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Hack Testing - The REAL resource for all things testing!


Contrary to what might give you the impression, many people aren't terribly interested in playing buggy and unfinished versions of hacks they have no expectations for. In fact, it irritates hack mods! So with the testers thread outdated and forgotten, and the hack mods generally being unhappy with having to moderate unpolished products, where are you to turn? Well, maybe you might want to look in a mirror!

That's right, you! You're the most reliable tester you can obtain. Other people will silently give up, or sometimes vanish without a trace! You, however, have investment in your creation. With the time you spent creating the levels and compiling the resources freed up, you likely now have the time to playtest your hack. So, how can you do that? You've likely never actually playtested anything! Well..eriksux

Play the hack, from start to finish, from an empty save file.

You're simultaneously testing the functionality and design of both the levels and the overworld. Since you're the creator, you can jump between your emulator and Lunar Magic to fix anything you come across on the fly, as long as you remember to. I also highly recommend playing through it multiple times and writing down anything you come across so you're almost entirely sure you got everything, and so you can deal with ASM and music bugs if necessary.

Try to look at it from an outsider's perspective.

Of course, you should always be doing this while making a hack, and it's just as important here. Arguably moreso - since you're polishing it as a final product, you should pay attention to what the player will be thinking as they play, and adjust if you're left thinking "how was I supposed to see that coming" or "what a bunch of bullcrap". Don't be afraid to scrap entire levels if they're outright unfair to players who are going in blind (a majority of your playerbase), rely too much on RNG, or have lots of cheap deaths.

Take breaks if needed.

Testing is arguably the most exhausting and demotivating part of finalizing a hack, especially if it's a really long, SMW-scale hack. Once you get past the initial excitement of "oh my goodness it's almost done!!", you start to sink your teeth into how much work has to be done in order for it to be truly finished. If you find yourself burnt out, find something else to do - maybe surf the internet for some brainless comedy.

As always, do keep in mind that you're making this hack for your enjoyment as well as the players'. If it stops being fun, take a break for however long you need. If you get a playtester anyway (which WOULD be a good idea, regardless of past success rates), then it would be a good idea to playtest it yourself after you send it to them. That way, not only are you not just sitting around waiting for them to respond, but you're also polishing it on your own and will get something out of it, rather than nothing, if they end up disappearing or giving up.

insert obligatory outro paragraph that says let me know if i missed anything
It especially helps when you're housemate is down with playtesting. That aside, it can be VERY difficult to playtest a hack you know all the ins and outs of, there's no real solution to this, but I have a suggestion. Try playing or like you would play SMW. (In all honesty, I have no idea what I'm talking about.)
In all honesty, I have no idea what I'm talking about.