"I Don't Make Games, I Make Toys"
Will Wright, creator of SimCity and Spore, among others has a chat with my favorite college-dropout WoW-playing, comic-reading blogger, Ta-Nehisi Coates.
It's always great to find other people who appreciate Nickel Creek, by the way.
I really like where Wright says that they don't set the goals for the player, the player decides, in the case of SimCity, what kind of city they want, and then try to do it. That's the way I always approached tabletop role-playing.
"[A game that is appealing] has a large solution space. Most of the games that are very engaging are ones where the player can apply a lot of creativity."
In Everquest 1, there were tons of different killing strategies. Kiting, quad kiting, fear kiting, aggro kiting, root and rot, and charm double killing. In addition to tank and spank.
Once, I managed to wipe out a huge train in Karnor's Castle by charming one mob at a time, and letting the rest kill him.
Those days are gone, mostly in the name of what, game balance? I like a lot of things about the newer games, but the solution spaces are definitely much, much smaller.