Short game troubles

Short Explanation:
Getting close to finishing a game :grinning:
Realising said game hadn’t had its word count checked :thinking:
Discovering that even when the final scene is finished, the game is going to be too short :sob:
Learning that you should check wordcounts before embarking on game extensions: Priceless. (No like seriously, what am I going to do with it? I can chuck it up on itch I guess but it’ll never get read there :stuck_out_tongue:)

Longer Explanation.
So, in my attempt to finish up some of my many WIPs, one of the projects I’ve been quietly working on finishing up is an extension for last year’s ectocomp entry as I had a number of things I wanted to add to it that I wasn’t able to for the comp due to the time limit. Was hoping to release it on HG if possible as a freebee. Somehow in my head I thought it was longer than I anticipated.

So what to do now?

  • Cry for a while, then bury it into the depths of a computer folder.
  • Sulk and hide in a dark corner of the forum for the rest of the month until I’m over it.
  • See if anyone else on the forum knows what one earth possibly could make it longer.
  • Bundle it in with another game down the track.

0 voters


Hmmm, are there other ways you could expand it? Or is it that you want it out of mind for the moment?

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Not sure. I’m trying to strike a balance between an extension, and turning it in another one of my huge unfinished projects. It’s worth a thought though. Maybe it could go back on the backburner for another time if I can’t think of a way to get it over the line and try to make it a long game later, or maybe I’ll put it up here once I’ve finished the last bit and see if anyone has some words of wisdom :slight_smile:

(PS I’m actually not upset at all, disappointed, but not upset. It was something I wanted to get around to doing whether or not it ends up being published so I’m happy :smile:.)

There are plenty of ways to extend the word count.

  • Denuouement scene after the main storyline is finished
  • Short “DLC”-style adventure from another character’s perspective
  • Optional prologue chapter
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It’s issue is starting out as a short story, it’s heavily focused around a single night which is where I’m having the problems as it’s not a sprawling story that extra days can get added into here and there. I guess asking about a hypothetical game no one’s seen is difficult. I probably should get it finished and put it up for anyone who’s interested to have a look see unless I come up with a way to implement one of the above :slight_smile:

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Congratz on (almost) finishing it though. :slight_smile:

How far off the word count goal is this current version?

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Thanks :slight_smile:
A lot. Not sure how I managed it, but there’s a good chance it may be about 10k under. Still have to finish one of the alterative sequence I was adding in and might think of some extras in the process, but I suspect it’ll be somewhere in that ballpark when finished as it is. If it was only a thousand under I’d work it out, but yeah. Really it’s too short.

I’m happy to have a look at it when it’s finished. Hopefully I’ll be able to suggest some ways to make it longer… I mean in most cases a few extra descriptions and dialogue options can easily increase the game by a few thousand words…


Thanks @adrao. Appreciate that :smiley:!
When I’ve got the last bit finished I’ll share it.
Seriously thinking about adding an alternative perspective path as well (thanks for the suggestion @will) as I’d easily get it over the word count that way and I think I could do something interesting with that, but I’ll put it up for suggestions first :slight_smile:


Don’t get me wrong, I’m always pro-sulking, but the real question is, how close to the mark are you? 2K short? Readily accomplished. 10K short? Mmmaybe not. Unless you’re interested in writing a perspective flip of the whole story from the POV of another character. But that’s quite a lot of work.


Haha yeah, I promise I’m not sulking (well not too much anyway). I’ve been fluffing about with stats I keep breaking in another game for a while and not being overly productive, and needed something to motivate me into getting over it and writing properly again which this has done, so mission (kind of) accomplished. I’m not upset about finishing up this game by any stretches of the imagination.

Yep I’m quite a long way out. (Really should have done a word count on the original. I didn’t realise how much extra it needed added. One of the problems of working on stuff in fits and starts, it’s easy to kind of lose track of little but very important factors.) I’ll see how close I can get it to the mark, there’s been some good suggestions here. I’m glad I asked, thanks again everyone :grin:.

Otherwise I’m not completely adverse to either writing a different perspective or failing that bundling it in as an extra with another game when I finish one that’s close enough in tone to be suitable. It might be a fair bit of work to write another POV, but I’m usually reasonably quick to write the first bit of games (and slow down the further I get tangled up in variables) so if it stays short, it may still be worth doing. At this point I don’t want to turn it into a 100k+ game as I have too many other projects already. (I’ve got a few that are in the 1/2 to 3/4 finished range that I want to wrap up before starting any more big projects, so it’d have to go on the backburner I think if I decided to do that.)

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I think it depends on the project. If you think it has the potential to be a real blockbuster, hold off and let it percolate while you consider ways to lengthen it organically. You only get one chance with a story, fixing it after release doesn’t help much compared to having it be its idealized self out of the gate. If it’s more of a niche story, I say put it out there as is if you’re happy with it and just make sure the price is either low or free, to head off complaints. There’s no sense devoting a ton of your attention and time to fine-tuning a story where those efforts will only be rewarded with a couple hundred more copies sold.

And by low, I mean if it’s under 100k it should be no more than $2.99 at the absolute max, and if it’s under 75k no more than $1.99.

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Hmm, I suspect not. It did well in ectocomp, but it was as a short story not a full length one, and a different audience. My guess is more niche.

That was the plan for this one. Very low or free :slight_smile:

Been there done that. Don’t regret it, but not something I should probably make a habit of doing :sweat_smile: (Says the person doing it again lol.)


Might be my mercenary nature, but I say if that’s the case, give it a gentle shove out of the nest to make room for the next egg. Of course, easy for me to say because it’s not my baby.


Like this?


You could make a WIP thread for it, normally there are really many suggestions that expand a game a lot, if you choose to. Someone has a flavor way of answering they would like to have, it’s what normally happens :innocent: :joy: Or someone wants a romance or such things, all great wordcount stretchers

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Not sure about the cartoon though, Oedipus has a good rating (ok, so not so many downloads… but still very respectable given that the theme of the game is not really one of mass-appeal). I do agree with poor Dragon Chronicles looking on in fear… I’d really like to see that game finished one day! :slight_smile: