Brimstone Manor - Heart's Choice - BETA CLOSED

You’ve just been hired as a nanny at Brimstone Manor, a house that’s full of secrets. What’s in the forbidden basement? Why do your employer’s rivals have an angelic glow about them? Is the big shaggy dog really a hellhound? Have you been hired to work for…a demon?

Romance a quirky journalist, a brooding demon, or a luminous angel - or two luminous angels! Uncover secrets, care for an adorable demon toddler, learn magic, soar through the air on angels’ wings, and join a battle between heaven and hell - and a battle for your heart - in this paranormal romance.

This is a Heart’s Choice title. PC is gender-variable; ROs are male, nonbinary, or gender-variable.


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 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.

50 Likes

New draft! Lots of Chris’s pronoun errors corrected, lots of typos squashed, and a few minor continuity bugs fixed.

This is version 25392

4 Likes

New draft! Changelog includes:

  • Many more typos fixed, and more Chris-pronoun troubleshooting done!
  • pretty sure you are no longer wandering the hedge maze with “Undecided” in ch 9
  • Improved consistency of who knows what when, especially about Lily; and improved continuity about flying

This is version 25406

2 Likes

New draft! Changelog includes:

  • Achievements! Please test these to make sure they’re working.
  • Fixed continuity of what happens if you choose not to fly or do magic
  • More repairs to the bug that had you hanging out with “Undecided”
  • Chris, Michael, and Gabby no longer appear out of nowhere after the big battle
  • Nicki no longer teleports around the party in the final scene

This is version 25429

2 Likes

New draft!

So much stat recalibration in this one. If you were having trouble passing stat tests, especially near the end of the game, try again!

In particular, try to:

  • get Darien and Michael to have a truce in Ch 10
  • get Lucifer to talk to you

This is version 25449

New draft! Changelog includes:

  • more typos fixed!
  • more stat rebalancing - it should now be much easier to pass most tests
  • Lots of small continuity tweaks, including more about Nicki at the party, the explanation of the glowing ball, Jones at the rescue scene, and more.
  • Added a conversation about Lily and Darien’s history
  • Clarified status and hit count in the final battle

This is version 25469

1 Like

Hi! Please don’t worry; you won’t be rejected because it’s your first time! Because we had such a high number of applicants, we’ve been admitting them in smaller groups, in the order that we received the request. So it may be a few more days before we get to your request, but don’t worry - we’ll admit you! (I don’t know the timing, so I don’t want to say ‘you’ll definitely hear in X days’, especially with the delays because of holidays this week and next week. but never fear! It will happen.)

2 Likes

New draft! A few more typos squashed, and more continuity errors in the later half of the game repaired, especially improving the continuity about what Michael knows about Jones.

This is version 25488

New draft! This one has a lot of story edits. Notable changes include:

  • smoother progression in the first encounter with Darien
  • more dialogue in the first one-on-one with Gabby
  • more character development throughout
  • expanded and smoothed out dialogue in ch 10 if you manage to work out a truce between Darien and Michael
  • more explanation about what’s going on with Lucifer in ch 11

This is version 25491

2 Likes

New draft! The story edits continue. Changelog includes:

  • more options for slower burn with Darien
  • expanded conversations with Darien in the first half of the game
  • expanded zoo scene with Michael and Gabby
  • smoothed out the pacing in the first meeting with Chris
  • expanded scenes with Chris, Gabby, and Lily in ch 5

This is version 25494

4 Likes

New draft! More story edits abound. Changelog includes:

  • Expanded timeline
  • More consistency about Nicki: more dialogue with Michael about him, more concern about various NPCs’ effects on him, fewer allusions to his mother
  • Improved continuity if the PC has been injured in the battle
  • More detail on Lily’s motivation for the kidnapping

This is version 25498

This is the last week of beta testing! If you haven’t gotten in your feedback, now is your chance. If you have applied and have not yet been admitted, you will be admitted shortly. If you have not applied and want to, send in your email soon!

3 Likes

New draft! Changelog includes:

  • More continuity edits, especially about what Chris knows and how Chris reacts near the end of the game.
  • assorted typos squashed
  • More recalibration of stat tests! It should now be easier to get more of the good outcomes near the end of the game.

This is version 25526.

Last call for feedback is underway! If you haven’t yet sent in your feedback, please do that ASAP!

3 Likes

New draft!

The usual assortment of typos has been fixed, and we’ve tracked down one HUGE and persistent continuity bug! Previously, at the end of the game, Chris sometimes revealed the existence of paranormals even if you had succeeded in convincing them not to - that no longer happens.

This is version 25531

Last call for beta testers! Get in your feedback soon!

4 Likes

New draft!

Just a few small updates in this one: mainly typos, plus some additional opportunities to learn more about hellhounds so that you can eventually learn to talk to Lucifer.

This is version 25534.

Last call for beta testers! You must send in your feedback by Saturday January 8!

4 Likes

One more new draft!

A pre-emptive bug fix, plus some nifty aesthetic changes including PC appearance customization.

This is version 25546.

Last call for beta testers! You must send in your feedback by Saturday January 8!

2 Likes

LAST DRAFT! LAST CALL!

More typos squashed; some continuity fixes in the poly romance route; some updates and continuity fixes in the NPCs’ appearances.

This is version 25555.

Last call for beta testers! You must send in your feedback by Saturday January 8!

This beta is now CLOSED. Thank you to everyone who tested! Stay tuned for the release next month!

2 Likes