Fabian Fischer has a new featured piece up on Gamasutra today about the “transparency” of game mechanics.
If players have to deal with adding and subtracting numbers constantly, there’s little time left for truly deep and interesting decisions. That’s why information should, whenever possible, be represented in more intuitive ways. A typical example of this is a tactical grid in turn-based strategy games that represents complex mathematical relations in a very accessible way. And if there are still bare numbers involved, they should ideally be small have a very discrete range, so that a human brain can easily deal with them without having to take any intermediate steps of abstraction first.
Check it out here on Gamasutra: http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/FabianFischer/20170810/303441/Game_Design_Principle_Transparency.php