Hosting outside HG/Owning a Ko-Fi?

So, let’s say I finish a game with the CS engine and decide to host it for free on my own website/blog. Could this website also have a link to the author’s Ko-Fi? Or can I host it on dashingdon, leave a link to my blog, then link from my blog to a Ko-Fi?

(I’m aware it’s a lot easier to host on HG, but just figured I might ask anyways since I have no idea how legalities work and since some authors do have kofis on their respective tumblrs)

In theory, no. Some people have their WIPs locked behind donation walls and such, largely on Patreon, but there’s still a caveat that they must do a free beta (open to the public or through PM invitation only) on here at some point in order to publish.

That being said, I don’t know what would happen if an author kept doing the paid access to the WIP even after the work was completed (or to simply leave some insignificant part undone and claim it to still be in progress) and simply never bothered to submit to HG. But the larger question is whether it’d be worth it to go through such hassle. If your story is popular enough to make lots of money in early access, it’s probably going to make quite a bit as a full release. And as a bonus, the same folks who shelled out for early release would likely buy it again as a final product, so you’d get money from them twice for the same content.


There’s already a topic out there with some information regarding this. But to spare you the trouble of searching.

Fawkes gave his experience with this. And it goes as follows:

Hello! I’m one of the WIP authors on here who uses Patreon! Perhaps if I share my own personal experience with having a Patreon, I can clear some things up for anyone who’s curious!

Before I made my Patreon, I checked in with @jasonstevanhill about whether what I was planning to do or not was okay. Let me go dig that conversation up.

On another topic

Hi there!

I know that COG prohibits writers from having a donate button of some sort on their game — that you cannot profit off a game unless you purchase a license or publish with Hosted Games — but I also know that COG has (passively?) allowed writers to have Patreons.

My question is: What exactly are the limitations on having a Patreon as someone working on a ChoiceScript game?

Thank you for your time!

On another topic

You can’t sell copies of the game, or sell advertisements around the game.

If you use Patreon to create peripheral materials, that’s fine. If you just use Patreon to support yourself while making the game, that’s fine. But you can’t promise or sell anything that directly involves us or that infringes on the product that we would be selling on your behalf.

Does that make sense?

On another topic

That does help. I have one follow-up, though: Are you allowed to offer the chance to alpha test a game as a Patron reward when it is understood that the content they are testing/playing will eventually be publicly available for beta testing?

On another topic

I don’t see why that would be a problem.

How I have my Patreon set up is that Patrons of a certain Tier get access to what I call the “Alpha Preview” version of the game — the version of the game that includes much of, if not all, the same content of the version I give to my alpha testers. They’re able to see new scenes as they’re added instead of waiting for the public chapter-based update.

Everything in the Alpha Preview Version will eventually become publicly available to everyone, so they’re not paying for this content. Additionally, supporting me on Patreon is not the only way to get early access to this content — becoming one of my alpha testers is another route, and one does not have to be a Patron to be a tester.

While I’m fairly certain most of my Patrons support me for access to this Alpha Preview version, I do offer other perks, such as a monthly Q&A where nothing is off-limits and I answer spoilerly questions, as well early or even exclusive access to supplemental content (such as the name generator and naming guide, as well as art/speedpaint of a romance option).

I also personally have my Patreon set up so my Patrons are only ever charged when I create this supplemental content. This is to keep them from paying just for access to the Alpha Preview version — something which I would feel weird about — and it also means they only pay when I make good on my promise to create content for them.

All in all, I’ve found Patreon to be a very rewarding experience as an author.

The support I receive from my Patrons — both financial and otherwise — is incredible and utterly invaluable. I am now able to get more feedback on my game on a scene-to-scene basis, which really helps motivate me, and I am better able to handle IRL issues because of the funds I get from Patrons.

Patreon has been incredibly rewarding for me, and I’m very grateful to Jason for allowing authors to use this platform to support themselves. I strongly encourage anyone considering Patreon to take the plunge and make one.

You can always check in with staff if you’re unsure whether how you’re planning to utilize Patreon breaks any rules or not.


To put an even finer point on it, no, @AdmirableAnimation, I’m pretty sure a link to your Ko-Fi would not be permitted. That counts as a donation, same as a Paypal link or some other way to donate, which is not permitted unless you obtain/pay for a license to use ChoiceScript and give COG 25% of your earnings:

You can also publish your game for free , anywhere, and do not need permission to do so. However, should you intend or hope to earn revenue from your game by any means other than publishing via Choice of Games LLC, you must obtain a license from them authorizing you to use ChoiceScript for this purpose. Typically, this will cost 25% of all monies earned, including income from sales, advertising, sponsorship and/or donations in any way or form connected with the game itself (including, for example, advertising or donate buttons displayed on the same website as a ‘free’ game link).

From the FAQ:

Q) Do I have to pay you a fee for the code?
A) As long as you don’t make any money off the code, you don’t have to pay us anything.

Q) Can I host a game on my own website?
A) Yes!

Q) What if there’s a “Donate” button on the webpage with the game?
A) That falls under the phrase “making money”.

I’m pretty sure a Ko-Fi link is the same as a Donate button in essence; but keep in mind, I’m just a mod and not a staff member of the company!


I think that answers it definitely, thank you.

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The part I find not so clear is how many degrees of separation is needed?
Like, could I, in theory, have a link from a personal website, to a free game hosted on dashingdon, if that webside had a different page that showed ways to support me?
Could I share a link to my game on my hypothetical blog, if that blog had links to patreon and ko-fi?

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That would definitely be a question to email to the staff!

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To be quite honest, unless you have a big following already (ie you’ve got successful books or games) or if you’re prepared to put in a lot of time and effort (and potentially money) to promote the game, if making money from it is an objective, you’re probably better off going with HG than a Ko-Fi button anyway.

I think this depends on what’s on your blog. If the only thing there is info about your CSG and a donate button, probably not. If you run a blog with other topics or games/stories/artwork etc you’ve made, and have a support me/this blog kind of thing on it, I think that kind of falls under support the artist rather than the games as people seem to be able to run patreons. If in doubt that would be a question for COG staff. Email’s on their website.