Choice of the Viking - BETA TESTERS NEEDED

Choice of the Viking, by Declan Taggart

Sail forth to a land of gods and giants! Wield your sword, words, and magic to take your place among Iceland’s chieftains and forge your legacy of honor in this story woven from Norse sagas, myths, and the lives of real tenth-century Icelanders.

In the year 910 CE, countless Viking ships cross the icy oceans of northern Europe, seeking fortune, glory, trade, and land. Yours is one of them, carrying settlers to the remote island of Iceland. With your large farm to tend and your followers to govern, this is your chance to build something new out of the rugged land.

There are challenges at every turn. The other would-be chieftains are just as hungry for glory as you, and you must defend your share of wealth and honor - especially from the aggrieved rival who constantly tries to thwart you. New faiths and old vie for the souls of the Icelanders, and for the political power that each religion can carry. The long dark winter bears down upon you, threatening hunger and disease. And you must contend not only with the human inhabitants of Iceland but with any number of mysterious creatures - elves, trolls, giants, walking corpses, and even the gods themselves!

Increase your wealth through raiding, careful tending of the land, or savvy merchant trading. Wield your magic to blast obstacles from your path and gain the spirits’ blessing. If you fail, the royal might of Norway will claim your land for their own - but if you succeed, you will find eternal glory.

How will the sagas sing of your deeds?

Directions for beta testing:

Email us, beta AT choiceofgames for access.

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 how we describe it above.

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). Please indicate if your family/surname comes first as well. Beta testers’ names are listed in the game’s credits, which are accessed with the “About” link you’ll see within the game. If you don’t want to appear in the credits, or you want to be credited under a name other than your real one, please let us know.

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. Some beta processes last longer than others, and it may take up to a few weeks to reach the front of the queue.

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 as part of the same email thread where you were admitted. Copying beta@choiceofgames on that email is the best way to make sure your comments are seen as soon as possible.
  • Please send screenshots or copy/pasted quotes whenever 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.

A few more notes:

  • You cannot be testing two games at once. If you are already testing one game, send in feedback on that game before you apply to another. If you apply for multiple games at the same time, you will likely be admitted first to whichever game has testing slots open up first, and we won’t be able to admit you to the other one until you send in your comments for that one. (From an admin standpoint, it’s easiest if you don’t apply to more than one game at once – applying to multiple games makes it more likely that we’ll miss admitting you to one of them.)
  • If you’re admitted as a tester but realize you won’t be able to send in feedback for that game, please let us know! You won’t be penalized in any way - we’ll just take you off the list of testers for that game. But if you sign up to test a game and don’t send comments or withdraw, it will affect your chances of being admitted to future betas.
  • There’s no standard length of time for a beta testing period to last, and we usually don’t know exactly how long a game will be in beta when it opens. The best way to know how long a beta will be open is to follow the thread for updates.
  • It’s fine to send multiple feedback emails, but if you have a lot of quick comments, it’s easier to keep track of them if you bundle them into one email.

Tips on How to Give Feedback

We’re 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
37 Likes

New draft!

No changes significant enough to note; just a lot of typo fixes.

This is version 28542

5 Likes

New draft!

Many many typos fixed; many options clarified. Also, there are now clearer separations between scenes, and especially between flashbacks and present-time scenes.

This is version 28626

6 Likes

New draft!

Assorted small typos and exposed-code errors fixed. Also:

Ch 3: fixed a bug where one of the religion options was blank
Ch 6: clarified the dwarf’s arrival
Ch 8: There is no longer an NPC named Cormac, since Cormac is also one of the potential names for the PC.
Ch 9: revised the scene where you let your father kill Snorri for you to make it more active, and to clarify the stats.

This is version 28650

3 Likes

New draft!

Changelog includes

  • Assorted typos fixed and sentences clarified, as usual
  • Improved glossary! New info added; old info clarified
  • Ch 3: fixed a bug that caused the farm’s name not to appear in a few places
  • Ch 9: more acknowledgement of the fact that Grimr may have already betrayed the PC
  • Ch 11: better accounting of who’s dead and who’s alive

This is version 28693

3 Likes

HUGE NEW UPDATE!

Changelog includes:

  • Achievements!
  • Lots of stat recalibration throughout
  • More characters added to glossary
  • Improved historical consistency in word choices throughout

Ch 1

  • Improved continuity in the bit when the draugr is in the mud
  • Lots of clarifications in option text about which stats are affected/tested

Ch 2

  • Improved continuity regarding the PC’s study of magic in their backstory and their displays of magic here

Ch 3

  • Assorted continuity fixes regarding Leikny’s first appearance
  • More context regarding the trespasser
  • Lots of clarifications and continuity adjustments in the section where the PC is walking around their land
  • More detail on Hav, and ensuring that all paths through the chapter meet him
  • Improved continuity near the end of the chapter to account for different numbers of people remaining in the hall

Ch 4

  • Elf genders are now consistent
  • Fixed a bug where the elves’ verdict sometimes cuts off in the middle of their speech

Ch 5

  • Improved continuity regarding whether the PC knows all their neighbors’ names
  • Improved accounting for whether the PC sent any of their settlers to help neighbors

Ch 7

  • More foreshadowing about Thorarin learning magic

Ch 8

  • Lots of recalibration of how the voting is calculated

Ch 9

  • If you rejected Flies in Ch 6, there is better accounting for it here; and if you actively keep her out at the beginning of the chapter, then you’re not given the option to help her later
  • Clarified that the knocking-on-door loop is intentional
  • Extended romance scene! And some emotional resolution for PCs that don’t quite make it to a romance
  • Improved physical descriptions of the PC and their actions.

Ch 10

  • If Hjalta comes to the PC’s aid, there’s now an accounting for all potential paths through the Yule scene that may have led up to it
  • If Geirridr leaves, then her son does too
  • If Snorri intentionally kills his son then that’s better accounted for

Epilogue

  • If the traitor dies in Ch 10 then that is always accounted for here
  • If the PC hasn’t offered to let Leikny join the farm or to find them a match, then neither of those things happen in the epilogue

This is version 28875

We are now entering the last phase of beta! If you’ve already played, now is a great time to do a second playthrough so that you can see what’s changed. If you haven’t played, now is the time to do it so that you can get your feedback in before beta closes!

4 Likes

New draft!

A bunch of small edits - typos, language refinement, etc. The most notable change is that the name-selection choices have been reconfigured to include more clarity on which names are typically associated with specific genders.

We’re expecting beta to stay open for about another week, so if you haven’t yet gotten in your feedback, now is your chance!

This is version 28902

1 Like