"How to Play?" section set up: layout, images, wording, more

Forum rules
Please DO NOT POST BUGS on this forum. Please report (and vote) bugs on : https://boardgamearena.com/bugs
Post Reply
arisanana
Posts: 20
Joined: 13 October 2021, 05:27

"How to Play?" section set up: layout, images, wording, more

Post by arisanana »

So I just found out BGA now has riichi mahjong (in beta). As someone who went nuts on MahjongSoul for a while, of course I had to check it out.

The biggest issue before the game even starts: :!: The How-to-Play section is a whole mile long :!:

Now, I know how to play mahjong, [albeit only according to whatever rules MJS has—I've never heard of the other platforms or irl ruleplay mentioned in the forum elsewhere like WRC or EMA or Tenhou (other than the yakuman, it seems that this is a platform name?) nor do I follow irl mahjong matches/tournaments] BUT if I were a random player who had never touched mahjong before, this wall would 1000% have scared me off or at the least, bored or confused me til I couldn't be bothered to read it.

I assume BGA wants to appeal to new players too, because if only people who knew mahjong were the target audience, they would probably not be playing here. So, then, giving an easy-to-digest system is definitely key.

Of course, over time, maybe someone will write a nice tutorial that gets approved. Sweet! That doesn't resolve that mess-hole of all the yakus you can possibly make.

So what is the case? You can't exactly say to cut information from the how-to, because mahjong is that complex. But you can ORDER information and CONSOLIDATE things (text sections, wording, and more), as well as use images, to make things easier to digest. And some things could definitely be moved to the Strategy tips tab, namely the value calculation among some others. A total newcomer isn't going to think about how many points they'll be getting, their first priority is whether than can complete their hand or not. After all, winning with 1 Han is still winning a round, and that counts for what it counts, as dealers know.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Wording:
Special attention for this because it sticks out. Right from the get-go, we see
Chi/Chii/Chow (sequence), Pon/Pong/Pung (triplet), and Kan/Kang/Kong (quadruplet)
All a new player is going to be like is "WTF is all of this?" If we're going to introduce the variations of romanizations, might as well have a glossary section for all the Japanese terms (sans yaku list) while the in-context-use occurrences are unified.

Sections:
Also, the entirety of 6.5 could... just be under the Strategy tips tab, with a reference on the how-to page of [see full list of yaku under strategy tips] or something.

Imagery:
Hanabi at some point in the past half-year or so got their how-to section updated with images. Mahjong can be the same. MJS is a beautiful example of an easy-to-understand collection of yaku listing.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

TLDR; the how-to section is a place to introduce concepts and basics, not the entire world of mahjong.
Introducing what "suits" are, what the concept of "yaku" is, the importance of having a yaku or else you can't win even if you randomly call sets, what "dora" are, etc are initial concepts for beginners. One step further, the BGA implementation of things is also key for beginners and experienced folks alike. EVERYTHING ELSE, is just going to overwhelm newcomers. EVERYTHING ELSE, exists in mahjong wikis made solely for explaining every last detail, one which is linked in the relevant links area already.

At least, this is how I see it. IDK if this is just me, so here I am. IDK who writes these how-tos, and if it's open to whoever, I should still like to bring this to the open before changing things willynilly.
Post Reply

Return to “Japanese (Riichi) Mahjong”