thread: 2014-07-19 : Aside: Designing a Bell Curve

On 2014-07-22, Moreno R. wrote:

@Vincent: as you implied in your last comment, most Indie games are really terrible in telling people the object of the game (and not only that: often the procedures are badly explained, too). And the traditional rpgs are not better (they are arguably worse).
They compensated this by having the creator of the game on hand to answer question in the forums.  So having "you played the game wrong" in most of the discussion was not a cultural bias, it was factual reality. (for many games, I tell people "read the manual... and these 35 forum threads I compiled for you in this list", because these forum threads contains a lot of things that should have been in the manual in the first place)

It's easy to see what happened usually to games where the creator did not reply in the forums: these games disappeared, even if they had a very good start (and even if they were good games, only badly explained). People didn't know how to play them and gave up.

You say that a designer has nothing to learn from people who played the game wrong: I think that this would be true in the idealized situation where your game manual achieve total clear communication to every reader. In a real situation,  with real manuals, reading about people playing your game wrong teach you to write better manual next time (or at least, what to write in the second edition)  :-)


This makes JMW go "this way of thinking gives a better scapegoat too;"
don't blame the players, blame the manual

This makes Ich go "Yes! Second edition rulebooks would be a good thing!"

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