A Few Good Testers

My large game, “The Only Possible Prom Dress,” is now ready for its first round of testing. I’d like to enlist three or four testers who have enough spare time to give it a good wringing out. It’s definitely playable – I have a test script that will run the game clear through to the happy ending. But I’m sure there are significant snarfles that need to be dealt with. Also, I’m still expanding the conversations with the NPCs, of whom there are seven or eight.

This is a TADS 3 game, and it’s not yet available in a browser, so you’ll need an interpreter. (The latest version of Gargoyle fails to record scripts, so you won’t be able to use it. I’ve reported the bug. Anyway, Qtads has a nicer output. You can download it from QTads - A Multimedia TADS Interpreter)

It’s a straight-up parser-based puzzle-fest, no graphics or anything. It’s also a direct sequel to my first game, “Not Just an Ordinary Ballerina,” which was released in 1999. The setting is basically the same, and a few of the puzzles are closely related, but you don’t have to have played “Ballerina” to understand this one.

The plan is this: I’m hoping to do two main rounds of testing, each with a couple of sub-rounds. we’re now at stage 1a. I’ll send a version that is a “release” version, so you can test the opening. After I’ve received a couple of transcripts from you, I’ll send a “debug” version that will allow you to bypass the opening and also jump around to test later portions of the game. After the first set of testers have been through this routine, I’ll recruit three or four more people for the second round.

I want to limit the number of testers because if all goes well, this game will show up in IFComp, and I would prefer not to see too many people disqualify themselves from voting on it.

Because it’s a large game (I did mention that, didn’t I?) and needs thorough testing, it wouldn’t make much sense to have someone just give it a brief fling. So I’ll be offering a small cash incentive to testers as a thank-you gift. This certainly won’t repay you even at the per-hour minimum wage level; it’s purely to let you know that I appreciate your hard work. Cash incentives will vary from $0 to $50 or more per tester, entirely at my discretion.

If you’d like to give it a go, reply in this thread or PM me. We’ll connect via email.

How large? I haven’t counted the rooms or the portable objects, but I’d guess 70 rooms and 50 objects or thereabouts. Some of the puzzles are easy (I hope). Others are quite fiendish (I hope). I’m not even going to tell you how many moves are required to run through to a basic winning ending, because that would just scare you off. It’s a lot.