New writer here, how can I make my game with multiple languages options (long post sorry)?

Hello everybody, french writer here. It’s my first time on any forum ever so excuse-me if I make any mistake.

I started to write my game and I’m thinking of when I will publish it. It’s my first time writing for any game and I’ve never done that before, and so obviously I’m going to make people test my game.

But I live in France, and if you didn’t know that already people here are VERY BAD english speakers. Despite this I still want to show it to my family and friends too.

So of course I’m going to write in in english because I don’t think it’s possible to submit it otherwise, but I wanted to know if it’s possible to add an option in game to chose a language ? Did anyone try that before ? And if so, what is the most efficient way to write a game in two different languages at the same time ?


I would assume that making it in french would only happen AFTER your game is done and published. And it would be on you, since COG doesn’t do different languages.

But you can contact them directly.

Just keep in mind that…it won’t be easy. You’ll have an easier time teaching your grand Ma to speak the engrish lol

1 Like

You can’t.

To this day, the only Choice of Games product to ever get translated was Choice of the Dragon with its Spanish translation. The only reason that happened is because this particular game is very short and very important to the brand’s history. The vast majority of IFs are not only longer than an average novel, but also complex in ways that would make accurate translation extremely difficult, since there’s a lot of “fun” with pronouns and such.

If you insist on adding “language options” then rewriting all text in your game basically from scratch is the only way, unless you’re willing to wholly rely on Google Translate or can pay some professional translator triple their usual salary. Either way, wanting to show your game to friends does not seem like a good reason to create the second ever multi-language ChoiceScript game.


@Omeg Choice of Dragon is not multilingual per se. The Spanish version is a completely separate game. If I understand correctly, OP wants to have both versions in the same game but with a language toggle of some sorts.

Also, Choice of the Dragon is not the only Spanish title because it’s short and a milestone in the company’s history, but because it was a commercial failure. Had that been successful, they would have released more titles in Spanish (and perhaps even other languages), even longer games.

To answer @Loud_Gecko.

CoG has, if not officially, at least through its owners and staff, made it very clear they won’t release titles in other languages due to translation costs and poor return of investment. It is unclear if that rule also applies to Hosted Games or to just their own games, and as far as I know, there haven’t been any attempts in that regard. However, consider that even Hosted Games go through a vetting process. Generally, they do not interfere with Hosted Games but they also reserve the right to not publish games with grossly offensive material or that they disagree with. They would not be able to vet a game in a different language, even if you have a version in English, they would not be able to vet the other versions.

That is not to say they would never publish a game in a different language. Like I said, as far as I know, it hasn’t even been attempted yet. Your best bet is contacting them and negociating. Maybe if you have a public beta for the version in French and a certain number of forum members approve of the content (in English) then they’d be amenable?

Games in development change a lot and updating an English version and a French version might be too much work. Even if you manage to get a green light for a French version, my advice is to wait until the English version is completed and stable, but not to translate it while it’s still undergoing revision.

Now, regarding implementation, there are some UI elements that are hard-coded in English, for example the “Next” button after a choice, and there’s not much you can do about that without tinkering ChoiceScript source code.

I would also advise against having a toggle available all the time throughout the gameplay. Make it a choice in the beginning and then the person will play that version till the end. The translated version wouldn’t be that much different from the original one, but you’ll have to take care of gender declinations and other particularities of romance languages. Page breaks should also have the display text explicit (Prochaine Page or Continuer), otherwise it defaults to English.

1 Like

As others have said, it’s an inherent inefficient process. Furthermore, it might not pass the publishing content because the team can’t verify that the French is an accurate translation and hasn’t snuck some forbidden content in there (I say might, that’s just speculation).

That said, if you were dead-set on doing it, especially for a shorter project, you would basically need to code two versions of everything, probably with an early choice to determine which version of scenes you would go to (FR_chap1 vs. EN_chap1) and you would need to manually send players to one or the other, so you couldn’t rely on CS’s scenelist. You would also need to manually translate the stats page and code a choice that would switch the ENG version with the FRA one.

Not necessarily. They could have a global variable lang and set it with a value (in this case, either en or fr. Then they could have chapters such as chapter_1, chapter_2, chapter_3, etc, and list them in ChoiceScript’s scene list.

Then, in each of this chapters place a conditional with a redirect.

*comment chapter_1

*goto_scene { "chapter_1_" & lang } 

Supposing you have both a chapter_1_en.txt and a chapter_1_fr.txt, it would just redirect to the appropriate chapter.


@E_RedMark Yeah I figured out it would take quite some time…still less than convincing french people to learn english.
@cup_half_empty and @rfzhao It’s true that I never saw it that way, I didn’t think about the verification process. I don’t really have that much of a notoriety to gather competent people to test and review my game outside of my social circle so…I guess I’ll just give up for now. Thanks for the help anyway.


considering that English is far easier to learn than French? it’s worth a try.

Here is an idea for you to chew on, keep in mind when people get their games published…some have Patreon, Blogs, websites, Tumblr…social media stuff right?

Well, you can always do that too. Have people give you Ask (They ask you questions about your game and such) and you can have say a Blog or your website for your game in 2 languages. You can even translate the ask…and encourage people to play it (and learn English, it opens doors).

So maybe they can’t play your game because they don’t speak English, but you still can show all the noise that happens around your work.

Are you serious? I’m a native English speaker. I’ve studied French. I enjoy the process of learning languages. I’m good at it. And I’m grateful every day that I never had to study English as a second language.


Yeah well…in comparison to French? English was a piece of cake to me. Self-taught :stuck_out_tongue: So I would know…Man, I sucked so much at French…conjugaison Yurk.

Btw not dismissing your experience learning French. Sorry if it sounded like that. But to me, English felt like water in comparison. Easier to pick and learn.

Maybe some people have affinities with certain languages. I mean it is possible.

1 Like

I have to salute you then, because English is a hot mess. :joy:

1 Like

As someone who’s studied both as a foreign language, they’re both horrible. :yum:

I might, actually. Although I think I’ll try Hungarian next. Or maybe Icelandic.

Sounds fun. I’ll need to put than on my Duolingo list. (Although I don’t appreciate the way Duolingo doesn’t explain grammar rules, so I may need to search for another course.)

1 Like

Try Mandarin for fun and tell me how that goes. Or Hebrew…lol

1 Like

Well as a speaker of both I can tell you two things :

  1. English is soooo much better to learn than French
  2. French people hate learning any other languages than spanish or italian apparently (and it’s only a few of us)

So either way it’s not going to be easy haha

Actually, “written in English” is one of the stated requirements for publication by Hosted Games.

at least they are open to learn something else like spanish over there…can’t say the same over here. :roll_eyes:

I challenge anyone who thinks English is difficult to try learning Polish. Even just the pronunciations of most common words. Here in Poland we sometimes joke that the regular citizen speaks 0.72 languages on average, of which 0.5 is English.

You don’t speak Polish fluently, even if you’re a native speaker. You just don’t.

1 Like

Sure, English is a must. But it doesn’t say “forbidden any other language”. Though I’d recommend to not get the hopes up and check with them first, and that only after having a finished polished game in English.

I worked with some Polish guys for a while a few years back. Polish is definetely, objectively hard, though not as hard as Polish people like to make it sound. :joy: Also, I think they had a harder time learning Portuguese then the other way around.

1 Like

I think it’s wonderful you’d like to make your story available to your friends and family. A very straightforward way to do this would be to make a French version yourself, as you’d planned, and then post it privately to dashingdon for them to enjoy.

Logistically speaking, this could be a supplementary beta for you (in addition to whatever you do for the English version). Even if it’s only a few people, they may still have valuable feedback on the story.

It’s not an “official release” solution, but since your goal is to share it with only a few people it should suffice. Also, you can totally change the “next” button text to something French.

Thinking back to my own language class experiences, I wouldn’t touch the French version until I’d finished in English. Given how often things change as you write, you’re likely better off starting with a final version and then translating it.