Best Practices for WiPs and Playtesters on Dashingdon

Posted this yesterday in maybe the wrong thread. No response, so reposting. Thanks!

Question, here, about best practices re:version control. Kind of failing my way forward.

As you update uploaded assets with more documents for a WiP, does anyone create different versions of their startup.txt so that play testers play only the most recent chapter?

Though logistically complicated, this would prevent people from countlessly replaying early chapters every time you add one. Lots of downside. Specifically, intercom between startups and potential to mess things up royally. Continuity is another problem. Play testers may be less likely to jump in on something parsed up? You’d also have to code in a way that dilutes cumulative decision making, I think?

I confess I don’t know enough about who play testers are. Are they the types to enjoy replaying early chapters to take different routes and notice changes? What does the WiP reading habit look like on a daily/weekly basis? Like, how many/how often? How do they choose? Just look at the 10 most recent? Filter by tag? Subscribe to threads they enjoy? Sorry if this is all facile and speculative. I’m writing my butt off but know I need to spend more time considering this, their experience, and cultivating relationship.

Any advice welcome. Cheers!

I sort of do this whenever it becomes inconvenient for a player to keep skipping through pages and choosing the same options over and over again to reach the newest content with their preferred character. I make a little “quick-start” option and have them choose the basics (i.e. name, surname, age) and either a high, low, or neutral stat and then skip straight to the newest chapter/content/whatever. I just write a little disclaimer that the game is not meant to be played this way, so things might get messed up.

There are likely as many answers to these questions as there are individuals who are going to read your work in progress. If you want to know specifics, you might try polling people or looking through past polls.

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I haven’t seen very many people do this. Dashingdon has a save system that is very easy to implement, so most WIP authors would just include that to make it easier on playtesters. Then readers can just go directly to where they left off at the last update or they can replay the entire thing if they wish to.

I don’t think people typically replay WIPs over and over unless they specifically said they were going to in order to help editing (like specifically recruited by the author) or they are very obsessed with the game. I believe most people just play when new content gets added. Maybe they’ll check a couple routes at that time, but I don’t think the majority of people come back to replay over and over again. I could be wrong, though.

You could try this thread if you want to get some of the questions about WIP readers answered!

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I have a shortcut character creator to the middle of the game for that reason. I also have playtester choices which allows you to pick certain big branches instead of letting the stats decide.

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Unless there’s the option to start either from the beginning or from the newest chapter, I wouldn’t do this if I were you. Always assume you’re getting brand new readers! They won’t want to be thrown in in the middle.

As for visibility: all new threads show up in the New tab at the top of the forum, for forum users. I always see what’s there. But I don’t really read many WIP, personally.

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