Orendao’s Rulebook Edited
We’ve had a playable ruleset since August 2018. None of it was written down.
Capturing the ruleset was it’s own feat. It mostly involved playing several games, usually with new players, at about 1/10th normal speed and writing down everything you were explaining.
A bit like pulling your own teeth. ODAO Sketch Rules 001_edited.jpg ODAO Sketch Rules 002.jpg ODAO Sketch Rules 003.jpg ODAO Sketch Rules 004.jpg ODAO Sketch Rules 001_edited.jpgODAO Sketch Rules 002.jpgODAO Sketch Rules 003.jpgODAO Sketch Rules 004.jpg
From there we were able to transcribe the rules into a functioning document.
We managed. We’ve had a “stable, documented” ruleset since August 2019. With a ruleset in hand we knew it needed editing, and we knew who we wanted to have edit it. Chloe
In September 2019 we reached out to long time collaborator Chloe B. “Long time” means since before Orendao had a name, or mechanics. ChloeB.jpeg
Chloe has the intimidating ability to hear a “unique” (to you) idea, and not only understands where you’re coming from, but can classify the idea.
Chloe was around for the very first conversations and paper-cut-out experiments, and has been a key advisor along critical points in Orendao’s development.
Attempting to make a game, you quickly realize, anyone can criticize an idea without taking the time to understand it. And you quickly learn to take this in stride. (Or you stop making games.) Chloe, on the other hand, has the intimidating ability to hear a “unique” (to you) idea, and not only understand where you’re coming from, but can classify the idea…
… And tell you it’s history. … Applications. … Strengths. … Weaknesses. … And probably list some alternatives. … Oh, and here’s a site, and a couple books, and list of videos where you can learn more about it…
A lot of late nights and long afternoons were spent imagining and arguing about what an ideal game would look like.
She was a natural fit as the editor.
But, knowing Chloe, she was likely involved in several projects, running regular gaming groups, and attending college. Besides that, while the rulebook was “complete”, it was still pretty chaotic. The challenge: Rulebook vs. Guidebook
At a high level, the Achilles heel of the of documenting Orendao’s rules was this: we kept straddling guidebook and rulebook. Never able to settle.
A rulebook is, at the end of the day, a technically complete manual. A trusted resource. The single source of truth. A guidebook is focused on learning and accessibility. Helping players play. Helping teacher’s teach.
Whenever it came down to describing something there was always unresolved tension between being technically accurate and inscrutable to the ley reader, or being accessible but technically incomplete.
The result was a fragmented, indecisive, document.
And the week her full-stack semester began Chloe took it on. Making sure to couch it between that, and an rpg marathon she was running. odao-orendao-rules-cover.jpg The Rulebook
The edits settled firmly in favor of rulebook. This was a massive relief.
From big structural adjustments to tiny details: nit-picky grammar, spelling, style. Vague became concrete. Redundancy eliminated. Concepts grouped and ordered logically. In a word, the rulebook is precise. If you have a question, it will get answered.
Since the initial edits we’ve continued refining based on the solid foundation Chloe set up.
If you’re looking to have your game reviewed, edited, advised on, or you want some obscure fact about linguistics you can contact Chloe.
So, what’s next? Here’s a snapshot of the outline. Next?
Next is Diagrams for the rulebook, then Beta Testing in the Wild…