Frequently Asked Questions

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 is Choice of the Dragon 2 (or another sequel) coming out?
A) We do not necessarily plan for all of our games to have sequels, and our older games are less likely to get them, but you can always check to see if a sequel has been announced on the forums.

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 you say, “There are 100,000 words in this game!”, does that include the code?
A) Yes, it does.

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) Is Dan Fabulich of Choice of Games the same Dan Fabulich that ported AlterEgo?
A) The very same. He was also a lead Cloudmaker.

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) After some experiments we have found that translating our games is costly, and doesn’t earn enough to support the expense, so we unfortunately have had to shelve the idea of translating future games for the time being.

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?
A) Yes!

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) 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.

Q) How do I transfer purchases from one platform to another? How do I transfer the purchase of a standalone app into the new Choice of Games omnibus app on iTunes?
We have a whole page just for these questions, here.

Q) How do I download/unlock 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.