Case featuring and QA (last updated 2016-12-21)

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Case featuring and QA (last updated 2016-12-21) 

Postby Enthalpy » Thu Oct 08, 2015 5:33 am

Case featuring and quality assurance

Quality assurance is the process that we have on AAO to make sure that a case is good enough to be placed on our "featured trials" list. It's a list containing our greatest cases on AAO -- with immersive stories and other great features -- that we recommend most of all out of many thousands of cases made by the English community.

This thread explains how authors can get their cases featured.

Star symbols
You will see these symbols in the titles of showcases. This is what they mean:-
  • - The case is having a QA inspection.
  • - The case has been checked for quality and has been featured.

How to get your case featured
Before your case can be featured, please make your you understand the following points:-
  • All chapters of your case must be completed and made public.
  • If you are making a game series, each episode must be featured individually.
  • For a later episode in a game series to be featured, the previous episode must be featured as well.

To have your case featured, it must be checked by one of our quality assurance (QA) inspectors. They inspect your case by playing it and posting an inspection report in your showcase thread as they complete each chapter. When they inspect your case, they check for two things:-
  • CHECK 1: They check that it has an overall story and gameplay of astounding quality; it should be really engaging, have interesting contradictions and be really fun. Be aware that some of the older featured trials, before the era of roughly New Year's Turnabout, do not reflect current standards.
  • CHECK 2: They check for issues that you need to fix, such as bugs, spelling mistakes, oddly used music tracks, etc. They list these issues in their inspection reports.
What exactly the inspectors look for in the two checks depends on the kind of game up for QA. Something with no contradictions but a heavy emphasis on story will be judged as such. All that said, don't rely on a QA inspector to playtest your case for you. Make sure you play your case yourself to check for any of the problems that a QA inspector will be looking for. You can find more information about what they look for in the next section.

Once you're ready for an inspection, send me a PM and give me a link to your case's showcase. QA inspectors will try to check your case as soon as they can, but they aren't always able to.

Quality assurance inspections
This section explains the what procedures QA inspectors must follow when checking your cases.

First, a hollow star symbol (☆) is placed in your showcase's title and a message will be posted to announce that the QA inspection is pending. The QA inspector for your case will post when they think they can start the QA inspection. If a QA inspector takes longer than two weeks to begin a QA inspection, you can ask for a different one.

They will then play your case and write a report on it. As they play it, they will decide whether it meets the requirement for CHECK 1.

QA inspection reports are split into five sections of things from CHECK 2 you need to change in order for your case to be featured. There is also an optional sixth section. QA inspectors sometimes like to include reviews of your case in their reports, too, but these don't including anything you need to change in order for your trial to be featured.

Once their QA inspection report is posted, you need to change everything they've mentioned. However, if you have a problem with any of the issues they've raised, feel free to discuss it with them. You don't have to change anything that you don't want to, as long as you explain why you don't want it to be changed.

Once you've finished the changes they've suggested, they will quickly check your case again if necessary and mark your case as featured! A filled star symbol (★) will replace the hollow symbol to show that your case is featured.

If your case has failed CHECK 1 in its QA inspection, but you think you can improve it enough to be featured, you can PM me again, and your case will be inspected by a different QA inspector.

  • QA inspectors must post in the author's showcase when they believe they can start an inspection.
  • QA inspectors must use the seven section headings in their inspections, unless not applicable (see next section for more information).
  • QA inspectors must not post an unfinished inspection of a chapter to finish later.
  • QA inspectors should prioritize inspections over playing other author's cases and working on their own cases.
  • QA inspectors may end an inspection prematurely if the case fails CHECK 1, giving a clear reason.
    • QA inspectors must give the author an option for them to to finish the QA inspection.

Spoiler : Assets for QA inspectors to copy and paste :
Code: Select all
[size=150]☆ This case is pending a QA inspection to be featured.[/size]
[size=150]☆ The QA inspection is complete. This case is not good enough to be featured. Sorry![/size]
[size=150]★ The case is good enough to be featured. Please make the requested changes.[/size]
[size=150]★ The QA inspection is complete. This case is now featured. Congratulations![/size]

Quality assurance inspection reports
This section explains the details of what is mentioned in a QA inspection report.

Presentation and bugs
This section is about the overall presentation of the case. The player should be able to play your case with ease (except, of course in places where it's meant to be difficult, like cross-examinations), so there shouldn't be anything confusing. They also shouldn't be interrupted by anything odd that may interrupt their enjoyment of your case. Finally, there shouldn't be any bugs. Keep in mind, however, that QA inspectors won't test your case extensively for bugs, so please don't rely on them for doing that.

Examples:
  • Dialogue boxes must not exceed three lines of text.
  • Penalties should be set at an appropriate amount.
  • Evidence and profiles must have proper descriptions.
  • Evidence and profiles must not be revealed until the evidence has been added to the Court Record or the person has been introduced.
  • A dialogue should appear when evidence is added, removed or updated in the court record (e.g. "Autopsy Report added to Court Record").

Writing and characterisation
This section is about the story in your case. Your writing needs to be engaging, and your characters need to be interesting. However, this section only covers the specifics of your story. If your story is overall very basic and uninteresting (which is what QA inspectors check for in CHECK 1), it cannot easily be fixed without a major rewrite of your entire case.

Examples:
  • Trials and investigations should have prologues (unless you actually intend not to have one).
  • Discussions in the defendant lobby shouldn't be short. They should give an introduction to the case and anything else relevant.
  • New and original gameplay mechanics should be explained to the player.
  • Characters from the Ace Attorney series should speak and act like they normally would.
  • Plot event spoilers from the official Ace Attorney series should be avoided where possible.
  • Original characters shouldn't be "one dimensional"

Proofreading and clarification
This section is about the text used in your case. Here, QA inspectors will mention:
  • spelling mistakes,
  • grammatical errors,
  • removing inappropriate swear words,
  • rephrasing sentences to make them clearer.

Sprites and graphics
This section is about the images used in your case -- particularly custom images. If you are using custom sprites, you're not expected to use really high quality ones that are on par with the ones used in professionally made games. Any use of custom images makes your case unique. However, extremely low quality sprites aren't permitted. You can make requests for sprites in the Your Art forum if you need any help.

Examples:
  • Character sprites that have glitches in their animations.
  • Background sprites that aren't sized correctly to the dimensions of the DS screen (256px × 192px).
  • Evidence and profile sprites that aren't sized correctly (70px × 70px).


Music and sound effects
This section is about the audio used in your case. Audio is an important way of conveying emotion -- particularly in Ace Attorney games, where the graphics capabilities are limited.

Examples:
  • The right music should be selected to match the mood.
  • If possible, custom music tracks shouldn't be so long that they take ages to download.
  • Sound effects should be used to show expressions.
  • Sound effects should be used appropriately.

Case Logic
This section is about the logic of the case, and may not be applicable to all cases, but does apply to all trials. If you have puzzles or traditional Ace Attorney court sequences, the logic of them must work. Case difficulty does not play into this.

Examples:
  • All contradictions and presents must be fair.
  • There must be no large leaps in logic.
  • All aspects of the case must be well-explained, so as not to be confusing.
  • Contradictions should be there for a reason.
  • Having a "turnabout moment," comparable to the canon games, is encouraged.


Differences from AA games (optional)
If you want the presentation of your game to be similar in style as the official Ace Attorney or Ace Attorney Investigations games, you can ask a QA inspector to include this section in their inspection report. QA inspectors might include some of these points in other seconds of their report, but you can object to them if you prefer the way you have presented them.

Examples:
  • There must be a message in blue text when evidence (but not a profile) is added to the Court Record.
  • Timestamps must use this exact syntax:
    Code: Select all
    January 1, 12:00 PM
    District Court
    Courtroom No. 1

    However, the time should not be mentioned when it is not certain (such as in investigations).
  • The main character's profile must be hidden (unless the profile is used as evidence, like in T&T episodes 2 and 5).
  • Returning characters (such as Maya) should be introduced to the player by the main character.
  • In the first case of a game series, gameplay sections like cross-examinations should be explained to the player.

Quality assurance inspectors
There are three QA inspectors:
  • Enthalpy
  • Bad Player
  • Evo

Inspection Records

Unique to the new era of QA Inspections will be the presence of the Inspection Records. Starting from 2013, with retrospective reviews to be added, you will be able to view each Inspection from this accessible database, arranged by Inspector. The purpose of this is to help give you a more practical idea of the guidelines on an easy-to-access part of the forum.





If you have any questions, feel free to PM me.
Last edited by Enthalpy on Thu Dec 22, 2016 6:21 am, edited 6 times in total.
Reason: Updating with "The Guardian and the Dreamer" QA.
[D]isordered speech is not so much injury to the lips that give it forth, as to the disproportion and incoherence of things in themselves, so negligently expressed. ~ Ben Jonson

Current AAO Development Priority: Issue #94: Grayscale Mode
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Enthalpy
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Posts: 4594
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Re: Case featuring and QA (last updated 2015-10-07) 

Postby Enthalpy » Thu Oct 08, 2015 5:34 am

Changelog:
* Removed requirement that a case must be a trial/investigation to be featured.
* Updated QA Inspectors and inspection records
* Added a disclaimer to the "How to Get Your Case Featured" section about using older trials as a reference.
* Added a clause that certain sections may be inapplicable for a given featured review.
* Added a logic section.
[D]isordered speech is not so much injury to the lips that give it forth, as to the disproportion and incoherence of things in themselves, so negligently expressed. ~ Ben Jonson

Current AAO Development Priority: Issue #94: Grayscale Mode
User avatar
Enthalpy
Community Manager
 
Posts: 4594
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2012 4:40 am
Gender: Male
Spoken languages: English, limited Spanish

Re: Case featuring and QA (last updated 2015-10-07) 

Postby Enthalpy » Thu Dec 22, 2016 6:23 am

Changelog:
* Clarified that precise QA criteria depend on the work up for QA, as in misc. trials: "What exactly the inspectors look for in the two checks depends on the kind of game up for QA. Something with no contradictions but a heavy emphasis on story will be judged as such."
[D]isordered speech is not so much injury to the lips that give it forth, as to the disproportion and incoherence of things in themselves, so negligently expressed. ~ Ben Jonson

Current AAO Development Priority: Issue #94: Grayscale Mode
User avatar
Enthalpy
Community Manager
 
Posts: 4594
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2012 4:40 am
Gender: Male
Spoken languages: English, limited Spanish


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