Game Systems of Cause and Effect
Referencing many popular games across several genres, Lost Garden’s Daniel Cook has written an excellent article on tight and loose game systems of cause and effect. I have often referred to part of this aspect of game design as “impact”. It is simultaneously what makes Gears of War one of our favorite (tight) and most frustrating (loose) games. A great read!
UPDATE: After spending more time contemplating the contents of this article, I find myself asking the following question: Would Gears of War 1 be more enjoyable if the all purposefully random modifiers were published as you played? That is, if when we were having our shottie battle a little bubble popped up displaying the damage modifier, would that make it more enjoyable (assuming it would make people laugh and also breathe relief knowing that there was nothing they could do as they had “rolled snake eyes” or double sixes)? Hmm….