December 06, 2006

(Finally) a Little Beta Testing

Attempting to find willing and not-so-busy participants to beta test my EL236 project was a little difficult at this time of year. It was also a difficult task due to the fact that I was trying to fix something pretty major on my game. I was having staircase troubles, which I actually got working on my own, but am contemplating using the coding Dr. Jerz gave me. I did however, discover some useful information about my game and some things I needed to add (interaction wise) through the help of some anonymous particpants, and also under the test of my own fingers.

I am just now really realizing that I did it, but I tended to beta test my games myself. I guess everyone does really, just in simply trying to verify that the coding is working properly. I would play my games though after adding a chunk of coding and would usually end up fiddling with the coding and retesting. I was pleased to learn that I was using old skills (analyzation) as well as new skills.

Of course, a few other pairs of eyes can always catch something I am missing. I found that both of my testers, college students my age, one male, one female, enjoyed playing my IF game. They were a little stunned by the mere simplicity of it, much as I was myself. A little frustration was found because of the limited access to the staircase, which is why I think I may use the code from Dr. Jerz. My code does work, but one must "go up" or "go down"; those are the only codes the game understands. Type anything else and it will give you a message saying it only recognizes "go up" or "go down". You can also use a direction, rather than an actual command, such as "climb" or "ascend"; North and South work, but what I was aiming for, the "climb" or "ascend" don't work with the coding I have in there now. I try to do object names and descriptions right after I use them in a description, so that way I know they are accounted for. Therefore, this didn't present too much of a problem. I don't think the testers could really see the point of my game yet because it wasn't finished, and I want the end to hit the reader like a sack of IF flavored potatoes. There is closure...at the end. I will be posting the coding soon after I troubleshoot some small things and fix some descriptions. I am an English major, always editing. It's kind of addicting, really...

...another thing that I seem to have become drawn to is troubleshooting. I really got into IF this time. I became obsessed with reading the documentation and looking at the index in order to solve my own problems. I even helped several of my peers: Rachel, Gabby, Paul and Cherie.

Helping them with their games also acts as a from of beta testing to me. I learn what troubles they are having and solve them, which sometimes makes it easier to solve my own problems. Also, there are times that Cherie has helped me with some of my coding, which is great, considering this is her first IF experience.

I have collected a handleful of helpful and useful knowledge relating to IF in general, and my personal game.
And...I really, really enjoying it this time. My IF skills have developed, along with myself.
I'd say the second round of IF was much better than the first, for so many reasons.

Posted by Lori Rupert at December 6, 2006 11:49 PM
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