Games have a fantastic potential to help you explore the consequences of design, which is another way of saying, finding the most effective design by trial, and mostly, error.
Case in Point: ‘Dream Car Racing’
This game allows you to build a vehicle in the garage, with options for various shock absorbers, chains, tyres, frames etc. and then to race it on a varied terrain.
Each decision you make affects the way the car performs. I’ve found the best way with this is to get rid of the template, start from stratch, and slowly (through mistakes) realise why the template is the way it is.
That’s probably a good method for a lot of processes.
*edit. A good example is the shock absorbers. I knew why the wheels were attached to shock absorbers in theory, but it wasn’t until I attached a wheel in the middle of the vehicle directly on to the frame, and start bouncing every time I landed on it, that I really understood exactly why
Oh, and this: