Writing a rulebook is one of the hardest aspects of game design. Teaching a game in person is one thing, but creating a comprehensive document that anyone can sit down with to learn a game is a very daunting prospect. Enter Rulebook Cookbook. This series will guide you through this difficult process one step at a time.
The next two episodes of Rulebook Cookbook take us beyond the introductory material we have covered (Thematic Introductions and Game Overview) and into the bits and pieces of the game, namely Components and Setup.
In this week’s rulebook cookbook, Dusty walks us through our first steps beyond the theme and into the game overview. He looks at games like Mice & Mystics and Lords of the Waterdeep to help you write better overviews.
For most people board games are an escape from the grind of everyday life. Through them they can enter fantastic realms and inhabit diverse personas. Even the most hardcore cube-pusher likely prefers a colorfully fleshed out game world to a monochromatic abstraction. One of the first places players begin to taste the flavor of a game after opening the box is the cover and opening pages of the rulebook. This is the perfect opportunity to entice them into the atmosphere of the game–the thematic introduction.