technically an extension but still a development tool(ish)

Hiya!

I wanna make beta testing go smoother so i started on this - but I’m open to suggestions on making it tick smoother and work better.

For those of us who want testing/feedback to be done more uniformly - and without being able to forget about turning on transcripts.

warning: in its current state, not very wow.

Beta Testing.i7x (6.99 KB)

[rant][code]Beta Testing by Wes Lesley begins here.

“A quick and easy extension to help you get your work beta-tested. Requires Basic Screen Effects by Emily Short”

Section Zeta - Starting up (not for release)

[nothing here… yet.]

Section Beta - for the testers (for release only)

The story headline is “A beta test”.

betakey is a truth state that varies.

First when play begins:
center “attempting to activate transcripts”;
say line break;
now betakey is false;
say fixed letter spacing;
try switching the story transcript on;
now betakey is true;
try verifying the story file;
wait for any key;
clear the screen;
say line break;
center “transcripts and notes can be sent to”;
center “[email]”;
wait for any key;
say line break;
say line break;
center “Please adhere to the following structure:”;
say line break;
say line break;
center “A bug report, glitch, or a contextual or factual error”;
center “should be preceded by an exclamation mark (!).”;
say line break;
center “Any part that gives you doubt whether or not it is intentional”;
center “should be preceded by a question mark (?).”;
say line break;
center “Any comment for improvement or anything else”;
center “should be preceded by a colon (:).”;
say line break;
say line break;
center “You may wish to keep pen and paper or a notepad application handy”;
center “at all times just in case.”;
say line break;
say line break;
wait for any key;
now betakey is false;
clear the screen;
say variable letter spacing;
now the command prompt is “>”;

Check quitting the game:
clear the screen;
say line break;
say line break;
say line break;
say fixed letter spacing;
center “QUIT THE STORY?”;
center “Are you certain you wish to quit?”;
center “(unsaved progress will be lost)”;
say line break;
center “>”;
if player consents:
say line break;
say fixed letter spacing;
center “THANK YOU FOR PLAYING”;
say line break;
center “transcripts and notes can be sent to”;
center “[email]”;
say line break;
stop game abruptly;
otherwise:
clear the screen;
say line break;
say line break;
say line break;
say variable letter spacing;
try looking;
stop the action.

After reading a command (this is the ignore beta-comments rule):
if the player’s command matches the regular expression “^\p”:
say “(Noted.)”;
reject the player’s command.

To decide whether runningbeta:
if betakey is true, yes;
no.

Rule for printing the banner text when runningbeta: do nothing.

Rule for constructing the status line when runningbeta: do nothing.

Instead of looking when runningbeta: do nothing.

Understand “paunch” as asking for swig. Asking for swig is an action out of world.
Carry out asking for swig: say “[turn count in words]”

report restoring the game:
stop the action;
clear the screen;
say line break;
say line break;
say line break;
center “Welcome back!”;
say line break;
say line break;
say line break;
wait for any key;
clear the screen;
say line break;
say line break;
say line break;
say line break;
try looking.

save the game rule response (B) is “[fancy_savegame]”.

To say fancy_savegame:
clear the screen;
say line break;
say line break;
say line break;
say fixed letter spacing;
center “CONTINUE?”;
center “Do you wish to continue playing??”;
center “(unsaved progress will be lost)”;
say line break;
center “>”;
if player consents:
clear the screen;
say line break;
say line break;
say line break;
say variable letter spacing;
try looking;
otherwise:
say line break;
say fixed letter spacing;
center “THANK YOU FOR PLAYING”;
say line break;
center “transcripts and notes can be sent to”;
center “[email]”;
say line break;
stop game abruptly.

Beta Testing ends here.

---- DOCUMENTATION ----

Chapter : Introduction

Beta Testing by Wes Lesley is to help make Beta Testing more uniform and thus more efficient.

Section : Acknowledgements

Thanks to the people of IntFiction forums for helping me get the code together.

Section : Contact

Please feel free to email wes.lesley@hotmail.com with any feedback, questions, or bug reports. If you know a really good dirty joke, I love those too.

Chapter : Stuff it needs

You’ll need a few things for this extension to work. This explains why this chapter is named the way it is.

Section : ES’s BSEe FTW

This extension is built on bits of Emily Short’s Basic Screen Effects extension. So you’ll be needing this line of code in your work:

*: Include Basic Screen Effects by Emily Short.

Section : WhoAmI

This extension does need some info on your part it can’t get out of the rest of the source. That’s why you’ll need this in your code as well:

*: To say email:
	say "[username]@[domain].[ext]"

Of course, you realize, as any sane person who is totally not a chainsaw-wielding homicidal maniac who knows where I live and when I sleep, to fill in your own e-mail address there.

Chapter : Stuff it does.

My extension does a few different things.

Section : Special Intro

When using my extension, you start the game with some special functionality.

Turn on transcripts! Sometimes overlooked, but always needed. If your testers don’t log it you have (next to) nothing to work with.

Verify the game file! Often overlooked, but consider this(!): if you mail your tester your beta, and (like mine) your e-mail service messes up and ruins the file, it will show up here as ‘corrupt’.

Remind the tester where to mail the log! Which is, to me, self-explanatory.

Quick lession on how to log comments, bug reports, questions and other such stuff! If it’s uniform, it’s easier to dig through.

Good tip! Because it’s always handy to have pen and paper or some sort of notepad application nearby at all times.

Section : Transcripts

This extension will start trying to log transcripts. So you don’t have to worry about that anymore.

Section : Verify

This extension will verify the game file. Just in case.

Section : E-mail

This extension will remind the tester upon beginning and ending the game (if they type “quit” and not just ALT+F4 out of the game or something) where to mail the transcript log.

Section : Beta Testing Crash Course

This extension will ask the tester to please adhere to the following structure:

A bug report, glitch, or a contextual or factual error should be preceded by an exclamation mark (!).
A portion that gives you doubt whether or not it is correct or an issue should be preceded by a question mark (?).
Any comment for improvement or anything else should be preceded by a colon (:).

Section : Good advice

It’s always good to have something to write handy. That’s just common sense.

Chapter : Stuff you should know

This extension will muck with the text the game puts up when saving, restoring, and quitting. Try it, you’ll see.

This extension will only work when releasing.

Example: **** Putting the extension to work - Basically all you need.

*: Section BetaTest

Include Basic Screen Effects by Emily Short.

Include Beta Testing by Wes Lesley.

To say email:
	say "[username]@[domain].[ext]" [write your own e-mail address here][/code][/rant]

I made it a while ago so it’d probably benefit from a few augments, new things I picked up. But it’s a sort of back project.

[rant][code]section cool stuff

The restore the game rule response (B) is “[fancy_restore]”.

To say fancy_restore:
clear the screen;
say line break;
say line break;
say line break;
say “[note style]Welcome back, player!”;
say line break;
say “custom message here”;
say line break;
say line break;
say line break;
say line break;
say line break;
wait for any key;
clear the screen;
say line break;
say line break;
say line break;
say line break;
try looking.

Check quitting the game:
clear the screen;
say line break;
say line break;
say line break;
say “[note style]QUIT THE STORY”;
say line break;
say “[note style]Are you certain you wish to quit?”;
say “[note style](unsaved progress will be lost)”;
say line break;
say “[note style]>”;
if player consents:
say line break;
say “[note style]Thank you for playing”;
say line break;
say “[note style][’][story title][’]”;
say line break;
say “[note style]by [story author]”;
say line break;
stop game abruptly;
otherwise:
clear the screen;
say line break;
say line break;
say line break;
try looking;
stop the action.

The save the game rule response (B) is “[fancy_savegame]”.

To say fancy_savegame:
clear the screen;
say line break;
say line break;
say line break;
say “[note style]CONTINUE?”;
say “[note style]Do you wish to continue playing??”;
say “[note style](unsaved progress will be lost)”;
say line break;
say “[note style]>”;
if player consents:
clear the screen;
say line break;
say line break;
say line break;
try looking;
otherwise:
say line break;
say “[note style]Thank you for playing”;
say line break;
say “[note style][’][story title][’]”;
say line break;
say “[note style]by [story author]”;
say line break;
stop game abruptly.[/code][/rant]

Of course I don’t know everything about everything.
[size=150]can we put our heads together and make this into something everyone uses when building something?[/size] is that a thing we can do? [size=50]I hope I can help someone with this.[/size]

sorry if it’s in the wrong place but it’s more a development tool in development than a working extension…

Interesting.

	if the player's command matches the regular expression "^\p": 

It would be better to use a more specific regular expression to catch typos.

	if the player's command matches the regular expression "^<!:?>": 

A feedback e-mail should mention if there are notes in the transcript.

It isn’t clear in the quote that you (the tester) should type one of these characters followed by your comment in the game - like a regular command. Show some example notes.

Forcing a tester to make a choice (what type is it?) before making a note increases friction. The simpler feedback is, the more you can expect. It’s usually too much to ask that external testers can make fine distinctions between bugs and unexpected behaviour. If the game prints an error message it’s a bug; otherwise there’s no telling. You could send source code to testers (often source code doesn’t include instructions or necessary extensions so it’s not easy to use) but not everybody is a programmer. The simplest categories such as typos or crashes can be profitably distinguished. It’s easier to remember word codes e.g. “typo” than arbitrary symbols. What format for typos do you prefer?

There isn’t a section listing/describing debug commands e.g. PRONOUNS.