DAY 3: How Do We Play Your Game?

Today we’re going to write the rules to your game. As the designer, you may think that you know the game inside and out. But trust me, you’ll be consulting the rule book just as much as the players. Players and playtesters will constantly break your game (at first), and being able to see the rules will prove invaluable. Let’s look at our list of


Organization is key to explaining your rules. Start spouting rules at a potential player without it and just watch as their eyes glaze over. Let’s think about some of the ways in which professional game designers break their games up:

  1. Board Setup – What do I need to do in order to start playing?
  2. Components – We’re building this with very basic components, so tell us, what is that pile of coins? That red button? The little army man?
  3. Objective – How do the players win?
  4. Player Options – What can the players do? In what order? How do they do “it”?
  5. Special Terminology – Symbols, special vocabulary, etc.

What order do you think works best for you? Below, list the different sections your rule book will have. Then, begin filling out each section with specific steps, actions, vocabulary, etc. that your players will need to know.


You may do this two ways:

  1. Game Structure – This is a free online game design tool. Remember, you’ll need an email address. Ask your parent’s permission first.
  2.  Physical method РStart writing, typing, cutting, and coloring. Let me know if you need help.