It takes a lot of work to develop a solid-fleshed out character idea that has "legs" so that you can play it for a while. Sometimes you know you have a winner, and other times it is more of a toss up.
I think the same is true for games as it is for characters. I had to excuse myself from JR's Hellfrost game for at least a month due to real life chicanery. While I was talking to him about it, the players were discussing how the game was trying its best to implode. JR's tougher than the game and is trying to keep it alive.
In the discussion, the other game that JR is running was brought up- and it's going fine. We decided that the Hellfrost game was the sacrificial offering to the Game Gawds to keep the other one running. It's the one TheDude is in, and it's keeping him sane, so I don't mind.
I've seen really good games blow up for silly reasons, and really silly games stay afloat for a very long time. Games have personalities just as much as characters and players do, and if you're one of those "shared experience" kinda people like I am, WHO plays in the game as well as what kind of character can make or break an entire evening.
Building a game with substance then is infinitely harder than building a character, if you ask me. Certainly GMs build their worlds, the people in them and the adventures to be had- but the players decide if it is compelling and worth their attention. I think picking the right kind of players (or avoiding the WRONG ones) becomes paramount when deciding to run a game, if you have the ability to do so.
But back to my still-developing character- I need something to help him be finished soon, because I really want to play! Any ideas?