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[Beta] Apply to beta-test the Adventure system! (closed)
This is no longer open for new applicants. See here

 


 

Adventures: Initial Closed Beta

Now that we’ve had some time to go through the feedback we got from our initial alpha test (the Quest for the Icy Soul event), we’re getting ready to open up the Adventure system to a small group of beta testers. The purpose of the closed beta will be to identify and prioritize issues and improvements needed before the system is ready for general consumption. While the link to the applications is at the top of this post, you will want to read the rest before clicking.

To apply, please head over here and fill out one (or both) of the applications.

What we’re looking for

We’re primarily looking for people who participated in the alpha test (i.e. the Quest for the Icy Soul event) so as not to spend a lot of time getting people up to speed as to the general workings of Adventures. That being said, this is not a hard requirement — if there are other factors about you that you believe would make you a good candidate, please feel free to apply, filling in “n/a” for the question that asks you to link to your Icy Soul thread.

Beyond that, please spend some time considering the two roles available, and determine whether you believe you would be a good candidate for a given role before applying. Each has a short description of the role, and each has its own focus. That being said, there are three important skills that we’re looking for in both roles:

The first skill we’re looking for is being able to provide constructive feedback. This is a difficult skill, and takes a lot of effort to do well. A common myth about constructive feedback or criticism is that it just involves being nice and wrapping your suggestion in compliments (e.g. “The Adventure system is amazing! The shop mechanic was a little tedious and sometimes commands seemed weird, but I’m so excited for it.”). While not being a jerk is important, the most important goal of constructive feedback is to be useful and actionable (how would you make the shop less tedious? what would you have changed about the commands? why would these changes solve the problem?), and one of the most difficult aspects of providing constructive feedback is actually thinking through and understanding the consequences of your own suggestion. This means thinking about both the consequences of what you’re saying, and how to solve other issues that your suggestion may raise.

Pretend you were going to suggest adding magic to the Adventure system. As part of your suggestion, what questions would you consider and answer?

Poor:

  • How are spells acquired?
  • How are spells cast?
  • Are there combat spells?

Passable:

  • All of the above questions
  • What are some examples of what a spell might actually do?
  • Can anyone learn any spell? Or would you have e.g. clerics / warlocks / etc?
  • Is there some equivalent of mana or spell slots?
  • How does magic affect battle? E.g. would casting a non-combat spell invoke an attack on you?

Pretty Good:

  • All of the above questions
  • How do attack spells differ from regular attacks?
  • How would ranged attack spells (e.g. “fireball”) differ from regular attacks, especially in terms of enemy reactions?

Great:

  • All of the above questions
  • Should Adventure creators be able to make their own spells for an Adventure? How?
  • How would magic-users be balanced against non-magic users?

Excellent:

  • All of the above questions
  • What else would be good to consider when constructing or implementing a magical system?


The second skill we’re looking for is effective communication. You might have the best ideas in the world, but they aren’t any good if you can’t express them. Can you write clearly and concisely without rambling? Can you express your ideas to someone who doesn’t already know what you’re talking about? Can you communicate effectively with people whose personalities and modes of thinking differ from yours?

The third skill we’re looking for is handling ambiguity/problem solving. For world-builders, the Adventure system back-end is a very rough product, and currently the only instructions that exist are the notes that I hastily scribbled down while making the thing so that staff would be able to fix things if they broke while I was at work (though we’re working on this…). For adventurers, how a mechanic is implemented in an Adventure is often left up to the world-builder, and they probably won’t be writing you a manual for how to navigate the Adventure. They’re also brand new at it, and probably made mistakes themselves, or may be using a feature for which the underlying code is broken. Can you make intelligent inferences based on information you have? Can you work with incomplete instructions? Can you work to determine whether a failure or error is caused by a mistake you made or a broken mechanic?

Lastly, you must be able to uphold expectations of confidentiality should your application be chosen.

How does the application / selection process work?

You can submit either application, or both, but do not submit more than one application for a given position. Submitting either of the applications more than once will disqualify you for that position. You cannot edit your application after submitting, so I strongly recommend you take at least a few days to think about your application before you submit it.

One of the first questions on either application is for your applicant code. The application forms are Google Forms, and these codes ensure that you are who you say you are, preventing others from maliciously disqualifying you by submitting with your name more than once, etc. Your code is the same for both applications, and instructions on how to fill this out are provided on the forms. Applications without an applicant code will be discarded.

On-boarding new beta testers is a very time-intensive process, especially at the beginning when I am the only person who actually knows how this stuff works. As such, we need to start out with relatively small groups. To begin with, we’ll be looking for 3-4 world-builders and 9-12 adventurers. We’ll be in a position to accept more people as time goes on and our existing testers learn the ropes.

There isn’t a due date for your application, nor is there an accept date. We also won’t reject an application outright (unless it lacks an application code or is a duplicate submission). When we need another beta tester of either type, we’ll look through the pool of applications that exist at that time and pick one. If we pick yours, we’ll reach out privately to see if you’re still interested, and follow up with more information if you are.

We’ll begin the process of first looking through the worldbuilder applications in about two weeks (around June 10th), and looking through the adventurer applications some time after that, once there are a few Adventures for you to test. We’ll also update this thread whenever we start looking through applications and when we make selections. As more people learn the mechanics and the tools become more polished, we’ll accelerate the program and slowly progress towards an open beta. We’ll also have an updates page so that those not participating directly can keep track of progress made.

What this is not

This is not an application for “early access” to a new feature. Unlike many other sites who host closed betas, we are not selling access to this program. Besides our gratitude and the opportunity to be involved in the initial shaping and tuning of the feature, there are no long-term gains to be had by participating in the beta. The purpose of this closed beta is for the benefit of the feature, and nothing else. We hope that you will find being involved in the early shaping of this feature to be rewarding in its own right.

The process of constructing an Adventure and testing features is very time consuming, occasionally frustrating, and takes a lot of mental energy. We are hoping to find people who can dedicate several hours per week for a sustained period of time, so please be mindful of your prior commitments, schedule, general energy level, and whether that’s something you’d be willing to commit to. While we will try to select for applicants who will treat this as a commitment, we can’t compel you to continue to participate or to participate at a certain level if you don’t want to. By the same token, if we feel that we would be better served by replacing you with another applicant, we may do so.

If all of that sounds good to you, please click the link at the top of this post and apply!
We look forward to working with you :)

FAQ
  • How long will the beta last?
    We hope to have it wrapped up by the fall, though we’re not entirely sure. If your schedule changes significantly (for example, due to the end of a summer vacation), then please make a note of this in your application. We’d hate to miss out on your help during the summer just because you become less available when school starts up again!

Posted May 26, edited Nov 13

Out of curiosity, how much of the structure for the WorldBuilders JSON has been built? Are you already working with a standardized format and looking for people to be familiar with using it, or are you still in the process of filing one down for future use and looking for feedback in that regard as well?

In addition, is the system being built purely canonical or are beta testers expected to allow for flexible worldbuilding within other player’s “universes” and constraints?

Posted May 26, edited May 26

Emeralda great questions!

The JSON stuff is pre-built, though world-builders do need to edit existing structures, modify values, move things from one list to another, stuff like that. Eventually it’d be nice to be able to hide all of that behind a more basic user interface, but for now the effort required in constructing such an interface vs the benefits of doing it have that it pretty far from the top of our priority list.

For canon vs non-canon, we don’t particularly care in the beta (its purpose is to test code and architecture). We’re aiming for a flexible system that would be applicable to many worlds or constraints — by the same token, we’re not looking to add some highly specialized mechanic that is only applicable in very specific universes.

Posted May 27

I’d love to apply for Adventurer and I do hope I’d be good at it, but I’ll be away for two months (July 22-September 22) with no access to internet. Would it be possible to still apply before these dates and be a “backup” or an extra adventurer (if my application is accepted) for when I come back, or after these dates and still have a chance at “getting in”?
——
e/ adding onto Chimerical’s question, will the beta testers still be needed for potential features even after open use?

Posted May 27, edited May 27
Hmm yeah like to toss in a question—what kind of timeframe are we looking at for closed beta? Summer? Beyond?
Posted May 27
Ahhh I’m REALLY excited to see more about this! The adventure event was one of my favorites ever. I second the questions on time frame though. I’m sure that’s hard to get an idea of, but I’m not sure if I could commit after summer. Would there be a way to opt out if needed? I feel like right now during summer I might be able to work on this, but I have no idea how things would be irl once fall semester starts back up if it goes on until then.
Posted May 27
Oh man I am dying to join but alas, between moving and wedding I would not be reliable time-wise.  Looking forward to things opening up any time after October when I’ll be free again!!
Posted May 28

Hi again!

Tsuzemi If you’ll be unavailable between July 22 and Sept 22, then you’ll be gone for most of the time we plan to have this program. It won’t continue beyond the closed-beta period. If you want, go ahead and submit your application making note of your availability, and we’ll just make sure we take it into account when performing selections :)

Chimerical Corvani That’s actually a super important question, since schedules are likely to change drastically for many people along the boundaries of school semesters. I don’t currently envision this going on beyond the summer. We’re looking for people who can commit to working quickly and finding time for it into their schedules now, so that we can move as rapidly as possible: the longer this stays in beta, the longer before Mycena Cave as a whole gets to actually enjoy it.

That said, we’ve never done something like this before, so we don’t know if our expectations on your time are realistic. The “true” (yet less helpful) answer is that it’ll take as long as it takes. If your schedule changes significantly on the boundaries of summer, please just make a note of that in your application, and we’ll temper our expectations accordingly: we don’t want to miss out on your time and efforts over the summer just because you’ll become unavailable in the fall!

Kippie congratulations!! :)

Posted May 28
glitch OH yes thank you!!]
Posted May 28
glitch That definitely helps. Thank you!
Posted May 28

shoot! I forgot to include in my app for worldbuilding that i likely WILL have to spend less time working on my worldbuilding stuff late august due to going back to school. as it’ll be my first year at a new school, I don’t know how much time I’d be able to devote to working on worldbuilding.
I also know no code at all lmao.

Posted May 28
firewyrm2018  I can make a note of that on your app!  Thanks for letting us know! <3
Posted May 30
We will be looking at world builder apps starting on the 10th, so get those apps in if you’d like to be considered in the first round! :D
Posted Jun 6

Hi everyone!

We’re starting to look through the World-builder applications for our first round of beta testers :) We’ve also set up an Adventure Beta News page which you can find under the “Community” menu, or by just clicking here!

Posted Jun 10

The first round of Beta Adventurer invitations have been sent out :)

Sorry we were a little late with this — we meant to get them out yesterday, but time got away from us.

Posted Aug 6
At this point we’re starting to wind down the Closed Beta, so we’re no longer looking for new applicants. Thank you for your interest, and we can’t wait to see you in the open beta!
Posted Nov 13
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