making the game you want to play, because no one else will
Games usually start selfishly. You make up a game that you think you would be good at, that you would like to play, but that doesn't exist yet. Ex Libris came out of a similar thought process: I like literature, I wish there was a game about literature, why don't I make it?
But how to play a game about literature? After all, literature is usually that which your parents are pulling you away from games to pursue. The challenge was a unique one: could literature ever be made gameable?
My roomate proposed that I make a game about wikipedia pages. You would choose one wikipedia page, say Duran Duran, and then puzzle your way to another page, like Radical Reconstruction, by making connections between wikipedia pages. You would have to navigate out of Duran Duran, and using intermediaries, arrive at Radical Reconstruction. The journey would be the game, your objective would be the set end page, and the rules would be that you would have move along connected wikipedia pages, never navigating outside of provided links.
This idea game me another idea, why not try similar approach to books. It has been argued many times that literature is a large interconnected web, endlessly related and intertwined in one another. I decided to test it out. I decided to make a game that would objectify books down into cards or other simple objects, and set up puzzles were players could clearly see the beginning and end points they were navigating between.
This became my "idea" for the literary, a way of both testing literary theory's assertion that "no book is an island" and allow readers to become players of literature.