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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 75 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: getting out the reviews  (Read 3020 times)
Paul Czege
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 2341


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« on: June 22, 2001, 06:52:00 PM »

Hey everyone,

I've got a question for those of you who've published, or are about to publish. Did you or do you have a strategy for trying to get your game reviewed? Is it just a matter of handing out a bunch of free copies at GenCon? Or is there some careful strategy to it? What are your feelings about the importance of reviews to the success of the game? And what about timing...is a favorable review a year and a half after you published the game largely irrelevant to the game's success?

Paul
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My Life with Master knows codependence.
And if you're doing anything with your Acts of Evil ashcan license, of course I'm curious and would love to hear about your plans
JSDiamond
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Posts: 276


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« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2001, 08:35:00 AM »

Any game can be reviewed at any point during its production.  All you have to do is query a reviewer and explain what stage your game is in (completion or production-wise) and send it off.  I've had games (and game ideas) reviewed this way.

Just send some design notes explaining the 'why' and 'what' about your game.

Online contacts are great, getting a dialogue going is wonderful, -much more worthwhile than a review a year after you've already got it published.  Because you will have established a direct dialogue with actual people (the reviewer and players).  People willing to invest their time will do so with sincerity.  

If you have a finished (or nearly finished) game, even if it's just notes on a few sheets of paper, go for it!

Jeff Diamond
http://www.geocities.com/allianceprime/Orbit_HQ.html">6-0 Games

 
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JSDiamond
Dav
Member

Posts: 432


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« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2001, 05:47:00 AM »

Any review gets your name out there, especially if it has a link to a website (or web address for print reviews).  Doesn't have to be good, just has to say it with flair.

Think of it as free advertising.  

Dav
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John Wick
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Posts: 210


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« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2001, 09:57:00 AM »

I gave _one copy_ of Orkworld out for review.
And I hated the review. Even though it was complimentary. Kinda.

I _am_ the exception to the rule, but here's the Wick Opinion of Reviews:

I don't need anybody telling me what I'll like and don't like. I'll make my mind up myself, thank you very much.

There is _nothing_ a reviewer can tell me that I can't see for myself by looking at the character sheet in the back of the book.

"They say 'Those that can't do teach. I disagree. Those that can't do take their frustrations out on those who can in reviews."

- The Tao of Zen Nihilism, a Self-Hurt book
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Carpe Deum,
John
Dav
Member

Posts: 432


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« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2001, 10:10:00 AM »

John:

Sure, reviews, as a summary of your work, and a critique of your game... well, let's face it, they blow as a tool for informing someone.  A game *may* be able to be boiled down to one or two paragraphs, but I doubt it.  

However, as a tool for publicizing the game, a review is a wonderful tool.  Just friggin' wonderful.  I tend not to give people complimentary copies, but I do tend to ask politely for reviews from people I do know of that own the book.

Yeah, you break the mold in many ways (oh let me count the ways...), but you have to admit that reviews are great as promotional tools.  Especially that review-spoof you had over on GO (before it tried to make me pay it), twas wonderful... even if you didn't let me win.

Dav

[ This Message was edited by: Dav on 2001-06-28 14:10 ]
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John Wick
Member

Posts: 210


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« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2001, 10:23:00 AM »

Hey Dav.

Quote

John:
Sure, reviews, as a summary of your work, and a critique of your game... well, let's face it, they blow as a tool for informing someone... (snip) However, as a tool for publicizing the game, a review is a wonderful tool.


Eric Rowe has a wonderful idea. Make "reviews" overviews of the game. Talk about how big it is, give a sample of the art, talk about how the game system works (without judgement), talk about the chapters.

Leave your friggin' opinion out of it.

(Roger Ebert gave Rosencranz & Guldenstern are Dead ZERO STARS. He said FIGHT CLUB was a waste of time. He hated the SOUTH PARK movie, only a few days later, he "changed his mind" because "he got the joke." How friggin' dense do you have to be to NOT GET THE JOKE IN THAT MOVIE? The current mutation of reviewer is useless, serving only himself by "critiquing" others' creative works because he isn't creative enough himself.)

Quote
Yeah, you break the mold in many ways (oh let me count the ways...), but you have to admit that reviews are great as promotional tools.  Especially that review-spoof you had over on GO (before it tried to make me pay it), twas wonderful... even if you didn't let me win.


Sorry, Dav. Although your review was damn funny.

Take care,
John

a) Life has no meaning
b) All meanings = 0
c) Therefore, everything you do is the most important thing you ever do.
- The Tao of Zen Nihilism, a Self-Hurt book
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Carpe Deum,
John
Dav
Member

Posts: 432


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« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2001, 12:30:00 PM »

John wrote:
"Eric Rowe has a wonderful idea. Make "reviews" overviews of the game. Talk about how big it is, give a sample of the art, talk about how the game system works (without judgement), talk about the chapters.  Leave your friggin' opinion out of it."

I third this motion, I third this motion, I third this motion.

I like the idea.  I feel that Ron's reviews have a great "whirlwind tour" feeling to them, without taking (much of) a bias on the game.  I like that.  Hell, I emailed copies of that review to everyone I could think of (though my aunt still wonders what the hell it was all about).

Dav

PS: Cats, dinos, and dead midgets... sounds like a healthy balance of genre to me!

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Misguided Games
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Posts: 44


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« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2001, 03:15:00 PM »

Eric's idea is interesting.  Seems like this would take a very restrained approach though.  I wonder how many people are capable of really distilling the information without injecting too much of their own opinion.  To me the reviews are important from a publicity standpoint.  It's one more way to let people know about your product and it doesn't cost anything.
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Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
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Posts: 16490


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« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2001, 07:19:00 PM »

My take is that reviews with an acknowledged PURPOSE, and which demonstrate integrity regarding that purpose, are the best way to go. Face it, there's no such thing as "objective" anything (the best we can be is rigorous). Nor is there any intellectual merit to sounding off in any ol' direction because "it's my opinion, man."

As for whether my own reviews live up to this ...? Well, it was the goal anyway.

But that wasn't the point of this thread, was it. The goal was to ask, "How (or should) a publisher strive to get reviews?"

When it comes to on-line stuff, I suggest that it's crucial. Of course, it's a matter of venue - people who are on-line are inclined to click to your site, upon reading the review, if there is the smidgeon of something interesting about it. The Serendipity's Circle review of the original Sorcerer was a huge deal; it brought tons of people to my site to see about this free/$5 game. I solicited reviews at every e-zine that I thought was appropriate.

As for soliciting reviews for the published book, I'm very iffy. VERY iffy.

Best,
Ron

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Jared A. Sorensen
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Posts: 1463

Darksided


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« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2001, 08:31:00 PM »

There should be 2 Schism reviews up this week.  One in Aaron Powell's GO column, the other by "MetalMan" on RPG.net (who has done a plethora of free RPG reviews).  Another review is going to be done at RPGAction.com but I'm not sure when that will be up.

Any review, even a bad one, is more or less free publicity.  Of course, good publicity is better than bad, but I *am* one of the people who bought SenZar just to see how bad it is. :wink:
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jared a. sorensen / www.memento-mori.com
Dav
Member

Posts: 432


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« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2001, 06:14:00 AM »

A good review for a published book is a great thing for getting your book on shelves in stores.  It doesn't necessarily hit the end-consumer hard, but it will knock about the sotre owners, who always keep an eye out for "the next big thing".

Therefore, I submit that reviews of published material, while probably not crucial, is beneficial, especially in the beginning.

Dav
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