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PostSubject: Review Guidelines   Tue Nov 25, 2008 7:22 am

REVIEW GUIDELINES
originally posted by Shadow

General Guidelines



The first thing to always keep in mind is that reviews serve a double purpose. They are written for both the game designer and for the site visitor who is considering downloading the file. As such, reviews need to praise the designer for things that are done well and point out areas where the designer can improve. Reviews also need to provide enough information about the game so that potential downloaders will know if the game matches their interests. Obviously, don't give away the plot or reveal secrets that should be discovered while playing, but let the downloader know what the game is about. Whatever the case, a downloader should know what to expect from a game after reading a review.

All games have good aspects and bad aspects. Try to always say at least one good thing about any game you review and never, NEVER insult a designer. They might not be as good of a designer as you but even if you are handing out a score of 1.0, you still should never insult the designer. Be honest about the game but make every effort to encourage the designer to do better next time.

The review should contain a short explanation of why you scored each category the way you did. This does not need to be lengthy, sometimes a sentence is enough but other times, a paragraph for each category is needed.

While reviewing, make sure that you don't judge it based on the length of it. weather it is a demo or a full-scale game, it should be rated the same.

Lastly, a game should not be penalized for not including special extras like custom music files or custom graphics. These extra items are great if used effectively and certainly can boost a score but a game should not be rated poorly just because of a lack of extras. A game should still be able to achieve a score of 5.0 even without using special extra files.


Category Scoring

Playability

Playability is probably the most subjective element of the scoring. It is simply a gauge of how much fun you had playing this particular game.

There really are no specific criteria on how a score is given in Playability but there are quite a few things that can affect playability in a negative manner. Scripting bugs, conversation bugs, etc can ruin a game's playability. If a player is ever confused about the next goal to accomplish, that's a playability problem. If a player can complete a task in a way that the author obviously did not intend to be possible, that's a playability problem. Anything that adversely affects your enjoyment of a game can be deducted from the Playability score. This is out of 5 points.

Scripts and overall designing

Does the creator use lots of cool scripts that give the game a wide range of diversity over other games? Does the game have lots of cool effects that canít be achieved by just placing objects on the map and using events? Does the game have some overall feel to it that makes it seem better than other games? Use these questions to guide you to giving a score on this. Itís really up to you and how you fell on it, but really try to give the author credit for trying something even if itís massively bugged . This is out of 5 points.
[color=red]Something i'd like to add here, you don't need to necessarily use scripts, if the creator doesn't use scripts, you shouldn't rate him less, whether he uses or not scripts, the maximum number of points should always be 5 [/color]

Creativity

Creativity is found in all aspects of a game, from scripts, to map design, to the story, to what characters a player is given, to the objectives, to sounds used, etc... Every aspect of a game factors into creativity. One thing to be careful for is not to knock points off of creativity if the creator uses a trick you've seen used in another game. There's nothing wrong with using the same trick that someone else used and no reason to deduct points because of that. This is out of 5 points.

User Creation

Well, at first I had trouble deciding if I wanted this in here due to the idea that a game can be good without user-created objects. I decided to put this on because for us to be a good game company, we should use our own created files.
This one will be graded in such a manner (not totally fair, but the best I could come up with).
[color=red]If the creator uses only the default resources, but with his original story, rate the story only, out of 5 points[/color]


* 2 points go to user created graphics, which includes modifications to in-game graphics (if none, this gets a 0)
* 2 points go to user created sounds files, which are any files that arenít normally included in the game (if none, this gets a 0)
* 1 point goes to user created story line. If the story line is original and not borrowed from another game (unless it is a fan based game like quiverseeís) then this gets a 1. If it is identical or almost identical to another game that you have played and the creator takes credit for the story, then this gets a 0.


This is out of 5 points.

Completion

Take the total of points from each of the categories and add them together. Then divide that number by 4 and that is the final score of the game. Here is an example.

playability = 4
scripts and overall designing = 5
creativity = 3
user creation = 2,1,1 = 4
total = 4+5+3+4= 16/4= 4 = total score for the game.

Got the idea?

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