Historical CoG Games

I think you’re totally right about Robert, but one thing the team was just discussing yesterday was that historical games are not great sellers for us. Canterbury, Broadway, Thief-Taker, Gilded Rails, Alexandria, to whatever extent it’s historical, also Cannonfire Concerto. The Eagle’s Heir is the exception that proves the rule. But I think as a genre historical is not exceptionally popular as compared to other types of games.


I do think there is more at issue than just being historical but that is a topic for another thread.

This work is something of a cross-over between the historical and the Epic fantasy, which I hope helps sales :slight_smile:


I don’t think the Historic theme the issue with those games. I think part of problem is they are slow pace. Most of casuals want action package games . Eagle air is action package with a thrilling demo. But if any author with a name already Like Paul of Joe make a historical game would be bestseller for sure. Slow paced games aren’t main target most people of If however when authors have a audience history games made a solid fan base.


I think part of the problem with historical games is that you know how the story ends making your influence in the story rather minimal. It would be hard to have a game with the mc as Cleopatra because everyone knows how her life ends up.

Canterbury looked interesting to me, but seemed like one of those stat based games that you would need a guide for. Gilded Rails seemed like it had too many LIs to be fully fleshed out. Thief-taker I purchased but isn’t one I would ever play again, I really didn’t get attached to any of the characters. I haven’t tried Broadway or Alexandria so cannot comment on those.

According to Steam Affairs of the Court: Choice of Romance was one of your best sellers.

My favorite historical COGs have been Champion of the Gods, Tin Star, Choice of the Pirate, and Pendragon Rising. Saga of the North Wind was enjoyable but really needed a save system or a check-point system due to how long it was and how often you could die.


Except, those aren’t historical games.

Champion of the Gods - epic fantasy
Tin Star - historical, but a Hosted Game
Choice of the Pirate - fantasy, pirates
Pendragon Rising - epic fantasy/myth
Saga of the North Wind - fantasy


The problem is what is considered Historical or not. In Spanish literature nowadays There is really problem to history and History. Now some people say Historical fiction vs History. However most history is now literature and fantastic. It is funny that the Quijote used that problem with terms to mixture fictional and real history books in the mind of Quijote.

In spain fictional history is a very very popular genre but because use two characteristics
-Action package adventures

-Romance mixturing real characters with fictional.

I think that any cog action package with romancing Cleopatra or Julio cesar etc and a Greek god could be really really popular. However the fictional history cogs even if with good quality is not what most casuals willl prefer

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Alexandria “to whatever extent it’s historical”: it’s based on the life of Eratosthenes, who calculated the circumference of the Earth using trigonometry and shadows, whose friends called him Beta, whose one job he failed at was teaching Ptolemy IV to be good. The inventions are those of Heron of Alexandria. Just FYI.


To whatever extent it’s historical was meant to modify Cannonfire Concerto, not Alexandria. I went to St. John’s, lol.


Herastotenes is my favourite greek inventor I still remembering The cosmos episode tribute to him. Still your book is interesting but slow paced and with the problem of nothing seems to b important as we are a mere spectator of the real power people. Still your writing is magnificent.

I’m sensitive to the issue because you continue to market it as steampunk.

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While that might not be everyones cup of tea I think it’s interesting to play as a supporter character once in a while instead of always being the hero.
I liked Choice of Alexandria but comparing it to Choice of Robots and Choice of Magics I think Alexandria isn’t on the same level. But that’s not bc of the historical theme imo rather bc it feelt kinda rushed.

About the games mentioned by @Mary_Duffy in her first post: I didn’t like Gilded Rails bc the advertising promised me a game with romance as it’s main focus and as I expected that there was too much business stuff in it. With different expectations I think the business part wouldn’t have bothered me that much. Also the business vs romance relationship stats kinda scared me away, like it sounded overly complicated. But that once again isn’t bc of the historical theme. Uh, I’ve played Cannonfire Concerto, Canterbury and Thief-Taker too but I’ll admit it’s been a while and I’ve forgot why I coudn’t finish a playthrough even once all I’m sure about that I didn’t lose interest bc of them being historical.
Actually I like how I can play a game in historical setting and still playing as female. That’s not often allowed bc of justifications like women didn’t have that freedom back then etc.


I wasn’t aware of that. In the omnibus app the genres listed are Historical, Alt-History, Politics.

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The teaser for Google Play and the opening line for Steam still begin, “Can your steam-powered inventions…” And of course, the inventions aren’t steam-powered, except in one of the fastforward endings.

Which isn’t your personal fault, but it suggests that one reason historical games might flounder is that there’s more of a game of telephone going on from actual events->author->editors->prospective buyers.


I am sad to hear that Historical games don’t sell as well since those are often my favourites. Clearly someone can slip them amid another genre with fantasy elements or sci-fi with time travel or alternative history, but pure historicals can be interesting too. I am surprised we haven’t seen many WW2 games for example outside Marine Raider. Wild West has been handed well as has pirates, but there are other times a story could be centred around…


I love historical games but I hate how the ones on here are intense power fantasies. I know you want to cater to a wider audience but I wish you guys actually indulge the social history and showed how the different genders interacted with each other and hold the different levels of social political and economic power they have available. because that’s my biggest restoration


Lords of Aswick had a good historical feel to it, granted the the nations involved were fictional it was pretty much medieval England/France, the crusades even get a mention.


If you don’t include the games based in mythology, or that have magical elements and/or a steampunk twist then Choice of Games offers very few titles in historical fiction.


I actually don’t think that’s a major problem. If you ask someone who Cleopatra is they obviously know, if you ask most people the specifics of things she did throughout her life, with a couple of exceptions, they’re going to be unsure. If you know enough about the time period and person (and that’s one of the keys to writing historical fiction well) you could even do a what if senario with alt history ends if you chose differently to the historical figure.

You could also pick on one of the less well known people in history who would make that even easier to achieve, or write from the perspective of someone made up but with a solid grounding in history ie a soldier trying to survive in the trenches of WW1 or the life, responsibilities and challenges of a vestal virgin etc. The options are endless.

A third option would be to write as a side character with their own life, who happens to also be associated with someone important from history. It would also get around the problem of having set characteristics for those who don’t want to write that way.

Anyway, I’d like to see more. It’s great when you can read a story and know you’re learning about history at the same time.


Interactive fiction is a niche enough genre by itself. Combine it with another—historical fiction—and you simply won’t find the audience for a big hit. Romance and fantasy will always have more appeal, just as they do with traditional novels.


I want to agree with that in a way, mostly on the grounds that many people seem to not like preset characters, but on the other hand I think IF is in a very unique spot that makes it different to normal books. Although most people aren’t going to sit down and read too many biographies, if they could “be” that person I think it makes a difference and certainly more interesting to a general audience.

There’s quite a few movies out there based (to varying degrees of accuracy) on historical figures and events, so I’d imagine there’s some interest. (Maybe not as much as fantasy, but enough to make something popular if done well enough.)