While many games rely on rules and tools, many are designed to change over time. If enough changes are made to the rules, a game can become “new”. For example, in baseball, the players play with real baseballs instead of wiffleballs and they can play with three bases instead of two. In some cases, the rules are intentionally changed to introduce new twists and variations. Meta-rules are immutable, but can change a game’s time-keeping mechanism or the rights and responsibilities of the players. For example, auto races are played on a race track and the same rules and strategies apply to both.
A game’s creator and its audience are constantly competing for the attention of the player. In the process of creating a game, the two sides of the equation are constantly being tugged: the creator creates a work that expresses their ideas and the audience’s. The result is either an unsatisfactory game or a clone that fails to reach its intended audience. Both cases, however, are frustrating for the creator.
A game’s creators constantly struggle to balance the desires of the audience and their own. There are two types of failures in games: the creator creates a work that expresses their ideas, and the game’s audience does not find it enjoyable or engaging. Clones often fail to meet the expectations of the audience, and the creator copies an existing game. Regardless of its nature, both cases are examples of failure. This is why the creator’s work must be able to express her own ideas before a game can be deemed successful.