A friend of mine introduced me to someone recently who shares an interest in game design, and we've been corresponding, talking shop, for a while now. He's scary smart, and perhaps because of this hasn't read as widely as I have in the area of game design, content to work on his own material without outside help. Thus, when I mentioned the three questions to him, it touched off a long discussion as to what they were really asking and what they meant. It was great.
In the course of this discussion, Shadowitz came up, and through the back and forth, I wound up hitting on the thing that I felt the original design was lacking. Namely, an answer to those questions. Looking back to the beginning of this blog, I see I asked and then chucked those questions almost immediately in the design process. The goal became modelling everything in Shadowrun with an alternate set of rules, but it wasn't about anything. My game ultimately didn't see characters any more true to the cyberpunk genre than I'd gotten before. It worked as a resolution engine, but as for creating a particular feel, it was a failure.
It was the conversations with this new friend that smacked me in the face with that, and then just as suddenly, the answer came to me. What followed was a flurry of ideas that lead to a new core of the old game. I never really finished Shadowitz; the initial draft retains plenty of rough patches, but I decided to go about revising it according to these new answers anyway in the hopes that what came out the other side was closer to what I'd been searching for all along. Stay tuned.