Writing and publishing Co-Authored Games

Greeting community of CoG. I have been playing the CYOA games on this site for over a year and recently introduced a friend to it who was looking for good CYOA games to play. We have an idea of developing a Hosted Game together though since it would be written by two individuals instead of one we were wondering if it could be done and how. We communicate via Skype and email as he lives in Asia whereas I live in Europe. Could it be possible for us both to co-author the same game via ChoiceScript and have the revenue it generates split?

You’d need to email Choice of Games and ask them about the specifics of splitting revenues. I know there are some games that are created by multiple authors.

Most likely! I’m also working on a group project with @andymwhy and others, and I’d assume that CoG would split it between the authors.

And when its being written in order to co-author it is the procedure to email the draft to the other author or do we have access to it on the same platform to edit as we please?

Me and the others in my group write things separately, but I’d say it’s a preference.

Separately? Like separate sets of chapters? How how do you merge them into one if their worked on separately?

@Harian, it’s up to you. You can email it back and forth. You could use a shared dropbox. I think google has some sort of ability to let you share files and edit them too?

I see, thank you so much.

There is no precedent yet for a co-authored game and splitting the revenue, however that doesn’t mean it cannot be done: either by agreement between you and your friend or possibly through CoG themselves.

In terms of writing, it definitely can be accomplished. I am currently co-writing a game with @Samuel_H_Young and several other writers. Through group messaging here, as well as google drive for planning and Dropbox to share work, we have been working well as a team for over a month now. The key is good planning, so that each writer understands the whole game. As well as their part in the game.

I think Dropbox is what most people use though for hosting choice of games, so unless you’ve your own webspace I’d suggest using that.

Ideally you want some sort of shared location where you can both access the files and edit them as you see fit. The *comment function will be really useful to communicate back and forth about any changes. (Although email to do that’s good as well) It means you get to have multiple files that you can both change, as well as test the game easier.

I thought I’d point out that Choice of Zombies, Choice of Romance, Choice of Broadsides and Choice of the Dragon are all written by 2-4 people.

Really? Wow. 2-4 people, so it most certainly can be done.

What sort of game are you making?

@andymwhy It might make things more difficult if there was, arguably.


We have a few ideas yet to finalize however.


Yet it does seem that many of the site’s major games were co-authored and i’m assuming the revenue was therefore split.

@Harian I don’t dispute it but having a revenue split as a contractual obligation throws up problems if, for example, relationships sour between those authoring the content.

But otherwise all the money would go to one of the authors, who would have to be trusted to send the author other his/her share punctually and correctly.

@Samuel_H_Young Yes, this is also true. It depends upon the individuals involved I feel. If there is a contractual agreement in place, it may avoid any of the issues that could arise otherwise. On the other hand, without a contractual agreement, there is not a legal obligation to fulfil requirements on a project and hence little to no penalty in dropping out, for example.

I would imagine the reason CoG does not offer a contract concerning joint authorship (I assume so anyway) is because it would require CoG to get involved in relationships occurring outside of their realm of responsibility if you like. I could be very, very wrong on this and it might be an entirely different, benign reason but that’s my best guess.

That’s very true. However, Hosted Games authors don’t have deadlines or as many requirements as CoG authors have.

The contract is actually pretty lenient. You have a lot of creative control within the bounds of your pitch. The milestone requirements give you a lot of breathing room (unless you’re me and are writing 150k words almost by accident) and there are just a few points that CoG insist on which are pretty easy to work with.