Monthly Archives: January 2016

How The Adventure Zone Taught Me to Remember Fun

When you design games for a living or even just as a hardcore hobby publisher, it’s super common to get wrapped into a headspace where you need to

The Search for Katanas & Trenchcoats Writers

I’m plotting the next Katanas & Trenchcoats projects, and want to find some new-to-me writers interested in “the Dream of the 90s” as I am. If you’d like to write

The Good Fight Against Micro-Frustrations

There’s more to writing user documentation (which includes game text) than just conveying information and confidence in using that information. Docs also ideally prevent micro-frustrations, especially in cases where the users

Rating the Four Fate Actions Themselves

Many adventure game systems use the same model for creating opposition: make stats that look like PC stats, and play the rules otherwise as written (except where you don’t because you’re an NPC). We do that in Fate Core, along with the “make an abridged character most of the time.” I cut my teeth on

Using Questions as Headers

The longer I work with instructional text, whether for software or games, the more I’m convinced that we should at times use users’ questions as headers. For instance, imagine if we’d written this about situation aspects in Fate Core: How Long Do Situation Aspects Last? The short answer: aspects are true until they aren’t. Situation

The Goal of Making Readers Feel

Anyone can write procedural instructions on a topic they understand. Maybe not write well, sure, but they can put some bullet points to paper for someone else to attempt to follow. Part of what separates a pro tech writer from someone someone stabbing together bullet points is an understanding that we aren’t writing to ourselves. We know how to take