An evolution of my previous thoughts about board games, rules, and information design where I asked these questions

  • What kind of generic visual language might improve on prose as a way to present rules?
  • How can software help us produce rulesheets which follow these standards?
  • Many games have variants or are very similar to other games. At what point is a game better explained as a variant or as its own game?
  • The theme given to an abstract board game seems to improve people’s ability to recollect the rules. How can we take advantage of this within a standard language?

I haven’t come to a conclusion about these, but they have informed the development of a new approach.

The output of the latest program is an HTML file rather than a PDF. After years in XSL-FO, and later XHTML purgatory, I can now use your HTML 5 browser’s native SVG support to draw the boards and pieces.

Here are some examples:

See the github repo for the source data. I will put up a “developer’s guide” at some point.