Kevin G Nunn has an interesting comparison on his Mechanisms and Machinations blog about master chefs and game designers. And like a good dish it’s light, filling and beautiful at the same time:
“You taste with your eyes first” is a common adage among chefs and they are absolutely right. This means that the dish should visually announce what the diner will experience. This is why modern American chefs layer ingredients on the plate; to foreshadow the layers of flavor to come.
Our games can similarly announce their flavor. When elements like the timing track, scoring chart, turn order, or placement effects are prominently labeled on the game components, our players will have a good idea of the game to come well before the first rule is taught.