Heart of Battle - HEART'S CHOICE - BETA CLOSED

Battle for love as a gladiator in this epic romance of swords and sandals!

“Heart of Battle” is a 243,000-word interactive romance by Fay Ikin, author of “Asteroid Run: No Questions Asked.”

As a star gladiator in Coritan City, you have the power to sway public opinion as nobody else does. The city is divided, ruled by the glittering Illustrious who use their wealth and status to maintain their power over the struggling masses. A lucky few have access to magic as well: it can be used to heal, but it can also be used as a weapon, or to reinforce the bars of prisons.

Below them, rumors of revolution simmer - and nowhere more strongly than among the gladiators. Former soldiers, political prisoners, and prisoners of war now bide their time, plotting to rise up.

In this treacherous web of alliances that you must navigate, the one certainty is your own heart. Will you find love with a gentle healer, haunted by a tragic past? A wealthy patron who could promise you a life of luxury? Or even one of your fellow gladiators, whose muscles and martial skill you admire through every battle: a fervent ex-revolutionary now condemned to the same servitude as you, or a bold daring warrior who seeks fame and glory.

Victory can mean a better life for you and your beloved - but what will you do if you find yourself on the opposite side of a gladiatorial match from the one you love? Or on the opposite side of a revolution?

  • Play as male, female, or non-binary; trans or cis; gay, straight, bi, demisexual, asexual, or aromantic.
  • Romance a gentle healer; a glory-hound gladiator; a wealthy patron; or an ex-revolutionary.
  • Choose your weapon: fight with sword, mace, bow, daggers, or bladed gauntlet.
  • Negotiate your way through relationships with your superiors, and clash with a bitter rival.
  • Win battles with honor, or scheme and cheat to take down your enemies.
  • Incite a riot - or even a revolution!

Can love conquer all foes?

This is a Heart’s Choice game. You can choose the gender of the PC and of all the ROs. It has two chili peppers: there are a few spicy/explicit scenes.


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. Send feedback on one and you can 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.

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.

24 Likes

New draft!

Changelog includes

  • many typos fixed; many bits of exposed code concealed
  • In Ch 3, if Terez dies, he now stays dead for the rest of the game
  • in Ch 8, if you fake your own death and Ferrado helps you, the game now sends you to the correct ending.

Thank you for the enthusiastic response to the game so far! We’re excited to see that you’re excited :slight_smile: Keep those beta reports coming!

This is version 27107

7 Likes

New draft!

Changelog includes

  • many more typos fixed; many more bits of exposed code concealed
  • Improved continuity and interactivity with Remi and Eryx, including more opportunities to turn Remi down and more opportunities to interject when they’re arguing.

This is version 27114

6 Likes

New draft!

Changelog includes:

  • More typos fixed throughout
  • In ch 1-2, more references to your background
  • In Ch 4, fixed a continuity bug that made you have the wrong kind of contest
  • In Ch 6, fixed continuity of the PC’s dom/sub with Remi
  • More opportunities to turn Remi down if you want, and you definitely (we hope!) no longer accidentally end up in a relationship with them

This is version 27131

6 Likes

New draft!

Changelog includes:

  • Fixed yet another instance of ending up cuddling with Remi after you’ve turned them down (this game really likes Remi!)
  • Made sure you were appropriately dom/sub with Eryx in Chapter 6
  • Added more opportunities to modify relationship stats with love interests
  • Added in some small RO moments. Remi in ch1, Eryx in ch4, Ferrado in ch5&7, and Petra in ch7
  • Correctly named the Collaborative stat
  • Tidied up the Stats page and included some setting and character notes

This is version 27162.

Thanks to everyone for the great feedback so far! Keep it coming!

7 Likes

New draft!

Changelog includes:

  • Added some finer details about Coritan/Messimeran heritage
  • Added some Terez hangout opportunity in Chapter 4
  • Added some nuance to options regarding Lanziega and Aztore
  • Ensured multiple choices available when talking to Lanziega about the future in Chapter 8
  • Further subject/verb agreement and typos fixed

This is version 27186

Thanks to everyone who has tested so far! If you’ve already played once, this would be a great time for a second playthrough so that you can give feedback on the new changes.

6 Likes

New draft!

Changelog includes:

  • Added some details in the first fight
  • Reworded some longer explanations to be more clear
  • Further typos and subject/verb agreements
  • Added some nuance to the escape if you and the rebels are on poor terms

This is version 27213

As you can see, we’re getting down to pretty minor changes, so the beta probably won’t last much longer. If you’ve been admitted to the beta but haven’t yet played, now is your chance! If you’ve already played once, please give it a second playthrough so that you can see what’s changed.

Thanks to everyone for your great feedback so far!

5 Likes

Oops! A couple bugs just turned up - too complicated to describe, but trust us; we fixed them and this draft is better. :slight_smile:

This is version 27214

6 Likes

New draft!

Changelog includes:

  • Added some extra details relating to background
  • Remi and Eryx no longer appear where they shouldn’t during the escape in chapter 8
  • A few typos

This is version 27235

As you can see, there are fewer and fewer errors in recent drafts, so the beta is starting to wind down. If you haven’t tested yet, now is your chance!

4 Likes

New draft!

Changelog includes:

  • Minor text tweaks, paragraph spacing, minor clarifications
  • Corrected bug where MC’s title would show as Unknown, and added a list of gained titles to the stats screen.
  • Added clarity to Remi’s intimate scenes
  • Added some detail to Lanziega conversation in Ch8
  • Seeded mentions of Milo in earlier chapters for consistency
  • Made it slightly easier to get Remi and Eryx together

This is version 27249

7 Likes

NEW DRAFT. LAST CALL!

Changelog includes:

  • Minor text tweaks, paragraph spacing, minor clarifications
  • Fixed continuity about which clothes you’re wearing when you return to the arena
  • Gave some wider options in conversations with Ferrado
  • Added callbacks to being reluctant to go to Ferrado’s
  • Added clarity and detail to some intimate senes
  • Added mention of being Messimeran, and of Meran where applicable, to the AFC end route

This is version 27443.

LAST CALL FOR BETA TESTERS! If you haven’t sent in your feedback, do it now! We’re almost ready for copyedit!

6 Likes

New draft!

Changelog includes:

  • Fixed continuity error that occurred during feedback after the death fight in Ch3
  • Fixed smaller continuity error during dinner at Ferrado’s in Ch4
  • Minor typos and clarifications
  • Added small payoff for keeping Velez alive
  • Added extra epilogue conversation with Petra regarding the future
  • Added in mentions of safe sex for Ferrado and Petra

This is version 27460.

LAST CALL CONTINUES! This game will go to copyedit in the next few days, so if you haven’t sent in your feedback, please do it ASAP!

6 Likes

This beta is now CLOSED.

Thank you to everyone who tested! Stay tuned for Heart of Battle’s release on Heart’s Choice later this summer!

6 Likes