So, yesterday I completed the first draft of my adventure, called Arboria, which has 59 rooms and takes just over 300 commands to complete (in a non-optimised sensible sort of way).
So now I’m allowing myself a timeline like this:
This month, tidy up the code and implement some of the stuff in my checklists.
March to May, Alpha test - at least 1 day per room
June, Beta test
September, submit to IF-comp
Does that seem sensible?
Makes perfect sense to me. Though it’s never too early to beta-test (that is, after you have made sure that the game works, at the very least, if the walkthrough is followed exactly), and no amount of beta-testing is too much. I would implement to the hilt, particularly things that are pertinent to the story line, giving enough clues as to what is and is not pertinent. And remember that the game will be rated based on the first two hours of play time.
I think you have a good plan. Good luck to you!
I know what you mean about the 2h, btw, but I haven’t written this specifically as an IF-comp entry. It’s more a case of always wanting to have written a proper text adventure.
I certainly share your viewpoint. If you have time, I invite you to check out my Bullhockey!, my very first game, on IFDB. I had the same approach as you as far as wanting to write an epic IF. I entered it into IFComp 2018. I like your spirit. I still write long ones and probably will never stop.
Keep it up!