Hey Ran, thanks so much for taking the time to try it again, and all your support! It means a lot to me, I really appreciate it. :) Also, thanks for the long and thoughtful response!! Here's a long reply, haha.
I'm definitely sitting in a strange place with these games now. I started doing WGJs to give myself solid deadlines and goals, initially not worrying about character, storyline, etc. Then, as I quickly started reusing Jammie as the focus of each game, I also added the ongoing narrative. It was mostly an experiment to see if I could continue to tie all these different themes into an ongoing series. This does bring me to the question... should I build this out, or should I save that energy for a project that was intended to be a full game? I have several ideas I've been sitting on for a long time that are already way more fleshed out. (Also, "JAM-mie" is literally my game jam witch, not sure if she was meant for the outside world with such a goofy name, haha)
I'm not sure I have a good answer yet. I really enjoy making these short games, but do think about my bigger project ideas. My current setup is a compromise of sorts, keeping things fast and ever-changing. but also holding them together with the story threads.
Working on a bigger project may be difficult with my busy work/life schedule. But at the same time, stepping away from game jams might be good too, as I've had several Wednesday nights with sacrificed sleep, trying to get the games done on time. I was lucky enough on this game to have a vacation day that I needed to use or lose, so I spent Thursday morning hammering this out. I also have several huge freelance projects lined up, so when those finally hit, I'll probably be out of game-making commission for awhile. But I'll keep up with the community and see what cool projects are being made! Might be a good time for a little Itch house-keeping too... cleaning up my page, adding videos, art etc.
No matter which way I decide to go, I won't be abandoning Jammie and friends. I have to at least conclude the events that started on the Mistwood Rails. I owe the series that much. But regardless of what comes next, I hope you stick around and continue to check out my work!
(PS: If you are invested in the series, not sure if you checked out Mariel's First Day or not, but it's more important to the current story than it may seem at first. Directly links into "Mistwood Rail Incident" and "Where's My Cake!?")