Best parts of a COG game?

Hello! I’m sorry if my question seems a little too vague- I’ve been an avid fan of COG and interactive fiction as a whole for years now but frankly only joined the forum this month, so please excuse my naive behavior!- but I was wondering what everyone usually likes the most in COG games?

I’ll try to explain clearer: I would like to make my own COG game! And, through the process of making tester games as a means of educating myself, I’m learning a lot about the behind the scenes of how making one of these games typically goes.

As I continue in my process (both in my coding and writing), I’ve been undyingly curious as to what others enjoy most in a COG game! For example, my favorite parts in COG games are always character based: meeting, talking, interacting- be it romantic or platonic or even familial- is a big if not the biggest part of what makes a game stick out to me and recall it fondly.

I suppose a more suitable way to put this is what is everyone’s favorite mechanic - would that be more appropriate?
I do hope I’m making some sense. I tried to see if there were any posts that answered my question, but the last reply to something very much like my own was from back in 2014. I hope some take the time to answer my silly question! Thank you for reading this far if you have!


From a writing standpoint, achievements. No question. I save writing those to reward myself after finishing things.


Oh wow! I never even considered that! Thank you for your input that’s rather an interesting thing to note!


I know alot of peoples frown upon those who play alot of ‘Self-insert’, but that’s what I do.

I’m not a game maker, I do write stories thought. And I’m also a player (well games player).

And to me, both writing my own stories and playing a choice of games (Or hosted) is pretty much the same thing.

The way I see it, is like acting on a scene.

When I write, I’m going to wear the skin of the main character. And watch as the world come alive around me.

Choice of games stories are just like that to me. Everytime I try a demo, it’s like I’m opening a forbidden door and see what’s behind it. Then you fall into this world made by someone else!

Someone toss you the costume, and suddenly the scenery and the sun blind you! And you are standing on hot sand and your Saga begin! And you must face the Gods and claim your destiny (Aka Exile of the Gods).

Then come another, somoene zap you! Oh no! Look down at your hands! You are not even human ! But an elf! And who is that ? It’s Mrs Claus!

You can be anything, from werewolf, vampires, Sorcers, a detective, a Super Hero! A God! A mermaid!

It’s limitless!

And that’s why I’m here for. Not to read the stories but to live them.

And of course I love the romances, the interactions and the Smoochies, and the humours, the sadness, the heartbreak and everything in between.

But they would be hollow without the worlds and the story that drag me from beginning to the end.



That’s an eloquent way to put it- I’ll have to keep that in mind!!!


Definitely the social interactions in my part too. If I care about the characters I can care about whatever the story is.

A different take, but I’m sure most writers will agree when they see this. They are, indeed, rewarding not just for the reader but for the writer. It’s like saying “Hey you, you made something of value.”


Coming from gaming background, what I favorite on CoG (and CYOAs) is the stat-item-checks. Popular example would be FFClassics where you can find things to open locked door, weapon to increase combat roll, treasures to buy entire stock, etc.

(and even red herrings that will never be used at all.)

Lone Wolf Saga has this silver mine and you can get like 20+ silver sacs, but the item themselves never used in the game. I still enjoy hauling 20+ sacs inside my pocket across the realm, though.

And it’s hard to find satisfying stats system in CoG/HG. Not that I even find one. The best one I can came up in mind is probably Mecha Ace, and the stats there is better than The Great Tournament and Tin Star combined. The former has simple four-point stats that define your piloting style while both the latter are too convoluted with too many stats it’s hard to make each decision feels impactful and char-building meaningful.

Otherwise, I enjoy nerdy reference and clever wordplay (read: puns).


Oh that’s an interesting one! If you don’t mind, could you tell me a little more about your take on an interesting stat system? What would be pros and cons to what you’d consider your favorite- or rather, what you’d like to see?


I love seeing how my actions affect things down the line, so I love little callbacks to prior actions like for example Choice of Robot’s callbacks to the name Pickle in factory building. It requires a ton of coding though, so maybe that’s not the best advice right off the bat.

I also like the illusion that characters have their own internal lives, so I really like small interactions that show their own goals and experiences besides being at the MC’s beck and call.


Ah yes! I can definitely agree with that as well! Makes you feel like you’re living in the world, no? I’ll have to make sure to implement such into my own works!


Yeah I agree with you. Character interaction is really what makes the story. If characters don’t feel real and they’re flat, then people don’t get attached to them. Then they don’t get invested in the story to see what happens to their favorite characters. Character banter, conflict, and background are all very important to me for that reason. A lot of times I see writers gloss over their characters in favor or the cool story concept they thought of. But this leaves the story with nothing for the reader to care about, and I usually find myself skimming over the pages and pages of text about world building rather than actually reading it.

I’d recommend introducing characters first then either explain your world after that, or have one of them explain what world building concept you want to talk about. This way you can still talk about your plot and important plot points while also investing the reader beforehand.


Oh huh! I hadn’t actually considered that- that’s some rather sound advice! Thank you for the input that’s really helpful! I hope I can hear more of your opinions in the future!

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What a fantastic way to say it! Choices of games stories have always make me feel less like I’m reading a book and more like I get to play pretend on someone else’s world, I love just how incredibly immersive it can be.


Well, first of all I consider COG to be a kind of “gateway” from real-life problems. I think that’s the main reason why I started reading in general. But honestly, since I discovered the site, I hardly read traditional books anymore or else I just skip pages to get to the “marrow”. I can’t do without the site for several reasons. The main one being:

The possibility to shape in a way the story through multiple and diverse choices. To build the personality of his character, and in this sense, I would have liked there to be more choices in some stories. Sometimes I just want to play a silent lone wolf type MC. Or an MC with a heavy dark and mysterious past trying to escape it like Trough Broken Lenses. Hell i love that wip so much :heart:

And one thing i really like in some story is sometimes when an NPC mention my past deeds.

For exemple in Guns of infinity, I was scorting Lady Katarina (i think) back to the capital with my soldiers. And then Count Welles appeared out of nowhere and pointed a gun at me asking what i was doing there when all the soldiers where fighting somewhere else thinking i was a deserter XD. Then Katarina told her everything saying that i was the hero of blogia and Kharangia (I think that was the names of these castles i don’t remember much names XD.) I’m always excited to read those kind of scenes, it’s a pleasant feeling.

By the way isn’t this topic more suited for writing and content tag?


I like being able to play as my ideal self in a CoG/HG/HC game. An intelligent, incredibly sweet, and charming individual.

However, as a lonely and socially awkward person, my absolute favourite aspect is character relationships. Friendships, rivalries, and romance. Especially romance. That is the main reason why I replay IF games. I can’t even count how many saves I have on ‘Wayhaven’. I will usually make the same plot decisions each time I play, but how I interact with the NPCs is always different.


Character. Depth, traits, dynamics, and exploration for me.

I’d really like it when characters are fleshed out in action and dialogues rather than in dead narratives. It feels very real and raw, and it increases immersion. For example:

Bad / flat narrative: The female elf seemed uncomfortable at the prospect of having to travel along with humans. She said that she’d once been betrayed by their likes.

Immersive / Fleshed out: The female elf narrowed her eyes towards her soon-to-be companions, wariness dancing behind cool blue orbs. “Forgive my open display of distrust,” she said. “Travelling with people who have once hurt my kind is not an amusing prospect for me, you see.”


To me, the most important thing is a captivating story. A story where I care about the characters and my choices. A story where I tremble before making a choice thinking “how will that affect my relationship/stats?”.

I love checkpoints and the ability to go back and replay parts of the game to see different outcomes.

I like when choices make it clear and straightforward how my stats will be affected. I don’t mind if they say what changes in the brackets.

Endings. If there’s no sequel, an extensive and definitive ending is a must. Endings that consider your choices.

Branching story or at least a part of it. I know this is difficult to do but it’s been done (the excellent Study in Steampunk, for example).


Actually, not so much that. I love writing achievements because they give you a chance to speak directly to your reader for a split second. To crack the fourth wall without shattering it. You can make it emotional or funny or whatever you would rather, but in that instant you have a much more direct conduit to that person than you do with the story itself.


Oh is it? Sorry! I’ll try to remedy that if I can but thank you for the heads up!

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@felz that’s rather informative thank you! I’ll have to jot that down myself!

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