I think it is a good question.
I can give you a simple answer, but it is necessarialy incomplete.
First and fomost is the developability of the silver halide itself...
Silver halides are a group of different chemicals which differ in their properties, developability for example.
These can mix more or less freely and even form "solid solutions". So a "light sensitive emulsion" can varry a lot in composition. AgCl develops quicker than AgBr and AgI, IIRC, is more difficult to develop than either.
How or where these are present in the emulsion crystals will dictate how quickly the developer develops.
I suspect that while an easily developed silver halide may develop well in a mildly reducing developer,
a stronger reducing agent may be more suited (or even necessary) for one that develops with difficulty.
I am not sure how important all this is with "normal" materials, but to answer your question,
One would choose to incorporate a larger amount of the specfic silver halide which responds as desired to the reducing agent you have in mind, and/or that same silver halide in an appropriate crystal structure that allows it's properties to be expressed as desired.
Incomplete but a start anyway.