This is the third and last part of adding analytical insights to Daniel Cook’s blog post on "Building tight game systems of cause and effect". If you missed the two first parts, you can access them through this link Part 1 and this other one Part 2 respectively.
11. Processing Complexity
“Tighter: System requires simulating few steps to predict an outcome. In a vertically scrolling shooter, you see the bullet coming towards you. It doesn't take a lot of thought to figure out that if you stay in that location you are going to be hit.”
“Looser: System requires simulating multiple steps to predict an outcome. On the other hand, in Triple Town, good players need to think dozens of moves ahead. Thinking through all the various machinations necessary to get the result you want adds a serious cognitive load to the player. A single mistake in the player's calculations yields unexpected results.”