Negative reviews for short playthrough length

Oh, cool, I didn’t know that!

For sure! I’ve been putting that in the descriptions of my games recently. Like for Foundation of Nightmares, a couple of the bullet points were:

  • 100k words total
  • 40k words per playthrough

Yeah you run 100 iterations of Randomtest with the show full text option ticked. The at the end it gives you a chance or count then you you just move the decimal point. To get the average. @Fiogan was the one who suggested this method.

I did it before running 1 iteration at a time and Randomtest gives you the count of that single playthrough and did that 10 times. Their method is a lot better I think :grin:


Oh, yeah, I do that all the time. It’s a super useful tool. I just hadn’t realized it excluded code. So I guess that means it gives a very accurate assessment of how many words readers actually see per play through!

1 Like

No its veeery easy. CSIDE shows word count with and without code. There is no aditional work, just two clicks to see that.


What on earth is CSIDE?

Google gives me rappers, pools or support for bowel cancer patients…

1 Like

The best tool to write choicescript games ^^


Thanks, maybe I will try that out for my next game… I’m still old school notepad++

Hmm wouldn’t oldchool be considered as notepad? :smiley:

1 Like

I’m sorry but it does make sense, whether or not you’re willing to take that extra work is another matter. My solution to that problem would be to use different colors to delineate what is code and what is normal text (anything not written within coding parameters) and at the end verify the amount of words within each section. Alas, this is something that would have to be suggested to the code developers because its seems its not a feature already.

I never coded a CoG game but if its anything like HTML or BBC then coding is usually writen within < > or so the same logic could, in theory, apply here. The exception being image files but I think we don’t need to worry about that given the nature of these games.

EDIT: Since people have suggested applications that can easily separate the code from the text, I assume the issue is resolved then? :slight_smile:


CSIDE while awesome has only been publicly released so not everyone would know about it.

But, @Samuel_H_Young I would recommend it if you don’t already use it.

1 Like

Oh, sounds like I was wrong!

One thing that will immediately make me dislike a game is short length with the promise of several sequels to come. After some experience, my initial interpretation of these games has become that the story will be deliberately unsatisfying on it’s own.

This impression is partly created by CoG stories but not limited to them. It is reinforced and strengthened by books and especially movies, where it is often a blatant cash grab that weakens the whole.

Word count is an abirtrary measure of length at best. A nicely coded game can reduce the word count significantly, and a very-efficiently-coded game even more so. Inefficient code (large blocks that are copy/pasted), can inflate wordcount falsely.

Because of this, I agree that including code is fair, since it will add to the reading length, if done properly, but that the full wordcount is not always the best measure.

And that’s without thinking about branching vs word count which changes things yet again:

Ultimately, it’s still good to know. Hearing that a game is 20k, or 100k, or 500k will still give you an idea of the length of the game, but it’s only one, small, inaccurate measure. :slight_smile:


What I hear you saying here is a) that what you want is more choices and more page breaks and b) that you’re skimming the text.

We could give you more choices, but like visual novels, they’ll be fake choices. (Which is not to say that we will add more fake choices and page breaks, but that we could.) But I can’t help you with skimming the text.

See, I have this theory that a lot of our readers–those that complain about our games being too short–don’t read the story. They click through to a choice, make the choice, and go on to the next choice. Maybe they skim a paragraph or two to make sure they understand the choice if it isn’t immediately clear. If that’s your style of play, our emphasis on prose and narrative and choices that matter is going to feel very short, and there’s nothing I can do about that; our games are designed to be clicked through as fast as you can make a decision.

Now, admittedly, maybe that was the wrong choice on our part. Episodes and Choices seems to be doing the opposite, and they’re making quite a lot of money. So what the fuck do I know?


The majority of choices in games, whether ‘official’ CoG’s or Hosted Gameas are already fake choices. If we’re fortunate some might change a little bit of flavor text, or a small amount of a value, but to many of them don’t do anything at all.

I can easily display instances of this in CoG stuff, whether recent or not.

And no, I actually have no problem with this. There is only so much that a single writer can do in a game.

I have to disagree. If a choice affects stats or branches the game, it’s not a fake choice. By that definition, by no means are the majority of choices in COGs fake.


If those affected stats has no major change by the end of the game, then yes it is a fake choice. And yes, I’m considering even a one page ‘epilogue’/‘ending’ to be very minor. Most of those choices don’t branch the game either.

If you wish me to give a detailed page by page case, on a good sampling of games, I will do so. Considering many Choice games on steam showing that I have put in over 20+ hours does show a good familiarity with the source material.

1 Like

What games would you sample?

Games that I would actually hold as mattering would tend to be the larger ones like Slammed, Tin Star, or Choice of Robots.

Other games that I consider where the majority of choices don’t matter, which I would sample?

Hero Unmasked comes to mind. Whether you defeat the villains or not has little bearing. Whether you are friends with the cops or not, has little bearing.

The only choices that really matter to most players is if they are attracted to someone in the game, and manage to get with them…or at the end, whether they beat the villain, or have something else happen.

Game like Diabolical comes to mind. Success or failure, it moves onward. Yes, there is some slight branching if you decide to hit a certain target. As for the romances, they aren’t that critical to the game, and easily achieved.

And if you speak of the very ending when you defeat the even more bad guy? Sorry, one choice out of a list of things doesn’t amount to a big ‘choice matters’. The only exception was a few special cases which I don’t want to spoil here.

For the record, I do like Diabolical and Hero Unmasked. And I recognize the limitations to what one writer is able to do, as well as what a writer might intend. A game like Life of a Mobster or Zombie Exodus: Safe Haven are going for a different experience than the two I mentioned above.


Cherry-picking Diabolical is a bit disingenuous. Which is not to say that you’re wrong–Diabolical does suffer from the spirit of what you’re describing. But a better test would be to take a set, such as, “games published by COG this year” and evaluate whether or not your claim is true.

As you said that you enjoyed Diabolical: despite that structure, it’s one of our better-selling titles in terms of lifetime revenue.