I hope you all liked my clickbait title.
I have had a forum account over at Choice of Games for a year now. I've purchased their games for probably six or more years. I've lurked here too and read a lot of the stories (big fan of Endmaster and BerkaZerka and of course Avery/Briar).
I considered making a normal newbie thread but I know you CYSers like this sort of thing so here it is: I am officially DONE with COG, now and forever. I've read a lot of idiotic things on their forum in my time there, but I've been understanding because idiots can be found anywhere.
But THIS just made me see red: https://forum.choiceofgames.com/t/dark-themes-controversy-and-why-meaning-matters/47861/28
This is Jason Stevan Hill, the main admin, turning on his authors and dictating that their words should now be written only to please and pander to people who don't read them.
What does that even mean?
It makes no sense at all and that it's just a reason for an unpleasant man to take petty jabs at Avery and shut down her argument without actually addressing it. Avery is one of the most sensible, well-adjusted people on that forum and Jason has as good as declared he doesn't want anything to do with that. Instead we must think of the readers we're writing works the size of six novels for who the admins believe can't be expected to read three small paragraphs.
Now I might find a lot of the people on the COG forum frustrating or annoying... I actually share some of the sentiments here even if I wouldn't phrase them quite so dramatically... but I don't think any of them are as flat out stupid as Jason has declared them to be.
I used to dream of writing for Choice of Games. I'm about 70k into a fantasy novel I was hoping to turn into a hosted game there in fact once I was able to learn their scripting. This was the last straw for me though, the community is just toxic and set against artistic expression in any way, and that attitude is now proven to go all the way to the top.
I wish my defection meant a little more, I'm a lurker at heart so I never posted much there and probably won't be logged in here much either, but for now I've decided to stop purchasing their games and I hope this thread will bring some of you here a moment of amusement. It's a long post I realize so I hope you have a longer attention span than a COG forum user.
Thanks but...I already have a one year old here slobbering on me, so...I'll pass....
So is smelling hair still an option then though?
100% agree about Jason being a condescending dick in his responses who's veering wildly between assuming malice and saying he just expects more from her because she's one of the good ones.
Honestly the WIP that set this whole thing off seemed unpublishable from the start, so all the fuss around it seems kind of insane. I don't care if Sammy writes whatever he wants to write, but even if HG wanted to publish his game (which he introduced by saying the ways in which he personally relates to serial killers made him interested in the genre), the major storefronts would have rejected it anyway. I just hope the hysteria around this doesn't lead to them cracking down harder on other content that is less clearly over the line. I also hope the stupid forum pissing drama doesn't get in the way of The Price of Freedom's release next month!
Sammy's game could potentially have a large audience, but it doesn't fit the image the site likes to present and that's been obvious for awhile. I did agree with some of his points, there's nothing in the story that wouldn't be in a movie which I'm sure most of the people complaining about his content would go to see without batting an eye. But at the same time it's a bit silly for him to be getting angry at others for being too sensitive when he can't handle criticism himself. His story does interest me but there's no point in hanging around burning bridges and stirring up more drama when it's clearly not a good fit for the site and never was.
The content policies send mixed messages right now, there's the Adult section now and erotica that adults are trusted to make choices over whether or not they'd like to read it, but in other situations it's like they think their readers are children. How many published, popular authors who sell hundreds of thousands of books through a real publisher could even make the cut on Choice of, I wonder.
I also hope there's no issue with Avery's game. I'll temper my earlier statement to say of course I'll be buying Price of Freedom, I've been waiting for it a long time. It's just strange to me that Jason waits until they're this close to publishing to start treating her like that and it almost seems deliberate. Nothing about his post made any sense and it could apply to any post on any forum if he seriously believed that. If someone doesn't read this post and just imagines it's says something completely different, how is that my fault?
Exactly! That's why I didn't even bother responding to that. It made absolutely no sense and was clearly just Jason (and everybody who likes to agree with the boss, purely for the sake of agreeing with the boss) desperately grasping at straws in an attempt to come up with a reason to disagree with me. At the end of the day, if somebody decides that they're going to read one line of a paragraph and take what was said completely out of context without bothering to finish the bloody sentence, then that's their fault, not mine.
Now he's decided that you were committing the serious crime of micro-aggressions against him.
Oh thanks for the heads-up. Jason split the thread to better address the issue and made it is private accusation chamber lol
Here it is https://forum.choiceofgames.com/t/being-better-internet-forum-citizens/47971/15
Well the game is actually free to play with ads, so you don't even need to buy it.
Some of the more popular HG authors do seem to get some backing from crowdfunding. Looks like Eric Moser gets a bit over $200 a month, for instance,and Paul Wang gets $420.
How immature am I that I audibly giggled at the name Paul Wang?
Imagine if his first name was Dong. Now imagine every time you see one of his cyoa, the name DONG WANG was written full uppercase next to the game title.
PIKES OF INFINITY, BY DONG WANG.
Or maybe BANANAS OF INFINITY, BY WANG DONG.
No? What about...
CHOICE OF BROAD SIDES after laughing at the author's name.
Indie authors might stand to make a lot more money, but my issue is that I'm not very tech savvy and I'd have absolutely no idea how to go about creating an indie game. Presumably I wouldn't be able to use Choicescript as a program to sell products that they're making no profit from, so I'd have to either find a program that I could use to publish interactive fiction games on Steam, or I'd have to make one myself (which I can say with almost 100% certainty I wouldn't be able to do.) Then I'd have to figure out how to get the game published on Steam, as well as gather a large enough audience for myself that the game would be profitable.
I'll admit that, for awhile, I was very seriously considering throwing in the towel, publishing all my games for free on either CYS or Dashingdon, and just begging for donations on patreon... But then I was completely shocked to discover that the tone of the thread suddenly became civil.
I really, honestly expected that my comment of "Jason needs to consider the possibility that some of his comments could be considered micro-agressive" would be met with a lot of back-lash... But so far it seem's to be universally agreed with by everyone on the forum, (And by people who I really thought wouldn't agree with it.) I'm really very pleasantly surprised.
That said, Jason hasn't responded to it yet, so everything could change depending on whether his reaction is, "Actually, you make a good point, I'll try to be more careful about what I say in the future," or, "How dare you suggest the possibility that I could ever do anything wrong?" ... Will have to wait and see.
It was pretty wild to see a member of their staff to straight up say that their COO and co-founder doesn't speak for the company. Assuming he doesn't intend to apologize, the best thing Jason can do is to just stay the hell out of it, because doubling down at this point would put everyone in a bad position.
I know, that blew me away! Obviously I was really pissed at a lot of the statements that Jason made, but I think that what really, really got under my skin was that barely anybody on the forums was publicly disagreeing with him, but instead, people were sending me private messages to let me know that they agreed with me. This drove me absolutely insane because I thought, "No one but me is going to try and talk sense into this guy because they're all too afraid of being either banned or publicly shamed for disagreeing with him."
Then, out of nowhere, it all turned around. Everybody backing Jason up and either dismissing or ignoring any point I tried to make, changed into tons of people publicly patting me on the back and saying that they're sorry that I was being singled out... Got to say, I absolutely love that the one thing it took to get so many people in CoG to come to my defense was just me crying, "You hurt my fee-fees!" like a little bitch.
That said, Gower's post just made me realize what I said before was wrong. It wasn't all the people that usually agree with Jason agreeing with me... It's mostly completely different people. In fact, Mary Duffy and Blossom are the only two people I can see who agreed with both Jason's main post and mine... Either way, I hope that having so many people publicly defend me (including a staff member and a moderator) will at least make Jason take my comment seriously. ^_^
I've got to say, I feel really really happy with the CoG forums right now. I feel like there's no way that Jason can disagree with or dismiss what I've said without turning the rest of the community against him. And I feel like, now that Mary and Grower have spoken up, people who were originally too scared to say anything don't feel that way anymore. It's also reassuring that all these comments are coming from the Plaza, a place where you'd think the majority of people would be agreeing with Jason purely for the sake of agreeing with Jason. (I've also been getting a surge of PMs from people who don't have access to the Plaza, saying they wish they could say something on there.)
Anyway, @mizal @Moxie do either of you think you might reconsider bycotting the forums if the end result of this were for the other CoG members of staff collectively giving Jason a slap on the wrist and telling him, "No more hurting people's fee-fees?"
Are those the people selling on mobile?
Well this is quite the entrance. As Mizal said we were already talking about it on Discord (I came across it while following another thread) but it's always nice to see that some COGites are aware of the state of that forum. I'm not on COG so I don't really know that Jason guy, but I hope he was in an altered state of mind or whatever self-diagnosed temporary mental disorder a COGite might have. I really can't bring myself to think that a mod condemned a post on a writing site because some retards might not be able to read it all or understand it.
Anyway, welcome on board. Feel free to participate (or keep lurking I guess).
Lol I saw that thread earlier, a lot bullshit being spewed on there by the usuals, but that's pretty much the norm for CoG.
In any case, I'd chime in with my two cents seeing as I actually know something about how to write "dark content" but I honestly have no dog in the fight and it wouldn't be a good use of my time considering it would just get mass flagged and deleted in two seconds. I've sort of touched on the topic before over there anyway.
I've mentioned what suicidal Sammy's problem was, which is he tried to write his edgelord story on there in the first place. There was no way in hell that was going to happen. His second problem is he let a bunch of whining faggots get to him.
CoG's a private company and can dictate what they want to publish obviously, but I've never agreed with how they treat most of their authors as second class citizens or their ideology of writing by safe space committee.
I'm impressed that Briar managed to catch the ire of Jason though.
This situation with Jason really bothers me. Maybe he feels like he can treat Avery like garbage because they've got another gladiator game lined up already. (I'm sure that's reading too much into and he just was being an asshole without any further agenda but the fact that he's supposed to be representing a business...)
Their head admin will openly attack Avery but the site won't fail to take their cut of the money from the story she wrote and they assume she can't do anything but put up with it, that's the crux of this for me.
... Well, all I can say is thank you very much, this made my day. ^_^
Honestly, I'm trying not to be all that phased by the whole thing. At the end of the day (despite what a lot of the users might be in favour of) HG don't seem to be in the habit of censoring stuff that falls within their guidelines. (POF has a scene in it where it's heavily implied that a woman is raped, for no other reason than to demonstrate how bad the situation is. I haven't been advised to delete this scene, and the publication date is set for late January, so I can only assume that they're okay with it.)
I think the only thing I've taken away from this is to never, ever, EVER attempt to have a civil, respectful conversation on CoG. It's basically like going into a forum of flat earthers and trying to explain to them why you think the world is round. Ultimately, it's only going to frustrate you and waste your time, since they will completely disregard everything you say, no matter how much sense it makes, because they already decided that they were going to disagree with you before you even started talking, and if you make a point that they can't argue with, they'll just desperately change the subject to avoid admitting that what you said was right.
I still intend to use the CoG forums (assuming I don't get myself banned somehow or other) but I think I'm going to restrict my activity there to soley posting on my own WIP threads, and giving feedback to other games, because trying to explain to people that it's okay to have a difference in opinion sometimes is like bashing my head against a brick wall.
To finish off, I think all of my thoughts can be summed up with a PM I received from one of the users on CoG (I'm blurring out their name and profile pic out of respect for their privacy.) On the one hand, I really appreciated the message, but on the other hand, I think it's incredibly sad that they sent this to me as a PM, since (presumably) they were too afraid to post their opinion on the forums because they feared that they would receive negative backlash from the community if they dared to publicly disagree with Jason.
Oh, okay. (That's strange because it's working for me.) Anyway, the message reads as such:
I don’t like the way Jason is speaking to you right now. I am sorry you’re having to go through this. I just want you to know that I don’t agree with what he’s saying because you are obviously trying to champion the company and are basically getting slapped in the face by the boss of the company for doing so.
I believe it to be completely unfair, and I am reaching out to you in an attempt to say that you are not alone, and you are doing nothing wrong.
After my long hibernation I come back to this crap? I've felt like the overall quality of the COG games has begun to diminish and looking at what happened, it's easy to see why. Of all the people to pick a bone with, Avery seems to be the least of them. One would actually have to try and be a giant asshat in order to do that. Jason's attitude is troubling for a vast number of reasons, not the least of them being that I actually like Avery.
That being said, I think COG is headed towards hell from the atmosphere that Jason appears to be creating. Right now, COG is enjoying its status as the big game in town. It seems like Jason is happy to marginalize and abuse authors because to him authors like Avery are all replaceable. He's happy to take their money and then smack them around because "where else will they go?" He's too stupid to realize that in writing, like any other profession, not all writers are equal.
The fact that people would feel the urge to message you privately to show support over a clearly not private issue indicates to me that Jason is creating a climate that is going to encourage either an exodus or a mutiny in the long run. My only hope is that his inevitable Kurtz-like veil rending is public so that no matter where he goes after this, he'll be reminded of how he treated the people he actually depended on to make a living.
Also, if there's anybody who knows, I'm curious about the structure of CoG. I always assumed that Jason was the one in charge, but based on what he said, it seems like he disagrees with the guidelines of HG, and thinks that they should be more restricting with their content. From this, I can only assume that he doesn't set the rules of HG himself, and that there's somebody else who gets to decide.
I remember somebody mention another CoG high up (who, from what I remember, was described as being significantly more reasonable) but I don't remember what their name was, or what their position in the company was.
As far as I knew I thought Jason was in charge of all that shit or at least had the final say in it.
Though I know there's another guy Dan Fabulich who I've had some discussions with (on here in PMs) and he's generally more reasonable so maybe he's in charge of the HG thing.
That's probably the guy I'm thinking of. ^_^
I’m honestly super proud of you. Stick it to those stupid idiots.
I've literally just realized that I've seen two people say that they're going to boycott CoG/HG because of Jason, and only now thought to say that this definitely isn't what I want to se happen at all. Obviously I don't think that many people will boycott it, at least not enough to make a difference in sales, but even if there were, I really don't want to see that happen.
The important thing is, Jason is not the only person who would be affected by a boycott, the authors would be to. Authors who have put a massive ton of work into the games and who deserve for their work to be appreciated. Granted you can say, "But authors only get 25% percent of the profits and CoG gets 75%" but that 25% is going to be extremely important to the author. Also, not all of the 75% is going to Jason. A lot of the money is going to other members of staff at CoG. Ones who I've communicated with a lot while getting my games published, and ones who have been extremely helpful to me. CoG literally pays these people's bills.
Basically, buy games you want to play, don't buy games you don't want to play, but don't boycott the site just because you don't like Jason.
I never bought anything from them to begin with, and I decided to never do so a long time ago since again I never agreed with their ideologies, business practices and them just being all around faggots.
But then people won't buy my games... And I like money!
In all seriousness though, keep in mind that a full on mass boycott will be extremely damaging to the interactive fiction community (specifically, the writer's). As far as I am aware, CoG is the only company in the world who soley publish Interactive Fiction novels. Author's who want to write for profit LITERALLY have nowhere else to go. If there was somewhere else to go, I would've gone a LONG time ago.
Yes, but the problem is that the authors have to promote themseleves. Authors on CoG and HG don't need to promote themselves because they already have a large fan base.
Got another really nice PM on CoG. These things restore my faith in humanity:
You are not a bad forum citizen.
What Jason categorized as a negative conjecture is basically just a response to a point that was already made. It appears to me that the rule he is trying to convey is that illustrating a point you argue or criticize with a verbose hypothetical is not allowed when that point contains any shred of negativity.
I just wanted to say that I personally think you were actually doing a great service to the community and shutting you up was counter-productive. I felt like clicking a heart next to your post wasn’t the good enough of a way of sending that kind of message.
You're all probably bored of me sharing PMs to inflate my own ego by now... But I really like this one! ^_^
I’m glad that my message helped you a bit. I just wish there was more that I could do for you. Ugh, between the Plaza and the “Lounge” categories, this place is becoming even more of an elitist echo chamber where the masses are silenced and the staff are just surrounded by a bunch of mindless “yes men”. Actually, it reminds me of growing up in Russia haha.
Not at all, it's pretty amusing to see underground resistance at CoG.
Jason pretty much fucked himself by splitting that thread and getting involved in the first place.
But he said, "Growing up in Russia" ... Which presumably means he isn't there anymore.
... You guys are going to love me forever. ^_^
Lol that's great.
Gower must have had a minor seizure reading that, poor guy.
I love Gower. Poor guy tries so hard to keep things civil
Well we already loved you before, but of course this just makes us love you all the more.
This probably won't be a popular opinion here, but I think you were better off taking the W if he just continued to avoid the thread after that since his staff was already more or less agreeing that he was out of line. You clearly had the high ground in your earlier response, and while I still think you're more in the right than he is, the new reply was pretty combative and seems to have people who'd come out in favor of the points you made backing away now.
Yeah, it was probably a bad call... Still, I had to do it. I didn't do it because "Wa! Jason was mean to me and I'm going to tell him off!" I did it because people are fucking BOYCOTTING THE COMMUNITY and I really, really don't want people to boycott the community and I want Jason to do something that will stop people from boycotting the community.
I don't intend to call anyone a liar (or get anyone's back up) by saying this, but honestly I think even people who earnestly intend to boycott the site on your behalf (against your wishes) will probably end up buying games in the future (if they ever were going to in the first place) once this dies down, particularly if you continue to publish through that company. It would be great if Jason does offer some sort of apology, which I do think is deserved, but you've said all there is to say, and (as your last comment there acknowledges) it's not worth getting stressed out about--the ball's in his court.
Holy shit,Elwynn massively misread your post and is making an idiot out of herself.
The good news is that people are starting to correct their posts after it's made clear what's actually being discussed. IMO the amount of confusion would be a good reason for a mod to actually shut the thread down at this point though.
Edit: And as I posted this, they did just that.
Yeah, but... It inconveniences Moxie quite a bit. The game she has in the works is almost as long as the entirety of Dryad's Riddle... That's a lot of work to put into a project, only to decide that you're not going to submit it to the only company in the world that publishes IF games for profit because you think the owner of the company is a dick.
The most amusing part is, I'm probably going to get yet another PM from Dan since I'll inevitably be blamed for all of this. When once again, I never did anything to begin with over there.
I imagine I'll be the first person banned from CoG without even breaking any of its rules.
EndMaster Alt #4158 reporting for duty, sir.
I'm genuinely in dis-belief that you haven't been banned already.
Because I've never broken any rules on there. The closest "controversial" thing I did was when you had your thread asking about tranny characters (Or whatever it was) and I pointed out some truths on there that went against the status quo.
As I told Dan in a PM at CYS, normally I read through CoG threads and just roll my eyes at the retarded posts, but given that you were getting mobbed on by the usual screaming queen crowd, I felt a little more defensive I briefly chimed in with a few comments and that would have been it and then the usuals started bitching at me so I responded to them as well. And I’ll point out, I STILL conducted myself according to CoG’s rules because I actually know how to act in someone else’s house.
Of course it was all sort of pointless because in typical CoG fashion, all they did was lock the thread and unlist it like it all never happened because there was too much dissent. The only surprising thing is it wasn’t deleted altogether.
There always seems to be some idea going around that I’m getting people to “troll” the COG forums like some Internet Sauron (Not that I’m complaining about the comparison of course), which is amusing since I’ve said many times in the past to specifically NOT do that mainly because it’s a pointless endeavor in the first place.
There wasn't nearly as much “ill will” between the two sites as everyone thinks anyway, people from both sides routinely bounce back and forth depending on their mood. Some are obviously going to be more loyal to one place. Honestly they made a much bigger deal of the Discord thing than it was. Would have been forgotten as quickly as it started.
But if Dan (or anyone else) thinks they’re going to step into someone else’s house and tell them to run things (like saying to delete the Mean Girls thread), yeah that’s not happening. Seriously, the IF forums ended up as another net nanny state as soon as Dan showed up dictating what rules should be put in place to make the place more “safe.”
I’d rather see CYS die than see it become some “CoG-lite.”
In any case, currently with this Jason fiasco of putting his foot in his mouth by calling you out and generally throwing a temper tantrum like a toddler, is doing way more damage to CoG’s rep than anything I could do. As can be seen obviously.
Hell, according to Haverstone, I'm routinely posting my "2 minutes of Hate" on here.
Obviously I'm slipping if it's only two minutes, I've been trying for a perpetual motion machine of it. (Hence the time warp incident, yeah that was me too. Lol)
"As I told Dan in a PM at CYS, normally I read through CoG threads and just roll my eyes at the retarded posts, but given that you were getting mobbed on by the usual screaming queen crowd, I felt a little more defensive I briefly chimed in with a few comments and that would have been it and then the usuals started bitching at me so I responded to them as well. And I’ll point out, I STILL conducted myself according to CoG’s rules because I actually know how to act in someone else’s house."
*Swoons* My hero!
... Yeah, I shouldn't have posted the comment. Things ended civilly before. I should've left it there. >.<
To be fair, Eiwynn changed her comment afterwards.
Now that I think about your picture seems very familier.. perhaps it resembles something.... anyway the only way to end somthing civilized is to escalate it in a civilized manner (assuming you are the only civilized person involved)
Hmm... Unlikely because I drew the picture myself. The only other site where you could possibly have seen it is on an old roleplaying website called Myrealms, (which no longer exists)
Just want to clarify that when I said, "3 people are not worth it," I didn't mean, "3 people aren't worth me pissing off people on CoG and turning the community against me." 3 people are totally worth that. (Hell, 0 people are worth that. If someone is being a dick, they should be called out on being a dick.)
What I mean is, "3 people are not worth me getting so fucking stressed to the point that I'm neglecting my boyfriend, I can't sleep, I can't concentrate at work, and I'm wasting fucking hours of my time trying to change people's minds, when I already know that they're not going to change their minds anyway." It's such a fucking waste of time that I should be spending doing other things. Hell, I should be fucking writing!
MeltingPenguins thought Avery was talking about people boycotting because of Sammy's mother murder game, and edited her post after I explained that it was people boycotting because of Jason's boorish behavior toward her instead. I'll go back to lurking soon, but I tried to do a good deed or two first by clarifying some things for people where it seemed like it might be helpful.
Jason just reopened the topic, so this may not be over yet.
I actually had a very civil series of PMs with MP where I explained why Moxie boycotted, and she said that it sucks and she hopes I can get her back. ^_^
I would also be willing to lift economic sanctions if Jason himself came to this thread and publicly admitted to being either a twatwaffle or a human centipede from outer space.
Instead, Jason deleted this paragraph from Avery's post in the Dark Themes thread today:
Lastly, (and this is just my opinion and I completely get it if people disagree) I think that some of the things in the thread were very damaging to the community in a way that nobody wants, and I think it might be best if the thread was deleted and, if anybody said anything in that thread that they feel is important and needs to be said, they could either say it in other threads, or even create a new thread to address it. I think that Jason’s list regarding “Being Better Internet/Forum Citizens” could have been received SO much more positively if the list was just posted on it’s own, instead of this thread being split and the list being posted following a series of comments that I’d made.
... Yeah, not sure why he deleted that.
HOW DARE YOU HURT MY SAFE SPACE U... MICRO-AGRESSIVE... ANTI-MINORITY... uhm... MODERATORPHOBIC WOMAN!
Wait, did i just commit macro-agression? I also assumed her gender...
Also, aren't women considered a minority over there?
Interesting. So CoG jumped from Social Democracy with veiled censorship directly into totalitarism. Next, folks, we'll see the great purges, which is just Jason banning people that disagree with his bullshit (and that are still bothering to post at CoG).
Okay, fixed it!!!
"Avery, I’m glad to see that we’ve come to more of a mutual understanding."
"I hope that makes sense. And thank you for taking the time to engage in this dialogue with me."
... I'll take it.
... Anyway, I think that "I’m glad to see that we’ve come to more of a mutual understanding," is the best I'm going to get, so @Moxie, I know that 70k words is a lot of effort to put into a game and I really don't want that to be wasted.
So, if not because Jason has proven himself of being capable of posting one single sentence that doesn't make him sound like a complete twat... I hope you'll consider coming back because of the fact that I shamelessly humiliated and debased myself to the point where I publicly sucked his dick JUST to try and convince him to say something civil JUST so that you would come back!