Looking for Beta Testers for an odd gamebook


#1

So I’ve been working on my own interactive fiction for the past year (full-time), and am about to reach “Beta” status. I’m nervous as heck to let real IF fans play it, but figure I need to sooner than later. The thing I’m worried about is that it is not your traditional interactive fiction / gamebook.

For one, there are a decent amount of graphics and animations to accompany the story telling. But perhaps the most odd part is the mini-card game that is used for combat. So I’m here… to see if folks hate or love what I’ve been making.

If you are interested, sign-up is here.

If you just want to know more about the game, there is some basic information on my site. Or feel free to ask away!

Thanks guys!


#2

My concern whenever I see “dice based skill checks” is that the RNG doesn’t always play fair and it makes me leery to invest in doing replays/going for a perfect game if I think that I did everything right the first time but that the RNG was at fault.

Games that rely too much luck aren’t as fun to replay. Also if you’re going to assign points/value/advantages to these dice rolls, failing some at the get go can mean never recovering because you missed getting points early and so you’re at a disadvantage on rolls that get harder and harder.

I dunno how you’ve implemented this obviously, but scrolling through your website that was my first concern! (:

It looks really cool and I like the concept, I’m not up for beta testing – but I wish you luck!


#3

Thanks so much for your feedback. It means the world to me that you’ve taken the time and effort to give it!

I totally get your concern regarding the dice roll. And perhaps that is where I may lose a few folks. The game is most like playing a table-top RPG…where indeed a bad dice roll can “ruin your day”. For me this creates excitement and unknown. For others… for you… I could see your point of view.

In choice-of-games style stats, you are often locked out of a choice unless you have the minimum. Here, I’m allowing the player to try something they have low stats in - but at the risk of failure. If you want the best chance, go for the choice that utilizes your best stats! :slight_smile:

So, you never die / lose in Heroes Guard: The Journal. It is simply a matter of how well did you end up at the end. How many towns did you save or let fall to the perils of Argoria. While the dice and stats do play a very strong role (or roll, har har) in the game - your companions, items, skills, and weapons often give you an alternative way to solve a situation without the luck-of-the-roll. Also, “failing a story” doesn’t necessarily mean you lost the town. Most likely that story will simply escalate and change a bit. And you’ll get another go at it. So even if the dice-gods ruined your plans the first time, perhaps the angel-of-fate will steer your rolls in the right direction on your second try!

My intention is to only have luck play a small role. I’m going for two big selling points: replayability and strategy. So I’ll continue to tinker the game from beta feedback such that for majority of players it feels like their choices matter.


#4

@Dewfreak83

so luck is only THAT slight tilt that slight push which still might change History ?


#5

Can be! Depends how weak or strong you are at a particular area. The stats are your standard RPG fair:

  • Strength
  • Dexterity
  • Intelligence
  • Charisma

Each stat is as low as 1, and as high as 6. You roll a 6 sided dice and add that to the stat being tested. Often times you just need to beat a score of 6. If a story has escalated (changed for the worse), than that number changes to 7.

There are a few other elements to mix things up as well:

  • You can become injured, decreasing one of your stat points depending
    on the injury
  • Choices are a game-within-a-game. You don’t know exactly which stat
    it will test, but you should have a pretty good idea (knocking down
    door = strength, picking the door’s lock = dexterity).
  • You won’t always have a choice for every stat, you may have to choose
    your 2nd best or go with a non-roll option

#6

I came from a hardcore table rpg experience too, I love the luck dice roll. However, in my game dice roll is a template by stats and other choices. That way replay value is granted and people don’t feel game unfair. For instance, if you get a critical failure in climb a rope. If you have a great agility you get a better outcome, but if you chose drink in the tavern to choices ago, well you will fall no matter your luck.


#7

Very, very interesting! I like that idea… I may be able to work in something like it. I’m doubtful I’ll have the bandwidth to work in story-based outcomes on such traits, but what I may do is allow you to avoid bad effects / conditions if you have say “great agility”.

This has already been so beneficial - thanks guys!


#8

I was gonna suggest something like Mara said, that the occasionally catastrophic roll be tempered by something.

When I play in person normally the DM gives a reroll if you roll like a D1 on a basic skill check that would give a crazy result. Like if say the check is your Mage with int of 16 goes to read a new spell book and rolling a one results in not only failure to learn the spell but say total memory loss or something else that drastic – giving a reroll only makes sense.

You could always give the player a limited number of rerolls? Maybe like 2 per playthrough? That way in the case of a really bad roll you have a safety net. Those who don’t like them can ignore them, but the option to be able to undo just straight up bad luck would add a lot to replay value in my view. (:


#9

Another amazing idea. Perhaps difficulty level would indicate how many re-rolls you get. Adding these to my feedback backlog as we speak!

In the game, you can also visit townships that are not under distress - allowing you to shop, rest, and heal up from any serious conditions. Perhaps you can recover some or all of your re-rolls…


#10

Restoring them in town sounds like a great idea! Maybe give one per “mission” that way it really is an emergency feature not something that distracts from the challenge? (:


#11

ORRRRRR… it could depend on your decisions. Say you chose to save a king instead of your best friend. The king has a huge library, which increases your intelligence, or a few grateful knights teach you a few things, which increases your strength. If you save the friend, they are so grateful and they really lay on the charm, and you picked a few things from him/her, increasing your charisma. Or the friend’s uncle, who was a former thief and is again grateful(damn, why am I making this all based on gratefulness? Seriously, brain, kick in!) teaches you a few things and your dexterity goes up. Also, I think your game is amazing and can’t wait for it to come out! Fingers crossed it comes out soon.:grinning:


#12

TheTrueKing: oh wow, thank you so much!

Did you already play at one of the conventions or do you like what you see from the screenshots / videos?

So things you do in the story do indeed effect your stats. The first part of the game is all about describing your characters backstory and how that made you the man/woman you are today! And you will actually have to choose between gaining a companion or furthering yourself! :slight_smile:

Companions are interesting… they start off weak - but the more experience they get, the stronger they get! The question you have to ask yourself though: can you risk sending in someone inexperienced and risk the lives of the township you swore to protect?


#13

What I would do is just train them while relaxing, or just bring them along with me. Personally, I found that is one of the stupidest things about RPGs. Just because you bring somebody along should not mean they get stronger, because you really don’t learn anything by watching people. You need strength and co-ordination to wield a sword, and with most RPGs the person who tags along gets stronger just because. Or I would send them on a side quest(it’s an RPG, of course it has side quests) and get them to learn that way. HA-HAH! I will always find alternatives. Always!
EDIT: @Dewfreak83, sadly I did not get to play at a convention. Also, the way I added your username is the official way of responding to someone. To do it, have a space between the last character you typed, press @, and a small menu of people you might be responding to will pop up. If you don’t find the person you are wanting to respond to, add a part of their username to get more options. Hope this helps!


#14

@Dewfreak83, welcome to the forum. I am under the impression that the majority of the people here were exposed to CYOA when they were young and this is why they may not be as keen on being exposed to RNG.

On the other hand, the British gamebook community likes incorporating mechanics from other gaming genres (RPG, tabletop games, cards, etc).

I just signed up, and I hope I’ll have the time to actually test your game.


#15

Hey Mayday! Thanks so much for giving it a shot - I value any time you give it greatly.

I’m actually of the same boat! I read and loved the books as a kid. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I found the (British) gamebooks on the App store. It was a mixture of those and game Life of a Wizard (COG title) that strongly inspired my game.

I loved the adventure and party building parts of Life of a Wizard. The inventory and combat of the (British) gamebooks were great… but then the rolls got a bit… old? So I knew I didn’t just want to do endless dice rolling. That’s when I brought in the cards for a much more strategic feel.

Again, I appreciate any time you can give it - even if it is just a cursory glance!


#16

Just sent my email. The game seem interesting. If the dice system is well made I see no problems with it and so far it seem well. Especialy if the high skill counter to bad dice rolls are implented.


#17

OK, how do I download the game? I signed up and got a message that I should wai for some e-mail notification that I didn’t get.


#18

Download instructions will be sent out in 1-2 weeks, sorry if the message wasn’t super clear! Thanks so much for signing up!


#19

Oh, it was super clear, I just thought that @cyanide was able to get to it immediately :smile:


#20

I am afraid to tell you I wont be able to beta test your game. I really wish I could but the app to test it need ios 8 and I’m stuck on my old 4s so I cant update it. I can only wish you good luck with your project.