The Sea Eternal -- BETA TESTERS NEEDED


#1

The Sea Eternal: An exploration of bodies, power, and personal transformation against the backdrop of an eternal war between the whales and the squid.

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. If you receive an access email and decide you can’t participate, LET ME KNOW, so I remove you from the testers pool; if you don’t let me know promptly, it will impact your future testing candidacy.

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.


On Beta Testing
#2

#3

@jasonstevanhill, you always say high level and low level, but no mid level. Out of curiosity, what is mid-level feedback?


#4

Bodies? You don’t mean…ahem…reproduction?xD


#5

Hello, I sent a email your way.


#6


Oh boy, I figured this question would eventually turn up somewhere, here or there.

:flushed::flushed::flushed:

I’m, uh, actually to blame for Mr. Hill incorporating the

portions in his posts.

I was, a while back, beta testing for @JimD for A Wise Use of Time, and I had the most annoying habit of pretending to be JimD’s copyeditor.

Mr. Hill finally spoke up in an attempt to correct me.



To answer your question:

Mid-Level Feedback is stuff that a copy editor is paid to do.


In my case, I had a lot of grammatical suggestions, for JimD, that went way beyond the scope of pointing out simple typos and errors.

Mr. Hill was also trying to prevent me from overworking myself on trivial details.

I mean, I had a lot of stuff packed into those reports; I think some of the chapter reports I sent in were about 6 pages long; keep in mind that I usually sent feedback only when I finished a single chapter, so most of my reports were absolutely gigantic yet only covered a relatively small portion of the game.

(Normally, the ridiculous tediousness associated with my actions would kill the average person; but, since I’m a dog, I managed to survive albeit only clinging to the last shreds of my life and sanity.)

What made Mr. Hill decide to begin including the additional information in his future Beta-Test Announcements was my insane determination to continue imitating JimD’s copy editor despite constant deterrence from the Big Man Up Top (@jasonstevanhill).


[quote=“jasonstevanhill, post:78, topic:8562, full:true”]
Gawddamnit.

Okay, Packet, you don’t seem to be getting what I’m trying to get across to you.

It’s not that hard but I’ll spell it out for you anyway.

STOP IMPERSONATING JIMD’S COPYEDITOR.

I swear to the Lord Almighty–
Oh, wait. That’s me.

I swear to MYSELF that if you e-mail me another one of those 12-page reports, I will beat you with a leek!! And, I’ll freeze that unholy smack-stick to really make it sting!

In the meantime, I’ll update the information that I include in my announcements; now you’ll have to live with the fact that, because of your actions, you are the reason why I am compelled to meticulously explain to everyone that mid-level feedback is something that we are not looking for!

Every time you peer into one of my beta test threads, you’ll have no choice but to be overwhelmed by the immeasurable shame of your miserable failures.

And, that’s pretty bad right there.
I mean, this company is called Choice Of Games, but you’re forcing me to take away your choice in this matter.

... That... actually sort of makes me feel bad... in a peculiar manner that I can't quite describe...

… But, I’ll get over it.[/quote]


(Mr. Hill proceeded to take a sip of his tea.)



I answered “two lumps” and was given two black-eyes for my troubles.

Then, I was assigned to swabbing the deck for 200 days as additional punishment for my crimes. :neutral_face:

Also, in hindsight, I’m surprised that @JimD didn’t decide to whoop my a** for making him read all that stuff I repeatedly sent to him. :grimacing:


#7

@Packet, I didn’t realize there was a story behind mid-level feedback. Wow. Honestly, if I were him, I would tell people to do all three and fire the copy editor. Of course that may be one reason I’m not him.


#8

@Doctor the thing is, there are a variety of different styles of copyediting: MLA, Chicago, AP, etc. For example, the use of the Oxford (or serial) comma.

Some styles like it, some don’t.

If you give in your beta feedback one set of notes on grammar, that may conflict with our “house style,” because maybe you prefer Oxford commas, whereas we don’t. You may have a preference for punctiliousness, whereas we may grant a little more leeway to the author’s artistry. Or vice versa.

The point is, we work with our copyeditors to maintain a certain house style. I can’t expect beta testers to learn or comment on that house style. In fact, I would be more inclined to expect beta testers to quibble over that house style than to execute on it successfully. So, it’s better to just have beta testers focus on “obvious typos,” “story issues,” “continuity errors,” and “flat or otherwise disappointing prose.”

W/r/t typos: that just saves the copyeditor time, so they can think about deeper linguistic issues.

W/r/t story issues: the copyeditor is taking the game sentence-by-sentence. They’re not playing the game. They don’t know or care if every ending is narratively satisfying. Similarly, if there’s a moment in the game where you, the tester, say to yourself, “hey, shouldn’t I have been able to use Excalibur to slay the dragon right there?” Or, worse, “you know, I’m super-super-charming…why can’t I try to talk my way past this dragon?” The copyeditor isn’t going to insert new #options into the game. But beta testers can suggest that, and an author can choose to listen.

W/r/t continuity issues: the copyeditor isn’t playing the game; they don’t see gendered pronouns, for example, in action. Instead, they see the code. Therefore, if a “${he}” should be used instead of a “he”, a copyeditor might not catch that (since it’s not obvious in the code in the same way that it is when playing the game).

W/r/t flat prose: as I said to @Packet, line edits are sometimes/somewhat outside the scope of a copyedit. So, if there’s a passage or even a line that just comes across as flat to you, point it out, and explain why. Say, “you know, this paragraph is lame because of x, y, and z.” And then the author can try to spice it up.

@Packet Thank you for your detailed response.


#9

flinches

Oh, dang, boss!
Sorry, thought you were gonna smite me for a moment there!

But, really, Jason was pretty swell in his assessments of my feedback and actually went out of his way to help me determine exactly what I needed to do during beta testing.

It’s one of the reasons I’m able still able to show my face around here. :sweat_smile:
I admit, I pretty much flubbed hard in the beta testing for A Wise Use of Time.

If the good boss here wasn’t so patient and understanding, I’d be too ashamed to stick around.

I’m sensitive like that. :disappointed:

So, from one bro to another, thanks Jason.

No Homo, he has a fiancé/wife.

Edit: Come to think of it, JimD was pretty chill about the whole thing, so I gotta send some thanks to Jim bro too. :smile:


#10

Is there a due date we should be looking out for as to when you’d like our comments?


#11

New draft up!

@DorianTheExplorian uh, as soon as possible? After about the 11th, though, the utility declines.


#12

New draft up!

Could also use some people specifically looking at the various “Squid” endings.


#13

New draft up!

Again, still need people to play the Squid endings.


#14

New draft up!


#15

New draft up!

Could still use new testers, especially for “squid” endings!


#16

New draft up!


#17

New draft up!

(with the stub of a new ending)


#19

New draft up!