Is the hobby projects category restricted?

I seem able to post new topics to other categories, even wip categories and the other categories in game dev, but I can’t create a topic in hobby projects. Is it one of the trust level restricted categories? I couldn’t find anything about it by searching.

EDIT: just coming back to give more info/context in case there’s some sort of Discourse issue/anyone else is also experiencing this. Waited 48+ hours after promotion to member, per user trust levels thread, and I’m still not able to post new topics in the Off Topic or Hobby Projects category but am able to post new topics in the Adult Content category even though the locked icon is still visible (idk if the icon even matters, that might be there all the time just as a signpost?).
@moderators (This is not a “please hurry up and find a solution” edit, just a “here’s an update if anyone needs that information” edit.)

Also, I’ve looked through the user trust levels post but I don’t see anything that clarifies more generally who can post where, aside from off topic and plaza. Is there a list like that somewhere that I just haven’t found?

EDIT 2: Went back to hobby projects just now and I can post there now, so maybe it’s still just updating? Off Topic is still greyed out though.


Hm, it should have the exact same permissions as the HG category. I’ll bring it up to staff to see if there’s anything they can find.

In the meantime, how about you PM your HP as you planned to post it? Then I’ll try to turn that into a public thread in the HP category.


Thank you!!!

Thank you again @rose-court !! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


ya welc :3


Over in another thread @jasonstevanhill said that the Hobby category is LOCKED so that the public cannot even see or access it (if you send a forum link to someone without an account, it’ll say “this page doesn’t exist!”).

I asked why Hobby project threads are locked, but he didn’t answer me.

It’s more than a little humorous that @rose-court 's excellent post in another thread talks about how important it is for writers to get their games noticed, when locking the Hobby category (but not the WIP category) stops you from generating that much-needed buzz:

Think of demos as advertisements, something for people to take notice and keep track of, to share to their friends. Successfully translating beta testing activity to into sales on launch can be tricky to pull off and is unfortunately not something that can be condensed or taught, it kinda has to be worked through to tailor it to your games’ needs and your personal means, but it’s definitely worth it to cultivate an internet presence prior to launch. Even a small preexisting fanbase can prove to be a boon for future sales and projects.

Hey, some of us would like to gain some fans via our Hobby projects, thanks! :heart:


Huh. Well that definitely answers a couple questions, though yeah, it raises a couple more :sweat_smile:

I can see the merit in requiring people to log in to view certain things, like the adult content category (and to be honest, I was planning on messaging @rose-court today to ask if perhaps that’s where my game needed to be; I originally put it in hobby projects because it’s complete, but not something I think HG would publish, which is what I understood the adult category to be for: explicit hosted game WiP threads) but it does seem a little odd for hobby projects, especially as most (all?) of them are games like the ones you make and I wouldn’t consider them explicit in any way.

Even all that aside, I’m sad to hear it defaults to a “this page doesn’t exist” error; I’m sure that’s immediately discouraging for a lot of potential players and they might give up rather than seek out a game. Is there a login/sign up option on that page? As in, if they sign in/up will they automatically be redirected to your link?

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It does have a login/sign up option on that page; as far as I can tell, it will lead, once you log in, to the main forum page.


So, after a little exploring, I discovered:

  • Following a specific link to the “does not exist or is private” page does allow you to log in/sign up, though it does not automatically redirect to the link you used. It’s not the most inconvenient thing to just follow the link again after that but it’s two steps more than I’d like to put my readers/players (especially potential ones) through.

  • When not logged in, even if I search for a specific game/post (like stab the assassin), it’s not visible in search results or on a user’s profile. Not awesome, but I get that’s because the category is restricted.

This is probably not news to most people but it was to me. I imagine that’s a Discourse thing but I, too, am curious about why the hobby projects thread is restricted at all. If it’s because those games don’t go through a publishing process that allows staff to assess them, is there any possibility of creating such a process? Not to pile onto moderators but I know the staff are likely too busy to worry about things like that, especially if there’s no actual profit to turn from them. Or is there any way to create a non-restricted version of the thread (similar to regular WiP threads vs Adult Content Category) for games like @Sam_Ursu’s?

You snuck up on me there lol Thank you! :sweat_smile:

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To be completly honest I don’t think they’re asking much. Its not like those of us who have accounts had to sell our souls and give away our life savings. It takes a little bit of your time and an email adress, something I think most people with a phone or computer have considering most things are mow connected to email.

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Sure, as I said:

But people who make completed games, especially at the rate that @Sam_Ursu does, would likely appreciate not having to force people through any extra hoops when most WiPs don’t have to. I don’t think that’s unreasonable either. I’m not insisting on anything, but some of us do feel it’s worth discussing, or at least understanding better.

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I think the problem is that it’s not explained in the message you get that it’s a restricted category and you have to make an account to see that content, so people might just think it’s a broken link and move on. But that sounds more like something to take up with Discourse.

That said, unlike the adult content category, it’s not immediately clear to me why this one shouldn’t be visible to guests — is it possible that having it this way was unintended? If not, I would appreciate it if one of the mods who set up the category could explain the rationale behind it. :blush:


Yea, why its restricted is an intrestesting question as well as why that hasn’t been pointed out before. If I had to take a guess it might be something along the lines of a reward for the members. Just an extra little set fun for signing up where as the mature content category isn’t meant to be that. Though that is just my uneducated opinion.

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Also I found this thread. (It was before I came back to the forum so I didn’t realize this was A Thing.)

It does explain a bit about the process of making the Hobby Projects section, though not why it’s restricted. This too is probably not news to anybody here but me lol but just in case.

News to me, but the development category might be restricted to users. I’m not really sure what falls under the development category

Looks like there’s Game Dev (generally unrestricted) and it includes Writing and Content, Choicescript Help, and Hobby Projects, with HP being the only restricted subcategory.

EDIT: An interesting discovery: as I said before, I wasn’t able to find specific hobby projects posts even by searching or going to author profiles when logged out. But I can find posts in the Other Interactive Fiction subcategory by searching, though those posts don’t have their category listed. The Other Interactive Fiction subcategory is not restricted (which I find odd, because these aren’t even cs projects, whereas hobby projects are and that feels strange considering product marketing/promotion etc) but its parent category Off Topic is restricted. So there’s that.

:arrow_up: This is what you see if you go to the URL of one of my games and you’re not logged into your account (or don’t have one). Notice that it recommends the user click on a WIP (the Abyssal), a thread that does NOT require being logged in to view.

I’ve asked patiently and politely, but I am still waiting for the @moderators to explain why WIPs are public threads while Hobby projects are not.

Not to pick on @Holtzmann and his WIP (the Abyssal, seen in the screenshot above), but this is literally the description the author wrote when they launched their thread:

  • Warning: The Abyssal contains detailed descriptions of violence, blood, death (duh), sexual content (on later updates), and offensive language;

So you’ve got one game (the Abyssal) with violence, blood, offensive language, and future sexual content, and it’s not restricted, while my completely innocuous board game with zero violence, cussing, or sex, cannot even be viewed by someone without an account.

Furthermore, you cannot even use this forum’s search function to find my games unless you’re logged in (it’ll say my games “can’t be found,” and Google, obviously, is not indexing them).

How does that make any sense?

And WIP authors get to use this forum to pitch their Patreon accounts?

Mind you, I’m not calling for WIPs to be restricted or modified in any way. I just cannot fathom why Hobby games are treated the way NSFW adult games are :frowning_face:

I worked really hard on making my Senet board game, and I was really proud when I sent a play link to a bunch of people who work in Antiquities and other related university fields (like Classical Studies), exactly the kind of people who know what Senet is and would love to play it, so it stung quite a bit when a couple of them told me that they clicked on the “Discuss this game” link and were told that the URL had been “taken down” (their description).

I read the original thread where the Hobby category was announced, but I still don’t understand what its purpose is when it’s kept under lock and key :lock:


The purpose is a category where people can show side projects without the pressure of being bombarded with feedback. As it is a hobby project for fun and not a project that is posted to receive input from the perspective of the publication.

You still can show everyone else the dashingon link, so there is no block in any way. Or use the public workshop for everyone and is for projects with less than 30k not aiming to publish but want feedback.

This is the workshop link.


My personal concern with the workshop thread is that it’s one thread. It’s not a category where a game can have its own thread for discussion. You post a completed game there, how long until it’s buried? I mean I get why it would be useful for very short demos or coding practice and I appreciate that the thread exists, but I don’t think it quite serves the purpose as well as a category does, which is what HP is. And whether the author wants feedback or not is something they can easily make note of in their OP; restricting HP doesn’t stop feedback, it just puts players through extra hoops.


I’m sorry, I am a little confused on what the issue is.

If it’s that the HP permissions are not accessible for newer members, I think that’s sadly one of the cons of trying to keep the HP section safe, in terms of light feedback, fewer expectations and hurdles, etc.

If it’s that HP is restricted and other categories are not, like Other Interactive Fiction I think that’s because while HP is meant to be viewed by a smaller audience base–so as to avoid unwanted feedback and the like–Other Interactive Fiction is supposed to be for discussing stories that people may not be aware of, that are still intended to be publicly accessible.

If it’s that HP is less restricted than Off Topic, I think that’s because it allows regular forum members to safely socialize with people who have shown they can be trusted/safe to communicate with. It’s a lot more for interpersonal connection than literary development, since most of the forum is dedicated to the latter.

As for the workshop thread, think of it as more of the first part of the chain (Workshop → Hobby Project → Work in Progress → Published Game). The workshop is for advice, help with coding, practice, etc. People who post their stories in there are aware of this, since the workshop is a collaborative effort where we all help each other. Think of it less as a game discussion thread, and more as a writers’ workshop.

I hope any of that helped clear things up.


To bounce off that as well, it’s also for people who do not plan on publishing with CoG but want to have feedback from the dedicated IF fans on these forums who are willing to give it a read and provide feedback.

If you want to write a game that is going to be hopefully published an HG or a CoG, you can ask for it to be moved to a WIP.

It’s just like how if you choose an alternative publisher we allow you to make a thread and link your game in the Other IF Category to showcase it.