Battlemage: Magic by Mail — BETA TESTERS NEEDED


(Wishlist it on Steam! It really, really helps)

Use magic to play games of royal intrigue, defeat your enemies, and achieve glory! Will you
kiss royalty, backstab nobles, or win tournaments?

Yesterday you were just a squire, but today you’re an aspiring battlemage! It was a good thing you went to the market for Sir Kelton the other day, or you would never have seen the ad on the wall. “Learn from home!” it said, “Full battlemage qualification by mail!” it said. And now it’s finally here: Your very first battlemage assignment from The Legendary El Cano himself! It’s a bit… open-ended, though. Should you solve it with elemental magic? Or maybe you should use an illusion to fool someone? You could try to raise something from the dead with dark necromancy. Or perhaps a healing spell would impress your legendary teacher?

And don’t forget the “battle” part of battlemage—you still need to learn how to use a weapon of some kind. While you’re deciding all that, there’s still the whole squire thing. You know, the thing that’s funding these magic lessons? Sir Kelton won’t be too happy if he catches you practicing magic, so you might want to act like you actually want to be a knight. Maybe win a tournament or two, or get in good with the royal family—maybe even try your hand at the game of court politics. Or if you really want to get on Kelton’s good side, prove yourself on the battlefield. A mysterious invader is on the border, and you could be the one to stop them. Every hero had to make their start as a squire, right?


Directions for beta-testing:

Email us, beta AT choiceofgames for access. (This changed several months ago, so take note if you haven’t beta tested in a while.)

  • Do not send me DMs/PMs through the forum mail system, Discord, text message, carrier pigeon, or any other method than email.
  • When you send your EMAIL, include:
    – the game you want to test in the Subject line of the email.
    – your forum-name
    – your real name (first and last)
    — if your family/surname comes first, please indicate that. I will assume that your given name is listed first unless you tell me otherwise.
  • Do not email us multiple times about joining a beta. If you don’t email us as soon as we post a beta, you go into a queue. As we post new drafts, we admit more people from the queue. Eventually, we will get to you. When you have been admitted to the beta, we will send you a link, a username, and a password as a reply to your email.

When you have feedback to submit:

  • Return feedback to beta@choiceofgames, preferably part of the same email thread/chain, rather than a new one.
  • Please send screenshots or copy/pasted quotes as often as you can; it helps us track down whatever observation you’re making. In particular, the author may see things that you don’t, and/or the screenshot may contain more information than you realize.
  • If you’re submitting feedback using the Bug/Submit button in the game, make sure you include your handle/name in the body of the email. The Submit button obscures your email address, and I can’t give you credit for feedback if I don’t know who you are.

DO NOT POST ASKING WHAT THE BETA EMAIL ADDRESS IS. The first test to becoming a beta tester is inferring what it is based on the above paragraph.

Lastly, you cannot be testing two games at once. Send feedback on one and you can apply to another.

Tips on How to Give Feedback
I’m looking for “high level” and “low level” feedback. Not mid-level feedback.

Low-level = typos and continuity errors. A continuity error is when a character’s gender flips, or someone comes back from the dead, or you run into a plotline that just doesn’t make sense (because it’s probably a coding error).

For these low-level issues, screenshots are very helpful. If you see a problem, take a screenshot, or copy and paste the text that is in error, and email that.

“High level” feedback has to do with things like plot, pacing, and characters. “Scene A didn’t work for me because x, y, and z,” is useful feedback. “B character was entirely unsympathetic, because u, w, and v,” is also useful feedback.

“Mid-level” feedback describes things like grammar, style, word choice, or the use of commas. As I said above, I do not want mid-level feedback. In particular, DO NOT WRITE TO ME ABOUT COMMAS.

“I had a great time and saw only a few spelling errors,” is not useful feedback. In fact, it’s the sort of thing that results in you not being given access to future betas.

Some examples of useful feedback :
In Choice of the Dragon, you get to choose what type of wings you have: leather or scaled. Someone wrote in and asked about having feathered wings. Great suggestion! Done!

In “The Eagle’s Heir,” someone asked about Eugenie. They said that the romance moved too quickly–because she only appeared in the last third of the game–and wished they could have had an opportunity to meet her earlier. So the authors added an opportunity to meet her and start the romance earlier in the game (in a scene that already existed).

In “Demon Mark: A Russian Saga” several people commented on how the PC’s parents were unsympathetic, so the authors added a choice or two to deepen the relationship with the parents in the first chapter, to help better establish their characters.

Similarly, pointing out a specific choice and saying, “this is who I imagined my character was at this particular moment, and none of these options seemed right for me. I would have liked an option to do X instead,” is also really helpful feedback.

Another useful piece of feedback: if you choose an #option and then the results of that #option don’t make sense. Like, if you thought an #option might test one stat, but it seems to have tested a different one.

13 Likes

Name : Gerben , Atsma
Cog forum : weardmon

Applying to beta test , Magic by Mail

Atsmagerben@gmail.com

I love your enthusiasm! But this is not how you apply to beta test.

1 Like

New draft posted! look for version 23331 and be sure to clear your cache until you see that version on the About page.

  • The “Cowardice” stat has been renamed “Self-Preservation”
  • Clarified section where Fizza explains that people from anywhere can use magic.
  • Tweaked a choice to test ambition (instead of class) when trying to impress the Contessa.
  • Made Kelton’s relationship drop if you don’t help him in the tournament.
  • Clarified that horsemanship is tested to help Kelton joust.
  • Fixed bug where archery shots could be rerolled.
  • If you have kissed Fizza, seeing her in danger will evoke a bigger response from you.
  • The Queen no longer casts suspicion on her own people for Marne’s death.
  • Clyde now explains why the traitor must be someone high up in the court.
  • Balanced various stat changes.
  • Minor bug fixes
  • Small word choice fixes
  • Many typos fixed

New draft posted! Look for version 23343 to make sure you’re playing the most up-to-date draft.

Change log:

  • Added establishing choice about hair style to allow for character and gender expression.
  • If you wear public armor for the tournament, that fact is now tracked.
  • First tournament opponents now have a bit more character.
  • Changed a choice to reflect that loyalty also means going into battle when your knight orders it.
  • Added character development choice to get to know your companions on the way to the Illan border.
  • Fixed a bug where Fizza could win first and second place in the final tournament.
  • Sir Clyde now appears throughout the story (if he is alive).
  • Reworked ending romance scenes to consider more possibilities, add more context, and include epic final kisses.
  • Fixed some lines that were supposed to be comments and not visible to the player.
  • Added minor details for clarification
  • Fixed various typos
2 Likes

New draft posted! Look for v. 23726 on the About page, and be sure to clear your cache/refresh to play the latest version.

  • Clarified tournament scoring explanations
  • Changed the context of the Queen asking about the Illanites to allow for a more informed choice
  • Added more choices to allow the player to express their character and opinions
  • Allowed more opportunities for positive/nonviolent choices
  • Added some more worldbuilding about how people are able to learn magic without the help of hands-on instruction
  • Allowed player more options to romance or befriend Fizza
  • Allowed player another path to meeting the Contessa at the second tournament
  • Allowed player another chance to treat themselves with magic according to El Cano’s assignment
  • Made a violent reaction to El Cano optional (instead of obligatory)
  • Changed stat headings
  • Changed Sir Cleigh’s name to Sir Willet to avoid confusion with Sir Clyde
  • Balanced various options so there is no best or worst choice
  • Fixed various typos and inconsistencies
1 Like

New draft posted! Look for v. 23735 on the About page, be sure to clear your cache, refresh to play the latest version.

Change log:

  • Added more chances to lie to El Cano (and some consequences)
  • Rebalanced El Cano plotline to reflect new lie mechanic
  • Yuwen and Yuxin now argue about witches if you don’t approach Yuwen at The Inn
  • Added consequences for gaslighting poor Fizza
  • Added context to why the Jubai Tournament proceeds despite the impending invasion
  • Added more choices for the player to express their personality
  • Added chapter headers
  • Added stat headers
  • Created pre-made options for character name and pronouns
  • Fixed various inconsistencies
  • Changed word choice in various places

New draft posted! Look for v. 23746. If you’ve already played and submitted feedback early on, now would be a good time to play again and note any differences. The beta will close in about a week.

Change log:
*Rebalanced all stat tests in all chapters
*Added new scenes with Yuxin and Yuwen
*Added more stat tests to impress Yuxin and Yuwen
*Changed word choice in various places
*Added clarifications in various places
*Fixed various typos
*Fixed various bugs

New draft posted! v. 23755

Change log:

  • Added background about the length of time Fizza and Player have been squires
  • Added new dialogue with Adriano
  • Added more chances to impress Adriano and Fizza
  • Added another chance to discover the Contessa’s secret
  • Added more ways for Player to use El Cano to their advantage
  • Added a closure scene with Sir Kelton in the epilogue (unless he dies)
  • Resolved close relationships in the epilogue even if Player doesn’t end up with them in the end
  • Fixed various bugs

New draft! v. 23771 This is pretty much the last call for beta feedback. If you signed up to submit feedback, now is your last opportunity.

Change log:

  • Added an explanation for cases where Player loses the final bout of the joust but still wins more points than their opponent
  • It is now possible to save Lady Wayan’s life
  • Added options where Player might have had less than three options because of conditional statements (especially at the Jubai Tournament)
  • Added yet more ways to conclude the Contessa’s plotline with the aid of the royal family
  • Rebalanced final tournament scoring
  • Added more explanation of how final tournament scoring is conducted
  • Added more descriptions
  • Added more stat changes
  • Added more choices for Player to express their personality
  • Balanced choices so there is no option worse than the others
  • Fixed various typos