I've been reading RPG Design Zine: A How-To Zine about Tabletop Roleplaying Game Design by Nathan D. Paoletta over the last several months. It's short (duh) but each page has some beautifully expressed insights about how and why RPGs work the way they do, and it takes me a while to digest it.
I've started going through it again while working on my Twine....thing. I spent this morning buttoning up some of the foundational concepts of the game: Why it exists. What it is aiming to do.
I can already feel a bit of momentum building, each piece giving me the tools to know if I am or am not making the right choice. That said, I'm not totally sure that what I'm making is a role-playing game. It's interactive fiction, for sure, and perhaps I'll be able to inject enough....whatever it is....to make it an outright game. But right now it's something you play on a phone. You don't have a conversation or create writing about the fiction. You follow the fiction and hopefully you have a compelling experience along the way.
I feel a little lost in a maze right now: I don't know any other thing quite like what I'm doing, I don't quite know how to build the thing I want. But as it gets closer, I get less distracted thinking about other, simpler projects. Amazing how that always happens. Every creative project starts in a floundering mess of confusion and self-doubt, until....boom! You find the thread and there's your way out.
(Until, of course, you lose the thread.)