Social Services of the Doomed - BETA TESTERS NEEDED

Urban fantasy meets one determined bureaucrat: you. The vampires and werewolves started a turf war, and you’re the lucky city employee sent to mediate a resolution. Use sweet words, clever loopholes, or a good punch to make a point about zoning laws. When your city is threatened by supernatural citizens who aren’t convinced they need to keep abiding by the law, only your decisions stand between them and a city in flames. Unless you wanted a city in flames? Because some factions are willing to cut a deal on the side, if that civil servant paycheck isn’t stretching as far as you’d like.

Wishlist it on Steam here: Social Services of the Doomed on Steam

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. Send feedback on one and you can 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

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.

15 Likes

New draft posted! r26157

  • Stat starting levels and choice-based adjustments have been rebalanced throughout the game. It should be easier to start desired romances, get promoted, and avoid failure in the final chapter. It might also be easier to die.
  • The receptionist’s lack of name is now explained.
  • Some adjustments made to interactions with Sullivan, especially if
    you’re playing a wizard.
  • Chapter 8’s opening has been streamlined.
  • In chapter 10: fire damage (to you) is now tracked and applied more consistently; some wizard-specific options are now easier; Vanja (if present) is also better tracked.
2 Likes

New draft posted! r26163

  • Fixed continuity for your chosen weapon in chapter 11.
  • Added another option for the final treaty between the vampires and werewolves, and made two of the other options easier to unlock.
  • If Hikaru is freed from Hell, the game now tracks this properly.
  • Added a second romance start location for each of Shay and Patricia.
  • Lee’s romance start can now be reached from multiple locations in that scene.
  • Vanja’s romance is now easier to start (though they remain the most difficult RO to pursue, because they are naturally a difficult person).
4 Likes

New draft posted! r26166

  • More rebalancing. Oh, the rebalancing!
  • The harpy prophecy has been reworded to avoid continuity issues.
  • The flashback evening at the start of chapter 10 has been removed, and replaced with an expanded version of those options (plus a few new ones) at the end of chapter 9.
  • Community service options have been added whenever you choose how to spend a free evening.
  • Many ley line issues have been revised in code for continuity & variation; this should allow for a much wider variety of results in chapter 11.
  • A sequence has been added between Saturday events and the Monday treaty meeting to address dangling plot threads.
  • Promotion/demotion now takes many specific events into account, as well as your final stats.
2 Likes

New draft posted!

  • Now with Achievements!
3 Likes