Here is how I came up with the badass Star Wars SAGA game that I've been playing for the last three weeks. I don't think any of my players read this forum but if they do, they should navigate away now if they want to avoid spoilers.
You may or may not be aware of one of the greatest sitcoms ever made, "Arrested Development". You have no excuse for yourself if you are not aware of it. All three seasons are 20 bucks or less in Target and Hollywood Video, so go and buy them today. The show pitch is a "fake reality show" about a wealthy family whose patriarch is arrested in the pilot for Enron-like shenanigans. The writers and performers of this show were all complete psychopaths and masters of deadpan humor.
The structure of the individual jokes on Arrested Development were very simple, and they were assembled into insane conglomerations of self-referencing loops in a way that's unmanageably brilliant. The individual joke structure went like this:
One character makes a statement.
Another character immediately says something that completely undermines, misses the point of, or misunderstands the statement.
It's the timing of it that makes it work.
The uncredited narrator, Ron Howard, often participates in this joke. A character will say something like "I would never ever work against you, Michael." and then immediately the narrator says, "He had worked against Michael just that morning." and there would then be a scene showing that.
I am a huge fan of unreliable narrators due to prejudice or limited information. Arrested Development's narrator added energy and a new point of view to a show where the point of view was part of the fun of the show. Obviously it was used for comedy, but could it also add drama (showing unintended consequences of actions) or even tragedy?
After Star Wars SAGA came out, I got psyched about the slimmed-down d20 system, the nonheroic character class for easy NPC generation and in general the badassitude of a faster-moving Star Wars d20 game. So I wanted to run a Star Wars game.
Group dynamics fed into this a bit. A friend had finished running a Star Wars d20 game about 9 or so months ago. It was great but there were some problematic things happening mainly due to communication issues. (Players getting upset at what they perceived as GM interference with their character concepts, GM getting hair-pulling and frustrated at players getting upset at what he thought they wanted.) One big communication issue that we actually came up with a way to resolve was that some players were unhappy with how other players were having their characters interact. For example, one player saw their character as being a sort of reluctant, peace-loving warrior, while another player had their character react as if they were a gun toting maniac - and this was hurting their fun. If they had decided that there would be this misunderstanding they would be happy, but the relationships between characters had been created rather ad hoc during the wild roller coaster ride that is an action-space-fantasy plot and it didn't end up in a satisfying place.
We decided to fix this in the next game was by having a session after a few weekends of play where we made explicit requests of "what I want your character to think of my character". The main struggle we had with this was making it clear that this was NOT the same as asking "well, what is your character's history with my character". Fuck. No. That's not the question. We can write the history to be whatever we want, or even interpret what we've already established in different ways, it's the end result we're interested in. If you want to be seen as wacky-crazy-but-fun, then we must not end up at dangerously-unstable-and-unserious and ruin our game because of some fictional history that means nothing.