I was thinking about the “single-game engine that you can play any number of one-shot stories with” that I’ve wanted to design for a long time. Play Right!, my Game Chef entry, was a stab at it. I have numerous notes about it over the past 5 years. But, there’s a serious marketing problem with the entire concept.
People shouldn’t have to decide what to play TWICE.
If everyone else’s groups are anything like mine, deciding what to play next is a constant negotiation of shifting interests and priorities. Designing a game that would essentially cause people to say “Alright, we’ve discussed it and we’re going to play MSM’s Game. Now, what type of story are we going to play with MSM’s Game?” seems to set the burden too high. That’s one of the problems that WGP… struggles with.
Finding the perfect amount of player empowerment is a never-ending quest.