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Subject: Adding video links to your rules... rss

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monchi
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I think that I may have brought this up before, but I feel that the time is right to see about bringing it up again. One thing that a lot of designers and gamers struggle with is rules, designers writing them and gamers understanding them. A little while back I caught a video for a war game that had in bedded QR Codes into the rule book. They used these QR Codes to help explain the more complex rules in the game.

I thought this was a brilliant idea and one that I think the hobby should really look to embrace on a whole. I am not suggesting a full tutorial on how to play the game, but instead videos that help explain the more complex rules or the rules that are hard to explain in words and diagrams.

In many instances the easiest way to teach people the rules to games is to set up the game and show people examples of turns or specific rules. Having to set up examples or playing a practice round can be a pain in the ass. Many games have examples printed in the rules which can often be hard to follow, this could be solved by a video. It could also reduce the size of the rule books.

I know I am making a generalization here but I think that most gamers have some kind of device that is within reach of the place they are playing. Be it a smartphone, tablet, laptop....so it seems that adding this kind of thing to the rules of a game would be a massive success.

I am curious as to people's thoughts on this.
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J Holmes
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As long as it enhances the rules instead of replacing the rules its a reasonable idea.

Most replies you'll get include "it needs to be in the box when I buy it" "Websites arent always stable" and the like.

Keep in mind, making videos requires more from publishers et al.
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Rich Shipley
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A website with updated rules and FAQs is great. PDFs are best so I can print them out and put them in the box. I'm not generally interested in anything that requires a tech device when playing a boardgame.
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monchi
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ya it would be to enhance not replace. It would be more to address the confusing rules that come up. So many times rules are being translated into different languages and as a result they don't always make total sense.
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Patrick Brennan
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My view ... if it's not in the rules, it doesn't exist. If your rules aren't capturing it well, find a better editor!
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Dean Glencross
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PBrennan wrote:
My view ... if it's not in the rules, it doesn't exist. If your rules aren't capturing it well, find a better editor!


Except that different people learn in different ways. I have had very few problems with reading rules, even for games a lot of people find horrible (Fantasy Flight for example) but showing in a video can be more effective in many cases.

As long as the rules explain everything to the best of their ability, then having an extra demonstration of how exactly it should work is a good idea.
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Brook Gentlestream
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monchichi wrote:
I know I am making a generalization here but I think that most gamers have some kind of device that is within reach of the place they are playing. Be it a smartphone, tablet, laptop....so it seems that adding this kind of thing to the rules of a game would be a massive success.


I find it annoying when publishers put weblinks in their rulebooks, because the simple fact is the game may outlast the website. This is more of a problem in rpgs than board games, but if I like something, I might keep it for years whereas a publisher has to decide whether to continue paying for a website year after year, or whether to keep the organization of the website the same.

I'd rather it just point out that additional content may be available on the publisher's website, and then use the website to post additional content for your games, rather than share the links directly in the rulebook. This gives you more flexibility and doesn't annoy me with a rulebook of dead links five years from now.
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Patrick Brennan
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My point was more that the rules are all that a player *should* need. Adding videos to help with learning can be a great support aid, but things outside the box should never be *needed* to understand the game. And therefore the rules should be where the primary effort goes, not video aids.
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Albert Hernandez
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If I'm Going Down... did exactly this. I thought it was a nice touch. To me, it shows the publisher is interested in more than just making money. It shows that they really want to make sure the game is enjoyed.
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Joe McDaid
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To me there's 0 reason not to do both. People learn in different ways. Some can get it only by reading, some can pick it up from a video explanation, others need to play a few times before they really get it.

The important thing is to make sure it's clear and consistent in each format. If in the rule book it says you need a 4+ to hit, and in your video demonstration you're hitting on 3+, there's now confusion, so you have to make sure everything's solid in that regard.

Now admittedly I have a background in video production so I'm biased in this area, but done well, videos are faster to learn from. Because a rule book has to go over all the small details of things you can and can't do, a concise video can get people started in the right direction and would only need to reference the rule book when anomalies comes up.

The other reason I think it's nice is that you can't ask a video a question and it never forgets details. When explaining games I'm always getting interrupted with questions and I always forget a detail or two, so to play a video from my phone would probably be a lot quicker..:3
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J Holmes
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Jice wrote:
To me there's 0 reason not to do both. People learn in different ways.


I learn best when a really hot chick demonstrates the game.
How many publishers will be sending out hooters models to provide aftersales support?
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Joe McDaid
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Someone's never heard of booth babes..:3
 
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Barry Hood
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qiagen wrote:
Jice wrote:
To me there's 0 reason not to do both. People learn in different ways. Some can get it only by reading, some can pick it up from a video explanation, others need to play a few times before they really get it.


I think this hits the nail on the head.

While videos may be of use to some, I really need a well-laid out rulebook to comprehend a game. I'm notoriously poor at following other people's instructions (slight panic attacks set in, which kills my attention span), and this applies to videos as well - I'd be forced to watch it repeatedly.

With a rulebook, I can sit down and absorb all the nuances of the game at my leisure.


Ditto. I especially find FFG rules an issue (they're usually overly verbose and the information is split up and spread around in unexpected ways). So much so that I was actually dreading reading the rules for X-Wing, but then I watched their rules video first and just visualising it in that way made reading and understanding the rules a breeze.

In this day and age this should be a go-to tool for any game publisher. You don't always need the polish of the FFG video, just a clear explanation with some gameplay examples can really enhance the experience.
 
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gavin lalor
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I think an online video is a great idea because it allows context to be demonstrated. There are several games where I have not understood a rule because it was either developed in another language and then translated using babel into English (sorry, foolish white Australian here who's only other language is Westie), or there are too many odd situations that can come up as the end result of 30 different plays in the game.

As someone developing a game I am quite keen to put up videos on the website. I see this as a way to give more of an understanding to my customers, to be able to clarify things that aren't clear, and to build the profile of my game and games company.

The main use I have had for BGG over the last 5 years has in fact been rule clarifications. If I can provide a one-stop shop where people can clarify rules, suggest rules, and request updates/changes I believe it will only enhance the experience of the kind folk who have bought my game.

And seriously, play testing should be thorough, and I expect rule writing to go through many iterations before publishing, but the reality is there is neither enough time to play test for every eventuality, nor do people want an almanack for a 20 minute game so publishing every situation is not practical.
 
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Killa Mini's
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j_holmes wrote:
Jice wrote:
To me there's 0 reason not to do both. People learn in different ways.


I learn best when a really hot chick demonstrates the game.
How many publishers will be sending out hooters models to provide aftersales support?


A game that has to do this insults my intelligence. While I enjoy eye candy, I don't believe in this approach.
 
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J Holmes
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Jice wrote:
Someone's never heard of booth babes..:3

They'd be fine as well as long as they bring Buffalo Wings with them.
 
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