People tend to judge a game by their first experience—fairly or unfairly. The rules play a big part in that.
I like all kinds of stories. I like to read, hear, and watch them. Before becoming a game designer, I wanted to write stories. I have kept this love for stories in my career as a game designer.
To put it another way, a puzzle is static. It is not a state machine. It does not respond to input. It is not uncertain; and it is not interactive.
How do you interrogate a game? By playing it, and playing with it, critically and reflectively.
I think the rules are of paramount importance. Your main goal as a rules writer should be that any group’s first game (guided by your explanation) should go off without a hitch. If the rules are unclear and certain rules get botched the whole experience can get botched. And we all know what people say about first impressions.