A few weeks ago, I complained about the casual game Home Sweet Home that it wasn’t a very entertaining game, being asked to decorate a house to client specifications. (I ragged even more on the “construction” part of the game, which manages to be easy and annoying at the same time, and to bear little or no resemblance to the real-life activity that it is supposed to be simulating.) Other people evidently liked the game more than I did.
Since then, though, I’ve been thinking about this question: how do you design a puzzle or goal-oriented interaction in which the player’s job is to make aesthetic judgments?
I’ve seen a number of different gestures towards this kind of puzzle in recent games.