Choice of Games authors/ Hosted Games authors - presence on the forums

This has been on my mind lately. I’ve noticed a lot of authors who publish via Choice of Games don’t have a strong presense of the forums where as almost all Hosted Games authors do have a strong presense (at least during the development of their games).

I’m curious why this is. Is it because they have their own communities already? Or maybe because CoG authors tend to be professional writers while Hosted Games authors its more of a hobby so they have more time to go on the forums?

I don’t know about you but as an authro I’ve always loved talking to fans on the forum as it only makes the games better and the multiple perspectives have always been interesting to read. Yet the majority of CoG authors seem to miss out on this part of writing interactive fiction well at least on these forums.

What does everyone else think?


I think it might be due to the fact that many hosted authors are publishing their WIP’s on the forum, and get their feedback from there- whereas the CoG authors already have a team to work with (it’s not needed in the same way).

I'll elaborate a bit

I suppose hosted games authors tend to hang out on these forums more because most of them doesn’t qualify for applying to CoG (I think you have to work with writing for a certain amount of time, in order to be accepted?), so posting a WIP on the forum is the next best thing. It’s a different type of networking, I guess.

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The entry level needed for CoG is to be published either professionally or have released a game on the HG brand.

You’re probably right about them having their own team to work on their IF. I’ve always found it curious :slight_smile:

Thanks, I thought I read something along those lines! :smile:

I for one would love for CoG authors to interact more with the people here, but not many do. *sigh

I think the only COG author I saw that is really active on the forums was Havenstone with his XoR thread

Cataphrak is pretty active from what I’ve seen, at least in the Infinity threads.

@Cataphrak @JimD and @Havenstone

Are the ones I’ve seen the most of on the forums. But Cataphrak and JimD both started in the HG brand first.

It certainly is an interesting thing. And I agree I’d like to see more of them become a larger presence.

At a guess from my 4+ years of lurking (^^’), I’d say that it most definitely has to do with the fact that, since (on very large average) Hosted Games pass through the forums in WIP form, and thus their process and progress is overseen and enjoyed by the public for the purpose of crucial feedback and testing, it is in fact both in the authors best interests and of a great benefit for them to be very active and interactive with their forum audiences.

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I love the forums. I’ve found it a great resource, and I’ve also been surprised at how few CoG authors there are.


Ha. I wish!..oh, you mean the editors. I thought at first you meant an adoring band of hangers-on.


I thought he’s a Hosted Games author though? The whole Infinity series is a part of Hosted Games after all

Some of it might also be that not every CoG author writes multiple books, or writes for CoG consistently. It seems like last time I glanced at the list of upcoming CoG games several of them were written by people who were returning authors, but I’m not sure whether they’re the majority or if most people who have written CoGs just do one and then move on. In which case it might make sense that they don’t really end up part of the community


I like using the forums, for general discussion and as a writing resource. It’s a useful place to get a variety of opinions about IF creation.

Ahhh, that’s the dream. “Entourage, bring me my coffee! Fan me with a peacock feather!”

Edit: I think it’s probably to do with the fact that a lot of Hosted Games authors do WIP threads and open betas which lend themselves to lots of discussion and online presence, whereas apart from XoR, CoG WIPs are under wraps.


He also wrote Hero of Kendrickstone and it’s sequel, which are CoGs.

I wonder why that’d be better than just going about it openly like Havenstone did when he was working on XoR?

These games don’t have active threads on this forum though. I think something like 90% of the forums posts I see are in Hosted Games/WIPs, it’s really rare to see a CoG thread with a lot of posts.


Well, I can try and answer that question.

To begin, authors aren’t required to keep their games “under wraps,” at least not past the 10k (chapter two) check-in. If we’re going to spike a game, it’s usually at that point or before. But once the team has reviewed and approved that amount of material, the game is going to get published in some form or another. (So, @HannahPS, if you wanted to start a thread for your game, you’d be welcome to. :slight_smile:)

But then you have the question of “why don’t they?”

I can’t give a definitive answer, but let me float some possibilities.

  1. It’s overwhelming.

You folks are a lot. There’s a lot of you. You have a lot of opinions, and sometimes you state them very forcefully. Moreover, how to tell who’s right and who’s wrong?

  1. They just don’t think to.

This is a real possibility. Most of the people we’re writing with are book-authors, not game-makers. Book authors don’t have interactivity to deal with, or beta testers, or game design, or any of a host of other aspects involved in producing a CSG. They might simply not realize how active the forums are, and how to make use of them effectively.

(And, becuse of #3, we don’t push them to.)

  1. It’s not remunerative.

XoR did very well, don’t get me wrong. But did it do so well as to justify all the time that Joel sunk into it? Even more specifically, was the time spent adding features at the request of the forums remunerative?

Authors that are writing for a living don’t have infinite amounts of time. A lot of them write to word-count targets, because they know how many words they can produce in a given time frame. And based upon time frames, they can budget their lives, pay rent, feed themselves, etc.

Adding new features/branches based on forum-users’ requests does make better games, but that takes time. And if an author has to choose between a better game and feeding their kids, feeding their kids will take precedence.

In short, until we start paying more, there’s not enough incentive for most authors to really engage with the forums.


That’s what I thought. Thanks for that Jason.

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Tought your question was about why Cataphrak would even count as a CoG author. Hence why I reminded you of the fact that even tho his HG games are more popular he still has games released under the CoG brand and I guess that qualifies him as CoG author?

I really thought he was a HG author o.o
I just always saw the Infinity thread but never saw the Kendrickstone one so I didn’t know he was the one who wrote it (I also didn’t play these Kendrickstone games myself)

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This! While writing first drafts I prefer to keep my head down and steam ahead - for me, there’s a temptation of of adding more and more and losing momentum. My wife and a couple of offline friends do alpha playtesting for me for each chapter, which is very helpful, but the sheer volume of opinions on the forum might get a bit overwhelming at the first-draft stage. Once I’m in revisions and beta testing, though, I’m in editing-mode and having that sort of feedback is perfect!