Introduction: Reviewing History & Philosophy
NOTE: Please read before posting reviews. Ignorance of our reviewing policies will not be considered an excuse if you receive a warning or a ban.
The first thing to always keep in mind is that reviews serve a double purpose. They are written for both the scenario designer and for the site visitor who is considering downloading the file. As such:
- Reviews need to praise the designer for things that are done well and point out areas where the designer can improve.
- Reviews also need to provide enough information about the scenario so that potential downloaders will know if the scenario matches their interests. Obviously, don’t give away the plot or reveal secrets that should be discovered while playing, but let the downloader know what the scenario is about, if it’s mainly fighting, or mainly rpg, or mainly puzzles or a mix of everything.
- Whatever the case, a downloader should know what to expect from a scenario after reading a review.
- Try not to review scenarios from genres with which you have a negative bias.
Try as hard as possible to avoid vague statements in reviews. Make sure that your review answers more questions than it poses. Do not ever say something like “The first part of the 2nd scenario was good” or “the part with the wolf could be improved” without providing further explanation. Try to always include an example from the scenario to back up any points that you make. If you are pointing out something to the designer that you feel could be improved, try to provide some ideas that the author could build on. Do as much as you can to help the designer improve his work.
All scenarios have good aspects and bad aspects. Try to always say at least one good thing about any scenario you review and never, NEVER insult a designer. They might not be as good of a designer as you but even if you are handing out a score of 1.0, you still should never insult the designer. Be honest about the scenario but make every effort to encourage the designer to do better next time. We cannot stress this point enough; The purpose of the review system is to encourage quality creations from designers, not discourage people from designing altogether.
Always spell check your reviews. There are far too many reviews that take points off a rating because of poor spelling yet the review itself is full of errors. Don’t embarrass yourself – spell check your work.
Lastly, the review should contain a short explanation of why you scored each category the way you did. This does not need to be lengthy, sometimes a sentence is enough but other times, a paragraph for each category is needed.