One thing I've always enjoyed about board gaming is looking at the state of the board after a game is finished. From the territories that have changed hands at the end of a game of Axis & Allies to the design of a stained glass window in Sagrada, there's something satisfying about finishing a game and looking down at what you and your fellow players have created.
This was a large part of the design objective for Fruit - my intent was not only to have a game that was fun (obviously), but also a game that would result in a satisfying end state. Now, even in the most relaxed game people want to win (without some kind of incentive there's no reason even to play), so the objectives that people are trying to achieve, and the routes by which they are able to achieve them, will shape the way that the end state looks. For a game about growing fruiting plants, that meant I had to develop a win condition and set of rules that would encourage players to create a plant that would look aesthetically pleasing at game end.
Obviously the rules are about more than just the look of the plant at the end of the game, but that visual aspect is useful to illustrate the point that a kind of evolutionary principle applies to game development.
So, after all this evolution, are the rules in their final form? Absolutely not. Play testing for Fruit is underway, and I fully expect to make changes based on feedback from players. But these changes are more likely now to be about streamlining the experience, adjusting competitiveness, adding challenges or simply making it more fun; the core gameplay generates an end state that I'm pretty happy with. Evolution has seen to that.