Nothing is necessarily wrong
When making a new game, especially in the feedback stages, you have to consider a few things.
- Why should anyone play your game over any other game that they already know?
- How am I soliciting playtest feedback, and what incentive do the playetesters have to switch to your game (even temporarily).
- Who am I asking for feedback?
From my experiences with the same issues and disappointments, I've come to see that creating a game is a lot like any other kind of writing. Patience, and a resilience to disappointments is key, and you have to sell what you're writing to your potential audience.
To do this, I have a few things I start out with.
What is your elevator pitch? From marketing any kind of idea, there's the idea of the elevator pitch. If you get into an elevator with a potential customer of what you're doing, what kind of precis can you give them in the time that they're your captive audience? Can you tell them in 5 minutes or less why they should be playing your game instead of what they're already playing and familiar with? Is that description engaging and designed to get someone excited about playing it? This is going to be the first hurdle.
How clear are the rules and the writing? Your second hurdle is getting someone to actually read the rules once you give it to them. You can get it into their hands, and get them excited about it- but if your writing is bland or bad once you get into the rules, you'll lose your audience pretty fast. Editing, grammar, clarity, and a sense of writing style are going to be key to get them to actually read what you've written to get past this obstacle.
How easy is your game to pick up and learn? So you've gotten them to read it, but if it seems hard to understand (especially in relation to what they're already familiar with), or they can't explain it to their group, you're not going to get far. Examples of the rules are a good way to help with this.
Who should I pitch this to? None of the above is going to help if you don't have the right audience. The first thing is to realize the type of game that you've created, and find the players that would be interested in giving it a try. There are several different communities built up around designing and testing role-playing games. The ones that I've been a part of an would recommend are RPG.NET, StoryGames, and 1kM1kt.
Would I want to play it? Be honest with yourself. If you can't be bothered to get together a group yourself, teach it to them, and play it with them, or it doesn't excite you to be able to do so, then it's unlikely that someone else will. Find a game store and put up a posting for playtesters, and hang around and talk to people there. Go to one of the boards mentioned above and show your enthusiasm for what you've created. You have to be enthusiastic about it to create that critical mass to get people to care about it.
This next hint was a hard one for me to swallow, given to me by another game designer.
Should I create a new system, or hack another? This is a hard one to answer, especially if you really like to create. But if you hack another system, it comes with quite a few benefits, especially in regards to testing- inbuilt communities around the original system and faster learning time are the two major ones. When I built my own system, it was cool and had a cool dice mechanic. But, that wasn't enough to get people to try; they liked the setting, but didn't want to learn a new system. However, when I hacked another system to get the feel that I was looking for with my background, it was instantly more successful.
And my last hint- enjoy the process. If you're creating something that you enjoy for your enjoyment, you'll definitely have a more rewarding experience. Your enjoyment should be a driver behind the whole thing, with you ending up with a game that you want to play, not just create.