I Like Hosted Games More

For whatever reason, I often enjoy reading Hosted Games more than Choice of Games. I think it has to do with Hosted Games being written by amateur authors. There’s something to be said for a newby bearing out their soul for you. Plus, while Choice of Games often attracts authors with the opportunity of money; with authors of Hosted Games you can be fairly sure that they’re doing it because they want to. They have a story to tell; not a bank to fill. I think that makes the difference.

42 Likes

I consider their quality more variable, myself; they’re often very interesting courtesy of trying new things, but I feel like their quality control is less strict, so I’m a lot more inclined to buy Choice Of Games if the synopsis looks even mildly interesting.

Probably is the professional-amateur difference; the professionals need to sell so they’ll put in more work than amateurs (who after all have day jobs that must take priority) but also can’t take too many chances that might or might not work out.

11 Likes

Yup, HG libraries are filled with experimental formula shenanigans which are refreshing to read.

20 Likes

I kinda have the same opinion. I’ve found that CoGs are usually decent whereas HGs are usually underwhelming or amazing.

47 Likes

Normally, my favorites tend to lie in the Hosted Games section as there are less requirements than doing an official CoG. Of course, that also means you get games of lesser quality, but I still usually support them since it takes effort/work to make something.

That said, I have also posted where a lot of CoGs the last couple years that I considered great, and made it into my favorites, enough so I will replay them from time to time (sort of like re-reading a favorite book)

So, essentially there are trade-offs there. CoGs will naturally get a bigger advertising push, but you have to meet certain checkmarks…but Hosted Games give you a lot more freedom, but you normally have to do your own legwork for exposure.

13 Likes

I generally think the standard formula is the standard for a reason and following it is the best method to get something that’s “satisfactory” but deviating is how you can get “amazing”. Hosted can put “satisfactory” at risk in pursuit of “amazing”.

Not that Choice never manages “amazing” but they have to be more confident it’ll work before trying.

7 Likes

I really agree with this. CoG seem to have this sense of homogeneity to me that I’m sure comes from the specific requirements for a game to be accepted as a “Choice” game, as well as the efforts of a dedicated editor. It’s not a bad thing, and probably not something a casual reader would ever notice. Having devoured almost all of the CoG and HG libraries makes me notice it more, I think. I definitely didn’t when I first discovered them.

I guess I just like the sort of low-key Wild West nature of HG where you can get a real bummer of a game or an absolutely brilliant and moving work of art. That uncertainty is appealing to me.

8 Likes

I actually kind of agree. I think the standard of writing on CoG is generally higher, but what I like about HG is that the games all feel a lot more unique. CoG games tend to follow a very specific pattern for their structure and layout, whereas HG authors can do pretty much whatever they want. It’s always nice to come across a game that has a completely unique tone and style. :blush:

22 Likes

Hosted Games vary from terrible to amazing; Choice of Games vary from satisfactory to amazing.

Quite a few of installments by Hosted Games made me feel like I pretty much threw a few bucks down a drain, but there also exists quite a few that left me speechless and wanting more. For Choice of Games, however, the number of times I have been utterly disappointed is much lower… as are the number of times I was taken completely aback by the quality of the work.

Ultimately, to echo what has already been said, I believe there’s always a certain amount of uncertainty regarding a HG work, and I often find myself playing a demo and reading the reviews more than once to decide whether to buy it or not; while for CoG, I don’t hesitate paying for it outright - because CoG ensures the amount being paid is worthwhile, whether or not it exceeds the expectations depend on personal opinions.

A Hosted Game is a gamble, a Choice of Game is a safe investment.

18 Likes

One difference I noticed is usually Hosted Games authors tend to spend time in the forums talking to the readers getting feedback which allows games to be tweaked to be better.

With Choice of Games authors they don’t usually spend time on the forum and in a way I think makes a difference.

31 Likes

From what I’ve seen there are barely any CoG games which are particularity bad but there are only few of them that are really good. While in HG a lot more games will be either really good (often better than the CoG ones) but a lot of them are also pretty terrible with low quality writing so when you buy one it’s sort of a gamble

4 Likes

I believe most CoG authors do their beta privately, or simply by their editor alone.
Though, at least, Fief is an ongoing CoG WIP, afaik.

It’s kinda refreshing looking at the orange-green box on the forum’s homepage.

1 Like

My favorite game is a Hosted Game. But, there are CoGs that I love revisiting too. I like that there is both a steady stream of good CoGs, and the occasional brilliant HG, gives some variety while still (hopefully) maintaining the business.

I agree with most of the earlier posters. CoG’s often feel kind of bland. That’s a generalization of course, and there have been CoGs that I loved, but generally it’s Hosted Games that take more risks, which means when they work they’re much more interesting stories.

8 Likes

Agree with many of these points, that Hosted Games have the potential to be much better or much worse than the regular games and that I tend to find it more likely to find a fun and distinctive standout game with the Hosted line than the COG one.

COG Games also have to appeal to everyone as widely as possible, which is by no means inherently a flaw, but since Hosted Games can be gender locked or give a specific focus a more wider ranging examination, they can (but not always) be the better for it. For example I think if Choice of Romance had been a hosted game it would probably have stuck to female only and examined that perspective more complexly, and we might even have had more chance to make female love interests over male ones more distinctive.

3 Likes

Virtually every single Choice of Games author has a day job, and if they don’t have a non-writing day job their day job is writing other things that take priority over their game. Which is why it takes a year to write and publish one.

15 Likes

To be specific, most CoGs use the official beta mechanism, where they farm a nearly-finished product out to the forum to find out which of our posters give good feedback, as well as a group of elite and totally awesome beta testers :sunglasses: who pick games we find interesting and rake them down.

So as has been said above, you can guarantee that a CoG will have been attacked by editors, bug hunters and general feedback generators, likely with a variety of strengths in the feedback department. HGs are much more loose in how much feedback they’ve gotten.

6 Likes

The way I see it Hosted Games have a lot more variable quality, whereas CoGs have a more consistent quality. Most CoGs I can buy without having to worry about whether I’ll enjoy them, sure some are better than others, but there’s a baseline of quality there. Hosted Games on the other hand can be pretty poor quality, but all my favourite games are also Hosted Games, when they’re good they’re really damn good

7 Likes

I also tend to buy more COG games then HG ones. It’s either bc the male genderlock which makes it impossible for me to enjoy a game no matter how well written it is or bc the short 30k or 50k or so long games which normally end before I could really get interested in the story. And the quality which is more checked in games released under the CoG label than HG. Also if I buy a CoG then I can at least expect it for sure that there is a gender choice and a sexuality choice, or at least the ability to romance an RO of the gender I’m interested in.
But there are always exceptions, actually I’m still surprised that Fallen Hero: Rebirth didn’t get released under the CoG label also how came that Wise Use of Time did get released as a CoG game but the Zombie Exodus games are HGs?

So if I should list favorites that would be a mix of CoGs and HGs.

Edit: And how could I forget about @ThomB’s games… Those definitely deserve more respect than being released under an underrated label.

4 Likes

I obsessively buy all games from both CoG and HG. I have found this:

  1. Most of my favourites are CoG.
  2. HG releases more frequently so I don’t usually have to wait to long between games.
  3. I have higher expectations of CoG since they are usually of a higher quality, but I also feel supremely disappointed if it doesn’t meet my expecations.
  4. Quality of Hg varies considerably between utter garbage like Comrade or Czar, or masterpieces like Wayhaven.
  5. HG varies in content, which is refreshing.
  6. Choices in HG vary in number and significance more than CoG. Some games have very superficial and meaningless choices, while others are deep and impact the entire story.
  7. I feel there is usually more freedom in CoG games over HG, but when there are times ehen the freedom is as low as a novel.
  8. Finally, I have found more typos in HG games as opposed to CoG.

Objectively, CoG is better. Subjectively, it depends on the content you are looking for.

4 Likes