How to get total word count

Does anyone have any suggestions about how to get the total word count for your game (so all plot branches are included)? The best I found in the forum is to use randomtest.html to get the average playthrough. Thanks!

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I, forget the commands on Windows, but the “official” word counts (i.e., the ones we actually use), I get by running wc on Mac (Grepping out the comments first). If you have a Mac, open iTerm, cd over to the scenes folder, and run cat * | grep -v "\*comment" | wc -w. (Or, run wc -w *.txt for just the word count without removing the comments.)

(Edit: I think cat * | grep -v "\*" | wc -w will give you more or less without code, which is not a number we use anywhere, but some of the forum seem interested in.)


Anyone know the windows equivalent? I’m curious about this, too- other than randomtest, if there’s a way to figure up word total that doesn’t include code.

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CSIDE will give you word count with and without code, by either project or scene. Randomtest is the best you’ll get for average playthrough though.


One that note:
What is included in the official word count?
all files? just the scene files? all files without the stats?

And what is a good average percentage of words seen per playthrough? That’s a doubt I have to limit myself an reduce branches if I am reducing too much the percentage.

IIRC a blogentry or such said around 30-50%?

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Thanks I am about 40% and dropping so I have to checking my plans. thanks god for gosub_scene and gosub_scene label I have improving the effectiveness Like a lot . That and fake choice command are key to reduce copy paste and redundancy.

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All files in the scene folder which includes stats (plus technically the choicescript_upgrade.txt file, which is like 50ish words).

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So, would it be alright to give (when submitting the game) put a rough count of bonus words into the description? like
‘250,000 words, including 15,000 words of bonus material’
or something?

Thank you @RETowers! Grateful for the help :slight_smile:

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Here’s the thing, whatever anyone puts in word count, if mine is different I’m going to overwrite it. IMO, it’s best to use one method of word count, and have that be uniform across all games. My general suggestion has been that “it’s fine to leave the word count blank”, but maybe that’s not strong enough. Honestly, I prefer for it to be blank, because that means I don’t have to overwrite anything. I just think uniformity in that regard is a better UX.


I can’t speak for others, but seeing how I do have ~120k words of bonus material in my thing already the total would feel misleading the player…

Then again, the final game will likely hit around 1 million wwc, so… does it even matter at that point?

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I’m kind of worried about this. My game will likely have a huge wordcount, over half a million, but one “run” of the game could be like 15,000 if you just immediately go for the first romance option you see and stick with that and never take chances.

I guess I should continue doing surveys to see how people play the game. I anticipate the average run will likely be 2-3 romance option sequences (loosely 15,000-20,000 words playthrough each), plus a bunch of bonus content that would roughly add up to 20,000 words.

So rough estimate you’ll probably see about 10% of the game on a given run.


Yeah, so word of advice, long word count + anything less than 20,000 words min per play through is probably a bad idea if you don’t want heaps of too short 1* reviews. That’s just how it is. Try to up the 15k ones closer to 20k if you can or accept that you’ll probably get heaps of crit on the stores. There’s a good proportion of people who only play games once so you can’t rely on good replayability to offset a short play through count. IMO 10% of the word count on an average run is too low, but write it how you want, just realise what will probably happen if you’re writing primarily for an audience rather than yourself.

(Oh yeah and 500k words is apparently no longer considered huge for a game any more, just saying :wink:)