How does publishing a game work on here exactly + maturity and game length?

Hey, so I’m sure these are oft-asked questions, but I’m kinda struggling with the layout of the forum and the searching. If this is in the wrong “category” please let me know I messed up.

Anyway, I’ve got 3 questions here.

  1. I’m a moderately (in my opinion) proficient author and I’d like to write a game on CoG. How does that work exactly? I found the tutorial for choicescript and stuff, but I’m confused about the process. Do I write an entire game and then post it on the forum? Is there a way to get some feedback on the game as I’m writing it? What’s an interest check?

  2. I’ve got a question about the maturity of my game. Specifically, this line from the write a hosted game page:

Games must not contain deeply offensive material, such as scenes that glorify sexual violence or racist attitudes.

The game I was planning to make would be pretty grimdark, including brutal murders and sexual violence, possibly even rape (though I would not be going into detail, just mentioning it). It would not be glorified, of course, but it would be present as part of the overall theme. Would that be an issue?

Similarly, while I do not intend my game to have anything to do with race, assuming I presented a racist character, would that be alright, if I don’t glorify him, or are such characters a no-no?

  1. Again from the above link, a question about the word count:

Games must be at least 30,000 words long; the word count includes code.

When it says “includes code” does that mean stuff like “*create name” or “*comment I’ve added wounds and blasphemy to provide hit points of sorts;”? Because that seems it would not be well representative of the actual word count.

Bonus question I just thought of: What kind of stuff is popular on here in your opinion? I think I see fantasy and lost of romance stuff being popular, but I’m not sure and would like a more experienced member’s opinion.

Your first game will probably be through Hosted Games and not COG, so the process would be:

  1. write some portion of the game, ideally 10000+ words
  2. create a thread here and collect feedback
  3. implement that feedback as you continue to work on the game
  4. have good beta testers read the whole thing before your final draft and incorporate their feedback too
  5. once it’s done, send the files to along with art and other stuff and they’ll work with you from there re: contract, etc. There will also be a review of the content, but you’re not forced to make any changes unless they’re egregious. Then you wait. then, you wait some more!

Probably not? Can’t say for sure but if this is accurate you probably won’t have any issue. COG has the final call though.

Yes, but honestly your final product should probably be well over 30k to tell a coherent story with meaningful choices so I wouldn’t worry too much about meeting this benchmark. Most hosted games nowadays seem to be 300k+

Here’s the data! (from a couple years back) Hosted Games Data Sheet: For All You Number Nerds Out There


Well, 300k+ is a bit of an overstatement, but I would say it needs to be 100,000 at the bare minimum if you actually want people to play it. Short games got no reason to live, as the song (almost) says).


Oh hey, thanks for the answers. Very helpful.

It’s a shame about the word count, the game I was planning to make would take place over the course of a single day, reaching 100k would be padding out the word count with filler surely.

There are good short games, and even successful short games, but not many.

I’d say don’t get discouraged and give it a try anyway. Just for practice, if nothing else. And many writers underestimate how many words they’ll need to tell the story in the first place.


I mean, some people release smaller games for free with hosted. But its popularity is likely to be less than those under 100k.

As the data thread that @SpokesWriter linked to shows, the only reason to put out a short game is if you want the practice or simply do not care about sales whatsoever. The most recently released game to do really well under 100k was The Aether. It came out in 2018. In the five years since, exactly zero short stories have been a bonafide hit.

Does that mean success for shorties is impossible? Not at all. But it means the odds are so highly stacked against it that I always want potential authors to be informed beforehand so they can decide if they’d rather go for a safer bet. Even a short story is a significant investment of time and energy, and that may be better spent building a meatier title.