Well, ugh. Here it is. The time that I'm supposed to be searching for MARDEK 3 beta testers, so I suppose I SHOULD since I've finished most of what needs to be finished.
I still have some work to do on it, but I'll do it over the next week, and next Sunday I'll upload the beta (hopefully) for the testers I've chosen over the course of the week.
I say 'ugh' to this because it's likely going to be difficult choosing testers. I don't trust people, especially when they can tell whatever lies they can come up with to 'win' the position and then break rules where they know I can't see them breaking them. I've had experiences in the past where people volunteer with a lengthy post essentially bragging about how good a tester they'll be, etc, etc, but then they go and either share the game with non-testers when they shouldn't, don't play the game for enough time, quit after a bug, take weeks to report, give insufficient feedback, etc... It's a pain.
So, to prevent this, I am going to use THREATS, apparently!!1 : D
Anyone who actually GETS beta tester status this time around but does a really poor job of it will have their status removed and their name added to a blacklist, preventing them from becoming a tester ever again for later games.
If their offence is particularly great though (lending their account to friends or something like that so then they can play the game early, or spreading spoilers), then they'll be banned.
Hopefully I won't choose anyone who will need to be punished in either of these ways, but here's where the trust comes in... It's hard to tell who'll do what.
Because of that, one of the main criteria is that if you're new and I don't know anything about you, you have a VERY LOW chance of being chosen. That is, if you intend to create an account JUST to be a tester, you should reconsider; it is not wise to give such 'power' to someone who just showed up out of the shadows.
Unless, of course, you have some special reason for you to be chosen that you can back up with evidence...
Anyway, there are various criteria that you should meet if you want to be chosen. I'll go over a few.
◊ YOU MUST TEST, NOT PLAY.
This is maybe the most important one. Beta Testing is NOT the special privilege of being able to PLAY the game before anyone else. You must treat it like a job, and must actively search every nook and cranny and effectively try to break the game to weed out as many bugs as you can. You must be thorough, and you must look for everything; no *rushing through to win*.
◊ YOU MUST HAVE A LOT OF FREE TIME.
I want beta testing to be finished as quickly as possible; I don't want to spend months doing it. MARDEK 3 - including the 'remakes' of the first two chapters - is a 40 hour game, perhaps, and you'll need to play it through AT LEAST once. I don't want you to take months doing this if you're a tester; you must be willing to spend a lot of time playing it.
◊ YOU MUST REPORT YOUR FINDINGS.
You can't just happily play along and merely think things without writing them down. You'll be expected to make reports at regular intervals documenting your experiences; either opinions, bugs encountered, suggestions, exploits found, balancing issues, etc. If ever you find a bug, you must report it right away; you MUST NOT, definitely not, keep bugs to yourself if you can benefit from them.
The game's BALANCE is in need of testing; it must not be too easy or too hard. You must not be seeking to make the game as easy as it can be for you to WIN it.
I will be keeping track of how much feedback each tester gives. If they are giving none, I may remove their beta tester status, and don't think that you can just download the game as soon as you're a tester and then keep playing that even if your status is removed; the game won't function offline and online your tester status will be checked to see whether or not you can play it.
◊ YOU MUST NOT LOSE INTEREST.
You must actually FINISH the game at least once!
◊ YOU MUST NOT GET FRUSTRATED AND QUIT.
If you experience a bug that, say, wipes your save data after 20 hours of gameplay, you must continue again from the start rather than complaining that you don't want to do it all over again (I've had to play through the game DOZENS of times, so I hate it when people complain like that as if it's SO HARD to play it TWICE)...
◊ YOU MUST NOT FEEL LIKE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO INSIST ON CHANGES.
Though you'll be free to make suggestions, they will be *suggestions* only; if I 'don't listen to you' in regards to them, you should accept that they're not very good or not what I want the game to be like, and leave it at that rather than arguing that you're right and that you know best and so on.
◊ YOU MUST BE FLUENT IN ENGLISH.
If you can't read the dialogue or tell me with ease about your findings, then sorry, but you're not likely to be chosen.
◊ YOU MUST HAVE ACCESS TO A PRIVATE COMPUTER.
You must not play the game at public libraries, school computer rooms, or anything like that where other people could get onto the computer or watch you playing. This would be useless anyway since you need some computer where the data can be saved.
So only people who'll be ONLY using their home computer that they have access to *all the time* would be adequate.
◊ YOU MUST NOT GIVE OUT SPOILERS.
It may be exciting to brag about all the secrets that you've found in the new game, but please, don't spoil other peoples' experiences. Anyone who plays the beta must not update the Wiki with data about it or tell other people to do so with information that they've found. Please, PLEASE keep everything secret until the full release.
Anyone caught spreading information like this will simply be banned from the site.
Other factors I'll be looking for:
◊ INTELLIGENT, ANALYTICAL MINDS DESIRED.
I'm not going to choose you if you have a tendency to 'tlak leik dis' or if you skip dialogue or anything like that. You have to understand what's going on in the game in order to make proper reports about it.
You must be detailed when reporting bugs, and educated guesses about what might have caused them are ideal; you should try to reproduce any bugs you find if you can, because 'teh gaem broke' is obviously inadequate feedback.
◊ IT HELPS IF YOU HAVE A GOOD COMPUTER.
Though it would be good to have a wide variety of different qualities of hardware amongst the testers, it'd help if you could at least run a browser and the game at the same time so then you can report any bugs that you find AS you find them... The game may run slowly on old computers.
◊ FLASH EXPERIENCE IS GOOD TOO.
If you understand the workings of Flash, you'd likely be able to give good bug reports.
So that's that. Now's the time to volunteer, I suppose...
Keep in mind I can't stand people who brag.