Looking for (second wave) testers for a procedural fantasy RPG, will trade testing

Hi, everyone! I’m looking for testers for 4x4 Archipelago – a game I’m planning to enter into this year’s IfComp. I already have a couple of people testing, but I could use a few more pairs of eyes. Please PM me or reply here if you’re interested. I’d also be happy to exchange testing if you’re working on something!

About the game:

4x4 Archipelago is a procedural fantasy RPG made with Twine. You start with a randomised character and travel between 16 randomised islands, exploring, fighting, questing and trading in order to increase your power and complete your main objective. It’s gameplay-heavy and story-light, and actually very similar in concept to my 2020 Spring Thing game, 4x4 Galaxy, but has more variety across playthroughs, more advanced combat and skill systems, and, of course, it’s fantasy instead of pulp sci-fi.

The game is rather long (an average playthrough could take significantly more than 2 hours, although it very much depends on how much you explore), but there’s also plenty of time for testing. (And if you’re interested, but can’t commit any time in the nearest future – I’ll most certainly be looking for “second wave” testers in around 2 months).

Thanks!

3 Likes

Welcome back! I’ve finished implementing feedback from my first three testers and I’m looking for some more people to try the game with all the changes.

As I mentioned in the “IFComp Test Swap Thread”, I’ll be happy to trade testing, and can actually start testing other game(s) right away.

I also took some screenshots of 4x4 Archipelago to better illustrate what it’s all about (inside the spoiler):

Summary


The main view of one of the islands.


An example choice from one of the quests.


The in-game journal has all sorts of info on islands you visited or heard about to help with navigation.


An example of combat with an inexperienced character.


Another combat example, this time with an experienced magic user.


Exploring one of the game’s dungeons.

Please contact me if you’re willing to give my game a try (even if you may not have the time to complete it), and especially if you’re also working on an IfComp game and want it tested!

1 Like

Why are the LOAD GAME and RESTART buttons present in every screen? Is the game so difficult that people will want to restart often? Perhaps UNDO button is preferable?

At least give them enough space/distance so those won’t be pressed accidentally.

It’s a standard Sugarcube thing. I quite like it; especially with this being a procedural game where a player may decide after a couple of screens they want to check out a different character/scenario after all, the restart button lets them do that (refreshing the page won’t work, as it only reloads the current passage).

That’s a tricky question (and more about loading than restarting the game). It’s an open RPG with no level scaling and hopefully a learning curve; because of this, new players may get some game overs before they learn what items/skills to invest in at first and where they can safely explore. Careful players are definitely less likely to get a game over though, and if they do, they only lose a couple of minutes of gameplay at most (there are savepoints and an autosave feature).

I don’t think UNDO is great in a game with turn-based combat with a randomised element, but the bigger issue is I had to disable history in the game - it’s so big leaving it on caused significant performance issues. And with the history off, UNDO won’t work.

I’ll see what I can do about this, but (as you can see on some of the screenshots), if I move the buttons further down, the sidebar won’t fit in a single window (especially if you zoom in to increase the font size) and will have it’s own scroll bar. I’ll have to check if I can move the other buttons up. Or maybe if I change the colour of the Save/Load and Restart buttons, it will help? Anyway, accidentally pressing Restart, while surely annoying, opens a window asking for confirmation, so there’s no real risk of losing your progress if that happens.

2 Likes

I’d be interested in testing this out. I remember the game from IntroComp, if I’m not mistaken, and I thought it pretty interesting.

1 Like