Probably because there isn’t one and they’re too greedy to offer at least 50% but I’ll shut up or else this thread will be shut down.
Relics 3: Ashes for Gold UPDATED 15th October, Final Update, see Post 741 for details
What a bad wave what happened to you.
I hope that the issuance of this title has at least given you the satisfaction of having created it and I wish you my best wishes for your next project.
Are there actual publishers (not self-publishing) who offer 50% royalties? In traditional book publishing, royalties seem to be firmly in the 5-25% range based on format, with 25% being pretty normal for ebooks. Are the numbers really different in the gaming/software industries? I admit I don’t know much about that.
Series was a great ride, my friend. Looking forward to Neon Fire and whatever else you put your talents towards.
Game platforms seem to take around 30-10 percent from what I’ve seen and then the most direct choicescript comparison might be selling an unreal engine made game on epic store? But as far as I know, that’s 30% or less and not locked to that platform despite using their tools (tho book publishing does seem to have worse rates. I guess it’s the old “are these games or books” debate all over again.) Though if anyone has a better game dev comparison, I’d love to hear it!
Edit: I googled and it was 17 percent.
No question when it comes to books! And even if we look just at games: whatever Unreal charges you for publishing a game that uses their software “engine” (analogous to ChoiceScript) as far as I’m aware they’re not doing a single thing to market or promote the game for you. By contrast, the appearance of a game on the HG omnibus, website, and email that goes out to people on the CoG/HG mailing list is the biggest single factor in drawing customers to your game. Add up what you’d expect CoG to charge as software engine publisher to what you’d expect it to charge as marketer/platform, and the gatekeeper rents it’s claiming start to look like they’re within a reasonable margin for the game industry too.
James, I’m really sorry to hear that you’re leaving, and I hope it leads to a reconsideration of the habits you’re protesting.
Honestly I’d like to stay clear of current dramas, I have more stress than is healthy in my current offline life and stopped following the thread that appears to have caused issues. Just a suggestion though, if you’re dead set on no longer having your games on HG (I’ll be sorry to see you go, neon fire looks amazing), I’d recommend itch.io over dashingdons. Dashingdon’s is predominantly WIPs and the exposure over time will be poorer than hosting for free on itch.
Believe it or not, those rates are not bad in book publishing terms. You’d be hard pressed to find somewhere that offers better rates to amateur authors of which many are present in HG. There are published authors submitting games to HG due to this.
Edit- The HG model is what you are thinking of here, self publishing a CSG to the web gives a bigger split to the author but without access to things like the mailing list for promotion and coding for steam/app stores which is the trade off.
I could be wrong about this but I do believe there is another way…
An author could choose to make their game using the ChoiceScript engine but then self-publish. Meaning, instead of Hosted Games putting the game on Steam/App Store/Amazon/Play Store etc, the author could do it themselves.
Of course, you’ll still need to give CoG/HG 25% but the author will keep 75%
I think the only downside is that the author will have to do their own promotional work and have to personally deal with the rules & policies of the respective app stores.
But if the author wants to keep most of the profits (and still use ChoiceScript) then I guess it will be worth it.
I honestly think it depends on the individual author after they have done a cost-benefit analysis of their situation.
That’s unfortunate. Maybe the moderation rules need an update.
However, I wish you good luck on your new project. It’s great to see you haven’t given up on writing IF games after all this.
Those are two huge downsides. For most of us, anyway. Getting to keep 50% more of a 90%-reduced income because my marketing will reach far, far fewer people isn’t a good deal.
Just saw that James’s responses elsewhere are less measured than here and include a personal attack on Mary. That’s unworthy and uncalled for, and I hope he rethinks it.
Personal attack? Dude, that was the mildest expression he could’ve used. Have you guys ever been on other sites? I can come up with much worse stuff, were you to give me four minutes and allow to use russian swearing conventions.
This is not a fair comparison in numbers, in my opinion. An HG author would keep 17.5% * Larger audience (because the payout is after platform cost) while hosting on itch/epic/steam has payout rates then of (90% / 83% / 70%) * smaller audience. And, personally, the HG authors I have talked to still have to do their own marketing, Tumblr and on a lot of sites to gain a following.
I like that this is a topic we can talk about, but I believe using the right numbers is only right.
I didn’t say it was the worst attack I’d ever seen. I said it was personal, and unworthy of him, and unhelpfully distracts attention from the things that he’s actually angry about.
Saying that sure does suck the credibility out of your call for a moderation-light forum.
Absolutely. I was treating the platform charges as a necessary cost either way, and writing loosely because the key percentage – the audience reached – is pretty tough to estimate with any accuracy, and will vary hugely based on genre, marketing skill, and luck. I suspect Patreon/Kofi rather than itch or Steam will ultimately be the main earning source for many of the folks who have left CoG/HG.
Someone should call a mod here and complain that people don’t stay on thread’s topic (that being, Relics 3)
How so? I am realistic enough to recognize that a forum without any moderation will have people attacking each other, but so what? It’s not a big deal either way. Words are not violence.
I just want to point out that is not entirely true. There’s been a long-winded debate in America especially since we’re all bout’ that freedom, that freedom of speech does not equate to freedom of consequence. Furthermore, their are multiple laws that constitute lawful arrest for people if they were to say, go out on the street and start hurling slurs or derogatory remarks at people, which is what moderation on websites, twitch chats, forums, discord servers and basically anywhere on the internet is for. I don’t speak for everyone obviously, but I think most people probably have the general consensus that moderation on an open forum shouldn’t be about censoring opinions, hell it’s not even necessarily about keeping the peace. It is about keeping a safe space for those discussions to be had though. A forum without moderation is like a city without police. The system it’s a part of may not be perfect, but without it, it just doesn’t work.
Those are just my thoughts on it though, and it’s alright to respectfully disagree with one another. Who knows, I may just outright be wrong! But I’m glad that this discussion can be had at such a fractured time, because that is when people are the most involved.
On that we broadly agree. Let’s wait until Jason reopens the other thread to hash out our deeper disagreement around how a healthy discussion forum operates.
Even if that is the case, it wouldn’t be because they have left COG/HG. Same thing happens with most Hosted games already. And considering some were only paid for the first week after release, seems to me like it’s more profitable to publish on their own. The real marketing is not a single email; it’s the online communities that are the heart of IFs, the Discord servers, Tumblr, itchio, etc.
I feel like there’s some “you cannot do your own marketing, your game will fail” boogeyman going on, when in reality, HG authors have been doing their own marketing for years.
Fair enough. I don’t think I or the other authors who’ve written about why we were happy to take the deal are trying to create a boogeyman – I’ve just seen a lot of people writing as if of course it’s a bad deal to publish with CoG rather than self-publish, and I think that narrative stems from people with a little too much confidence in their own marketing reach.
We’ll get more data as more authors complete their projects relying on the discords/Tumblrs and not on the publisher for their audience.
I have to respectfully disagree again. Words, often times, are what lead to violence ensuing. I’m going to blur this bit because it may trigger people if they’ve ever known someone with self-harming tendencies or depression.
If someone on a forum or twitch chat or something else is having an argument with a second party, and that person tells the second party repeatedly that “They should kill themselves. They’re worthless. The world would be better off without them.” Then if the second party actually goes and commits suicide, that person can (rightfully so in my opinion) be tried and convicted of assisted suicide. Just like if you give out someone’s address over the internet and tell people to go and harass them, you are now an accomplice to any and all physical harm that comes to that person. Words can be used to incite violence or worse.
Cult leaders often times don’t commit the majority of crimes themselves, they use words to incite it. Trump used words to incite violence on January 6th. The examples I cited above are real life events that have unfortunately taken place numerous times before. Words can hurt people, because words are often used to inspire hatred and vitriol, and hatred and vitriol lead to violence. In my opinion, it’s not as simple as, “These words I’m speaking aren’t a material force that is physically hurting someone in this exact moment.” People have to have the foresight and empathy to think about how their words may affect people, or a situation, in the long run. It may be our right by anonymity to say whatever we want over the internet, no matter how hateful or disgusting, but it is our responsibility not to. Can and should are very thin lines, and many people don’t know how to tread them.
The release of arcadie: second born, has started to make me hope that, if more independent authors can do what that author did, did the Monopoly that COG has on this type of I F starts to crack. From what I can tell, it was relatively successful, the marketing was by word of mouth through Discord and Tumblr and such, and the author seems satisfied with her final result.