Non-ChoiceScript demo

I’m currently working on a story-game in twine - it’s a hobby project, I don’t plan on publishing it on HG. It’s still short as of now, but when it’s longer, would it be okay to post a demo link in the game development - hobby projects section, despite it being coded in a different programming language?

This is the definition of the Hobby category:

Personally, I think it’s an awesome idea. But let’s see what others say about it.

Btw, the definition includes CS projects only, so I’d hold off for now. You might want to consider posting at the interactive fiction forum as well.

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The Hobby Project and WIP sections are for ChoiceScript games only, but it’s generally OK to post non ChoiceScript non commercial/hobby work in the Other Interactive Fiction category.

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Err…correction: it’s ok to post in the Other IF category when it’s finished and published. Not when it’s in development.

This is not a forum to support development of games in programming languages other than ChoiceScript.

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Gotcha! I’d misread somewhere :slightly_smiling_face:

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Why? If you allow other IF games at all, then why not allow other non-choicescript hobby projects. The only difference is the language. If someone posts their work on this forum, they know that any questions about coding must be choicescript related. If they don’t, then they will find out soon enough.

But there are so many aspects to other IF games that overlap heavily with CS games, so why not let them discuss those? I’ve asked this before and never really got an answer, but if you allow discussions about things that have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with CoG in any capacity (movies, videogames, emotions, politics), then why not allow discussions about things that are peripherally related like other IF games and novels, or in this case, ask for community feedback about a writing project not CS related? Wouldn’t you want to help foster interest in IF even if it isn’t your own?

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And I would prefer that we didn’t have the Movies and Videogames threads, but they serve a purpose: to deflect pop culture discussions into a contained space. It helps keep discussion of such things out of more specific threads. And I really would like to close down the “Funny” thread, because I think it serves no purpose, but the mods have defended it in private several times over the years.

This forum is not here to support the IF community at large; it’s here to support COG, HG, and HC.

Discussing a WIP for non-CS game is a distraction and a drain on resources.

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And that’s why you’re the Grouch-in- Chief! :joy:

Now in all seriousness, running the risk of agroing the boss, I’d like to respectfully disagree.

I can’t comment on the financial benefit, it’s none of my literal business.

But as I see it, ChoiceScript (as a tool) is not the main reason people want to publish through CoG. There are many great alternatives out there, capable of producing virtually the exact same mechanics and esthetics of a ChoiceScript game, such as Twine, Ink or TADS to name a few. And all of them open source.

The main advantage of CoG is two-fold.

First, the publishing support. Choice-based interactive fiction is a niche market and CoG has been able to successfully carve a space for itself. Any author has a better chance with CoG than by publishing in itch.io and marketing on their tumblr.

And second, the community. It is my genuine belief that the community CoG has been able to foster on this forum is part of its success. The community is enriched by the threads you mentioned. There’s definitely an invisible gain there that is hard to measure.

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If you don’t want these threads because they’re not what this forum is about, but the community AND the mods want them to stay, then maybe it’s time to reconsider what this forum is about.

Maybe this is the problem. Correct me if I’m wrong, but from what I’ve seen, you guys are easily the biggest IF company around, and yet you distance yourselves from other IF even though you represent them in a big way. You guys are constantly fighting to make IF more popular but it seems like you’re swatting away any potential competition. Competition breeds progress, and in this case, progress breeds popularity. If you want it to be more popular, you should foster it in all of it’s forms.

I got a bit carried away, but the principle remains the same.

Also this. People come for the games, but they stay for the community.

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Well, it is their forum after all. I don’t think it’s wrong to not want to allow discussions of other tools not related to ChoiceScript. There’s a link to the intfiction forum a few posts back. Granted, I don’t find that community as vibrant as this one and the crowd there skew heavily towards parse-games. But it’s something.

This is 100% true.

Ok, now let’s take a breather. :grin:

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There’s a pretty big difference between allowing one thread for discussion of non-Choicescript interactive fiction (which the forum has always done) and allowing an unlimited number of WIP/Hobby threads for game developers whose games will never make a dime for CoG/HG.

Both of them help foster interest in the wider IF market, sure. But one is a lot more costly than the others. (The cash costs of running a forum may not closely scale with number of threads, but the time and energy costs certainly do.)

I don’t think it’s unreasonable for CoG to do a cost-benefit and figure that it can do its part for the wider IF community without providing free space for developers in other languages.

No, but nothing written in other languages will ever be published through CoG. It’s possible that expanding the forum with a Twine Hobby Projects section would bring in either (a) lots more paying customers who wouldn’t otherwise have discovered CoG or (b) a qualitative improvement in forum discussions/sense of community, but I’m not convinced that either is likely, and I’m not sure what other invisible gains we would be looking for.

Declining to provide free space on their forum for development threads for the competition != swatting it away.

CoG is an active ambassador for interactive fiction in lots of major forums; at conventions and awards I’ve seen them discuss IF ranging well beyond CSGs. CoG blog interviews (including mine, back in 2017) have regularly featured a general question about what IF the author has enjoyed/played lately, which certainly have pointed me to other authors and formats.

Sure, CoG’s mainly about promoting their own games, which is their job as a company, but they also raise the profile of other IF. And this forum is the Choice of Games forum, not a general IF reddit. I don’t think it’s as unreasonable as you’re suggesting to keep its primary focus on ChoiceScript games.

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This puts it perfectly. This is the Choice of Games Forum, so I also fail to see what’s wrong with the decision to keep the focus on, well, that very company and it’s products.

Although, where I disagree is the threads like Funny and Videogames. I believe general dedicated threads like that should always be welcomed, as they help manage off-topic discussion. Someone above said it best: allowing one general thread for something is not the same as allowing multiple for different IF games and topics.

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I meant exactly what I said. Compared to other tools available, ChoiceScript is not particularly attractive. Take Ink for example, it’s more powerful and flexible, has a less verbose syntax, is much better documented and can also be compiled as a browser app, not to mention open source. You don’t have nearly as many games available in Ink as in ChoiceScript and I believe that’s because ink doesn’t have a place like this one. And Inkle, the company behind Ink, does not publish third-party games.

I didn’t say that to defend that the forum should allow games written using other tools. Although, personally, I don’t think it would be a bad idea. I said that to highlight the importance of the community and thus the Off-topic threads. And the community is the invisible gain, hard to measure, which I mentioned.

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Got it, and fair enough. But that is the topic of both the thread and the bit of Jason’s post you quoted, so you may understand how someone could read you that way. :slight_smile:

I totally agree with you that the forum community is a hard-to-measure but very real good, and that the freedom to chat about off-topic stuff is part of that community. If I were still a mod, I would have been one of the ones arguing against Jason’s threadocidal tendencies on movies, video games (a topic I had the honor to turn over), and funny.

But I agree with him that

notwithstanding the limitations of CS as a language, which are a worthy topic of discussion but maybe not entirely relevant on this thread?

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Thanks for not removing my game’s post from the forum even though it wasn’t finished when I first made that post :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

I guess this is a new rule… as of today? There are a lot of threads for non-CS games whose “completion” status is kind of arguable. I suppose they’re grandfathered in?

So, tumblr has recently developed a community for twine/other IFs, but I feel like it’s still easier to have 2-way discussions in a forum vs blogs, and discovery is hard. The interactive fiction reddits are pretty slow, at around one post a day. The twinegames subreddit is a bit more active. intfiction.org is a lot lower traffic and doesn’t really have the same interests in terms of game styles or subject matter. There are a number of active IF-related discords, but most of those are for specific development tools like twine or ink, and I feel like they lack a sense of stability and permanence compared to a forum. It’s unfortunate that the twine forum shut down. The intfiction forum isn’t really a replacement.

Twine discord link

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Hm, really? I usually skip the OIF section, but on a quick glance over it I’m mostly finding short posts announcing completed games rather than much resembling a WIP thread. Maybe rather than a case of lots being grandfathered in, this is one of a few slipping by?

I can understand why Twine, Ink, etc. writers would appreciate the COG forum community, which as you say is more robust than most of the other ones on offer. I’m still not convinced that it’s in COG’s interest to host game development threads for those writers – depends on how much traffic is brought by the “other IF” threads to the forum. And also how much forum drama they generate. :slight_smile: On the latter point, so far so good, I guess?

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But none of the hobby section wips will be published and will as you say “never make a dime for CoG/HG.”

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I get that. But people publishing in ChoiceScript allows us to make sales, which allows us to support this forum.

If you’re not publishing in CS, you’re making use of the resource that is this community without contributing to its maintenance. And, frankly, I don’t have time for that.

Except, no. I’m not going to take on more work for myself. Especially more work that neither me nor anyone in my company gets paid for.

Depends on what you call “IF,” but generally, no, I wouldn’t call us the biggest IF company at all.

I’m sorry, but I have no idea what you’re talking about.

I think you’re imagining things that don’t exist.

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Fair point. But because they’re using ChoiceScript, they’re part of strengthening the overall developer community that does write CoG/HG games. Sam Ursu is showing what it’s possible to do with CS in a way that might inspire many other writers in the community to try new things. That’s less the case with works written in other languages that do things CS can’t.

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While it might sound a trifle harsh to straight up ban non-CS WIP threads, it does make sense. Some of the absolute largest and most unruly threads in this forum’s history are WIP ones. There’s no reason for the company to want to absorb all that mod strain and such for noncontributors, plus they could crowd out other actual CS projects. Beta readers are as finite a resource as anything else, and it makes sense to maximize them reading and contributing to games that will actually release on CoG or HG rather than letting them get siphoned off to to fill some other outfit’s pockets. And at least you can still come here to tout your off-market releases and get some free publicity. Not all places would allow for that, I imagine.

Don’t forget there’s always the interactive fiction subreddit for feedback or potential beta readers for any non-Choicescript outing.

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