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Elbee23
12-11-2008, 02:52 AM
With the introduction of badgerfan89's detailed review list and the growth of LBP in general, it may be wise to consider a dedicated forum section that reviews user made LBP games.

I think reviewing could be a great side hobby for people and should once again help to highlight the great (and not so great) levels that are out there. If several people are developing good lists, it would be great to have them in one spot where we can compare different people and personalities against different levels.

You might want to put a sticky at the top asking reviews to breifly describe themselves, but as an optional suggestion. The reviews of a 40 year old male with 3 kids who plays casually may be quite different to, say a 12 year old female hard core game player. :rolleyes: You could suggest they include age, gender, location in the real world, whether they have made levels themselves, their likes or dislikes. I'm sure this could be modified and maybe you could put in something about people not feeling bound to these description guidelines, so they can describe in more detail if they want.

The potential for this could really grow, with lists of levels for people to review and links to the level showcase and project sections as relevant.

So... what do people think? :idea:

ConfusedCartman
12-11-2008, 02:54 AM
Before I make a decision, I want to see what others think about this.

KAPBAM
12-11-2008, 02:58 AM
I like the idea, just another pool to find interesting levels, and also a fun place for those who like to review to come to.

BassDeluxe
12-11-2008, 03:08 AM
I've actually thought about this before, but I never posted it, because I figured it really wouldn't be all that active. However, I do think it would be a good idea to create the forum and see how it goes, and if it's active enough, keep it.

aer0blue
12-11-2008, 07:20 AM
It sounds good, maybe have it as a Sub-Forum for Level Showcase?

Linque
12-11-2008, 09:23 AM
In my opinion the Level Review section should be the most prominent section of this forum. The best thing would be to not have it as a forum at all, but a new section (like Arcade), with a proper database of the reviews, sorting and searching.

Reviewing levels ought to be strongly encouraged, with substantial experience gains for each written review. Reviews should also be moderated, so that you need to at least have a brief written explanation as to what is good and what is not in the level. Good reviews should also be encouraged to be repped, and I'd suggest that moderators rep good reviews regularly so that these guys who contribute with good reviews also get the additional reward of gaining reputation.

As the only way to write level reviews is to create a thread somewhere, the incentive to write one is pretty limited, as the reviews will just disappear in the back pages of the forum in a short amount of time. Having a separate database is the only way this could be done right in my opinion.


Bottom line is, I think this would be an absolutely wonderful, important and substantial addition to the site, but it needs to be done right. In the long run the level review section could become one of the most integral parts of this site, and a reason for many more LBP players to visit here, as they can find quality levels easier. This addition would also give the levels created by the LBPC community added visibility. But if you just make a new forum section where people can post reviews, I doubt it would spark much interest.

Elbee23
12-11-2008, 11:04 AM
In my opinion the Level Review section should be the most prominent section of this forum. The best thing would be to not have it as a forum at all, but a new section (like Arcade), with a proper database of the reviews, sorting and searching.

Reviewing levels ought to be strongly encouraged, with substantial experience gains for each written review. Reviews should also be moderated, so that you need to at least have a brief written explanation as to what is good and what is not in the level. Good reviews should also be encouraged to be repped, and I'd suggest that moderators rep good reviews regularly so that these guys who contribute with good reviews also get the additional reward of gaining reputation.

As the only way to write level reviews is to create a thread somewhere, the incentive to write one is pretty limited, as the reviews will just disappear in the back pages of the forum in a short amount of time. Having a separate database is the only way this could be done right in my opinion.


Bottom line is, I think this would be an absolutely wonderful, important and substantial addition to the site, but it needs to be done right. In the long run the level review section could become one of the most integral parts of this site, and a reason for many more LBP players to visit here, as they can find quality levels easier. This addition would also give the levels created by the LBPC community added visibility. But if you just make a new forum section where people can post reviews, I doubt it would spark much interest.

That's a very detailed and well thought out reply, Linque. Your right about having reviews disappear into the back pages which would discourage people. At the moment the only way around this is to do something like badgerfan89, have a post in a prominant section and keep it up to date, focusing on multiple reviews. That's why I was thinking a seperate section would be good.

I just wonder though how a database would be implemented though. I don't have any easy or good ideas about this. To some people reviews are short and sharp. badgerfan89 is an example, with his own spread sheet system being very short and sharp. Other people prefer to be long and detailed. Shining Aquas is a new user here but has been writing very long and detailed reviews of this other main type.

When I tend to review things personally, I tend to not so much focus on the good or bad of a level but rather what specific areas can be improved. I like how OCK put it, which he wrote in his Out of Africa level post in reply to a review:
There is a ton variety in LBP and for me there are only 3 types of levels: high quality, average and garbage.

I'll certainly focus on any major strengths and weaknesses, but I'll try and keep my eye out for specific bugs or issues (or things that worked wonderfully :) ) with more an intent to help the original developers do an even better job.

So it feels like there are three different types of "reviews" in a broad sense going around. I can see bug hunt specific reviews staying on the specific level post pages, but some sort of system for the other two types - either short and broad like Badger or long and detailed like Shining.

If you just use a spreadsheet, there is no way that Shining's reviews would fit, at least not easily. If you just keep long post type reviews, that might not be enough credit to the short and detailed overviews of people like Badger's. :(

Yeah, I don't have any easy answers to the situation, but that is how it feels things are developing right now, at least from what I have seen.

But I do like the idea of encouraging reviews by giving rep. And no matter what system is implemented, I think it would be helpful if there was some way it worked side by side with the current Level showcase section. Have some sort of links from one to the other, maybe a list of ones that have not been reviewed or have been reviewed already. Ideally both. ;)

Please everyone, keep the thoughts coming! :)

Risen
12-11-2008, 01:09 PM
I'd love to see a database system that allows much easier sorting and browsing based on different types of data. The forum format isn't really suitable for this.

ConfusedCartman
12-11-2008, 02:14 PM
Here's the problem I have: While most members would love to skim through level reviews to find the best stuff, how many members would actually be interested in writing reviews? The number would be fairly small in comparison to our userbase (I estimate maybe 50 users would write regular reviews). Making a new section, or even re-centering the site around this new section, is a risky move. Linque, you suggested handing out XP to reviewers? Here's the problem with that: It would have to be done manually. The system can hand out the standard XP rewards, but I can't set up special rules for different forums.

Here's what I propose: I'll introduce a review forum and see how it fares. If there's enough interest, I'll expand upon it; if it dies out, we trash the idea. Sound good?

Elbee23
12-11-2008, 02:57 PM
That sounds like a good idea to at least see how things start. You might want to put a sticky in the level showcase forum mentioning the new section, and suggest if people want to write detailed reviews they can make their own threads and copy their opinions of levels.

Maybe they can link back to the original level topic as well, but I guess that's up the person writing it. But I'm thinking one person could have a topic where they copy and paste their reviews for each level as it comes, so people can see it all in one place.

Something like a topic "Elbee23's reviews" and then when I review a new level, I put it in the original level topic and then copy it to the thread I have made of the reviews I do. So people can see all the reviews in one place and compare them.

That's my thoughts...

ConfusedCartman
12-11-2008, 03:20 PM
Alright, I'll get it all set up when I get back later on today.

EDIT: Look's like I'm home all day, so I'll get it running now.

Linque
12-11-2008, 05:24 PM
I'd estimate the number of regular reviews to be closer to 10 rather than 50. But it's not the number of reviewers that's important. It's the number of quality reviews. Even, say, 3 longer reviews a week would mean we'd have over 12 new proper level reviews each month. If there were 10 people reviewing, one person would have to write a review each 3 weeks to keep up this pace. In a few months, the reviews would already be counted in dozens. As the levels aren't going to disappear anywhere ( well, once the moderation is sorted out ;) ), each old review is just as valuable as the new ones on the site. The goal would be to have a vast review database in the long run.

But you need to be able to search and sort through the reviews to quickly be able to find good levels of a certain kind. Otherwise it's going to be too much work just to click through the reviews, I'm afraid.


EDIT:
CC, you can always encourage the moderators to read through level reviews and give positive rep for those that even remotely deserve it. And you can also encourage normal users to read through the level reviews and mention that they ought to rep good reviews to reward people who contribute.

ConfusedCartman
12-11-2008, 05:59 PM
I'd estimate the number of regular reviews to be closer to 10 rather than 50. But it's not the number of reviewers that's important. It's the number of quality reviews. Even, say, 3 longer reviews a week would mean we'd have over 12 new proper level reviews each month. If there were 10 people reviewing, one person would have to write a review each 3 weeks to keep up this pace. In a few months, the reviews would already be counted in dozens. As the levels aren't going to disappear anywhere ( well, once the moderation is sorted out ;) ), each old review is just as valuable as the new ones on the site. The goal would be to have a vast review database in the long run.

But you need to be able to search and sort through the reviews to quickly be able to find good levels of a certain kind. Otherwise it's going to be too much work just to click through the reviews, I'm afraid.


EDIT:
CC, you can always encourage the moderators to read through level reviews and give positive rep for those that even remotely deserve it. And you can also encourage normal users to read through the level reviews and mention that they ought to rep good reviews to reward people who contribute.

Do you plan on reviewing at all?

dorien
12-11-2008, 06:20 PM
Looks like the credit goes to you then Elbee23
Well done on the great idea :)

Linque
12-11-2008, 06:24 PM
I'll probably try to write up a few reviews if I've got time and the once I finish my first level. But I've got a lot on my plate, so I don't know how long it'll take. But sure, if I've got time, I'll try to write some. Especially if someone reviews my level, I try to review one of theirs, or at least write one review for each review my levels have, kind of to keep the reviews rolling. And I might encourage the player I write a review for to write a review of their own in turn. :)

BassDeluxe
12-11-2008, 09:27 PM
Thanks for adding this CC. I'll be writing reviews, and I'm sure several others from the spotlight team will as well, since we basically do already.

Elbee23
12-12-2008, 04:28 AM
Looks like the credit goes to you then Elbee23
Well done on the great idea :)

Thanks dorien. The idea came to me while I was focusing on the level showcase level after publishing my level. I noticed the two trends from Shining Aquas and badgefan89. It just felt like this concept could really be expanded on this site in it's own way and had not really been done so. :)