Everything can be analyzed from a set or group view. Iteratively both reflectively or predictively.
Good design! What is good design? Well that depends on what your goals are, and then how you rank the priorities of probably a set of goals.
For a lot of artistic mediums, aesthetic effect and conveying themes clearly is top priority, but within games the top of the wanted list is much more contentious.
Easy to learn? Well that can be a trade off with functionality or effectiveness. User error friendly?
I think it’s useful to focus on the defining characteristic of video games which is meaningful choice making in a specific context.
By that central mission, designing game mechanics should be first and foremost enhancing the key decision and not worsening it.
So how is this applied practically? Well things that get in the way are long repetitive animations that occur between user inputs because it creates an artificial window that the user cannot control, but will still contain real time consequences. However animations that give users information ahead of time leading to better or faster user decisions later are great.
But that’s something I needed to figure out because my last several attempts and multidimensional conversations in my dating game have been pretty excessive in animation and not enhancing the gameplay essence which is deciding between options and understanding their different properties and similarities and result effects.