How do you measure game length / word count?

What the title says. I mean, no doubt you can just go ahead and say, “My game is 8 scenes long!” but that doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense. My first scene after startup.txt is barely a 100 lines of code, while the longest is close to 500-600. I’ve heard people say, “So-and-so game is 10k words,” etc, but how do you measure that?

If your using the recommended notepad++ go to it >view>summary>then you should get a little popup and it’ll tell you your word count. Careful not to mix it up with your character count =p. That’s simply each letter and (symbol if im not mistaken).

If you use the newest version of notepad, I recommend you just click on the “view” option and then drag down to “summary,” and it will give you the total number of characters and words.

It’s very handy!

@Arcania beat me to it by a minute!

@HornHeadFan Sorry bout that =p

I open the txt file with Microsoft Word and use its word count function.

The word count in notepad++ and word will give you the total word count overall but won’t show the length of a play through.

In the latest build of choicescript run 1 instance of randomtest choosing to show full text. Then at the end it gives you the word count of that actual play through run it a few times in batches of 1 and you can get an idea of how long an average play through will be.


That’s really handy! I learned that an average play through gets you 6/25k in my Kepler WIP.

@Nocturnal_Stillness, I didn’t know that. I downloaded CS in January so I guess the updated version was released after that time?

Just remember to make sure the top box stays at 1 and you change seeds each time you run the test if the top box is more than 1 the word count will be for both play through combined.

@Nocturnal_Stillness, I wasn’t aware of this before. Thanks!

I’ve just run 10 iterations of the Evacuation part of Kepler to work out an average. It is currently at an average of 51,865.5 words, with a low count of 31,027 and a high of 99,626! A wide range! After examining more closely, the high count was due to a complicated *input_number command that I can’t set a limit for. Taking that random one out, the average drops to a more likely 46,559 words per playthrough.

@andymwhy You can’t or “can’t” set a limit? Why would you need to have an input number without a limit anyways? :-/ *input_number variable 0 99999

@MutonElite, I have a limit to 400, as you could owe up to that much. However, you pay this off in installments and so the player can choose any amount to pay each year. It so happens that in the computer iteration I ran, the computer paid off 397 in the first two years, leaving just three to pay. Random numbers came in but had to be less than 3 to work!

I suppose I could set the limit as a variable and have it reduce with each payment, but honestly, real humans are unlikely to try to pay 200 when they only have 3 to pay. And even if they did once, they are directed back again and would surely get it right the second time.

I didn’t know that randomtest could be used that way, @Nocturnal_Stillness. Great idea.

Yes, Randomtest is just irritating on input_number. I wouldn’t fiddle with the code just to make it run more smoothly when, as you say, no human is going to sit there for 50,000-odd words’ worth of inputting obviously wrong numbers.


I take for granted that when you say length you mean the body of text including text. Has anyone noticed how much the length changes when you add code to previously written text?

@andymwhy @Havenstone Hahahaha, I guess the inevitable machine war is postponed for the time being. :stuck_out_tongue: Ooh, that gives me an idea, using a variable for the upper limit of an *input_number… Wonder if that would work… To the science-mobile!

Okay I must be thick, but how exactly do you use randomtest to show the number of words encountered on an average playthrough?

Open randomtest in your browser. Change iterations to 1 and leave seed at 0 and tick the first and third option then run it.

It gives the word count at the end.

Repeat but change seed to 1, 2, 3 etc until you’ve done seeds 0-9 and you’ll have 10 playthroughs to guess an average.


Many thanks. That’s what I couldn’t figure out.

Can I PM you with a question about writing a sequel?