Polls about COG, HG, and IF games

Deadwood makes me think of the movie /television show /lastname /the names people gives woods in fantasy books.
Downwood I have never heard before, but it sounds strange.

Does these words mean something?

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I’ve never seen “downwood” in text before, but I think it would be easy to get from context when reading. “Wood (material) from a tree that fell (obviously dead now)”, - that’s what I thought after seeing it in the poll. So, no difference? :thinking:


Ekaterina is correct, the term refers to wood that fell from a tree (or a dead tree that fell) … the term is used in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, because such material often supports an entire eco-system of its own, including: insects, other plants and of course animals of many natures.

Here is an article on the Pacific Northwest:

and here is a scientific paper that uses downwood in the first paragragh of its body:

Since I am in the American Pacific Northwest, I am used to the term “downwood” … but I had my doubts and hence the poll.

Thank you, everyone who chose to participate. Sometimes it is the little things that cause writer’s block.


yeah, still sound weird to me. Homewhever, I do think Downwood sound good for a Street . Downwood Street, Downwood Avenue…

Totally gonna use it somewhere :sweat_smile:


I have been using the meter as the main unit of measurement all my life, but I can see it as something weird if it’s used in a society that didn’t have the necessary means to discover it. I remember now why I started to put all the distances on feet, inches, miles and so on, cause that’s how I see my world (the one I’m making) work.

I mean…

Definition from Wikipedia: The metre is defined as the length of the path travelled by light in a vacuum in 1/299 792 458 of a second)

On a not so advanced society, fictional, real, medieval, primitive, or completely made up, in which there hasn’t been the technological advances, or whatever the reason, to discover the metric unit of distance, how do you feel? or, what do you prefer to see? It throws you off of the immersion and makes you think "How this guy says that that’s x meter from that if they didn’t ever measured light or any other related thing that can lead to a similar result? it is something that you simply don’t care? Am I revealing my compulsive and perfectionist behavior over insignificant details?

(Please note that this can be applied to other units of measurement like time, etc…)

  • Units should be the ones that the world and characters uses. Otherwise it breaks the immersion.
  • It doesn’t matter if the society hasn’t discovered it yet. I don’t stop to think from where it came, it’s just a distance.
  • I prefer to have both, so no one needs to make conversions to know.
  • I don’t care either way.

0 voters

I think I would use both, the used on the world as the main one and the metric as the clarification, 20 feet (6 meter) but I would like to know some other points of view, from metric and non metric users. Thanks you all!


My advice is to be as vague as possible — hence, “a single grain of rice can tip the scale” rather than “four ounces can move a thousand pounds”.


In my opinion using existing measures is more useful even if their not in modern use, I know roughly what 6 metres or 783 feet is, and i can even do a quick google to figure out how long 200 leagues is if i needed too, but if I was presented with a wall that was 26 jambles tall, I simply have no way of knowing what that means unless its compared against an object of constant size. eg. “the average male is roughly 4 jambles tall”
Some readers might find comparing real to imaginary units takes them out of immersion. eg. if i’m told “the wall is 26 jambles, which is roughly 3 metres, tall” it might take me out of the universe. Why does the narrator or character know what a metre is, and why do they feel the need to clarify it?


I’m not so much in favor of using new measurements (unless it something very simple, like in Voltron one tick = 1 second, 60 ticks is a dora or something). If the civilization isn’t advanced enough, then they shouldn’t have measurements at all imo


Very hard question. My take on this:

  1. For clarity and ease of reading Units should be the ones used in the real world. (I could fight here that it should be a metric system as most people in the world use it… but let’s not go there. ^^’’ )
  2. For real fantasy geeks and immersion should use a system that is used in the said fantasy world.
  3. For a balanced look, show how the object is long or distant and then tell the meaning for the first time reading. For example, It’s 10 fantasy_unit away. It took 4 days to travel there. It’s still vague enough, but give thought out feeling too.

It all comes down to what is your target audience.


Well, the metre was originally defined in 1799 or so (if my data is correct), and I very much doubt they had invented measuring the speed of light back then… it’s just what is nowadays used as the definition. I wouldn’t worry about the exact science behind the unit names too much, unless you explicitly state that is how they are calculated in-story.


I understand why someone would make such a game, though I’m not sure I’d play it. It would depend on the overall tone of the game–if the whole thing is oppressively dark and there wasn’t hope for even a bittersweet ending, I would find that emotionally draining. Some games that I find entertaining have had only bad endings, such as “Donor,” but that game had a lot of black comedy, and considering it’s about a shut-in with a drug addiction who gets kidnapped by a pair of vampires she met on Craig’s List, it’s to be expected it would go dark.

Mostly, though, I’m fine with it, but I would prefer not to be blindsided. If the game is too dark from the get-go (I won’t play “Rent-a-Vice” for example), that’s on me. But if the story deliberately misleads me and the bad endings are just there for shock value as a “haha gotcha,” then I would be upset.

For me, it depends on the importance of romance to the game. If a game is romance-based and there are only a few ROs, then they should probably all be romanceable to give the player more freedom. If there are more ROs, it’s fine to make some gay, some straight, some bi, etc. If it is not a romance game, I think however you want to do it is fine. The romance is just an added bonus in that case.

And, you know, some characters “tell” you what they like and who they are when you’re writing them. If a character resists being written with a certain sexuality, it might be better to just give up. I’m always down for explicit female love interests, BUT not if she’s clearly meant to be straight and the gay romance is clearly an afterthought.

Depends! I think in a game about, say, Vikings, a luck stat is great, since Old Norse cultures highly value “luck” to the point to that many Vikings were more likely to follow someone thought to be lucky rather than someone thought to be talented.

Depends on how it’s done. “Let’s Play” isn’t a IF game (it’s a Webtoon), but I think the references, lampshading, and fourth wall breaks are great in that. They don’t break immersion and are genuinely funny (I actually laughed when Charles grabbed Sam’s speech bubble to keep her from giving them away). The lampshading and references were done in character and added to the story. I think if references/fourth wall breaks were done like that, it’s fine. If they’re excessive, require a lot of trivia knowledge to make sense, or are there just for the sake of it, then it’s better to not put them in at all.

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It’s definitely nice to know the background of why is the world uses metric (or any other measurement system for that matter), but I’m willing to hang up the disbelief for no matter how long the story is going to be. Unless opportunities were passed, it doesn’t really bother me if your fantasy, alien, medieval, post-apocalyptic, water zombie world uses kilogram as their distance measurement unit.

What is important is the basis of the unit. How long the kilogram in your water zombie world? That’s the reason we have conversion rate for all these units.


Well, I would be very confused if a world would use kilogram as a distance measure unit (since, you know, it’s a weight measure unit).


It’d definitely take a certain finesse for someone to convince me that gram is length, as a reader. But no matter whether it’s gram or jamble or whatever term they came up with, as far as the author establishes that and consistent with it, I’ll roll with it. I’m not stopping the read simply because of the measurement unit.

@Myrtle Yeah, I just wanted to put a not so vague thing like, 15 days walk, I mean, 15 days walking at what speed, how much time? on what terrain? I myself don’t like much of a vague terrain, I plan to draw a map of the world too, and so I’ll like to have some more accurate scales so the reader can see a good representation of it.

@bertilak Yes, There’s enough units already to keep making new ones, I never tough of making my owns but to represent accurately the things that characters know on the most immersive way and without complicating the subject. The matter is more about, ej: miles = roughly 1000 steps, it can be measured by 0 technology. VS. meter: you need a specific math, tools, knowledge.

@Jackpot1776 Sure, that’s what I’m talking about, and a not so primitive civilization can have simple measurements as we have, so there’s not a new one to learn and the readers can understand on the go.

@Kefs 1. Yes.
2. Also yes.
3. Yes but no, I’m not looking to be vague, but to find an unit that is already known and used in our world and doesn’t break immersion on the book.

@LiliArch Wikipedia says: The metre was originally defined in 1793 as one ten-millionth of the distance from the equator to the North Pole along a great circle.
Let’s suppose that the method used originally to determine the meter hasn’t done or discovered yet on the book I’m writing, if I use the unit on that book, for me at least, it seems out of place, as I know that it is not possible they know it.

@Szaal No please, I don’t want more conversion rates, I just need immersion, feasibility and realism living together in harmony.

In resume, If I say a character from primitive tribe says “that must be at least 10 meters” it sounds totally wrong to my ears, even if I’m a life time user of the metric system, that’s why I’m bringing the imperial units, though, even if they are worldwide defined and exact today, their origin came from way simpler ways than the metric, I’m not trying to invent anything new, just want that things can be explained logically, even if no one ask.

In the end, I think that “and it reached 25 feet (7.5 meter) over the ground” is the way to go, because imperial, in my case, don’t break immersion, and the (clarification) provided is more like a service for the metric users, so all of us can be happy, or at least some happy. Right…? Right…?

So yeah, I should stop been so obsessive with this. Sorry.


If you really really asking from me, I’d say to forgo about the conversion (the 7.5m in the brackets) and just go with just “feet”. If you’re including the metric conversion, I’d start nerding out and wonder where do they get their 1 feet. Is it based on ancient roman feet? Do roman exists in your world? And went to the rabbit hole which might or might not be something healthy. I’d go something like “The pole reached 25 feet over the water, higher than the mast of any ship we ever built!

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While I think that it might be fridge logic to use a system of measurement from our world, ultimately, you want the reader to be able to visualize the scope of what you’re telling them. Arguably, you could say that an alien from another planet should have no concept of the color “red,” but if you make up too many new concepts, especially ones that are difficult to translate, then the reader will be overwhelmed. They won’t know what you’re talking about.


I want to make a skill system but I can’t decide which one is best.

  1. Life of a Mobster like: Skills are needed for actions and you gain more skill point as you do actions that require said skill. It is also possible to train yourself albeit opportunities are rare.

  2. A RPG game like: Altough it won’t fit to narrative of book, there’s certain points where you’ll “level up” and boost a skill

  3. Speciality system: You pick a profession and you’re only allowed to do things that your profession allows. If a skill check require you to do an action that you can’t, you either fail or you gotta use your companions-gadgets for it.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

0 voters

Without context of the game itself, I’m caught between 2 and 3.

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Well it’ll be an open world game where you can take many pathways that differs from others.

Storywise though, it is a human (a genius to be exact) caused apocalypse that is focused on cruelty potenial of humanity

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