New things are fun. That said new isn’t always better. I think sane humans agree on this.

Novelty isn’t necessarily a new thing though it can simply be an old thing experienced in a new way.

For example I experienced music differently and much more intensely when playing Guitar Hero. It engaged other parts of my brain at the same time making it a more complete experience. That was cool.

When it comes to game design it’s always a bit of a fight to determine whether it’s better to try to be novel or nuanced. Nuance in this case means a refined game mechanic that can through subtle variation change the game state significantly.

For example, in a strategy game the basic infantry unit might take two seconds to build. Additional nuance can be provided by creating mechanics that allow that time to be brought down for a price. That price might be skill or defending a point, or any number of other things. That provides both reward and incentive but more than that it allows for a different play style. If it takes one second to produce infantry units then a swarm of soldiers is possible. Such a large number isn’t going to deal with combat in the same way as a force half its size now is it?

Novelty would be unlocking a new unit. Ra2_chrono_ivanFun initially but over time it’s becomes just another tool in the drawer. Its scarcity may help it retain some novelty but it’s never going to be the same as the first time one unlocks the Chrono Ivan, is it?

Necromunda and Gorkamorka use virtually identical rule sets yet the fact that Gorkamorka primarily uses Orks who are not subject to pinning (and are a smidge tougher than squishy humans) drastically changes the role shooting has in the game. In Necromunda hitting a model but not wounding them would force them to take cover. Various factions in Gorkamorka are still affected by this rule but the core greenskins, Orks, are not. As a result shooting isn’t of the same tactical value at all changing the fundamental gameplay of the game itself.

Just a bit of food for thought really. Tasty nuance.

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