“We’re like licorice. Not everybody likes licorice, but the people who like licorice really like licorice.”Jerry Garcia
I enjoy dark humor. It’s like food. Not everybody gets it.
I enjoy doom metal, Texas style BBQ, bourbon, and Ethiopian coffee. I like dark, disturbing, morally ambiguous fantasy. I really like these things. I have a scale that measures to the tenth of a gram when I make my coffee. It’s ridiculous, but that’s how I like it.
These things are not mainstream. They weren’t made for the mainstream. The problem with writing stories, designing games or any creative endeavor for “the mainstream” is that it will be bland and it will not make you uncomfortable for even a minute. It won’t be luxurious or deluxe. It will be for “everyone.”
In the age of the internet and smart phone, creators don’t need to create things for “everyone”. They can create for someone. If you can read this, you have access to 2 Billion people. If you find the 1,000 people who like your licorice, you win. Not everyone is going to like your licorice but those 1,000. They are really going to like it.
If you create for someone and you find them and say, “I made this especially for you,” they will likely appreciate and support what you are doing and then tell their friends. Those friends like the same things and then you can make a living, maybe not be insanely wealthy but enough to live on and keep doing what you want to do, not what “everyone” wants.