How do you 'see' hosted games'?

IF I click “Our Games” I only see the normal CoG games, what if I wanted to see all of the other ‘hosted games’ ?

Click ‘Make Your Own Games’.

This is actually a bit of an issue that I’ve considered mentioning. On the CoG homepage, most people won’t actually see the hosted games, unless they actually are already thinking of making their own game (rather than the more natural step of looking at hosted games, then seeing a link to make their own games). ‘Make Your Own Games’ is kinda an unintuitive name for what the page actually contains.

I agree with that, actually.

This is something I’d noticed myself recently and almost commented upon here, but then it occurred to me that this is simply CoG protecting its own interests. They naturally would want newcomers to the site to first experience one or more of the . . . shall we say, “more-professional” games, before playing any of the user-contributed ones. This is entirely understandable, as the latter are mostly part-time efforts by enthusiasts and therefore (albeit with definite exceptions) not always on a par with the official releases.

More to the point, perhaps, the real audience (and any actual income potential, if that’s of concern to you as an author) would come from Apple & Android downloads, not from visitors to the website–should CoG determine that a game is worthy of release. That surely provides a level playing field where it matters the most?

I agree with you, @Reaperoa

It’s difficult to interpret how people find hosted games, since we don’t see stats easily on number of downloads our apps receive. I do get referrals from to my own web site but I imagine it is for people to read Part 3, which doesn’t do much for my current app’s downloads.

I also wonder if splitting choice of games and hosted games in the app stores are lowering visibility of hosted games. In the past, people who searched choice of games on the app store would get Choice of Vampires, Choice of Dragons, etc. AND also see Imprisoned, Marine Raiders, etc. Now, hosted apps don’t show in that search.

I can 100% see from a business standpoint why the two groups (official vs. hosted) would be separated. For hosted game authors, self-promotion is very important. So… if you are a hosted game author, or considering publishing one, you HAVE to promote it and should start early, even before it comes out.

Hmm. I didn’t appreciate that the two have now been separated on the apps store–the first one I came across was actually Marine Raiders (though I don’t exactly recall how), which led me to the others and, ultimately, to this site. In other words, I’m only here because of a hosted game first attracting my interest.

It does seem a shame if that will no longer be the case. We all have different interests, and tbh none of the ‘official’ offerings would have sparked that initial interest for me personally (although I have of course now played, and enjoyed, all of those as well).

If this is a recent & deliberate policy change, I’m far from convinced that it’s a good one.

Just to throw in my 2 cents, being new here, I was surprised to find games listed on the “Make Your Own Games” page on the CoG site. I wasn’t expecting to see games there, only info on creating games. If I hadn’t been interested in making my own games, I might not have bothered to click that link. So personally, I don’t think “Make Your Own Games” is a good name for a link that takes you to where user-contributed games reside. CoG makes the claim that having all ChoiceScript games available from one site is a good thing, and yet they don’t make it clear where the user contributed games reside. The two statements feel contradictory in nature to me.

I completely disagree with the separation of the app store. It would probably even benefit them from a business perspective to have them together. Once you find one game you like your going to look for more, be it hosted or CoG. Everyone wins when the games were shown together.

I think people already make the mistake that they believe hosted games are made by the official CoG team, I do however agree that maybe they should all be on the same dev account: the lack of a ‘Choice of’ should already be indication enough as to what’s official or not and there are some quality user-made games out there that don’t get the attention they deserve.

@CJW: Not all of the official games are going to use “Choice of…” as their brand, though. Even if you discount Affairs of the Court, the new Heroes game isn’t going to be Choice of anything.

When the early hosted games were labelled under Choice of Games on the app store, some of the games received negative comments because they weren’t at the same level as the other Choice of games. As such, the hosted games were unfairly judged against the professional titles and received low ratings. Similarly, Choice of Games reputation was damaged as they were seen to be producing sub-par games. Separating the user made and the official games is win-win.

However, what I would like to see is a reference to Choice of Games in every Hosted game description. That way, Hosted Games would show up for anyone searching Choice of Games in the App Store.

^That would work

  1. I’ve been posting to this forum for a few weeks now, and I’ve been playing these games for the past 2 months, but until I read this thread I wasn’t aware that I could find a list of 3rd party Choice games by clicking on the “Make Your Own Games” button. I’m feeling a bit perturbed now that these games were hidden under such an unintuitive button label. If they really have to be separated, than they should have been labelled something more intuitive like “More Games” or “Third Party Choice Games”.

  2. I’m not entirely comfortable with the apparent conflict of interest that seems to exist between the promotion of CoG’s own games and the promotion of partner-made games. Finding these games should have been easier and more straightforward, particularly if CoG/HG is receiving a substantial cut.

  3. Personally I think several of the partner-made games I’ve already played are as good as any of the official ones. Zombie Exodus and Vendetta immediately come to mind. I look forward to giving the others a try as well now that I’m aware of them.

@P_Tigras About your second point, the whole ‘make your own games’ tab thing annoyed me at first too, until I thought about it. See, look at one of the games there (like actually click on one to play it). Do you see any ads? What about any way to pay for the games? No. The games are really only hosted up there as a courtesy. There is (AFAIK) zero revenue generated by the site itself. All revenue is from the downloads on the various other platforms (either by ads or by payment to download). When you think about it that way, directing people to the site can actually only be bad for business. People playing on the site itself generate no cash (by seeing no ads), while people playing on other platforms do. Encouraging people to use the site discourages them from playing on other platforms. At least, that how it appears to work.

@Reaperoa Interesting point. Nevertheless it makes me wonder why they aren’t hide the “official” games too? Why only make the 3rd party games hard to discover?

Furthermore, the only third party choice game I was aware of before I started perusing the forums here was Sam Lindstrom’s Wizard’s Choice which somehow managed to get prominent placement in Amazon’s Android App Store next to the official Choice games, probably because it also had “Choice” in the name. On the other hand I was aware of the “official” Choice games because I could click on the the publisher to see them all. I had no such ability with third-party games. Zombie Exodus, for example, doesn’t even appear when I search for it specifically. How are people supposed to find out about Zombie Exodus if they don’t drop by the forum and spot the thread or inadvertently click on the “Male Your Own Games” button?

I “believe” Sam has purchased a commercial license, his game is hosted under his own name, not ChoiceofGames and its CoG website link doesn’t work (most likely so people are inclined to buy the app).

That’s my thinking…

Sam is not using CS on Kindle or Android.

Anyway that “Choice of Games” can be in the description of the hosted games. Then the hosted games would show up in searches and we could get some good exposure.