Ratings War -- BETA TESTERS NEEDED


#1

Ratings War, by Eddy Webb, is a cyberpunk twist on the intrepid journalist tale; beta testers are needed.

Email me, jason AT choiceofgames for access. Please include your forumname. I would also prefer if you included your real name, but you don’t have to.

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.

“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.

Mid-level feedback, which I don’t want, is about grammar. The sort of thing that, if the author made the error in the first place, is unlikely to be able to fix themselves.


Review of It's Killing Time Spoilers
#2

Some bugfixes posted.


#3

New draft up.

CHANGELOG

TEXT CHANGES

  • Various typos corrected.
  • A number of options tweaked to be clearer.
  • Added and removed paragraph breaks in sections with dynamic text for better text flow.
  • Added page breaks to long sections of text.
  • Replaced “eyeOS” with “opticOS” throughout. (Also removed two accidental references to “iOS.”)

MECHANICS CHANGES

  • Particularly hard endings made easier to acquire.
  • Increase skill increases in the first third of the game to make some tests easier and to show more progress.
  • Changed Success variables to titles, to give context to progress.
  • Fixed a couple of instances where checks were passing multiple times, bringing up multiple chunks of success text.

NEW MATERIAL (POTENTIAL SPOILERS)

  • Added choices at the very start to let the player decide what kind of reporter they are.
  • Changed the nature of Angel and the player’s relationship — he’s a family man that can’t afford to run around all night with the character. Text involving his future also updated accordingly.
  • Increased Maria’s presence in the attack.
  • Added a new choice where the player can address Tracey’s use of the term “boss.”
  • Clarified why Tracey and Early hate each other.
  • Tweaked meeting with Andrej so the player isn’t surprised by low-class surroundings.
  • Added a line to clarify that Cooper doesn’t mind being recorded when discussing the photo he took.
  • Clarified that the Lame Duck is a place where cops go to get bribed, give tips, and the like, putting into context why the violence in the bar doesn’t get reported.
  • Gave some information about the murderer in the first case.
  • Added a roleplay choice during the stakeout.
  • Added material to reflect that the number of attacks on the player during the course of the story is unusual.
  • Inserted a choice to let the player define their apartment.
  • Clarified that synthetic organs and implants (such as the player’s eyes) are actually very rare, and more dangerous than organ donations.
  • Added material in Jaden’s speech to reflect the choice of the player naming Jaden publicly in a story.
  • Added an option to flirt with Early, if your relationship score with him is high enough.
  • Maris’ story revised to make her separation from Jaden more explicit beyond just marriage.
  • Deleted paragraph that implied the whole case was all a railroad.

#4

New draft up. I’m no longer accepting new testers, but if you’re already a tester, feel free to give it another whirl.

OVERALL CHANGES

  • More typos ruthlessly crushed.
  • More pronoun errors fixed.
  • More paragraph breaks added.
  • Awkward phrasings revised.
  • Character’s full name added on the stats screen.
  • “Netglass” changed to more consistently confirm to the usual linguistic structure for “glasses."
  • Added lines on stats screen to give Market Share, Celebrity, and Infractions numbers and titles.
  • Added more dynamic responses for the player character and Tracey, based on stats.

CONTENT CHANGES (potential spoilers)

  • Tweaked the reactions of the police officer at the first crime scene.
  • Tweaked the discussion with Angel about overtime.
  • Revised Maria’s dialogue so she doesn’t openly talk about the Kings.
  • Revised the Kings’ relationship with the police — they no longer bribe them. Also, the camera and footage is damaged in the attack, making it hard to identify Tasha if the story is filed.
  • Added a choice to decide how the player character feels about Angel’s death/betrayal.
  • Cut down the IT scene with Tracey.
  • Clarified who was speaking during a cab ride with the player character, Tracey, and Benny.
  • Replaced references to credit cards with implanted chips.
  • Clarified the “boss/assistant” dynamic between the player character and Tracey.
  • Transition to Coffee Coffee is shorter.
  • Changed the short flashback in Maris’ office to improve flow.
  • Reduced Maris’ advice to the player character.
  • Revised scene where you’re not actually in your car when the guards kidnap you.
  • Added a choice on how you spill the beans to Katrina.
  • Added a chance to kiss Tracey when s/he hugs you.
  • Clarified that Minervudottir was a former employee of Jaden Sloane’s company when they did initial research into technological implants.
  • Player character now questions why Maris thinks Jaden killed his wife. (She doesn’t answer.)
  • Clarified that Maris hired you and Early because of your investigations into the Kings/Sloanes.
  • Added a flag so that flirting with Early changes the ending.
  • Fixed an error where rejecting Tracey’s advances still gave you a romantic ending, and vice versa.
  • Endings heavily revised and expanded, and take into account more of the player’s decisions in the story.
  • Completely new epilogue added.

#5

New draft up.

Spoilers in Change Log below.

Not looking for new testers, but old testers are welcome to give any further thoughts.

OVERALL CHANGES

  • More typos sent to bed without supper.
  • Awkward sentences rewritten.
  • Added more titles to Market Share and Celebrity and tweaked numbers so they change every 20 points (up to 100).
  • Revised *choices to be in first person.
  • All ellipses and fake emdashes replaced with Unicode characters.
  • Standardized the possessive of “Maris” to be “Maris’,” not “Maris’s."
  • Standardized use of forenames and last names, such as “Schenck” to “Maris” and “Felix” to “Sloane” (except when needed for clarity).

CONTINUITY REVISIONS

  • Ch.1: Clarified that the Kings are mocking you when they’re saying there’s nothing to be afraid of.
  • Ch.1: Revised the number of gangsters in the scene upwards.
  • Ch.2: Inconsistent response from Tracey about a collaborative work environment corrected.
  • Ch.2: Removed confusing reference to Tracey working for Maris for the first time, and another about not knowing about your implants.
  • Ch.3: Removed reference to Ondrej fixing a wall that is clearly cracked.
  • Ch.3: Removed reference to a recording by Angel in circumstances when Angel couldn’t have recorded footage.
  • Ch.3: Clarified that Ondrej asked for a copy of the photo, not for Michael to take the photo.
  • Ch.4: Added a line to clarify who Joseph is (Michael’s husband).
  • Ch.4: Fixed an error that skipped an entire section of text while at the playground.
  • Ch.4: It was possible to visit the hospital, then the director, and then the hospital. Now that cycle leads to a *finish.
  • Ch.5: Removed option not to have a drink, to avoid drinking continuity errors later.
  • Ch.5: “Human interest” option revised to focus on the hospital, not to turn Felix into a hero.
  • Ch.7: Confusing line moved to previous *choice to avoid strange and suddenly violent reactions from Katrina.
  • Ch.7: Changed choices in the fail state so that you don’t reveal Felix’s name before the section where you talk about Felix.
  • Ch.7: Added some material to clarify that Felix disappeared soon after being put on administrative leave.
  • Ch.8: Possibility of spinning up duplicate lines removed.
  • Ch.8: If Katrina isn’t dead or arrested, she’s arrested here.
  • Ch.9: Tracey is no longer kidnapped. (S/he never actually was, but the fact that Jaden is lying doesn’t come across.)
  • Ch.9: No longer able to confront Jaden if you accept a bribe from him.
  • Ch.9: Possibility of spinning up duplicate lines removed.
  • Ch.10: Endings edited so Katrina is not arrested twice.
  • Ch.10: Natasha is no longer 52 years old.
  • Ch.10: Tracey no longer calls you “boss” in the ending scene.
  • Ch.10: Added a choice so the player can decide how they want to comfort Ondrej, which tweaked the final ending a little.