Posts Tagged ‘simplicity’

One page of Rules

March 28, 2009

I’ve written before about how it’s important to communicate your ideas quickly and as simply as possible, but then it was general advice, nothing specific. There was nothing to aim for and measure against.

This time I want to see commitment to something useful. Games are often too complicated to be fun. Focus on achieving simplicity by forcing yourself into a constraint. Reduce the space you have to work with and great things can be done when designing in these limitations.

Write the rules for a game in one page of A4. They can be shorter if you want, but no more. Stick to at least font size 10, 12 is better. Force yourself to be clear and concise.

I’m thinking of ideas that can be encapsulated fully within a few hundred words and a couple of pictures, why don’t you try the same, and see where it takes you?



November 16, 2008

I know I’ve talked before about simplicity and complexity, but it’s so important to get right, that I thought I’d talk about it again.

It is vital to strive for simplicity where you can, saving the complexity for places that it is required to make the game unique. Try to design your playing pieces and boards with an eye to conveying the information required, without confusing or obfuscating it. It’s most important with pieces to make sure they can be easily told apart, especially when viewed over the distance of a table, and from unusual angles.

Make sure your rules are simple where possible, and also easy to read. Avoid over-designing, an especially avoid noisy backgrounds on your pages. Make the important rules bold, or stand out in some other way, and don’t mix them in with the explanations.

Don’t use more words than you need. Simple sentences with few clauses are easier to read, and easier to understand. Split everything up, well spaced text is easier than long dense paragraphs.

The simpler your game is, the more likely people will play it. The easier your pieces are to understand, the more likely people will play. The easier to learn the rules, the more likely people will play. Save complexity for where it is required, and strive for simplicity wherever you can.