I became a COG/HG convert in 2021 and also joined the forum the same year. And I’m also curious about the history, so to speak of, Choice of Games, particularly when it comes to the COGs and HGs published and trends and other developments influencing what kinds of COGs and HGs have been published since Choice of Games was launched.
I know there are many forum members who have been reading/playing COGs and HGs much longer than I have, some of you even since Choice of the Dragon. So I’m curious about which COGs and HGs you would consider to be the most influential and how you consider them to have influenced other COGs and HGs.
There are a couple which seem obvious, even to me, and a few others that also seem to have been important in that way, if maybe not quite to the same extent as the most obvious ones. Choice of Dragon is of course extremely important for having started it all. The Wayhaven Chronicles at least paved the way for other Visual Novels-like HGs and what seems to be a trend for HGs and WIPs leaning more strongly towards focusing on the “book aspects” rather than the “game aspects” and the second book was, AFAIK, the first HG or COG that included explicitly setting the height of your MC as a “mandatory option”(there had been other HGs, like Life of a Wizard, where you could choose a fantasy species/race for your MC that were known for being particularly short or tall, but this was done in a more implicit and less mandatory way than in The Wayhaven Chronicles). And since then, this customization has been included in an increasing number of HGs and was also included in a COG for the first time last year.
From what I’ve heard, Life of a Wizard was at least the first HG to include achievements, while I suspect that Zombie Exodus and Heroes Rise-The Prodigy were the first HGs/COGs to focus on, respectively,zombies and superheroes and certainly the first hugely popular HGs/COGs to do so and so may very well have contributed to both of those genres still, comparitively often, being used in other HGs and COGs. But apart from that I don’t really want to speculate. I do suspect that since regular COGs have to made in accordance with Choice of Games particular design philosophy, while HGs don’t, that there will have been more different trends and developments for HGs than COGs, and thus also more influential HGs than COGs, but then again there might also be other elements I haven’t taken into consideration that means there isn’t that much of a difference between the two after all.
Anyway, curious to hear the thoughs of other forum members here about this, both writers and non-writers, and particularly those who have been into COGs and HGs for a long time. Which COGs and HGs would you consider to be the most influential and in what way or ways would you consider them to have influenced other COGs and/or HGs?