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Chasing May

Language in games design regularly requires a specificity and accuracy alien to casual speech, made all the more onerous by the necessity of brevity to aid memorable retention. Also not aided by the tendency of some people to use words like onerous. Probably the worst ever word for games designers to use is 'may', may essentially means nothing, of course I may do that, but do I have to or can I choose to not? Knowing that, I've still chosen to make 'may' a central game term.

I need statements on cards in SSO to be approached in four ways. 1) As things you just have to do and there are no other options; 2) as totally free options you can select to do partially or to any degree; 3) as something you need to do or something else will not happen; or 4) as something you need to do as much as is currently physically possible but there is no penalty if it is impossible to do to the stated degree. Clearly writing that out on every card is out of the question, some form of carefully defined rules short hand is a necessity.

Rather oddly, my instinct was to colour code various rules, black as necessary, blue as a requirement for later conditions, green as optional, yellow for that which must be done as much as possible, red as a conditional for either term. It seemed logical, by colouring the exact rules and words could be indicated and I thought people would find colours nice and cle