Yesterday I had an idea that grew and seemed to design itself in my mind. I started writing and brainstorming and came up with a framework that could become a really great game.
However, I am not sure that the theme (Competing Arab Tribes/Trade and Sell to Rome) is one that would inspire sales, and instead may hinder it.
I know much advice is given not to get into game design for the money, and rather to do it for the love and fun of it, which I get. But I'm not sure that advocates spending my time climbing a tree that I can't see any fruit on, when there are others that do have it.
Have you had this happen? How did you handle it?
On one hand I'm inclined to move forward w/ it, but on the other I have other ideas that I could spend my time on as well.
The best advice I can give you is never assume anything but expect everything. If something is your passion than you should run with it but expect to run into some hurdles.
I can't tell you how much money you'll make on this but I know you'll have a lot of fun doing it. You'll find all the support you need between here and your friends and family. You'll also get the chance to learn a lot of things you never thought you were capable of.
I say do it!
What's the worst that could happen? you get well into the design, and then move onto another project. You will still have learned soemthing. Perhaps you discover a mechanic you can use in a different game. Harnessing Theme, for me is always about making the project enjoyable. Do some research, learn soemthing, and try to apply it. Perhaps you get tired of the Theme. So retheme it (which is a good practice to, well, practice.) Try and try again. If your first design doesn't work, soemtimes shelving it for a while and coming back is what will make it work.
Based on your brief description, I probably wouldn't be inclined to buy your game for an evening of entertainment. However, that being said, I just returned from Rome and my kids, 12 and 14 year old boys, were amazed at the scale and grandeur of the architecture in Rome and were eager to learn more about the culture. Perhaps you can stay true to your original game idea, but change the audience your game is intended for by marketing your idea for educational purposes as a way to learn about different cultures, historical events, and trading and negotiation skills.
Just a thought.
Between the feedback I received here as well as from my design guild, the best course of action seem to be, to build it letting the theme fuel my creativity, but don't fall in love with the theme so if it does need to change down the road it can.
Thank you all for the encouragement, now for the fun and gritty part... :)
I don't think that the theme is necessarily uninteresting. If the mechanics are interesting, I could definitely love a game with a theme like that.