Theory: Advice for Writing Rules

One of the best ways to find and resolve weaknesses in a design is to write the rules early–but what should those rules actually look like? Ryan Macklin’s recent post answers that question brilliantly. It inspired me to go back through Lines of Questioning’s rulebook, making sure I used the second person and the active voice.

If you haven’t read it previously, I also recommend Jay Treat’s post on making good rules. It is perhaps more about overall game design than the specific topic of how the sentences in the rulebook should read, but as the comments point out, those two issues overlap a great deal.

For my own part, I would just add that it’s critically important to explain how the game starts. Experienced boardgamers know to begin playing by starting the turn sequence; that’s not necessarily intuitive for those new to the field.


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