Short break from walls of text to collect a few thoughts on elegance in game design in an elegant literary style.
* Numbers: 1 through 5, adding and subtracting. Seriously question any bigger math.
* If an exception happens all the time, make it the rule.
* If players choose something all the time, make it the default if they need it, or weaker if they don't.
* Hold tryouts for the one special thing about what you're simulating - in a game, in a game element. Boil it down to that.
* Keep players engaged. If they're not playing, make the action damn fun to watch.
More may follow, and less elegant explanations to boot.