LET NO ACT BE DONE AT HAPHAZARD, NOR OTHERWISE THAN ACCORDING TO THE FINISHED RULES

Writing rules is hard. I've completed several translations (in addition to writing rules from scratch) and understand how difficult it can be to state everything clearly and succinctly. However, there are a couple of issues that seem to arise with regularity that, in my opinion, are easy to deal with:

  • Is money/victory points hidden or public?

  • Are the included components meant to be a limiting factor? (i.e. FooBar only comes with five missile tanks, can I build more than that?)

  • Is the deck of cards reshuffled once it runs out?

  • Can a player "make change" freely?

  • Is negotiation allowed/prohibited?

  • What happens in the event of a tie?

Obviously these aren't going to apply to every game and in some cases I can see the players wanting to play their own way no matter the official ruling. However, I think it's a good idea that these questions be considered when a set of rules is written. In fact, I think it would be a great help to have just such a checklist handy.

This wouldn't catch all possible omissionsómany games would have their own specific problemsóbut I'd love to see the day when such generic and common questions are already answered.

-Greg Aleknevicus

There's probably no more versatile device in games than the playing card. Besides the bewildering number of games playable with a standard 52 card western deck, there are many other decks that further increase the variety available. Ron Hale-Evans takes us on a whirlwind tour some of what's out there....

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