The game I call StoryTime is nothing new. As I have worked on the game, thinking through how things will work in the software and building parts of it, I intentionally averted my eyes from other games of a similar nature. For one reason, I figured that I would not be copying if all of the thoughts that went into the game originated from my own head. Also, the belief that I was going to create something unique was energizing. Maybe too much so that the illusion became something of a crutch.
Recently I took an online business course. One of the early activities I was assigned was to find the “fishing holes” where my would-be customers are hanging out. A few searches for choose-your-own-adventure games led me to the place I have been dreaming of, a website dedicated to creating and playing Interactive Fiction games. Actually, there are a few of them, though one fits exactly what I was thinking. As it happens, a whole category of games exists just like what I have been imagining. So much for being original.
So it is time to drop the illusion of being unique. I still have plenty to gain by creating the software as I have conceived of it, and the fact that others are making a go of it as a business means that I can, too. And I am grateful for taking that course because it showed me how to get a business going that does not rely on making money from games.
When I think of it, very few things are completely unique. There is a variety of options for any type of game, so why not one more interactive fiction game? At least I know there are plenty of people who will play it.