So, a thing that's been on my mind a lot is if I should switch to making my fan game into an independent game, separate from the base of Pokémon. Things I've noticed as positives from independent works over fan works is that you can promote it as much as you want without the concern of a C&D or other legal notices due to being in a legal gray area. Another thing I've heard, at least regarding fan art (rather than fan games) is that often times, your fans may only be there for the fandom and when you present your original stuff, your following drops compared to when you share work relevant to that fandom. While it is likely less extreme in fan games since you can still (somewhat) provide a closer feel to the source material than artwork, I wouldn't doubt that this same sort of fake following exists in the fan game scene. Along with concerns about the popularity of original games over fan games, I also worry about translating parts of my fan game into something of my own. While I think I could probably keep the basic gist of my story with some editing, the short-term goal of gyms, the original sort of "hook" that brings the player into the plot in the first place is sort of lost. In my current outline for my plot, the player is having a fun journey around the region with their older brother before the main conflict becomes more prevalent. Even though it's still possible for me to try to carry the game with the story and characters without gyms as a motivator to travel, I still feel like it'd be kind of boring without additional gameplay elements and would work better more as a passive experience than an active one. I could be very well wrong, but that's my main dilemma at the moment.