New Hosted Game! "Highway Wars" by Adrao

nonbinary-inclusive
gender-choice
science-fiction
hosted-games

#1

Hosted Games has a new game for you to play!

Become a road warrior in the arid plains of the 21st century! Take the role of a Highway Marshall, in a bid to enforce the rule of civilization on a post-apocalyptic world. Will you prevent the sacking of the last remaining Free Cities, rule over them as a Warlord, or attempt to seek a better future for humanity in another planet? It’s 25% off until March 22nd!

Highway Wars is a 190,000 word interactive post-apocalyptic novel by Adrao, where your choices control the story. It’s entirely text-based—without graphics or sound effects—and fueled by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination.

• Play as male, female, or nonbinary, romance other characters, and even get married!
• Enjoy a road trip along the desolate wastelands of the 21st century, and then conquer the lands around you
• Choose your crew amongst a variety of different companions
• Several illustrations to enhance your experience
• Variety of different game paths, with 24 different endings
• Several different difficulty settings

Adrao developed this game using ChoiceScript, a simple programming language for writing multiple-choice interactive novels like these. Writing games with ChoiceScript is easy and fun, even for authors with no programming experience. Write your own game and Hosted Games will publish it for you, giving you a share of the revenue your game produces.


#2

Interesting situation, releasing two HG simultaneously. I had thought one might be on the free side, but both are premium titles. We’ll have to see how they do.


#3

@adrao - I am late to the thread but I wanted to say congratulations on your release.

A couple of thoughts.

1 - I think it is very fortunate you got this released on Steam. Even though it did not have a lot of buzz going in, I believe that you will find your audience growing and your game will be a fan favorite of the “car wars” niche.

  1. The early reviews I saw all bear witness to this, and the top review sings your praises by being “their new favorite.”

  2. I don’t think this will do as well in the app stores as far as reviews go because you will be exposed to more general escapist audiences there.

  3. I do think you will get a steady stream of purchases in the app stores but it will be more dips and peaks.

Here are some Steam Reviews that I think are relevant:

Here you see the niche core from mad max and fall out finding your game and responding favorably to it.

This is the 2nd strongest critique but that is to be expected when taking climate deniers and Spanish conspiracy theorists into account when looking at post-apocalyptic Spain as the setting.

Finally the biggest category of critique I foresee:

I know romance is not the main focus and I know @adrao worked to improve the romance angles, yet the strong romance fanatics will still want more.

One last observation: The reviewers, for the most part, had 100’s of titles in their library which means you hit the target niche spot on for dedicated fans that will stick with you on future titles.

One caveat here - I would be careful about releasing your prior titles on Steam because while they are predecessors, the Steam audience will see them as new and not realize you have grown and become a better writer but will see them as “going backward” or “taking a step backward.”

I think this is part of what happened with some of the older HG titles recently released.


#4

I had thought that the HG/CoG had been lacking titles related to the post-apocalyptic setting similar to Mad Max, Wasteland , Fall out and Torment : Tides of Numenerra niche market , which actually has a steady flow of fiercely-loyal followers … So far, only Doomsday on Demand 1 & 2 plus The 8th continent come into my mind , if @adrao or any other authors manage to produce a game that capture the imagination of this niche market, it will be a huge boast to HG/CoG ( especially on steam, i think) … another important notice is that followers of Fall Out and Torment are mostly attracted by the story telling instead of the graphical innovation and visual appearance , the latest PC games of this niche , Wasteland and especially Torment : Tide of Numenerra had even revert back to the traditional 2D display on their graphic setting , which is a bold move against the tide of 3D wave… they did it with a lengthy text heavy story telling for their games, so i suppose the same followers of this niche will be more acceptance to HG/CoG titles that rely on text based story telling , as long as similar niche can be produce and market there :slight_smile:

Another important notice is that , these type of games usually don’t rely too heavily on Romance , these games did provide love interest , but most of them were on the spiritual side of the romance … these games usually let gamers produce their own fan fiction about their romance option without really dealing too deep into the romance outcome… classical examples were the romance options in Planescape: Torment and Torment : Tide of Numenerra , where i don’t think the romance story got a happy ending at all …but their fans “Draw” them out with their own interpretation :slight_smile:

Perhaps this is something HG/CoG can explore upon ? :slight_smile:


#5

@Eiwynn thanks for the comments. I have been following with quite a lot of interest (and some scratching of my head) what is happening to this game, and I think that what both you and @Eric_knight say is helping me understand some of what is happening.

First of all, I have to say that I was very surprised (and happy!) that CoG decided to release my game on steam… it was completely unexpected, though I’m happy they thought my game could do well there. And… yes, it seems its doing ok there! Compare to the app stores at least, which seem to be a mixed bag.

I already wrote somewhere else about the climate change deniers, which continues to baffle me (especially considering I’m an engineer/scientist, so I’m quite deep into the actual science of what is going on…). Anyway, let’s leave that aside, as other points you make are more interesting.

Yes, the romance is not the best. Basically, not my forte. I agree completely with the criticism, though I’m trying to improve (hopefully my next WIP will be better…)

And, I will take note of your warning (though obviously CoG is quite careful on this also). My previous game, Tokyo Wizard, would probably need significant copy-editing before going on (I keep finding typos every time I read a bit of it… :sweat_smile:

I am happy also about the fact you have highlighted a niche. Actually, I hadn’t thought about it much myself. Just, I saw the new Mad Max, remembered about Freeway Fighter, and set to do something similar. But, I will take note of that… this game is self-contained, but who knows, I could make another game set in the same world?

@Eric_knight I had no idea about Torment : Tides, I found out it’s basically a follow-up/remake to Planescape Torment (a great game, and a hard one too, that I played for months while working underground in some tunnels… I wonder if that affected the type of stuff I write about? Mmmmm)


#6

Well…i think it wasn’t the case , Planescape: Torment is actually more on the fantasy theme of “Dungeons and Dragons” , where legendary races , especially Angels and Demons took center stage :slight_smile:

Torment : Tide of Numenerra is more on futuristic post-apocalyptic settings, where it mentioned how the world was before the post-apocalyptic stage , and there were lot of historical sightings and buildings of the current modern world …the “Relics” can even be some sort of the technological machines of the current modern world , the beings were mostly newly invented with various background :slight_smile:

But i think the romance storyline of Planescape: Torment is more memorable based on feedback of various youtube dedication … ROs there , Fall-From-Grace and Annah had generate attention of “cult” status even though both of them never kiss or hug the protagonist :slight_smile: the intimacy were mainly interact via cosy conversation :slight_smile:


#7

I haven’t been able to romance anybody. Is there some secret I don’t know?


#8

Romancing the navigator should be the easiest one , there will be lots of scene with her, i am with Judy … i think later on you can romance Wilda and other warlords too :slight_smile:


#9

To the author,
I purchased the game & thoroughly enjoyed it! Loved it’s setting, the atmosphere. The cannibals plotline was by far the most interesting to me.
If ever there is a sequel i beleive that plotline can certainly be expanded upon or brought front & center! :smiley:

Now, couple of things that left me wanting for more

  • i would have loved if there would have been a way to save our gunner/navigator from that mine (maybe a stat check for intelligence would have made it possible?)

  • While I loved multiple endings, towards the end things seemed bit rushed.

Overall, This is a great game with clear potential for getting even better. I would definitely look forward to a sequel!


#10

Thanks!

Regarding the comments… unfortunately the death of the gunner was something that was hard-coded into the story from early on, in part to emphasize the brutal nature of this dystopian future.

The rushed endings… mmmmmm I agree some are more rushed than others, but by this phase in the game I started to run out of steam a bit, and during playtesting playtesters indicated they were not so interested in some of the paths (so, I left them there, but didn’t develop them much).

Which of the endings did you think were particularly poorly developed, and what would you have liked to do extra in them? (who knows, I might just develop one or two a bit further…)


#11

In an ideal world, the Mars Mission would have a chapter of content related to developing a sustainable colony.

Terraforming is also exceptionally bland, being a one-battle version of the conquest storyline.

And finally, the game makes delivering the engineer feel like a clipped ending. If I were to redo things, I would have a successful delivery of the engineer lead to a separate ending questline of some kind - this is getting into outright expansion pack territory, though.


#12

I take your point for the first two… as I said earlier, I never really developed these much as it seemed few people were interested in them. I guess I could add a few thousand words to the Mars mission, given that many people have complained that the endings are rushed.

But… regarding the clipped ending when delivering the engineer (and assuming the MC doesn’t go on the conquest path). At this point, what could I possibly do? Starting a different storyline seems a bit too much at this point (like, you had a mission, accomplished it, if you don’t want to go on conquering, you get into sequel territory…). Well, I guess that you also made this point… mmmmmm


#13

I second all these suggestions. And like i said, That super cannibals plot was quite interesting. Kind of felt like fate of humanity would be decided by our MC if he chose to check out that castle-library. And upon finding that library MC could have felt that as Highway Marshall whether duty demands or not he has to make sure that other cannibal groups didn’t exist like that one’s he just witnessed.
That could have been an entirely different & complete story in itself where our MC scours for & fights cannibals for the sake of humanity’s survival & uniting gangs & Free cities making them realize their very existence is once again threatened by cannibals.
That would have been much more convincing reason to unite all the factions.

Also, leaving things on a cliffhanger with humans uniting to fight & impending fight with cannibals would have been an excellent lead into a sequel. Then in sequel after defeating them maybe humanity figure a way to make their alliance work for deciding fate of human race?

Marshall Auriks story could be an interesting place to explore in future.

Sorry for blabbering :grimacing: