Have you ever struggled with a rulebook? It might not be you...

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Have you ever struggled with a rulebook? It might not be you...

Post  RikTheChief on Wed 16 Mar 2016, 21:27

I think we've all struggled with a particular rule book at some time or another, I recently found out there's a way you can actually measure how hard it is to read.

There's something called SMOG which stands for Simple Measure of Gobbledygook.  You can read about the formula on the Wikipedia page.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMOG

I thought it would be interesting to apply this to board game rules, so I did a search and sure enough theres a web page which allows you to paste in text and get a number out which represents readability.  The higher the number, the harder it is to read.



Of course this isn't ideal as it doesn't take into account examples and images.  It also doesn't take into account formatting such as tables or colour schemes.

However it is interesting to read that Pandemic comes out with 16.5 which is higher than the rest.  Also Agricola which is often mentioned as a poor rulebook has the highest number at 16.8

If you want to run some text the link is here

http://www.learningandwork.org.uk/misc/SMOG-calculator/smogcalc.php?redirectedfrom=niace
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Re: Have you ever struggled with a rulebook? It might not be you...

Post  Aneurin on Thu 17 Mar 2016, 10:14

Test the KanBan rulebook!
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Re: Have you ever struggled with a rulebook? It might not be you...

Post  Jamie on Thu 17 Mar 2016, 10:35

What about that Mouse / Musketeers game? Can't remember the name of it; but it was played at the end of Pauly G con last year; there were reports of the instructions not being too clear...
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Re: Have you ever struggled with a rulebook? It might not be you...

Post  RikTheChief on Thu 17 Mar 2016, 14:25

Kanban - 16 pages
SMOG index - 15.3
Total words - 10022
Number of Polysyllabic words - 998
Number of sentences - 627

Not sure what game you mean Jamie - Mice and Mystics maybe?
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Re: Have you ever struggled with a rulebook? It might not be you...

Post  BeardyTom on Thu 17 Mar 2016, 14:46

Jamie wrote:What about that Mouse / Musketeers game? Can't remember the name of it; but it was played at the end of Pauly G con last year; there were reports of the instructions not being too clear...

That would be Mousquetaires du Roy. Worst. Rulebook. Ever.

Something like the SMOG index can give an approximate measure for how hard the words are to read but with rulebooks there's plenty of other things they can do wrong to make it confusing. I think the main problem with Mousquetaires du Roy was that it forced you to jump around so much. To understand this part you need to look back to that part which in turn you can't understand until you've read that other part tucked away in a small paragraph three pages later. Also, it committed the cardinal sin of inconsistent terminology.
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Re: Have you ever struggled with a rulebook? It might not be you...

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