I have over a thousand pages written on a free-to-read website, so I was wondering if there would be any legal issues in converting my webnovel into a hosted game while retaining the normal novel on the free website for regular reading.
It one hundred percent belongs to me, but I would like to know if this would be allowed. Would it?
First, I’m not a member of the company. And I’m not a lawyer. So while I’m pretty sure of the answer I’m about to give, you should take it with a grain of salt.
I think that would be fine, for two main reasons. Firstly, you own the copyright. You should be able to do whatever you like with it. But let’s assume that isn’t enough. COG and HG doesn’t want a carbon copy of something on their platform, even if you own it. Well, they deal with interactive fiction. It sounds like your book is a traditional novel, so you would be creating an adaptation in IF form. This is something that’s been done on the platform before, look at “ The Courting of Miss Bennet.” It’s a very accurate IF adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. So I’d say go for it
You may want to email choice of games directly for questions about rights, etc. But from what I understand (as not at all a lawyer or representative of the company and only a casual participant in the community), a CoG game is so different from a static novel that there is no issue, and CoG/Hosted Games hold rights in so far as you use ChoiceScript, which is their language.
As far as I know, they do not hold ownership of any of your characters or scenarios, only in the game language itself. So you would not be able to independently publish the game on your website, but would be able to continue selling your related static fiction in any way you saw fit.
But this is also somewhat theoretical, since a game is so different in structure from a static novel, especially a game written in ChoiceScript for an audience used to the level of self-determination this audience has, you might not even recognize it by the end of development. You might want to consider basing it in the same world, same large-scale conflict as your novel, but following a different set of characters in a different part of the story. Just creatively speaking.
There have been adaptations published by all three of CoG’s imprints of non-interactive fiction that was (and still is) available for purchase or to read freely elsewhere.
Basically, if you own the rights to the work, you can publish an adaptation or related work through Hosted Games. And the only limit their contract imposes on the use of your intellectual property is that you can’t publish the same work in a competing format.
I’m not an expert, so I’m going to join those who have suggested you contact the company directly for an answer to these questions. But basically, I don’t think you have much to worry about.
Hmmm, interesting. I know I would have to change up the story a bit to match the choicescript format, but I was hoping to keep the side characters, only swapping out the main character for the COG reader. Thank you for your response.
Some authors have done that. You don’t even have to change the main character if you don’t want to. But it is worth keeping in mind that you may be (and should probably be willing to be) surprised at the direction the story goes.
If you take a look at the Choice of Games “Looking for Writers” page, it has a part about Hosted Games and Intellectual Property.
Provided you still own the IP and the website does not follow a CYOA style of writing, you should be able to create it again as a potentially Hosted game. Not a lawyer or part of Choice of Games but my understanding is that as long as you’re not making something that was in a competing format, you should be fine.
Of course, you should email anyway (like others suggested) just to get a confirmation as it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Hmm, well. I would say for someone who would want to write a webnovel, RoyalRoad is the best medium to write on. The interface, algorithm, and reader base are the best I’ve come across if you’re serious about your writing, or at least want to do it professionally before going to Amazon or kindle or something like that. Im not interested in the Amazon route, so im just doing for fun.
My experience with RoyalRoad has been very good. You upload your fiction and fill in all the details, then gradually post chapters as much as you can. With each post you will get at least one follower(someone who likes your book) and maybe a review to rate your book on how good they think it is. The more high ratings you get, the higher your book gets pushed near the top of the ranks where you can get exposure to all of the site’s readers. In terms of rankings you do have to compete with the other writers on the site a bit lol(in a good way of course)
If your book is good, with that exposure you can get thousands of followers who may like your book. Some writers leave a patreon or paypal link so their followers can support them, or some just go straight to Amazon with the reader base they acquired from the exposure on RoyalRoad.
The writer community on RoyalRoad is extremely helpful and you can have a lot of good discussions about different things with them. They will even give you feedback on your book of you ask.
You also keep the full rights to your book and any profits you make from the site, as they make their money from site ads, you paying to advertise your book if yoh choose to, and premium packages.
The bad is that the community if very obsessed with perfection, and tend to value high quality works or writing, but no matter your writing level you will be accepted.
Thanks for the detailed info. A while back I was looking for a place to host my web novel. I’m not gonna lie, I didn’t like RoyalRoad’s interface. It’s a little bit clunky and sometimes it looks outdated or amateurish, but I keep seeing the site on recommendation lists.
Right now I’ve decided to post on Webnovel (the site). But it has its own slew of problems. I might end up cross posting to be honest.
By any chance, have you tried Webnovel (the site)? I’m looking for someone who’s tried both.
I have tried wattpad, scribble hub, honeyfeed, and inkitt. But I made sure to stay far from webnovel due to its reputation for doing shady things with contracts and book rights. Plus one writer I know told me that it’s hard to get any exposure on Webnovel unless your book is chinese/Japanese/korea fiction. Other than that, I dont really have anything to say about the website/app.
RoyalRoad and Wattpad are the ones I’ve been on for the longest, so those I can confidently explain.
I think RoyalRoad would be a good choice if you can get used to the interface, but their readers tend to like fantasy and adventure titles, while Wattapd is more for romance, teenfic and werewolves stuff.
And Webnovel is chock full of wuxia/xanxia stuff. What attracted me was the number of users. But a quick search shows that there’s suspicion that they inflate their numbers. Which is not surprising if they don’t play fair with book rights.
It might be my prejudice showing, but I can’t take Wattpad seriously. I’ll have to check it again though, it’s been a long time since I visited there.
OK, Wattpad doesn’t look as bad as I remember, at least the mobile app. It seems to be taking itself more serious. However, you nailed it! After a quick perusal of the titles there, it seems it’s all about romance. You can tell just by looking at the covers and title name. Even in the horror category, it’s actually horror-flavoured romance. And in adventure category, it’s adventure-flavoured romance. And in the fantasy, it’s actually fantasy-flavoured romance…