Limitations don’t have to be restricting.
I glossed over this in yesterday’s post about digital card games, so here’s a slightly more detailed look. Let’s just use digital card games as an example here, because it ties in nicely. They don’t have any physical attributes available to them. The giddy feeling you get when opening a pack of cards comes from the crispy plastic wrapping, the smell of newness, the feel of freshly printed paper. Digital cards don’t have all that. Instead, the only resources they got are audio-visuals.
A pretty picture and some noise by itself may not be very much, but one can go the extra mile and make the whole feel really impressive. Hearthstone, for example, has a cool, bursty animation for opening a pack… and then the cards are still facing away from you! You turn them around one by one, and when you’re lucky enough to find a rare card, there’s some visual effects and audio cues being played.
They elaborated on this exact thing in a presentation they gave about the design process of the game. While this was only one small part of it, I feel it’s important to know that you should always use the tools available to you to their maximum potential. No matter what you’re going for, it can always be emulated in whatever medium you’re targeting!
Granted, your mileage may vary.