Research – The best way to explain a game (Thomas de Gilder)

What is the best way to explain a game?
After getting feedback from Fraser and Bob we found out we had to simplify the augmented reality video we made. The important thing is how are we going to explain the game while keeping it simple. This I why I did research on the best way to explain a game.

Before I just started doing research I had to think of the right places to search for the answer. I decided I was going to find out how the manuals where build up of some board games I have at home.

The first game I researched is “Weerwolven”. The manual starts of with a story. The story actually already tells how the game works. After this introduction they tell in 2 sentences what the goal of the game is.

–           The villagers have to expose the werewolves.
–           The werewolves have to eliminate the villagers.

These are the key points or unique selling point of the game. We will be able to use this in our own explanation. We will have to find out what is the single most important thing of the format.


De Mol
This game was derived from the well-known television show “Wie is de Mol”. The manual start off differently than “Weerwolven”. It starts by telling the short version of the game. It already goes very much into detail. This is probably because the game itself is much more complicated than the game I discussed earlier.


I decided to look up some articles and literature about this topic. It was quite hard to find some reliable sources but I did found something interesting. I came across a forum where people where discussing about board games and how to explain them. A person made a blog about the best way to explain a game. He claims to be a game teacher in a board game café. Of course this isn’t a very reliable source but I did notice a lot of similarities with the games I already discussed.

“As soon as you’ve set the tone with the game’s theme, players should know what they’re shooting for. When players know what their goals are, everything else falls into place.” (Monopolatte, 2015)

This is exactly how the game manuals where build up. This could work really well for our concept. We have to let the target group know what the main goal or unique selling point of the game is and explain the rest afterwards. Then everything falls into place.

Monopolatte. (2015, 01 01). How to Explain Games: a Guide from a Professional Games Teacher. Retrieved 01 16, 2017, from Reddit:




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