Announcing the Choice of Games Contest for Interactive Novels


It’s possible a non-winning entry would be invited to be published as a COG title.


So I had JUST made a post about “Can the MC be a non-human animal?” and someone showed me this reply. I can’t express how happy I am that we can write non human protags. XD


Will there be a maximum on how long the game can be or just a minimum?


Honestly, I really, really like that y’all are doing this contest. It gives an “in” to those of us who aren’t published authors, yet, which is just awesome.

Since it’s such a long time until 2018 (in theory, you could be half-done with the required 100k words by the 30th of this month), what would happen if someone were to become a published author during the interim? Like would they be able to pursue a contract with you separately, or would that negate them from participating in the contest? Would becoming an author but NOT requesting a contract keep one from being able to pursue the contest?

I’m still reading through all of the provided materials, mind, but I wanted to ask.

Also, when it comes to gender choice, how many choices are preferred? Like would

What is your gender?
  *set gender "male"
  *set him "him"
  *set his "his"
  *set hiss "his"
  *set he "he"
  *set himself "himself"
  *goto next_choice
  *set gender "female"
  *set him "her"
  *set his "her"
  *set hiss "hers"
  *set he "she"
  *set himself "herself"
  *goto next_choice
 #does it matter?
  *set gender "nonbinary"
  *set him "them"
  *set his "their"
  *set hiss "theirs"
  *set he "they"
  *set himself "themself"
  *goto next_choice

…the above be enough? Or would it be necessary for the player character to be able to be transgender (rather than just male/female/NB)? I’m all for choices, and I’ve got a WIP where I go so far as to pre-code, like, 8 different sets of genderfluid and nonbinary pronouns, as well as including a choice for pronouns. It’s not that difficult to code in, of course.

And as for nothing changing in the game based on the MC’s gender, I suppose that would include romance options – EG RO’s must be romanceable by all MC’s, rather than having their own sexualities and personalities?

So there can’t be ANY change in plot based on your gender – such as a comment about skirts vs. pants, etc.? Or just major plotlines?

Sorry if I’m asking a ton.


From what I’ve seen, official games usually have romance options who can be romanced by any main characters, but this is not always the case. I haven’t read through them all the way, but I understand that the Heroes Rise series includes Jenny, who is a lesbian no matter what, and that MetaHuman Inc includes Brett, who only likes other men. (I’m not aware of any heterosexual-only characters in official games.)

So I think the guideline is more about plot points. Though, to my understanding, it is still required that there be some romance option available for both male and females both same-gender and opposite-gender if romance options are present at all.


Mmmn. It’s hard to put into words. In a WIP I have, I have some only-straight, some only-gay, some bi, and some pan characters. But that’s not really a huge deal for me ^^; Like I said, it’s not hard to code either way. In fact, it’s easier by far to code “MC-sexual” characters. It removes about 4 levels of additional coding.

also, last question: should we keep games we anticipate submitting for the contest off of the forums, or would public beta-testing be okay?

flies away


I asked that earlier

And the reply was


ohp, thanks. Normally I search for it, but the search function wasn’t being my friend on mobile ._.;

Thanks hon <3


No maximum, minimum is firm.

Any questions about the contest and what we will or won’t accept really should be covered by the rules. We’ve got an FAQ as well.


I’d like to ask a couple questions, attempting to make my game comply with the ‘Writing for Choice of Games: Games’ document.

Do -all- choices need to have three or more options? I clearly understand that it’s preferred, considered a good choice…

It’s a question somewhat in conjunction with establishing choices based on opposed stats, and ‘all choices giving equal stat changes’ - The closest I can figure up for an opposed stat would be have one choice swing the stat one way a set amount, another swing it the other way a set amount, and one choice leave the stat right where it is. Would this choice setup be considered a fair establishing question? Assuming the choices are all active and intentional.

Additionally, I want to have a game where certain aspects of the player’s appearance are chosen by the player such as natural eye color, skin tone, hair style… but certain aspects are the result of their choices, magic affecting hair and eye color, training affecting body build. Are these compliant with CoG Inclusive values? I also want to, for most of the game, refer to the PC by a set title rather than name- and allow the player to choose a name for the PC later on which is used, but infrequently. I want to check that these comply with CoG inclusivity values.

(Oh! And one other really important question… because this is a contest, should I NOT put up a WIP on the forum when the game is near-finished, and instead restrict it to private beta? I’m not sure if there are rules about not allowing possible judges to know who wrote what, and if so what then to avoid for that. For example- putting an author line under the game’s title line. Should a potential game entry be kept secret from the CoG forums, or can it be open to the forums?) Nevermind on this one- I found that entries and author names may be posted on sponsor-owned sites. This, hopefully, includes dashingdon, and then putting up a link here in the forum? I wouldn’t want to disqualify myself via a misplaced host on a WIP.

Thank you, to whomever it may concern, who can answer these questions. :slight_smile: Much appreciated on the clarity.


Yes, every Choice of Games game has choices with 3 options, minimum. (Exceptions are when options unavailable to the player because of tests that govern their visibility…in those cases we recommend adding as many options as needed in order for the player to have 3 options.)

You can award or detract from different stats in each option for establishing choices. The point is that numerically, the stat effects should be such that one option is not better or worse than the others.

If you’re forcing the player character to look a certain way . . . it’s not clear that that’s creating an inclusive experience to me, but other COG staff may have a different opinion.

You can WIP your contest entry. From the FAQ:

"Am I allowed to publicly beta test my contest submission? Am I required to beta test my contest submission?
We strongly encourage you to beta test your game, either privately with beta testers you choose, or in a public beta that anyone can try. (Our forum is a great place to recruit beta testers!)

Beta testing is not formally required, but it’s almost impossible to write great material without anyone else’s feedback."


Thank you.

The clarifications are certainly going to help, moving forward.


I was so excited until I read the “except Quebec” part. :frowning:


Quebec has weird contest rules. It’s their fault.


Yes, Quebec contest law is a thing. I’ve gotten two or three complaints from people who live in Quebec and who assumed we were excluding an entire province (of a bilingual country!) because we didn’t think Quebec residents can write in English. Which is obviously not the case. But I was surprised that they hadn’t seen any other “except in Quebec/void in Quebec” on contests and weren’t aware. It’s really a thing.


I look forward to seeing the product of nearly two years win the 5k, that will be a great read. This contest was a great idea to adding new works To the playstore. (If it meets the requirements of course).


I actually thought of one other question regarding the contest-

In coming up with a title for the game to be submitted for the contest, should one use ‘Choice of’ in the title?


I mean, that’s probably not the first title you should reach for. You should title the game in a way that makes sense for your story.


New blog post relating to the contest:


Good Luck man! You got this!!! :grin: