Brett gets at exactly what I usually do wrong.
The only question that counts, of course, is to ask of the game: “Is it fun?”Of course, the cake is a lie (just like printed game lengths).
“Is it fun?” (bellows the incredulous and imaginary designer). “Didn’t you notice how clever it was? Didn’t you stop to admire all these hand-picked, top-quality ingredients! Or marvel at my cunning for putting all of them together with such subtlety, novelty and elegance? Did no-one ever tell you that a definition of genius is the ability to connect the unconnected?”
“Yes, I noticed all of that” (whispers the patient, implacable and equally imaginary playtester). “I’m not an idiot — and you, I hope, are smarter than you look — but you have created an experience that I don’t enjoy. And this isn’t the first time. Did no-one ever tell you that a definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results?”