In a continuing tradition of enjoying free, old-yet-great videos on the internet, this keynote from GDC 2010 is a great overview of how players react to different design approaches. This is mostly explored in broad terms, but Meier gives examples from his experience.
The main takeaway may be that players given options often don’t make fun choices, even when they are trying to have fun. This isn’t a new idea, but many developers struggle with it. The clearest current example is probably Diablo 3 removing its auction house. The clearest path to victory isn’t always the most entertaining.