asked was covered in the rules (and when asking that question, I specifically said "I think this is covered in the rules, but just so I'm 100% clear...")

Quote:
For instance, going outside the house to fire back into the house with a weapon that cannot be used inside the house. It's a bit of to stretch to expect the rules to cover that.


Not really. That exact situation came up multiple times in our game. Therematically, it doesn't seem to make much sense to do that, but the game has a lot of abstractions, so I don't think I'm ready to make any unofficial rules based on thematics alone. Depending on the answers to several other unanswered questions (can you enter/exit the house via windows, can you stand on the same outside space as a zombie without fighting that specific zombie, etc.), the answer to this question could be anything from "It's a smart, strategic play" to "That's against the rules" to "That's a moot point since you can't climb out the darn window in th first place."

 
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Mark
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jda1974 wrote:
Quote:
TCI rules style is to tell you what you can do, NOT what you can't do.


I'm just not following what you're saying. Can you give an example or two of this in action?


Leaving the house for any other reason, except going to town, or H2H fighting would be an example, IMHO. The rules tell you persons can leave the house in those two examples, with explanations. They don’t tell you can't leave the house for other reasons, but they don't tell you that you can. Heck, maybe they do, but I didn’t see another example. If they do, it will be specific.

I’m not saying it’s wrong to assume you can leave the house to shoot a gun back into the house that you cannot shoot while in the house. But, assuming you can unless told you cannot is generally not a good idea with TCI games (and sometimes other manufactures, too).
Leaving the house for any other reason, except going to town, or H2H fighting would be an example, IMHO. The rules tell you persons can leave the house in those two examples, with explanations. They don’t tell you can't leave the house for other reasons, but they don't tell you that you can. Heck, maybe they do, but I didn’t see another example. If they do, it will be specific.

I just haven’t had another chance to play Zombie Survival, but the few turns I did play went OK. I’ve been playing a few games of the new Resident Evil: The Deck building Game. Compared to Zombie Survival, I found those rules incomplete, confusing, poorly written and poorly organized. I’m not condemning that game, but those are bad rules, when after multiple readings and a few games it was still difficult to figure out what you are supposed to be doing. I get it now, but, Zombie Survival is easy compared to those rules.
 
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