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Poll: Should I review bad mods? (12 votes)
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Mod reviewing: The brutal truth or nothing at all? (Forums : General Banter : Mod reviewing: The brutal truth or nothing at all?) Post Reply
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Dec 16 2013, 4:33pm Anchor

To cut a long story short, I was really looking forward to playing a specific mod. It promised much. I made time for it, and re-installed a game specifically to play it. I was thinking of reviewing it.

It was a let down. Not only a let down, but crosses over in bad territory. Not even camp or so bad it's funny, just bad. It failed to deliver on promised features, while the ones it did include were often poorly thought out or badly executed. Without anything to entertain, flaws I'd normally overlook become a sprinkling of pee on a turd sandwich. I'll not go on, but it'll suffice to say that the game wouldn't get a glowing review.

The problem is though, who am I to judge? I likely couldn't do better, and as something that's both free and represents a labour of love from the developer, I don't think I feel good giving the game an opinionated kick in the balls. However, a bad game is a bad game. Many of the problems are fixable, and at very least, I can tell people it's not worth the re-install, download and play time.

J_C_A
J_C_A FBI Man
Dec 16 2013, 7:28pm Anchor

Try to find something good about it, and leave pee and turd away. Write the review so that the developer gets motivated on fixing the flaws.

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Dec 16 2013, 8:06pm Anchor

If I was you, I'd say it to them but in a nice way not like "turd" and stuff.

Dec 16 2013, 9:13pm Anchor
J_C_A wrote:Try to find something good about it, and leave pee and turd away. Write the review so that the developer gets motivated on fixing the flaws.

Don't do that, that's how HL2 got so popular.  ;)

If it's a preview, then treat it as such.  Alpha/beta/preview/demo/whatever (real alpha/beta/etc., not released called that just so they have an excuse).  If it is said to have issues, expect issues.  If it's said to not have issues, then don't expect them.  If the features they said weren't in there in the readme, then not a big issue. 

If it's susposed to be a release with these things and it doesn't, feel free to say that.  Don't be a jerk, don't swear (your writing/video review is pretty lame if you do), just state the facts.  If you want to state your opinion (IE "I think it should of done this vs that") then say it's your opinion. 

The only reason to publish a review is to educate someone else.  If you can't do that, don't bother.

--

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TKAzA
TKAzA Community Manager
Dec 16 2013, 11:41pm Anchor

If i was you id, be honest but not harsh, remember someone, or people have sunk time and effort into what your reviewing, just because you think a mods bad, so should be criticized for this, Review the facts, remain impartial on your opinions, discuss the issues that you and the viewers will be able to notice, this way, the devs know why your making the comments you are, and the viewers will understand what your talking about.

Dec 17 2013, 2:39am Anchor

Don't. Brutal truth does not exist, you just want to vent and blame your frustration on some external force.

A bad mod is not a bad game. It is an attempt.

Metalspy
Metalspy Basher of Drums
Dec 17 2013, 3:51am Anchor

Constructive critisism is very valuable, so if you are able to write a review in such a way that both the developer gets a clear understanding of what should be improved (in your opinion) and other players can determine if they are willing to invest time in playing the mod then you should definitely do so!

You ask "The problem is though, who am I to judge?". That's what I thought when writing my first comment-review here. I got the response that we as players are in fact the target audience of the mod/game, so we are in the 'best' place to judge if the developers succeeded in entertaining their audience!

Dec 17 2013, 11:44am Anchor

Thanks for the feedback so far. I'll clear up a few things.

First, I only review "complete" games/mods. v1.0 or above. I might make rare exceptions, but those would be when it's clear the mod is done.

Second, I try to explain what I do and don't like, and always try to give a fair shake. That, to me, is what a review is. No one benefits if I lie about it. However, I'm also honest. I'm not going to insult the intelligence of me, the players, and the developers by speaking in flowers. So, if the voice acting is bad, I'll say "it sounds like a teenager putting on a deep voice and talking into a tin cup", but I won't say "The actors give a unique and unorthodox performance". This is why I ask if I should review or not.

somonels wrote:Don't. Brutal truth does not exist, you just want to vent and blame your frustration on some external force.

A bad mod is not a bad game. It is an attempt.


You're right in that I do want to vent, but I disagree about the truth part. Quality is subjective, that much is true, but my frustration comes from and is aimed at the mod itself. As I say, I doubt I could do better, and if you believe in karma, I will be on the receiving end soon enough should I ever finish my own mod.

Metalspy wrote:You ask "The problem is though, who am I to judge?". That's what I thought when writing my first comment-review here. I got the response that we as players are in fact the target audience of the mod/game, so we are in the 'best' place to judge if the developers succeeded in entertaining their audience!

I never thought of that.

Dec 30 2013, 2:45pm Anchor

Personally, if I like a mod, I congratulate and flatter the creator(s). If I don't I simply move on, unless I have very specific ideas on how it can be improved.

I've ever felt the need to formulate a public opinion of a mod in order to "warn" others. If a mod is so bad/unplayable/boring/etc then people that are drawn to that mod like you were will also see this when they download it, or they won't and they'll enjoy playing it, for any of the million reasons people enjoy things. Some mods that were objectively inferior or less complete than similar ones have had perhaps little details that strongly appealed to me and I preferred those over more solid mods.

If an opinion has some worth, then it should be shared, if you're just sharing it to make it worth somthing, then it probably isnt.

Still, if you're even opening this thread and thinking about these things, chances are you already are a prudent person who's careful about critisizing the work of others.

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