With all due respect, Corbeau conveniently ignores that qrtv joined AFTER the first quarter of the game and defeated him. Always take it with a grain of salt when someone less competent is getting on his high horse to critique someone more competent. When pride is at stake, people often aren't really discussing the subject they claim to be, but there can be invisible motives going on. Ideally, public discourse should be civil, social, and discussion should excite interest in digging deeper into the main topic. This is probably why qrtv so patiently pointed out all the different optional response paths Corbeau could have taken to make it a productive discussion.
The game design principles qrtv showed us were the key topic that started the entire discussion, and designing according to principles is core to any well-balanced rules. It's ironic that Corbeau flees from this key topic, yet complains other people won't engage his proud attempts to distract away from the main topic. Corbeau, here is a hint to help you get started on the topic: the whole subject is about mathematical principles. They directly engage the ruleset domain with concepts such as magnitude of the impact of strategic decisions, quantity of game components, a priori theorems about what kind of "game space" is created by altering ratios such as impact/components. Magnitudes, quantities, a priori theorems, ratios. That's the mathematics you avoid, and "Zen" or "holistic perspective", or whatever we want to call it, is the key to mastering it.
To rescue the topic, the interesting subjects that were brought up and waiting for focus were: diversity of effective paths vs. single Golden Path, and how these Game Design principles are the only way to overcome an apparent contradiction-- attempts to eliminate Golden Path by making 'all possible paths more equal' almost always has the effect of reducing 'strategic ceiling'. Some rulesets to some degree transcend this contradiction by how well they follow these Principles. (Whereas any motion toward "equalization of all possible paths" will by its very mathematical nature reduce the strategic ceiling. Ergo, it's "dumbing down". QED.) In the ideal game space of this type of game which tries to simulate the reality of leading a Civlization, we would like, just like reality, for there to be almost infinite creativity (high diversity of possible paths), with many different paths doing amazingly well (but being a very small proportion of all possible paths), many different paths doing quite well (a small proportion but larger), many more paths doing decent (a decent proportion but still small), many paths doing average (still a small proportion of all total paths), and yes, a million ways to fuck it all up, some of them really really badly (just like reality).
I sense a type of non-holism (atomism) in your perspective that may currently be preventing you from advancing in this subject. "Balance" by its very nature is a relation between multiple elements. Changing one element creates a ripple effect that spreads into every other element of the game, changing their relative values and relations to everything else. As you know, reducing the cost of a horseman relatively increases the cost of a chariot...that's an elementary example. The Eureka-moment comes when you realize this applies to every element at every level in the ruleset. Thus, it's holistic, a "field effect", and yes, it's "Zen". On the other hand, the atomistic perspective that considers elements in isolation as if they were absolute and not relative, it leads to errors. For example, please recall the time when you insisted in some atomistic change to Turn Change sequence yet were completely unaware of the Zen consequences: the gross mathematical recessionary effects it had on the economic growth rates.
Thus, we have a holistic Zen-like "field nature" of the inter-relations of ruleset elements. This makes ruleset creation one of the most Zen-like arts I can think of. We might let ourselves call it "Zen math", since indeed, and for sure, it's the "Art of Mathematically Balancing the Whole". Since that's what it is, the principles, theorems, and design dicta from the academic discipline of Game Design are our rich inheritance and guide to assist us. This elementary curriculum is perhaps the most relevant topic on the subject of ruleset complexity, and I congratulate qrtv for finally bringing all the thirsty horses to the water well. These elementary principles are foundational. As with all foundations, at higher levels more complexities and exceptions can occur. But before the master lets the apprentice break the rules, the master first requires the student to study, learn, copy, understand, and then finally break them. The master breaks the laws of harmony and plays discordant notes, and it's jazz -- while the student only makes annoying noise and clanging of the piano keys.
When you ask someone a question merely as a way to elicit content to criticize, people stop answering. That's one paradigm. There's a second paradigm: asking questions, getting answers, asking more questions, and gradually gaining understanding and learning. I humbly propose that this would serve you much better. i will explain why I have that opinion. You have used the first paradigm since I met you in my first game of freeciv web (G2), while I have seen those who use the second paradigm rocket past you.
Last edited by Lexxie
on Thu Sep 13, 2018 11:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.