The Current Issue with CoG Titles


#1

Before I get into this I want to say I love CoG and Hosted Games. <-Yes I am using this to placate people before talking trash but it doesn’t make it any less true. I have a majority of every title released on both and have spent a vast amounts of time playing these, and replaying some.

That last bit brings me to the issue. Replay ability. These are supposed to be interactive stories where the players choices affect the game but more and more we are sent on a linear pass/fail journey based on the authors whim where the only difference is the epilogue.

I say this knowing that my favorite game so far, Fallen Hero, is a linear storyline. The difference for that game, and many others (looking at you Hero Rise and Versus), is that there is actual impact on the story direction or that the choices are truly meaningful. None of the given choices begetting the answer: “You’re the real one aren’t you?” “Tell them how I’ve figured out their plan” Literally “You know the answer”. The real different guys here are stories like Choice of Magic and Choice of Robots. So many hidden goodies and outcomes and real changes to the storyline. Yes there is an overall outline but that is needed for a cohesive story. The more I have to go to my stats page and look at my choices to see which ones pass/fail the more I’m just reading a novel and the less impact I feel like I have on the outcome. In terms of true interactive fiction I feel that a lot of the recent titles fall short. I don’t want to call them out because that’s not what this is about. This is cry out in hopes that I can find another game/story I can read over and over again to find new and interesting outcomes. Thank you for reading this.


#2

You might want to check out Demon: Recollect.
https://forum.choiceofgames.com/t/demon-recollect-wip-chapter-2-anarch-path-12-14-2018
Your choices define which path you end on and the characters you interact with.


#3

I am excited for that title but it is still a WIP. I’ve been playing the demo as it updates. Thank you though.


#4

Demon: Recollect
Fixed it for 'ya.


#5

There’s a secondary issue imho:
The “epic-/ meaningfulness” this year’s games seemed to try (too) hard.
Note in the Big or Small thread, it’s really odd how many games this year seeming tried for big epic plots or many ros etc… while not really delivering the story or length for it.

RaV feels rushed because it is short with too much happening too fast, the player getting rushed along like poor Hawkins at his knighting.
All while the plot throws a thinly-veiled metaphor for sex-workers in and their future lays ENTIRELY at the hands of the MC. And before one even knows the game is over. (How much time even passed ingame here? 1 day? 2? Didnt feel longer)

Or Baroque, where I love the first half to bits, but the second feels bloated, disconnected and then it’s just over.

rather suddenly we’re dealing with eldritch gods and are the only one capable of stopping it? Eeeh… ymmv

Likewise the second half (all from finding a corpse so Holofernes can try her thing again which she JUST INFORMED US SHE CANT DO BECAUSE REASONS on) feels… shoehorned in, at parts as if belonging to a different draft of the story.

Gilded Rails… oh I was looking forward to this one.
But after the hiccups with the difficulty setting (why does it even have that?) and a slew of negative reviews, I’ll pass.
The main criticism in those reviews? Too hard, yet too empty and rather railroady (pun intended each time). When the game with the hitherto highest RO count if im not mistaken gets majorly criticized for the ROs being bland, something is amiss.

2018 was a weird year for CoG…

And the less said about the thing with the IAPs in OpenSeason the better (bugreport’s been sent)

Edit: forgot the conclusion:

In short, the titles this year where a not-that-good mix of stories that felt they were never intended as a choose your own adventure story, and stories that tried but… in lack of a better word… collapsed… often because they seemed to have been written under the assumption that they “should” stay under a certain wordcount, thus being wrapped up too early too fast in some cases.


#7

Like I said I’m trying not to call out any games specifically but I do agree with your points. The epic thing really isn’t necessary. And as long as the story has a cohesion to it, weird is cool. One of my favorites of this year was the Hosted Game: The Butler Did It. It went in such a weird direction but there was so much to unpack. Rather than some games that just went way into left field and you had no idea how you really got there or worse that it was entirely out of your control.


#8

With these statements it’s, imho, better to name examples.
Neither RaV, Baroque or games like Martian Job are bad. Just… of course YMMV… they could have worked as well (maybe even better) had they been smaller in their stakes and longer in their tale


#9

This thread is in danger of becoming a general vent about games people didn’t like. May I recommend taking specific constructive feedback about particular games to the specific threads about those games? If there is a particular aspect of recent CS games that needs to be discussed, then this seems a reasonable place to do it, but as it is, I’m leaning towards folding it into one of the other related threads.


#10

This wasn’t to call out any specific games and vent whatever shortcomings people may feel they have. I’m trying to illustrate positive examples to illustrate an overall issue that seems to permiate a lot of titles that came out this year.


#11

I’d argue as some points have been reoccuring points of criticism, especially in this year’s line up, we should keep it in one thread.
We’ll keep it civil.


#12

Also: Is this true that titles need to stay under a certain word count? This seems incredibly counterproductive. I obviously don’t know the specifics of why this would be done and I’m loath to form an opinion on heresay but I would like to know if this is the case.


#13

No, it is not true that titles need to stay under a certain word count.


#14

No, not at all. Some titles are quite long, in the several-hundred-thousand word category. For reference, the average length of a novel is 100,000.

You can find more information here:


#15

I didn’t think it was. Just trying to confirm. I know Choice of Cats for example is over 900,000 words and wanted to make sure nothing has changed on that front.

Edit: I’m wrong here. It is over 600,000 words


#16

Ah, sorry, I should have clarified things here:

Meant that it felt as if stories were written assuming that they need to stay under 300k.

Sorry

Edit: fixed it


#17

Choice of the Cat is about 600,000 words.


#18

Oops my mistake ty.


#19

First, my apology here because for this complaint or vent… i feel that the points are all over the place where i couldn’t seem to identify the point of complaint :slight_smile:

And at first and second read, it seems like this fall under the catagory on idividual perspective where different individual has a certain choice of their interest…

This is because for the point of games are too epic… there already had a thread about why most readers prefer to have an epic games based on word count… if i remember there were actually 2 previously, the first was made with the argument that modern games now are better than the old ones… and because they are longer…

I don’t understand the other points, because both Hero Rise and Versus had their fair share of criticsm previously…

So in the end , personally i feel that epic games that had truly did a marvelous job this year were choice of magic , Zombie exodus safe haven, Silverworld, Stronghold , Fallen Hero, Blood Money , Werewolves haven rising , butler did it, I Robot and Love at Elevation…

Shorter games that done an equally marvelous job were Great Tournament 2 , Highway Wars , weyrwood and Doomsday of Demand 2

I may have miss some titles but lots of games this year, present a meaningful story which lead to multiple possible endings ( whether good or bad ) no matter their length of words :slight_smile:


#20

I thiiink what was meant is this:

  1. Couple of games felt as if there is just one story that only at the end branches.
  2. Hr and vs seem to have been named as negative examples.

Edit: more on 1:

Sure, ALL cog/hg games have their core story, but some felt… off…
Kinda like “picking option B presents itself like a different branch, but really feel like option a with a fancy hat (Nothing against fancy hats), while only marginally changing the epilogue”

(Dunno how to word ot better)


#21

Oh… ok thanks, in such case i agree with the opinion that some games may seem to be just one story with multiple branches … but to be fair “some” highly popular titles do fall into this category as well, but because they were well received … none willing to point this out

That’s why i mentioned it was individual perspective … since as long as enough fans love a game even with this flaw, that shouldn’t be a problem… what i meant was, no game is perfect, they all have their appeal and short coming , with a weakness within the game, they could make it up with other strengths , it depend on whether they have enough fans like them :slight_smile: