Consolidated Collaboration Discussion Thread

Thinking of developing a collaborative game?

Here is some important info:

There was one project @Felicity_Banks managed, called something like starship adventures, that was a cooperative project with multiple writers. At this point in time it’s already been finished and has been submitted to the Hosted Games label. Right now there is another cooperative project underway, which is dubbed the Forum Community Game, which is a collaboration between multiple forum members including me. If you want I could sent you a link to the PM thread. We could still use some more writers.

The big downside to this type of collaboration is that it’s so much work to determine who gets what part of the royalties that it’ll always effectively end up as no-one getting any kind of payment. That is fine if you’re only doing it for fun though (like me).

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No-one will get as much, it’s true. But it’s legally necessary for CoG to pay everyone involved.

I think you end up with less writing, and more editing. Whether that’s your idea of heaven or hell depends on the people involved. And a LOT of talking, which is…ditto :slightly_smiling:

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First of all, I predict Starship Adventures…psssst @Felicity_Banks, that’s the name we chose right? I was saying, I predict Starship Adventures will make all the contributors independently wealthy and yes, powerful. So yes, I have high expectations.

Second…of all, I would LOVE to see a collaboration between just two (not three or more, just two!) existing HG properties doing a crossover…it will happen eventually. I think just two authors could more easily divide the work, and if the properties were strong and there was synergy between the two, it could work out really well.


Being someone who is more of a solo writer, I’ve never dived into collaborations before so the idea of a whole community making a game really interests me.

Maybe when I finished the story I’m working on currently I will join a collab for the social side and read the styles of writing of others.

Some of the older members might remember that I once tried doing it and it pretty much failed

I gave it a pretty hard go once, but people dropped out one by one. I take my fair share of the blame for that, it can be intimidating for some people when you’re feeling really creative and pumping out huge amounts of prep and lore work and nobody else is keeping up.

It could in theory work, but like all successful writing endeavours each person has to treat it as a job rather than a fun way to blow off steam, otherwise it can all come crashing down.

Incidentally, if anyone wants to take a look at some of my ideas and use them, it might be pretty nice to see them actually used rather than just having them sit there in my dropbox and rot.

Insofar as data rots…

Which I guess it doesn’t…

I guess the key thing is that everyone’s got to know what they precisely are doing, once you have a framework of what the game is going to look like from start to end, you just divide it up and say ‘you’re doing chapter 1 and 2, it should be X long etc.’ That way nobody is floundering around wondering how to contribute.

If I recall, @Samuel_H_Young and @andymwhy are currently working on Colonizing Kepler 62e, which is a collaborative series. Perhaps one of them would share thoughts on it . . .

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You are right, @Fiogan.

Our project was originally billed as a community game, the plan being to have multiple writers with a couple of key writers. Unfortunately, all of the volunteers disappeared apart from Sam and myself. We have plodded on (with major input from MaraJade) and are now deep into two parts of a trilogy of games. The threads are:

A few words on this: I had the initial idea for the game 5 or so years ago. When it came time to gather a crew for writing, I had a structure already in place. The idea was a large story (one writer), followed by a branching section which could have multiple writers. We then used google drive to create a large document with all the ideas, making a more clear structure for the game. This, along with in-forum messages, helped us get started with the writing. We are now at a point where we both know the story well enough to be able to work independently on two separate parts. Both parts have large playable demos in the links above (which will be updated soonish).

In terms of payments, despite Sam writing the whole of part one and me writing the whole of part two, we will split the revenue 50:50. It’s a joint project so that makes the most sense.

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I’ve already colaborated/continue working (sorry will once again work on the library project after 15th Jan…) on two of the joint projects mentioned. So far it’s been a great experience, learnt so much, but as with every endeavour in life it’s not down to what you do but the people you do it with… Great bunch in both games, so far l love the outcomes! It also bizarrely provides impetus for my solo projects, yet would love more collaboration stuff (with committed writers,…)


I would agree that the big problem is finding people who are committed enough to see it through. You can’t offer any money or services to incentivize them, so if they aren’t as interested as you are they will naturally drift away as the project starts moving.

Also you can’t exactly pull rank and tell someone to shape up, you’re all equal volunteers and you’re liable to endanger friendships (something that probably isn’t worth it all things considered).

However, if you can keep a group fairly small, and have a rough plan that everyone agrees to, it should in theory work.

Also there is the somewhat distasteful truth that you have few ways of judging a potential collaborator’s actual talent, and if someone is significantly lagging behind the rest of the group, it can be a very difficult social situation.

Do you put in extra work trying to get their writing up to standard? Do you gently try to discourage them from continuing? Just let it slide and know that your work just won’t be as good as it could be?

A toughie for people like me who want their work to be the best it can be (possible to its own detriment if I can’t stop editing). Is the social part the important bit? Or is it the end-product? Is there a middle ground between the two?

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So… anyone want to make a game together? My problem would be not having internet access at all times and I am still semi-new to this. I would love to work with a group of people but I may not be the best writer but I am a fast learner.

Unfortunately I’m dedicating my free time for writing to The Chaos State. But I’m pretty good with creating character sheets, so if you need characters I’m your man :smirk:

I have the hardest time with making up names, whether it is for a character or a place.

It’s easier to pick places that already exist and research everything about it, much more fun if it’s set in the future because then you add your own little flavour to it.

What game you planning to make by the way?

As to naming, I would recommend these two sites:

This one is obviously for more ‘out-there’ naming conventions, fantasy and science fiction mostly.

This one is a bit more complex, but more about recognizable names from various cultures. You should use sites like these as a broad guideline, picking a style and forming your own name off of it.

I am making a medieval game that is supposed to be open world, not as much story. I am going to add at least 4 or 5 towns in it. I don’t know what my next game is going to be but it will be a while until this one is done. I would work on two if I knew what to work on.

Having a few more writers for the Forum Community Game wouldn’t hurt, so you could join in on the fun if you’d want to. We’re looking for short (± 10.000 word) sub-stories to fit into the main framework of the game, so it could be a good way to practice your writing. I’d be more than willing to give you some feedback.

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When my game is semi-done I will send you a copy and then you will regret offering. (I’m not that good) Also @Moreau those links are very helpful, thank you!

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