Well, maybe that last part isn't much of a compliment. But still, I got one-on-one feedback with an Actual Game Designer, which is always awesome.
Here are the lessons I took from our discussion:
- Know who your audience is. Mike suggested I make the game simpler so as to appeal to a younger audience; I posited that I doubted the target audience for the show would be interested in role-playing, and instead aimed at the much larger, much more active, more net-savvy Brony fanbase. However, as the discussion went on, I realized that A) Not all Bronies are gamers (and therefore would want a simple game), and B) Don't alienate a potential segment of your player base.
- If I am serious about making Unknown Ponies into a work I can be proud of -- rather than just a fun little experiment I cobbled together in a few days -- I need to stop using the Unknown Armies mechanics and come up with a system of my own. Not only would this address the problem with #1 above, it would also make the game more "mine."
- This, however, leads into a problem, specifically: I suck at game mechanics. So clearly I need to find a way to un-ass myself ricky-tick and get cracking on unique, flavorful mechanics...
- ... without completely destroying all the previous work I've done. I really don't want to come up with a really elegant system for skill resolution only to find that I can no longer use the "Failure is Awesome" mechanic which is central to the game.
So, you know, no problem. I just need to create an entire game engine from scratch while still maintaining that specific fast & fun experience and not losing any pony flavor.