Statistics of your games

At the moment I do some conception for the game I want to write. I was wandering how many scenes, variables, choices (if you counted) or even words you wrote in your stories.

… or plan to write.

CoG has a minimum of " roughly 50,000" for its offcial stories. I heard that there are hosted games which are longer then the official.

I plan to write as many as it takes to make a good story, as long as it is above the minimum 50,000 words of course. But I wonder, does this include coding?

I don’t mind the wordsnumber. in Spain words number is not important only in newspapers is more important the page number per chapter. But will be really long so I will surpass 50,000 easily. Why the number is so important ?

Seeing as your player won’t ever see your coding, just its effects, I doubt the word count includes it. However fabulous your coding is, it’s the textual content that’ll add the length to the game.

True that what matters to players is textual content. That said, when CoG quote word counts, they’re including code… because doing separate word counts is just too fiddly. I recall from a previous conversation on this topic that some of the hosted game folk (JimD?) actually do measure just the text, but anything you see from CoG itself is counting the code.

@CJW I was thinking that. Going to make counting my game’s word count more difficult.

@Marajade The number is important because it gives CoG a chance to measure how long you game is.

and how I could count it? I don’t use text editor and I couldn’t count by myself without mistakes there are apps to count words?

“Why the number is so important ?”
I just tried to get a feeling for my project. My estimation lead to about 100 pages in Word - which is something like 50,000 words.
I don’t know exactly how long such a story would take to play for example - so, I wanted to ask how many words other stories use to get an idea if my estimation was realistic… if it is possible to tell that story I want to tell and create the atmosphere I want to create with so many words.

That would help me for scheduling.

"and how I could count it? "
Copy and paste into Word - Word counts words automatically.

I understand @loelet but I come from a literarian culture than love short stories and respect for quality not quantity and after a minimum pages you can gain important contest with 100 pages or with 1000

I couldnt use word not pc only phone

I’ve always thought word count, or lines of code, for that matter, is a pretty silly metric for the ‘length’ of project like this. It largely depends on the efficiency of your code. Some people just copy and paste huge sections of text and change a couple words depending on the variables, while others program more efficiently and have a single block of text, with variables interspersed to change the relevant words or phrases. The inefficient programmer could end up easily with 3-4x the number of words, for the exact same amount of actual content.

Hmmm… you’re right, didn’t think of that.
My estimation was only for story-text - not including codes and not considering if a part of the text was only optional or visible for all readers.

So, my 50,000 words would result in a story, longer than the officials?

I really don’t know the official games’ word counts, but if it helps any, my game “Resonance” is currently around 70,000 words with a fairly efficient code and the playtime is about as long as some of the earlier official games (I think?).

I guess a lot of the “length” of a game can be hidden by how much you see on an individual playthrough, though, which makes it hard to really estimate.

Thank you.

The main idea of my question (which not only asked for word counting but also scenes, variables, etc.) was to get an idea of the size and complexity of my project.

Writing a 100,000 words story consisting of 3 scenes with 10 variables and 30 choices is a completely different kind of project then writing a 20,000 words story with 35 scenes of which 30 are only optionally started by some of the 100 choices which change the values 70 variables.

I would like to have some statistics of finished projects as an orientation.

196 pages, 141k words / 722 words per page - I think thats the stats for one of EndMaster’s game. I’m not sure, there was a thread that collated some games statistics but I can’t seem to find it anymore.

But really the word count is little more than a wild stat, you can say your game has 50k/100k words or whatever to ‘defend’ a game’s length, but if the 50k words are spread out over several pages then really you have a game that’s threadbare. Some authors don’t realise this sometimes…

Something like 700 words a page is par the course for a writer like EndMaster, but at CoG I think the word count is substantially lower. Though, for choicescript there is the matter of coding, whereas other editors are much more basic - easier to understand perhaps, but would require a higher page count, others allow for easier coding and pathways that allow you to keep the code to a minimum while keeping the page count down.

For choicescript games to understand the complexity of a project, you generally need to know the style of game you’re writing. A lot of offerings have a linear storyline with variable statistics that offer stat based choices and there’s nothing wrong with that. It won’t make the page/word count be very high, it may allow for a high variable though and probably a higher level of complexity if the choices are chained together - again so far, I’ve not seen this happen much.

Alternatively, a chapter-based storyline that has various pathways based on actual choices and not so much stat based (though I’m confident @Ksu can and has presented a counter-argument to this point) can rack up huge words and page counts but be extremely low on the variable counts. In addition; it depends on the writer.

Some of the , I hesitate to say poorer, writers can speed you through several pages with a low word count whereas some of the more detailed writers could force through a lower page count but have immense amount of text, detail and so on (alternatively a poor detailed writer could have a lot of waffle! Like me at times!)

Long story short, you need to work out the type of project you as an author have undertaken (and don’t let the customers/fans tell you what you’ve written, its your baby!) and apply what you think is the correct page/variable/word count to that story. Some pages will need work, others won’t, but don’t feel stuck to statistics to consider the ‘complexity’ of a game or project. My work for example, has two chapters that are so wildly different that if you based your opinion off my first chapter you’d think it was a very simple game, yet the second chapter would point in the other direction. :slight_smile:

For what it’s worth, ‘The Race’ was around 70,000 words and 50 variables. It took about 6 months to write while working a full time job.

‘Blackraven’, on the other hand, has over 200 variables and perhaps 150,000 words so far. That’s a year’s writing and there’s still a way to go.

Thank you, @RVallant and @andymwhy.


How do you keep track of all that?
I’m still thinking if it was better to use many short scenes so that it’s easy for me to find something if I want to change it or make a few long scenes to not get confused by too many scenes…
How much scenes did you use for your projects?

I have got 30 scenes only for prologue but I do 3 separate paths and some diferent scenes for men and women

I’ve no idea, I assume they write it in word/notepad first for recording purposes.

Lets see for Paladins… bearing in mind I’m not using choicescript; I use the advanced editor at CYS but it’s my hope to be able to get this done in choicescript one day, the problem is… well I can’t code much in CS but you’ll see what I mean;

Counting in word/open office (copy/pasted, no code included) - 18,000 words roughly
over 78 ‘scenes’ or pages created (includes deleted scenes… so 76 actual scenes including unfinished pages) comprising of three chapters at around 236 words per scene (considerably less than the top end writers as you can see!) -Bearing in mind the unfinished pages are blank or have a sentence to direct me at a later point so they will kill my word count!

With one global script for the codex that operates on a ‘last page’ variable and 7 unique variables of which, one is global the rest are choice operated but permanent and 2 of which are hidden stats (morality and combat skill).

Finally 3 ‘items’ of which, 2 are mutually exclusive on gender and one is an item picked up by a story branching choice.

The benefit for someone like me who, can be a bit blonde at times, is that in CYS’ editor everything is listed in pages and chapters and all variables and scripts are listed in their own page. That means you don’t have to root around to find problems (in theory) when they arise as you can just head straight to the offending variable/issue. Plus the chaptering/pages allows you to restrict pages to a single chapter.

For example; Chapter 2 in the editor for my game is exclusively an in-game codex accessed via a gender specific item, that cannot be dropped, which, is used as a ‘check’ to find out which, future chapter to send the reader onto in the future based on their gender (as opposed to a +1/0 variable on gender check). And Chapter 1 is my actual introduction to the game with about 20 pages or so pages or ‘scenes’. Chapter 3 is what the player sees as chapter 2 and will have all the ‘story arc’ for that chapter within.

As you can see everything gets organised neatly in theory**. It can still get messy if you jump back and forth and don’t plan things out.

Hopefully someone else can advise on how to organise around choicescript, as far as I understood from testing on it everything is in folders so could be divided? Then again don’t quote me on it as I’m a relative noob for that sort of thing. :slight_smile: