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Liquid Metal Slime
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 PostMon Feb 09, 2015 4:43 pm
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In the past (before this contest and to some extent Hamsterspeak) tons of games would just be uploaded and ignored on the various OHR sites. I think the contest serves a somewhat valuable purpose. Even if the feedback isn't necessarily what the author wants to read, at least they are getting something rather than nothing. I know I've uploaded several games that basically never gotten any feedback over the years.
My website, the home of Motrya:
http://www.jshgaming.com
Metal Slime
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 PostMon Feb 09, 2015 4:48 pm
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Bob the Hamster wrote:
Foxley wrote:
I'm finna write up Antigone and Pain reviews. Warriors of Conway too.


Do you know where to find a copy of Pain.rpg? I lost mine years ago in a hard drive crash, and I don't remember finding it on any of the gamelists


Nope, all I have are memories. Sad
Metal Slime
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 PostMon Feb 09, 2015 7:12 pm
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Quote:
Well, not really, the point of this contest was that even many games released last year were forgotten and unreviewed. Aside from the games entered in contests, the others likely received little feedback.


Yeah, that was a bit of an exaggeration... There are definitely some that still go "under the radar" and never get reviews, especially--like you mentioned--games that aren't connected to any of the contests.

Still, it does seem like a game uploaded on Slime Salad today has a lot better chances of getting a review or two "naturally" (as in, even without review contests pushing a handful people to review as many of them as possible for... well, there's no prizes mentioned, so bragging rights, I guess?--just from random people who happened to play the game and decide to write a review for it) than a game uploaded on Castle Paradox years ago, or especially a game released "pre-Castle Paradox," ever did.
Teekee -- Onboard the Big Humpty Star
FYS:AHS -- New demo released! Download it here!
Puckamon -- Not until the reserve party is expanded
Metal Slime
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 PostMon Feb 09, 2015 7:57 pm
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Guess I'm a little late to the party here. Almost wonder if I shouldn't jump in since it seems like things have died down now, but I'll go ahead and address some of the common thoughts that I've seen here (and in some other places) about the contest since I've been mulling on them myself. Not going to root around for specific quotes here, will just generalize a bit.

Quote:
You shouldn't review so many games if you aren't having fun with them!


The short explanation is that the reviewers wouldn't still be reviewing this many iterations into the contest if they weren't getting something out of it. Due to the gruff nature of a lot of the reviews people probably take that as "mean ol' Charbile just likes being mean!", but that's not really it. If you shift around through the contest archives you can see him toying around trying to understand how different review formats work for instance. That's just one example of his motivations, and the other reviewers clearly have their own as well.

I've said it before on IRC and I'll say it again here: there's probably no better way to improve as a game maker than by entering the review contest, especially for those new to making games. There are a lot of avoidable mistakes that become far more obvious when you're exposed to them in other people's games (again and again). A lot of little things that are easy to overlook in your own games due to how much you're enjoying making it, but when seen in other people's games where you don't already know all the answers they become far more obvious. Things you wouldn't see in a commercially produced product. On top of that you'll have to apply critical analysis to explain what does and doesn't work when it comes time to write your review. Most people don't enter because they're just here to make their own game, which is rather unfortunate in the long run.

Quote:
People only review things in this contest out of obligation to the contest!


Most reviews are written out of obligation. Prior to the review contest we had Hamster Speak which had a queue of new games that still needed a review. People ultimately felt obligated to contribute something to the magazine. Prior to that we had folks like Pepsi Ranger writing reviews out of obligation of inspiring others to review, largely because people weren't reviewing his own games. In the broader context, professional reviews are written out of obligation to keep a job or create a job. There are a hand full of writers out there doing it purely for their own enjoyment of expressing an opinion, but they're the minority in the long term. Most obligation free reviews out there are in the form of people who leave one sentence comments on games. Those have their uses for getting an idea of broad reception, but obligation-laden critical analysis has its own merits I'm sure you'll agree.

Quote:
People in the review contest don't give these games enough of a chance because they're under time pressure to review too many games!


How many Hamster Speak reviewers only played to the end of a game they were reviewing because they were writing for the magazine and wanted to be thorough? Sounds a lot like an obligation to me.

I do agree that in a professional context you want a reviewer to be as thorough as possible because they're doing a consumer service of letting people know if a slow burn game is worth investing their time into, or finding out if a game collapses halfway into it.

In the case of the review contest I think it's a little more forgivable to be sloppy about investment. The main goal here is to generate more feedback about games, not necessarily exhaustive top-to-bottom analysis from every reviewer (I've often considered opening a sister contest of "write a comment about every game" or something to get more people involved). This does mean a lot of reviews boil down to "is your game's hook actually hooking people?", and that probably costs the games that ask for up front player investment quite a bit, but is still useful feedback in its own right (especially compared to getting a false positive from someone who only slogged through a game out of obligation).

It is a definite downside due to the nature of the contest, but the contest isn't trying to replace traditional reviews either (and that's also why previously written reviews are eligible. To incentivize people to review throughout the year, and to give thorough reviewers more time to do their work if they still want to enter the contest).

Quote:
We don't need more than one or two reviews for each game!


I can't disagree more. I've often lamented that Famitsu's format of reviews where they have 4 reviewers write a paragraph each about a game along with a score never really caught on outside of it. It's not surprising since it'd be way too expensive for most publications to pay 4 people to review one game, but you simply can't express everything about a game with just one person looking at it. Look at Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest for an example. Most publications just had their "RPG Guy" review every RPG that came through the door. But "RPG Guy" who has played everything under the sun would probably bash down Mystic Quest for its simplicity and brevity compared to its contemporaries. Had they also assigned someone less into RPGs to it (which was the game's actual target audience) it might turn out that they love it for tearing down some of the chuggy pacing of a traditional RPG for them. Neither reviewer was wrong, but different people come from different places and it's important to capture that.

Besides that having the same person review several games instead of just a few gives their readers a better sense of where they're coming from. For players this means they can understand whether their own tastes match with the reviewer. For game authors this means they can understand the reviewer's thought process more easily when taking their feedback into consideration.

This comment obviously comes from it getting redundant for both authors and reviewers when 20 different people all complain about the same thing. But knowing that 20 people complained about the same thing is very useful feedback in its own right (consider if only 1 person out of 19 complained about something. If you only had one review that complaint would end up with the same weight as a 20 person complaint).

--

Phew. The review contest is always a bit polarizing since the reviewers who enter it skew towards the critical side, and it's easy to argue that the nature of the contest promotes it (and it does to a small degree). Personally I think it's more just a matter of who enters it. If you want more upbeat reviews in the contest, then write them.
Metal Slime
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 PostMon Feb 09, 2015 8:37 pm
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Well said, Hawk. Not much to add but more reviews~ Time to get back to being ill and pretending to hate everyone, haha
Metal Slime
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 PostMon Feb 09, 2015 8:45 pm
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Quote:
We don't need more than one or two reviews for each game!


Was anyone actually saying this...?

I know I mentioned "games that already have at least one or two reviews" in one reply, which makes me wonder if this was a serious misinterpretation of what I said... but I never said that there's no need for more than a couple reviews per game.

All I was saying was that an "older game review contest" would give reviews to a lot more never-been-reviewed-at-all games than a "last year's games review contest" would.
Teekee -- Onboard the Big Humpty Star
FYS:AHS -- New demo released! Download it here!
Puckamon -- Not until the reserve party is expanded
Metal Slime
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 PostMon Feb 09, 2015 8:46 pm
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ohrbingo.png
Megaman Sprite Game

Game of the year material. Played through the whole thing. High marks for keeping my interest.

A joke game made outside of a contest from someone who isn't a regular here. This raised the big question of why was this made. Using that sixth sense again thinking about how this has a webcomic vibe, did a quick search and found this: http://megamanspritecomic.tumblr.com/ There's even a Christmas mini sequel.

Game was originally released in 2012. Reviewing it in the 2014 contest. Just so everyone knows.

summary
Play as megaman and friends, searching for the magic basketballs. The conflict starts with megaman beating up a deliveryman ghost, sending him on a nonsensical adventure. There's an in-universe logic to things, which is nice, but it's all bonkers. A few twists happen that would spoil things.

playthrough
Playing through the first part, before you get the pass saying it's okay to walk off the path, it was mediocre. Playable, sure, but I was about ready to call it quits. After that it starts to pick up. So much so, and in such an unbelievable fashion for the type of game this is, that before the final level I was wondering how it would finish--if there would be a satisifying payoff to it all.

I had my doubts, that it would end abruptly or on a fake-out, but it actually goes somewhere. It works, can't say it was super satisfying, but that's the game in a nutshell. Never before have I seen such effort put into something that's supposed to seem stupid and lazy for laughs. Things like...

neat things
Graphics are smart. Instead of block wallpaper trees, does the better way of layering a single well drawn tree sprite. Little touches in detail like on the burned down houses. Sound is used very effectively, moreso than anything I've played in the ohr. There's a tribal segment and the little tribesmen constantly die with a small explosion and sound fx, really well executed. Especially liked when you save Roll by pushing one into a fire. Fluid cutscenes, very well scripted. One part where you land on someone and it smears blood in a way where there was thought in how it was scripted, where it doesn't look cheap. Like there was real magic being performed, in the tricks used to make it look like a real video game.

Enjoyed the final dungeon, felt like a satire on the typical last stage in a rpg, where it's overly complex looking and scripted, but is still an exercise in walking down a one-way path, with lots of slides. Was a playpen to boot.

bad things / battles
Didn't enjoy the bad ending setup. You have to stay on the path and not walk on grass, else you get a game over in a later area. Some of the maps dragged, namely the underwater level. The battles I have to disagree with Giz on. They were there to service the setup that this was a rpg, but were mostly pointless in a 'game' sense. The design was to make sure they lasted long enough so you can see stupid things like a duck quack and run away, or an eskimo ask why he chose to vacation in the lava level or whatever was said. One enemy's attack is to explode and die. Tree air-freshener hanging on a tree.

Got the feeling a lot of the true humor relies on knowing the setups from the comic. But hey, knows its audience, check. Also, there were a lot of fun uses of enemy transformations, especially the final battle where the enemy changes appearance for each special attack. Was great. If anything, treating the battles more seriously would have ruined the tone.

spicy meatball statements
Could go on, but want to wrap this up. I really think this shows how it can be a bad thing to get caught up in the ohr community and lose sight of bigger pictures. This wasn't made for a contest, wasn't made for any of us ohr developers, past of present. The author clearly has spent time developing their visual art skills, pulls a lot of design from non-ohr games, (though with obvious wandering hamster influences, have to learn the engine from somewhere.) It's clear they enjoyed their concept, wanted people to play their game, made it with that in mind, all while keeping their own creative integrity.

megadunks bro!! even changed the game.exe icon.
Metal Slime
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 PostMon Feb 09, 2015 9:05 pm
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FnrrfYgmSchnish wrote:
Quote:
We don't need more than one or two reviews for each game!


Was anyone actually saying this...?

I know I mentioned "games that already have at least one or two reviews" in one reply, which makes me wonder if this was a serious misinterpretation of what I said... but I never said that there's no need for more than a couple reviews per game.

All I was saying was that an "older game review contest" would give reviews to a lot more never-been-reviewed-at-all games than a "last year's games review contest" would.


Basically, reviewing a 1999 game has little value in terms of feedback. This is because the author is unlikely to still be around to see the feedback or even be in a position to apply it. So the only way to really take it was that multiple reviews have minimal value if we are to assume reviewing things that will likely never be updated has greater value.

Don't get me wrong though, a retro review contest would be all kinds of fun and I support anyone who wants to run it.
Metal Slime
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 PostMon Feb 09, 2015 9:12 pm
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This seems oddly appropriate for a retro review contest

Every day's a sale. Every sale a win.
A Scrambled Egg
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 PostMon Feb 09, 2015 9:17 pm
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Thread proved that Fenrir is not dead so I'm happy with how it turned out.
Super Walrus Land: Mouth Words Edition
Metal King Slime
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 PostTue Feb 10, 2015 12:17 am
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I support the idea of a classic games review, but I don't think I'd participate as much in one. Batman and Robin is a relative newcomer from 2010 and its lack of sound effects drove me nuts. Admittedly RPG Design was a little bit better in those days ('cause you had no other choice) but I'm not sure I'm ready to go back to the dark ages of BAM and no plotscripting. I'm also not sure that there's a lack of reviews for those games, Op:OHR's archive and CastleParadox's list have bunches of reviews. It would be a fun way to see just how far the engine and the community has come, but I feel like the monkey in that one Charlton Heston movie. Be careful what you go looking for, you might not like what you find.
Metal Slime
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 PostTue Feb 10, 2015 12:54 am
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It is definitely weird to go back and play sound-effect-less games now, yeah. (And a lot of old game soundtracks got messed up pretty bad by the transition from BAM to MIDI, with the OHR playing BAMs as if they were MIDIs with really awkward sets of instruments rather than sounding like the BAM song originally did.)

The no-battle-sounds thing didn't bother me anywhere near as much as I thought it would in Batman & Robin, though--I remember reading some people mention the lack of sounds in their reviews, and that was the one thing I worried about the most going into the game, but when actually playing the game I barely noticed they weren't there.
Teekee -- Onboard the Big Humpty Star
FYS:AHS -- New demo released! Download it here!
Puckamon -- Not until the reserve party is expanded
Metal King Slime
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 PostTue Feb 10, 2015 1:27 am
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It's weird how expectations work like that. Sometimes you hear about how bad a game is and you play through the whole thing like "Wow, this isn't as bad as they said", like we all have this defense mechanism to make us appreciate/not appreciate different stuff.
Metal Slime
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 PostTue Feb 10, 2015 6:28 am
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what i expected
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what i got
Doom Tactics - Evil Unleashed

Time to have a heart to heart, Spazztik. I'm fairly certain the steam's run out on this train, and I know you have plenty of other more interesting projects and things. Having to lay it down cause it's what real friends do and I have this review angle I'm messing with. So you should ignore all of this, because you shouldn't be wasting your talents on it. There's a lot more to you than being a doom fanboy. If you caught me making a my little pony ohr game, you'd do the same for me, right? Right?? We're best buddies like that.

That said, let's get stupid.
---

Talking with Giz about it, reading over his review and JSH's, it's clear things aren't working out. JSH's right about this not being ready for anyone outside of playtesters. Giz makes a strong point about this being doomed given the mash-up of genres and intent. Basically covering the quick points we had in irc:

If you want to make a rpg, need to stick to rpg conventions. Or at least be aware of them if you want to work in other elements and go for a hybrid setup. RPG's have a certain formula and flow to cut-scenes, level progression, safe-zone (towns) and dungeons (danger areas) and bosses. That kind of stuff, which isn't followed here.

Instead weapons are handed out really fast. Assuming there will be no copper or iron shotguns. Maps are huge, empty, without rhyme or reason. You can finish a level in doom in a couple of minutes. Can transverse ground super fast. Here, not so much. In fact quite the opposite. Not fun.

It's another one of those projects where it's probably best to cut your loses and rethink things. Where maybe your love for the material has clouded your better judgment. I've read in Giz's review that Fallout mechanics were introduced, later removed, thus leading to a title change to include 'tactics'. That's a pretty big tell that there's serious design issues and desperation to get something that works. Retirement to the idea folder aint so bad.

Random thoughts on what's there...
---

The text is, I want to say visual novel, but it's more movie script. Due to writing out actions. This is normally left in the script, and you show actions instead. With the visuals and sound. Especially crazy when the game, already showing it can use sound fx, has in a text box *a loud bang can be heard*.

The text sound fx is way too high pitched. Using Doom menu sound fx for non menu items is jarring.

Walkabouts suffer from 'head too small, body too thin'. 20x20 real estate, need to spend that on the most important part of a character: the head. There are alternatives, of course. If you want to show space marines, spend that 20x wide to make them bulky and not a stickman.

Maybe take some steps back and time away from this. There are other ways to make doom into a rpg, afterall... http://forum.starmen.net/forum/Fan/Games/DoomBound
Metal King Slime
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 PostTue Feb 10, 2015 5:00 pm
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charbile wrote:

The text sound fx is way too high pitched. Using Doom menu sound fx for non menu items is jarring.


Didn't Doom do that, though? I'd swear the "Switch Flip" SFX was the same as the menu up/down.
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