Site Update for March 2017
Recently I have been making some changes to the site and have been planning on more changes and additions to the site. With this post, I plan to explain the changes made recently, why they were made and potential changes in the future.
The first major change is the removal of the Review Poll page. It was getting bloated with more and more links to previous polls and maintaining it was becoming a chore. I plan to bring polls back soon and create a more easily maintained and easier on the eyes archive page. Currently my plan for polls is to have them in the sidebar to increase visibility of the polls and get more interaction from them. As for the archive page, I plan on linking it in the poll section of the sidebar. I also plan to change the wording of future polls so that they aren’t as broad and to include more answers so that feedback is more accurate.
Another change that has been made recently is to the Game Fixes and Workarounds page. It no longer exists as an archive page, it is now a format for articles under the new Guides and Walkthroughs category. I am still experimenting with the format of this category and may change it in the future to make the guides easier to follow or more in-depth as required.
With the changes to the site out of the way I will now talk about the formatting of reviews found on the site, how I plan to format them going forward, potential changes I could make to the format to improve it and why it takes me so damn long to write them.
First things first talk about the formatting. You may notice if you read my older reviews and my more recent ones that the formatting varies. This is because I have never found a format that I particularly like. I have been crafting up ideas for a better format that will make it easier for me to write reviews without compromising on the information being delivered and hopefully it will improve the overall quality of the reviews as well.
If you look at my Dishonored review you will see that the formatting is bare bones. You get the header, then some official artwork of the game, a brief bio of the game with a note about potential spoilers, this is followed by the review itself which in this instance was around 800 words and then a rating. As I said above, this format is bare bones, it gets what I am trying to say about the game across but that is all it does. Which isn’t necessarily a problem but I would like to include more screenshots with the review to space it out more and show some of the game along with my thoughts on it.
As well as including screenshots, I want to vary the length of my reviews. A large game with lots of content should be fairly represented with a longer review that covers everything interesting the game has to offer. A review should include as much information as possible about the good and bad elements of a game whilst trying to avoid spoilers. This also applies to smaller games; a smaller game will of course have less content to write about which will result in a variety of review lengths. I will not artificially inflate the length of a review for the sake of making it longer however, every word written should be meaningful.
I would also like to have a more consistent Rating system. I detest the idea of numerical rating systems for product reviews since quantifying an opinion is a silly concept that doesn’t do anything but attach an arbitrary label and negate any need for the review’s content and the context that it provides. This is one of the reasons I arrived at the current ratings system of a pun based on the game’s content or theme that conveys a positive or negative opinion of the game. I think that this system would work if I was writing shorter spoon-fed reviews like those found on the Steam store or Amazon but I don’t think they are appropriate for the review format I want to be writing.
In the oldest reviews, instead of a rating I included a “Bottom Line” which was effectively a mini review conclusion to the full review. Along with this I included “Buy if you like” and “Ignore if you prefer” sections. With the former being a small selection of games I believed to be similar to the one being reviewed and the latter being a list of features the game has that I believed may put some gamers off. I may start including something like these again but with better wording but also fitting the new format I wish to try.
I mentioned above that it takes me a long time to write a review and I would like to explain why. The short version is that I take ages to finish games and like to jump between them. The longer version is a bit more complicated.
I stated that I take ages to finish games and this is true, the reason for this is because for the last year or so I have been almost exclusively playing very long games (this is where the three games in the header image come into context). As well as playing very long games I have also been playing a lot more sandbox and building games such as Factorio and Minecraft. When playing a long game like The Witcher 3 I tend to play it in long sessions for a few days and then take a break so that I don’t burn out and get bored of the game.
When taking a break from the game I let all thoughts about it leave my head so I can enjoy other things. Therefore, I have decided that for future reviews I will not rely entirely on my memory of the game and have taken to almost religiously taking notes about everything. So far it has been a huge help when getting back into the game after a break as well as helping with choosing the wording I will use in the review.
I recently decided to focus on finishing games before starting another game, so that I can cut down on both the amount of storage space taken up and the amount of time it takes me to finish each game. Because of this I will be able to finish reviews for games and get started on finishing more of them. I plan to finish and review more games in the future so I can start cutting into my backlog and playing the games I have been neglecting.
As I have mentioned the games in the header image are there for a reason. These are the three games I am currently playing through. I plan to review each of them at some point. I am currently playing The Witcher 3 and I appear to be nearing the end of the game so I expect to have it finished soon.
I look forward to any feedback you may have on these changes and on the new format once the next review is done.
Thank you for reading.