So, we played Night Witches recently, and the experience has really bolstered my confidence in AW hacks.
Night Witches is a game made by this big-name indie designer about something they find cool, and while not everything in it jives with me personally, it works.
AW is like the new D20 in that respect, it lets people legitimize a thing they want to play by drawing on a tool everyone else is familiar with. AW happens to be a really good tool, and its spectacular modularity is a huge boon to people who’ve wanted a particular game but don’t want to spend (possibly) years making it from scratch.
It’s fun to be elitist about it (hur hur, another AW hack, hur) but honestly I think it has democratized the game design process to a certain point and I think that’s ultimately a good thing.