I'd still say I have a preference for 3, mostly because of how versatile it is.
Teamwork? What represents teamwork more than programmers having to enlist the help of the game characters they themselves created?
Gaming? See above.
and meta... meta is just... the best
but no, my real reason for preferring it is that it makes the work load substantially easier. Not in a cop out kind of way, but in a realistic way. The game can be easily packaged in installments that can stand on their own, and could even be from different engines, featuring different art work (so long as we keep each layer on the same art work) so everyone can work in their area of expertise, and it rolls into the meta thing nicely.
Installments means cliffhangers, something which you can rarely do in video games. From our perspective, this won't be a surprise, but anyone playing the game and encountering the story for the first time, they will flip out when they see "this is just a game" (or some less shitty variation thereof) followed by a "end of chapter" screen.
It puts us in a position where we can start bringing out the games as soon as we have the majority of the story mapped out. Different people can be assigned to different sections. Before each installment is published we all take a look, give criticism, and alter it as necessary.
In an absolute emergency, we can edit and rerelease sections of the game almost effortlessly, and without anyone playing the game to go through the entire game again just to view that one change. This is an emergency failsafe, not because we're likely to need it, but because it's good to have something on hand just in case.
Yup. Indecision is the #1 killer of community projects. I've seen plenty fail, been involved in some failures too. People are given tasks but no direction, because nobody can decide on what direction to take...nobody seems to WANT to decide.
I think this is probably because projects are BIG. No one wants to be the person who kills dozens upon dozens of hours of work with some shitty idea.
Another advantage of multiple chapters. If we have a few paragraphs written out that happen over fifteen-twenty minutes, and all the sprites/music are either available or in development, then anyone can give that chapter a shot, upload it, and then someone else can pick it up, edit it, and pass it along.
Little bites means less pressure.
I'm arguing a little stubbornly towards the whole meta thing, but that's because of this:
Deciding on it, means taking responsibility, thinking it through, and having everyone agree on it.
The meta idea isn't the best idea possible, but I think it has serious merits.
The versatile nature of the meta thing means we can (don't have to) use multiple different methods for the same thing. IE multiple battle systems, multiple menus, multiple ways of setting the mood.
Also, when you acknowledge that you're playing a game, you're allowed to do some pretty off the wall things. I mean, if we're calling ourselves RPG Revolution, don't we have a duty to make sure we try something new