Testing, Testing, … R,P,G…

I’ve been slowly going back into my old work habits, which include game-testing.  So that’s today’s topic:  game-testing RPGs.  I feel like at some point in my year-long hiatus, I’ve somehow learned to work a little smarter at what I do; should have been game-testing the kinds of games I’ll be writing – just like since I’m an sf/fantasy writer, that’s what I read – a loong time ago.  Also, I’ve learned to not wholly rely on the book from which I started, the “Hello, World!” one, but move on from there now and start studying Python from other angles – and so, currently, I’m working at the information on the learnpythonthehardway.org website – as well as now being certain to follow the instructions better and not just gloss over stuff that’s a bit difficult for me (as math is at times).  Even more importantly, I am doing the skill drills no matter how slowly they may come.

Right, so back to the matter at hand:  game-testing.  I started doing this last week first with games on Kongregate.  There are some very interesting ones there now, and I’m actually learning a lot.  For instance, I did not know there was once upon a time a precursor to the MMO standby wherein you’re in a group, you die and get resurrected by the healer… or conversely, if you’re hanging out alone and die you can call and see if anyone around could help.  Yeah, back in the days of regular old RPG, when you died, your “group” would help (it’s just that the “group” wasn’t other real people).  I’ve also seen some stuff I think is just neat, like in The Trade of Stories, wherein you’re a trader who literally collects tales, as a bard might, in a lovely-painted world.

Then, slowly, I’ve shifted over into game-testing a little bit of other RPGs.  With my husband I’ve done some of “Undertale”, for instance.  I’ve also gotten the newest version of “Dwarf Fortress” and gone into that some.  Still doing Kongregate games like today, when I’m a little low-power as the wind whacks branches and howls at the windows, and the pressure changes, so I couldn’t even answer the question “What do you want for breakfast?”  But low-power game-testing can be very useful in the end.

Like, now.  I mean, from the notes I take when doing game-testing (in any state of mind), I know that I’ve been paying attention to what mechanics are possibly being used and what’s happening that I might or might not want to do for my own games.  Things I might want to try slightly differently, at least.  In the newer “Dwarf Fortress”, for instance, I love that they stuck in new instruments and actually made instruments useful, but for some reason they won’t tell what a visiting bard (another new feature) is saying when he or she recites poetry, though they give a very intriguing description of rhyme and meter according to a made-up system, and they only give the first line of any story they’re telling.  Curious? You might want to try this one; it’s intriguing.  Anybody have suggestions for RPGs I should try out?  Any thoughts on ones you’ve done recently, that you’d change just a little bit maybe, or even better some amazing stuff you found in this or that one?  I’m always ready to try out new things.


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