Q) I have a new mobile device. Can I reload my old purchases for free?
A) That depends on two things. First question: is it the same type of device (iPhone, Android, Kindle Fire)? The second question: are you using the same store account (AppleID, Google Account, Amazon Account)? If yes to both, then yes.
Q) How do I download/unlock those old purchases?
A) If it’s a game without a free trial, then when you click to download, it should just download and not charge your account. If it’s a game with a free trial, when the app prompts you to pay for the extra content, say yes, and on the following screen, click on “Restore Purchases.” That should unlock any content that you’ve already purchased.
Q) I have an older iOS device that I cannot upgrade to the latest version of iOS. Your newest game requires this new version of iOS. Is there some way I can still play the game without upgrading?
A) Unfortunately, Apple requires that new iOS apps be compliant with the latest version of iOS. Making apps backwards-compatible is very time consuming, and other things currently take priority. This is one of the reasons we have recently expanded to the Chrome Web Store.
Q) Why does it take so long for new games to come out?
A) Though it may not take all that long to play through a single game, because of their parallel structure, they consist of many more words than a novella of comparable length. Take Choice of the Dragon, for instance. It’s around 30k words (including code). Conventional definitions of a novel place their minimum word-count at 50k words. As you can imagine, it takes a lot of time and effort to write a novel (even just 3/5ths of one!).
Q) When is Choice of the Dragon 2/Choice of Broadsides 2/etc coming out?
A) We have no plans currently to write sequels for these games.
Q) Why isn’t there a “back” button on your games?
A) We’ve considered incorporating an Undo (or Back) button instead, but we found that users would spoil their game, by clicking on every option one at a time and clicking Back, until they found a result they liked the best. It removed all of the dramatic tension; one user described this as a “chore!”
It’s tempting to say “well, if it’s a chore, and it ruins the game, then why are you pushing the Back button so much? Just play the game without testing every option first!” But I think people just can’t help themselves; it’s just too hard to resist pressing the Back button when we’ve made the “wrong” choice. And even if we never use the Back button, it undermines tension just knowing that “if I ever get in trouble, I can always Undo…”
Q) When you say, “There are 100,000 words in this game!”, does that include the code?
A) Yes, it does.
Q) So, how does this whole “password” thing work?
A) At the end of Vampire and Romance, there is an option to email yourself a copy of your password. When the email prompt appears, put in your email address, and the game will send you your password. Hold on to that password until the release of the new chapters.
Q) I’ve paid for Intrigues, but nothing has downloaded!
A) If you can pay for it, it’s already been downloaded. Paying for it just unlocks the second part.
Q) I’ve played to the end of Romance, but there’s no Intrigues!
A) You have to be involved with the monarch in order to continue on to Intrigues. If you’re married to Mendoza, you live happily ever after, or some such.
Q) I have an e-Ink Kindle, but I don’t live in the United States. How can I get a copy of your games on my Kindle?
A) Unfortunately, Amazon has not expanded its Active Content outside of the US yet.
Q) I want to play your games in French/German/Spanish…
A) We’d love to find professional translators for our games. If you know one, please send them our way.
Q) Can I write a game using ChoiceScript? How do I do that?
A) Yes! You’d probably start by downloading the code from Github. Then you’d want to read our introductory tutorial. Once you’ve managed the basics, you can try the more advanced stuff. If you have questions, you should pose them to the Google group, and someone in the community will probably reply to you.
Q) Is there a ChoiceScript Wiki?
A) Not yet. We have discussed setting one up, but it would require time that we just don’t have right now. That said, several enterprising members of our community have put a lot of effort into the this ChoiceScript Wiki.
Q) Is there any size limit to a game that I write?
A) No. There is no limit to the number of words or scenes.
Q) Do I have to pay you a fee for the code?
A) As long as you don’t make any money off the code, you don’t have to pay us anything.
Q) Can I host a game on my own website?
Q) What if there’s a “Donate” button on the webpage with the game?
A) That falls under the phrase “making money”.
Q) How can I publish my game on my own and make money? Can I release directly on the iOS App Store, for example?
A) Once your game is written, we will sign a commercial license with you. See the contract for details, but the gist is that you’ll be free to sell and distribute a game made with ChoiceScript anywhere you like in exchange for 25% of your gross proceeds.
Q) Why aren’t there images in ChoiceScript games?
A) There are many reasons for this. For starters, it makes transitioning between platforms much simpler. Secondly, some of our platforms don’t support graphics very well. For example, what sort of graphics could you really fit on the screen of an iPhone, when you also need text? And how would those graphics look on a Kindle?
Q) But I can code the use of images into ChoiceScript myself!
A) You very well could. And you could even host a ChoiceScript game on your own website with those graphics. We also have the *image command, which does allow for some limited use of images.
Q) If I make my own version of the code that uses graphics, will you publish the game it for me?
A) We will certainly consider it, but we cannot offer any sort of technical support for your idiosyncratic code.
Q) How old do I have to be to write a game in ChoiceScript and get it published?
A) There is no minimum age requirement. If you can write an interesting game, and have a parent or guardian that will cosign the contract, we’ll publish it. Our very first Hosted Game, Popcorn, Soda… Murder? was written by Pauzle when he was in high-school.
Q) How do I go about designing a game?
A) Come up with a plan. Don’t start at the beginning. Make the choices interesting. Choose your Stats carefully. Write your first vignette. Manage the branching of your plotlines. Use variables to help you manage branching. Some reflections on writing interactive fiction for Choice of Games. On learning to outline for ChoiceScript. Let your depression work for you.