Hosted Games Submission Form

Use this form to submit a completed ChoiceScript game to our Hosted Games publishing program.

If you have questions about or difficulty with this form, email us at hosted-submissions@choiceofgames.com.

Do not use this form to submit to the “Choice of Games” label or any Choice of Games Contest for Interactive Novels. If you are looking to write for the Choice of Games label read this page. The form below is for submitting to the “Hosted Games” label.

Your email address:

Submit ChoiceScript Game Files

This should include all text files of your game. Addtionally this should contain a screenshots scene (which should otherwise not be accessible from in-game). You can read more about how to make a good screenshots scene here.

Drag and drop ChoiceScript .txt files into this box or Browse for files on your local disk.

Submit Promotional Art, Icon, and Splash Screens (optional)

Note that promotional art is optional on submission, but will be required for publishing. If you have questions about what is allowable, please contract us at hosted-submissions@choiceofgames.com before submitting.

Origin: All artwork must be something you made, something that’s in the public domain, or something licensed under a Creative Commons or other license that allows alteration and commercial use. You can do searches online to try to find appropriate images. We may request the origin of artwork for confirmation of public domain or licensing.

Content: Promotional art will be displayed to everyone without age gate or downloading, and as such it must be appropriate for all audiences. This means that art should not contain objectionable content. (Note these content requirements are derived from both the various app stores, and from Hosted Games’ own standards, but to present a cohesive message with games, we find it useful to require all promotional material to conform to a single standard.)

  • Graphic violence: This includes gore and similar imagery, including most uses of both realistic and stylized blood. However it generally does not include violence which does not contain any gore, although such violent may be objectionable by other standards.
  • Nudity or sexual content: This includes imagery that contains or suggests nudity, or that is sexually provocative, such as characters depicted with excessively tight or revealing clothing, in sexually suggestive poses, or with exaggerated sexual characteristics.
  • Crude or offensive imagery, or profanity: This includes any imagery that is gross, distasteful, that implies targeted violence or hate speech, that contains profanity, or that is otherwise objectionable by Hosted Games’ standards.
  • Implicit objectionable imagery: This includes any imagery which suggests something objectionable without showing it, such as by censoring it with black bars, scenery, or other elements of the image, that is stylistically similar to recognizably objectionable material, or that otherwise implies the presence of something that would be objectionable.

Specifications and Sizes: All artwork should be in PNG format, should not contain alpha channels or transparencies, and should use an RGB color model. Additionally all artwork should be in specific sizes, and may have further requirements to be aware of based on their usage as noted below.

  • Icon: A 1024×1024 icon is required, although certain mobile devices will resize this down to as low as 48×48. This icon should not include the name of your game. On iOS devices the corners of the icon will be rounded, and it is recommended that artists be aware of this to account for it in artwork. Additionally we round the corners of Android icons in the same format as iOS for ease of production, and to minimize the number of art assets required.
  • Splash Screens: This screen will be displayed briefly as the game starts (on most devices) and will act as the first screenshot in the mobile app stores. This should not include the name of your game. Note that on iOS phones, the image will have a series of buttons superimposed down the middle, which may obstruct specific elements of the image. Sizes required are: 480×800 portrait (Android), 640×960 portrait (Android, iPhone 4), 1242×2208 portrait (iPhone 5+), 1242×2688 (iPhone X), 1536×2048 portrait (iPad), 2048×1536 landscape (iPad), 2048×2732 portrait (iPad Pro), and 2732×2048 landscape (iPad Pro).
  • Standard Promotional Art: These landscape images will be used in various locations and should include the name of your game in a large font:
    • 480×320 landscape: This is used for the web store, the android stores, and any web links that display images, such as social media posts.
    • 1024×500 landscape: This is used for the android store.
    • 1400×560 landscape (optional, may be requested): This is used for banners on mailers. The format of the mailer assumes this contains the name of the game.
  • Steam Promotial Art (optional, may be requested): Note that Steam publication is subject to approval by Hosted Games based on separate criteria from general game publication. Sizes required are 616×353, 467×181, 460×215, 231×87, 184×69, and all five must include the full title of your game in a large font (in the case of 231×87 and 184×69 it may be appropriate to simply superimposed the title on the artwork). Note that the 467×181, 460×215, and 231×87 sizes will have a demo banner overlay in the upper left corner, and as such the title should either not be in that corner, or a separate demo image should be included that has the title in another location. Additionally, the 616×353 will have a banner over the bottom right corner when on discount which may also cover the title.
Drag and drop Promotional images into this box or Browse for images on your local disk.

Submit *image Files in the Game (optional)

If your game includes in-game images with the *image or *text_image command, you can submit them below.

Drag and drop in-game image files into this box or Browse for images on your local disk.

Automated Tests

We provide two types of automated tests for ChoiceScript, Quicktest and Randomtest.

If you haven’t run these tests before, click the link above to learn how to run the tests on your own. Note that we will also run a more complete set of tests on the game after receiving it as part of the review process. If you’re having trouble with test failures, post a question on our forum in the ChoiceScript Help category.

https://www.choiceofgames.com/tester/choicescript/randomtest.js

Pricing

Monetization Structure: Hosted Games takes recommendations on price and monetization structures from authors, but we also balance these against expectations from the prices and monetization structures of past release. As such we may override recommendations, particularly if they fall well outside of expected player experiences. That noted, we have three primary structures of monetization. We are also capable of mixing and matching these across different stores:

  • Free to try: This is the standard monetization structure we use for most games on most store fronts, unless there is a reason to do otherwise. A trial end point (or set of end points) is required for this (see below).
  • Pay to play: This is now uncommon, because it is detrimental to sales when compared to free to try games. When using this type of monetization structure we still offer a trial on the web version, in the Hosted Games iOS app, and on Steam if applicable, so a trial end point is still required (see below).
  • Free to win: In this monetization structure the entire game is free to play, and is primarily supported by ads. In addition to the banner ads at the bottom of the screen, we may insert full page interstitial ads at intervals and stagger playthoughs with delays during and at the end of the game. The primary purchasable product in this monetization structure is an ad removal (which also removes all game delays). This structure tends to work well on games that are especially accessible in their writing, appeal to a large audience, and are designed with a very high replayability factor. Note that this monetization structure is generally not possible on Steam where we do not (and cannot) display ads (if a free to win game is released on Steam, it will normally be released as Free to try on Steam).

In-App Purchases: We can additionally release some content as In-App Purchases (also known as Downloadable Content on certain storefronts). This is content that is not part of the main game, but which has to be purchased separately. This is used for content that expands or enhances the experience of the game, such as extra points or abilities that are not necessary to win the game but which may makes things significantly easier, or small bits of post development auxiliary content to the game. Note that approval of these is predicated on the absence of a purchase not detrimentally affecting the playing experience (i.e. if something is necessary for enjoying the game, or otherwise is expected in the purchase of the full game, it must be included in the purchase of the game). If you have something that you think should be monetized separately, make sure to tell us in the notes, and we can discuss it.

Trial end: A trial end is required for any game that is not strictly free to win. A trial end should be a specific choice, or set of choices, where the player will select an option and then be presented with a “buy now!” button. It may also occasionally be acceptable to place a trial end behind a page break, but this is generally discouraged, as players are usually most engaged when having just made a decision and awaiting the outcome. It should never be in the middle of a page, to avoid confusion and make the purchase as seamless as possible. We recommend selecting a moment of suspense, where the player just has to know what happens next, and will be eager to pay so they can keep reading. It should generally be somewhere between 10% to 30% of the way into the game, and be representative of the game as a whole (in particular, a game which has a massive change in style should not have that hidden behind a trial end). You can recommend a trial end by either leaving it the Additional Notes section, or by adding *comments to the game files. If your game is exceedingly branchy, or otherwise significantly differs from Choice of Games style, it may be difficult to insert a trial end. In this case, we may have recommendations on how to proceed.

What monetization structure would you like to use for the game?

How much would you like to charge?

Descriptions of Various Lengths

We require a number of promotional descriptions for games. These will be used on the various store fronts, on web meta data (including Google searches), and anywhere else text descriptions are used. All of these should be active, engaging and unique descriptions. Here’s advice on writing good descriptions. We strongly encourage you to submit multiple variations; we’ll help you pick and choose the best.

Note that all character counts are maximums, and include spaces, (e.g. “two words” is nine characters).

Subject: (45 characters) This is used in a number of places where a short, snappy description of the game is needed. They’re also generally used as the foundation of the next two descriptions, and in refining the full description. In general these should highlight some of the most interesting or captivating parts of the game. Remember that these are intended to hook audiences’ attention, and as such they should not include things that are meaningless to people who haven’t played your game, such as fantasy names, or references to specific characters. (We only require one subject line, but consider writing a lot of these; we recommend at least 10, but preferably 20. It’s a grueling process, but this is can be one of the most important lines in catching player’s attention, and getting them interested in playing your game.)

Short: (80 characters) This is used on the Android Google Play Store. Generally this is based on the Subject line, but with a little more detail or embellishment, and as such the same suggestions apply, including that it should not contain the name of the game.

Web: (155 characters) This is the blurb that appears beneath the game’s promotional art on the Hosted Games page, in web meta data, in the Hosted Games iOS app, and on various locations on Steam (if applicable). It’s Google searchable, and is generally the only short description that is long enough to warrant mentioning the genre of the game.

Full: (Unlimited) This is the description that will be used almost everywhere: on the iTunes App Store, in Google Play, on the Choice of Games Website, and anywhere else a full sized description is needed. There’s no character limit to this one, but it generally gets clipped after 200-250 characters with a “Read More” link. For CoG titles, this is generally about a thousand characters in three paragraphs, the second paragraph being our “interactive novel” boilerplate. (Note that the boilerplate includes a place for word count. We use the same method to get the word count on all games, and as such it’s fine to leave it blank.)

Bullets: Finally, under the full description we’ll have a list of six to eight bullet points about the game. (Note that since this is listed along side the full description, it should not duplicate information from that.) For Choice of Games, the first bullet is generally where we mention what gender and orientation options are are available in the game, and we generally encourage Hosted Games to follow the same pattern. If applicable, at least one of the bullet points should also be used for noting what romance options there are (unless it doesn’t contain any). Other than that, try to pick out some of the most interesting goals, or difficult decisions to highlight. Finally, try to make your final bullet point a surprising kicker, so as to hook players who might be on the fence into at least looking at the demo. For example, here’s the list for The Eagle’s Heir:

  • Play as male, female, genderfluid, or non-binary; gay, straight, or asexual
  • Race airships across the English Channel
  • Find romance with a journalist or a lady’s maid, or ménage a trois at the Tuileries Palace
  • Join a motley crew of actors in the revolutionary cause, or spy on them for your allies
  • Duel aristocrats to preserve your and Alexandre’s honor
  • Plan a scandalous elopement which sends Europe into an uproar

Content Rating

Most storefronts require us to submit content rating information. Since our games are unique in their structure on the app stores (i.e. mostly being text and generally lacking images and sound), the full list of storefront questions is overly confusing when it comes to us, and as such we’ve made this shorter list of questions to help simplify this requirement. Note that they should be answered in the context of what games are already published by Hosted Games.

  • Violence: If a game contains any violent content, whether it’s a fist fight, or a battle scene, it should contain at least a rating of mild. A game which goes into explicit gory detail, or that focuses on violence, should have a rating of intense.
  • Alcohol References: A game that contains any references to drinking, being drunk, or alcohol of any kind should have a rating of mild, while a game that centers around drinking, that sensationalizes drinking, or that is otherwise highly focused on drinking, should have a rating of intense.
  • Tobacco References: A game that contains any references to smoking, chewing, or any other forms of tobacco should have a rating of mild, while a game that centers around tobacco, that sensationalizes tobacco, or that is otherwise highly focused on tobacco, should have a rating of intense.
  • Illegal, Medical, or Other Drugs: A game that contains any references to other drugs should have a rating of mild, while a game that centers around drug use, that sensationalizes drug use, that contains passages that explicitly describe drug use, or that is otherwise highly focused on drug use, should have a rating of intense.
  • Sexual Language: A game that implies sex without outright describing it, that contains some sexual language but no explicit sex, or that otherwise contains references to sex should have a rating mild. A game that includes explicit sexual content should have a rating of intense.
  • Profanity: A game that contains mild expletives (e.g. damn or hell) should have a rating of mild. A game that contains strong expletives, or any kind of slur targeted at any marginalized group, should have a rating of intense.
  • Intolerance: While Hosted Games does not published content that is Grossly Offensive, including content that promotes or normalizes intolerance of any kind, it’s possible for games to include a certain amount intolerance in certain areas, so long as it is handled well, it is clear that such characters are not good people, it does not perpetuate stereotypes, and it does not otherwise hurt marginalized groups. For examples, see how race is handled in Choice of the Vampire or how various subjects are handled in The Nightmare Maze. That said, if a game contains some content that may be intolerant, such as misogynistic villainous characters, it should have a rating of mild. If a game contains notable amount of hate directed at marginalized characters or groups, such as the use of racial slurs, it should have a rating of intense.
  • Parody and References: This is specifically for games that contain parody of and references to other works, including both literary and other works. If a game contains only small notes of parody, or minor references, such as characters that bare only superficial resemblance to characters from other works, or the same/similar minor plot points, it should have a rating of mild. If a game contains direct usage of other works, such as by using lines or characters from them, it should have a rating of intense. (Note that this won’t actually be listed as part of content ratings, but checking that such references are acceptable is part of the same review process as content ratings, which is why it is listed here.)
CategoryNoneInfrequent/MildFrequent/Intense
Violence
Alcohol References
Tobacco References
Illegal, Medical, or Other Drugs
Sexual Language
Profanity
Intolerance
Parody and References

Credits

The game will contain a credits page, accessible directly without otherwise disrupting the game.

A Note on Links: Any links to games published on any store front Hosted Games uses should conform to those store’s standards. Generally, this means that links cannot lead to a location where the game is listed as purchasable on other store fronts. The only exception to this is that games published by Choice of Games or Hosted Games may link to the web version of the game (such links will be set up to redirect to the appropriate store front if launched from a supported device, or from inside a Steam app). Links may be removed to conform to app store requirements on external links. (Links in game should conform to the same standard.)

A Note on Names: We are aware that people may use multiple names for many different reasons, and as such we don’t specifically ask for any name other than what should be use in crediting. This means that, whether someone wants to use a different name to maintain their privacy, to use the name they are in the process of changing to, or just want to use a pen name or pseudonym, that should be the name listed here (or in the *author line in the game for you, the author). (Notably, the only exception to this is that we will require a legal name for tax documents, and the contract, but outside of where legally required that will be the extent of the use of that name if it differs from the name to be credited to.)

Website (optional): This should generally be a personal site. That said, anywhere you’re most likely to engage with fans (such as Facebook, Twitter, or other social media) is also an option.

Your Twitter user name (optional):

Author Blurb (optional): This text will be displayed in the game’s credits screen, in the “About the Author” section (if not provided, this section can be omitted). This blurb should be written in the third person and may include links.

Other Credits (required): Anyone that is has contributed to your game other than you should also be credited. If you are submitting finished promotional art for your game, make certain to credit your artist. (If you created the art yourself, it should still be a separate credit, so be certain to note that here too). If you did not pay for art, but did use images from the web, please link the sources of those images. Likewise, if someone helped you with specific contributions to your game, such as editing it, be sure to credit them here too. (Note that if we have your game copy edited we will add credits for that ourselves.) Any credits here can also include a link to a personal website.

A note on beta testers: Your game should also contain a list of beta testers as part of the credits. Generally we recommend asking what name to credit testers with, both out of a sense of professionalism (a list of names generally looks more professional than a list of forum/screen names), and in case a beta tester wants to reference the credit in the future. Note that for listing beta testers, Choice of Games only lists those that meaningfully contributed to the beta test (i.e. we do not credit beta testers which asked to join our betas, but didn’t send in anything, or that only sent back unhelpful notes, such as ‘I liked the game.’) Also note that if a list of beta testers is omitted, we may require you to host your game on the forum for beta testing if the game seems to have lacked proper beta testing or the proper incorporation of beta feedback.

A note on including special thanks: Special thanks can be included in this list of credits too too. Generally it will appear below the “About the Author” blurb, and should be about the same length as it, or shorter. Like the author blurb, it should also be written in the third person.

Additional Notes to Us

Anything you’d like to mention to the staff at Hosted Games.

Generate Package

You still need to provide your email address.
You still need to drag in your ChoiceScript game files.
You still need to provide some promotional images.
You still need to pass Quicktest.
You still need to pass Randomtest.
You still need to provide a 45-character description of your game.
You still need to provide an 80-character description of your game.
You still need to provide a 155-character description of your game.
You still need to provide a full-length description of your game.
You still need to answer questions in the Content Rating section.

I know my package has errors, but I want to submit it anyway.