The Fraternal Society of the Feline (Demo)

Hi All,
Brand new poster. Posting my demo here per the Hosted Games requirements.

The Fraternal Society of the Feline

About the game:
Story: You’re a veterinarian asked to perform a house call for one of your special client’s sick cats. Little do you know this crazy cat lady has a pretty big secret. There are many paths into the Fraternal Society of the Feline and many ways to run afoul of this ancient secret society.

This is a choose your own path story in the flavor of the classic 80s and 90s books. It’s a bit more grown up than those, but I’d say teen+ (at worst) for a little non-kid friendly violence. Tried to keep the story quirky and offbeat, with some adventure and lots of felines thrown in for good measure.

What’s done:
The story is complete.
Coding is pretty simple, but complete and every path has been manually checked. Unless I added a mistake while correcting a mistake all paths should be error free.
There is no stats system for this story. I don’t know if that button can be removed or blanked out, but at the moment clicking stats creates a 404 error, so don’t click it!

Hope I’m doing this all correctly.


EDIT 5/25
Re-coded to fix the “Turn the page” fake choice with the *page_break command
Added a fake stats screen to prevent 404 when clicking Show Stats


Welcome to the CoG community - I moved the thread to the “Hosted Games Beta” category because you are doing this to meet the requirements for publication. Correct?

If this is not a complete project, please let me know and I’ll move to the WiP forum, or the Work in Progress forum.

Again, welcome to the community.

1 Like

Hi Eiwynn,
Yes. It’s definitely a beta for publication. I saw you moved the thread. I appreciate the help!

1 Like

Sorry just had to comment. Have you ever seen someone try to put a cat upside down and tie it down with leather straps for an ultrasound? Not going to happen without much blood and tears (Yours, not the cat’s) :scream_cat:


What kind of feedback are you looking for. I have more comments similar to the above where I find things that don’t make any sense to me, but it will probably come across as overly harsh. If you like it as is, it’s probably best I say nothing.

Also how many words is this? It needs to be at least 30,000 if you’re planning to publish but it seems to end after a few pages. Maybe I just picked the wrong choices.

1 Like

Thanks for reading! As I said, it’s supposed to be quirky. Obviously you’d never have a cat in real life laying on it’s back getting an ultrasound, but this world is a bit left of reality and I wanted to have fun with it. It only goes downhill from here. :slight_smile:

The story is just shy of 40,000 words. It’s 236 pages. Some of the paths are quite short. Some are quite long. A friend of mine read through it and one of her paths was more than 25 choices.

Any feedback is welcome. If something doesn’t make sense as in it’s just odd, then that’s to be expected. If something doesn’t make sense as in it’s confusingly written or hard to understand, then I need to know about it so I can make any necessary corrections.

Ok, no it makes sense as in I understand. It’s not odd as in quirky though either. This is just my opinion, take it or leave it. It probably does sound harsh, I’m just not sure how to put it more gently and still make it clear what I’m saying.

I already said leather straps would never be used that way on a cat. Apart from that they wouldn’t be tolerated and probably cause major injuries to all the people involved and high levels of stress for a pregnant cat, they could cause serious injury to the cat if it tried to get loose. You also wouldn’t do an ultrasound on it’s back if heavily pregnant. (Watch any VetTV show you like, it’s always on the side.) Also they wouldn’t be referred to as stirrups. (That’s a human thing).

“Just remind her to keep playing Mozart and Beethoven, at least one hour per day, through headphones placed on mama’s tummy,” you say.

That doesn’t sound like a veterinary approved recommendation but for the sake of the story ok.

I disliked that the reason why the mc is going, is because the client has agreed to pay the clients who will apparently have to go elsewhere, rather than the mc making a decision that the cat is more of an emergency than the upcomming appointments. That’s a terrible reason. That clinic could well loose a number of the clients who get told to come back another day, not to mention not seeing other animals that were booked in that could be as sick or worse. It doesn’t make sense for them to agree to that without there being a “humane” reason behind it.

Just because someone is paying your bills for the day, doesn’t mean it’ll head off complaints and then you can leave quickly. What do you think all the people who are going to be told to go away and you’re not seeing them today are going to be saying at this point? Especially if you tell them you’ve had a better monetary offer? I can’t imagine that being very pretty.

You don’t have to put a turn the page option, the next button will appear without it.

You can’t deactivate the stats page.

“Lady will be cared for by our specialists, Doctor,” he advises upon his return. “Now, the talent show is about to begin. Will you join us?”

If a vet is out to see a dying animal and is told that “specialists” would look after it without any knowledge of who that is and no treatment has been given by the vet yet, questions would be asked. There’s all sorts of problems associated with that both legal and humane.

“Hello there, Randy, isn’t it?” you say to the cat.

Why are you talking to a cat when you’re trying to eavesdrop. Aren’t you concerned about being heard?

Just a small warning if you decide to publish. 25 choices is not very long by existing games. You must have a lot of branches which is fine, but the reviews you will get will probably be very harsh in that quarter.



Low-level: The *page-break command will have a “continue” or “next-page” button of its own. including a choice of “turn page” is redundant in this case.

High-level: I know you don’t want stats; never-the-less you can use the stat page for other uses such as a glossary of cat terms. Some readers may not know what a Man-coon cat looks like or a White Persian or Siamese etc … A resource guide will add value to your readers.

High-level: The pathing per play-session is way too variable. 25 choices for one path is o.k. but if your reader tries and gets three short paths in a row, they most likely will put the story down without “looking” for the better path. They may code-crawl but many readers in the wild do not.

High-level: With the total word-count being on the slim-side your reviews in Apple store or elsewhere will take a hit. Even the 100,000 word stories get beat-up if their per play-through is too low.

High-level: It seems to me, what is considered a “good” ending and a “bad” ending is totally out-of-whack - I hit 4 “bad” endings and 0 “good” endings - and I keep getting sent back to checking the litter-box - the difference between a 90’s choose your own adventure and a CS game is, you can always go back to your last choice and “cheat” your way to a good ending.

The only readers that will do that will be those that look at your code and even then, that is not a good way to set the structure, in my opinion.

High-level: Are there any achievements with the game? I don’t remember any. Achievements might be something to consider, especially with the bad endings you have mapped out.

All this is my individual feedback - you should be in contact with your editor if your testing your demo, so the low level stuff I’m sure he or she will discuss with you but the high level feedback might help.

Good luck with everything.


Oh yeah, forgot to add, the 404 error is no good. It’s game breaking and you can’t publish with it in there. Just add a blank stat’s page and that should stop it. As Eiwynn said, I’d try putting a few bits and pieces in there though.

If you want the text “Turn the page” without the redundant single choice

*page_break Turn the page

1 Like

Nice work there but but I but I have but I have some thoughts.

  1. Why is there a question mark at the end of all of the choices.
  2. The " Turn the page " choices looked somewhat unnecessary .Use Pagebreak instead ?.
  3. I liked the fact that to undserstand what is happening you have to do multiple playthroughs and none of which bored me . ( in short good mind refresher )
  4. Cult of feline god - it has a ring to it. ( oh sorry just couldn’t stop myself from writing that )

@Eiwynn I like to actually keep the Betas tab for games that I have gotten in my hands to at least start looking at. (I know, kinda let it slide for already published authors because they at least have a general idea of the expectations.)

@Michael_Rodriguez I don’t believe we have gotten the game, you can submit it at any time though. (If you’re having trouble with the submission page, you can also send the files themselves to hosted-submissions@…)

1 Like

@RETowers I’m sorry. This entire process has been very confusing. I’ve been in contact with Mary Duffy several times. The only info she gave me was to submit the demo on the forums. Beyond that I’m lost as to what to do next. I’m happy to submit it, but wasn’t told that was something I should do that this point.

A standard page is roughly 500 words, so a 40,000 word title would be approximately 80 pages total.

Really? 500? That’s not what the info I found on COG’s Facebook recommended. The best practices post I found said 200-300 max, which was the guideline I wrote the story by, hence all the page breaks.

Five hundred words per “page” would have been far easier for me. I ended up having to cut out things that were bumping my per page word count too high.

This is really disappointing to learn.

  1. Because they’re choices, so it’s asking how you want to proceed. I can remove those if that’s not standard. Would just take a few minutes.
  2. Yes, I wasn’t aware of the *page_break command. If there’s a coding primer I didn’t see it, so I was unaware of that command. That will be fixed tonight.
  3. Thanks. That was part of what I wanted to achieve - multiple reads increase depth in the story and characters.
  4. I had a whole list of story names, but I don’t think a cult would call themselves a Cult. :slight_smile:

Thanks for reading

@Michael_Rodriguez Sorry for the confusion. The Beta category is a tracking thing. Once you send us the actual files for me to look at, I’ll move it over. (So long as you’re more or less feature complete, and just doing a final beta, you can send those anytime.)

Re: Word count, you two are talking about two different things. A ‘average’ dead tree novel page is about 500 words. We recommend about 200 words a page. It’s a screen size and engagement thing.


Thanks for your replies. I’ll fix the page breaks. I wasn’t aware that’s what the command did. It’s an easy enough fix. I’ll have a correction out tonight for that issue.

I think you’re taking the whole story just a bit too literally. I’ve had cats all my life and know how vet visits work. Those are supposed to be funny, not to be taken seriously.

I will have to look into the stats page issue and make a fake one of some kind as several have suggested.

Thanks for the feedback. This is really helpful, if disheartening.

The guidelines I was able to find stated a 30,000 word minimum, so I overshot and figured 40,000 would be very safe. Finding out that’s not the case does make me question whether to continue with this effort. That’s going to require a complete ground up rewrite, doubling the paths available. Someone else mentioned a 500 word/page limit, which is also not the guideline I found when digging. The information available to first-time writers could really use a primer (if there is one, I didn’t find it).

I’m not saying that 500 words per page is required, I’m just saying that’s how many words are in a real page. You can shorten the pages like CoG recommends, but I’m just saying, that 40,000 words is the equivalent to 80 pages in a paper book. If you advertise a 40,000 word story as having 236 pages, people will be disappointed. I do agree with having interactive fiction pages set at about 300 words in general. That’s usually what mine are at.

1 Like

Ya - this is both a game and a story, so sometimes the expectations of both make this format confusing.

There are shorter word count games that have done good. So, You’re Possessed by @MizArtist33 is 50,000 and is well liked by many people. Yet, I think they are tripling the word-count on their sequel - so maybe Beth can comment on this.

I know that every published author commenting here so far has experienced the wrath of people reviewing their works with unfair “this is too short” reviews so there will always be some of those. Yet, you really do attract people’s loyalty by writing longer stories.

I think @Samuel_H_Young has 150,000 words in his second story of his “Fortune” trilogy

The words per page is a grey area because people use different devises to read your game on. An IPhone 6 has a larger screen then an IPhone 5 and unless you are consciously aware of how your story formats on the different devises then you run into unforced errors.

@RETowers should have some set guidelines that she will communicate to you upon receiving your submission - at this point with new phones, tablets and monitors hitting the market daily, it is more of a gut instinct thing then anything imo.

I have a link in my icon thingy (click on my portrait)

Master List Link Fotr Beginners this has the guidelines and blog that goes into more details as well as some wonderful tutorials and a recommended hosting site for those that need it.

I also know CoG is in the process of redefining some of these because of the changing market.

Two Thoughts Here:

1: You seemed to be targeting the teen and twenty-something market with your story - there is a need for more stories that do so but they are harder to pull off because the game aspects are structured for adults or those mature enough to handle adult themes. So I’d encourage you to continue your efforts.

2: You already have a great start, a core to build from. You are ahead of me and others - so don’t get too discouraged.

The development model often used here is the arm-finger analogy with the main core having up to five branches that all wrap around back into the arm later. the original choice stories from the 90’s were on a singular success + dead ends model, just need to change some of those dead-ends into true paths and you should be ok.

For example - the Spinx at the bottom of the trap can open a whole chapter or two of choices by itself … cats in Egypt, etc … just a thought.

tldr: If you posses the will to continue forward, I would advise doing so. You possess a complete core, a developed idea and a writing style unique to the story already. That is a big chunk of the process right there.