Writing and Testing "Learn to Play" Rules

As PacifiCon Protospiel approaches this Labor Day weekend, Brendan and I have been busy creating our first "Learn to Play" (LTP) version of the game, intended for:

  • Fast 15-30 min demos that we can give at conventions and events, and
  • A single sheet version of the rules that teaches new players who eventually buys the game and want to learn the basics quickly.

With that in mind, we had to decide what we want in this version of the rules.  The "Learn to Play" (LTP) should:

  • Teach the most basic mechanics of the game, like movement and attacks.
  • Show off the unique aspects of the game compared to other minis games - in our case, the ability to do multiple abilities/damage in each attack, the "Luck" mechanic, and the 3rd party AI (CyMS/Crazies).
  • Show off the diversity of the characters and one key ability they have.

As an example, we created 2 LTP versions of our characters from the Survivalists and Peacekeepers specifically for this purpose.  Compare the full version of Seeker from the Survivalists:

Seeker Full Card.png

To the LTP Version:

Seeker LTP Card.png

Pretty big difference eh? 

We just tested the LTP rules tonight with my roommate (who doesn't play minis games) and the draft version seems to achieve what we set out to do, with some tweaks (that's why you always TEST TEST TEST!).  That was extremely encouraging and we hope to test and polish this LTP version at PacifiCon Protospiel a lot more this Labor Day Weekend!

If you're a game player, do you like it when games have a Learn to Play version for you to "get your feet wet"?  Or do you like to dive into the full game immediately?

If you're a designer, do you have a LTP version of your game?