Official Thimbleweed Park Forums

Developing scumm.net?


#1

I suppose I should use the domain constructively. My idea will be to set up a simple website with a focus on reviewing and promoting quality adventure games. We’ll have a classic game section as well of course. Probably also a hall of shame for poor games, but that would have to be relegated to non-priority only where doing so is not out of anyone’s way. Any game deserving a mediocre score will simply not be included, because I’d want to create a directory that lists only games worth paying for and playing, including poor quality games will clutter up the site and make it harder for visitors to sift through the good and the poor.

So in a nutshell the site’s ethos will be a website to promote quality adventure games for the betterment of the future of the genre.

What do people think? Any input for ideas is welcome.


#2

You’ll end up with a rather short list of good adventures or need to compromise your ideals. But a short, from time to time, updated list is better than none.

What I find interesting, is the aspect of reviewing adventures in a realistic way. If you offer a linear range from 1-10 and 5 is the average, then most adventures are below 5. Now whilst this somehow is depressing, it also opens a door for a lot of fun, by making honest reviews from grown ups for grown ups.


#3

Yeah, most people review in a logarithmic scale anyway. Which leaves very little differentiation in the 90% range.
On the other hand, although having that 1% granularity allows to score say the graphics of game A just a bit higher than the one of game B, that is a pretty useless exercise. I am more in favour of scoring from 0 to 5, or 0 to 10 at most. Having that 10 or 20% granularity is more than enough to cover the variance between opinions and also forces the reviewer to make bold statements.

You might even go controversial and reset the base score of good and bad games to 5/10 on average. So the just good enough game to be included in your worth-your-time-and-money list would score a 1/10, while the best game in your absolute-stinkers would score 10/10
(That’s going to need some huge disclaimers for people to get why you rate some absolute classics a 6/10). Perhaps you need to rate them with different units (like :star: and :poop: . And 5 x :poop: is equivalent to 1 :star: ) just to make it clear you’re applying different standards.

In that respect, I like the system of The Adventure Gamer and The CRPG Addict.


#4

Do we still need a score system today? (And if @Aractus would like to review only good games then he don’t need a score anyway.)


#5

I think a well written review, or a short description of why a game is good would be worth more. If you’re only reviewing quality games to begin with, tell the reader why you think they’re great: graphics, story, mood, controls, music, re-playability, etc. Everyone has a different opinion on art.

Glitches and crashes can be a factor so I can see why people want to use a scoring system, but overall the opinion of someone you trust would be more valuable in deciding if a game is worth your time.


#6

Sure you need one, but the score would always be between 3 and 5 out of 5. There’s no point in grading “only good” on a scale of 1-10 because visitors won’t understand that and it needs to be kept simple. Anything that scores less than that isn’t worth including (unless you have a specific reason like it’s a classic game or something - Escape to Monkey Island perhaps). There’s no point in arguing semantics though, “5/5” doesn’t mean something is perfect, just that it’s a great game enjoyable and well worth paying for. I’d have to play through EMI fresh to even decide whether it’s a good game or not, as a Monkey Island sequel it’s rubbish but as its own game it would have some merit. But to use it as an example, let’s say I played it and enjoyed it thoroughly but found the controls annoying, that might make it worth 4/5. Ideally I would not do everything myself, I would recruit adventure fans to write reviews, ideally you could even have 3 or 4 perspectives on different games, I would be the editor rather than do all the reviews myself.

The entire idea is not to have some massive site like IGN, just a small community-focused site that is targeted towards providing a positive influence on the future of adventure games. Down the track we could even include insights from developers regarding what works well and what doesn’t, how to avoid problems etc (at the very least we can link to various articles on Grumpy Gamer etc that talk about some of these things).


#7

Why? .


#8

Because I want to make something that is logical to the visitor. Many games worth playing will have some shortcomings/annoyances it’s only fair to have some system in place. People are time-poor maybe they don’t want a 3-star game when they can play a 5-star game instead? Besides, the best of the best deserve to be ranked higher on merit simple as that.


#9

But you will mention it in the review anyway? So why an additional rating if you plan to review only games that are worth to be played?

Well, I’ve played a lot of 3-star games that I like. :slight_smile: The rating is good to see if a game is totally crap. But …

… you have said that you won’t review games that aren’t worth to be played?


#10

Numbers are cool! “This is a 9!” “Nah, maybe a 7 but …”

A rating is the concentrate of a review or gives an impression of how strong you feel about a game, it’s a sometimes misleading but nonetheless worthwile shortcut which can tell you if investing further time could be reasonable, plus looking at the gfx. You go to a game critics site, look at the score & the stills, if it’s good (sometimes also bad enough works), you dig further into the subject, browse through a video or end up really reading an article, mostly you read an article after or whilst you’re enjoying a game and want to know more about it but less before. No one likes to read 6 pages about something he isn’t interested in as well an no one likes to read a few lines of shallow stuff because it’s superfluous. You can realise a number like rating in different variations, there might be less information like in funny faces but numbers are common knowledge and need no learning or introduction. Last but not least number ratings can lead to excited heated discussions.

“I’m sure you’ve never seen a 10 in your whole life.” “Fuck your face dickhead!” …


#11

I (partially) agree with you, but @Aractus would like to review only good games. So when I visit his site I know already that all games are worth to play them. So there is no need for a rating at all. Especially if you would rate the games with 5 stars, every game would have 4 or 5 stars on his site. The information provided by this rating would be none. :slight_smile:

If you are able to read German I would recommend to read this article by Boris Schneider-Johne (German translator of Thimbleweed Park):

You don’t have to agree with his thesis, but some of this thoughts are very interesting IMHO.
(For all non-German speakers: He is against a ratings system for games and explains in his blog post why.)


#12

Vom Saulus zum Paulus.

Some of his observationss are valid, others aren’t. I woud have never came up with the 100% rating system because it was obvious that it isn’t appropriate. What I like is a less differentiated (between 5-10) rating because it can sum up, how strong you feel about something very quickly and there is a huge difference between a record with 5 or 4 stars. Babes are commonly rated by 10 … The fun would be to decide if an adventure is a 5 or a 4 or 7,8,9 or 10. Grab the 20 best adventures you can think of, rate them by a 5 and 10 system, and experience which one you prefer - or maybe you end up with a 7 based system. A 10 is seldom, you need to force yourself to give it away. The fun of sorting, arranging, removing chaos, is part of the human nature - this is part of the reason why Tetris is so much fun.

“I played A.”
“Did you like it?”
“It’s a B/great.” <- there is a lot of information in this statement and it sets the stage.
“Really? Why?!”
“Because of C, D and E as well as F was awesome. I wouldn’t have minded more G, I couldn’t stand H and I was missing.”
1-2 hours later -> “Now I really need to go.”


#13

I can’t be bothered to find citations atm, but iirc more than 7 isn’t really meaningful to people according to research, with between 5 and 7 generally being considered optimal.


#14

What about 4,25? :slight_smile:


#15

Yes, but 4.25 what?
Stars?
Specks of dust?
Rubber chickens?


#16

4,25 dusty rubber star chicken.


#17

Doesn’t that imply something like a 17 or 18-point scale? (I.e., no. :stuck_out_tongue: )


#18

Indeed. But I’ve seen it on several sites.


#19

You’re not pulling my leg, are you? :face_with_raised_eyebrow:


#20

Red Dead Redemption 2 review, German site, result: 1,3 (But their rating system is from 1 to 6 AFAIK.)