I am a game enthusiast. I mostly enjoy board games, card games and things like party games that require no preparations. My friends know that about me, and they seem to treat me as an official Rules Explainer; if there are some new people willing to play with us, or some players that need to refresh their memory and hear the rules one more time, I'm going to be the person asked to explain the rules. Even if someone else suggested playing that particular game.
So, I often have to teach other players game rules. Each time I do it, I try to do it better and learn from previous experiences. I'm constantly trying to improve my skills.
What are the best practices in teaching other people game rules?
Off the top of my head some of the many things to talk about include:
- When should I mention the goal of the game?
- How much of the rules should I expect my fellow players to understand before playing a complex game for the first time?
- How can I avoid introducing new rules in the middle of the game (it's frustrating for other players, they can feel tricked, and accuse you of not mentioning it before to your advantage, and so on...)?
What about answering questions? Usually my answer would be "I'm going to talk about that in a moment", but I don't want to discourage players from asking questions if they don't quite get something. And I don't want to seem rude, saying "not now" again and again. On the other hand, answering such questions might be confusing for other players. What if most of the players understood the rules, but not the whole group? How should I deal with the short attention span?