Aside: I'm on holiday at the moment. I've posted this automatically and I'll respond to comments on my return.
Back to the matter at hand. 'I need to buy this game!' is how the exposition for a game should make you feel. The exposition of a game is what I'm calling the short description of the setting and mechanics that you use to summarise a game.
When I ran Reiver Games I used the exposition for many purposes:
- A brief summary of the game at the beginning of the rulebook
- A description of the game on the back of the box
- The first paragraph on the game's webpage
- The summary of the game on its BGG page
- On posters at conventions
- In adverts in trade magazines
- Sellsheets to send to shops and distributors
If I decide to KickStart it, the exposition would be the first paragraph of the KickStarter page too.
Clearly, it's important. I've agonised over the exact wording of each of my games' expositions. They've been through several drafts trying to get them to a honed sharpness of hook. The exposition should leave you thinking:
That sounds fricken' awesome! I need that game. So badly that I'm willing to sell my family to fund its purchase.
Writing them is very hard. I'm not a copy-writer, or a master wordsmith. I'm just a software engineer and occasional board game designer. Moulding the English language to my will does not come naturally. I did an average job on the Reiver Games ones (scroll down a bit in the links below to read the Description sections):
They're functional, but not particularly exciting. They didn't work very well either. The number of you who sold your families to buy the games was considerably less than the number of games I bought from the manufacturers.
For Codename: Vacuum, I've got an early draft that tries to cover the steampunk to sci-fi transition and the deck-building nature of the game. But it's not very exciting yet:
It’s 1897 and the discovery of the anti-gravity metal Cavorite has the world powers are poised on the edge of a Space Race to claim the Solar System. Lead your nation to victory by building a deck of strategy cards that will shape your empire for 300 years. What will be the defining features of humanity at the dawn of the 23rd century? Conquest? Exploration? Reproduction? Greed? Technology? Choose a strategy. Advance your technologies. Race to ensure your choice is scored.
Upon reading that, I'm decidely meh. My family are safe. Needs some work methinks!