Hello Everyone. I’m Joseph and I’ve been a fan of Choice of Games for years now. I’ve read a handful of the stories, they’ve all been a big part of my past and present as well as a huge source of inspiration so it’s only natural that I’m finally working on my first IF.
Currently, I’m on the title: Offshoots. What do you think about it, is too vague or is it alright? I need all the thoughts I can get.
The story is about growing up. It’s pretty realistic fantasy, you play a rather young character who gets a bit older over the course of the story. The title comes from the main innovation behind it. You make hard decisions and you have to deal with the direct results but there are Offshoots as well, side effects that you aren’t initially aware of that pop up at random all over the story. This story wants every single decision to be as important as possible.
I intend to start posting frequently on my progress and to share much more details in the near future but that’s not the purpose for this topic in particular.
The thing is, I’m a bit of a perfectionist and I don’t want to screw anything up. What I really need is a simplified list of steps involved in writing for Hosted Games.
Like for instance:
Step 1. Finish the story
Step 2. Publish a demo?
Step 3. Get opinions
Step 4. Edit
Step 5. Beta test? (I have no idea how it works on the forum)
Step 6. ?
I’d really like if someone could run me through all the processes step by step and in what order they’re supposed to be in.
Most people, especially first-time writers, post their work-in-progress here on the forum not long after they’ve started working on it. There’s a site called Dashingdon that was created to host ChoiceScript games. Some people upload there and post a link here when they have only a few pages written. This way, you can get feedback from readers throughout the writing process. As you continue to work on your game, both creating new content and refining what’s already written in response to reader feedback, you post updates.
You can think of your game as beta testing when you’ve uploaded a finished version that people can play all the way through. You probably won’t make any huge changes at this point, although you can, but at this point you’re looking to make sure everything runs smoothly and makes sense, with no game-breaking bugs or continuity errors. You may want to hire a copyeditor, although good ones are seldom cheap.
When you feel your game is as good as you can reasonably make it, you submit it to Hosted Games, following the directions on their website. Hosted Games staff will read it to make sure it meets their basic standards, possibly suggest you tweak a few things, and then offer you a publication contract. At this point, they’ll guide you through the rest of the process, and they’ll handle things like posting your game to app stores.
One thing that’s important to keep in mind is that Hosted Games staff are looking only to make sure your game is in more or less readable English and free of any grossly offensive content. They’re not there to give you feedback on style or story. That’s why posting your WIP on the forum is so important - it’s the community here that will tell you whether your game is fun to play, they like the characters, the tone is too dark or too silly, that chapter in the middle is boring, some of the stats don’t feel relevant, and/or you really ought to consider making the villain a possible love interest. (No, you don’t have to listen to everything they say - you’re the author, it’s your vision that matters - but the more you remain thoughtfully open to thoughtful feedback, the better your game will be.)
This is a link to notes on how to draft an outline that might be helpful. Mind you, this is for Choice of Games specifically so you still don’t have to meet any requirements other than what’s laid out for Hosted titles, it’s not a step by step and it’s from a while ago. However, I think keeping this in mind as a basis could give you a good idea on Steps 1 and 4 which will be the hardest part.
I hope to have the opportunity to beta test your story some day. Good luck :]
Edit: I’d forgotten where I found this so posted only the outline guide originally. It’s from this thread for reference.
(You may already know these two but I figured I’d share just in case.)
As far as coding goes, I’d highly suggest utilizing CSIDE which was developed by a moderator from here (It’s CJW but I don’t want to summon them, lol) in order to help writers programming choicescript games succeed. It’s intuitive, even for first time coders in my experience, and has about a million tools and shortcuts on there. I’m pretty sure you can run some amount of tests on it too.
Furthermore, you can peek into other authors’ code and review how they accomplished their games’ creation as a great learning tool. You can find how to do that here. Don’t be intimidated though, it’s quite simple once you plug everything in.
I moved the thread to the category that others of this nature are located.
For example, there is this recent thread, which should help you:
In addition, there is this thread:
In the future, if all you desire is a check on interest for your topic, you can post here:
On this forum, we have a strict “No Demo, No Thread” policy for Work-In-Progress (WIP) game threads.
Once you have a playable demo ready, simply post a new thread with the link for that demo in the WiP category. Be sure to include explicit requests for specific feedback so that readers/testers know what you are looking for.
If you’re not sure how to share a demo, simply go to dashingdon.com, or https://moody.ink/ Both are third-party hosting sites for ChoiceScript games. After you create an account, you’ll be able to upload your game and share the link to it in the WiP thread you make.
I realize some of this might have been covered above, but I did not yet read all the replies and so, wanted to be sure to have everything covered. I apologize for any overlap.