Monday, April 12, 2010

Player Aids

One of the best resource on BoardGameGeek has to be the abundance of player aid's. As soon as pickup a new game I will always have a shift to look for any player aids that are going to help. Sometimes these player made files are invaluable, the recent player aid for Ghost Stories helped by putting all of the icons and symbols onto a single sheet. These were printed and laminated and have proved invaluable.

So why don't publishers put decent player aids in the box to start with? I recently played Twilight Struggle, one of my favorite games. The player aids that come with it are ok, but no exactly inspiring and certainly don't convey enough information. It was half way through the game before I remembered that coup's in battleground countries reduce the defcon level. Oops!

For me a player aid needs to have all the key points on a single sheet, with maybe a second sheet if cards or buildings need explaining or summarizing. The player aid should be colourful, with different areas marked out, not just a black and white sheet of paper.

Some publishers, you know who they are seem to have a thing about stopping player aids. I understand copyright, but if its something that's going to help get you game played and sold then surely there should be no issue in allowing players to create and share there work. Personally I think great player aids should be incorporated into reprints with the designer acknowledged.

Maybe next time my commrades should have one of these.


Eric Franklin said...

Some publishers DO use BGG aids - ScottE made reference cards for Neuroshima Hex that were incorporated into the Z-Man Games version of the game.

Count Zero said...

I didn't know that, but it's the kind of think I would expect from Zev.