Write a Hosted Game

Writing for Hosted Games

Anyone can publish a game under the Hosted Games label. Hosted Games are written without editorial support from Choice of Games, and you do not need to submit your ideas in advance.

At this time, we can only publish Hosted Games in English, but we do accept submissions from non-native English speakers written in English.

Hosted Games authors may be invited to pitch us to write for Choice of Games after publishing a Hosted Game.

Hosted Games Publishing Process

Step by step:

  1. You independently write and complete a game written in ChoiceScript.
  2. You complete a public beta test of your game on our forum. This must be a beta of the full, entire, complete game, not a demo of some portion.
  3. Submit your game on our Hosted Games submission form or by emailing the files to hg-submissions@choiceofgames.com. You will also be asked to provide assets (icon, cover art, etc.) for publication.
  4. Your game will be reviewed for content, and when that review is complete, you will receive a contract for your game.
  5. Not all Hosted Games are released on Steam. If your game is at least 150,000 words long, we will let you know whether your game is eligible for a Steam release once the content review is complete.
  6. If we deem your game appropriate for Steam, we will send it to copyedit at this time.
    • Copyediting will take time. Depending on the length of your game, months is an appropriate time frame.
    • Copyeditors will make direct changes to your game files, correcting typos, grammar, and improving clarity.
    • Copyeditors adhere to the Choice of Games Style Guide. However, Hosted Games authors are not bound by that Style Guide. If there are specific things about your prose that you do not want changed, or you want a proofread instead of a copyedit, you must state so when submitting your game.
    • Copyeditors will also make a list of “notes” that point out inconsistencies, sensitivity issues (akin to the Content Review), and/or other points for your consideration.
    • You are welcome to reject individual changes by copyeditors, especially if you feel the copyeditor didn’t understand your intention somewhere. You may also choose to do little or nothing with their sensitivity notes, if you have our approval. We are happy to delineate what must be changed from what should be changed from what we would like to see changed.
  7. Once received, reviewed, approved, possibly copyedited, and under contract, your game will go into a publishing queue; Hosted Games are published roughly on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Hosted Games Editorial Requirements

  • Games must be at least 30,000 words long; the word count includes code.
  • Games must not contain deeply offensive material, such as scenes that glorify sexual violence or racist attitudes.
  • Games must undergo beta testing on our forum at forum.choiceofgames.com
  • Games cannot infringe on other people’s intellectual property; we can’t host a Harry Potter or Star Wars game.
  • The title of the game cannot contain the word “choice.” We reserve the word “choice” in game titles for games distributed under the Choice of Games label.
  • The title of the game must be 30 characters or less. This is a hard requirement of the Google and Apple platforms.

We can’t publish AI-generated content

Hosted Games will not publish art, code, or prose that was generated via AI, due to ongoing legal uncertainty around the copyright of AI-generated content.

Your submission, including all artwork, must be created by a person or group of people who have the legal rights to publish it, and we have to provide them credit in the Credits.

The forum permits AI-generated artwork in “Work In Progress” games. Before publishing with Hosted Games, all games must undergo beta testing on our forum at forum.choiceofgames.com, in a “work in progress” (WIP) thread. It’s OK to use AI-generated images in in WIP projects, as long as you replace the AI images with human-generated ones before submitting for publication with Hosted Games.

We permit but strongly discourage the use of AI translators (including Google Translate). Automatic translation works OK for short articles, but it rarely works well for longer works. If you do use automatic translation, we strongly recommend that a native English speaker review all the material you submit for publication.

Hosted Games Contract

  • Your work will receive a 25% royalty on the revenue we receive from distributing your game. (This includes money from advertising, in-app purchases, direct sales where applicable, etc.)
  • You will retain full IP rights on your game, granting us an exclusive, perpetual license to publish your multiple-choice game electronically.
  • You cannot publish the same story in a competing format (Twine, Ren’Py, Choices/Chapters/Episodes, CYOA book, Visual Novel, etc).
    • You can publish sequels, prequels, spin-offs, etc in a competing format.
    • You can publish the same story in a non-competing format (traditional book, side-scrolling computer game, animated computer game).

Hosted Games Publishing Details

Hosted games are published on:

  • Our website
  • iTunes App Store for iPhone, iPad, and iPod
  • Google Play Store
  • Amazon Kindle Fire (Amazon Appstore for Android)
  • Publication on Steam is subject to approval

Required Assets for Publication

  • Art (as .pngs unless otherwise noted)
  • Textual
    • Descriptions
    • Screenshot scene
    • Credits (including art credits)
    • Brief author bio
    • Genre Tags (look at the genres in the Search feature of the Hosted Games app)
    • Similars (other games published by Hosted Games whose players might like your game)
    • Steam Tags (excluding default ones: CYOA, Text-Based, Single-Player, Interactive Fiction)
  • Testing
    • You must post the game for a full public beta on the forum for at least one month prior to submission. It cannot just be a demo; it must be the full game.
    • The game MUST PASS Quicktest and Randomtest. Never submit filesets that do not pass both tests.

Other Issues/Frequently Asked Questions about Writing for Hosted Games

    • We accept work from authors under the age of 18 for Hosted Games. This requires a parent or guardian to be a signatory to your contract.
    • We accept work from authors outside the U.S.
    • At this time, if you live or work in a country without a tax treaty with the United States, we ask that you contact us at hosted-submissions@choiceofgames.com before submitting a Hosted Game. Prospective authors for Choice of Games who are residents of countries without tax treaties with the United States should also let us know that at the beginning of the process.  Canada, Mexico, most Western European countries, many Asian countries, and some African and Latin American countries have a tax treaty with the U.S. See full list here: https://www.irs.gov/businesses/international-businesses/united-states-income-tax-treaties-A-to-Z
    • We pay authors advances and royalties via secure electronic deposit, PayPal, or if necessary, by cheque. PayPal is accepted in the following countries: https://www.paypal.com/webapps/mpp/country-worldwide
    • Some authors have Patreons to help support their writing. Any ChoiceScript-based content that you give to your patrons must be released to the general public within a month of giving your patrons access.
    • While we are happy to publish games from authors who live in countries that have been sanctioned by the United States—such as the Russian Federation or Iran—we are not able to convey earnings to such authors. Please contact us if you live in a sanctioned country and are interested in publishing with us.