Voting Habits - Printable Version
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Voting Habits - BeyondCloister - Dec 6, 2003 09:28 AM
After reading some posts I am curious as to how people behaved when deciding to vote.
For instance, did you take it seriously and actually look at the whole package for the game in the same way as something you bought? By this I mean reading the instructions to see how the game is played and what the aim is?
Did you only vote for the games you actually played? i.e. if the game failed to run did you then not vote for on it or did you give it all 1's without actually having played and seen the game?
Did you allow yourself to become annoyed by simple things?
How did you judge originality? Did you judge originality compared to today's games and other entries or to games going back the last 25 years?
Voting Habits - akisha - Dec 6, 2003 09:46 AM
I'm just adding a question:
Did you actually read the system requirements, or did you give the game a bad rating because you couldn't run it?
Voting Habits - KittyMac - Dec 6, 2003 10:16 AM
Just a few notations about the questions you posted:
Quote:...something you bought? By this I mean reading the instructions to see how the game is played and what the aim is... the game failed to run did you then not vote for on it or did you give it all 1's...Did you actually read the system requirements, or did you give the game a bad rating because you couldn't run it?
These are unfortunate mis-conceptions of the developers. Most developers (me too, initialy) assume that the first thing a player will do is open the read me/manual and learn about the game. The shocking reality is that 99% of all gamers simply download and run, without looking at read me, manual, OR system requirements. It is the developer's responsibility to make sure that when the gamer downloads the game and decides to play, that it is:
a) Easy enough to learn without referring to a manual (or has an easy to reach on-line help system)
b) If the game does not meet your minimum requirements, the game should say so in some meaningful way (ie, popping up an error dialog and NOT simply crashing).
c) Adheres to the "basic wants" of the target platform (see below)
Quote:Originally posted by BeyondCloister
This falls under the Polish category, which unfortunately affects all of the other categories in turn. If a game does not support Cmd+Q to quit from anywhere in the game, then the Polish is degraded. If the game messes up the user's window positions/desktop icons, Polish is degraded. If the game runs in a tiny window, polish is considered poor. These are unfortunately the burdens of developing for any platform, you need to satisfy the basic wants of the target audience (our fault for choosing the pickiest audience imaginable!).
Quote:Originally posted by BeyondCloister
Originality is a tricky subject, but to me a game scores high on originality if it makes me say, "Oh, I never thought of that before", or "Hey, that's a cool new concept to me!". This is why I gave Kiki a 5 in originality last year. Most "cloned" games get a low score from me for originality, with the score rising a little for each new thing they bring to the old concept.
Voting Habits - BeyondCloister - Dec 6, 2003 10:27 AM
Quote:The shocking reality is that 99% of all gamers simply download and run, without looking at read me, manual
I guess that is what they call progress. At least in the 'old' days when you had to wait for a game to load you read the instructions while waiting for the cassette to load or on the bus coming home from buying your game
Voting Habits - NCarter - Dec 6, 2003 10:42 AM
I tried very hard to rate every game objectively and to evaluate the relative quality of all of the games in the competition. The best game in a certain category should get 5 and the worst should get 1, irrespective of their quality in relation to high budget commercial games.
I skimmed the documentation to get an idea of what to expect, but I found it difficult to wade through the extensive documentation that some games supplied! On the other hand, certain games had no documentation and were very difficult to understand, and their score suffered accordingly. I'd rather have some basic documentation than none at all!
I didn't pan any game for being inoperable. For example, I didn't want to install the libraries for CY, so I didn't vote for it at all (sorry). I couldn't download eChess, so I didn't try or vote for it either.
I was annoyed by any game which messed up my windows due to not capturing the screen, but I didn't punish them heavily for it (-1 point in polish, unless they had other redeeming features which made me forget about it).
Originality is a tricky one... I think several people have failed to notice that certain games are clones of past arcade games and have given them unduly high originality scores. I know my classic games so I wasn't fooled! I gave high originality scores only to games which were either completely unique or which took old ideas and added significant new features.
Finally, for my own game, I tried to assess it as if I had never seen it before (probably unsuccessfully). I think it's pretty good, but I punished it for having poor polish and sound. I may still have rated it too highly....
Voting Habits - Bachus - Dec 7, 2003 01:43 AM
I tried to be as fair as possible in my voting. I didn't give a game all 1's just because I didn't like it or wanted to hurt it to help my game. So yay for me I guess.
I was actually lucky in that every game ran fine, and none of them refused to start or not run, so I didn't have to mark a game down for that (believe me I would have).
I think I read or at least skimmed all the documentation for all the games, but there were some games like Dig It that I just couldn't figure out despite that.
I was probably most generous in the polish and originality categories. There were several games I rated poorly in graphics or sound or gameplay, but gave a 3 or 4 in originality. Gotta reward them for trying something new. I was pretty nice in polish too, as I didn't rate any game lower for moving my windows or what-have-you. I was definitely toughest in the graphics category. I gave out a lot of 1s and 2s, but I was definitely willing to give out the higher numbers if you deserved it.
Voting Habits - Superpig - Dec 7, 2003 03:03 AM
Quote:Originally posted by NCarter
That's OK - not installing the libraries is your decision, and thank you for not voting the game down because of that.
May I ask why you didn't want to install the libraries?
Voting Habits - NCarter - Dec 7, 2003 03:19 AM
Quote:Originally posted by Superpig
Er... difficult to explain my reasoning, because I had most of them installed already. I suppose it's because installing a library into the system on Mac OS X still makes me slightly nervous. As stupid as it may sound, if you had given instructions which told me what to install and what to expect as a result of installation (where the files would go, etc.), I would probably have bitten the bullet and installed them.
Since I declined even though I (mostly) know what I'm doing, I suspect the average user might be even more reluctant to mess around with separate installers.
I suggest you look into incorporating the SDL frameworks into your application bundle - this neatly avoids the whole separate installation problem. There are threads on this forum on the subject, and I believe there's an article in the FAQ about it (although the FAQ is broken at the moment so I can't confirm that).
Speaking of which, why don't you put your data files into the bundle as well?
Once again, sorry for not giving your game a fair run. I went out of my way to try everything else in detail and I regret missing yours out.
Voting Habits - Superpig - Dec 7, 2003 03:24 AM
Quote:Originally posted by NCarter
Hmm, I thought I *had* done in the readme. Eh, maybe not.
Quote:Since I declined even though I (mostly) know what I'm doing, I suspect the average user might be even more reluctant to mess around with separate installers.Yeah, granted.
Quote:I suggest you look into incorporating the SDL frameworks into your application bundle - this neatly avoids the whole separate installation problem. There are threads on this forum on the subject, and I believe there's an article in the FAQ about it (although the FAQ is broken at the moment so I can't confirm that).The game was developed under PC, so all the paths to the files would have changed. No, wait, that's a weak excuse.
The truth is, I have no idea what an 'Application Bundle' is. However, now that you've mentioned it, I'll be going to read up on it.
Voting Habits - Superpig - Dec 7, 2003 03:30 AM
Incidentally, the FAQ works if you do 'index.php?Topic' instead of 'index.php/Topic.' Just in case anyone was wondering.
Voting Habits - NCarter - Dec 7, 2003 03:31 AM
Quote:Originally posted by Superpig
You said this:
Quote:CY requires certain libraries to run (namely SDL, SDL_Image, SDL_TTF, and FMOD). I have included the packages for the SDL libraries, along with the shared library for FMOD. Please install all the SDL packages before running the game.
Put the shared library for FMOD... where?!
Voting Habits - Carlos Camacho - Dec 7, 2003 10:20 AM
In general, this is what I do...
* File is uncompressed, I open the folder, I see how easy it is to find and start the game. ie. Do I have to install extra stuff, is the playable's icon burried, etc
* I look at the included files (ie. readme, etc) How does the playable's icon look?
* When I start the game, I see how long until I see "something" Here I look for some kind of feedback. If the screen turns black, and I see nothing or hear nothing for too long, I deduct points
* Splash screen comes up/or doesn't. If it does, how does it look and sound? ie Polish points
* How does the main menu look? Fits in with the mood/theme of the game? Consistent? ie I hate non-matching buttons. Does the interface provide feedback when mouse-over. *(audio-visual)
* I then check for credits. I think gamers don't, but I do.
* I then check the config screen. No config? Minus points. I look for the usual stuff, like changing resolution, input keys. Too many games force keys upon the gamer. I minus alot for that.
* I check the navigation of the menu screens. How easy is it to move from screen to screen, etc.
* I look for other niceties in the menu, like highscrore, story/tutorial, link to vote, and so on
* Playing the game, I ask myself, "Do I understand what is going on?" If I do once I have tried my hand at the game for a bit, then I give points. If I don't, I then read the help. I don't take points away here, just add them if the game lets me jump right in. Obviously the genre has an impact here. (ie Everyone know shoot'em ups)
* After playing the game for some time, I ask, "Is it addictive? Was it fun? Did it feel like work?"
* I check to see if I can pause or quit a game in progress.
If I quit, does it bring me back to the main menu or quit the game? I want to hit quit/esc to drop back to the main menu, but some games just quickly quit. I hate that. Yesterday, I found a game that drive me nuts. I tried to go back to the main menu but the interface was screwy. It took me 20 min. to finally quit the game. NOT GOOD!
* When I stop playing and quit, I at my desktop. If icons are jumbled, resolution is whacky. I deduct points.
That's it in a nutshell.
Quote:The shocking reality is that 99% of all gamers simply download and run, without looking at read me, manual, OR system requirements.
Yes, I really agree with that. Thus, when I look at a game for the first time, I write up my score based on that. My second look (which you see above) is from a dev./editor view point. I then average them and reach my final score for a game.
But I suppose I can do that because I can download all the games very quickly.
Voting Habits - Hugh Rayner - Dec 8, 2003 12:23 AM
If I can't run a game, I don't vote on it. I think I gave one game all ones, but that was because it was a half-assed effort (like my boulder race last year, which was a flawed concept and never really completed), not because it didn't run (there were actually none which refused to run on my setup, though a few I couldn't figure out controls etc.). I think OSC's comment about giving all 1s to a game which doesn't run OR REQUIRES A LIBRARY TO BE INSTALLED is a bit harsh. I did not deduct anything for an incorrectly submitted game, as long as I could make it run (frequently by running chmod 755 on the executable because of stuffit's permission-munching habits).
Originality is the factor I like to be high in games particularily (note that that's the factor I expect to score highest in). I'm more likely to play an original game for longer (though if it has crappy graphics I still won't give it a good graphics score etc.) and I may overlook some polish issues like bad controls etc (the game itself is somewhat experimental, so the controls are not necessarily clear).
Voting Habits - Carlos Camacho - Dec 11, 2003 12:42 AM
Here is a way "somebody" (not me!) reviews games... Just thought I would post it for fun.
Quote:When I play a game, I expect to be having fun by the time I figure out the controls. If the game is half-decent, I'll play it for much more than that. In fact, I've occassionally played bad games for 20 minutes or more before completing my review. However, the first five minutes during which I play the game are enough for me to formulate a rating. After that, my rating rarely changes by more than 2.
This guy has reviewed almost 300 games.
He seems not to like retro gaming. Boo, hiss!
Voting Habits - Fenris - Dec 11, 2003 06:17 AM
What the? Where is this reviewing stuff? Remind me never to send anything his way.