Hello again everyone! Susan here and today I'm going to be talking about the number of pages in your rulebook.
Have you ever sat down to play a game only to see a 40 page rulebook in front of you and then put it away realizing you'd need to have special time to set aside to learn and play? I bet you have. Worse may be when you open the rulebook and realize the game wasn't that difficult to learn at all, things were just formatted in such a way that it made the rulebook like it had much more information to digest in it then there really was.
Capps was recently went through a 50 page rulebook in an edit. Yes you read right, 50 pages! The game wasn't near as complicated as this amount of rules suggested either as we was able to cut it down to 25 pages total. While that is still large it's definitely a lot better then what he had in front of him originally and it is what inspired me to write this article.
Now I've already mentioned the psychological benefit to smaller rulebooks, they look easier to learn. That can encourage new players to dive in and learn the game without feeling intimidated. There are other good reasons as well though, even if you cut off 2 extra pages your production costs for a game go down that much. It may only seem like a few pennies, but that that up over a large print run and you may seriously save yourself hundreds of dollars.
Besides when you are looking to cut your rules down you are doing great things for your game design. You might find a fuzzy rule that need clarifying or could just be changed to something better, notice some of that chrome you added to the game just makes the game more complex then fun, and overall see what your game needs and doesn't need. Plus Capps has already gone through many rulebooks that forgot to mention a special scenario that could come up all together and he noticed it just by giving the rules a through look.
So when you go to write your rulebook, remember to keep things clear and concise, because shorter in this case is always better. Untl