Juice Analytics posted a synopsis of an articleÂ Â on “Elegant Solutions” from the Change This web site.Â Here’s a quote that sums up the “elegant solution” ideal:
Elegant solutions avoid the traps of: 1) Swinging for the fences; 2) Getting too clever â€” i.e. too many bells and whistles; 3) Solving problems frivolously.
…An elegant solution is one in which the optimal outcome is achieved with the minimal expenditure of effort and expenseâ€¦[and is] is recognized by its juxtaposition of simplicity and power.â€
It strikes me that game design, especially MMO and Virtual World design, has as its goal elegant solutions to everything.Â The breakthroughs I experience in a challenging design problem are most often a result of asking things like “What are we already doing that has something to do with this system?Â Can that already-existing sytem or mechanic be the solution to the problem at hand?Â How can that already-existing system be extended to solve the problem at hand?Â Let’s take a step back and restate what exactly we need to solve in this case.”
I think the best solutions are [nearly] categorically elegant in nature.Â And besides, there’s something so very satisfying to creating an elegant solution.