Poorly written published rules can ruin a tabletop game. Rules/design documents may be the hardest part of game design.
If you're doing it right, one of the hardest parts of game design is writing clear rules. If you mess it up, your game will be a dud, no matter how good the actual game is - because it won't be played correctly. How to write rules varies with your audience - of course. Polish the rules as you playtest.
If you're designing a video game for other people to produce (program, art, sound, etc.) then you have to write very clear game design documents if you want things to work as you envision.
This course is primarily about writing formal rules for games, usually tabletop games, but writing a game design document requires similar skills, as it must explicitly describe every possible interaction between player(s) and machine.
A other great course from Dr. Lewis Pulsipher. This is an one of a kind course on Arbington (and the internet) about how to write rules for tabletop (board) games. All the do's and don'ts are discussed and more. From this course you will get some great tips if your planning to make a tabletop game your self. Highly recommend to watch. The teacher talks very clear and is easy to follow.
Recommendation (from email to me):
"Last year I entered one of my games in the international Hippodice boardgame competition in Germany. Unfortunately I didn't make it to the final but did make it through to the first 33 (out 150) which meant it was playtested.
They were so good as to give me some test results feedback a few months later. One of the most positive points was with regard to the rules!
So I just wanted to thank you because by following your rules course, I picked up many things which improved the rulebook before I sent it off. Now I just need to use their feedback to improve the game some more - its overall score was good just not good enough for the final!"
Mark BethellWho this course is for: