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Old 03-29-2009, 08:10 AM   #1   Add To Ignore List  
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Thumbs up Example Review for Serious Sam Maps

Hello all! If you are going to post a review of a Serious Sam map then please use the following format, derived by Valerie Valens.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valerie Valens
Gameplay (50%)
  • Combat
    • Enemy
      • Scripting (This includes Amount, Position and variation) 0~14
    • Item Supply
      • Health & Armor 0~7
      • Weapons & Ammunition 0~7
  • Non-Combat
    • Exploration
      • Secrets & Rewards 0~4
      • Alternate Paths 0~4
    • Puzzles
      • Feasibility & Challenge 0~2
      • Creativity 0~2
  • Networking
    • Ability 0~2
    • Playabliity
      • Scripting Integrity 0~4
      • Markers 0~4
  • Bonuses & Penalties
    • Interactivity -5~+5
    • Gameplay Creativity 0~20
    • Pacing -15~+15
    • CPU Load -20~0

Aesthetics (30%)
  • Architecture & Visuals
    • Atmosphere & Setting 0~5
    • Attention to Detail 0~5
    • Playability 0~5
    • Complimentary to gameplay 0~5
  • Sounds & Music
    • Quality 0~5
    • Fitting to the context 0~5
  • Bonuses & Penalties
    • Creativity 0~5
    • Glitches -5~0

Other aspects (20%)
  • Readme 0~4
  • Netricsa
    • Narrative 0~8
    • Information 0~8
  • Bonuses and penalties
    • Creativity 0~5
    • Spelling and Grammar Errors -5~0
    • Misinformation -15~0
Total (Not including bonuses and penalties) : 100%
A sample will be posted soon using this formula.
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Old 03-29-2009, 09:23 AM   #2   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Example Review for Serious Sam Maps

Additional Guidelines for Reviewing Maps

If you are new to reviewing maps, unfamiliar with the reviewing formula, or just don't really know how many points to give, here are some simple guidelines that you can follow that can assist you in your reviewing.

The guidelines contain a list of questions, explanations and possible scenarios. Note that you need not follow the rewarding points system suggested. They are just examples.

Quote:
Gameplay (50%)
  • Combat
    • Enemy
      • Scripting (This includes Amount, Position and variation) 0~14
  • Were the enemies placed in unexpected positions?
  • Were the types of enemies varied?
  • Were there sufficient enemies?
  • Were the battles interesting?

As stated in the scripting portion, the number of enemies should be sufficient, positioned in a creative way, and include many different kinds of enemies.
  • If the battle waves were unique and you had never seen them before, +8 pts
  • If the types of enemies suited your current situation, +4 pts
  • If you were overwhelmed by a large amount of enemies in a small battle area, -7 pt
  • If you were able to spawn camp an enemy spawning location, -5 pts


Quote:
  • Item Supply
    • Health & Armor 0~7
  • Were there health pickups around when you needed them?
  • Were there enough armor pickups to survive the next enemy wave?

A good map should have at least a few health pickups around in a big area, and 1 or 2 in a small area. If your health becomes critical (below 25), there should be a health pickup nearby. Armor pickups can also help players survive a big enemy wave.
  • If health and armor pickups were positioned where the player needed them (eg. after you survive a big enemy wave with 10HP left), +4 pts
  • If there were sufficient health and armors pickups, +3 pts
  • If there were no health pickups at all, award 0 pts
  • If there were no armor pickups at all, -2 pts
  • If you died because there were no health pickups in that area, -1 pts
  • If there were too many health and armor pickups so that it was too easy to beat a level, -3 pts

Quote:
  • Item Supply
    • Weapons & Ammunition 0~7
  • Was there a variety of weapons?
  • Did the weapons provided suit the current situation?
  • Was ammunition given after each wave?

In Serious Sam, different weapons have different uses and unique capabilities. For instance, the rocket launcher is able to blast a group of harpies. There are also times when weapons are useless as well, like when using a flamethrower to kill a lava golem--this is the last thing that you want to try. Weapons also need ammo. If there are no ammo pickups provided, then the weapons are also useless.
  • If you were able to use a weapon efficiently to survive a battle after you picked it up, +2 pts
  • If the ammo pickups were positioned well and given at reasonable times, +2 pts
  • If a variety of weapons were available in the level, +2 pts
  • If the wrong weapons were given at the wrong time (eg. new level, you pick up a double shotgun and then a highlander spawned far away from you), -2 pts
  • If you were forced to struggle with only a pistol and knife throughout the whole level, -3 pts


Quote:
  • Non-Combat
    • Exploration
      • Secrets & Rewards 0~4

Last edited by Louva-Deus; 03-29-2009 at 11:14 AM. Reason: Grammar Edited by Louva-Deus
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Old 03-29-2009, 11:15 AM   #3   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Example Review for Serious Sam Maps

Ask questions if you have any because we want you to succeed in your reviewing process.
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Old 04-07-2009, 11:28 PM   #4   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Example Review for Serious Sam Maps

I'd like to standardize the words we use for various ratings. What I'm using is:

0-10 Abysmal
10-30 Bad
30-50 Poor
50-70 Fair
70-90 Good
90-100 Excellent

This system has a solid internal logic I think, and fits all the reviews published so far.
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Old 04-08-2009, 02:39 AM   #5   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Example Review for Serious Sam Maps

One thing that's key is that the grading scale of maps (and video games in general) does not map directly to academic grades. Unfortunately, when people see something that got a 72%, they think "C-" in their head and dismiss it.

Because of that I think Scorpion's scale makes sense. Anything above a 50 is fair, anything above a 70 is Good, etc.
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Old 04-08-2009, 02:46 AM   #6   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Example Review for Serious Sam Maps

It does. I agree with his scale wholeheartedly.
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Old 04-09-2009, 05:15 PM   #7   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Example Review for Serious Sam Maps

I'd like to open up a discussion about changing a couple things in Val's rubric. First, I'm not exactly sure what you mean by alternate routes, but I'd like to change that category to Level Sprawl. Level Sprawl refers to what extent the map gives you plenty of open environments to explore above and beyond the fastest route to the destination. Alternate routes could certainly be included in this (if by alternate routes you mean you go left you go right you touch stones then you fight type level design), but it could also refer to any map that gives you freedom to explore some and doesn't box you into narrow corridors, even if the level design is fairly linear.

Also, I don't think the readme and Netricsa categories should be worth a total of 20 points. Hardly anyone looks at the readme, and Netricsa messages/backstory are certainly nice but but nearly as important as all the architecture and visuals or the quality of enemy waves. I can't understand why it is worth as many points. I also think we should add a section, worth 5 points, called Replayability. I don't think a map being alot of fun to play over and over is a factor covered anywhere else in your rubric. This is what the new last section would look like:

* Readme 0~2

* Netricsa
o Narrative 0~4
o Information 0~4

* Replayability 0~5

The last five points would go into Enemy Scripting (now it would be 0~19), because in my opinion the quality of the enemy waves in maps is one of the most important factors I use to judge maps.

Like I said, I just want to see what you all think about these changes, I won't actually change anything unless you all think it's a good idea.
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Old 04-10-2009, 07:29 AM   #8   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Example Review for Serious Sam Maps

Sounds reasonable.
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Old 04-10-2009, 07:54 AM   #9   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Example Review for Serious Sam Maps

Sounds better.
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Old 04-10-2009, 11:20 AM   #10   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Example Review for Serious Sam Maps

Once we start getting SS2 map reviews in, we need to have the reviews put into three game sections so the reviews are easy to find.
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Old 06-03-2009, 03:45 AM   #11   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Example Review for Serious Sam Maps

If I were to review some games, could I use any format of my own choosing, or should we design one? I'd use the same scale of 0 to 100 points though, with the various aspects of the game discussed in their own chapters.
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Old 06-03-2009, 10:16 AM   #12   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Example Review for Serious Sam Maps

Unified format is a must. Otherwise it won't be credible.
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Old 06-03-2009, 12:33 PM   #13   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Example Review for Serious Sam Maps

and they're easier to read despite being by different reviewers.
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Old 06-03-2009, 03:01 PM   #14   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Example Review for Serious Sam Maps

Right, I guess we need to create a format then.
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Old 06-18-2009, 11:33 AM   #15   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Example Review for Serious Sam Maps

Well, any news on this? Or should I design such a format myself and post it here for approval or something?
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Old 06-18-2009, 01:58 PM   #16   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Example Review for Serious Sam Maps

Quote:
Originally Posted by Finzy View Post
Or should I design such a format myself and post it here for approval
I'd go with this part
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Old 06-18-2009, 02:50 PM   #17   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Example Review for Serious Sam Maps

I don't see why you don't just make one anyway.
If somebody else does one as well, compare them.
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Old 06-18-2009, 03:22 PM   #18   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Example Review for Serious Sam Maps

Right, I'll think of something then. I already have some reviews in mind for a couple of games.
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Old 06-19-2009, 05:58 AM   #19   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Example Review for Serious Sam Maps

Finzy's Example Formula For Awesome Game Reviewing

Basic things this formula uses:
  • A scale of 0 to 100 points (similar to the one we use for reviewing maps). However, since games tend to use a much larger scale in everything and those games worth playing tend to score higher, I thought I'd rewise the ratings a bit:

    0-30 points Utter Crap
    30-50 points Poor
    50-60 points Lacks Depth
    60-70 points Average
    70-80 points Good
    80-90 points Very Good
    90-100 points Excellent!

  • Four chapters, Presentation, Gameplay, Visuals & Sounds and Miscellaneous

  • 14 factors seperated to chapters. A factor is a single contributing aspect of the score, for example Athmosphere, which could have a score of 0-5. The maximum possible scores for a single factor are listed below.

  • The chapters and their scoring is as follows:


    Presentation (21 points)


    Story/Setting: 0-8 (note: if the game is primarily a multiplayer game, such as Team Fortress 2, you should automatically add 4 points to this score, rest depending on your own judgement)

    Ideas: 0-8 (this includes stuff like the portal gun in Portal, invading people's minds in Psychonauts, basically any ideas or interesting gameplay elements the game has, or premises)

    User Friendliness: 0-5 (this includes whether or not the game requires a complicated installation, such as requiring the user to run multiple programs at once like in the case of Dawn of War 2, how easy the game is to set up and install, what kind of an impression you get when you first start the game, how easy the game is to pick up etc. For example, if the game has no tutorials available, you could drop this score a bit.)


    Gameplay (32 points)


    Implementation: 0-15 (basically describe how well the game implements the ideas or premises it has, its flaws and successes, and so on - this also features things like user interface and controls)

    Fun Factor: 0-12 (how fun is the game to play?)

    Lenght: 0-5 (this includes the lenght of the game, if the game is a multiplayer game, compare to the amount of maps and game modes, for example)


    Visuals & Sound (27 points)


    Art: 0-5 (this includes the game's art direction, how unique it is, how well it is implemented, plus misc. things like cover/concept art and so on)

    Graphics: 0-10 (includes anything related to graphics; e.g texture/model quality, lighting, particle effects, shader effects, HDR, you name it - if the game is older, you can relate to how well the graphics have retained their appeal to this day and such)

    Athmosphere: 0-5 (how well the game captures the feeling of "being there")

    Sounds: 0-7 (how good the game's sounds and musical score are, this includes voiceacting)


    Miscellaneous (20 points)


    Replayability: 0-5 (does the game get repetitive quickly, does it feature anything to extend its playtime?)

    Patches and support: 0-5 (how well do the developers support their game? does the game get, or has the game got new patches that add additional content and bugfixes?)

    Map and modding support: 0-5 (how well does the game support community content?)

    Performance: 0-5 (how high are the game's system requirements, how well does it run in general, or how good is the game's netcode?)


    Total Score: Up to 100 points


In addition, you can use the structure of Presentation, Gameplay, Visuals & Sound and Miscellaneous for the actual review.

And I think it'd be interesting if we could see all the factor scores along with the final score as well (so the readers would get a better idea of how the reviewer judged the various aspects of the game).

So how about it, got any comments whether this is good or not?

Last edited by Finzy; 06-19-2009 at 06:04 AM.
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Old 06-22-2009, 12:12 PM   #20   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Example Review for Serious Sam Maps

My reviews are on hold for a bit until our new host gets the file system online. I do have a couple ready to be posted when that happens.
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Old 06-22-2009, 09:35 PM   #21   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Example Review for Serious Sam Maps

File system is working again.
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Old 06-23-2009, 12:49 PM   #22   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Example Review for Serious Sam Maps

And my formula? Pending approval?
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Old 06-23-2009, 01:16 PM   #23   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Example Review for Serious Sam Maps

FileSystem is working?
Great, now I can upload my stuff

Edit: Hmm.....image thumbnails work but linked images are still broken

Last edited by Deepblue; 06-23-2009 at 01:20 PM.
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Old 02-24-2013, 04:41 PM   #24   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Example Review for Serious Sam Maps

Okay guys, time to dust the cobwebs off of this thread and discuss review rubriques for DLCs, Mods and content for other video games, as well as video games other than Serious Sam.

How do you think the score should be broken down, and what criterion do you look for when looking at these pieces of video game content?
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Old 02-24-2013, 11:54 PM   #25   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Example Review for Serious Sam Maps

Quote:
Originally Posted by Valerie Valens View Post
Okay guys, time to dust the cobwebs off of this thread and discuss review rubriques for DLCs, Mods and content for other video games, as well as video games other than Serious Sam.
Well, I'd suggest that if reviewing other video-games is allowed, why not making a new forum for that?

Kinda like "General Game Reviews" or something, and then we can make reviews of any non-Serious Sam game there?

Just suggestin'.
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Old 02-25-2013, 03:44 AM   #26   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Example Review for Serious Sam Maps

Quote:
Originally Posted by Danker View Post
Well, I'd suggest that if reviewing other video-games is allowed, why not making a new forum for that?

Kinda like "General Game Reviews" or something, and then we can make reviews of any non-Serious Sam game there?

Just suggestin'.
This could be done if enough reviews are provided for non Serious Sam games, mods & levels, or non Serious Sam related content.
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Old 02-27-2013, 12:17 AM   #27   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Example Review for Serious Sam Maps

Quote:
Originally Posted by Valerie Valens View Post
This could be done if enough reviews are provided for non Serious Sam games, mods & levels, or non Serious Sam related content.
Well, there was this short season where members reviewed some games in the Game Talk forum IIRC, does that actually count?
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Old 02-27-2013, 06:05 AM   #28   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Example Review for Serious Sam Maps

They were informal and very subjective, so not really.
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