Length of game influences buying?


I don’t have Netflix or another suscription system. Even in ps4 i buy gold only when i consider i need it. I only bought what i want really want.


Well, tell me what you want, what you really really want…

While I do believe you, that is pretty fantastical and certainly the exception. Most people would seem to be ok getting a subscription for things they use often. This varies from things you wouldn’t even think about. Ex. A gym membership or going to college.


I don’t know, it may be true in some regions of the world, but certianly not worldwide. For example, as russian I can’t allow myself to spend money in such vague form. Especially with latest USD/RUB balance…


Thats fair. I guess I meant the considerably more wasteful American and western world. Thank you for the clarification


In Spain Netflix appeared like two years ago and almost nobody has it except Vodafone people due is free with the wifi or was hbo? Anyway here is not normal yet.


I definitely won’t buy a short game. I did give them enough tries and I found that most of them are too rushed. I rather spend more money for longer games then fewer money for games which I probably won’t like. The only exception I make would be if it’s a game from an author whose works I really like. Also while this logic normally works out well for me it still happens sometimes that I feel disappointed after finishing a game (looking at you I, Cyborg, while I can’t really explain why I didn’t like that game it’s still a fact that it was hard for me to finish just one playthrough), but it’s not like there would be a 100%ly sure way to avoid that.


This is a concern among visual novels as well. People desire more content but at the same, or a cheaper price. This is doable to some extent but the writer quickly runs into the same problems.

It is one thing if someone is writing out of a sheer love of writing, but if they then want to try to make a living at it, then it is a whole other issue. Some of the games I’ve loved recently has a lot of text change based on certain traits one has…but then I wonder “I appreciate the work, but this might be a little much for the poor writer”

Now back to the topic of the thread, I admit that I do take a look at word count as a big factor in what I’m buying. Not that it is any guarantee of quality, but usually a higher word count indicates the author at least was able to stick with it to that point.


Offtopic question, but since this isn’t the first time that I saw you talking about visual novels I wonder if you create (write or whatever) visual novels or you just talk about them as someone who is a big fan of the genre?


The answer is yes. For Winter Wolves Games I wrote Planet Stronghold: Colonial Defense, and Love Bites (released earlier this year). There are also a couple projects that are in the planning stage/getting art stage, and I lend an occasional here and there for some others.

I also contributed some material Zombie Exodus: Safe Haven part 2, so I guess one can say I also helped with a Hosted Game.


I must admit, I blinked a few times when I saw a review recently on the google play store that said “I almost didn’t buy this game since 150k words is so short, but I’m glad now that I did.” I stared at it for a while wondering since when is 150k considered short?? Expectations are definitely rising!

I’d also say that after 100k the workload (and therefore time needed to write it) gets exponentially higher in my opinion as more story threads, branches and stats needs to be worked in and lined up properly for a game to function well. My most recently finished game which is around 100k, was so much easier to manage, write and finish than my other long WIP’s which will end up way over that. It seems to be a pretty commonly held opinion among choice writers I’ve spoken to about it as well rather than just being me. It’s a potential problem for abandoned/long term unfinished WIPs, especially for newer authors trying to get their first game finished. It also makes it harder for authors to justify putting the time aside to write really long games if it’s more than a hobby as the amount of time required gets exponentially larger, but the price of the game doesn’t rise in the same manner. (It couldn’t. People already complain about the costs as it is so it’s not feasable to price them that way at present.)

Would be fine for the official label, but not for HG. Does it seem fair that authors with high selling games like CCH and Lost Heir make a similar amount as games that haven’t done well? Bonuses would be hard to manage as COG isn’t actually making more from a 5* review compared to a 3* one since it’s all on subscrition. You could look at downloads but to be honest, if it was a free for all subscription, most people will probably download everything just to see for themselves anyway, so it may not be a good indicator of who would have actually bought the game or not. It would also encourage SHORT games even more (since downloads is the source of the income and a 30k story would presumably be the same as a 300k one otherwise it would start getting incredibly complicated for COG to start dividing up royalties based on a percentage of the income and number of games by the author, and the length of each one), the opposite of what most people seem to want.

I tentatively disagree. If more good quality games that are shorter or at least no longer than the ones currently out there (so lets say more good quality games staying under the 200k mark are written) it could potentially change the expectation that games have to be really long to be worthwhile bothering with. A number of people have already stated on this thread that it’s more about the quality and theme than purely the length so it could be done (maybe.) Since the expectation for longer games is there though, it could be hard. I think it’ll need to happen sooner or later where the word counts have to level out to be sustainable, in a few years it’s gone from: 100k is a good length to shoot for, to 100k is short for a game. I can see the number of games produced dropping dramatically through HG if everything starts needing to be a min of 300k and rising with each year that passes.


Also just a fun fact about the prices of these games: idk how it is at other countries, but over here buying a COG/HG (the pricier ones) costs still half as much as if I’d walk into the bookstore and buy a book.


100,000 words is still novel-length. I’m going to reiterate what I suspect is going on with these “it’s too short” reviews. If you play through a CYOA only reading the choices at the bottom, and not the actual text that goes along with it, it’s very easy to move along at a rapid speed. So rapid in fact that if you add up all of the words from the choices only, and not the rest of the game, it will feel like the game is “too short” even if the game itself was 250k words long.


I think there may be a certain mindset at play, at least on a subconscious level, for people of a certain age. I know that there are times I look at a game, which is download only, and I think “That is to high for an asking price”…but if I buy a physical good, that is less likely to occur. This also plays into people on the various app stores who ask “Why isn’t this free???” Of course, where there are free to play games as well doesn’t help there.


I know about the Zombie Exodus thing I follow that thread too even if I’m more quiet over there lately.
Anyway I really like the Winter Wolfes games too (actually that is the only visual novel developer I care about). I really like the games created in the Loren the Amazon Princess’s world. And Planet Stronghold is my second favorite.


All this talk about word count makes me itchy to write a 4th wall breaking scene about getting books and comparing their wordcount.


I didn’t vote. I want something between 200 and 300 thousand words. I start getting turned off by wipe that are too large as they tend to be about lots of options and the quality of the prose seems to fake a dive. I want rich subtext and a well told story. I don’t care about being able to play it more than twice.


This is categorically not true and more a psychological fear of the author than anything that holds substance.
Perfect example is Choice of Rebels, the game I feel started the “word count” trend. It’s price was substantially higher than any other game prior to it, selling at discount for $7 when others were marketing themselves at half that price. This was because they had a product of value and were confident that people would buy it. And while certainly some people, a fair portion, were pissed that it cost what it cost, many more decided to buy it. Honestly one of the issues is that authors are afraid that their work is only worthy a certain value and so they essentially pay themselves scraps

At face value, no. However there should be a base amount that every author gets from the sum total. That’s why games more highly regarded are given more than those that are viewed primarily as bad.

They aren’t making more but they’d be able to allocate more. Ex. CoG makes, after operating costs, 10k. Of that 10k, 7k is divided amongst all the authors. The remaining 3k is broken down in “bonuses” to the authors with games with a higher average rating than others.

That would only work if every author made a point to not make larger games. If there is still an avenue to get larger games, people will go for those.

Honestly, and I mean this with all due respect, thats just not true. Look at the games this year and you’ll see that in terms of downloads, games with higher word counts are downloaded at a larger rate than games with a lower count, in some instances by a wide margin. This site is great for community based things but shouldn’t be taken super seriously when compared to hard numbers.

That’s not a bad thing though. I’d rather have 5 longer “better” games than 10 shorter “mediocre” games.

What you are talking about is flavor text. I’m going to be honest, I am not a fan of flavor text. People want their choices to matter. Having a slight variation in words while everything else is the same does not make me feel my choices matter.


100k words are novel length, yes
But it’s 100k with code.
This can mean 20k per play, it can mean 75k depending on how its coded.

Still a lot, yes and cheaper than a regular novel but is it what one payed for?


Not to mention that the larger a title gets, the less economical it is. I released The Magician’s Burden, a 230k word title, for $5. Now, I had planned on making my WIP, The Enchanter’s Misery, one big installment of 750k words. I ended up changing my mind and deciding that I’d make it a trilogy, but if I did release a 750k story, it would probably sell for like $8.

So that’s 500k more words for $3 added to the price-tag. If I split that into a trilogy of 250k installments, each selling at $5, that would be a total of $15 as opposed to $8. So, :man_shrugging:

That said, I’d say a 300k word title would have only taken me like 400 hours to complete, considering it generally takes me 1 hour to write 1k words.

Oh, plus I’m often able to write anywhere from 0.5k to 1k words while working at my theater job, which is nice. So, taking that into account, if TMB sells 10k copies in a year, that’d be several times more than $8/hr.


I pay for a interactive experience that joined the literature with the interaction of a game . I read this to role playing similar to if and table top experience from late 70’s first 80’s. for a opportunity of role-playing in a brand new unique world. I look for world account as an indication of it would be choices or attention to detail for my experience a 35,000 game is 90% times linear and with nothing to create my character.
I read the demo anyway in case of choice seems give players control and meaningful choices. However there are 100,000 games that have no choices except pic a route in game and follow it to infinite. For me that game has no really content even of were a million of words account.