Looking to submit a game under the ‘hosted’ title, but not 100% sold on the public beta test. Clearly a lot of people have found it acceptable (because otherwise nobody would be published), so I wonder if any of those people could answer some of my concerns.
1: I’m concerned that it will limit my options. If for whatever reason my game doesn’t get published by CoG (maybe they have too many in their queue. Maybe I find a fantastic opportunity elsewhere. Maybe they suddenly close business.), if I try to take it elsewhere I have to admit that the full version has already been available online, and played by an unknown number of players.
2: I’m confused–doesn’t this poach the market? I imagine that a great many of the people on this forum are avid CoG readers, exactly the kind of people I’d want to sell my game to. What stops everyone from simply playing the open betas as they are released, and never buying a single one? (Is the site traffic just negligible in the greater scheme of things–and if so, why?)
3: I’m unsure what function the open beta is supposed to serve. Is it a market test? Is it crowdsourcing part of the editing process? Will the results of the open beta inform CoG’s decision to accept or reject my game?
I’ve tried to anticipate some common responses so we can skip the initial ‘have you turned it off and on again’ style interaction:
I’ve asked CoG whether the open beta was negotiable, and they advised me that it is not.
I recognise that writers share their unfinished work all the time: In fact, I have a writing group who have seen my story already. I have no problem with the ‘beta’ part, but a few concerns surrounding ‘open’.
I understand that choicescript games can be a mammoth task for one editor to test. Mine passes randomtest and quicktest, and since it’s rather short and extremely dialogue heavy, I’m quite confident that it’ll be bug free by the time I’m ready for submission (which isn’t just yet, but is very soon).
I understand that choicescript can’t invest in proofreading, and that they don’t want to be associated with games that have poor spelling/grammar. I’m just not convinced that crowdsourcing a proofread (if indeed that’s the function of the beta test) is the best approach, and since my story will be professionally copy edited before submission I don’t think that’ll be a problem.
I understand that if I were to take the game elsewhere I’d have to port it to another scripting language. While that certainly isn’t an attractive option, it is still an option, and I like having it in my back pocket if CoG doesn’t work out.
I’d really love some input here folks. I’m excited to submit my work, and I’d like to do so without any lingering doubts.