Dashingdon: Free ChoiceScript Game Hosting

This is the nature of ChoiceScript itself: it’s an open book. The application is built in a way that allows anyone to view the inner workings of any game-story. I understand the want of privacy and wanting to keep your code safe from theft, but everyone learns ChoiceScript by studying the work of others. The story matters, the code does not.


Is there an option to host a compiled game on dashingdon? While not 100% lurker proof, still way harder to view the code than simply changing URL.

Yes, there is. Just send a message to me here on the forum and include your nickname on dashingdon.com and I will allow compiled HTML uploads for your account.


Jumo, with the answer again. What is compiled HTML? Can you direct me someplace that would teach me how to use it?

I didn’t - I learned choice script through hundreds of hours of testing and retesting.

In your choicescript folder, there’s a compile.html which allows you to compile your game into a single file. Then you can follow @dashingdon 's instructions in a post above yours.

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You’re awesome Jumu. Thanks again.


So my new game is A Wizard Tale (without the apostrophe S) Also, I noticed that way back in the threads somebody posted to let you know that deleting a game means you can never make a game with that same name again - that is still the case. Not a real big deal since we a just hosting WIP’s, but there you go.

Anyway, if you could please set my account up so that I can upload a compiled HTML file I will follow Jumo’s suggestion and figure out how to create one.

Update because the forum wouldn’t let me post again.

@dashingdon I see where you set it up so that I can upload the compiled version instead. I really appreciate it. I don’t, however, see a way to delete the txt files that are there and they are currently accessible. Can you delete them from your end, or am I just blind?

Oh, and thanks for the service - I am frustrated about excessive transparency, but very appreciative of your free hosting.

Just wanted to announce this:
Don is currently developing a new “update” to the site, so if you have any questions, things might be slow. While I can’t guarantee that code-privacy will be a thing there, I can tell you that manually deleting your files is one of the planned feature.


@Szaal Thanks for the update. I actually figured something out after I made the request about deleting the files that makes it not necessary. My game on DashingDon runs on the Compiled HTML file that I uploaded, and not off the text files. So I made a dummy copy of all the text files and wrote over the ones on DashingDon. If you go read them now all you get is a bunch of files that say, “This file is empty.”

I highly appreciate how accessible code is, in choicescript in general and on dashingdon in particular. It’s helpful for readers, testers, and authors alike.

Code-reading makes it possible to get the full reading experience and see everything the author put into a game. You can get routes you might never have wanted to play, but are still curious about. You can see how everything fits together and appreciate the craft. This not only allows a fuller reading experience, but also allows a tester to provide a wider range of commentary on scenes they might have missed and on inner workings that might otherwise have been impossible to notice.

Stealing is wrong, certainly. And if someone copies and rehosts a game, that would be theft. But reading something that’s publicly posted is just, well, reading. A choicescript game is a story as well as a game. This is the nature of choicescript and the community here. It’s about exploring paths.

Authors have everything to gain from this and lose nothing. It really is standatd practice for works in progress here because it’s so useful. Authors get bug-testing, which most find extremely helpful. This isn’t some kind of cheat or exploit; it’s helping the game be as good as it can. Blocking that means cutting off help for the author just to, what, keep the reader from enjoying the rest of your work?

It’s really flattering when readers are sufficiently engaged in and interested in a piece to delve in and see what it’s made of. That’s an extra investment. It means you did a good job that made others want to read more.

Choicescript code is cool, educational, useful for testing, and highly accessible, making for a fascinating experience… as it should be.


Silver’s problem is that their game code is copied and pasted on another forum. If it happened to me, I’m totally fine, but it won’t hurt to know about CS transparency on everything. While forum about CS-made game-code might only interest tech-savvies, imagine someone recompiling it on their own computer and shared that.

I’m not going to bring the topic of piracy back up again, but it’s important to know that the .txt files you uploaded will be visible to public. If you want to avoid that, your option is to follow Jumo’s post above.

As far as I can see here, the original situation was someone pointing out a bug in the code in the WiP thread, not a different forum. At least, there’s no mention of that.

And that’s pretty much what testing threads are for. I don’t understand what purpose is served by hiding code from testers; it’s making it harder for them to help you. That is what I am speaking to.

It’s also worth noting that compiled code, unless something has changed, just adds an additional hurdle to reading it. (See here.) If you don’t want someone reading your choicescript code, don’t post your choicescript game. The code is part of the package deal. That’s what posting a game for testing means.

Note also that, for a published game, the code outside the demo is inaccessible unless you’re logged in, so it’s only visible if you paid for it. Which makes sense; it’s part of the deal too, but it isn’t for everyone else.


While it is obvious that many you don’t seem to mind if someone reads your code without asking, I do. I feel like that we should have been told up front that this was possible, and I think there should be a way to prevent it. And no, I haven’t posted the new link in the forum because I don’t want someone else taking my code without asking - but much thanks for making sure they know how.

My issue is that in order for me to get my game listed, I will at some point have to post it for beta testing. If that is to be required, then I should have the option to not allow people to see my code if I don’t want them to.

It should be my choice if my code is made public or not, and that is not the case.

And I am pointing out that you have everything to gain by letting them do so. What do you gain by making it inaccessible? What are you losing by letting people enjoy and check your full work?

I can guarantee that most authors do not say “hey, read my code!” but I’ve never before seen an author be upset when someone offered feedback based on their code. They’ve been grateful for assistance, because that’s why they posted the game for feedback.

On dashingdon itself? I can see that some sort of note could be quite useful, both so that people will be informed and also to make it easier for testers to help people. Given that dashingdon is fairly light on text already, where would this notice go?

Oh, come on. I figured you would not be pleased to discover that your compiled game files are still readable after the fact. Would you have preferred not to be informed?

That would mean putting your game through an inferior beta test, which goes against the point of requiring beta tests in the first place. When Choice of Games processes one of its own games, and for a significant minority of Hosted Games as well, they send them to a copy editor, who edits all the code files for spelling, grammar, consistency, etc. They cannot do such an edit without being given the code. Now, most Hosted Games don’t go through that, and have to make do with volunteer testers. If they’re getting cut off from the code, it’s far too likely for whole parts of the game to be missed or for game-breaking bugs to pass completely under the radar. I don’t see this as a useful strategy.

Private testing certainly is a valid option for those who don’t want their works in progress to be publicly accesible! There are all sorts of reasons one might prefer a more controlled or private environment like that. I completely understand and support if that’s preferable to you. (I do think public testing, at least in the initial stages, can be useful to assemble such a group, but that’s a different issue, and it’s not the only way to do it.)


Inform only me - don’t post it publically for all the people who didn’t already know how.

This information is relevant to all people who might upload their game to dashingdon in compiled form. It is also relevant to everyone who tests a game with compiled code.

You are speaking as if it is bad for people to know what features are available, as if it is wrong that people should know how to use these tools. How to use choicescript is not supposed to be a hidden secret. This is not a workaround or an exploit. This is information on functionality that is already public.

(For that matter, it was linked in this very thread in post 21.)


Ok I think everyone is discussing a moot point here. ChoiceScript code is open and accessible. Anyone with access to the story will have access to the underlying code as well. If you want to effectively hide your code, whatever your reasons, you will simply have to choose a different engine.


@dashingdon You are right. The point is moot. And it is not just ChoiceScript - it’s all script. I have been researching this all afternoon and evening and I have learned a lot that I did not know. Apparently if I knew JavaScript well enough I could go to any page on Wal-Mart’s website and debug their code and see how they wrote it. And while I am certain that 99.999% of the world feels that that is just A-okay, I do not and never will.

As a matter of fact I figured out how to read the ChoiceScript code of all the paid games on the paid side of CoG. I won’t tell you how I did it, but I am sure several of you already know how.

I understand the concept of open source, but more importantly I understand the concept of private property. And as far as I am concerned open source will never mean open without asking. I promise you I will never look at any code of any author on this site without asking first. Beyond that I would think that in a civilized society that should be the norm - but apparently it isn’t and that saddens me.

So, I am gonna go ahead and post the link to where I am hosting the game now and let this go - I’ll start a new thread. I would appreciate it if people would still help me test my game, but I would ask that you request permission before looking at my code.

And DashingDon, seriously, despite all this mess - thank you. I have run a few websites of my own and know that it is a lot of work, especially to do all that you do for us and then have to listen to naive people like me who have a different definition of what honesty is than the rest of the world.

And to the person who posted my code trying to help - thanks. This was never about you at all - it was just about the principle of the thing. Oh, and you are right - it is backwards.

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Just wanted to point out this.

Open-source means open to public. No permission required, no additional complication required, no asking needed as permission is already granted by default. Think of open-house events.

It’s nothing to be sad about—if anything, it helps students like me who are looking for alternatives to AutoCAD (FreeCAD), Photoshop (GIMP), Matlab (Octave), and even OS (Linux). These programs are built and improved by communities via literally peeking into their code, tweaking it, and submit the modification to the team/company that manages the software.

I’m sorry for bumping this topic up, but it saddens me if someone actually thought of Open Source as… a thing that promotes uncivilized activity.

P.s. If anyone is wondering or wanted to discuss about how license works, choosing the perfect software for you, or simply the ethics behind all this, feel free to DM me.