As long as players can continue to encounter meaningfully different game states, they will enjoy making decisions on the fly. If they decide that they have seen everything your game has to offer, this is the moment when it transforms from chess to tic-tac-toe.
But, look, friends, quitting has nothing at all to do with character unless we make a rule that it does. And who would want to make that kind of rule? It would ruin our chances to play freely. We’d never be sure that this was the game that everybody wanted to play if everybody had to stay in the game, if no one could quit.
Imagine if the artwork for every boardgame was created by the designer. All of the cover art, cards, boards, etc. I imagine there would be a lot of complaints about the quality of the artwork. Expecting untrained designers and developers to write professional-quality instructions is just as unrealistic as expecting them to do the graphic design.
When the “how” of your actions (understanding the mechanical hoops through which games make you jump to meet milestones) align with the “why” (how these milestones add up to victory), players are more likely to achieve flow.
– Story is what players remember, at the end of a game, about what their characters did in a game.
– But what most players in most games remember is the story they wrote, not a story the designer wrote.