ADRIFT Forum


The place to discuss the ADRIFT Interactive Fiction toolkit

Walk-through while betatesting?

The place to chat about ideas, writing, this forum, or anything related to Interactive Fiction that isn't specific to ADRIFT.

Please also visit the Interactive Fiction Community Forum for further discussions.

Walk-through while betatesting?

Postby P/o Prune » Sun Jan 12, 2020 3:19 pm

What do you say.
Would you prefer to have a walk-through available while betatesting a game?
Personally I would say yes.
For me it would give a nice flow to testing the game and I won't have to wait for a reply from the author when I get hopelessly stuck. I can play the game when I want to / have time and I believe that the testing will go faster.
D-Day in progress 86Kb (Slowly drifting)
Just a Fairy Tale: 138Kb
User avatar
P/o Prune
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4643
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2002 8:18 am
Location: Denmark
Points: 93

Re: Walk-through while betatesting?

Postby rotter » Sun Jan 12, 2020 10:07 pm

For the first couple of rounds of testing I would say no. The tester is likely to just work through the walkthrough and no find other issues.
Currently working on "The Blank Wall" in ADRIFT 5 and "Again and Again" in Inform 7.
Delron, the home of Otter Interactive Fiction.
User avatar
rotter
 
Posts: 1422
Joined: Sat May 08, 2004 12:12 am
Location: UK
Points: 20

Re: Walk-through while betatesting?

Postby David Whyld » Sun Jan 12, 2020 10:35 pm

If you want the tester to play the game the same as a player would, withhold the walkthrough. If you're happy for them to cheat every time they get stuck, give them the walkthrough.

Speaking as a tester here, I find it very hard to resist looking at the walkthrough if I get stuck.
David Whyld
 
Posts: 7006
Joined: Sat Dec 18, 2004 5:15 pm
Location: United Kingdom
Points: 35

Re: Walk-through while betatesting?

Postby P/o Prune » Mon Jan 13, 2020 8:21 am

That was one of my concerns too. But what is the idea of volunteering to test a game if you are going to cheat your way through it?
I have tested a few games where I got helplessly stuck, and trust me, I had tried everything. If I had had a walkthrough I would have consulted it, made a remark about the puzzle being either too hard or illogical and then moved on.

I know there are probably some people out there who'd volunteer to test a game just to be the first to play it. But I believe that they are a minority.
D-Day in progress 86Kb (Slowly drifting)
Just a Fairy Tale: 138Kb
User avatar
P/o Prune
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4643
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2002 8:18 am
Location: Denmark
Points: 93

Re: Walk-through while betatesting?

Postby Denk » Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:42 pm

P/o Prune wrote:That was one of my concerns too. But what is the idea of volunteering to test a game if you are going to cheat your way through it?

I don't think anyone who is volunteering intentionally wants to cheat through the game. But how much can you look at a walkthrough before it is regarded as cheating?

I think most testers will have a tendency to look at the walkthrough faster than they would ask for help. If so, the testing will certainly go faster with a walkthrough but fewer issues will be discovered. So I think a walkthrough should only be given to the tester if the author or tester is in a hurry.

I normally wait a day before asking for help, since I often come up with a solution in the meantime. I recently tested a game with a built-in walkthrough in addition to the built-in hint-system. Even though I tried to keep a high discipline, I am pretty sure I looked at the walkthrough more frequently than I would have asked for help. So I guess my testing would have been better if I didn't have the walkthrough. However, I did find a few bugs in the built-in walkthrough, which I wouldn't have found if the walkthrough wasn't available.

Another thing: When bugs are fixed, new bugs are sometimes introduced. Thus if you complete the game in one sitting, you are not playing the new versions, and so the new bugs are not discovered.
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Bash Saga:
1. The Dragon Diamond 2. The Way Home 3. Stone of Wisdom
----------------------------------------------------------------------
User avatar
Denk
 
Posts: 552
Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2016 6:21 pm
Location: Hjørring, Denmark
Points: 251

Re: Walk-through while betatesting?

Postby David Whyld » Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:58 pm

Pretty much what Denk said.

I'm really weak when it comes to walkthroughs. If I get stuck, and if there's a walkthrough available, I'll check it as opposed to trying to figure out how to get past where I'm stuck. Without a walkthrough, I'll bash away at the puzzle on my own and maybe solve it (or maybe not), but if the walkthrough is there, I'll certainly try it. And it's sometimes hard just to look at the solution to one puzzle in the walkthrough. More often than not, in trying to find the solution to one puzzle, I'll inadvertently look at several others.
David Whyld
 
Posts: 7006
Joined: Sat Dec 18, 2004 5:15 pm
Location: United Kingdom
Points: 35

Re: Walk-through while betatesting?

Postby P/o Prune » Tue Jan 14, 2020 8:35 am

I think most testers will have a tendency to look at the walkthrough faster than they would ask for help. If so, the testing will certainly go faster with a walkthrough but fewer issues will be discovered. So I think a walkthrough should only be given to the tester if the author or tester is in a hurry.

What's the idea of testing then?

I normally wait a day before asking for help, since I often come up with a solution in the meantime. I recently tested a game with a built-in walkthrough in addition to the built-in hint-system. Even though I tried to keep a high discipline, I am pretty sure I looked at the walkthrough more frequently than I would have asked for help. So I guess my testing would have been better if I didn't have the walkthrough. However, I did find a few bugs in the built-in walkthrough, which I wouldn't have found if the walkthrough wasn't available.

I too wait as long as possible before asking for help, or look at the walkthrough. That's the general purpose of beta testing a game, isn't it? To try as many solutions as possible before asking fort help, or check the walkthrough. I realize that it cam be tempting to sneak peek at the walkthrough and that you might "accidentally" read further than absolutely necessary.
The good thing about Adrift is that you can make a transcript and most authors ask for a transcript. So it's relatively easy to spot if a tester has taken a short cut. :wink:
Are there other development systems that has built in transcript, or is it only Adrift?

I'm really weak when it comes to walkthroughs. If I get stuck, and if there's a walkthrough available, I'll check it as opposed to trying to figure out how to get past where I'm stuck. Without a walkthrough, I'll bash away at the puzzle on my own and maybe solve it (or maybe not), but if the walkthrough is there, I'll certainly try it. And it's sometimes hard just to look at the solution to one puzzle in the walkthrough. More often than not, in trying to find the solution to one puzzle, I'll inadvertently look at several others.

I see your point David, and I will agree with you when it comes to playing the game, not testing it. You want to continue the game and the walkthrough is right there.
But you're not fulfilling your job if you cut corners while testing the game.
D-Day in progress 86Kb (Slowly drifting)
Just a Fairy Tale: 138Kb
User avatar
P/o Prune
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4643
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2002 8:18 am
Location: Denmark
Points: 93

Re: Walk-through while betatesting?

Postby David Whyld » Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:09 am

Testing games is hardly a job, though. It's something people do as a favour. You can't really expect people to take as much time and effort with something that's being done for free as they would if they were being paid to do it.
David Whyld
 
Posts: 7006
Joined: Sat Dec 18, 2004 5:15 pm
Location: United Kingdom
Points: 35

Re: Walk-through while betatesting?

Postby P/o Prune » Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:34 pm

David Whyld wrote:Testing games is hardly a job, though. It's something people do as a favour. You can't really expect people to take as much time and effort with something that's being done for free as they would if they were being paid to do it.

I do agree with you David.
And using the phrase "job" as in getting paid is probably overkill.
But when someone say ok to beta test a game s/he takes on an assignment and whether or not there's a walkthrough I believe that the author should be allowed to expect that the tester does what s/he agreed to do in the first place; testing the game.
D-Day in progress 86Kb (Slowly drifting)
Just a Fairy Tale: 138Kb
User avatar
P/o Prune
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4643
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2002 8:18 am
Location: Denmark
Points: 93

Re: Walk-through while betatesting?

Postby Lumin » Fri Jan 31, 2020 2:05 pm

If it's a game that can be won in a traditional step by step manner then I believe a walkthrough should be available to the tester just as it would be to the players, just as a reassurance the bare minimum has been done on the author's part first to produce a game that works. Otherwise there is no way to tell if a problem your encountering is a bug or simply bad puzzle design.

But more important than a walkthrough of course is designing the game that a playtester WANTS to poke around it and explore, and in being responsive and positive about feedback. I'd put up with a lot more of those brick wall situations from a game if I was engaged with it already, or if testing it for a friend or at least someone appreciative of the fact I'm doing them a favor.
User avatar
Lumin
 
Posts: 2154
Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2004 5:48 pm
Points: 49


Return to General IF

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests