Bokuten – Tester’s Corner Vol. 1

Today on the blog, we have a Bokuten tester’s corner from threepwood007!

Hello! It’s another tester’s corner, this time from threepwood007! And what are we gonna cover today?

Sadness. Pure, unadulterated sadness distilled from the tears of 72 sobbing grown men and women.

Welcome to Bokuten: Why I Became an Angel. BYOT: Bring Your Own Tissues.

Bokuten was a fun game to test. I don’t usually get to take the first pass out of the other testers through a game, but this was a title I’d been wanting to get my grubby little paws on for awhile now and it also happened that, thanks to the holiday season, I needed to complete my deadlines ahead of schedule. That meant that I didn’t get to coast even a little bit on the tailwinds of my fellow testers, which is a nice experience to see what one can discover on their own and then, in retrospect, what was missed or what others suggested for certain scenes.

For the last time, Tester 2, it’s BA-NA-NA!

The main thing I’d like to cover here for Bokuten’s beta is the idea of consistency. It’s something that hopefully isn’t noticed by the player often because if everything is in a row then everything is honky-dory. One thing out of line, however, and then all of a sudden all anyone can talk about is the one thing. Never mind that 99% of the content is perfect: a single mistake can drive people crazy.

Which is fair. Visual novels are a literary experience first and foremost. Without the words, a visual novel loses one of the integral parts of the experience. And that experience is definitely critical as a hiccup or bump in the grammatical or syntactical road can leave a reader feeling like they hit a speed bump on a motorcycle doing 60MPH.

Rest easy, Tester 2… it’s all over now.

What helps prevent this in a game’s life-cycle is the editing and subsequent beta testing. From the get-go the laws of the land are made clear: make sure this character only uses these. This one never uses those. And for this game we’re using this spelling.

This may seem a bit obvious, especially if you’ve read more than a few localizations of large projects. It’s worth drawing attention to, however, given the size of some of these games (tens of thousands of lines) and the length of tests (this one took more than a month). So while it may seem like a given that a visual novel maintain its own consistency throughout, that’s only because a lot of effort went in to making it seem like something to be taken for granted.

And on that note, off to the tissue box.

Happy reading!

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