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Take area control and piece taking to a whole new level. No jumping... No king this or king that... Just Dominance!

It is the 21st Century and past time for you to play a new kind of game with your friends and family. Dominance is easy for younger players to learn, fast paced (giving you the chance to play best out of three in one night), but still intense enough to challenge competitive adults.



Instead of relying on designers...

I know you are looking for feedback for your rulebook. Now while asking fellow designers to have a look is good - I have a better solution for you:

"The Game Crafter (TGC) - SANITY TEST!"

It cost $30 USD and a rules writer will review you rulebook. And then you will be scored in ALL KINDS of categories with comments on how to IMPROVE your score in that specific category.

Some categories are specific to TGC, entitled "Shop Presentation" which includes things like wallpaper, ad, logo, preview images, video, etc. And that is 20 points out of 100. So you can ignore those and try to score 70/100 points.

There are fourteen (14) categories for the rulebook and total 80 points. I got 55/80... After having the rulebook reviewed THREE (3) times.

So it cost me $90 USD and a lot of patience in revising the format to one more accepted by gamers. Don't worry, the reviewer will tell you what format to follow - and once you accept the criticism, you'll be better off. They'll get your rulebook to be more STANDARD and following the de-facto format.

For example, the Victory Conditions should be one of the FIRST sections of the rulebook. People want to know: "What am I trying to do in this game?" Originally I had this on Page 20, because I was following a natural order. That was WRONG! I corrected it - and it took some getting used to - but now my rulebook is much better.

Enough said - spend a few bucks and get a REAL DEAL of a good service from TGC.

Note: All you need is a TGC account and upload the document in a PDF format. You'll also need to setup a temporary game in their system to be able to upload the PDF.

I HIGHLY recommend it. You'll get feedback in all 14 categories. And as you work and revise your rulebook, you'll be scored on improvements and things that can make it better will be listed.

Here is a URL to MY sanity results: Tradewars - Homeworld: General Release

Please note that some of the sections refer to previous comments of the previous test. At least this shows you what you can expect. How to improve your score and rulebook. In my case I need 70+/100 to be able to do a "Crowd Sale". Like I said I got a 55/80.


I find it enlightening that you don't recommend only relying on other designers for the topic of game rules.

That is the very reason I talked about trying to get feedback from other "non-traditonal" sources like English Teachers in one of my blog posts.

While an English teacher can't necessarily help with the rules from a design perspective, they can help you to be a better writer and express yourself better with words.

I may have them do a sanity check on the game here in the near future.

Thanks for sharing that!


My reason for going with the Sanity Test is this...

Everyone is going to have a different opinion about "How to Layout your rulebook". And I noticed that your rulebook has the "Victory Condition" at the END. I did that too ... and I was told: "This is NOT how you write a proper rulebook." And the TGC tester was the one to signal this.

At first I was like: "Isn't there more than one format to write a rulebook?!" But I thought it over and agreed that perhaps it's better to follow a prescribed format over my own "stubbornness".

English teacher will be able to determine if the language used is appropriate. Is the grammar okay, sentence structure, etc. I'd have it checked by a teacher because at least you'll have clear and good language.

But FORMAT my friend is everything.

And there is a prescribe format "most" people use. Like I said, your victory condition was at the END of the rulebook. Bad rulebook design. First an Intro, then a picture/listing of components, a game layout (if required) and then "VICTORY CONDITIONS". Right there at the top - so people know what it is they are trying to achieve by playing your game!

Cheers mate!

New Rules Version

As some of you know, I am only a layman/hobbyist game designer who is trying to learn and grow as a designer. As I learn, I am trying to share that sometimes limited information with this community.

I wrote a short and simple article on writing game rules recently, not because I am a master of writing game rules but because this is an area that I have struggled with and writing what I do know helps me get things organized in my own head.

I am no stranger to writing. I wrote and edited several technical manuals for the military across my years of service and was at one time responsible for helping to update and edit my career field's master training plans (Cyber Surety). Even with a background in technical writing, like many of you, I find it hard to write my own game rules.

It is amazing how easy things are when you are a subject matter expert in a topic and have examples to follow and people to help you.

Recently I had a talk with a new friend who told me that the biggest hurdle wasn't making and engineering the game. Instead, he said the hardest part was the marathon of seeing the project through to getting the game published.

I have also encountered several people along my personal journey who seem to think that until a person has officially published a game, that person lacks a certain level of credibility or legitimacy (like not getting a diploma from a college). While I am not personally convinced of this as a truth, they do have a point that is hard to deny, "perception being the reality."

With all that said. Here is the newest edition of the rules for Dominance, a game I originally designed well over 10 years ago. It is a simple abstract strategy game that I can teach in just under 2 min (when I have the game in front of the people who are learning). The game existed for many years without written rules because of this fact.

So, I am humbly asking for any editing help or feedback on this new version of the game's rules, so that I can begin the final push toward getting this old game published.

Dominance Rules on Google Drive

The game is also playable online at if you are interested in seeing it that way.


Thanks in advance for any assistance you are willing to provide.


P.S. I do understand that there is not much of a market for an abstract strategy game that does not have a theme. While I do have two possible solutions for this, only time and opportunity will reveal those things.

Rules feedback

I read over your rules document and I think it's laid out very succinctly and in logical order. The pictures were helpful in following the gameplay (it would have been very difficult to follow without them so thank you!) Being color blind I had difficulty distinguishing between the black and dark red pieces. A brighter red would be easier to see for people with my limitation. The highlighted spaces were helpful in your tutorial.

As with most games, I think I'd get a truer sense of how to play the game if I had the actual pieces in front of me. With that being said I still feel I'm following your document well enough that I could play.

I hope that helps! Good luck on your game! (and gaining any street cred you may desire)

Thank You!

That is very helpful to know, I will make changes to the colors as soon as I can!

It is a sad truth of all board game rules, it is just not an easy way to learn a game. I am glad you feel you could play it after only reading them.

Thanks for the wonderful feedback!


Dominance Online

Online Version:

Not sure if creating this online version works for others, but I know it is set to public... it does look like you need an account to play :(

Thanks Gabe for sharing a link to

I do welcome feedback on the game.


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