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Advice on leaving proficient reviews?

2 months ago
So i've not been here long, but I have so far, played three or four story games, and on top of leaving the numbered reviews, have left reviews to be read. I don't just wanna leave fluff reviews though, or worse even, reviews that waste someones time or give bad advice.

I'd like to ask then, do any of you regulars have tips on how to craft a good review? My goal, if it helps, is to point a balance of things a story does well, and things a writer can work on.

Advice on leaving proficient reviews?

2 months ago

Wow, this story is good. The writing is truly impeccable, stellar even. I liked the use of dialogue to create riveting scenes of both drama, and then action when it was called for. You truly have curated a wonderful experience for no doubt any reader that fortunately finds themselves reading your stroy-game. I would play through this multiple times, as I feel that each choice carried a great volume of weight that cannot be understated whatsoever. Honestly, I would read this again and again, because the writing is so deep and rich that I do not feel that one play-through is enough to give this wonderful story justice. The characters really popped out of the pages to the point in which they felt real! I could really see myself being a fly on the wall as these characters made their proclamations, had their hidden conversations as they plotted, and even when they were challenging each other both morally and in physical senses of the word. I find myself wanting more from this writer. One story seriously isn't enough! This should be a sequel and a series/continuation of games. The characters, the world, the drama is all there for the writer to create the start of something truly remarkable on this website.


Kudos, [Insert author name].


Here's a template for every story if you want commendations. It's impossible to remember all of the fucking details of a 6/8, 7/8. 8/8 story-game. Unless you really like it. Then just write whatever. People are so starved for reviews and any sort of acknowledgement that they'll be happy with anything you give them.


Did I say reviews? Ratings too!


This has been up for way past ten days at this point and it is sitting at nine ratings! Seven of those are actually from site members, so it's even worse actually! It needs ten to get a numbered rating! Do you see how fucking lazy the people are here now?! 


Since you're a newbie that actually seems to read, read that perhaps. I want to replace one of Ninja's games from grimdark (if End lets me, that is) if this has high enough ratings since he did the same to me. Callously and without mercy.  

Advice on leaving proficient reviews?

2 months ago
Hey, thank you for the reply! I'm not sure what commendations are, but as I said, I want my reviews to be less fluff, so I appreciate the template, but it's not for me.

As for the game you linked, i'll be sure to play it! So far I've been working down the list on the home page, the one's that don't have enough ratings, as it seems to both offer varied content and allow me to contribute in a somewhat meaningful way.

Advice on leaving proficient reviews?

2 months ago
You get commendations when you write good reviews. Anyway, templates are just general guides; you'll have to personalize it to the story with your own thoughts and whatnot. Reading commended reviews would probably help too.

Advice on leaving proficient reviews?

2 months ago
Commended by TharaApples on 2/28/2022 5:22:03 PM

Here's my general advice on leaving reviews. However, do take everything with a grain of salt since I'm not the most experienced reviewer by any means.

What constitutes a proficient review can be a matter of personal preference, so I'll suggest structuring it based on what makes the most sense to you. There are two main ways I've seen good reviews structured:
1. Paragraph format (this is the most common method, and it gives you the liberty to arrange your feedback in any way you want to)
2. With different subheadings like 'character', 'spelling and grammar', etc

From what I've noticed, a good review would back up its critique or praise of the storygame. For instance, if you like a specific stylistic decision or character arc, you should state your reasons (e.g. why you like it, and why you deemed that important enough to highlight it in the review). This doesn't always have to be written out, and sometimes the reason could be as simple as 'it made the game more entertaining', but backing up your claims would ensure that most of the review is relevant to the storygame.

When I first joined the site, I struggled to write reviews due to not knowing what to write about. After reading and writing a few storygames, I started to notice some common things that I could point out in reviews:
- Characters (Are they developed? Do their actions seem realistic? Is their character arc narratively satisfying?)
- Plot (What happens in the story? Does it make sense? Is there enough foreshadowing?)
- Setting (Where does the story take place? Does it break or improve immersion?)
- Replayability (This will be different for some storygame genres like mystery or puzzle, but linearity is almost always a bad thing)
- Theme (What is the author's message? How does it affect the story?)
- Grammar and spelling (Do typos and grammatical errors make the storygame difficult to read?)
- Choices (Are they fair given the context of the storygame? Do they impact the endings you get?)
- Prose (Can the author balance between showing and telling? Is the story paced well? Is it well-written?)
This isn't an exhaustive list, but you may consider some of these things when writing a review.

Other tips
- If your review includes spoilers, add a disclaimer saying so
- Try to point out at least one thing that you like and one thing that could be improved
- Be creative with your reviews! Add a joke or play around with your writing style if you'd like, but remember all of that comes second to the actual review
- Don't shy away from stating your personal opinions; if you want to gush about a clever parallel or criticize an annoying antagonist, feel free to do that
- The last line or paragraph can serve as a summarized version of your thoughts about the storygame

Semi-related thread you can visit: link

Hope this helps! Now that I've written this, I'd probably feel less annoyed by my inability to be productive these days.

Advice on leaving proficient reviews?

2 months ago
Scribble some things you noticed while playing, then write up something, then look at whichever review is already there and commended (the rest are plebs and irrelevant) and think up something they've missed.

Also for maximum show-off, note a particular sentence you particularly noticed and quote it. Then write a paragraph around it.

Advice on leaving proficient reviews?

2 months ago
Genuinely just leave any sort of opinion at all that directly relates to something in the story, and you're doing better than the 90% of site users who don't even bother to leave ratings.

Detailed reviews are great, but you'll eventually fall into your own style, and that doesn't necessarily always mean treating it like an assignment where you must write 1000 perfectly formatted words according to some formula even when there's just not that much to say.

But if any particular element of a story jumps out at you, good or bad, then you should have no trouble finding something to write about that. (And if NOTHING about a story interests or affects you...well there must be a reason and that's worth mentioning too.)

Advice on leaving proficient reviews?

2 months ago
Commended by TharaApples on 2/28/2022 5:22:10 PM

In terms of what you should have in a review:

While you're reading a story (especially a longer one) you should write down/remember specific things that you enjoy, or places with issues. Honestly, a good review just needs to talk about a few details of the story or writing, and that's enough. Feel free to be scathing in your critiques, although be realistic as to whether or not this story should be given scathing critique. Generally, a featured story is featured for a reason: if your comment is just bashing the story without talking about any of the good things, then are you really reviewing in a holistic and unbiased manner? I also always look at word count and judge how much effort was put into a game. Usually, "baby's first story" which is a thousand words about zombies or dragons or some bullshit, gets no comment or a brief, angry attack. However, a masterfully crafted game (e.g. Mystic_Warrior, ninjapikta, Endmaster), gets a comment with as much detail as I can muster. If those authors can put the effort in to create a 100k word storygame, I can put in the effort to create a thoughtful, 500-1000 word review, and they really deserve nothing less. I'll also put care into reviews for lesser storygames that have had some thought or effort put in, or those that show a promising future from the creator (if the creator shows promise, there's no need to savagely berate them, although you should still include criticism so that they don't think they're the hottest shit since the one I took last night).


In terms of comment style:

Some people have exceptionally witty comments, but this isn't necessary at all (although if you're able to write these, then bravo). My personal, tried and tested style is that I leave a rough summary first, then a more in-depth spoiler section afterwards. The general section is tailored more towards a random passerby wondering if they should read this storygame, and the spoilered section is directed towards the author (or others who have finished the story and are looking to discuss [lol]). In general, it should be easy to avoid writing fluff reviews, and if you find yourself repeating what you've already said, then you should just give the review a once-over, make sure you've gotten down everything, and post it. There's no point in writing an extra long review for the sake of being extra long, it's just a waste of time to you and anyone who reads it.

In closing:

Go forth, read, and I better see some solid reviews out of you with all the advice you've been given.

Advice on leaving proficient reviews?

2 months ago
Wow, this sure was fun to wake up to, thank you all for the advice! From what I've gathered, I need a template to start off with. I couldn't keep myself to a rigid one without getting bored out of my mind, so what I'll do is have a list of elements to critique (probably just gonna steal mystics to be honest), pick and choose the ones i feel strongly about, and go from there.

As for the commented reviews, i'll certainly look at them for advice too, seeing as they're clearly pretty highly thought of ahah.

Advice on leaving proficient reviews?

2 months ago

Copy and paste someone else's review, switch some words around and you're good to go. Mint it as a NFT if you're really feeling like doing some work.