Length of game influences buying?


That seems rather paradoxical. If everyone needed good reviews to buy something, no one would buy anything. What is the first person supposed to do? Roll a dice?


Yes, but casuals don’t mess with files. The marketing should easy to understand. A choice measurement would sound like Chinese. And doesn’t help anyone. Except a few metagamers. I want choices that let me tailored a character in story and create a interactive meaningful experience Stats are mere numbers without the actual storytelling and gameplay. Flavor choices in dialogue could help a lot the characters immersion and creativity of world. In fact choice of dragon does that very well with few choices and few branches. However, I agree with the fact measure a game content is terrible difficult due everyone wants a different thing. I want role play and replay value and several games people love for me are repetitive and railroad tracks . Cog staff have a difficult job balancing what the public wants lol. I don’t want to be in their skin.


This is a gentle reminder to keep posts centered on the topic and debate the points being made, and not to go off-topic.

Please avoid repetitively hammering a single view without adding anything new.

Finally, if you see disrespectful posts please do not reply to them. Rather please use the report feature and let forum staff de-escalate friction.

CS has no defined mechanics or stat systems other than the structure such as opposite pairs. As you say, choices are subjective and as such, the interaction provided by choices is only one part of the whole. The fiction part of the equation is more objective and therefore it should be an integral part of any interactive fiction game.

Enough of the side-bar; let us all return to the topic at hand: Length of games influencing buying.


I am sorry for the off topic. But Choices and branches affect length perception. For instance ZE safe haven is big but many complaint is short.


That is the difference between breadth and depth. ZESH is very broad - other games are more deep.


But still people still tied it to length. They don’t say game is broad they say is short. I suppose establish words per play through would harm more broad spectrum based in replay value.


On the writing side, it concerns me when potential readers’ expectations on word count seem to be rising.

Because at some point, it becomes woefully economically inefficient to write these titles, especially as there’s usually a huge increase in workload when you go from a 100k word story to a 200k word story. One may think, “Well, it’s probably double the work, right?”

And I would say, “Bare minimum. But first of all, ‘double the work’ is a helluva lot of work. 500 hours of your life just became 1000 hours. And honestly, it’s likely much more than double the work, since generally longer games result in more paths, more variables to track and account for, etc. So 500 hours probably became 1200 hours or even 1500 hours.”

And these games just don’t make enough money for the authors to have workcount expectations to rise any further. We have to look at what we earn, and divide it into an hourly wage to see if we’re really undervaluing our time.

An author of a 300,000-word game, who may have spent at least 1500 hours, and possibly more on it, will net like $1.25 per copy, even with a $7 sales price. Let’s say it sells strongly, 10,000 units in the first year, so the author nets $12,500. That same author would have need to write at least 2 more of those 300,000-word epics (in the same year!) to earn just $37,500, which in the US isn’t a high standard of living at all.

I just don’t see how these expectations are sustainable for authors. The numbers don’t work. It’s math. That author who worked 1500 hours to write that 300,000-word epic worked for $8 per hour. Let that sink in. Now that rate will increase as sales continue over the next couple of years, but will the rate ever get above $20 per hour or so?


Well, i did say it’s something -I- do if i don’t know the game before


As a general rule, if a game doesn’t tell me how many words there are I don’t even consider the game (past series notwithstanding). This goes further in that word counts that aren’t at least 150-200k are similarly ignored.

The simple fact is, the longer you spend in that world, the more invested you are in said world. While certain games buck this trend a bit (the Infinity series is phenomenally written) it just feels like I’m wasting my time playing a seemingly linear game.

To put it in perspective, there is a current WIP coming out that I actively ignored for the longest time until they recently put out the word count. That was the ONLY reason I looked into it. The game was amazing btw, but I would have completely ignored it if the author(s) hadn’t put as much work into it


freemium culture is destroy people expectations and piracy. They are entitled to receive stuff free like If writers lifefrom air. And if you rise price well, you will be pirated. I would pay more for quality and lenght but most people don’t


I agree.

It’s just a guess, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see CoG go to some sort of subscription service very soon, since that seems to be the prevailing current these days. The idea of “paying $ for an individual creative work,” be it a book, an app, a movie, etc, is giving way to freemium and subscription models. Just ask any author about Amazon Kindle Unlimited and how it’s changed the landscape.


That would be the most effective method, honestly. Add an ala cart option that’s slightly uncharged and you’re set. I’d pay that.

Would you pay a higher price for the same games if you had to choose between that or subscription?


The problem is I want pay for what i want pay. Suscription drop the quality a lot. Due my money is jailed whatever company does. I would pay for quality not for EVERYTHING cog does.


Yes I don’t want pay for books I hate . I want rewarding writers for what i think is worthwhile if not i will feel cheated in a stuff i don’t want at all


The problem with a subscription model is that they use so many authors, and they own virtually none of the IP. So they’d have to figure out a fair way to distribute income from a subscription model. KU has used metrics like “pages read” or “percentage read” of a given book as compared to the total number of pages read of the entire KU library to figure out a pro rata split.

But that is very complicated to make fair and transparent and clear to everyone. A very large hurdle to clear.

But anyway, this is an aside. My main point is that wordcounts can’t keep going up if authors are going to earn anywhere near a respectable hourly rate.


Well then I personally think a sub/premium option is best. If the majority of games are becoming higher word counts anyway, I wouldn’t mind paying a sub for all of them

You’d have to explain how I’m wrong here, but doesn’t CoG already have an omnibus app with the library? Wouldn’t it simply require a “download” tab for each game and a rating score at the end? Each game author would make a standard amount (10% of company profit) and they would get a “bonus” depending on the amount of downloads and “5” star ratings.

If you also added a separate app in the app store where you could buy it at “regular price” whereby the company would keep 10% and the author would keep the rest, I can’t see that not working to everyone’s benefit.

Reality is that Pandora’s box has been opened and most people are expecting large games. To stop or go backwards is not realistic or feasible at this point imo


Readers’ expectations are formed by the competition at the price-points established.

The price being established for CS games should be the focus of your concern because the competition has established itself - offering different features not seen in CS games for the price tier.

When Winter Wolves and other publishers offer games with both full length text and graphics, voice acting and mini-games within the interactive fiction near the price point that some CS games seem to be heading, that creates a major issue that length alone doesn’t account for.

As far as subscriptions go - I don’t see it happening here the way you do; if it does, I believe the entire CS gamer-base would shift and be different and worse off for authors.

Episodic games are already here and ready to be further refined as marketing opportunities - I see this happening before I see subscriptions.


Well, I only want pay for I will buy use. I don’t go to a restaurant and pay for Everything. I am abstemious so I would be paying for alcoholic stuff I despite. My money would be given people i don’t want receive a penny as i don’t think they work is worthy.


This, I don’t see. Episodic games are too expensive for their worth and create a slight sense of customer dissatisfaction. I gave up on Hyuuga after the second installment, namely because it took too long from one game to the next and I didn’t feel i was getting proper value for money.

With subs, I would have been far more likely to look into all 3.

I agree. There are many games out and coming out that I would not want to buy. That said, I’d argue if you have a Netflix account you are similarly paying for movies you don’t want to see


I agree with @poison_mara on the subscribtion issue, i prefer to selectively buy the titles that i am interested in…
On the tv series comparison, i would rather wait for the season to finish and then buy the entire season via dvd on the title i like :slight_smile:

But back to the topic, for me i don’t think length of the game will influence me of buying the game, the free demo is enough for me to decide whether i like the story and care for the characters within . Vampire House is a short story but it is always one of the best HG title for me… Doomsday on demand 2 may be considered short but i never hesitate to buy it after reading the free demo, where i deem the demo is enough to convince me it is better than DOD 1