Beta Tester/s wanted for my first game!

Hi All-
I have a very rough draft of my first IF game, written in Inform 7, called “What Heart Heard Of, Ghost Guessed.” It’s a gothic family horror with about 20 locations. It contains violence, child abuse, and is generally pretty grim. It has a nonstandard verb set, so aside from “examine”, the player has to discover the actions they can take as the game progresses.

I have only been able to find 2 people to play through it, and they both found game-breaking bugs, so I have to assume that there will be abundant issues with it. I’m sorry to ask folks to play such a rough version, but depressingly, nearly everyone I know seems to hate IF, which makes me really, really sad.

It also means that I really have no idea how long it will take to play this, as both my players spent a lot of time pointing out problems and writing me feedback during their play and never finished in their first runs due to game-breaking bugs. It takes me 8 minutes to plug in the correct commands to win the game, but I suppose if any of the puzzles are actually difficult to solve, it might take a good long while. It’s very wordy, so a lot of reading.

If anyone is willing to play, please email me at . I’d really appreciate the help- I know how much work it is to beta test any game, let alone one so rough. I’m willing to send just the release, or the code, or whatever works.
Thanks!- Amanda


I think it’s more of a case for “nearly everyone hate non-standard IF.” This applies to platform, UI, and yes, experimental works.

Regarding general audience, even Inform, which is gold standard around here, are viewed as quirky and strange in terms of Steam and other app offerings. I see only Inkle breaks through, and that’s with exhausting effort in GUI.

The pioneers get the arrows. All I can say is hang in there and finish what you started.

BTW, how non-standard are the actions? I don’t expect players to be so clever as to be able to overcome brilliant designs. Sorry to be so pessimistic, but my experience about it is all painful. Maybe you can recast it to CYOA, VN, or PNC?

Sent you an email. I’d gladly beta test your game.

The responses I got from all my peeps was “Ugh. Typing. I hate those games.”
The verbs are proper verbs, they just aren’t take, push, open, etc. So not like a made-up language or anything like that. It hopefully, once the player tweaks to the gimmick, should make play a little easier, since it’s a limited command set.
I’ve struggled with how steep to make the learning curve for figuring out the commands, so hopefully that’s some advice I’ll get from testers.


Oh, then it would be helpful to implement HELP VERBS, or just VERBS, and lists all the verbs.

Your game sounds like it’s an excellent candidate for PNC Point and Click game, but I’m not aware any such GUI wrapper that is related with Inform.

Good luck with your game. I’m not comfortable with text that is worse than PG13, so I won’t beta test it, but I’m sure others will. We like parser games here.

Oh, don’t worry, I will ¿alfatest? the game for you. Send me an email.

Thanks, Jade- give me a couple of days to fix problems other testers are finding, and I’ll message you a cleaner version. I really appreciate your taking the time!

I’ll play.

This has been my experience as well. The people inside the IF community are infactuated with parser games, but outside the community most people scoff at them. Getting people to play a game with links like a choice game is a lot easier. But it’s actually quite a struggle in general to get anyone to play a game that doesn’t have graphics.

Right? It’s terrible. Even some of the IF that has made it to touchscreen- hence no typing- is a difficult sell. I have a gnawing suspicion that people don’t want to read, either. I adore gaming of all types and achieve a nice mix of IF and graphics-based games, but I can only share the graphics-based games with my friends. It’s a sadness to me.


I spent about a year making a hypertext fiction engine, and instead of all of my friends being like “That’s cool!”, they’re just like “But… why?” :sob:

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