Hey, everyone, and welcome to a special “board games” edition of Inside the Guide, the only article where you get an insider’s view on the art of writing guides for videogames. You folks out there in Readerland sure are lucky, because this month I’m going to discuss two games, instead of just one! That’s right, this month I’m going to discuss everyone’s favorite board games turned videogames, Anticipation and Backgammon!
What’s Anticipation, you ask? Why, haven’t you heard of this board game? Yeah, me either. Well, basically, it’s the same as Pictionary, except they have different categories for items you can guess, including an interesting whatchamacallit category, and a hidden “weapons” category.
Writing a guide for a game like this is kind of hard, because the “how to play” section is only about three paragraphs long. To help beef up the guide, I listed all the possible answers to every category, which I got by playing the game in an emulator at high speed.
The only interesting thing I have to say about my guide is that, amazingly, there were two people with waaaaaaaaaay too much free time on their hands who managed to find answers that I missed. I made sure to update the guide, giving them lots of credit, because if I didn’t, they’d probably use all their free time to think up ways to get revenge on me. And that’s about all I have to say about Anticipation. Can you figure out why I’m discussing two games this month?
Backgammon, for those of you who don’t know, is a fancy board game that usually comes printed on the other side of checkerboards. It’s like chess, in that there are approximately 435,000 rules you have to know in order to play. So basically, this guide is the opposite of the Anticipation guide, because this guide has a humongous “how to play” section.
The story behind this guide is simple. I wrote a guide for one of those “collection” games, you know, a game pak that contains a number of freeware games, like solitaire and free cell. One of the games in the game pak was “Backgammon,” and so I wrote instructions on how to play Backgammon for that guide.
Anyway, after doing that, I found out that there was an actual NES game of Backgammon, which was released only in Japan. All I had to do was copy/paste my previous instructions on how to play Backgammon, add in a few notes specific to this game, and I had a guide ready and done in less than ten minutes, which, by odd coincidence, is the same amount of time it took for me to write this article. Three cheers for laziness!
Next month, I’ll try to discuss something more exciting.