As a polyglot author, I’d like to add the option to change language in-game. If so, would it be possible to publish it with Hosted Games, provided that it’s possible to play the game completely in English, and that the minimum number of words is reached by the game in English only?
That shouldn’t be against the rule I think. As long as you include English. Did a few inquiries a year ago about this. And some said I should be fine as long as English is the main language.
There are sadly few non-English IF games. Go for it. I’d keep your scope limited though because the work of translation is itself an important kind of writing, so a 100,000 word story would actually be 200,000 words’ worth of work in two languages, or at least very close to that.
I have two WIPs at the moment. The main one will be massive, probably over a million words, and I have no intention of translating it (otherwise, I’d publish it after the next decade). But the other is very short, about 30,000-35,000 words, so it shouldn’t be a difficult work.
In any case, I will probably only translate it into my native language, since I still don’t know how much a translated HG might be of interest (and alas I don’t know any widely used languages, like Chinese).
Let’s say I’m mostly interested in it from an academic point of view due to the difference in pronouns, adjectives and so on
I suggest this is something you ask COG directly. Non-staff members can only speculate and previous information may be outdated.
The Hosted Games page says:
At this time, we can only publish Hosted Games in English, but we do accept submissions from non-native English speakers written in English.
Hosted Games Publishing Process
4. Your game will be reviewed for content
Pure speculation, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the company doesn’t have the resources to content review non-English language versions.
Ask COG but I’m going to think this is going to be a no. There’s been suggestions about publishing in other languages but it’s never been approved as COG can’t review content in a language they don’t speak fluently. Pretty certain, games need to be written in English.
That’s what I was thinking, but aren’t HG stories reviewed by the community during an open beta? That’s what I mostly find confusing.
But yeah, I’ll probably send them an email. I still have to wait on Monday, so in the meantime I thought to ask on here.
Thank you both for your reply!
The open beta and content review are separate stages, I believe.
Hosted Games Publishing Process
- You independently write and complete a game written in ChoiceScript.
- You complete a public beta test of your game on our forum. This must be a beta of the full, entire, complete game, not a demo of some portion.
- Submit your game on our Hosted Games submission form. You will also be asked to provide assets (icon, cover art, etc.) for publication.
- Your game will be reviewed for content, and when that review is complete, you will receive a contract for your game.
- Once received, reviewed, approved, and under contract, your game will go into a publishing queue; Hosted Games are published roughly on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Speculating again, but I think open beta is about getting some non-author eyes on a project to improve quality, while content review is more about making sure the game doesn’t contain grossly offensive content and the like.
Yep. HG’s don’t get professionally edited by COG so the beta test is designed (at its minimum) to reduce bugs and improve grammar and story structure. They still need to review it at COG for content. I just know there’s been ideas floated about translating games in the past and the answer has been no. But yep wait for COG’s official answer, but I wouldn’t start work on translating your game yet as it probably won’t be given the ok if you want it on HG.
Thank you everyone. Seems fair, I’m only sorry for my usual readers who don’t know English. Oh well, I’ll keep things separate, I guess.
It was worth a shot
You can write in other languages if you’re not commercially profiting from the release (and not publishing through HG, so posting it on itch.io for free for example.) Could check with COG if that is an acceptable compromise to have the same game but the other language published somewhere else?
You’re surely more informed than I am about HG contracts, but if they’re similar to those for traditional publishing, I’m afraid they’d retain any kind of translation rights. Nonetheless, it can certainly be a compromise that I will inquire about. Thanks for the idea.
HG’s a little bit of a funny one as from a publishing point of view. You can’t publish competing formats (for example take the same game on HG and make it into a twine game), but if HG doesn’t publish multilingual games this might not be the case that it’s a competing format. Best to ask them though on that front as I’m not certain!
@Daleko Let us know their reply.