The Challenge of Rules

Aside from the players themselves, the most important things in a game are the rules. The rules determine the mechanics of the game as well as the final goal and ending conditions. A well written set of rules willbe clear and concise. Ideally, the rules will also be intuitive so that they will only be needed for clarification. A poorly written set of rules, however, can be a large hindrance to an otherwise good game. If they are not clear, they are le! open to the interpretation of the players, which can lead to arguments and exploitations. The primary difficulty in writing clear rules is communicating the intent of the writer to the players. The writer has to remember to write for players that are coming into the game with no idea of how to actually play and may even have some preconceptions that need to be reinforced or corrected, depending on how similar the game is to others. Now, as the players are the most important part of a game, some groups like to change how they play a game. Adjusting, adding, or removing rules to beer emphasize the parts that they enjoy most and limit those that they dislike. These are known as house rules and help to extend the life of a game. So, the next time you play a game, give a little thanks to the people who worked hard to bring you the rules.

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