We’re here to help writers like yourself make a living doing what you love while giving gamers access to original stories that seem to be lacking in the “paint by numbers” space of interactive fiction. Our policies are designed to create a portal that can reach hundreds of millions and stories that can become gaming, streaming, and merchandisable hits.
Our platform is targeted towards 18-35 year olds that have a love for literature, gaming, and interactive fiction. We’re proud of the fact that our platform is inclusive and has stories that are 50% female, 40% people of color, and 33% LGBT. The universe of people that would love stories where the core mechanic is making choices is massive and we intend to expand the market to reach those future gamers.
It’s important to us that we showcase a diversity of stories from folks of different backgrounds covering subject matter that is lacking in gaming. We will not censor content for espousing beliefs or political positions that we internally disagree with. We can only live one life but through great stories, we can experience many. In an increasingly divided world, great stories are one of the main ways to bring us together. And if your story is just for folks to let off steam, that’s fine as well; not every story needs to change the world!
We publish on Apple/Google’s platform and are limited by their content policies. Given their policies are intentionally vague, they are able to have great leeway on how they enforce it and how it evolves. Understand these policies may have to change at the whim of Apple/Google and we will have to follow suit lest we upset our distribution masters.
We’re not going to coddle our players; we want real stories for adults. For those players who want to opt-out of sexual content/nudity, graphic violence, or heavy drug/alcohol use, we’ll simply provide a simple “HBO style” brief warning.
That being said there are a few things that we will not allow on our platform:
- The player may witness violence or sexual violence (e.g. antagonist does something to someone you love) but they may not participate in sexual violence or extreme violence of any kind. Some things simply do not need to be simulated in an interactive format.
- Sex is great. By all means include it. Want to make it rough? Sure, make it 60 Shades of Tales! But your story should have a plotline if you remove the sex; otherwise you’ve created pure erotica and while we have no problem with it, Apple’s judgement hammer will come crashing down. Also, keep that sex legit, legal, consensual and age appropriate (our internal age of consent is 16+, but it’s gotta be legal where you live too).
- Violence needs to have a purpose. We had this pitch about the player knocking off family members to be the sole inheritor of a great fortune. Great, we’d love to play that game! The player may kill people on their journey but overly gratuitous or fetishizing descriptions of
violence against innocent people is not something we want to see on our platform.
- We love a good dating app, especially if it’s at the center of your story, but Tales itself isn’t a dating app. Don’t use your Tales story to solicit sexy messages or pics from your players. They’re here to engage with your creative talents, not looking for love.
- Drugs and Alcohol. The message of your story should not be “drugs/alcohol are great, you should do more”. You can have “Fallout-style” temporary improvements to your player that come with downsides, but there should not be a celebration of this activity.
- At Tales we love a good villain. Whether it’s the mean girl at your high school or a black-clad cyber-man threatening the galaxy: we get it and we dig it. Villains often have problematic viewpoints and while it’s fun to explore the darker side, we don’t want any stories on the platform that try to sell hate groups, terrorist organizations, mass murderers, sexism, racism, homophobia or any other of the other awful “-phobias”, as cool or fun or something to try on for size. Those things suck. We all know it. Your bad guys can be icky but your players and your story shouldn’t be.
- We love a good story! We love your good story even more! However, we only love it if it’s yours. Don’t plagiarize other peoples’ work, either from within the Tales Community or elsewhere. We’ve got great tools for you to use, a helpful community and resources to teach you how to use them, and you’ve got a great brain. Use your brain, not someone else’s.
- To get kind of serious for a moment, self-harm freaking sucks and people struggling with it deserve all of our help and support. However, exploring issues of self-harm can be triggering for players and can sometimes lead them down dark paths of their own. We’re happy to host stories that feature recovery or surviving self-harm, but we won’t allow anything that glorifies self-harm or is in any way educational about how to do it (that was an icky idea to write down and undoubtedly read, sorry). If you are struggling with self-harm here are some resources where you can find experts who can help
- This last rule is the simplest one: we don’t believe in technicalities. You’re an adult and we’re adults, so we can be reasonable with each other. The Tales team are never going to come down on you or your story without warning/reason and we’re going to be as reasonable as the various stores that carry our app allow. However, if you make something problematic and try to sneak it in through a loophole, it’s not gonna work. So, if your cover breaks any of these guidelines, we’re gonna do something about it. Ditto for the title. Ditto for… any other technicalities. We can’t name them all, but when one crops up we’ll deal with it. We’re clever like that.
Happy to discuss these further if you think of anything we didn’t consider. Send us a line at: firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “Content Policies”.
The Tales Team