"We try to develop products that seem somehow inevitable. That leave you with the sense that that’s the only possible solution that makes sense,” he said. “Our products are tools and we don’t want design to get in the way. We’re trying to bring simplicity and clarity, we’re trying to order the products."It is interesting to think about this in terms of game design, and some of the choices we made in SBRPG. Key in on "inevitable" and "the only possible solution that makes sense" here for a moment.
In SBRPG, your class contains a number of class skills, which define what your class can do. These are fixed at a level equal to your character's level. A level 8 rogue does all the 'rogue stuff' at level 8. In other games, rogue skills are bought with skill points, handled on a chart with percentages, or abstracted away as a single 'trained' modifier. You don't really know how good a rogue is in other games by looking at the rogue's level. This extends to all classes, a level 5 soldier operates at a +5 for all soldier stuff, a level 11 ninja gets a +11 at melee and stealth, and so on. The "skill equal to level" solution is the only possible solution that makes sense in this context, and it is a strong rule.
Class, race, and power design fall into the "inevitable" category, especially in a game where the group does collaborative world creation. We can't provide a set of cookie-cutter classes to handle every situation, because it simply doesn't make sense. In a "wizardry school" game, what use is a fighter? Would including fighters all of a sudden bring in a bunch of stuff we don't want, isolate the fighter character to a side-role, or change the direction you want to take the story? The solution, don't design a fighter class, and design several types of wizards to populate our wizarding academy. The solution requires more work (designing classes), but it is "inevitable" just by our "play anything" requirement.
When rules "get in the way", it causes trouble. We have a couple of these in SBRPG, and hopefully we can edit them out in a version 2.0. A good example is power design, and requiring you to design powers for generic power-using classes. Ideally, a level X power should imply a level X effect, and you go from there. Power design will still exist in SBRPG 2.0, but we will need a "generic power" system so you can throw together a level 7 Orc shaman and assume a rack of standard powers quickly.
Simplicity, clarity, and the only solution that makes sense. We try to work these into the rules, and yes, it does take time and require a lot of thought and piecing things together. You have to be proud of the things you throw out and say "no" to, and not be afraid of dropping support for standards that were fine in their time, but the world has moved on and is looking for new solutions.