How do you judge W.I.P.s?

This thread was created out of curiosity in public opinion. I have been a long time lurker (as quite a few of you are) on these forms for years and I have seen WIPs come and go , but I have seemed to develop a way of seeing if I like a WIPs without playing through eight times.

I want to know what everyone else does to decide their feelings on a game demo, do you focus on the concept? Character development?Or simply whether the writing is correct and grammar is taken into consideration?

I feel this will help current and future game developers try and see how their game is seen from the outside looking in. So please leave your comments below to be heard by the community !!!

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Maybe its everything. Like the author could ask for them to look at specifics parts, But i think IT would be an over all and then break down into specifics? Not sure.

This is good to know cause i’m new too.

Since you’re new here I guess you haven’t had much experience with the wips , most of us give the good wips a few turns until a new major update comes around and then repeat.

What’s your way of seeing if you like it?

A lot of WIPs are too short to judge character development, I think. I don’t consider it a deciding factor in most media for that reason, even though it’s an important part of the story. No demo/excerpt/commercial lasts long enough to see it. So you can’t know unless you’re familiar with the creator’s style.

My way, for WIPs, can be similar to a book excerpt. Like, do I care what happens next? Am I drawn in by or endeared to these characters or do they bore/annoy/etc me? Is this a genre I like or one I don’t care for? Is the grammer decent? Does the narrative move more or less smoothly? There’re specific standards for WIPs, too. Like, I probably won’t play a WIP if I have to play a man (there haven’t been any NB-only protagonists on this forum/site as far as I know, but I’ve played and enjoyed a couple VNs that did; one of which I keep on my laptop and check for updates every now and again despite it being abandoned…I dunno if I should bother linking because of that) and definitely won’t if I have to play one who can only romance women.

I know the protagonist isn’t me, but the second person POV can be a little jarring. I’ve read and liked tons of books with straight, white male protagonists but it can be jarring to be told about “your” blue eyes or strong, hairy arms and how the lady sinks into them.

I like to check the stats page. I prefer relationship and personality stats to skill/ability stats, but all’re important. Too many stats can be intimidating, for me, but not enough to stop playing a game. Character customization’s a huge draw for me. This is such a broad topic and there’re too many things to say.


Description of wip, intuition, wip in early stages, intuition with some logic, middle stages, logic with some intuition, final stages, logic. Any questions?

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Wel what I personally do is see how the writing is to tell if I would be interested in moving forward with a story in this style . The second thing I do is see what effect choices seem to have .Personally, I like choices that impact characters more than my stats.

And yes I agree that most wips are terribly short and lack in playability . However, you can tell a lot from how they handle the first scene along with character customization, I feel the reason a lot of wips die off is because the lack of enthusiasm . This seems to be due to the lack of material and flakey concept and characters.

Simple stats are miles more attractive that a stats screen full of conflicting variables that are only 2% difference with choices that have the same outcome.

I don’t care for customizing my character physically al that much anymore, and it more about customizing a character that fits with the world and has a choice in the working of it no matter how small.

That’s not what I meant. I feel like there’re a good number of fun and playable WIPs. I only said you couldn’t get a firm grasp of the level of character development. Yes, you can see how well the author establishes characters and that can be a good sign of things to come, but it’s not definite.

That depends on the WIP. I wouldn’t say they generally have either of those problems. Most of the writers I’ve read (and I’m not saying “most” because I have any in mind that haven’t, but because I haven’t read everything, you know? I don’t even know if I’ve read most on this site) have a lot of good ideas. I think it has more to do with the intimidation of branches and size. These games tend to be at least 100k words, with most being like 250k? That’s big.

That’s fair. Most story characters, especially protagonists, look nothing like me. Which is fine, but too much of anything can make you sick of it, so I try to avoid it where I can. When a game asks for skin tone, it’s like “yay, they’re not just assuming it’s white.”

I primarily focus on language flow. If the grammar is too bad I will just ignore the wip and move on. If it’s fixable I’ll point out fixes as I see them.

I then just read a playthrough - if it draws me in and lets me visualise the scene I’ll stick with and follow its development.


I judge W.I.P’s on the content and what we can do. Is this a genre I like? Was I able to actually press next more than five times and still be interested? My thing, if I can read the entire WIP then it’s definitely a keeper. The WIP’s that I don’t like I end up quitting halfway.

But characters are a bit of a must for me, I don’t completely judge the entire WIP off of them, since it is a demo. But as long as there is a bit of substance, a unique or creative idea, and a great plot, I come back.

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I think for me grammar and writing is tertiary in importance because, after all, it is a work in progress.

Primarily I like to focus on (1) does the story catch my attention (2) can the story continue to keep my attention (3) with what little is provided, does the story make me want to continuously (almost religiously) check in for updates?

Characters and concept are equally important, too. Of course, since WIPs are under construction, the most valuable thing that I think any author can do is to accept constructive criticism and attempt to implement it without completely changing their vision. There will always be stories that don’t appeal to certain audiences, but that doesn’t mean an author should sacrifice the dream they have to appeal to an audience.

Secondary in importance is choice, of course. I’m not really a fan of stories whose choices are less influential to the events that occur as a result. If a player is constantly making choices, but being forced into a certain scenario or result, the story becomes terribly linear. However, occasionally a player may not be able to overcome certain circumstances or a certain result may be inevitable and that’s fine, so long as the player doesn’t feel like their choices mean nothing.


i agree with @ToxicDreams. if i enjoy the WIP, i’ll stick around and sometimes i had a habit to ask the Author for permission to make a fanart (eventhough its not being publish yet) just to show how much i appreciated their works… and sometimes (i guess some author will agree with me) im more concern of RO list at WIPs, and believed me… i sometimes become annoying when i demand someone to be romanceable (oops!!) :grin:


I tend to judge based on how much the author already has done. The amount of work they’ve put in before opening up to the public tends to show how serious they are.

If a story only has character creation, that tends to die out (not always, but usually). If they already have a few chapters or one really long one, then I give it a chance and see if I can get invested in the story, choice variety, characters, ect.


First thing I judge is the writing quality. Doesn’t matter if the concept is really cool or the game systems well fleshed out, if I can’t read the narrative because of awkward or stilted writing then I won’t like the game.

Then it’s character development and my interaction/immersion within the game’s universe. If it feels nonsensical or there is no character development or if I’m slotted into a specific, inflexible archetype then I immediately am turned off from the game.

If it passes those tests I usually enjoy the game.

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Spelling, grammar, flow. If any of these are subpar, then I’m immediately turned off and I ignore it.

Second is volume of choice. If the game throws big blocks of meandering exposition at me right away, I quickly get bored. It’s called interactive fiction for a reason. A game should grab me and pull me in right away.

Last is over-complexity. Very rarely do I see a game with one metric fuckton of (usually unnecessary) stats and I don’t get annoyed trying to figure it all out when I should just be playing. I’m of the opinion that a lot of games need to trim the fat so to speak. That’s just my own view on game design though, most people probably wouldn’t agree.


I agree with the first two paragraphs .

Spelling, grammer and flow are very important, here and there you might have a mess up with spelling and grammer (Thats why i will never write a wip​:joy::joy:.), but these three are my keys on what makes or breaks a wip. Since when a person is reading it you want them to be intrigued with your choice of game, not feel like their reading a text book in school.

And i agree with @Sneaks about it being interactive, since a choice of game is suppose to be like that otherwise you could just read a regular book. I dont like reading paragraphs abd paragraphs of what my MC is doing because than I’ll feel force and feel a detachment from my MC, since its not my MC but the authors.

Plus for me if wip has RO, i like the RO to have depth. Not thst their just their to satisfied your MC needs but have a meaning to the story, otherwise i feel like they dont matter in the story sense they dont hold a significant purpose.

Oh, wait i agree with your last. I hate when people have stats that dont matter at all! You think that your stats hold a purpose, to find that they didn’t and only two or so matters. And normally instead of trying to ser which one matters and restart the wip i normally just get frustrated and leave it alone.

Also i like choosing how my characters look, since im the race i am. And i know how so say just imagine yourself which i do sometimes. But when they make it obviously that the characters one race and its not my race (im back). Im just like whattt. Im mean its different if that race makes the story and i know that going in but some its like “you have pale skin, blue eyes” and im like wow “im dark chocolate and dark brown eyes”.Lol

Plus say its a wip that you can die in, i like it to have checkpoints, so i dont get far in the story just to die and have to start from the beginning. Don’t get me wrong I won’t stop playing it, but i will wait hours or the next day to try it again. And if its no winning than yeah I’m going to stop play it.


I personally do not mind grammar issues if and that is a big IF the author’s English is really not their first language. Of course, I give some leeway to writers who have some problems writing. BUT if the author is a native English speaker then I will be him/her for writing sloppy.

The selling point for a WIP is whether or not it makes me want to read it. I mean yeah sure a WIP can have stellar Grammar or English or Whatever, but if it not makes me want to read it then who cares. If another WIP has subpar or some grammar Nazi would say kindergarten level writing, yet, it makes a wonderful story then I’m on in.

Besides the point of a WIP is that it is a work in progress so there is potential for it to get polished or not. What matters is that some amateur writers are willing to post their work and be ready to swallow praise or criticize of their works.

I guess I take WIPs as a grain of salt whenever I decide to play them.

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Typically when I see a WIP that seems polished, technically proficient, it denotes that the author has care and consideration for their work and is invested in making turn out great.

When I see a WIP that looks like it was written by an elementary schooler, nine times out of ten it gutters out and nothing comes of it, because the author didn’t have passion for their project - or they just weren’t a very good writer to begin with.

Of course some people are that way because English isn’t their native language and that’s totally fine because learning a new language is fucking hard.