Hi, I'd like to introduce myself, I'm Sam Landstrom, owner and founder of Delight Games and I make interactive fiction for mobile (Google Play and Apple's App Store). There's a lot of people on here who are passionate about storygames and so I wanted to invite you all to check out the gamebooks we've made in the genres of Medieval Fantasy, Horror, Detective Noir, and more. These are stat-driven, so if you're familiar with "Choice of Games", I'd say we're in that ballpark.
My games are not for everyone and so I'll say a few things about them to perhaps save you some time:
- I'm just on mobile phones and tablets.
- These are farther on the story side of the story/game gradient, which means a lot of railroading and NO customization of the character you play. Think of a typical novel with a set protagonist who has their own gender, sexuality, personality, goals, etc. You play this person and make choices in the best interest of him/her with the hope of survival and to get the highest score you can. These are super stripped-down gamebooks.
- I would not classify these as "free". On Google Play, with patience and a willingness to play rewarded videos, you can play all the content for free. On iOS, the first chapter of each series is free (no ads), but you have a paywall for subsequent chapters. I can get into the "why" of this in this thread if anyone asks.
Anyway, interactive fiction readers/creators like you are a rare breed and one that's close to my heart. Here are a few promo codes which will get you Premium ($29.99 normally) on Google Play for free. If you snag one, please comment with "Got 1", "Got 2", etc. because they can only be used once and there's no point in others trying to input a code that's expended.
8) dibs --M
Here's instructions from Google on how to use it: Open Play Store app. Swipe to right at the left side of the screen. Tap on Redeem. Enter your code and tap on REDEEM.
I'm not offering iOS promo codes at the moment because promo codes on iOS are a pain and they expire quickly. If people really want them, I might be able to dig some up.
If you miss out on a code, you can still try it out for free.
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.delightgames.delightgames
Finally, if you have feedback or questions, I'll try to respond here. Like many of you, I find the art and business of IF fascinating!
Thank you for the codes and for being upfront about the cost and what it is. I have played and enjoyed a few of the games in the past, but they may not be someone who is used to this site would expect. Still, they are fun.
Nice. Yeah, I feared being accused of "bait and switch" or otherwise pissing people off. I'm sure folks on here are accustomed to a different style of game.
Deep Space Huntress is the only sci-fi in the library, actually. It didn't do that well commercially so I didn't green-light any more. Medieval Fantasy is our strongest genre right now and that's where I'm focusing this year.
Glad to hear you like set protagonists. I feel that brings the most immersive storytelling and it certainly makes it easier on me as a writer.
Oh, also, I prefer writing Medieval Fantasy.
Yes, they are, or so my blind testers have said. I'm sure of this for Google Play and I'm pretty sure for iOS.
Caveat is that these are ad-supported through Google's AdMob network and I can't vouch for ads not blowing up the accessibility. Blind users usually pay to get rid of ads, I think. BTW, according to a pretty good sized pole I did in partnership with a literacy researcher from the University of South Carolina, about 3% of my users are blind.
Nice. If she finds any issues, I'd like to hear about it. I have done a lot of updates since my accessibility tests and you never know what might creep in.
Owning an Amazon tablet, most promising apps don't usually come my way. However, you would not believe the delight I felt when I saw your app on the Amazon app store.
Btw, many people here (myself included) love to read this sort of thing. Cheers!
Awesome! I presume you're talking about the "Actually Free" version of the library on Amazon? That's a lot of free content and it is pretty full-featured; however, I've run into some technical difficulties with updates on Amazon and so it hasn't been updated in several months and I'm not sure when I'll be able to update it, particularly since Amazon is such a small part of my business now.
The Fire is an Android, but Google services have been replaced with Amazon brand apps, including the appstore. Problem is, Amazon app store is very limited.
I didn't grab a key, so the other 8 should still be available.
I took #5. Thank you.
Oh, I know these games! Keep doin what you're doin!
Thanks! I hope to for years to come. :)
Looks like a promotional message - which would make sense, considering a lot of the site's users are within his product's demographics.
Promoting and answering questions right now. I have worked with a bunch of contractors over the years, but I have more content on the backlog than I can handle at the moment. A few months down the road I might start sniffing around for a writer again--probably a medieval fantasy specialist. This seems like a really good place for me to post something like that.
Hi, big fan of your games and ‘wizard’s choice’ was the very first CYOA styled story I read (and probably is the reason for me getting addicted to CYOA stories). Paladins was pretty good too. Currently waiting for chapter 10 of rogues, really excited about it!
Thanks for the promo code I took #10.
Thanks for the props!
Yeah, I was working on Rogue's Choice chapter 10 today. At the moment, the chapter is taking a sexual detour. It will be interesting to see how much of this remains after the edit and how readers react. Having Premium, you'll be among the first to see it.
Also, Ranger's Choice 1 is almost out of edit. That's going to be a change of pace too. That will go live before Rogue's 10.
I grabbed 9, thanks. I played a couple games a while ago, and actually had some coins saved up on my old phone, but lost them when I switched to a new one, so this is pretty awesome.
Good timing. I hope you enjoy Premium.
Your games sound pretty in line with what I would like based on what you described. It would be great if you could give out a few iOS promo codes since I don’t own an Android device.
You got it, see below.
Oh, and here are the iOS codes for Premium. It wasn't as big a pain as it used to be.
But only briefly.
In my experience, most writers are too nice. Anyway, no one was going to read it, anyway. Now maybe 20 will.
Does anyone know where I should actually put that code, because I'm a luddite with no knowledge of tech?
If you're using a mobile device like I assume most people are, enter the app store, tap the little head icon at the top right and then "redeem gift card or code".
Got 10. Thanks!
Got 4, thanks a lot!
I've got #7. Much appreciated.
Got 1 of the IOS. Cheers, man. Looks great!
I've played a game with an exactly identical format to this (it's called "Paladins: Choices Game"), and the one issue I have is with the scoring system. Scores work well for storygames with clear objectives, but when almost every choice either adds to your score or doesn't it suggests that there's always a right choice and a wrong choice rather than letting the player explore whichever pathway he pleases. I'm not sure if the chapter format of your games allow for significant branching, but if it does, the score system also suggests one true path rather than multiple equal pathways, and in fact I believe that it probably influences the author to write out unequal outcomes for their option when that doesn't necessarily have to be the case. Now, of course the player can ignore the score and just play as if it doesn't exist, but I think we can all agree that that's pretty difficult. Of course, I'm sure there are those who enjoy the "game" aspect of having a score, and it's probably easier for the author and publisher (you) to work within the existing format.
The scoring system not withstanding, the writing is of great quality and length for a mobile storygame app so far as I can tell so far. I hope you keep it up!
Paladins is very similar to my other games because I developed Paladins too and in fact that story is included in the full library on Google Play. Paladins is actually a traditional novel by David Dalglish which I took wholesale and "gamified" using the scoring system you mention (with David's permission). I added about 50% of the original content (~40k words of what had been 80k) in order to create little branches. It was an experiment. I wanted to see if I could take a normal novel, almost any novel, and make it into a game. I'm pretty happy with the result and the ratings were amazing, but it came at the cost of severe "railroading". The story always had to come back to the main "trunk" and it had to do it quickly because of the traditional novel format. Because of this railroading, the only significant effect I could make for the reader making one choice over another was to give them a short branch of different story and use the stat and so in my mind, I basically made "good", "ok", and "bad" outcomes. I wanted these outcomes to be non-obvious while logical to the reader, at least in hindsight. Anyway, that's the goal, but it's more an art than a science, and so I miss sometimes.
You're right, if you play it without regard to what you think will be best for the character, you'll die or at least get a low score for the chapter. I get a good amount of feedback that this isn't great, particularly if they don't agree with the outcomes. :) I even started adding achievements like "Should have worked" since there are plenty of times when a choice seems pretty logical, but just doesn't turn out for some subtle reason that most readers wouldn't expect.
Glad you dug it. I always wonder how the achievement system goes over with readers.
I think the way it's set-up makes the achievement system pretty fun.
I'm glad the mechanic was intriguing. I really try not to make the reader "metagame" where they feel they need to do what the author wants them to do rather than what best for the situation. I remember running into this with CYOA books as a kid. "Do you want to go into the creepy house" or "Go home?" I knew to go into the house otherwise it would either end (lamely) or force me into the house anyway.
Deep Space Huntress was one of the early Delight Games so I don't remember it well. I tweaked some of the choices, branches, and consequences, but most of the game design and writing was Robert Kroese (indie traditional novelist).
I grabbed #3 for Android. Thanks!
Definitely need to take a closer look at this at some point. This looks like it could be a very nice little side-project. ^_^
Hi, you were really helpful when I contacted you a while back when I lost all my saved data. Just wanted to drop in and say thanks for that and that I'm really enjoying reading Witch Saga and Detective's choice in particular at the moment :)
Thanks! I try to stay on top of mail, although it's sometimes tough as a one-man show. I'm glad I could help.
Thank you for the detailed feedback! It's particularly useful because I shipped Ranger's Choice only a few days ago and I suspected that there will be some kinks to smooth out. For example, I have gotten about 30 typo fixes from customers already despite that title going through an edit.
Your suspicion was correct, there is a large image on the first page after the second paragraph, so that is what you ran into. I thought those images were accessible, but maybe not. I'll have to check to make sure the "alt" text is working correctly. I don't currently use a lot of interior art, so I suppose there's a silver lining to that.
Yeah, I used to have the morale going down in that scene, but since it was something everyone ran into, regardless of choice, I removed it. Maybe I'll revisit that.
I do generic titles for the sake of search and better click-through-rates on the mobile stores. For instance, D&D fans will immediately know what a "Ranger" is and the "Choice" might help clue them in that they will be able to make choices that character. I use pragmatic titles instead of literary ones. :)
Don't feel bad about grabbing the promo. That's what it's for and I'm just happy you're using it.
Wow, this is great feedback and so detailed, thank you!
I love Azizella and can't wait to put up another chapter from her perspective. Right now, I'm focused on "Rogue's Choice" which overlaps with Azizella's story.
No, Azizella doesn't like to identify as a demon. Somehow the irony of the title never struck me until you mentioned it.
Ha, I chuckled a few times as I wrote the kinght revenge scene. I hoped most readers would choose that option.
It pleases me that you got pretty high scores. I presume you're an experienced interactive fiction reader/player and so the fact that you were able to guess choices well enough to survive/thrive extends hope to me that the outcomes are relatively logical. Hopefully you died on occasion, though. I don't want it to be too easy.
Yeah, I want to fix the stat thing at some point. You're right that they are designed so that the player doesn't have it too easy/hard for the chapter. It also provides a good "reset point" for when people restart a chapter. I never persisted stats because I figured it would be a testing nightmare...On the other hand, when I first designed these games, I didn't have the "boosting" feature for stats and so maybe I could just push stats through from chapter-to-chapter. I see a possible A/B test for some day in the future.
The linear thing is hard to fix for the reason you mention, not to mention the sheer amount of writing, testing, etc required. Mizal told me my games are "gauntlet" style, which I think is a perfect term and I don't see that changing. But who knows? Maybe I could try this with one of my most popular chapters and measure the restarts and other engagement. It might be worth it.
Well, I'm glad you died a few times. There was way too much material there for me to feel good about you just sailing through it!
Yeah, the rival succubus was supposed to be tricky and reasonably clever (succubi are never stupid). That might not have been fair...I should add a "Life ain't fair" achievement, although that would be a little like the "should have worked".
If you play any more series, I'd love to hear your feedback.
Rogue’s choice was released before the Succubus one, if I remember correctly. So it’s fine. I haven’t read the succubus one yet and I’m on the tenth chapter of rogues
Correct. You can read any of the series in any order, although it might be slightly better to read Wizard's Choice first since the other series take place later. Rogue's now has 11 chapters (just released 11 a few days ago) and has a bit more of a sense of completion, although neither Demon's or Rogue's is yet complete.
Now I'm writing both Demon's and Rogue's at the same time, releasing chapters in one series or the other and having their paths cross.
Thanks for checking it out!