Fool! -- BETA TESTERS NEEDED

#1

As a talented young jester with dreams of fame, scrabble with other young thespians to secure prestigious positions in the courts of Brenton’s nobility; even the King himself! In a royal court humming with intrigue, keep them smiling as spies, assassins, blackmailers, ambitious nobles and a reluctant Heir wait in the wings. The kingdom itself will be shaped by your choices!

If you have a successful playthrough, please post a copy of the stats readout into your feedback email.

Email me, jason AT choiceofgames for access. DO NOT SEND ME A MESSAGE THROUGH THE FORUM MAIL SYSTEM. When you send your EMAIL, include your forum-name, your real name, and the game you want to test.

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

(You cannot be testing two games at once. Send feedback on one and you can apply to another.)

I will send you a link, a username, and a password.

Return feedback TO ME. Preferably part of the same thread, rather than a new email.

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. Also, the “BUG” button is great; but if you use BUG, make sure to say in your email who you are, so I can give you credit for the report.

“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, 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 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.

9 Likes
pinned globally #2
#3

A lot of people have applied for this beta. I’m holding off admitting new testers while some immediate bugs are fixed.

4 Likes
#5

New Draft posted!

Ch 1-3:

  • Increased primary stat boosts in nearly all establishing choices to make chances of success higher
  • Decreased difficulty of virtually all testing choices
  • Addressed some issues with unclear option text, symmetry of choices, or secondary stats awarded for non-testing choices

Ch 1-2:

  • addressed pronoun bug for Luca

Ch 11:

  • fixed pronoun issues with Hail, style issues, bugs.
  • Addressed option text that was too long or didn’t make the trait being tested clear.

Ending:

  • fixed typos, style issues, and potential continuity errors around relationships

From the author:
I still need to keep looking at the difficulty in chapters 4 and on, this is just as far as I could get for now. I’m hopeful that the experience will be better with the stats getting set significantly higher in 1-3.

To Daniella’s comment about Bisqueath–I’ll definitely change that to make him a bully in some less disturbing way. That’ll be in the next draft.

6 Likes
#7

New draft posted! (Remember when we post a new draft to clear your cache.)

I, i:

  • Changed difficulty of flirt tests so they won’t always be passed.

I, ii:

  • Fixed bug where $stars wasn’t being set.

I, iii:

  • Fixed error with slept_at_camp_blurb. Fixed indenting error in encounter with Bardbrood.

I, iv:

  • Increased size of rewards and significantly lowered test difficulty throughout. Converted humor choices to give more ways to succeed. In several cases, converted humor-based choice to skills-based choice. Added option to succeed with Stagecraft for balance purposes. Fixed a bug in the romantic/companionable moment with Moargen. Tweaked polish can company_result calculations. Corrected moargen_gender bug.

II, i

  • 312: Converted choices with secondary stats to tests. Added fake_choice to specify level of interest in Bardbrood before traveling. Reduced choice difficulty.

II, ii

  • Fixed handling for dunked and first_perf_result. Reduced choice difficulty and increased relationship rewards.

II, iii

  • Fixed bugs where youserve = “peasants” could never be set. Corrected indenting errors that meant various choices options were never displayed. Reduced choice difficulty and increased relationship rewards.

III, i

  • Fixed indenting bug where the only spying option available was “doubleagent.” Consolidated duel_tone and duel_goal into one variable, $duel_goal, to ensure the duel works properly. Fixed calculation error that made the “roast” result for the duel never display. Reduced choice difficulty and increased relationship rewards.

III, ii

  • Changed duel_tone to duel_goal to match III, i.
2 Likes
#8

New draft posted!

  • Decreased difficulty of tests throughout Act III, Act IV and banished_ending. Increased some rewards, esp relationship rewards, to make later tests more likely to succeed

  • Fixed various typos reported by intrepid beta readers. There are still more reported typos/continuity errors that I’ll fix in the next draft.

II, ii

  • Changed the first encounter with Bisqueath to something less uncomfortable.

III, i

  • Changed references to the first encounter with Bisqueath to match the new version.
4 Likes
#9

New draft posted, remember to clear your cache for a new draft:

Throughout

  • Fixed many 0-hit sections. Rebalanced many choices that were still too hard.

  • Fixed inconsistencies of how lover_is was handled.

III, i:

  • Made duel of fools easier to complete and fixed errors that were leading to too many banishments. And fixed how duel result was tested in later scenes.

II, ii

  • Added new Bardbrood context in meeting with Kitty

II, iii

  • Added new scene with rival Wendell/Gwendell while on tour

Banished

  • Updated family-raising path with choices for non-binary PCs.
2 Likes
#10

I am not beta testing this however. Please take account not natives please. Many books or even games where there is fools or buffoons. Play heavy really heavily in words that are really uncommon or that are parodying old English or says that aren’t teaching anywhere . So here I ended without understand a supposed joke that is no way i could understanding. Moreover having account this is a game of choices choices should be written clearly even if protagonists are fools.

Another i am really waiting this as mostly old Spanish literature where really nasty and using people with genetic illnesses as buffoons and that’s intolerable. So see a positive image is great . Keep good working @Mary_Duffy and sorry for the wall of text

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#11

I’m not really sure how we’re supposed to do that, Mara. The game is called Fool! It means something highly specific. There’s not another satisfying name for this game.

3 Likes
#12

New draft!

  • Revamped stats screen!!!
  • Added “Ruler” variable to track who’s on the throne throughout.
  • Made changes to character age and title more consistent throughout.
  • Various copy edits.
2 Likes
#13

I know the name is fool Just focus in content be awesome for everyone :slight_smile: . And if some wording is from old English maybe a small vocabulary on Stats and terms probably a non native could have more problems. I trust in your skills

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#14

I think what Mara also meant (in parts) (correct me if wrong) is that are a loooooooot of words that might require one puts the game aside and looks the word up, just to know what is even going on.
I’m not a stranger to obscure words, but I

did wonder “I did WHAT to the dog?!” while testing

4 Likes
#15

Exactly you are godsend explaining me @MeltingPenguins

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#16

I appreciate that. But I guess what I’m asking is–what do you expect we do? We’re American publishers, we publish games in English. We can’t and don’t cater to non-native English speakers. Sometimes those games have obscure words–if a native speaker doesn’t know them, asking the author to rewrite a passage is not something I would necessarily do. So complaints from non-native English speakers aren’t any different, really. But this thread is not the place for this discussion.

8 Likes
#17

Understand sorry to bring the theme it was no my intention cause worry

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#18

While that can be immersion breaking (this happened to me too while reading Weyrwood), I always try to think of it as an opportunity to learn more English.

3 Likes
#19

Agreed

#20

New draft posted!

Many thanks to testers for the extensive feedback offered so far–extensive changes are being made in response :slight_smile:

Throughout:

  • Standardized to roman numerals for “Act, Scene” labelling at tops of each chapter.
  • Changed pronouns for non-binary PC and Princex Hail to They/Them.

Stat chart:

  • Fixed display issue in “Constituencies of Consideration” section and with rival_name.

I, i: reworked opening few pages to make Humors clearer/punchier. typos. Tried to make stat changes for idol choice clearer.

I, ii: fixed issues w/humor-based display variables not being set.

I, iii: fixed typos

I, iv: fixed display bugs where narrated stat changes (i.e., [+Surety]) didn’t match the coded stat changes. Fixed display variable typos. Fixed bug that kept Moargen’s pronouns from displaying in subsequent chapters.

II, i: typos.

II, iii: fixed gosub issue at top of chapter that affected most first_perf_result values. Fixed missing bracket causing Tarantalong dance check display issue. fixed broken *selectable_if choice in the fight w/graverobbers. Fixed display variables not showing properly. Changed meeting with Hail so PC doesn’t misgender Hail.

III, i: typos

III, ii: spacing issues, typos

IV, i: removed any mentions of the pet ape as a chimpanzee, keeping its nature consistently nebulous

Banished: fixed display variable issues.

4 Likes
#21

New draft posted! If you have only done one playthrough, early on, now would be a great moment to jump back in and try the game again–there have been lots of changes to test difficulty, and content added to the endings. Remember to clear your cache or use an incognito window to get a fresh version!

  • All seed feedback applied.

  • Embarrassingly pervasive typos addressed throughout.

  • Fixed conjugation issues for non-binary pronoun for PC and some lingering pronoun errors for Princex Hail.

  • Incorporated image headers in Stat chart and each chapter/act

  • I, i: Fixed error with hasgrass blurb and missing coverage for certain paths that fed into *label jaundyce_beating.

  • I, ii: explicitly named brothers Oliver and Morris earlier on. Fixed continuity error about having or not having your signature item in hand when leaving the farm. Fixed bug where time was not elapsing properly if you practiced.

  • I, iii: fixed left_when continuity bug.

  • I, iv: adjusted likelihood of being rewarded by Malodoro for the performance.

  • II, i: added Ace coverage for goodbye to Moargen.

  • II, ii: added clarification that the ape is to be your charge and not presented to King Saul as Ruffino intended. Standardized how to get into the Queen’s service

  • III, i: removed option to perform drunk for Hail. Tied in more references to Westfenster constituency. Fixed issue where Bisqueath spying conversation was not happening in all paths.

1 Like
#22

New draft posted!

  • Throughout: Typos, subject/verb agreement for nonbinary characters, spacing

  • III, i: Fixed continuity with recognizing Bisqueath or not based on the first royal performance result

  • III, iii: fixed continuity issue with being in a relationship with Audrey or not

  • Banished: continuity error with lover being present or not

1 Like