With our fifth year anniversary coming to a close, we decided to take a moment to showcase some of the thoughts and feelings of the staff that have been a part of MangaGamer over the years. This one comes from our beta tester, Neko Len!
Hello everybody, Neko Len here, and with the 5th anniversary of Mangagamer upon us, it is time for a look back from the view of a tester.
I originally was a tester for No Name Losers (NNL), working on the ef project while it was still a fan effort. I remember seeing the anime, and finding out a t/l of the game was underway. Which then dropped off the radar for quite a bit. Then I was informed that the first chapter was done, Miyako’s chapter. I grabbed it and quite enjoyed it. Then I noticed they were making a call for testers for the rest of it. Not knowing much of anything involved, except that testing can get difficult at times (I have a few acquaintances that did video game testing.), I popped an email saying I was interested. The response was rather quick, so I popped in the IRC chan, and after the rundown, I became a tester. It was difficult and stressful, but thoroughly enjoyable. I loved doing it. Then stuff happened, and we became officially working with minori and Mangagamer. It was at this point Kouryuu asked if I wanted to test stuff for them as well. I jumped right on it. The first project I worked on, and to this day one of my favorites, was Da Capo II. This is also the time where the term “waifu” actually clicked with me…
I enjoyed Da Capo original game, and was quite happy to learn the second one was being translated. This also marks the first time I did a complete 180 turn in my opinion of a heroine. Yume, your non blood related imouto buttons. I quite disliked her at first. Found her to be quite irritating actually.
So, when testing her route, I expected to dislike her even more. Then I really got into her route. And she won me over. This was the first time I did such a large 180 in my view of a character.
The testing was a bit troubled at first. If I remember correctly, we tested in chunks, as in we got part of the beta to do first, then the rest. Annoyingly, there was a scripting error in one of the important choice points, and no matter what you chose, it would go down the path of a certain choice, most likely not the one you picked. Fortunately, this was remedied quickly. Rest of the project went pretty smoothly. Aside from ef, D.C. II is the most memorable of all the games I tested, and my favorite. Being also the first one I did for Mangagamer, It was actually quite large. Im just glad I had experience in large projects do to ef. It was this point I decided to grab a old CRT monitor and attach it to my laptop. Being able to have your scripts and report on a different screen that what you are testing is very useful, I would recommend doing this if you can. It makes keeping organized and on track much easier.
One thing I will say about Mangagamer, is that the quality of work, testing and general polish has improved massively over time. Take an early work, say, like Kira Kira or Suika, and stack it up against say, Deardrops, Da Capo II and such. Even down to the choice of font. Font is one thing I pay attention to when testing. From general legibility, and ease on the eyes.
My least favorite bit is most likely the nukige, but I tend to be wiling to test, well anything. Can’t like em all. And besides that, they can be quite humorous. And as I have shown to people in my gaming groups on XBL, a great method of psy ops. Basically read random h scenes in party chat, completely deadpan. Then hop into game chat during a match, and get a friend to take the role of the girl. And read out the scene. Deadpan, or sometimes go full ham. Managed to get opposing players, who were not expecting it, to crash repeatedly during matches of Ace Combat 6, or Forza 4. Even just testing the stuff alone has me in stitches much of the time. It can be a great MST 3000 type fodder. I have actually had a great deal of fun with every project assigned, and that’s probably a good thing.
So this has been Neko Len, reflecting on some of my experiences as a tester. It basically boils down to it is fun, and I enjoy it, and can not really think of another way to put it, other than “I like it.” I do hope my fellow testers are enjoying as much as I have been~