List of all stories by word length

@Eiwynn @Alexandra @Jacic

I agree that “Choice that doesn’t matter” to the outcome of the following event can actually add suspense, flavour and even mystery to the entire story-line , even though the ending is the same…

For example , let say that you have option A, B and C before the final conclusion where the villain reveal him/herself… in this case, no matter what you choose between A,B and C, the scene where the villain reveal him/herself is the same… but each of the choice A,B and C will give readers a hint, clue and motive regarding why he/she is the villain, it is like breaking the evidence into 3 pieces, where each piece is not sufficient enough to paint the whole picture of why the villain do it… it will give motivation for readers to read through all 3 choices again in order to get all the pieces together to understand what actually lead up to the final sequence…

I actually learn about this from Hearts of The House , where protagonist had been given choices where each choice leads him/her to a different Dream/memory/revelation, even though the sequence where he/she wake up is the same, but each choice give a different perspective of what actually happen in the past… hence readers tend to revisit those different choice again in order to understand the whole picture or to learn more about what happen in the past , since each playthrough only reveal us part of the mystery , it will be tempting to re-do those choices again even though the outcome may be the same…

another example is Community Hero college and Guardian of Sun and Moon (WIP) , where before the protagonist go for the test, there were multiple choices of activities such as revision , training or dating … while even though the following sequence is the test ultimately, but performing different choice leads to different consequence , such as revision will allow protagonist to “learn” about the answer for multiple choice question in the test, training will add combat stat and dating increase relationship …

so, the choicescript actually can perform wonderful story-telling with good maneuver and imagination of the so-called “fake choice” without making things complicated…

and true to the topic, it will certainly increase the word count as well :smile:

3 Likes

I quite liked that choice, actually. :slight_smile: I read it as having only one purpose: to give a sense of the sheer scale of the HQ. It does that efficiently.

Yes, by framing it as a choice Sergi disappoints anyone who hoped that you’d actually have the chance to explore the vastness. He creates a negative possibility space, at least for some readers. He could have partly filled in that space by giving two lines of trivia after each option, as you suggest–though of course a critic of a slightly different bent would consider that to be equally “lazy and only ups the wordcount.”

But it’s always worth recalling when we talk about Heroes Rise: it’s a CoG bestseller, their first, with sales and a fan base that other games lack. So whlie the things it does may legitimately fall under “what I don’t like,” I’m not sure “what doesn’t work” is an accurate heading unless it’s immediately followed with “for me.” :slight_smile:

And I’ve never agreed that fake_choices are an insult to the genre, in any quantity. But then, as I’ve probably said ad nauseam, that’s because the story I’m interested in sits in between the reader’s ears, not on a stats screen, and any fake_choice that can add meaningfully to that imagined story is fine by me.

9 Likes

I still say its absurdly lazy and thus fails to create an idea of vastness. It would NOT have hurt sergi to come up with one or two sentences of trivia about the locations.
THAT would have given a sense of vastness. Like this? Its just padding.
He can spent page after page writing about 60+ latex dominas in his games, but a short bit on which villains are currently locked up in the prison ward of the HQ is asking too much?

(Also… lbr HR going by todays standards wouldn’t fly anymore. )

EDIT:
Yeah, every author has their own little things, but with HR it’s especially grating cause, as said elsewhere, it’s not a CYOA and I doubt Sergi ever had or has any interest in making it on.
He barely meets the guidelines, the story is extremely railroading etc.
He’d have done better with just writing the thing and going for vanity publishing.

And to get back on topic:
It’s honestly an advice to every writer: If you hold no interest in turning your writing into a CYOA, just write the plain story and put it on Ao3 or go for self-publishing.
I know it can be hard writing those other paths, allowing the MC to do stuff you wouldn’t pick had someone else written the game, but…

3 Likes

Things are getting a bit too negative for my taste, although I’ll freely admit I opened this particular can of worms…

I’ll just sum up my feelings here without any particular callout:

If a choice isn’t particularly significant, like choosing what to have for dinner in Keeper of the Sun and Moon? Perfectly okay for a choice like that to not have any more than a mention, maybe a few bits of trivia attached to it. If a choice presents the opportunity to explore? Give some means of exploring, even if it’s only a token amount of words, it’s better than nothing. If a choice shows off your internal feelings? Honor that choice. You don’t have to have it branch off into a new subplot. Again, it could simply be a few lines reinforcing said choice. Present a diverging point in the story, which is treated as important or even dire? Treat the consequences with as much seriousness as the buildup. Even if all you can affect is a minor change, change something.

I’m not asking for a sprawling epic wherein every choice branches of into one of a multiverse of choices. Simply having your choices have tangible weight is enough. Respecting your player enough to acknowledge their choices is enough.

That’s all.

3 Likes

Yeah, apparently most of us “diehard” folks on the forum don’t like Heroes’ Rise and its sequels and spinoffs all that much but I believe Jason has told us multiple times now that they apparently sell really well.
Perhaps it would be better to view them less as games and more as novels.

Sadly true. So many missed opportunities there. In all honesty I would have settled for Lucky getting the same care and attention put into his romance as Black Magic or even just Jury. :unamused:

It certainly disappointed me.

I dare say you’ve got your own fan base now @Havenstone. :wink:

Heroes Rise still railroads me far too much for my liking, my mc is forced to be a bratty petulant kid in it for the quick fame. However the only time I actually wanted to be a bratty petulant kid and read Rebellion and the Major the proverbial and possible literal riot act at the end the only options given are to be curt and polite or slightly more long-winded and polite. Where I was like screw politeness at that point.

Now the fake choices I am most likely to like are character defining ones, like hair and eye colour even if the game does little with them.

Of course I absolutely love what @Snoe is doing with “Freak amidst the Neon Lights” and those character creation choices occasionally briefly pop back into the game and the npc’s remark on some of them and they even cause minor plot deviations, but I like many of them even if that isn’t the case, because they help me flesh out and define my character.

4 Likes

I enjoy fake choices that cause me agony because, thanks to the deftness of the writing, I don’t yet know they’re fake choices—sometimes not even upon a second play-through. Study in Steampunk is masterful at this, I think. There was one particular place where I spent a good five minutes agonising over how to explain something to Woodward. It wasn’t until my third play-through (and a quick glance at the code) that I was sure it was as fake as a *fake_choice could get, no stats, no extra lines, nothing. The *fake_choice here was absolutely stellar, in my opinion, not just for the thought it made me put into my character, but even more so for the five minutes of worry it gave me as the reader.

I do feel that CS games can be less about the amount of choice and more about how well the illusion of amount of choice is maintained, so ‘does this craft a convincing illusion’ is at least as important a question as ‘how much does this actually branch’, I think, depending of course on the style of game and goals of the author.

16 Likes

To me, a fake choice can be one of two things.

It’s extremely infuriating when the choice pretends to matter. It’s pretty much always painfully obvious when this is the case.

It’s very meaningful when it gives purpose. Context is the king of fake choices. It is the embodiment of player-creator narrative. I’ll point out what I mean in the example below.

While it isn’t a fake choice, in Tin Star you can choose what you leave behind before you travel west. It doesn’t matter as far as anything except the immediate line from the Marshall is concerned. Yet the amount of choices are many and they anchor the narrative very efficiently. Whether you leave behind a family or a plot of land has no bearing on any other choice, but it gives a very different view of the story as a whole. If you left behind a family, then pursuing a romantic interest tells a great deal more about your character than if you had none. If you had a lot of land back east, then staking out a claim and building a house in the west tells a great deal about your character’s desire to stay.
This is a case where a pure fake choice would’ve been fine. The essential point isn’t a question of branching content as such, but one of branching imagination on the player’s part. Tin Star is full of that kind of stuff, where(I assume) a lot of time there are fake choices on how you respond to something(whether you say “Yes indeed.” or “Sure.” or just nod your head, or such). It fleshes out how you view your own character, which in my opinion is pretty valuable. Essentially it allows the dialogue to remain inert and thus saves a lot of effort on the part of the creator, while still giving value to the experience. (although they’re not as such fake choices since they usually lead to one of two real choices(yes or no), but essentially if there are four ways of saying yes, three of those are fake choices in practice even if they aren’t labeled as such in code)

What matters is that I, as the player, created the context for the story to follow. Even if nothing really changes, everything changes. The lens by which I examine the narrative is different. Of course it’d be great if there were some references to such choices, but realistically that’s a bit too much to hope for in many cases.

7 Likes

So are War of Infinity and Masters of Infinity the working titles of books 4 and 5, or final titles? They imply some interesting things, like Tierra challenging Takara and/or Kian and it leading to a massive war, and them possibly succeeding based on your choices?

Here i would like to add that , “Fake Choice” within Tin Star is very limited for my opinion … the so called “fake choice” only appear at the beginning and end of story , but the ending choices allow me to forge my own legacy as well as my own romantic life in the end … having a love triangle with both Carrie and Maria with an official marriage with one of them was most satisfying .

In addition, with different choices in Tin Star… we could have an entirely different story plot or scenes , thus enhancing it with a different reading experience, example If we ask about the ex-Marshall’s grave with Ben first, we could only visit the grave ourselves, but if we ask about it with Carrie, we could have Carrie accompany us to the grave and there will be a further backstory about Carrie , accommodate with her mourn to a friend who she once tried to save

and we also have choices of who we bring to the theater depending on who we visit, bringing Maria or Carrie will have a total different romantic scene , most importantly we also will receive a secondary romantic scene with the RO who we don’t bring to the theater , i Brought Maria to the Theater , so i will receive a chance to make bullets with Carrie next … If i brought carrie, i will have a secondary scene with Maria instead

these may seems not affecting the general outcome of the main plot . but it gives a different romantic journey along the way… even the mission of overcoming the flood will bear significant achievement within the “history” of the story line

These all are a good examples of how word length matter in a story

Edit: I just remember that we must ensure the lead antagonist survive ( a choice) , in order to have a true happy ending with both Maria and Carrie , even so we must also select the choice of becoming the Mexico Governor in order to marry Maria or ensuring Carrie have a lavish life there

2 Likes
Title Wordcount Publication
Choice of the Dragon 30,000 Choice of Games
Choice of Broadsides 60,000 Choice of Games
Choice of the Vampire ? Choice of Games
Choice of Zombies 140,000 Choice of Games
Heroes Rise 110,000 Choice of Games
For Rent: Haunted House ? Choice of Games
Choice of the Star Captain ? Choice of Games
To the City in the Clouds ? Choice of Games
The Fleet ? Choice of Games
Choice of Kung-fu ? Choice of Games
Treasure Seekers of Lady Luck ? Choice of Games
Slammed! 250,000 Choice of Games
Choice of the Ninja ? Choice of Games
Choice of the Vampire: Fall of Memphis 300,000 Choice of Games
Affairs of the Court: Choice of Romance 223,000 Choice of Games
Heroes Rise: The Hero Project ? Choice of Games
The ORPHEUS Ruse ? Choice of Games
Showdown at Willow Creek ? Choice of Games
Reckless Space Pirates ? Choice of Games
Choice of the Deathless 99,000 Choice of Games
Choice of the Rockstar ? Choice of Games
NOLA is Burning 70,000 Choice of Games
Neighborhood Necromancer ? Choice of Games
Mecha Ace 234,000 Choice of Games
Heroes Rise: HeroFall 118,000 Choice of Games
Yeti’s Parole Officer ? Choice of Games
Thieves’ Gambit: The Curse of the Black Cat 100,000 Choice of Games
Creatures Such As We ? Choice of Games
Psy High ? Choice of Games
Choice of Robots 300,000 Choice of Games
The Last Monster Master 250,000 Choice of Games
The Hero of Kendrickstone 240,000 Choice of Games
Choice of the Petal Throne 124,000 Choice of Games
Hollywood Visionary 150,000 Choice of Games
It’s Killing Time 140,000 Choice of Games
Champion of the Gods 217,000 Choice of Games
VERSUS: The Lost Ones 123,000 Choice of Games
A Wise Use of Time 260,000 Choice of Games
Ratings War 80,000 Choice of Games
Deathless: The City’s Thirst 150,000 Choice of Games
Diabolical 130,000 Choice of Games
Pendragon Rising 112,000 Choice of Games
Metahuman, Inc. 260,000 Choice of Games
Sixth Grade Detective 109,000 Choice of Games
The Daring Mermaid Expedition 71,000 Choice of Games
The Hero Project: Redemption Season 129,000 Choice of Games
The Sea Eternal 283,000 Choice of Games
Choice of the Pirate 165,000 Choice of Games
Choice of Alexandria 90,000 Choice of Games
A Midsummer Night’s Choice 190,000 Choice of Games
Sorcery is for Saps 200,000 Choice of Games
Congresswolf 140,000 Choice of Games
Saga of the North Wind 300,000 Choice of Games
Empyrean 325,000 Choice of Games
Cannonfire Concerto 190,000 Choice of Games
VERSUS: The Elite Trials 140,000 Choice of Games
Runt of the Litter 150,000 Choice of Games
The Eagle’s Heir 200,000 Choice of Games
Welcome to Moreytown 150,000 Choice of Games
Demon Mark: A Russian Saga 200,000 Choice of Games
Avatar of the Wolf 135,000 Choice of Games
The Hero Unmasked 300,000 Choice of Games
Trials of the Thief-Taker 140,000 Choice of Games
Grand Academy for Future Villains 200,000 Choice of Games
Choice of the Cat 600,000 Choice of Games
The Superlatives: Aetherfall 260,000 Choice of Games
Heart of the House 360,000 Choice of Games
Choice of Rebels 637,000 Choice of Games
Broadway: 1849 150,000 Choice of Games
T-Rex Time Machine 170,000 Choice of Games
Tally Ho 638,000 Choice of Games
Undercover Agent 135,000 Choice of Games
The Fielder’s Choice 115,000 Choice of Games
The Hero Project: Open Season 170,000 Choice of Games
Silverworld 560,000 Choice of Games
The Road to Canterbury 175,000 Choice of Games
Rent-A-Vice 150,000 Choice of Games
I, Cyborg 300,000 Choice of Games
Blood Money 290,000 Choice of Games
Werewolves: Haven Rising 285,000 Choice of Games
Choice of Magics 550,000 Choice of Games
DinoKnights 177,000 Choice of Games
Choice of Broadsides: HMS Foraker 85,000 Choice of Games
The Martian Job 155,000 Choice of Games
Gilded Rails 340,000 Choice of Games
Stronghold: A Hero’s Fate 250,000 Choice of Games
Weyrwood 174,000 Choice of Games
Death Collector 300,000 Choice of Games
7th Sea: A Pirate’s Pact 200,000 Choice of Games
Tower Behind the Moon 400,000 Choice of Games
Chronicon Apocalyptica 250,000 Choice of Games
Drag Star! 150,000 Choice of Games
The Superlatives: Shattered Worlds 218,000 Choice of Games
Fog of War: The Battle for Cerberus 170,000 Choice of Games
Pon Para and the Great Southern Labyrinth 430,000 Choice of Games
Fool! 420,000 Choice of Games
Asteroid Run: No Questions Asked 325,000 Choice of Games
Exile of the Gods 460,000 Choice of Games
Heroes of Myth 560,000 Choice of Games
Psy High 2: High Summer 270,000 Choice of Games
Sword of the Slayer 185,000 Choice of Games
The Fog Knows Your Name 300,000 Choice of Games
Grand Academy II: Attack of the Sequel 215,000 Choice of Games
Creme de la Creme 440,000 Choice of Games
In the Service of Mrs. Claus 167,000 Choice of Games
The Magician’s Workshop 190,000 Choice of Games
An Odyssey: Echoes of War 250,000 Choice of Games
Sky Pirates of Actorius 37,000 Choice of Games
Zip! Speedster of Valiant City 48,000 Choice of Games
Ironheart 250,000 Choice of Games
Blackstone Academy of Magical Arts 188,000 Choice of Games
Mask of the Plague Doctor 410,000 Choice of Games
A Squire’s Tale 150,000 Choice of Games
Light Years Apart 230,000 Choice of Games
180 Files: The Aegis Project 184,000 Choice of Games
Werewolves: Pack Mentality 360,000 Choice of Games

Title Wordcount Publication
Magikiras 1,100,000 Hosted Games
Breach: The Archangel Job 822,000 Hosted Games
The Shadow Horror 533,000 Hosted Games
Zombie Exodus: Safe Haven 500,000 Hosted Games
The War for the West 485,000 Hosted Games
The Wayhaven Chronicles: Book One 440,000 Hosted Games
Guns of Infinity 440,000 Hosted Games
Fallen Hero: Rebirth 380,000 Hosted Games
Highlands, Deep Water 340,000 Hosted Games
Keeper of the Sun and Moon 310,000 Hosted Games
A Study in Steampunk: Choice by Gaslight 277,000 Hosted Games
Evertree Inn 265,000 Hosted Games
The Lost Heir 3: Demon War 250,000 Hosted Games
The Lost Heir 2: Forging a Kingdom 250,000 Hosted Games

I wanted to know what the average for Choice of Games’ wordcount was and ended up doing this because I’m a loser. The Choice of Games list is complete; I’m making this a wiki in case anyone wants to finish the Hosted Games list!

Notes
  • The Choice of Games list is complete and done in chronological order, earliest games being at the top and most recent releases being at the bottom.

  • The Hosted Games list is not done in chronological order, but instead by wordcount, with longest HGs being at the top.

  • Sources: storefront descriptions, the occasional forum search, and the post in this thread by @SleeperHold. “?” was left for games where wordcount wasn’t obviously listed (or I couldn’t find it within 10 seconds of looking).

  • What is the actual average of COG wordcounts? IDK, someone else can do that…

13 Likes

Brilliant :slight_smile:

3 Likes

228,116, according to a lazy copy and paste into Numbers.

Pretty close to the averages using omnibus data (which rounds wordcount to the nearest 10k as far as I can tell):

Average Wordcount Using Omnibus Data

Line Mean Median Mode
COG 215,086 180,000 150,000
HG 183,405 140,000 160,000
Both 197,621 160,000 150,000
8 Likes

Updated the table with recent COG releases (congrats to the company on breaking over 100 games!) and the average wordcount of COG titles (using only known numbers) is 227,289 words. Gives the rest of us a run for our money!

4 Likes

That’s cool that the median is consistently much lower than the average. Suggests that there are a few massive games pulling up the numbers.

I wonder, any chance of putting this in a graph and seeing the increase in size over time? (Also, how about HG)

I don’t have the time to do all of the Hosted Games, sadly, since I imagine there are more than COG’s 116! I made this post a wiki if you want to add information about your games or any others, though! :slight_smile: I’ll see about making a graph!

1 Like

So Choice of the Dragon seems to have been published in Jan 2010, and the most recent release (Werewolves 2) was Jul 2020. Congrats to the company on ten years as well as over one hundred titles!

All of the games are on the graph even if their titles don’t appear on the axis. If you’re curious, the big spike in wordcount–coming from what I call our “three giants”, Choice of Rebels, Choice of the Cat, and Tally Ho–were all published in a close cluster in 2017.

13 Likes

Updated averages:

HC COG HG Combined
Mean 211,667 212,454 191,728 201,132
Median 232,500 180,000 137,500 160,000
pics or it didn't happen

Length Distributions by Line

Length vs. Omnibus Rating

Length Over Time


Note

Lengths taken from:
(a) word count in the game description, or if missing
(b) word count reported in the Omnibus app

Most (58%) of the time (a) and (b) aren’t the same number. Case in point:

Title Description
Word Count
Omnibus
Word Count
Absolute
Difference
Academy of Disaster 200,000 68,000 132,000
The Great Tournament 2 300,000 370,000 70,000
Samurai of Hyuga 4 375,000 440,000 65,000
Journey into Darkness 50,000 110,000 60,000
Zombie Exodus 750,000 700,000 50,000
The Soul Stone War 487,000 480,000 7,000
Foundation of Nightmares 100,000 96,000 4,000
Sum 47,376,200 48,169,300 1,421,700

Word count in descriptions got priority because they’re less rounded and I’m assuming that makes them more accurate. But you know what they say about assumptions!

10 Likes

Oooh interesting! Which is the longest game now? Still Magikaras?

2 Likes

It’s still Tin Star (according to the omnibus) at 1,400,000 words. ZESH and Magikiras come next, at 1,100,000.

(Hard to say which games are “truly” the longest, since the word count metrics don’t take coding efficiency into account, but Tin Star would have to be 21.4% inefficient to be as long as the 2nd placers.)

5 Likes