More thoughts on comp reviews

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James Mitchelhill

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Oct 13, 2006, 5:52:22 PM10/13/06
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I was thinking about the post-comp reviews, which are always one of the
pleasing things about the comp. In previous years, I've noticed that
although there's always lots of reviews posted, there tends to not be much
(or often any) discussion about many of the games.

One thing about the reviews is that there's so many of them, and it can be
difficult to pull out individual points to respond to. Trying to sustain a
discussion of more than forty games at once is unrealistic.

So, I'm going to make a suggestion and see if anyone runs with it.

Rather than posting our comp reviews in one solid, indigestible mass,
wouldn't it make sense to coordinate them in some way so we were only
posting about a few games at once?

It'd work like this: After the results are released, reviewers post their
reviews to the games that placed in the top five. We discuss.

The next day, we post our reviews to the next five games (places 6 to 10).
And so on. Discussion of the top five games continues (and is probably
reduced to a few interesting points), discussion of games 6 to 10 begins.

And so on, until it becomes clear that all reviews are nothing but outright
vitriol against the games down at the bottom of the list.

Obviously this is something that people will either find interesting or
really annoying, and would only really work if at least a few reviewers
were involved.

Thoughts?

--
James Mitchelhill
ja...@disorderfeed.net
http://disorderfeed.net

Emily Short

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Oct 13, 2006, 5:55:58 PM10/13/06
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James Mitchelhill wrote:
> Obviously this is something that people will either find interesting or
> really annoying, and would only really work if at least a few reviewers
> were involved.
>
> Thoughts?

1) That's an interesting idea.
2) The authors of games 40-43 will be very annoyed.

Rifflesby

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Oct 13, 2006, 6:02:51 PM10/13/06
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Perhaps go the other way, and do the last-placers first? After all,
they're the ones most in need of help. Or at least, they're the ones
we'll be most eager to vent about.

Being new to the community, I don't know what it's like here during
review time, but thinking about it... if only ten people review every
game, that's 430 reviews. Even if they're all just little notes jotted
down while playing (like mine are), that's a helluva lot. Seems like
some kind of organization would be helpful.

How does it usually go? A single thread for each game? Or a thread for
each reviewer? Or?

James Mitchelhill

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Oct 13, 2006, 6:18:18 PM10/13/06
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Possibly. Although since the reviews for those games will probably be along
the lines of "Quit after five minutes. I feel like the author soiled
himself in my head", I'm not sure that's a bad thing.

I can see the authors whose games come in midway down the table having a
better case for annoyance, but it's a trade off between "lots and lots of
reviews right now" and "wait a while, but have more actual discussion of
your game".

Having entered the comp in the past, I'd have found the delay frustrating,
but I'd have been willing to put up with it in return for (potentially)
more disccussion.

What do other authors think?

James Mitchelhill

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Oct 13, 2006, 6:21:42 PM10/13/06
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On 13 Oct 2006 15:02:51 -0700, Rifflesby wrote:

> Perhaps go the other way, and do the last-placers first? After all,
> they're the ones most in need of help. Or at least, they're the ones
> we'll be most eager to vent about.

But we'll be even more eager to talk about the really good games that
placed highly, I hope.

> Being new to the community, I don't know what it's like here during
> review time, but thinking about it... if only ten people review every
> game, that's 430 reviews. Even if they're all just little notes jotted
> down while playing (like mine are), that's a helluva lot. Seems like
> some kind of organization would be helpful.
>
> How does it usually go? A single thread for each game? Or a thread for
> each reviewer? Or?

Mostly people post their reviews individually as one large clump. If
they're long reviews, they'll be split across several posts. Not everyone
plays (or reviews) every game, though.

aaroni...@gmail.com

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Oct 13, 2006, 6:57:08 PM10/13/06
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James Mitchelhill wrote:
> It'd work like this: After the results are released, reviewers post their
> reviews to the games that placed in the top five. We discuss.
>
> The next day, we post our reviews to the next five games (places 6 to 10).
> And so on. Discussion of the top five games continues (and is probably
> reduced to a few interesting points), discussion of games 6 to 10 begins.

This is a nice idea, but it seems like trying to discuss the top five
scoring games all at once might be compressing a lot of interesting
talk together, while there probably won't be much to say about, say,
games 35 to 40. So maybe something that loads more low-scoring games
and less-high scoring games together would be better. I also like the
other suggestion about doing them in reverse order.

Regardless of what anyone else does with their reviews, James, I'd be
happy to participate in a weekly discussion group like this if you were
to host it. Discussion of games, as opposed to just reviews, is
something I'd like to see more of.

James Mitchelhill

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Oct 13, 2006, 7:21:10 PM10/13/06
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On 13 Oct 2006 15:57:08 -0700, aaroni...@gmail.com wrote:

> James Mitchelhill wrote:
>> It'd work like this: After the results are released, reviewers post their
>> reviews to the games that placed in the top five. We discuss.
>>
>> The next day, we post our reviews to the next five games (places 6 to 10).
>> And so on. Discussion of the top five games continues (and is probably
>> reduced to a few interesting points), discussion of games 6 to 10 begins.
>
> This is a nice idea, but it seems like trying to discuss the top five
> scoring games all at once might be compressing a lot of interesting
> talk together, while there probably won't be much to say about, say,
> games 35 to 40. So maybe something that loads more low-scoring games
> and less-high scoring games together would be better. I also like the
> other suggestion about doing them in reverse order.

How about going two at a time from the top and the bottom (so day 1: Games
1, 2, 42 and 43; day 2: Games 3, 4, 40, 41, etc). It's a bit more
complicated, but could work, I think.

Jim Aikin

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Oct 13, 2006, 8:52:30 PM10/13/06
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> How about going two at a time from the top and the bottom (so day 1: Games
> 1, 2, 42 and 43; day 2: Games 3, 4, 40, 41, etc). It's a bit more
> complicated, but could work, I think.

Good idea, but I was going to suggest a staggered approach -- on day 1, do
games 1, 8, 15, 23, 31, and 39. On day 3 or thereabouts, do games 2, 9, 16,
24, 32, and 40. Etc. It seems rather artificial, but it does deal with the
objections raised so far.

--JA


Poster

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Oct 14, 2006, 7:46:50 AM10/14/06
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This is something, quite honestly, that would work better in a small
group of sorts (forum, email list, etc). Trying to persuade a newsgroup
to do anything logical or orderly involves persuading a lot of people to
suborn their own wills. I just don't think that will happen. :o

-- Poster

www.intaligo.com Building, INFORM, Seasons (upcoming!)

Bob

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Oct 14, 2006, 8:00:22 AM10/14/06
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James Mitchelhill wrote:
> It'd work like this: After the results are released, reviewers post their
> reviews to the games that placed in the top five. We discuss.
>
> The next day, we post our reviews to the next five games (places 6 to 10).
> And so on. Discussion of the top five games continues (and is probably
> reduced to a few interesting points), discussion of games 6 to 10 begins.
>
> And so on, until it becomes clear that all reviews are nothing but outright
> vitriol against the games down at the bottom of the list.

Um, well... I'll do it like I planned: post all reviews (more like
small notes) in a large clump. These notes with scores are more meant
as a feedback for the authors, things I liked, things I didn't like
that much and things I suggest. I wouldn't want to delay this,
especially since I don't think there will be much discussion about most
points people are going to make.

Bob

quic...@quickfur.ath.cx

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Oct 14, 2006, 11:43:06 AM10/14/06
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On Fri, Oct 13, 2006 at 03:02:51PM -0700, Rifflesby wrote:
[...]

> How does it usually go? A single thread for each game? Or a thread for
> each reviewer? Or?
[...]

Yes, what about a single thread for each game, James?

That way, all discussion related to game X is in one place (at least for
people who use sane newsreaders, which is hopefully a significant
percentage of the population here), and people can participate in or
ignore certain threads according to their interest in that particular
game.

Personally, I can't see my reviews generating any meaningful responses
if posted in a single message, because I currently have more than 15
reviews already, most of which are of non-trivial length. I just can't
see anyone bothering to read through an 800-line post just to find the
one game they're looking for.


QF

--
There's light at the end of the tunnel. It's the oncoming train.

Daphne Brinkerhoff

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Oct 14, 2006, 2:01:11 PM10/14/06
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quic...@quickfur.ath.cx wrote:
> On Fri, Oct 13, 2006 at 03:02:51PM -0700, Rifflesby wrote:
> [...]
> > How does it usually go? A single thread for each game? Or a thread for
> > each reviewer? Or?
> [...]
>
> Yes, what about a single thread for each game, James?
>
> That way, all discussion related to game X is in one place (at least for
> people who use sane newsreaders, which is hopefully a significant
> percentage of the population here), and people can participate in or
> ignore certain threads according to their interest in that particular
> game.

This is what I've been thinking. I know that some people will discuss
several games at a time, and those reviews couldn't easily be broken up
(I can't think of a real example, but imagine someone doing an essay
"Compare and contrast games with a squid", from comp02). For most of
us, though, one game per thread would work.

--
Daphne

Stebbins

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Oct 14, 2006, 2:34:46 PM10/14/06
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Bob wrote:
> Um, well... I'll do it like I planned: post all reviews (more like
> small notes) in a large clump. These notes with scores are more meant
> as a feedback for the authors, things I liked, things I didn't like
> that much and things I suggest. I wouldn't want to delay this,
> especially since I don't think there will be much discussion about most
> points people are going to make.

Why don't you just contact the authors themselves, then?

JDC

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Oct 14, 2006, 3:28:57 PM10/14/06
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(Speaking as an author)
I think it is helpful to see a review of your work in the context of
other reviews, to get an idea of the reviewer's standards. Specific bug
reports might better be sent to individual authors, but it seems like
it's easier to post a collection of reviews to the newsgroups than to
send them to 40 some authors individually.

-JDC

Mantar, Feyelno nek dusa

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Oct 14, 2006, 6:32:22 PM10/14/06
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On Fri, 13 Oct 2006 15:57:08 -0700, aaronius.reed wrote:

> scoring games together would be better. I also like the other suggestion
> about doing them in reverse order.

Reverse order would be best for me -- I'm usually way behind, and often
end up just looking to see what scored well in the comp and playing that.
A reverse order would give me a chance to play the top 5 or so before
discussion got around to them.

--
- Mantar --- Drop YourPantiesSirWilliam to email me.

Bob

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Oct 15, 2006, 5:10:49 AM10/15/06
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Stebbins wrote:

Well, I sometimes do, but not vey often. When I do I feel obliged to
say something really insightful or important, not just "Great game,
dude!".

Bob

RootShell

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Oct 15, 2006, 5:35:18 PM10/15/06
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James Mitchelhill wrote:

> Thoughts?

This might seem off-topic, but come to think of it, it might not.

One of the things you say about posting a bunch of unorganized comp
reviews to the newsgroup its true, as it is the bunch of individual
posting that the reviewers make to the newsgroup making it hard to make
some sort of idea about the general community receptivity to a given
comp game.

So I thought about it, and I would like to make this little suggestion
to expand a bit on your own: You can easily sort/group/organize reviews
of games, at the ifreviews.org website.

Which is great since you can, in a single page listing, see all the
rating each reviewer gave a particular game, and read their reviews
without having to search several posting in the newsgroup.

I'm not saying that the discussion of the ifcomp games should be held
at this project's site, on the other hand it's organized listings might
come in handy to sort things out a bit and to serve as a referring
point.

Almost all the hard work was already done by the ifreviews.org
development team, all the reviewers need to do, is to freely register
and paste in their reviews and afterwards rate them.

The ifreviews will then be available for all to read (in a organized
comp games listing page).

It might not be exactly what you were suggesting but it might
nevertheless prove helpful to organize things a bit.

As i said earlier in this post, this are just my thoughts, and i
decided to express them mainly because the reason why the ifreviews.org
was created in the first place was exactly to organize all the reviews
that were being posted to the newsgroup in a unorganized way.

Think about it...

Regards,
RootShell

Aquillion

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Oct 25, 2006, 6:03:37 AM10/25/06
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Poster wrote:
>
> This is something, quite honestly, that would work better in a small
> group of sorts (forum, email list, etc). Trying to persuade a newsgroup
> to do anything logical or orderly involves persuading a lot of people to
> suborn their own wills. I just don't think that will happen. :o
>
> -- Poster

I think that it might be an "if you build it, they will come" sort of
thing, though. If two or three people start discussing a game that
everyone has played (as is the case with all the ifcomp games), I
suspect that most other people with opinions won't be able to resist
putting their oar in, regardless of how they feel about organized
discussions or whatever.

A.P. Hill

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Oct 25, 2006, 9:05:59 AM10/25/06
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This whole thread is assanine.

One thing about the reviews is that there's so many of them, and it can
be

difficult to pull out individual points to respond to. <----- comedy .

It can be difficult James. You are a very weak man James.
A.P. Hill
http://www.santoonie.com/videos/nov6.wmv

All I know is, I better get some reviews for my game. That's what I'm
in it for, the comedy. I enjoy reading the reviews far more than
laboring through assanine newsgroup ramblings. I swear, if I was in a
room with you'd people in some convention setting in suits, with
vendors, and a keynote speaker, I'd be the guy in the middle of the
floor swinging. Security! Security! We have an incident!!!

A.P. Hill

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Oct 25, 2006, 9:09:13 AM10/25/06
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I just read a yahoo report (screw yahoo) that said Kurt Cobain has
toppled Elvis in dead celebrity sales, and I say bullshit. Don't
believe every fucking report or study you read, especially from yahoo.
Elvis has been dead far longer and Kurt Cobain can kiss my ass. No one
beats the King.

Billy Bissette

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Oct 25, 2006, 11:08:31 PM10/25/06
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"A.P. Hill" <aph...@altavista.com> wrote in news:1161781753.143206.288170
@m7g2000cwm.googlegroups.com:

The Kurt Cobain thing is apparently true. But it isn't just album
sales or the like. It includes the money his wife got for selling
one-quarter of his song catalog earlier this year.

dgen...@hotmail.com

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Oct 31, 2006, 5:14:25 PM10/31/06
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James Mitchelhill wrote:
> On 13 Oct 2006 15:02:51 -0700, Rifflesby wrote:
>
> > Perhaps go the other way, and do the last-placers first? After all,
> > they're the ones most in need of help. Or at least, they're the ones
> > we'll be most eager to vent about.
>
> But we'll be even more eager to talk about the really good games that
> placed highly, I hope.
>

The ones which will really be fun to discuss will be the games with the
widest standard deviation of scores-- those which some judges loved,
and others hated. Those games will tend not to be among the top five.

When does the judging end, anyway? I'm eager to rag on the bottom five
already.

Dave.

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