Why is the one goal metaphor so common despite the fact that with multiple instruments one can hit multiple goals?
1. Satiation – you want to be the very best like no one ever was. If you want to make the most enticing atmosphere possible then sound can only do so much, graphics could only do so much and nothing can hit the highest point without references to the trade-offs. It is the limit of current graphics, current sound general current knowledge about currently anything. However, that doesn’t apply to stuff like difficulty where you’re trying to hit the right point between two easy extremes.
2. One goal is the satisfaction of several smaller goals – imagine the goal of creating ‘the best fighting game’ that would require strategic gameplay, clear graphics and satisfying sounds – interestingly enough those are all forms of hitting a target really – that way all the instruments are being used to hit separate sub-goals.
3. Marketing – when people talk about trying to hit one goal they are simply suggesting what their key priority is, or to give people something to think and talk about with reference to the game in order to spread the word and to convince people to purchase it.
4. Emphasising – related to the last point and mentioned in the previous part, the rhetoric might be based on having their stated goal and also the second goal of emphasing that stated goal. Perhaps for marketing purposes, but they could also do it for rhetorical purposes or for artistic reasons. Indeed, I do feel a feeling that while early indie games were to stress and convince the power and purpose of gameplay; Current ones do it in order to get into that market as a form of marketing.
So quite a few reasons for the rhetoric. However, most of them are about hitting a non-satiable goal whether that’s the stated one or some other that is more powerful when left unspoken. Since, of course saying whether one as or hasn’t got one goal is part of an instrument to hit part of a goal.