Samuel_H_Young: Which gamebook should I write for the Choice of Games contest?


I already have my own preferences, but I think it will be helpful and interesting to get some feedback on this. Which gamebook do you think I should finish writing for the Choice of Games contest? The deadline is in a little over a year, so I’ll only have time to write one. The options are:

Colonising Kepler 62e: Paradox - The prequel of a sci fi series that @andymwhy and I are writing about leaving earth to avoid a cataclysmic asteroid landing and colonising a new world. So far I’ve written about 70k words.

Winter of the Bovine: A fable that I hope to make very long, with choices that can make huge differences in the outcome and journey. It is about being a dairy/veal calf and illustrates the horrors of animal agriculture. So far I’ve written about 5k words.

Journey of the Chess Master: My first realistic fiction endeavor and in it, you get to live your life from childhood up to your senior years. Obviously, you will become a chess Master, but how you do it and the lengths you will go to are all up to you. Will you be a famous chess author, a top tournament player, a famous chess video streamer, a local tutor, or even the world champion? You decide. So far I’ve written about 4k words.

Transitions of Power - Volume Three of Demons Among Men:

After disaster strikes, you are left debilitated in the village of Quader. There, under the care of a warrior, magician, and healer, you manage to slowly recuperate. Meanwhile, yet another new enemy lurks in the shadows, and old acquaintances from Lorden make their own appearances.

As Mendax the demon puts continuous pressure on you mentally, you and your apprentice must find the strength to continue in order to petition to Melithar the Enigmatic. You fear the ancient wizard is the only one powerful enough to defeat this Netherworldian foe. So far I’ve written about 60k words.


Not to state the obvious, but surely you need to pick the one you feel most passionate about. If you really love the story then you will naturally invest more effort and time in it, thus making it a better game. Go with what you love and I am sure your readers (players) will make the same investment when they read the book.


Yeah, I agree. Volume Three of DAM is what I’m most invested in, and it’s what I was planning on writing. I’m just curious as to what others think.


Dam sounds good to me, I think it’s time for a demon uprising. Knock the vampires and Lycans down a peg or too.


I’d want transitions of power, I liked the other two games and I’m looking forward to the next.


You’ve already asked on the contest thread about entering part of a series, and Mary Duffy pointed out that it’s probably not a great idea.

You could submit part of an HG series you’ve begun, but a free-standing game maximizes your chances of winning, and we’d encourage you to submit a free-standing game.

Which is to say, the rules allow it, but after some discussion with the judges, we think the chances of winning are better with a standalone game than with a sequel to existing HG games. [/quote]

I don’t have a strong opinion about would you should write – but it seems like you have a much better chance of winning the contest with a stand alone game.


I would say DAM as well but like @Shockbolt says I feel like a sequel is a bit . . . dangerous maybe? A stand alone game seems like the better choice and because of that I say go with the Bovine one.


Thanks for the votes. Even though DAM V3 isn’t a stand alone , my hopes are that the length (Hopefully 300k +) and the focus on romance and character development will help its chances.

Even if it does not win, the competition is still more incentive to start writing again after my 6 month hiatus, and it would still be published as a HG.


Hey @Samuel_H_Young, I’m glad to see you’re back in action. My daughters are playing chess now too, and so I’ve read a few of your chess posts with keen interest.

Winning the contest will be a longshot for ANY of us (I’ll bet CoG gets over 100 entires!) BUT just its presence can help us push forward with more purpose, and more importantly, with a year deadline. So go for it, man!

I do agree with others that winning the contest with a part of a series will make the odds longer, but again, if you feel strongly about it, go for it! As you said, the worst case scenario is getting ToP done by this time next year and published as HG…(and if you successfully met the guidelines of the contest, it probably supporting writing growth, help brainstorm new ideas, help maintain and develop balanced choices, etc. I know reading the guidelines helped me a lot. CCH Part 1 had way too many binary choices, or unbalanced choices where one choice was just flat out superior than the other instead of them all possessing their own pros and cons).

For a few days, I was pondering putting CCH Part 2 into the contest, but: 1) I want to publish it before spring 2018!, and 2) I’ve already developed a style with Part 1 (and about 70k words of Part 2, and it’s not quite CoG house style, so why try to jam a square peg into a rectangular hole?


I don’t think it would be a great idea to enter the contest with a sequel of a hosted games series. Personally I think Colonising Kepler 62e: Paradox or Journey of the Chess Master would be a better idea.They seem more like COG house style.


I go with ‘Journey Of The Chess Master’.

I don’t know,it just feels like a breath of fresh air.We’ve never really got anything like this.


Definitely. Chess Master would be the first and only interactive novel about chess. I’m excited to write this one, too.


Very cool! I’d be interested in their progress over time.

Yeah, I doubt that I’ll win the contest because I bet all the CoG legends are gonna jump at the chance to get that $5000, haha.

Yeah, definitely. The biggest change I would have to make is adding multiple endings to DAM volumes. Currently, the way it’s set up, there would only be one ending each for V1-3, but then v4 would have tons of in depth different endings.

Good point. Will you still be submitting something for the contest?


I think I saw somewhere that cog would prefer entries that are not already hg series. (They’ll accept them but I imagine it would be messy for them to have series partially hosted through different brands and will hurt your chances if your goal is to win.)

I also suspect bovine will be more of a niche market for a number of reasons, where as historically fantasy and sci-fi have seem to have sold well. (And lets face it cog is going to like something that will sell as well as possible to recoup since of the costs of running the comp.)

You’ve already got 70k on Kepler which could be good or bad depending on how much rewriting is involved to get it to fit the guidelines. Chess master could be quite original. I’d go with one of those although it’s entirely up to you :slight_smile:


Chess Master is probably the best option for the contest. Splitting Hosted and CoG up in a single series isn’t a good idea.

And don’t worry if you don’t win the contest. If it doesn’t make CoG, it’ll make it as an HG - and they’ll probably be up for making it a CoG.


Winter of Bovine sounds the most interesting. I say hell yes to that one.


Awesome. Glad to hear some interest in it.


I’d give a vote to either Bovine or Chess Master – standalone game plus personal passion/skill sounds like a winner to me. :slight_smile:


Very good point. Btw, I laughed out loud at “The Mod Delusion.” Absolutely genius, hahaha.


As a matter of personal taste, Kepler 62e particularly interests me. I wonder if being a prequel rather than a sequel might be less of a problem as regards the contest’s disinclination for series works.