Jolly Good: Cakes and Ale - BETA TESTERS NEEDED

Jolly Good: Cakes and Ale

Return to the witty Wodehouseian world of Tally Ho in this elegant comedy of manners, the first game of the new Jolly Good trilogy! This time you’re the employer, and your servant is anything but perfect.

When you, the close relation of an earl, find yourself reeling from a major scandal, anonymity is not an option. Perhaps–just perhaps–your new servant and your membership in an elite London social club will allow you to weather the storm unscathed. It seems most unlikely, however.

Will you lean into your shocking reputation, or fight hard to redeem yourself in the eyes of the public? What is most important to you: your own comfort, loyalty to your friends, or the expectations of your family? Navigate the joys and troubles of membership in your new club: planning parties, gaining new members, taking down rivals - or winning them over as friends. Find love with a dreamy artist; a former neighbor with a new taste for rebellion, a mysterious person with outrageous fashion sense (gold pants?!) - or even your own servant! And, of course, spend time with some old friends from Tally Ho.

Can you manage it all before it comes crashing down?

Directions for beta-testing:
Email us, beta AT choiceofgames for access. (THIS HAS CHANGED.)

  • Do not send me 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.

43 Likes

The blessed time is upon us!! I could not get my beta request email out fast enough. :smile:

11 Likes

The only thing I hate about good trilogies is waiting with bated breath that can stun a water buffalo and my own hands trembling with impatience as I attempt to pour the tea. Considering how much fun I had with Tally Ho and reading Wodehouse’s work in general… Time to go sign up.

6 Likes

New draft! No changes to the text, but if you were experiencing that bug where the game kept restarting, that has now been fixed. This is version 19433.

4 Likes

Okay, let’s try that again! The restart bug is really and truly fixed now! Update to version 19435.

4 Likes

NEW DRAFT!

Changes include:

  1. Achievements added.

  2. An MC with rather high Intellect, Culture, and/or Observe, who hangs around at the newspaper office, now has a “floor” for how bad the newspaper can be. In general, these characters (if they spend the time in chapter six) will not get worse than a middling newspaper (and can of course get better).

  3. A few newspaper-related checks are a bit easier.

  4. Rewards for solving the opera mysteries and printing a good newspaper have been corrected upwards.

  5. You can now throw toast at Fitzie in chapter two.

And, my absolute favorite changelog entry in the history of the universe:
6. Eel-related rewards are now correct.

This is version 19453.

Thank you to all who have sent in feedback so far!

I’m about to admit a new batch of testers. Once you send in your feedback, I’ll add you to the discussion thread where you can talk about spoilers (and eels!) to your heart’s content.

7 Likes

Another update; another excellent changelog:

  1. Marmaduke should no longer be able to teleport between the arena and the opera. Once at the arena, he should stay there.

  2. Can now potentially express interest in Fitzie if you go on the hotel adventure in chapter two, thus allowing handholding.

  3. Frankincense now comments on what you are wearing in chapter five.

  4. Bit more about Buck’s background in chapter three.

  5. Fitzie may now give you a hint where to go for romantic scenes while in the cab in chapter five.

  6. Avocado-and-fermented-tea scent now changed to beetroot-and-fermented-tea scent in chapter one on the grounds that avocado is not in period.

And various other fixes: typos, exposed code, etc.

This is version 19454

6 Likes

New draft!

Changelog includes:

  1. Many typos fixed.

  2. It is now easier to get the photo of Thunder and Pipsy, and it can now be done up to ten minutes before the end of the evening.

  3. Vyv sticks around at the arena for longer, so it should be easier to go on Vyv’s adventure in chapter six.

  4. Multiple opportunities to admonish Fitzie in Chapter One.

  5. You can now ride around on Gilberto’s shoulders in the pool in Chapter Seven.

  6. You can now sing a lullaby to Tabby, read to her, or scritch her head in Chapter Eight if she is in your office before you have to do evaluations of Fitzie. Note that if Ernie is President, you won’t have an office for Tabby to be in, so no scritching in that case.

  7. Fitzie may now offer to tell you a lurid dream in Chapter Three.

  8. Option to signal “no kissing” to Fitzie in the cab.

  9. There is now an intellectual reason to steal a Neotlithic stone axe in Chapter One and Five.

This is version 19456.

If you have already sent in your feedback, thank you! You’ve been admitted to the Beta Discussion thread. That’s a private thread so as to avoid spoilers for people who haven’t played it. But if you have, please share your thoughts on that thread.

4 Likes

I really enjoy reading these changelogs with no context

22 Likes

New draft! No changes to the text, but if you were getting that bug where the game randomly forgot the existence of achievements, that has now been fixed.

Plus, chapter headers and stat headers! Aren’t they pretty?

This is version 19470

6 Likes

New draft!

Changelog includes:

  1. Peri now has the correct reaction to your clothes; she will further notice if you smell like bananas.

  2. Option to raise skullduggery in prologue.

  3. Option to go right to Peri’s office without spending the full time with Jack Sharpe.

  4. Rare bug fixed where sometimes you are given nothing to do in the news office but leave.

  5. Arena scores correctly leave the stat screen after the match.

  6. Enhanced excuse-making for Aunt Matilda if you disappoint her in not showing up to the opera if you originally told her you would.

This is version 19471

4 Likes

New draft! Changelog includes:

  1. A good amount of Americanisms have been de-Americanismed.
  2. Literally hundreds of typos fixed, including exposed code, pronoun errors, and paragraphing errors
  3. Can now toggle showing/not showing stats more easily on stats page.
  4. You can now tip Hecuba even if you have only a few coins to your name.
  5. The announcement for “last call” for each round at the match now proceeds properly.
  6. The descriptions of the crowd at the match should no longer repeat.
  7. Johnny Buttons responds correctly to you noticing his buttons.
  8. Continuity fixed regarding what Fitzie tells you about Vyv’s writing and what you talk about with Vyv at the arena.
  9. Vyv now responds properly if you are nude on the balcony when Paige walks in.
  10. Slightly easier to gain the favor of the Royal Adventurers and the Garden Club as sponsors.
  11. If you drank ice water at the club, you are not served ouzo at the restaurant.

This is version 19473

4 Likes

New draft! Changelog includes:

  1. Oodles of spelling, punctuation, and spacing errors fixed.
  2. Arabella now comments if you have a reputation for punching opera singers.
  3. Sponsor requirements for Explorers and Garden Club changed to make more playing styles qualify.
  4. Can now spread rumors in order to assist with final vote.
  5. Somewhat less likely to lose reputation with Gilberto in chapter 3 if you approach his adventure in a non bold way.
  6. New conversation with Gilberto in Ch. 3 and ch. 6 on the Dormouse adventure and in the corridor before Arabella’s. The ch. 6 gives the information from ch.3 if you missed it then, plus a bit more.
  7. Expanded epilogue with Gilberto if romancing him.
  8. Phone call with Chum available at start of ch. 2.
  9. Option to buy club a gift in ch. 2
  10. Can now feel contrite about breaking punch bowl.
  11. New clue available for spy hunt at the arena.

This is version 19520

6 Likes

Small update!

  1. Rare bug eliminated that resets the punch bowl status in chapter one.
  2. Bug removed from chapter eight that reset romantic variables.

This is version 19564

2 Likes

Another small update!

  1. Several bugs where pronouns were not being set if you used random Tally Ho world state generation.
  2. Fitzie now responds in ch. 7 to your doing the Rose and Thorns quest successfully.
  3. Made the arena battles one notch more difficult, particularly if neither you nor Fitzie pay attention to it in ch. 6.

This is version 19574

2 Likes

HUGE update!

Changelog:

  1. Bug fixed that was making some activities at the opera use up twice as much time as they should. This fix should allow for a bit more time to explore at the opera.
  2. New interaction with Vyv in chapter seven if you wake up next to Vyv.
  3. Easier to get the waking up scene with Gilberto in ch. 7 if you are pursuing a romantic plot with him.
  4. Tabby’s wandering coffee cup in ch. 4 now removed.
  5. Tabby’s requests that you write/print things that are already written/printed has been fixed.
  6. You can now see the trinkets you could have purchased for the club even if you don’t have the readies.
  7. Aunt Matilda correctly comments if you did not change your clothes at the start of the opera.
  8. The narrator now addresses the time jump between chapter one and the chapter two interlude to clarify the time sequence of the story.
  9. Clarified that doing the bookstore adventure in ch. 5 does not prevent activities in ch. 6.
  10. Clarified that the coffeehouse adventure can only be done in chapter 1.
  11. Fixed the flow from Vyv’s art studio to Fitzie’s dream to Pilcrow’s chairs so that Pilcrow fetches you from the correct location in ch. 3.
  12. The timed portion of chapter one now correctly reports to the player.
  13. Toppers is given a highlighted exit in chapter two to make it very clear that she is not present for most of the events of chapters 3-4, which otherwise might be confusing.
  14. Ernie now gets wet if he falls into the swimming pool.
  15. A cavalcade of small continuity errors, typos, spacing errors, and inelegant prose has been eradicated forthwith.

This is version 19619.

6 Likes

New draft!

  1. Fixed possible looping conversation during Marmaduke conversation in ch. 5.
  2. Can now order pastries with tea, not just with coffee in ch. 1.
  3. Slightly expanded romantic conversation and kiss with Tabby in ch.8.
  4. Vyv now sometimes comments on the state of their studies in ch. 8.
  5. Vyv and Tabby no longer use the same shampoo.
  6. Additional opportunity to affect Tabby’s impression of possible love triangle in ch.8.
  7. Aunt Matilda now comments on Marmaduke’s bathrobe correctly, with MC opportunity to affect her impression of who is at fault.
  8. Several more choices now have opportunity for unflappable reactions in ch. 1 and 2.
  9. Fitzie and Millicent now notice if you have recently been immersed in garbage.

This is version 19668.

4 Likes