Some help for a newbie?

Hello all,

I’ve been looking at writing and publishing a game through the hosted games label - I wasn’t sure if I should post on that section, or if it was reserved only for discussion of specific games. I have a few questions:

I understand that I have to post a public beta test on the hosted games section, but I can find any rules/guidelines. Can anyone explain the process (what must I post, how finished does it have to be, what constitutes the test being ‘finished’?)

I’m not an artist, I know most games have minimal art anyway - are there people around happy to offer their services in this department?

Obviously most (or all) games now have some kind of pay wall; whether for the full game or the remaining chapers. Two questions:

  • Who decides the pay structure for a game?
  • If the public beta test has to include the full game, then can you not access any pay to play game through the beta test? Or am I missing something?

Thanks for any info.

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The author of the game may set the price of the game which may be increased or decreased by CoG. (I think).
The public beta is basically the full game as you said. If you’re worried that people won’t buy it once they play throught it, don’t: even those who have will purchase the game if it’s released and the majority of the buyers probably wouldn’t have had played the beta test.

If you are planning on posting a demo then it goes on - WiP ( Work in Progress )

Its kind of simple - You write your story, host it, make a thread about it ( generally giving a sketch of the world and some characters ), wait for feedback, incorporate any feedback you think that could make the story better, repeat until you think its best and complete.

Finished means that the whole game. All of that, that’s going to be published ( without the achievements as they come last )

Art comes in the end and generally people have to pay for it but maybe ( if you are lucky ) someone will offer their services for free.

You do. Its decided when you submit your game but maybe you could change it until it’s not published but the one who makes the call on pricing is you. :slightly_smiling_face:

Yes you can but the percentage of people who do those beta tests are in a minority ( ~1% ) so it makes a almost negligible effect on sales but the feedback you get in this phase is very helpful which makes the game better and increases the sales so I’d say in the end it’s helpful but if you still are concerned then you can post some chapters publicly and then can do a full private beta with the members whom you find helpful.

My suggestion (don’t know if it’s common practice here) is to set up a public beta test with only a few chapters and later start a second private testing wave with the whole game, asking nicely to participate the folks who made a valuable contribution in the open beta.

If the game’s good and you put effort and time in QA’ing it, shouldn’t it be the right thing to buy it at the release anyway? It’s how I view beta testing and not just CoG products, but in general.

Well most people do but some people don’t have much money to spend so trade it for their time and valuable feedback.

Did you see those WIP threads flourish at the forum? That’s basically your standard-issue “public beta test.” As for the “finished,” it basically means that what you beta-test is what will you submit to the CoG. No changes, no more tweaking (after the test, ofc)

If you check the Professional Services tag, you can find a lot of cool guys ready to offer their service at an outstanding quality/price ratio. Check their posts out!

Nope. All contents should be accessible to the beta-tester. That being said (by the other folks above me, too), don’t let the thought, “well, I guess I have to give a free copy of my game to my beta-testers” crosses your mind.

Did you know that a loyal fan might buy 3 copies of your game? Android, Apple, and Steam, just to show their support to you?
Besides, you’re free to take down the beta-testing version of your game once it’s been published via CoG/HG.

You don’t actually need to post a public beta for your game. In fact, some writers don’t have accounts on the site at all. I would definitely recommend it though. As for rules and guidelines, well… There aren’t any. What I would recommend is having a look at some of the popular WIPs on this site, have a look at how they’re set out, and base your thread around them. :blush:

Your game can be in any phase for you to make a WIP. It can be completely finished, it can be just the first chapter, you can even make a thread before you’ve even started writing. A lot of writers do make WIP threads for an idea they have, just to see what other COG members think of the idea. For that, all you’d need is a general explanation of the plot, and some other key information on what the game is about, such as a description of the setting and some of the characters.

There is a category on the site called “Professional Services”, where you would be able to find artists. That said, the majority of artists will expect to be paid for their work (which is only fair. Art takes a lot of time and effort, and people wouldn’t expect people in any other profession to offer their services for free.) If you do have limited resources though, I would suggest looking at websites specifically for artists, and seeing if anyone is taking requests. Other than that, you could just always take photos to use for the art.

The author suggests the price, though I guess HG staff may recommend that you change it, if they think it’s unreasonable. (Like, nobody’s going to pay $10 for a game that’s 30,000 words long.) :yum:

You don’t need to do a public beta. Some authors (myself included) do private betas, where they only include the first few chapters of the game in the demo, and the rest of the game is only accessible to beta-testers.

Hope that helps. :grin:

Thanks everyone for the information, clears a lot of things up.

Hopefully I’ll actually get something that is fit for public consumption and post it.

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