A.P. Fourteen.

Eagle4ty

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I never been tasked as a "proofer" but I have always believed as a play-tester it was part of my job to look for errors in grammatical presentation, historical inconsistencies, etc. as well as to trying to achieve a reasonable balance or other scenario "play-ability" concerns with a scenario. However, as Bruce has pointed out there may be several reasons items slip through the cracks, perhaps even as simple as forgetting to add a particular item from your notes to the AAR you send to the developer or being unclear in your response.
 

asloser

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This stuff is incredibly hard to get right. Every time I look at a HP rules or scenarios I notice some small mistake or a bit of text that could be written better. Fortunately most of this stuff is not going to affect game play, but still it is annoying.

I trust that everyone is doing the best they can you need to remember an ASL scenario is a complicated thing to get right.
 
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RobZagnut

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This is what makes proofreading tough. We teach ourselves to read thru errors and to read fast. Our brains adapt and we skip most of the two and three letter words. So, trying to slow down and catch spelling errors is not easy.

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RobZagnut

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I think a bigger problem is lack of discipline to be detail-oriented.
I disagree with this. ASLers are probably the most detailed oriented people around.

They have to be. Storing counters, mapboards, scenarios, etc. Reading rules. Reading and understanding Victory Conditions and SSRs. Hell, just playing one Movement Phase without getting your units shot to hell, takes a lot of attention to detail.
 
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Gordon

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Hell, just playing one Movement Phase without getting your units shot to hell, takes a lot of attention to detail.
Wait, what? That's one of the details I'm supposed to be tracking?!? No wonder I always lose.
 

Michael Dorosh

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If you are proof reading for errors, read the sentences backwards (i.e., from last word to first). THis makes you slow down and helps you to catch errors.
I think you might have confused this tip. You can read paragraphs in reverse order, one sentence at a time, and it is supposed to be useful. Reading a sentence backwards one word at a time doesn't work.
 

BattleSchool

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Proofing scenarios adds extra complications, particularly if the proof-reader hasn't actually played the scenario. It's frighteningly easy to miss a setup problem. I like to use VASL to set up scenarios when I proof them, just as if I were setting it up to play. Unfortunately, in this case, that wouldn't have been possible (I should say I was not a proof-reader on this product). Second-best option is to physically set it up, but that may not have been an option either (the scenario proof-readers may not have had any access to the new boards). So if you're just "visualising" the scenario in your head, it's very easy to not notice issues like that.

There's no simple solution.
You raise an important point. One that hadn't occurred to me before. Namely that proofers don't necessarily have access to the maps/overlays used in a particular scenario design. (Proofing overlay coordinates is tedious enough when one has access to the boards and overlays.)

Board configurations (and to a lesser degree overlay placement) together with set-up/entry instructions are a common form of scenario errata. They may well be the most common type. Unlike errata that addresses scenario balance, the parameters of the playing area are (usually) fixed. Get them right the first time and the primary need for errata would be confined largely to issues of scenario balance.

An example of the importance of proofreading is ASL Annual '95. Of the 24 scenarios in the magazine, at least eleven had errata issued shortly after publication. Five instances were directly related to the playing area. One dealt with the direction of entry, two had boards that had been rotated 180 degrees in the wrong direction, one failed to indicate what hexrows were in play, and a fifth scenario had the north arrow pointing south. (Errata for A73 addressed the fact that the sides setting up and moving first were reversed. Scenario A82 was missing three SW mortars. Only one scenario had errata for the VC. A couple fiddled with the balance provisions.)

I agree with Eagle4ty that playtesters can help catch map/set-up errors. However, playtesters generally don't have access to the proofs, working instead with draft scenario cards. Therefore, more could be done to help proofers spot oversights. Perhaps, in MMP's case, the project lead could make the boards/overlays (or a png of the playing area) available to proofers.
 
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Eagle4ty

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I disagree with this. ASLers are probably the most detailed oriented people around.

...
I'm really not too sure of this statement. One trend I have noticed is the increased playing of older scenarios and not the newer updated ones at least as they are recorded on ROAR. In the past several months I have noticed that there's been about 20-30 playing of the older renditions of the original Paratrooper/Yanks(1)/Partisan/etc. scenarios while there's been only a handful of playings of the newer updated ones provided with Yanks-2/DB3/AoO2/etc. Either this represents players not paying particular attention to what is entered into ROAR or simply refusing to play the newer renditions of these scenarios for whatever reason. I would doubt the latter is the actual reason for the increased number of plays of the older scenarios (without errata update) but the player that enters the data into ROAR (or the Scenario Archive for that matter) just doesn't pay attention to what they are entering. This is truly mystifying given that when one inputs the data for a playing both the older and newer scenario names usually pop up as choices for selection. Failure to notice this simple item certainly is not paying attention to detail but in my estimation tantamount to playing a certain scenario and recording that playing as having played a completely different one. One may as well play a certain scenario and record it as having played another scenario entirely just to pad the seeming imbalance of a barker (ah, an idea to give new life to imbalanced scenarios). This may be detrimental for the use of ROAR if one uses it or the Scenario Archive as a tool to determine balance potential of a scenario, the effectiveness of an update, or for tournament inclusion of a particular scenario.
 

Michael Dorosh

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I'm really not too sure of this statement. One trend I have noticed is the increased playing of older scenarios and not the newer updated ones at least as they are recorded on ROAR.
Also, all those unanswered, strangely military sounding posts on the American Sign Language forums.
 

RobZagnut

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I'm really not too sure of this statement. One trend I have noticed is the increased playing of older scenarios and not the newer updated ones at least as they are recorded on ROAR. In the past several months I have noticed that there's been about 20-30 playing of the older renditions of the original Paratrooper/Yanks(1)/Partisan/etc. scenarios while there's been only a handful of playings of the newer updated ones provided with Yanks-2/DB3/AoO2/etc. Either this represents players not paying particular attention to what is entered into ROAR or simply refusing to play the newer renditions of these scenarios for whatever reason. I would doubt the latter is the actual reason for the increased number of plays of the older scenarios (without errata update) but the player that enters the data into ROAR (or the Scenario Archive for that matter) just doesn't pay attention to what they are entering. This is truly mystifying given that when one inputs the data for a playing both the older and newer scenario names usually pop up as choices for selection. Failure to notice this simple item certainly is not paying attention to detail but in my estimation tantamount to playing a certain scenario and recording that playing as having played a completely different one. One may as well play a certain scenario and record it as having played another scenario entirely just to pad the seeming imbalance of a barker (ah, an idea to give new life to imbalanced scenarios). This may be detrimental for the use of ROAR if one uses it or the Scenario Archive as a tool to determine balance potential of a scenario, the effectiveness of an update, or for tournament inclusion of a particular scenario.
* A player revisiting ASL after a 10-15 year hiatus and only has the older modules.

* A grognard teaching a newbie and he only has the older modules. Not everyone feels the need to upgrade from the older stuff.

* Someone has bought the older modules from someone who has upgraded and they're starting to play the scenarios.

* Someone who hasn't been able to buy the latest Yanks, because it's out of print or it's too expensive.

* Someone just discovered ROAR and is entering old scenarios played.

* Etc.
 
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