Mask of the Plague Doctor - BETA TESTERS NEEDED

Mask of the Plague Doctor
Thornback Hollow is under quarantine. As a plague doctor, you are ordered by the Crown to make your way there and root out the cause of the plague. Can the town be saved at your hand, or will you be forced to find an escape route as the creeping sickness proves impossible to contain?
Steam Store Page:

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.


A post was merged into an existing topic: Mask of the Plague Doctor - WIP [now in Beta!]

A post was merged into an existing topic: Mask of the Plague Doctor - WIP [now in Beta!]

New draft posted! Remember to clear your cache/use an incognito window and look for v. 19107 on the About Page to make sure you’re playing the latest version.

  • Reorganized the stats page to make it much tidier.
  • Altered wording for the initial mask choice, to make it clearer the decision is aesthetic only.
  • Added second opportunity to initiate a romance for all companions.
  • Lowered stat thresholds for initial romantic interest for all companions, and made some opportunities clearer.
  • Lowered some stat thresholds for the presentation of your work to the Baron in Chapter 12.
  • Added the chance to pass a Panache check and get away with withholding information in above scene.
  • Improved continuity on Ioco’s reaction to you waking him in Chapter 2.
  • Rearranged a few early choice options so the “morally good” ones weren’t on top quite so often.
  • Slight wording changes on some choice options.

New draft posted! Remember to clear your cache/use and incognito window and look for v. 19154 on the About page to make sure you’re playing the latest version.

  • Minor rewording to address the discrepancy of Ryia querying who you are and Jarin recognizing you as a doctor straight away (Chapter 1).
  • Minor rewording of Aylwin’s introduction to make it clear he is the young man, not the Mayor (Chapter 4).
  • Added a brief explanation about why you do not bathe before the Mayor’s dinner (Chapter 4).
  • Minor rewording of a page break to convey smoother continuity between the marketplace and Alexander’s house (Chapter 4).
  • Added a bit more justification for why Rocelin would watch you, and invite you to a meeting, only to turn you away (Chapter 5).
  • Added some relationship rewards for Alice/Rocelin, depending on how much you divulge about the secret meeting (Chapter 5).
  • Minor rewording around the militia shaking people down for food if you previously convinced Mayor Blake to distribute food (Chapter 6).
  • Added comment from Alice if you mention desertion after meeting Baron (Chapter 6).
  • Added choice to physically comfort Alice (if in romance, or high enough relationship) when learning her news (Chapter 8).
  • Added acknowledgement of being drawn by whispered voices at cave crossroads (Chapter 8).
  • Added stat-dependent mention of your remaining supplies when Ioco is eating salted meat (Chapter 8).
  • Added an ‘anti-religious’ flavored choice as another pathway to mediating a truce at the Sanctuary (Chapter 9).
  • Fixed continuity error with Lucia departing, then reappearing, during Shackled Stag epilogue (Chapter 13).
  • Slight rewording of certain early choices to make their respective stat effects clearer.
  • Replaced some anachronistic language.
  • Fixed several typos.

New draft posted! Remember to clear your cache/use and incognito window and look for v. 19216 on the About page to make sure you’re playing the latest version.

Change log:

  • Added a line to make a certain transition between Ryia’s return less jarring (Ch 1).
  • Silent Tent Guard Leo is now nameless, because he never shows up again (Ch 1).
  • Slight rewording of some Morlond dialogue in response to your jovial flippancy (Ch 1).
  • Minor rewording of rabbit testing choice to indicate Ioco’s affection for them (Ch 9).
  • Slight reduction in stat thresholds for lichen testing decision (Ch 9).
  • Clarified that the emergency medical powers parchment only gives you said authority “outside this hall” (Ch 11).
  • Minor rewording of Alice research segment to clarify you are wearing your mask (Ch 11).
  • Moved some text from alongside various *ending commands so it actually shows up (Ch 13).
  • Delayed the popping of certain achievements for more dramatic effect.
  • Fixed a couple of instances where Lucia’s pronouns were incorrect.
  • Fixed quite a few typos.

New draft posted! Remember to clear your cache/use and incognito window and look for v. 19247 on the About page to make sure you’re playing the latest version.

  • Defined the Medical Principles/Opportunist dichotomy a little better (‘On Talents etc’ stats page).
  • Added brief explanation for why the Royal Fellowship are not dealing with this crisis (Ch 1).
  • Minor additions to Alviva’s early dialogue, to emphasize that increasing Unrest will aid her cause (Ch 3).
  • For the players who did so, added a remark to your colleagues about putting an end to Alexander’s foul ‘cures’ (Ch 4).
  • Aylwin no longer asks Alice/Ioco to wait for him, only to never return from the garden/library before dinner (Ch 4).
  • Added option to remain silent with Ylaria (Ch 6).
  • Fixed a bug that displayed text about your broken promise to Alice, even when no promise had been made (Ch 9).
  • Added a Feudalist/Opportunist/Ruthless branch to the Fellowship ending, allowing players to side with the Crown’s intentions (Ch 13).
  • Minor additions to, and general rewording of, parts of the Fellowship ending (Ch 13).
  • Added a couple more spots where plague_cure stat can be raised.
  • Delayed a lot more achievement triggers so you don’t learn of your success too early.
  • Fixed yet more typos!

New draft posted! Remember to clear your cache/use an incognito window and look for v 19282 on the About page to make sure you’re playing the latest version.

  • Fixed an error where Tace referred to you with the wrong pronoun (Ch 1).
  • Added a second reference to Ioco/Alice arriving the same day as you, for extra clarity (Ch 1).
  • Silent, sack-carrying NPC Angmar renamed to Cicily, as the game already has a few important ‘A’ names (Ch 2).
  • Replaced the term “sleeping sickness” with “sickness that prevents sleep,” for clarity (Ch 2).
  • Purged the word “insomnia” from the text since none of the doctors know this term (Ch 2, others).
  • Militia NPC chap Adam renamed to Nichol, for the same reason as Angmar above (Ch 5).
  • Fixed a bug in the caves where two romances could become muddled (Ch 8).
  • Tweaked the order/thresholds for the masked ball invitation, so players should get invited by the faction they expect (Ch 10).
  • Fixed a bug that could lead to narrative fragmentation if you learned of inoculation but chose not to pursue it (Ch 11/12).
  • Added to the segment where the inoculation has taken lives, to clarify why the doctors are not afraid for themselves (Ch 12).
  • Baron Morlond will now remind the PC that Sibyl Blake remaining in power was one of the conditions for invitation to the Fellowship (Ch 12).
  • Removed some flavor text from the Fellowship ending that would never show, because Sibyl will always be Mayor (Ch 13).
  • Added a few lines confirming that your romance with Lucia (if pursued) continues during the Fellowship ending (Ch 13).
  • Added more significant consequences in Shackled Stag ending if PC betrayed Alice’s wishes and withheld info from the Crown (Ch 13).
  • Added a line to help ease the transition between PC’s death and ‘playing’ as Lucia in their epilogue (Ch 13).
  • Fixed even more typos.

New draft posted!

This is more or less the LAST CALL for feedback. If you signed up for this beta and haven’t submitted feedback or your excuse for not doing so, please get your feedback in now. Also: if you did one playthrough of the first draft, now might be a good opportunity to give it another playthrough.

As always, clear your cache, use an incognito, and look for v 19301 on the About page.

  • Minor rewording of the aftermath to the encounter with the ragged Dweller follower (Ch 3).
  • Added a few more lines to make Ioco’s attitude towards deity custom seem more nuanced/flexible (Ch 1/3).
  • Tweaked the thresholds for each crisis, so more players will see the vomiting/recruits ones (Ch 5).
  • Added a new, compassionate way to address the crisis of the statuesque monks (Ch 5).
  • Players can now boost the Presence stat when asked what the town has taught them (Ch 5).
  • Minor rewrite of Ioco’s romance scene in the Sanctuary tower (Ch 6).
  • Added a page_break to the scene where you reunite with the thief, to break up the length (Ch 6).
  • If you took evidence of Sibyl Blake’s crimes from Thomas and Turbert, this will now be correctly acknowledged (Ch 11/12).
  • Made the absolute last chance to flee Thornback Hollow (by choice) more explicit (Ch 12).
  • Minor rewrites regarding the situation where players have promised Lucia they would escape with them, but it is now too late to do so (Ch 12).
  • Added some lines to the moderate ‘tell Crown everything’ outcome, indicating that it should satisfy both Alice and Ioco (Ch 12).
  • Epilogue chapter header will now show up for all endings, not just the Shackled Stag! (Ch 13).
  • Added a line mentioning Aylwin’s whereabouts (if Sibyl is no longer mayor, and he is not at the Sanctuary) to Shackled Stag ending (Ch 13).
  • Added references to Frida and Mister Skinner (where applicable) to endings where the PC is still in town (Ch 13).
  • Earning the Dweller’s Mark for the first time will now boost the Mysticism stat (various Chapters).
  • Fixed more lingering typos.

For real, though. About 10 people(!) have signed up for the beta but not yet submitted feedback. If you want to be considered to participate in future betas you must:

  • Send your feedback
  • Send an excuse

I want to thank all the beta testers who participated! The beta is closed to feedback now.