Scandal Notes - HEART'S CHOICE - BETA TESTERS NEEDED

Scandal Notes, by Evelyn Pryce

Find glamor, glitz, gossip, and love! You and your friends are the talk of the town - but will a malicious journalist turn the tables?

In the heart of London, flappers flap and the 20s roar! For an ambitious novelist like you, there’s inspiration everywhere. The nights are filled with fabulous parties where champagne flows freely and jazz plays in dance halls and smoky clubs. You and your friends - a group of Bright Young Things known as the King’s Road Crew - are at the center of it all, the talk of the town and the top of every society page.

But now, the author of the infamous gossip column “Scandal Notes” is starting to comment on secrets that your friends would rather not see the light of day - and secrets that only someone close to you would know. Can you unmask the traitor? Are all of your friends really what they seem?

While you ferret out the nasty scribe smearing your reputation, love is on the horizon. Will you fall for Sybil Warwick, the fashionable and fun-loving star of the silent screen? Or Errol Sharp, the literary critic whose wit matches his name?

Dance the Charleston until dawn, write a novel for the ages, find true love - and above all, keep your name out of “Scandal Notes”!

This is a Heart’s Choice game. The PC is gender-locked female. There are two ROs, one gender-locked female and one gender-locked male. It has one chili pepper: all sex happens after a fade-to-black.


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. If you are already testing one game, send in feedback on that game before you 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.

15 Likes

New draft!

Changelog includes

  • ch 2 Fixed a bug that increased all relationships by 110% instead of 10% :slight_smile:
  • ch 3 clarified PC’s interaction with Sybil at the beginning of the chapter
  • ch 4 untangled Sybil’s confession to the PC
  • ch 6 clarified who’s in the car at which time when the PC is riding home with Norry and Errol
  • ch 7 If you accepted the job offer in ch 5, you don’t have an interview for it here
  • ch 9 clarified who’s flirting and when

And now: the big change! There is a new RO! You can now romance Norry, too!

This is version 28573

4 Likes

New draft!

Assorted typos fixed; and if you decide to go to the afterparty in Ch 5, there’s an extended description of what happens.

This is version 28588

4 Likes

New draft! Changelog includes:

  • improved tracking of the PC’s personal habits: the text won’t assume you smoke if you’ve declared that you don’t; and nobody will offer you a drink of “Unknown”
  • Clarification of which stats get tested in which options
  • Improved continuity in the kissing scenes in Ch 6
  • Improved continuity in Ch 7 regarding who’s interested in whom, and who’s checking in on whom
  • Recalibration of stat tests in the last few chapters
  • more typos fixed

This is version 28611

3 Likes

New draft! A big update. Changelog includes:

Lots of typos fixed!

Ch 1

  • Clarified Norry’s naming convention
  • More detail on the PC’s clothing in response to their choice of style
  • clarified the Dragon’s Den (no, not the British equivalent of the TV show Shark Tank :slight_smile: )
  • added more hair and skin color options

Ch 2

  • It doesn’t say that the PC has flirted with Errol before they’ve actually done it
  • The newspaper no longer teleports back and forth between Norry and Colin

Ch 5

  • smoothed out the conversation with Sybil at the gallery
  • if you met Mr. Davies in Ch 3, the game remembers that here; and if you didn’t, then he doesn’t act as if he knows you

Ch 7

  • The PC doesn’t act as if they’ve never heard Osgood’s name if they have actually heard it before.

Ch 8

  • Fixed continuity regarding the PC’s costume, so people always react to them in the correct way

This is version 26857

1 Like

New draft!

Changelog:

More assorted typos fixed

Lots of stat recalibration! In particular, it should now actually be possible to win the scavenger hunt in Ch 2, and easier to succeed at matchmaking between Colin and Israel in Ch 9.

And a few continuity updates:

  • Ch 4 - if you sneak up on Errol while he’s working, clarified that his unhappiness is actually a clue that he’s hiding something, not an inconsistency in his treatment of you.

  • Ch 8-9 - fixed a bug that caused the game not to remember that you’d done some romantic things with Sybil!

This is version 28689

1 Like

New draft!

The usual assortment of typos fixed, plus some more notable changes:
General

  • more acknowledgement of whether you drink alcohol or not
  • better tracking whether you’ve kissed Errol or not

Ch 1: you no longer enter the parlor if you’re already in the parlor

Ch 2

  • clarified conversation with Errol and Norry about your writing
  • fixed continuity about who’s in which cab

Ch 3 your novel is no longer named before you choose its title

Ch 4 Norry no longer teleports around the house at dinnertime

Ch 5-6 If you prevent Eric from making a scene at the gallery opening, that’s correctly acknowledged when Norry brings it up the next day

Ch 9 more prevention of Norry teleporting

This is version 28777

New draft! Changelog includes:

Ch 1

  • Fixed a bug where the “do you smoke?” variables were accidentally reversed, oops!
  • Fixed continuity of the PC teleporting from the library to the rooftop

Ch 2

  • Corrected more carpool confusion

Ch 8

  • fixed another teleporting newspaper

This is version 28788

1 Like

New draft! Changelog includes:

The usual assortment of typos fixed throughout

Ch 2

  • A few clarifications about the scavenger hunt: who asked you to do what, and who found what

Ch 8-9

  • fixed some more continuity bugs regarding where the PC spends the night after the party! It should now really truly remember who you went home with at the end of Ch 8 and where you wake up in Ch 9!

Ch 10

  • some clarifications in the scene where Sybil is singing badly; especially regarding who’s where

This is version 28841

2 Likes