from the nothing-like-call-of-duty dept.
Mark Rosewater, the head designer for Magic: The Gathering, has written an article where he explains Lenticular Design. Some of the article uses cards from Magic: The Gathering as examples, but the main explanation is mostly generic.
The idea of Lenticular Design is that when designing a game, make some components mean different things to different levels of players so all skill levels can access them. If a component is complex, a newer player might be confused by it (which will put them off playing your game), but highly experienced players may eventually get bored with too many simple parts. Lenticular Design adds hidden complexity into components so newer players don't notice them, but more advanced players can take advantage of this additional level of complexity.
He lists a number of rules when designing (within the context of designing a card game, however the descriptions are general enough that they could apply to a lot of game types).
Rule #1 Some Complexities are Invisible to Inexperienced Players
Rule #2 Cards Have to Have a Surface Value
Rule #3 Experience Is Connected to How Far Ahead a Player Thinks
Rule #4 Novices Tend Not to Think of Causality
Rule #5 Players Will Try to Use the Cards to Match Their Perceived Function
Rule #6 Let the Players Play the Game They Want to Play