MVP Boardgames has a series of articles up on the “Fun to Time ratio” where they discuss what makes a game fun, how to make a long game feel short, how to keep the action going and more. In their third installment they discuss what makes a game fun to play for players, what we as designers can add to the game in order to make players feel special. Here’s an excerpt:
People want to feel smart. Anything you can do to make the player feel smarter without making their opponents feel dumb is probably a good thing to add to your game. Think about the games you like. Why do you like them? Probably because you are pretty good at them. You feel good playing them because you make good decisions. You feel smart. Even if you don’t win your favorite game a lot, you are probably either getting better the more you play, or see your decisions making positive impact on the game.