Seeking alpha testers for an IFComp 2022 entry [update: not any more]

Hi all!

I’ve been working on a comedy-puzzly parser-based game for IFComp called Honk!. I’m about to go on holiday and won’t be working on the game for a week or two, and I was hoping to get a few people to test what I have so far.

I’m calling this alpha testing for now, because the game is not complete. Bits of the writing haven’t been done yet, the writing that IS there needs redrafting, some custom responses are missing, some scenery is unimplemented, some new actions haven’t been thoroughly roadtested, NPCs are too static, and I want to add more conversation options. Despite all that, the game is playable with all scenes and puzzles implemented, in-game hints and a few good jokes (I hope), and you can get to a winning ending. (I would have liked to get it closer to finished before testing, but I really badly need a break from it!)

Honk! is set in a circus and carnival. It’s kid-friendly, although not aimed directly at kids. I don’t think there is any content that needs warning about, apart from maybe implied blood (only if you take an obviously wrong action), food, and clowns (but a very nice clown!). I’m writing for IFComp, so the game should take less than two hours to play through.

If anyone’s willing to take time out of ParserComp to play a much scrappier and less polished game, I would really appreciate the help! I’d like a transcript of your play session recorded if you can. Turnaround doesn’t have to be immediate - some time in the next few weeks would be ideal. I’ve got a hint menu in place if you get stuck - I’ll be happy if you avoid using it, but it’s there if the puzzles are too obtuse. I’ve used Inform’s Release for Testing option, so testing commands like PURLOIN will be available (and I’m also releasing with the source code if you really want to get into it).

Please let me know by private message if you’re interested, so I can PM you a link to the file! Thanks!


I think I have enough alpha testers for now. Thank you all so much! I will probably be looking for beta testers in late August for anyone who’s still interested.

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A little update on this: I’m going to pull this game from IFComp 2022 and aim for Spring Thing 2023 or IFComp 2023 instead. This is for a happy reason: I am starting a new job at the end of August. This means that I won’t be able to work on Honk! much in September, and I’m still not ready for beta testing. Trying to rush this game was causing me stress that I don’t need. This feels like a shame because the bulk of the game is done, but there are just too many things that need rewriting and polishing and bug-fixing. I think delaying it is the right thing to do.

This frees me up to do a little beta-testing for other IFComp participants. So let me know if that’s you!


Congratulations on the new job. Sounds like a good plan to push the game back a bit - it’s better not to rush these things and there’s really no need with the number of competitions around these days. Spring Thing is a lovely one to enter, if you make it by then.