About the Hosted Games Publishing Process

On https://www.choiceofgames.com/looking-for-writers/write-a-hosted-game/ it says

  1. You independently write and complete a game written in ChoiceScript
  2. You complete a public beta test of your game on our forum. This must be a beta of the full, entire, complete game, not a demo of some portion.

How do they mean “independently” ? is it allowable to have a team of writers, coders and artists? Also. how does one “complete a public beta test” ? I know what a public beta is, but when is it considered complete?

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  1. It means Choice of Games themselves will provide you with no support. If you wish to collaborate, that’s fine.

  2. Just use your own judgment. CoG want you to produce high-quality content. I’m sure you also want to produce high quality content. Therefore, you should run a beta test, and keep fixing bugs/issues until you’re happy with the level of quality. There is no official check on HG quality, so that again, is on you.

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Keep in mind that HG takes the lion’s share of the profits, so if you are splitting the author share between a whole team, it’s going to be a pretty slim payday even if the story is a hit. And if it isn’t popular, individual shares might not even be enough each month to buy a cup of coffee.

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Cool… so where do you upload the beta? I presume you upload it somewhere and then announce it on the forum?

Exactly.
Doesn’t have to be announced too. Some games went through private testing.

Yes, there is a website called Dashingdon where almost everyone uploads their story. It works for both public betas and private ones. I recommend waiting to do it as a public or private beta until you have at least a little length to it, as people react better to a demo that is longer. And the more people like it, the more feedback you will get.

@hustlertwo

dishing out the parental wisdom right here.

@Aworthy
but yes, quite a few people do collaborate with a team - other authors hire artists to do ad-hoc work. Ultimately, as long as you create it, and you own the IP (which means it can’t be published on other sites as well!) Good luck with your game :smile:

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Depends on what you’re in it for though. Get the right group of authors and it can be a great experience to write something as a team (even if it ends end up only earning enough for a cup of coffee or less for each author a month :slight_smile: ) Just make sure you have a reliable team that won’t disappear or cause problems otherwise you’ll be stuck for publishing later.

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Will they consider if it goes through private testing?

Have to run it past COG on a case by case basis I’d imagine. They want to make sure you have it adequately tested prior to publishing which either means a good percentage of it needs to be publically tested, or you need to be able to get enough people to test it privately. (They’re unlikely to accept it if your family and a friend or two are the only ones who have read it I’d imagine unless it seems well polished.)

A lot of people get hung up about public testing and it really is to your benefit as a new HG author in most cases. The more bugs and typos you can get out of your game the better, and allowing people on the forum to help is an economical way to do it, as well as getting useful opinions on if your game choices/stats are working as you intended or need rebalancing/adding to. Readers are more useful than copy editors in some aspects, even COG asks for beta testers from the forums as well as getting the work professionally edited. (Which is too expensive for most single authors unless you’re sure you have a best seller on your hands.)

You can always take the latter part of the game into private testing for readers who are especially keen if you don’t want the whole game to be available publically before publishing. (Which is what many people including myself often do.) TBH pirates are more of a problem for your game being released in places you don’t want than allowing your game to be viewed on this forum will ever be. Many people who test games still buy them after release I believe anyway :slight_smile:

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I’ve tested a game (Dryad’s Riddle) where its about page only mentions 2 beta tester: me and Carlos. It’s been through public announcement though the feedback cycle is private.


Yes, although I believe they would like to get access to the thread (or the SS at least) as a proof that you actually done the testing.

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I will go so far as to say I think every story should be tested in a fully public fashion. Not only because more input from more sources is better pretty much every time, but because it is a great way to determine how much interest there is for your story in the community. If you start two WIP threads, and one racks up 200 likes while the other has 50, then unless you are just a lot more excited about writing the latter option, you may want to focus your efforts on the story that more people want to read. These things aren’t completely accurate predictors for future success, but they’re right far more often than they aren’t. Most of us have multiple story ideas floating around, and the public can help us separate the wheat from the chaff because they have an objective distance that a creator almost always lacks to some degree.

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Yeah but both you and Carlos are well known as good beta testers and Avery is a good writer to start with, so yep you are right that it will depend on a few factors other than just numbers of people who’ve read it prior to publishing :slight_smile:

lol unless you’re me and then you go finish the least popular of your WIP’s first because… well I don’t know, reasons? It seemed like a good idea at the time? :laughing: I do agree with you though, although it doesn’t always work that way how popular a game is in beta testing is a usually a pretty decent indicator on how many people will actually want to read it once it hits the stores :slight_smile:

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Well, there are plenty of other reasons to write a story aside from money. Sometimes you just really want to see it out there no matter what. But if money is a factor (and I know it is for me, albeit not the only one), the barometer of public opinion is invaluable.

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