Trials of the Thief-Taker -- BETA TESTERS NEEDED


You are a London-based Thief-taker (bounty hunter) who captures thieves and returns them to the Tower of London, likely to be hanged for their crimes. But the power of the Thief-taker is can be tempered when criminals have money and the misfortunate have tear-jerking stories to dissuade you from the discharge of your duty.

Email me, jason AT choiceofgames for access. DO NOT SEND ME A MESSAGE THROUGH THE FORUM MAIL SYSTEM. When you send your EMAIL, include your forumname, your real name, and the game you want to test.

(You cannot be testing two games at once. Send feedback on one and you can apply to another.)

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.

“Mid-level” feedback describes things like grammar, style, 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 high-level 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 really helpful feedback.



Fwiw, I have a new draft in my inbox, but I won’t be able to post it for another two or three hours. So, if you’re getting ready to play, better to wait until I post that it’s up.


New draft up!


  • Fixed bug where option about the brooch being lost appeared even when you got the brooch back
  • changed the verb ‘career’ to ‘chase’ to be less confusing hunt begins 12
  • fixed typo clipped coins 239
  • fixed typo clipped coins 793
  • added a set of choices [around 1005 hunt begins] for the player if they’re in the shadows, allowing for a proper ambush.
  • Added little choice/conversation with Nia if you helped her at the beginning of Mohocks
  • fixed a bug which skipped the interview with the gardener if you picked 2/3 of the cook options
  • lowered the lawful penalty for killing Nia: you can already get arrested for it if Cuffin doesn’t like you, so it doesn’t need a huge penalty.


  • Add in possibility of searching the gardener’s house in the second case.
  • Expand lead up to the horse race vignette
  • Give the player an actual choice of what they disclose to the journalist in Hunt Begins
  • More gang member vignettes + conversational remarks - perhaps a mini-vignette for each one, or a chance to socialise with them individually in tavern scenes
  • Clarify a bit how good or bad your case is looking after each section of the trial
  • Perhaps clarify in the wording of street/oratory/relationship tests to better hint what stat is at play
  • Give the player an option to hand themselves in after killing Nia, rather than defaulting to hiding the body


New draft up!


  • city 727 typo fix
  • Friends 343 typo fix
  • hunt 1237 typo fix
  • city 136 rewording for poor grammar
  • fixed bug (city 161) where you could be treated as a guy & marry Nancy even as a woman
  • fixed major bug with the court logic in Fate
  • prosecutor no longer brings in character witnesses (fate)
  • deportation gives you the virginia ending (as always intended)
  • fixed a few bugs (mainly in hunt) where the gang # wasn’t going down correctly when you lost gang members.


Hi all –

You’ve sent in a lot of useful feedback. I’m going to hold off on admitting any new people until the author’s had a chance to turn around a new draft.

If you’ve already played it, please wait for me to post about the new draft to play it again.



CHANGELIST 30/05/2017

  • Fixed bug in City where you can know Nia’s name before learning of it
  • Added chapter headings
  • Added stat screen headings
  • Removed anachronistic coins
  • Added explanation for grouts & sixpences
  • Ended Nia romance for blackguards
  • Nia romance no longer locks off business
  • Nia no longer summons you if she doesn’t like you
  • Fixed missing name bug with ${hang} variable
  • Fixed continuity error after betraying the coiners in Audience
  • Money now rounds to the nearest penny
  • Player no longer accidentally transforms into a row boat
  • All thief-takers now properly hyphenated
  • “eagerly sweat” no longer
  • Missing snippet written fate 610
  • Added some more conversation points in Mohocks
  • Can now try and brusquely ignore your own arrest
  • Fixed bug wherein you could be tried for Nia’s murder if she dies in prison
  • Amended stat screen relationships for enemies dead and gone
  • Fixed bug in which it says you go to make plans with friends when you have no friends
  • Bacon Faced Ben no longer trips over his own chin.
  • Stat screen button label
  • Flashbacks now all take place in the past tense
  • No longer kicking doors in with a swift book
  • Jack needn’t both emerge and appear at the same time
  • Made sure servant names are known regardless of investigative tactic
  • Beggars, properly paid, are now much less vague when giving descriptions
  • Now a choice of what to say to the coiners at the door
  • A few more gang member snippets & mentions
  • Better transition to Nia collaboration
  • New opt-out of Darlington lodge theft
  • Can now have altruistic reasons not to have a gang
  • Fixed bug where going it alone temporarily makes you a man
  • Fixed continuity error with post-hanging body names
  • Removed redundancy price 1167
  • Continuity error city 638
  • Continuity error masquerade 900
  • Fixed bug where you could choose to ignore Mr. Cuffin infinitely.
  • Fixed continuity error in hunt journalism (pending expansion)
  • Removed premature ending after faking your death



  • bunch of typos & various misformed variables caught
  • many cases of besides not meaning the same as beside
  • even more reasons to go solo added
  • added a backup way of catching Jack if he manages to run away in the Masquerade scene.
  • more anglicisations squashed
  • Cuffin a touch more condescending when you haven’t caught anyone
  • new hanger-on scene involving a haunted beard
  • new hanger-on scene in which a marriage proposal must be turned down
  • new hanger-on scene where money is asked for questionable pursuits
  • more textual support for sobriety
  • some rewordings, expansions
  • sorted some header issues
  • now only the character can cheat at dice, not the player.
  • gallows continuity error


New draft posted! The game literally expanded by 15% since the last draft.


[spoiler]- Expanded the questioning of the cook

  • Some more choices in flashback section of Riverside court
  • Scene with Emily Thistle’s sister in Audience.
  • Fixed chocolate house gang continuity
  • player can now choose their apartment, with varying rents due
  • two new scenes with landlord
  • can now buy horses on credit
  • full multi-chapter debt subplot
  • debts now listed in stats
  • now choose what to say to journalist
  • Added some reaction choices when arrested
  • Allowed slinking off at the end of Mohocks
  • Expanded Jack scene if you help him in Masquerade (better lead in to romance)
  • The trial sequence is more highly choicified
  • There’s now a romantic walk with Nia + another chance to stab her in the back
  • Scene with Tibs to allow possible trust raise before riverside chapter
  • new reflective choices if you frame leicester
  • continuity bug fixed with Lady Darlington and her brooch
  • Hatfield Peverel now in the correct county
  • On the way to Kent, the player now meets a gambler and can hazard their fortune
  • Some Britishism quashed, others restored, a million more typos slain
  • standardised some name uses
  • Squashed some questionable othering of Welsh
  • Fixed a bug where actual number of gang members and the gang number got out of sync
  • Mohocks insensitivity now foregrounded more in the fiction, with option to drop them from the gang after chocolate house scene
  • Fixed a few bugs with the Hazard game in Mohocks that previously made the second mini-game sometimes impossible to win.
  • Expanded crime scenes in Friends (now much more of a sense of running a criminal empire)
  • Expanded betrayal in Friends
  • Expanded gang vignettes in Friends
  • Various options and reactions added, including second chance to refuse to be so unspeakable to one’s horse[/spoiler]