Tuesday, November 8, 2011

How I rate games.

Just to explain the way I approach rating a game:  I wanted to do something a little different, but familiar.  So I stuck with 0-100, that works.

I wanted to come from a slightly different angle so I chose 5 categories, each worth 20 points.  When you make a game you hire artists, programmers, designers and producers; there are 4 categories right there.  And I added "value" as a category, because in today's quickly changing world we have a wide spectrum of games that are free, and at the same time have insane premium content that could put the cost of a single game over 100 dollars.

Here are some details of what I'm thinking when writing these reviews:
  • Design, Art, Programming (Tech) - When I put a number down for these categories I'm not rating the people in the department, I'm rating what is in the game.  What they managed to squeeze into the released product,that is all.  A 0 tech score could mean the game crashes all the time or is unplayable from a programming fault.
  • Production - In this category I'm not trying to rate the producers on the game, more of the entire package.  Many times producers make the call on what gets cut, what features get focused on, all kinds of major decisions.  Also in production I will cover stuff like: Sound FX, VO, writing, stuff like that.  Again, the entire package... kinda.
  • Value - Exactly what it says.  A 10 in this category would be an extremly sweet free game with no hidden costs, or a $60 retail game that is well worth the money.  A 0 in this category would be a $60 game that should've been free, or even a free game that totally sucks could get a 0 here.
In the end, this turns out to be a tough ratings system.  In this system to rate higher than a score of 90, all departments must average that number.  That can be tough to accomplish, but a 90 review should be tough to get.  The first two games I used this for I REALLY REALLY liked and they ended up getting scores in the mid 80s.  I'm not sure I would've ended at those numbers if I just thought about one final review number.

Also, I'm going to tend to review more obscure games; games I really enjoy or games I think deserve a rating for whatever reason.  I will treat FB games and small indie games with the same attitude as a $100 million "AAA" projects.  I really want to write a review of Gears 3, but don't think anyone wants to read my review of MW3, so I won't waste my time.  That being said, I have no agenda but to review games and possibly lead people to games they normally wouldn't play.

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