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Subject: Rules opinon. rss

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How to start? Maybe by the rules.

The first thing that I look when I see a PnP game it's the rules. Why? Because if there is something about a game, it have to be there.
Mall of the dead (this name has to go, but that's other post) MOTD (for now on) isn't an exception.
And what a confusion rules... Some basic concepts are missing, making totally unreadable.
So, to start, lets correct the basic on manual, making it more user friendly.
- Page time: put numbers on pages.
- Put numbered titles, and give then a very distinctive mode (different font, underline, bold and way bigger font, something like that)
- Index and some type of concept locator (don't now how it call in English, but its a place where you put a concept alphabetical organized pointing to a page where the description is. Something like: run (action) …... 4).
- Put a initial page where: Name of the game, version ( I suggest a yyyymmdd) a small intro about intends, your name, some thanks and other stuff needed. Example: Mall Of The Dead, 20130419, beta testing with redesign manual, Made by: Ultracheng, Thanks to: BBG.
- Cards icons are to agglomerated to be readable. And put a card there with some examples.
- Items are the opposite of card icons. You can do 2 things, concentrate them a lot, or just add a line explaining each one. Page 2, by the way.
- Items also before setup, in components please.
- character chits... Did you notice that in components you didn't mention any chits? You mention bases ( that PnP players can or not have... but you forget chits)
- Explain the concepts, explain the letters, explain everything. Make small areas where simple things are made clear, without having to see the full picture. Drm I didn't find anywhere explained.
- lots of concepts aren't well explained.
After apply this it would become more readable, and then better help can be offered.

Next, time to cut, way to many things needed with no real valor.

Remember DRY and KISS.
Don't Repeat Youself.
Keep It Simple Simple (small adaptation...)
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David Cheng
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Thanks for the feedback on the rules. I know the rules are confusing like a mess. That's why I created another thread for questions on the rules. I didn't expect the rules are "totally unreadable". I will try to make a better format in next edition.

I'm sorry to tell that I'm not quite familiar with MS words - I don't even know where to add page numbers.

I think I already used bigger fonts & different color to make titles distinctive. Is it neccessary to use way bigger fonts & numbered titles?

I see the point of adding idex but the rules is a kind of first draft. I'm sure I will add/delete rules here & there later on, so I don't want to add index yet until all rules are finalized after more playtestings.

I will try to add version date & descriptions later. I prefer to type credits at the end. Thanks for reminding me to credit BGG. I will credit you too if you want.

I see the point of adding card examples. I will do that in next version.

I don't understand adding line to explain items. Are the item explanations not clear enough?

I see I didn't use separate title to introduce character chits. They are indeed included in the component list. The two sheets of counters include character chits, item chits & game markers.

Yes I know I need to add more examples & notes to explain the rules better. But with limted time & limited language ability, that's what I can do now with minimal pages. If the player has all cards, chits & markers printed by his side, I'm sure he can get a better picture than just reading the rules.

I'm sorry if any conceptions are not well explained. Pls point them out & I will try to explain them better.

I already cut many things before making this rules. Pls advise what else I should cut. Do you think the core mechanic too complex, fiddly or what? I don't want over-complex games too. If any rules you think not neccessary, pls tell me & I may put them under optional rules.

 
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Quote:
Thanks for the feedback on the rules. I know the rules are confusing like a mess. That's why I created another thread for questions on the rules. I didn't expect the rules are "totally unreadable". I will try to make a better format in next edition.

I'm sorry to tell that I'm not quite familiar with MS words - I don't even know where to add page numbers.

Why don't you use something more familiar to you? Anyway, double click on the upper part or the lower part to write there and then insert on the menu and choose page number.

Quote:
I think I already used bigger fonts & different color to make titles distinctive. Is it neccessary to use way bigger fonts & numbered titles?

Yep, first, remember the poor guys that don't have a color printer (like me) and pnp games first in black and white. Second, numbering make possible grouping, example: 1- Intro, 2-Components, 2.1 – Components of the game, 2.1.1 – The map board, 2.1.2 – The cards...
Or, 2.1 – Component list, 3.1 – Components in the gameplay, 3.1.1 the map board.
This is used like: “do I have all the components?” or “where are this symbol explained”, as the manual get bigger, it's easy to spot areas by numbering, if number 3 means components description, if I get a 2 or a 4 toppic I know that I'm already miss it.
Also, helps to immediately check consistency, example: “Stock item pool: pick the “ on page 2, its a tittle, or not, some are alone, some have text, if it had a number, it would be easy.

Quote:
I see the point of adding index but the rules is a kind of first draft. I'm sure I will add/delete rules here & there later on, so I don't want to add index yet until all rules are finalized after more playtestings.

Yes You do... The only way to keep things nice and controlled it's having a good structure, or you will end writing the same thing over again in different places and eventually correcting only in one side, making huge loops. And when you are playing along, you can fix it, when people are playing it in other part of the world, nobody can wait until you come around BGG to clear it out. And if its a draft, great, start by the bones, I know that meat and skin look better, but are the bones that make it stand. Do the index, do the areas, design the manual as a base for any game development. Then fill the doc with MOTD.

Quote:
I will try to add version date & descriptions later. I prefer to type credits at the end. Thanks for reminding me to credit BGG. I will credit you too if you want.

At this phase, write everything on the first page, this isn't about the final manual, its about having a pile of manual version, stapled and easy check if nothing is miss from one version to other.

Quote:
I see the point of adding card examples. I will do that in next version.

Very need it. It brings two things: catch the eye of possible players, and easy learning curve.

Quote:
I don't understand adding line to explain items. Are the item explanations not clear enough?

I wasn't talking about adding line, I just said that you use a lot of space to present items, and you should reduce it, like card icons, or, add a line explaining ( I assume that you leave the space because you want the space for some explanation, I assumed wrong)

Quote:
I see I didn't use separate title to introduce character chits. They are indeed included in the component list. The two sheets of counters include character chits, item chits & game markers.

Ok, not clear enough, I assume that that two sheets of counters as some type of player aid.
Components area should be about final components. Maybe adding a list of pre assembled needs. Something like: “Required resources to assemble MOTD: Maps, you can get it on http://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/89733/maps-v1-2

Quote:
Yes I know I need to add more examples & notes to explain the rules better. But with limited time & limited language ability, that's what I can do now with minimal pages. If the player has all cards, chits & markers printed by his side, I'm sure he can get a better picture than just reading the rules.

I quite understand you, but you have to see that the player has limited time & limited language ability to. Every day, PnP hobbyist designers publish in the BGG tons of good games. Nobody as time, and resources to check them out, with luck, some get the rules read and a few players come along. Most of the times, I give a quick read of the rules, and if they catch something shinny, I will print or download the rules to read it in some break I take. Then if they really work, I can actually print the all game in black and white and try it out. You can't count that people would assemble the game to figure it out. If there isn't a picture when a person read the rules, it would not exists ever.

Quote:
I'm sorry if any conceptions are not well explained. Pls point them out & I will try to explain them better.

Work in a more user friendly manual, and then we see about it. Because, if it isn't in the manual, it should. I will avoid the need of call for the designer syndrome. So, get the breaks to work manual a lot.

Quote:
I already cut many things before making this rules. Pls advise what else I should cut. Do you think the core mechanic too complex, fiddly or what? I don't want over-complex games too. If any rules you think not neccessary, pls tell me & I may put them under optional rules.

Not that phase yet, when I talk about cut, is about reducing the needs without need.
But I already started writing that.
 
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David Cheng
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Rules v1.1 is up. I revised a few rules & did some improvement as suggested. Pls take a look to see if it's better now.
 
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The manual looks much nicer now.

My first doubts:

Page 4: “Set-up” I think its Setup
Page 4: what do you mean by “sort all range / melee weapons cards” ?

Page 4: “Each player draws two character cards (orange heading)” random or player can choose?

Page 4: “Staring”, Probably Starting.

Page 5: “Player may place chits faced down in any unoccupied rooms of the rolled number regardless of die colour.” This mean player can’t see the item?

Page 7: “DR5– Weapon breaks. The first player chooses to remove one weapon from any character.” A bit confuse, remove from a first player character or can first player choose to remove from any player?


My suggestions:

Page 5: Oldest player gets the first player token – by experience, some groups play often the same game, and some random start should be achieved. In my ‘common’ group I’m the 3th youngest, so I would never go first ( any case, I don’t think I ever be able to play zombie games with my wife).

Page 6: “each player takes two actions” can make some confusion, I suggest each player takes one action” and then:
- Aimed shoot - shoot with +1 drm
- Shoot on the move - move, then shoot
- Run - Move + 1d6
- Pray – For each “6” is rolled, move one zombie two spaces
- Search – draw one chit for each character in a shop
- Barricade - build one barricade for each “4-6” isrolled- Aim & shoot - shoot with +1 drm

Page 6: - Pray – For each “6” is rolled, move one zombie two spaces. Pray it’s too religious and you have cultist, can you make it “decoy”.


I read the rules several times now and I already have a general idea.
I stopped analysing at page 8, hope to continue this weekend.
 
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First, thanks for pointing out some typos.

P4) I meant to separate melee & range weapon cards into two decks.
P4) Draw or pick? Either way. I guess most players like to pick characters they like. My prefered rule is :
- distribute the 12 cards to players evenly at random (4 cards for 3 players, 3 cards for 4 players, 2 cards for 5/6 players)
- each player picks two cards & discards remaining cards. (no choice for 5/6 players)
P5) Player can see the chits before they place them.
P7) The first player can choose to remove weapon from ANY team.
P5) There is no obvious advantage for first player in this game, so any method to determine the first player on first turn is fine.
P6) I meant each player can take any two of the below actions. The two actions can be same or different.
P6) I don't see the problem of "praying". The target of praying can be from any religion. You can see this action as a simple way of relying on "luck" when people are desperate.

I will update the rules soon.
 
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Continuing:

Doubts:

Page 6: “A character with range weapon may choose to back up instead of drawing chit. Any surprise attacks from enemies are cancelled if back-up is done.” Do you mean a character can be on guard? So if you put one character on guard, other character can search avoiding surprise attack? And if so, when the backup concept ends? When a surprise is made, or after one search?

Page 6: Actions - Move & Attack: It looks like a player to make a melee attack as to move, it only English, but I would rephrase it like: Move and/or Attack: The team may stand or move a number of spaces up to the lowest speed rating in the team. After that a ranged or melee attack could be made.

Page 7: DR2 - replace “shop/room is empty” by “shop/room isn’t occupied” (English speaking people, help here, I have doubts about using “isn’t occupied “or “is unoccupied”, which is best?). At first glimpse empty could be understood as without characters/enemies/tokens/fire.

Page 7: DR3 – It seemed to me that is possible to have zombies and cultist on the same room. Something like: character and zombies on a room, event phase, DR3, resolve attack, player move out, cultist and zombies living together?

Page 10: Enemy Attack: Missing some target preferences, what happen if characters draw for health? Also it’s not clear HP refers to the total or the actual remaining HP.

Page 12: “Each character in a room may draw one chit from the room.” , This mean I can choose any chits I can remember? Imagine I have 2 characters and enter a room whit 3 chits, I know one is a goal I don’t need, so I pick the other two, it’s that the way to play it.

My suggestions:

General: I don’t find a disengage action (when you are in a fight, you should make some test to run away from it). It meant to be that way or did I miss something?

Page 6 and 8: Action Move & Attack and Enemy Phase: I think you could put an noise marker in each melee attack occurred.

Page 7: DR11– replaces Sniper by “The first player chooses one team in the corridor, two crawling torso zombies rushes from the dark inflicting two wounds to the slowest character in the team” and you can go the extra mile by making the slowest character make a speed test.

Page 10: Enemy Attack: I would like to see some zombie infection, something like “If a zombie enemy make more than 1 wound and the character as no infection, add an infection marker.

Reviewed reviews:

P6) I meant each player can take any two of the below actions. The two actions can be same or different.
Totally miss that one, I miss understood. So I can make 2 aimed shots or move shot, move shot?


Hope next post be the last.
Then preparing to play.
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Page 6: one back-up character can cancel all surprise attacks from that search. For exmaple you have two characters searching & one for back-up. So you draw two chits in that room. Reveal the two chits at the same time. Pls note revealing both chits is considered ONE search action, not two. If both chits are enemies with surprise attack, you can avoid both surprise attacks. Let say you still have one action left, you may take another search action if you want.

Page 7: DR2 - yes "unoccupied" is a better word.

Page 7: DR3 - yes cultist & zombies may be in same room. If you played the game Dead Rising, you know this happanes a lot. Beside event DR3, you may have zombie/cultist/terrorist in same room from searching result. Thanks for pointing this out. Now I will add new rules for enemy vs enemy combat if different enemy types are in same room. Boss(unique enemy) will kill generic enemy. If both are in same tier, zombies will kill cultists & cultists will kill terrorists while terrorists will kill zombies. Enemy vs enemy combats are resolved in enemy phase BEFORE they attack the human team. What do you think?

Page 10: Enemy Attack: Player may choose which character to be attacked if there is a draw. Least HP means remaining HP.

Page 12: Yes, if you can remember which is the chit you placed. Pls note other players can also place chits in same room.

If there are enemies in the same space/room with your team at the start of your action phase, you need to make an evasion check to leave the space/room. If you fail, you spent one action & get one wound to the slowest character. You can try to disengage in your action phase as above but NOT in enemy attack phase. I would like to use a new way for evasion check. Roll one die, less number of enemies in the space & add speed value of slowest character in the team. If the adjusted result is 5 or more, a successful evasion is made.

If you played Zombicide, you know melee weapons won't make noise. Anyway, I'm thinking of removing all nosie markers as the functions are not that effective. What do you think?

Page 7: DR11 - May I know why you want to replace the sniper attack event by this?

Page 10: Enemy Attack: Thanks for the suggestion. Now I choose some zombies with infection effect after attacking. You will see the infection icon on certain zombie types in the revised enemy cards (v1.3)

Yes, you can take two actions of any kinds. The actions can be same or not. For example, if there are four chits in a room but you have only two characters. You may make two search actions (one by one) to get all four chits. However if you found enemy in the first search, you may reconsider to use the second action to finish that enemy or move out of the room (evasion check needed).

TIPs : after the second playtesting, I recommend to draw four chits per player in drawing phase instead of three. This may speed up the game a lot. I will also cut down the number of enemy spawned in the first few turns. What do you think?

Rules v1.2 is up.


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