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Exciting Project ~ Wode Ridge

Over the past few weeks, I've had the opportunity to serve as Playtester and Editor/Proofreader for Gabe Barrett's newest title, Wode Ridge. Based on his Hunted series/system, this game pits a group of kids ala Stranger Things to find out about the peculiar occurrences taking place around their town.

As a Playtester, I've thoroughly enjoyed my games, thus far. It's difficult, as one should expect from a solo (or coop) title. It's also fast-paced, with a play-time of under 30 min.

As a Proofreader/Editor, my job is to make the words on the page as clear and cogent, as possible Additionally, I'll attempt to make the rules concise and allow the player to quickly get into the game.

Among my 2021 clients, it's been a treat playing this one and revising the rules for a better initial experience.

What exciting projects are you working on at the moment?

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Playtesting & Proofreading

It's Wed, and I've completed my third playtest and have worked on the ruleset over the past few days. Here's a primer on what goes on behind the scenes at Professor's Lab...

Playtesting: Depending on the client, I'll spend a few hours to play through their game once or twice or I'll play for one-hour...not with an eye toward finishing the game, but focusing on the elements deemed important enough by the designer. In the case of Wode Ridge I did a bit of both.

I played through three complete games as each game took 25-30 minutes. In addition, I focused my attention on the Boss Fight at the end to determine if it's too strong or too weak (the Goldilocks test). While I won't share my findings here, I highly recommend that you take the time and check out Gabe's HUNTED series.

Proofreading: As a professional editor, I earn a decent living simply because many people struggle with the written word. For designers out here, I strongly suggest finding an editor if you're at all uncomfortable penning a ruleset. Some things that I find ALL the time might help you draft your initial set of rules. Here's my Top 5 list of Rules Errors:

5. Different perspectives ~ pick first or third person, but don't attempt to write both ways as you'll only confuse the reader.

4. Do not ever use acronyms! I come from a wargame background and that genre is understandably notorious for acronyms. In modern Euros, it's wholly unnecessary.

3. Numbers ~ spell them out if they are 9 (or less) and you may use the digit for 10+. I can't tell you how many times I see digits and the numbers spelled out in the same line, especially when it violates the rule (i.e. pick 2 cards and add them to your hand of five cards)

2. Use bullets or lists versus burying items in paragraphs. It makes it much cleaner and neater than a wall of text.

1. Active vs. passive voice! First, it's more concise; second, there leaves (almost) no room for error.

As JoCat (Crap Guides to D&D) would say, "and that's how you become a better rules writer...you're welcome!"

Cheers,
Joe

Components ~ Wode Ridge

Welcome back! Over the next few days (and possibly a week or so), I'll perform slightly deeper dive into the components of this title. There's a lot here to enjoy so sit back and relax as we check-out the following:

- Player Mat/Board
- Adventure Book
- Evidence Board
- Cards
- Dice & Tokens

This is been a great game to playtest and provide feedback to the designer.

Cheers,
Joe

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