Game, Story, or Concept?

How do you decide what kind of production to pursue?

I’ve been working on an idea (of course, it’s brilliant), and I’ve reached the point where I’m starting to question whether it’s worth pursuing as a game.

I could just publish it as an insane enchiridion. (first word I looked up that made sense in context)
I could farm it out as a foundation for people to write stories in. This might involve getting seed money work through literary agents to pay established authors.
I could develop it as a game for people to play. This requires that I settle on mechanics (no easy task) or commission development or adaptation.

Proportionally speaking, developing a game is the MOST effort with the LEAST reward. LOL. I have to be realistic. No matter your field, without a major breakthrough, most projects are vanity efforts.

The pamphlet would be easiest, but it’s also low reward, so probably a wash–then your ideas are out there and not yours anymore. The commissioned writing approach seems sound, but I haven’t navigated those waters before.

Or are we all here because we only write games and haven’t considered any other approach?

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idrc about format as a writer. I want people to read what I write, otherwise I don’t need to spend the effort to write it (I can dream forever).
Most of my work I publish as, more or less, inspirational material for other people’s games bc it’s basically flash fiction, which is about the right amount of effort I can manage right now in balance with the rest of my life. I think that’s the barometer, though: how much control do I want to have over this story? Am I trying to tell a story, actually?
I’m greatly disinterested in writing new mechanics. There are so many systems available already, it just doesn’t appeal to me to try to forge something new, especially when I enjoy many of the systems around.

Overall I’m just going to take the path of least resistance. I’ll write, put it out in whatever format—be it a blog post, a setting or some kind of module or even just a series of tweets—and, if people read it, great.

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I write games with no story in mind. My design philosophy is to provide tools that facilitate players telling their own story.

As for game or concept, I usually bounce those off each other until my idea has enough meat to develop. It may start as a new idea for a mechanic or as an aesthetic/genre I want to emulate, but they’re both going to contribute to design by the end of it.

At the end of the day, whatever you pursue is going to take work. If it’s your passion that you want to enjoy every moment of making, choose a format that you are skilled in so you get to just focus on creation. If you want to learn some new skills along the way, choose a format that’s going to need something you don’t quite know how to do. If budget isn’t an issue, then figure out what creator whose work would elevate your project you can hire.