How do you determine length of a game?


#1

Okay Coggers a question for you.

How do you determine the length of a cog? Do you judge it on a single playthrough or on re playability?

I ask because people have commented on the length of some of the more recent games (including Unnatural which is about 250,000 words long)


#2

good comments or bad? Personally, and as a fast reader, unnatural has given me a good 5 hours of playing time, probably because I kept restarting to see if another option was better… :slight_smile:

And once I had played the beta route I turned to the alpha route for another few hours of enjoyment… so no complaints about length here!


#3

It seems like the vast majority of readers want their choices to matter and the length to be long, but they usually don’t bother to read it again. I suppose if it’s obvious that, even on the first play through, the replay value is good, then readers will be satisfied in that aspect.

Besides addicting stories like Life of a Wizard, I don’t suppose many people read the gamebooks again until a sequel comes out, or if they REALLY liked it.

That said, it also seems like people are allergic to shorter stories, which makes it very hard to satisfy them, especially if your story (cough cough) has got replay value.


#4

@samuel_h_young

I generally agree, but would say that people seem to read again if they can play a similar game towards a different ending.

For example I played life of a wizard many times, always as a good wizard, but going down the different options while keeping to that path, romance options especially

I think the use of achievements also made me want to play it through many more times - i was ecstatic when I got the perfect team achievement - after 10 or more attempts!


#5

@ishantrissi
Well Life of a Wizard is, I’m sure, played at least twice by every body xD

Yeah, I ended up adding achievements to Trial of the Demon Hunter to try and get people to read it again. Sadly, many people still choose to ignore that they’ve only read 20/86k of the words when making a judgement on the length.


#6

@samuel_h_young

what type of achievements did you add?


#7

@ishantrissi


         *selectable_if (break) #Brutal justice
		Agents of the dark and criminals all over the region will fear your name, and cower before your merciless judgement.
		*goto achievements

	*selectable_if (redeem) #Redemption
		You managed to help three brutal assassins start to turn their lives around; that is a true accomplishment, and you've shown that violence isn't the only answer, and light is more powerful than the darkness.
		*goto achievements

	*selectable_if (relationship > 64) #${boggart} loves you!
		Your boggart has become to respect, admire, and love you; you are a true animal person!
		*goto achievements

	*selectable_if (stealth > 69) #Soundless shadow
		You often manage to defeat your enemies without them knowing you're even there! You're also able to blend into your surroundings like a ghost; if you don't want to be found, you won't be.
		*goto achievements

	*selectable_if (bravery > 79) #Heart of a lion
		Almost nothing can break your courage, and even when you are scared, you never falter in the face of death.
		*goto achievements

	*selectable_if (charisma > 70) #Silver tongue
		Your actions, words and demeanor make it so you could sway entire crowds.
		*goto achievements

	*selectable_if (cunning > 79) #Brilliant mind
		You are truly clever and cunning beyond reckoning; you rarely lose your composure under pressure, and almost always make the smartest decisions, even in seemingly hopeless situations.
		*goto achievements
	
	*selectable_if (health > 15) #Greatest demon ${hunter}
		You went on a perilous journey where you faced a goblin, three powered assassins, a vampire, and more; and yet, you survived with even more health than you started with! You,
		*if male
			sir,
		*if female
			madame,
		are truly impressive.
		*goto achievements

	*selectable_if (gold > 99) #Filthy rich
		You managed to accumulate at least one hundred gilded pieces; you find every chance you can get to line your pockets with golden coins, and always manage to get the highest bounty, even at the expense of others.
		*goto achievements


#8

@samuel_h_young,

Thanks for the reply, and I really like the idea of achievements for stats when there is a certain point.

However the ones that made me replay life of a wizard were the ones that alerted me that I had missed out on part of an interesting story, like the knowledge that princess Emily could have been a lover, and so on…

That is just my opinion though… I would rather replay to find another part of a story than to reach a number. That does remind me that I have to purchase your game though! - finally have the funds :slight_smile:


#9

@ishantrissi
Yeah, but reaching those stats requires taking different paths :stuck_out_tongue: and TotDH is far different than Life of a Wizard, which is more about the gameplay than the plot. TotDH is the opposite :stuck_out_tongue:

And thanks ^^ if you get around to reading it, I’d love to know what you think of it. I’d wait until the new update comes out, though. I’ll be sure to post about it when it does.


#10

@samuel_h_young

okay… I already have an addiction to CoG (main spending on app store = unhappy parents) - best to play it all in one go though - wasn’t it originally 1 story that was split due to length?

Speaking of length and the current topic, I was quite surprised that NOLA was only 15000 words per playthrough - put me off buying it… I felt that while informative about options, the story would just not have enough substance to be satisfying, and the demo supported my hypothesis - in my opinion


#11

@ishantrissi
Well, it’s part of a big series that was initially 4 volumes, that I split into 8 to release them in a more timely manner.

as for NOLA, the short length for each read through means that it has good replay value, but even so, I understand where you’re coming from.


#12

@samuel_h_young
Thats understandable… choice of romance was kind of short, but it worked well split up

I just don’t like NOLA because it is expensive for its length and detail (In my view value for money is important)

I hope the sequel to demon hunter comes out soon… I couldn’t stomach the gore in Neighborhood Necromancer… I need more CoG!


#13

@ishantrissi
I think all CoGs and HGs are cheap, but there is some inconsistency with the pricing on some.

NOLA - 70,000 words: $3

Trial of the Demon Hunter - 86,000 words, eight llustrations, 35 minutes of music: $2 xD

I’m halfway through the beta for Judgement of the Fallen, so I should submit it to CoG within the next couple weeks.

I personally liked Necromancer, but I can definitely understand why others might not. Gore is certainly a hit or miss.


#14

@samuel_h_young… agree completely that CoG and HG are cheap, but NOLA is not value for money compared to the others.

Like you said - demon hunter is a far better buy in comparison - although they are on different topics


#15

Length to me isn’t nearly as much of a factor as whether I enjoyed the game - and that often has more to do with the writing, subject, characters, and impactful choices. One of my least favourite games irked me because it really didn’t have a path that I enjoyed playing (and I could have thought of a few that would fit). Among my favourites, one is quite long, and one is quite short, but both are interesting, well written, and full of possibilities.

As far as price, I tend to think of the prices as compared to books (or even e-books) rather than compared to other apps, so they all feel VERY inexpensive to me- or, alternatively, comparable to raiding the local secondhand book shop.


#16

@Fiogan
“Length to me isn’t nearly as much of a factor as whether I enjoyed the game - and that often has more to do with the writing, subject, characters, and impactful choices.”

If only many of my reviewers agreed with you :confused: I’ve had plenty of 2s and 3s saying that they loved the story, but the length tanked their rating.

I agree fully on the pricing. As an author of one of these CoGs, it really puts it into perspective how cheap these are. (not that I’m complaining. I think it’s nice and ultimately garners more readers, which is more important than money. I’d rather have many readers and not a lot of money than not very many readers but more money)