Big Jim's Fan-dex Design Philosophy

Big Jim over at 'Galaxy in Flames' recently posted an article on design philosophy that I feel made insightful conclusions on the best approach to rules design. It's definitely worth checking out:

"When starting out you need to have a clear vision of what you are trying to achieve, but you must be open to feedback and making the proper adjustments to the list. After all what is the point of creating a fan-dex if you are never going to get to use it?"

A clear purpose makes for clear, unambiguous rules. If you want a concise design with no superfluous wordplay make note of exactly what you want each unit to do and try to keep units specialized rather than general-purpose. This purpose may even change over time, but as Jim says, this will only make your rules more available to other players.

"First off designing an offshoot of an existing codex is the best route to get your 'feet wet' in the fan-dex realm. They tend to be the easiest projects to balance if you keep your goals reasonable."

Another good point I'd like to comment on: Using GW material and emulating their style wherever possible gives your rules that 'authentic' touch that you'll need if you're going to win over the hearts and minds of your peers. 

What advice can you guys give to newbies looking to start their own projects? 


Menzies Tank said…
Using a spellchecker!

Good spelling, as well as grammar, readable fonts, & layout are very important too.

I too am undertaking a process similar to Big Jim's journey (in fact, you can say he's my mentor in that he got me into it!), and apart from the homebrew rules & art aspect of a fandex/minidex, I can say readability/eligibility is key to the enjoyment factor of reading a minidex.

While I'm not saying one needs to ape the look of a GW codex (right down to the font, splitting the page into the 2 paragraphs/3 margin format, moody-gothic illustations and in-focus painted model shots), but it does help! :)

The BoLs archives contain a host of good examples, and I'm sure there are plenty more (good/bad) minifandexes out there.

Great blog BTW!

- Menzies
Atrotos said…
Thanks Menzies, and welcome to the Blog.

If you have new units/characters/stories to contribute send 'em over:

The plan is to eventually create a regular mini-dex publication that will update certain armies with new units. I hoping to make rules from this site just as useful as official rules.
akuro888 said…
Gotta say mine will be interesting to manage. My Fan-dex is coming along nicely. No changed rules or anything, but fluff is very much changed. BA to boot.