The Magician's Workshop -- BETA TESTERS NEEDED

In 1512, Florence is known for ruthless politics, art, and magic – its alchemists, animators and soothsayers work wonders. You can rise to power at the city’s best workshop, if you keep your powerful clients happy and your rivals at bay. The Medici family is back in control of the city, your friend Machiavelli is in exile, and the city is full of dangerous secrets. When a figure in the shadows offers you a chance to build a mysterious machine, will you do whatever it takes to gain power? Or can you forge your own path no matter what natural or supernatural forces intervene?

Directions for beta-testing:

Email me, jason AT choiceofgames for access.

  • Do not send me DMs/PMs through the forum mail system, Discord, text message, carrier pigeon, or anything 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 me multiple times about joining a beta. If you don’t email me as soon as I post a beta, you go into a queue. As we post new drafts, I admit more people from the queue. Eventually, I will get to you.

When you have been admitted to the beta, I 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 me, 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 MY 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.

15 Likes

New draft is up, v18103! Changelog:

  • Fixed bug where player couldn’t choose a name

  • Added a chance to flirt with one of the romance options, raised the threshold for romance branches for all options

  • Many typo and continuity fixes.

1 Like

Another new draft, v18117! Changelog:

  • Fixed the bug on the stats screen about fresco progress

  • Fixed about a half-dozen typos and visible code glitches

New draft, v18148! Changelog:

  • Fixed bug that brought you to the flying machine twice
  • Fixed continuity error with Piero or Fiametta not recognizing Stella
  • Fixed several errors related to team name variables
  • Fixed romance choice options in Ch 7
  • Fixed stats screen for Lucrezia and the Monaciello
  • Fixed vouching threshold in Ch 10
  • Fixed initials in fresco signature
  • Several typos and duplicated text fixed
1 Like

The summary kinda reminds me of Choice of Alexandria. Is this game written by @kgold too?

Nope, this is from Kate Heartfield, author of The Road to Canterbury!

2 Likes

I liked that game too. So this’ll be another one I’ll buy. Tho considering this is still the beta thread I suppose it’ll be some time till we get there.

Hello Jason

I wish to become a beta tester for, the magicians workshop.
My Forum name is Trinity_Reid and that is also my name. I apologize if I have done this incorrectly.

1 Like

For future reference, the way you do it is by following these steps. Once you do this you will be invited into the beta. Keep an eye on your email. Please make sure to read the whole announcement next time!

12%20PM

5 Likes

New draft, v18152! Changelog:

  • Clarified choices for how to do the fresco

  • Fixed bug awarding a higher number of commissions completed than appropriate

  • Fixed stats screen bug related to weapon progress

  • Fixed minor continuity error in Ch 1 description of alchemy

  • Fixed continuity error in Ch 9

  • Typos

  • Fixed a line of duplicated text in a commission

  • Clarified the answer to a mystery by adding a conversation to Ch 7

  • Fixed error sending some random seeds to Ch 3 from startup

1 Like

New draft, v 18168!

  • Changed wording of a romance question in Ch 2
  • Changed romance options throughout the middle chapters to gate more on true/false variables rather than number of flirtatious encounters
  • Moved name/gender/orientation choices later in Ch 1 and added a physical appearance choice
  • Added some description of Machiavelli in Ch 2
  • Fixed author of book not displaying in Ch 3
  • Moved choice about backstory with Konrad/Giulia from Ch 4 to Ch 2
  • Fixed some variable capitalization in Ch 10, and Ch 4 (in scene now moved to Ch 2)
  • Fixed quotation marks in multireplace in Ch 7
  • Fixed misplaced fresco achievement Ch 6
  • Fixed mistaken reference to pen commission Ch 6
  • Smoothed out description of final stage of vault commission
  • Added dialog choice in Ch 9
  • Added description of supplies to flying machine commission
  • Added some dialog at the end of Ch 9
  • Added some text and a choice in the master epilogue in Ch 10
  • Small line spacing fixes in various places and typo fixes
2 Likes

New draft, v18169! Changelog:

  • Re-inserted name choice in Ch 1 (whoops)
  • Fixed a few more typos
  • Fixed duplicated text Ch 8
  • Fixed continuity error with Dangereuse in Ch 10
  • Added a chance to flirt with Konrad or Giulia in Ch. 2
1 Like

New draft, v18173! Changelog:

  • Fixed minor missing text in commissions
  • Fixed bit of visible code in Ch 4
  • Changed a page break in Ch 4 to make the narrative flow better
  • The continuity problem with the leaving Florence/not leaving Florence passages in Ch 10 has been resolved
1 Like

New draft, v18178! Changelog:

  • Fixed Monaciello relationship stat adjustment in Ch 4
  • Fixed visible code Ch 8

New draft, v18193! Changelog:

  • Fixed typo Ch 3
  • Fixed text not displaying when telling Fiametta about commissions in Ch 3
  • Fixed text duplication Ch 7
  • Tweaked a name to a pronoun to flow better in Ch 7
  • Removed a line of Dangereuse dialogue in Ch 10
2 Likes

New draft, v18220! Changelog:

  • Fixed dialog spacing Ch 8
  • Typo fixes throughout
  • Fixed duplicated text in Ch 8
  • Improved text flow in commissions
  • Changed wording of choice Ch 1
  • Changed wording of choice Ch 3
  • Fixed problem with the thresholds for success/vouching in Ch 10
  • Minor rephrases in Ch 1 and Ch 3
  • Fixed text duplication Ch 3 and Ch 7
  • Fixed flow issue in Ch 4 in the fountain conversation with Piero and Fiametta
  • Fixed team name display in Ch 8
  • Removed a line about the Monaciello in Ch 8
  • Added a bit of dialog with Piero and Fiametta in Ch 9 about the notebook/Machine
  • Added a callback in Ch 9 to collaboration decision in Ch 7
  • Fixed visible code Ch 4, Ch 6 and Ch 9
  • Added line of text to commissions
  • Removed Alfonsina’s reference to vault in Ch 10
  • Fixed third person in choices in Ch 1, Ch 2 and commissions
  • Fixed sentence breaking at “it’s a relief,” in Ch 7
  • Fixed variable capitalization Ch 8
  • Fixed flow of dialog with Ana de Rojas Ch 8
  • Reworded Andrea’s comment about the workshop in Ch 9
  • Added nuance to conversations in Ch 10 with Piero and Fiametta to take into account more possible changes to relationships
  • Fixed continuity error in Dangereuse choice Ch 5
  • Rephrased “carry on with” instruction in commissions for clarity
  • Fixed continuity error in epilogue
  • Rephrase in Ch 3
  • Fixed purse dye continuity error in commissions
  • Fixed continuity error after asking Dangereuse for help in Ch 9
  • Fixed “read the paper” continuity error in Ch 10
  • Fixed missing dialog with Fiametta in Ch 4
  • Fixed collaboration text in Ch 4
1 Like

New draft, v18245! Changelog:

  • Added a page break to Ch 1
  • Added spacing to explanation of stats on stats page
  • Minor rephrase of a choice in Ch 1
  • Rephrased a description of tiles Ch 3
  • Rephrase in Ch 7
  • A few typos throughout
  • Clarified a segue in Ch 1, and in commissions
  • Added a sentence to commissions
  • Added a sentence to Ch 10
  • Visible code Ch 8
  • Fixed broken sentences in Ch 4, Ch 10
  • Spoiler removed from stats page

This is the last call for feedback! Please get any final comments in today.

Just wanted to pop in here and say thank you to all the beta testers – the feedback has really improved the game and I’m grateful for everyone’s hard work and thoughtful attention to detail.

4 Likes

The beta is now closed. Thanks again to everyone who sent in feedback!

1 Like