As you said, the community here is so supportive and welcoming: I rarely if ever see in-fighting or arguments or even negative feedback, and everyone is really lovely and supportive. Any “negative” feedback I have seen (within the community itself) is usually constructive, so I was excited to step in to this forum that just felt so warm and positive and share my work with others.
I think my days are so positive and fun when I get to check in and see what everyone is up to here: I really feel like I’ve made friends in the community, and the topics here are often full of interesting and open-minded discussions, and that affects my day-to-day attitude and interactions with others. I also think–in terms of writing–that having people read your work will inevitably help you become a better writer. I’ve become more mindful of details I wouldn’t have considered because of feedback I got on my WIP.
Learn to sort what’s helpful, constructive advice/feedback from advice that might bloat your work. You are ultimately the author of your story, and you have an artistic vision that you want to carry out: otherwise you wouldn’t be writing that story in the first place. While you can (and should) tweak your vision according to good feedback you might receive (this character doesn’t feel consistent, the pacing of this scene feels too fast), sometimes overenthusiastic readers/fans may ask for things that just don’t fit your vision (a villain path, another RO, a parent who could be gender-flipped, more choices in x y z). If you’re not passionate about those kinds of requests, or if they don’t fit your vision of the larger work, don’t feel pressured or obligated or held accountable by your readers to include stuff.
You know your story best, so while you should keep an open mind and absorb feedback, don’t ever feel as if you’re not in control of your work. That is the #1 reason I feel some people (especially new writers) lose passion or momentum for their projects and abandon them. They open them up to too many opinions and try to please everyone, or allow themselves get carried away by visions of grandeur, causing the game to become too complex/bloated to keep moving forward. Have a really solid idea of what you want to do and how you will execute it before you open yourself up to advice and suggestions. Don’t let anyone else dictate what you should do next.
Welcome to this part of your interaction with the community! The best advice I have is to ask lots and lots of questions, and don’t be shy as you learn Choicescript. This community is really quick and thorough with helping out.
My own comfort zone is really big and includes multiple neighborhoods, so I rarely have to step out of it. But…I started posting here after I finished writing MIdsummer, to learn more about people’s responses to my game–I didn’t look at the community much before hand–but I wish I had! It wasn’t really on my radar much before–but now I use it all the time to learn from way more experienced coders and writers and help out where I can.
In short, if you like to help others, and you want to meet a lot of friendly people, this is the right place.
Sharing my work with others used to — and to some degree, still does — make me very anxious. I’m very hypercritical of my writing (probably due to some pretty harsh criticisms I received from a teacher in the 5th grade), so whenever I share my work, I always expect a very negative reaction. On top of that, I find writing to be a weirdly intimate process, so I always feel vulnerable and exposed whenever someone reads my work, and I really, really hate feeling that way.
Before I posted the thread for Seven Heirs, I messaged another writer on here for advice, and we immediately hit it off. She was the very first person to play Seven Heirs, and I was so, so, so nervous when I sent her the link. Fortunately, she liked it, and she helped me through writing the rest of the chapter. She cheered me on the whole time, and she was right there with me (well, technically she was 2000 miles away) when I posted the thread. We became really, really close friends (we still talk today!), and her friendship and support has been invaluable to me in so many ways. She helped me gain confidence in my work, helped me through issues that cropped up while writing, and has generally just been a positive presence in my life, even when life gets busy and we don’t talk as much.
That experience alone has honestly been life-changing, and it all happened because of COG. Were it not for the amazing community here, I probably would never have worked up the courage to post Seven Heirs and would have dismissed writing entirely. The reaction I got from that person gave me enough confidence to post my game, and the positive reception I got from the rest of the community is what really convinced me to embrace sharing my work.
The only piece of advice I have for newcomers is don’t be scared to share your work. There is so much you can get out of it. It can give you confidence, it can make you a better writer, and it can help you find friends. It’s so worth it.
I have only been a reader thus far. I do someday hope to write a COG, I have an idea for a story that’s been on my mind for a few years now. Right now I simply can’t take the plunge (real life, it sucks) but one day, I will.
I joined the forum only earlier this year even though I’ve been a fan of the games since around 2013. I knew this forum existed, but because of my general bad experiences with internet forums (pointless arguments, name-calling, trolls and general childish behaviour) I kept putting it off. I finally signed up one day in a mere whim, thinking ‘Hey, this seems to be a community of mostly authors and readers, I might even fit in’, and I’m thankful I did.
This forum taught me to never assume the worst of people, that it is indeed possible that a stranger who’s oceans apart from you really does care about your well-being, and how to provide encouragement, support and constructive criticism. This is now the only internet forum that I’m a part of, and I love spending time here. There’s rarely any hate, judgement, and discrimination (even if people sometimes don’t see eye to eye, most are mature enough to keep the discussions civilised). At the end of the day, it’s just a nice community of like-minded people with similar passions that support and really care about each other and their works.
Don’t be nervous or afraid to speak up. This is one of those places where you can truthfully express your own opinions and expect no one to jump at you with immature insults, rather, there will be a lot of people who’d respect what you have to say and your personal experiences and then come forth with their own opinions and perspectives in a civil way. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help, regarding everything from your own works to problems navigating the site, the mods and most of the members here are extremely respectful and do try to help in all the ways they can. Be respectful to the authors and their works, even if it’s a story you did not like, they very likely worked on it for a long time pouring their heart out into it. Learn to give criticism in a way that helps and motivate others, not in a way that belittles or humiliates them.
The reason why I joined was simple I desperately needed more social interaction I rarely leave my house and when I do I always get nervous so talking with people is extremely difficult for me but then about a 2 years ago I got into PC gaming and considering my rig At the time was a potato I was kind of limited in terms of games I could play so I was browsing for games that weren’t too demanding and I found choice of robots and I fell in love with it I played it for like hours a quick Google search later and I found the Forum I was expecting it to be a ghost town
With a few dedicated users instead I found a friendly and welcoming Community with a real passion for stories after some hesitation I joined but I was pretty much a lurker until I worked up the courage to ask for advice about a problem I had I didn’t even think I would get a reply but the level of support from the community I got was nothing short of amazing this community showed me that I should not be afraid of socializing with other people I’m getting out of my comfort zone more often too all thanks to this community
I had zero experience with internet communities before joining the forums, and had a tendency to lurk at even the most productive of discussions. I lurked without an account for a year before deciding that I felt comfortable enough with posting my first WIP.
To echo the other people, this is one of the friendliest and most progressive forums on the internet, and people here also genuinely care about seeing these stories improve and come to life.
The feedback on the forum has helped me with the problems glaringly obvious to other people but which are invisible to me. Feedback also helped me a lot with character development, and this forum is mostly the reason I started to step out of my comfort zone when writing. On the other hand, this forum also introduced me to many concepts and communities that I wouldn’t even have heard of if I hadn’t read the forum. The friendliness and respect of this forum is unique in my experience of the internet.
Don’t be discouraged if your work or topic doesn’t get a lot of attention at first. Odds are a lot of people are lurking and watching it, even if they don’t speak up about it. As a former lurker, I know there were many brilliant WIPs that I never had the courage to comment on.
@rinari I really appreciate and agree with your feedback to newcomers. Feeling you’re not in control of your story is such a let down. But know your purpose (and that of your story/vision) and let that guide you in accepting feedback. Keep writing, knowing you can’t please everyone in one go. It’ll likely take several stories to do so.
@Gower How did you mange this? I want to learn from you! To have such a large comfort zone, did you just try new things and stay at them?
@Fawkes What an awesome idea to message another community member! Never thought of that, and so glad it worked out.
@soprano I’m hoping to learn the same lesson here.
Best advice that comes to mind is that whenever you are struggling with a code issue, the forum should be your first stop. Odds are good that someone else has already had the error or stumbling block you have, and everyone here is extremely helpful and patient no matter how basic your questions might be.
I agree 100%. CoG/HG has made me drunk with the power to choose! It’s come to the point that I’m not even interested in a story unless I’m the star of it.
My first CoG was Choice of Romance Then I moved on to Choice of Robots. First HG was Double Cross. Got so infatuated I had to find the site and fell in love even more when I realized CoG/HG were practically one in the same (the joys of not having to surf multiple websites is so convenient) and been hooked ever since!
Honestly? Just signed up on this place and I’m hella overwhelmed. So I figured to best way to dive in here is to just greet all the people, all the awesome writers and all the awesome admins.
As a sorta relevant thing, I guess I’ll do the Age-Old question of What Got You Into CoG in the first place? Mine was Choice of Dragons. I mean, come on. Dragons. My favourite of all time would hands down be Heroes Rise. Finished the first trilogy and if I get enough monies, attention span and time, I’m finishing the second one.
That was… I think four years ago? Now I’m here. So thanks for having a forum XD.
Creatures Such as We was my first interactive fiction.
It came out late 2014 and I hadn’t found it until later 2015
I was young and fairly bad at consistent story telling and had even less braincells than I currently do , which would be impossible or a miracle from a mathematic and biological standpoint.
And while at this age there was a lot in this work that i didn’t understand , a lot that I breezed by and thus I was a little disappointed by the ending .
But in my first playthrough of this year, nearly 5 years since release , and 4 years of growing an extra braincell , I found comfort in being able to build a character that I could now relate to , having moved to an area of isolation by choice and by job, and contracting a cynical and rebellious mindset towards the state government and capitalism.
to be able to build a love and to understand the longing in isolation all the while not having the ending completely blow over was what this game should of showed me in my first playthrough , but it still helped my learn the progress we make in growth.
what i was not expecting however was the addition of a ‘epilogue’ that you got to build on you playthrough , that you can control and end the story how you want rather than the meta message of “sometimes things end differently”
even though it negates the original ending , i enjoyed it , my character got to go back to earth and be with the one that they’ve grown a relationship with , and to say “fuck the authorities”
and that’s something that we all need to do sometime in our short lifespan , isn’t it ?
My first Game was Zombie Exodus, which was great at that time I did not have much money so that was for a long time the only cog I had. Then after I got an okay job, I was able do buy almost every CoG and HG I like^^ Now I have more than I am able to read and I buy more, to help the authors. And I have something to read whenever I have time to read.
(sorry for mistakes, I’m Russian speaker)
For me, it all started from the Arcana, a visual novel. Still love it, awesome story:3 After it, I think I’ve tried ALL visual novels in Play Market, but never found anything really special. And one day, Sordwin showed up in my reccomendation list. I was too lazy to start it at once, but when in happened, my brain detonated. So it goes: Evertree Inn, The royal affairs, Death Collector and sooooo oooon. Great experience, and I’m tending to make it last❤️
I started playing the app Lovestruck. Got hooked, started playing a variety of other visual novel style games. Largely, I’ve been massively disappointed in wlw representation and story quality even in straight games.
I’d heard things about Choice of Games but I have a learning disability that makes reading and focusing on large chunks of text difficult so I was wary of anything more text based. Then I finished A Courtesan of Rome (a Choices game), decided I wanted another revenge story, and wasn’t sure where to get one but thought it sounded like the sort of thing COG would write.
I searched ‘revenge’ in the COG apps, found The Mysteries of Baroque, and the rest is history
Way back on 20th of June 2017. My partner was interstate for family, it was an idle and boring evening, and whilst gorging on a box of frozen appetizers in front of the computer I stumbled across a steam recommendation based on choice and consequence. The Fleet it was called, and it was only a few dollars so I thought - what the heck, let’s give this a whirl.
I woke up about two years later with a steam library loaded with Hosted and COG games and a few on the website itself, and wasn’t entirely sure what happened.
Now I’m having a break reading Wayhaven Chronicles to my partner whilst she shouts back the choices from the couch with piles of snack food around her.