Thursday, July 24, 2014

3 Defining Features 01: Defining Reviews

So I have struggled for a long time on how to "review" a gaming system.

I've read reviews before, and generally they fall into a couple of categories.  I first realized this when it came to board game reviews I would watch on Youtube.  The most extensive review channel for board games is Tom Vassel's The Dice Tower.  He no longer does ALL the reviews, and for some reason I did not like the guys that help him review.  I can't just say "I don't like them" because that's too general.  They do well enough, but there was something different and I needed to find out.  What I realized is that Tom reviews games and gives you the bullet points and a good summary.  The guys that help him do "tutorial reviews" where they play the game to review it, or tell you the rules in detail... something that doesn't help me really.

So that's what I wanted to avoid.  I wanted to avoid being a tutorial writer.  My blog is generally NOT for people that are hard core into knowing rules.  I think of all my friends, I am the only frequent GM when it comes to games, precisely because no one wants to learn all those rules.  So I have to make it informitive without catering to the GM crowd.  So how do I do that?  Well I do a summary.  The problem is that I am long winded and can easily get too in detail with a summary too.  It was while reading Dungeons and Dragons 5th Ed that I came up with the idea.  I thought, "if I take out what is common between 3rd Edition and 4th Edition, that probably leads 3 real strong and different things that make 5th be 5th".  And low and behold, I got my review system:

3 Defining Features.

Do some games have more than 3 Defining Features?  Yes, of course.  Will 3 well defined features be enough to give someone the gist of a game?  I think so.  A bit of which 3 features to choose will weigh on my shoulders, but I guess that's what would make my posts different too.  People that already know the system can decide on if I chose correctly, and maybe even think about what 3 features would make their list.  More importantly, I have finally defined my review articles for games.  Now I can bulldoze my way through my gaming library and give information about all the systems I do know.

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