Thinking about the past I remember the very first version of Geist Wars was actually going to be a mecha tournament series inspired by a mix of Mirror’s Edge and G Gundam named “100 Overdrive”. Tried to keep it around for ages but could never quite get it to work. Then I decided if that can’t work I should just postpone it and buff out the details a bit.
Eventually I went back to 100 Overdrive with a new idea, what if I made it a MMO styled story? At the time I was getting more into DC Universe Online and Final Fantasy 14 so I thought it’d be a cool thing to do. Went into so much detail…came up with classes, sub jobs, weapons, NPC characters on top of the original cast I was transferring over, locations, and even found a way to keep the mechs. I decided the game they’d play would be called “Geist Wars” and it’d be an MMO with a concrete story and it’d even include decision branches that affected how each character reacted to you (on top of if you were magic/tech/Geist, gender, and orientation). Funniest part is I had made up DLC packs and new characters, powers, and weapons that’d be added to the story.
The more I went over the story of the game I figured, why not just make it it’s own thing? And thus Geist Wars became it’s own series with no connection to being a MMO game thing. The NPC heroes and villains became the main focus. The old locations were kept with new ones as was The Rift (granted that got massive expansions that put the original to shame). Some of the original 100 Overdrive survived the purge (expect to see them in Geist Wars II: Diverging Roads) but the Mechs had to be dropped entirely…but I did salvage them kinda in my mech series so not all is lost.
Moral of the story? You’d be surprised what you’ll end up creating after revamps, reedits, and just not entirely destroying a series. Even if it doesn’t work immediately maybe you can salvage it later. Just need the right inspiration.