Thank you for your thoughts!
My main goal is to create a system that captures the same themes as the books. And using their world is a great shortcut for me—I don’t have to create a new world, the books have a large fanbase, and I really like the setting. And as the authors told me: “We would probably be pissed if you made a game that is this close to our books without actually base the game on the books.”
If you pitched me Devil May Cry: the Roleplaying Game™ I would say “neat” and skim through, but unless it had stellar recommendations I would assume it’s too invested in being part of the brand to want more.
This would be more like “Make your own demon hunter (or whatever Dante is) in the world of DMC and take on the beasts and demons from hell.”
A) Are you planning on the game having appeal as “X: the game” or “A Game of X”? Is your approach going to be trying to pull people into an established world or to pull people in with a fun game that that happens to be in an established world?
Very much this. The setting is cool, but it’s not the main selling point for the majority of my target audience. If you have knowledge of the world—congratulations! If you don’t—don’t worry, this book will tell you everything you need to play. If you want more, there are three books, a comic and a movie out there to read and watch.
B) Are you willing to work within an existing IP? Even if you get the licensing rights for cheap to free, you’ll still need to be bouncing your work off the IP holders to ensure everything is kosher. If you are trying to make an accurate game as possible that could be helpful, but it will be a “collaborator” that limits how much control you have over the final product.
I have already had a meeting with the authors and they are in on it. The game will be placed a couple of years after the events in the books, and as long as I don’t change anything from the books I can do pretty much what I like, it seems. As they said: “We won’t be writing anything else in this setting, so you can’t screw anything up for us when it comes to future stories.” They will also talk with the movie company for me to find out if they have any restrictions, but they didn’t think it would be any problem.
The IP is also one of the reasons why I want to do this game, since I think it’s a really cool setting and I think that you can create a lot of great stories in it.