I know that writing these takes a lot of time and effort, and I appreciate that. I started playing these games about five years ago now and when you switched to paid games I was forced to stop because I only have access to so much money. I’m not suggesting you make every game free, because I see how that’s unreasonable, but maybe make one out of five free? It would be a great way to get your name out there more and enable people who would otherwise be unable to experience your games to see what they’re like.
Some of us are actually writing free games right now.
But I doubt that CoG authors would do that (Maybe in the future?).
That’s good. I know it is a bit selfish but I just want to experience more of these sorts of things. It’s a very unique piece of entertainment and cog seems like the best for reliably good stuff.
What I think is that cost should depend on quality. For instance I’m more than willing to pay 5 dollars on a game like Tin Star which has a unique story and plenty of replay value. But after dropping 2.99 on City in the Clouds I’ve started to lose faith in the pricing. Cost has definitely gone up in recent years, but so has quality, so I can’t complain.
Here’s what Dan posted on the blog two years ago, when Choice of Intrigues stopped being free. https://www.choiceofgames.com/2013/07/choice-of-intrigues-is-about-to-stop-being-free/
We know that a lot of you still yearn for the good old days when our games were available online for free. We’ll continue to experiment with techniques that could help our free games earn as much money as our paid games, without using exploitative tricks for which free-to-play games are so notorious.
We want as many people as possible to enjoy our games. If we can find an ethical way to make our games available for free without losing money, we’ll do it.
And here’s a link from four and a half years ago, when they got banned from Google Adsense, which was their primary way of making money. https://www.choiceofgames.com/2010/09/8-ways-to-make-money-now-that-were-banned-from-adsense/
Anyway, the writing doesn’t just take time and effort, it also takes money.
Choice of Games are a business. The reason that their games are of such a high quality, and that they’re managing to produce so many games, is because they are paying professional writers to write those games. Then, on top of that there’s then the price of the cover art, and editing for each game. And then there’s their own costs. They’re very hands on when overseeing the Choice of Games projects to ensure that each one meets their various standards and is the best game it possibly can be.
The official games cost money to make. If they don’t earn money, then no more official games.
Here’s what one of the official authors has to say in another thread about how much money he’s earning.
Have a watch of the video here. Author Hangout on Air There’s some talk of Choice of Games approach to money as well.
No one’s getting rich off of this. (Yet at least.)
Hosted Games now are different since they’re written, for the most part, by amateur writers. What I absolutely love about Choice of Games though, is that it also tells the Hosted Games authors that their writing is worth money too. This is a chance for people who’ve always dreamed of getting their work published, to actually do so.
Let me grab another quote. Actually go read the whole post, that’s one of my favourite posts on the whole forum.
Okay, done reading everything? Done watching the video?
There are a couple of games available for free on the website. You can also play any of the games posted to the forums for free, although in the authors are expecting feedback in return.
Choice of Games also do their beta-testing on the forum. That gives you the chance to play unfinished versions of their games in exchange for you spending a few hours writing feedback on those games. If you really want to play some games for free, and have the time to spare, then sign up for some of the beta-tests. You’ll also get a chance to see some of the hard work and effort that goes into creating those games.
I think these games really are not too expensive, by any means. Especially if you count in the fact that it anyone can sign up for beta testing so long as they write back with some proper feedback.I also don’t see an actual reason as to why anyone’s work should be free, seeing as they are putting in time, effort and inspiration into it. Paying for a CoG isn’t really any different than paying for , idk Dragon Age?
Like, imagine Dragon Age being publically beta-tested like CoG.
Agreed. I can shamefully say I have spent more money on Starbucks this past semester than I have ever spent on CoG games.
I’m a CoG author (of The ORPHEUS Ruse, and the soon-to-be-released-in-the-nearish-future-hopefully-maybe MetaHuman Inc.) and, in principle, I have nothing against giving stuff away for free. When I look through my publishing credits over the last few years - most recently, gamebooks and apps, but also short stories, work on RPGs - I’ve earned precisely 0 dollars for the majority of that stuff. For my first real ‘book’, the gamebook ‘Arcana Agency: the Thief of Memories’, I waived the percentage of sales that I was going to get to allow the inclusion of extra material in the final book. For the app adaptation of that book, I’ll earn no money (I agreed to that in exchange to the rights to use the artwork of the book if I decide to do a black and white print run of the book myself - though I probably never will).
So yes, on principle, I have no problem with giving stuff away for free.
But then that nasty reality comes creeping in, and it’s here I have to second the pasted-in post from Cataphrak, further up the thread. These days, while writing work still only accounts for a fairly small percentage of my total income, it’s still a percentage that I can’t afford to ignore. In the near future my day job is going to drop away for three months (contractual stuff…), and it’s money from writing work that will allow me to keep the fridge full, and the lights on, during that time.
Would I be happy to write, say, a Hosted Game, and to put it online for free? Honestly, I might. It all comes down to finding the time to get it done.
(By the by, I should mention that my work for CoG is still the best-paying writing job I’ve had, to date…)
If people want to check out a free PDF copy of Arcana Agency, feel free to PM me, and I’ll send you the Dropbox link. Reading PDFs can be a chore, but it’s the only thing I’m really allowed to give away - and, um, it’s probably best anyway that you don’t mention to my publisher that I’m doing that…
@LordIrish has an interactive fiction contest coming up. All of these games will be written in 30 days or less, and then will be available free. There are other contests like that for interactive fiction, but this one is specifically ChoiceScript and has been going on for a couple of years.
[quote=“Samuel_H_Young, post:3, topic:2561”]
Choice of the Vampire: https://www.choiceofgames.com/vampire/
Choice of Broadsides: http://www.choiceofgames.com/broadsides/
Choice of the Dragon: https://www.choiceofgames.com/dragon/
Popcorn, Soda…Murder? : http://www.choiceofgames.com/user-contributed/popcorn-soda-murder/
The Nightmare Maze: http://www.choiceofgames.com/user-contributed/nightmare-maze/
What Happened Last Night? : http://www.choiceofgames.com/user-contributed/what-happened-last-night/
Land of Three Classes: http://www.choiceofgames.com/user-contributed/3class/
Marine Raider: http://www.choiceofgames.com/user-contributed/marine-raider/
Mobile Armored Marine Raider: http://www.choiceofgames.com/user-contributed/mobile-armored-marine/
Dead Already? : http://www.choiceofgames.com/user-contributed/dead-already/
The Sons of the Cherry: http://www.choiceofgames.com/user-contributed/sons-of-the-cherry/
[/quote] Here is a list of free games thanks to Samuel_H_Young
Zombie Exodus shouldn’t count seeing as how you can only play the first chapter out of four the rest I don’t know if it’s 1.99 each or as a whole but anyways it isn’t free anymore. Sadly very sadly although it is the authors game and it’s his choice to make. edit: Also not all of those games are by Samuel_H_Young. Why you would word it that way is kurios? Very kurios.
I think RiseAbove has quoted a post written by Samuel with the game list that’s why they’re thanking him
I don’t necessarily think CoG’s should be free. That’s unfair to those people that put in all that hard work and effort towards making it and then they’re not getting compensated in return. The thing that irks me is the price of some of these games and their availability on other platforms. I asked a while back if CoG was on Steam because I had just gotten about $100.00 in birthday money and was intending on blowing it ( all of it if need be ) on a Steam package that included every CoG game and the next part to it ever made. I was saddened to find that only one of the CoG games was available on Steam.
My point being I’d prefer it if I could buy all the games in a bundle for like 50 bucks or something rather then spend more money on each game individually. Heck I’d even purchase a pass for like $300 that says I get to play every CoG game that will ever be made in the future.
Also you could have cool little bundle packs like say the Fantasy Bundle and that would include the original Choice of Dragon games with extra features and bonus scenes and all the other fantasy games like the Hero of Kendrickstone would be available. Or you could choose the Political Pack and get all the current games involving politics. Something like that. Bundles would of course be cheaper since you’re buying multiple games at once.
Problem is, multiple authors and future works would be a nightmare to figure out.
There’s a Lucid’s Games bundle on iOS with: Life of a Wizard, Life of a Mobster and Paradox Factor. It was made before Lost Heir, so that isn’t in it. It saves you a dollar too, since that’s a stipulation of bundles on iOS, must be cheaper than individually.
The lack of titles on Steam is a whole other issue. The short answer: CoG and all the authors from both CoG and Hosted would love to have all titles on Steam, but there are limits.
Yeah the financial distributions would be tough, especially with 3 or more authors in a bundle. I like the idea of genre bundles though and the ‘pass’ idea is cool, but with something like that, CoG would basically have to buy the revenue rights from all participating authors.
Well I guess I’ll start by buying the Lucid bundle…
@Generikb Sorry if my wording wasn’t the best but I used the quote feature to quote a list of free games that @Samuel_H_Young took his time to put together I never said that the games were made by him . You are right Zombie Exodus isn’t free anymore only the first 3 or so chapters.
Im pretty sure more authors are trying to push their games to get released on steam in the future. Seeing as steam has very good sales every so often I am excited.
I just hope they can cut a deal with them somehow to get all their future games listed on there.