Are WiPs spoiling us?

Well, in theory you might be able to work out a license for the choicescript code/game engine, like how some other game engines are often licensed too, as not all game developers want to develop their own engine from scratch. It is actually not an uncommon thing in the gaming industry. Might be interesting if you already run your own small publishing outfit, for example, and want to use your own storefront, or have your own company be the publisher of record for whatever reasons.
Don’t know anyone to date who has gone that route just yet but I don’t see any real reason why it couldn’t be done

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Yes, I’m aware, I was just trying to stick to what was immediately relevant to the topic at hand. The point is that starting a work in ChoiceScript is not, even informally, any sort of implicit business arrangement with Hosted Games such that they would have the right to treat it with proprietary interest.


It’s not that a game being incomplete puts them in Hobby Project - it’s that if someone’s making a game that they don’t plan to publish with HG, it belongs there. It’s not a company rule that a ChoiceScript game has to be published by HG - they just can’t be published commercially elsewhere. Many years ago I published an unfinished ChoiceScript game on itch without a pay option - that’s OK and if I made a thread about it today, it would go in the Hobby Project area.

From a writer perspective-

I admit I would be nervous about the idea of putting a whole game up for public testing, and I’ve only ever put up part of a game which then changed a lot between public testing and release. But anecdotally, the authors who have gone for a public approach and then released seem to have had positive experiences. I’m sure I remember seeing Jim mentioning that he found it really useful.

If I had to choose between testing minimally and posting the whole game, I’d choose the latter. It’ll make the game better and build people’s interest in it. I’ve also observed that even if a writer posts a “complete” game, they’ll often go through edits to improve between taking it down and publication.

From a player perspective-

I’d like to play more WIPs than I do, but unfortunately I don’t have the time so I end up buying games at release (and then, alas, they often languish for a while before I get round to playing past the demo). That said, if I played part or all of a game and loved it, that wouldn’t stop me buying it when it came out.


Interesting. I was not expecting that. Do you think it would affect sales at all?

According to the FAQ, you can.

Q) How can I publish my game on my own and make money? Can I release directly on the iOS App Store, for example?
A) Once your game is written, we will sign a commercial license with you. See the contract for details, but the gist is that you’ll be free to sell and distribute a game made with ChoiceScript anywhere you like in exchange for 25% of your gross proceeds.

Although now I don’t understand how only privately beta’d games are allowed, since the HG details say this:

  • You must post the game for a full public beta on the forum for at least one month prior to submission. It cannot just be a demo; it must be the full game.
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I have a theory that part of that reason might be because you have a chance to see the game slowly evolve and possibly contribute to it which may make it seem more satifying to read rather than going through it all in one sitting. Games that are finished and ask for beta testers rather than ones that are being slowly updates often seem to attract less comments. (I think, that’s how it sees anyway from what I’ve seen :slight_smile: )


We do, in fact, have a license that would allow someone to publish a CS game by themselves on their own website and/or on or other web-only outlets. It also allows you to directly monetize a game with Patreon. This is what Shepherds of Haven is doing.


Huh. I guess I was wrong about that.

That could very well be the case. There is definitely something special about seeing something like this grow and develop into a work of art.

I don’t know, if I’m honest… That’s what would make me nervous about the idea :sweat_smile: I’m not sure that I would personally be confident in posting an entire draft in public before release (and for CoGs I go through the closed beta so it’s a bit different anyway)

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Really? I didn’t know that. :eyes:
That’s kind of cool. How would they market it though? Would they be allowed to post a thread on the forum?

Hi Jason, is it still the case of the company style licences that are quite expensive or has it changed so that single person produced games that have no guarantee of making singnificant amounts of money might consider it? (I know someone who had a game unsuitable for publishing via HG.)


Maybe I’m just a fiend, but my god, I will scour the ends of the earth just to find every WIP that I’ve played 300 ways to death, and I am unapologetic for it lol. I don’t care if the author has posted everything but the last two chapters, I need the closure! And these damn artists know well how to sell a cliffhanger so that I’m left hanging on like a stage-10 clinger who cannot wait to finish the book in its entirety.

Yes I’m looking at you WHC3, I,tFO, ZE:SH, Kingdoms and Empires, Whiskey-Four, Blood Moon, SoH, Defiled Hearts and Vendetta!!! tosses money in the air at random while frothing at the mouth


Hahahahhaa. We’ve found a superfan. :rofl:


The web-only license (including has the royalty rate reversed: 25 to us, you keep 75.

Yes, you could have a Hobby Project thread for that.

This would be good for someone that wants to publish something that we consider too offensive for HG, for example. But you wouldn’t be able to have a thread here for a game we find grossly offensive.

You could also get a full-suite license, with mobile and Steam code, but that’s like a $20k Advance against 25% royalties.


Cool thanks :slight_smile: I’ll let them know that’s an option.

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If it’s who I think it is, I already had this convo with them.


I know it wasn’t me you asked this of, but in my personal point of view, based on my personal risk analysis (based on estimated amount of forum players and estimated price), getting a better product ranks higher than losing what equals as a month’s grocery money. (Everyone has their own rankings of course.)


Maybe so. I agree with you in some aspects. :person_shrugging:

Speaking only for myself, the more I see of the game via a WIP, the more likely I’ll buy it (if I love the demo, obviously). I’m also more likely to join the author’s patreon. I actually like seeing the game all the way through, but if it’s a good portion of it–like 75%–that’s good, too. The more I know, the better (I read the end of books in the bookstore before I buy them, just to make sure they aren’t huge downers).

Of course, that can backfire if I end up not liking the game, but might have bought it if I only saw a tiny portion of it. One like that was released last year–I thought I’d like it, but it turned too dark, so I didn’t buy it. But I would’ve waited to get spoilers on that one, anyway, so it really didn’t change anything.


From what I’ve noticed, the publicly available full Hosted Games (with the full versions taken down at T-minus-1 from release) trend predates the 75-or-fewer percent public (with the full game visible to the beta tester core/Patreon members/etc) demo trend, and more Hosted Games with publicly available full versions prior to release made it to completion (and sold well. I am not sure if there are confounding factors, though). Tin Star is a good example of this; in the testing thread, there are references to endgame scenarios and epilogues being discussed, and it was released before either of us joined the forum. I’ve also noticed that frequenters of a WIP HG thread are more likely to buy if and when it is released, whether or not the full game was publicly visible.