Reviews ideas


2013-11-08

(Just as a reminder: previous post about reviews can be found here).

A few suggestions:

* On a game's page, in the "External reviews" tab, we could show the flag of magazine's country in the "review source" column.

* On the issues list of a magazine page (for example: Mean Machines Sega), it would be a good thing to have the Reviews# clickable with a result page showing all games reviewed in this issue. On the Mean Machines example, I can see that I made an error for the first issue, because it's not 1993-10 but 1992-10, but I have no way to know which game is concerned.

* Min and max may also be cilckable to show the game(s) that have the min and max score on this issue, but that does not seem very important right now for me.

* I thought about that but don't know how we could handle this: to avoid mistakes and simplify adding a game's review, issue# and date could be linked. When I add reviews of a magazine, I always have to state the issue# AND the date whereas only one would be necessary to know if another review from this magazine was already entered. I suggest: when entering an issue#, if it is already known (that is, if another review from this magazine was already recorded), the date field could automatically be filled. The same way, entering a date may also automatically fill the issue# field.

* Maybe we could add an extra row at the end of the table in the "External reviews" tab (game page), that would show total number of reviews, average score, median score, min score, max score, min date, max date.

2013-11-08
re: Reviews ideas
when entering an issue#, if it is already known (that is, if another review from this magazine was already recorded), the date field could automatically be filled. The same way, entering a date may also automatically fill the issue# field.

If the issues follow logical monthly/weekly/etc. numbering, this should be trivial-ish. Just mark the publication frequency (weekly/monthly/whatever), the date of first issue, and calculate the dates/issue numbers for the rest from that when not explicitly provided.

2013-11-09
re: re: Reviews ideas
If the issues follow logical monthly/weekly/etc. numbering, this should be trivial-ish. Just mark the publication frequency (weekly/monthly/whatever), the date of first issue, and calculate the dates/issue numbers for the rest from that when not explicitly provided.


No, it can"t be that simple. Some monthly magazines do only 1 issue for july/august, some change the publication rate at a point, some exceptionnaly don't make any issue for a specific month, etc...

2013-11-10
Then those exceptions would need to be recorded for the automation to work. Currently I foresee automation of this to only cause problems as such, unless they're reliable exceptions (such as that same month is skipped each year).

2013-11-11
I thought it could be known automatically after a first add. Once a single review is added for an issue, we know that issue# <=> date.

2013-11-11
Oh, that'll certainly work.

2013-11-11
Good idea to auto complete if there is already a similar entry!

2013-11-20
I just found a magazine that scores out of 6 (I think they don't use half points).

2013-12-03 (updated 2013-12-03)
I'd like to have also one page per magazine, as already done for companies (i.e. Konami) or platforms (i.e. 3DO).

This page could show:
* Various stats (n° of issues, date of creation, country, n° of reviews, etc...).
* Articles that editors can add and edit (that is the reason I had this idea).
* Reviews per year.
* Top platforms.
etc...

BTW, I just noticed that two different charts are used on platform page and company page for "releases per year". Bar chart for companies, graph for platforms. Is there a reason for that? I personally prefer the graph, but figures for each year can't be easily seen and are not clickable.

2013-12-14 (updated 2013-12-15)
I request a score type of 1-12 for an important 80's gaming magazine in Germany (ASM / Aktueller Software Markt). It's not currently available as an option.

Edit:
And a 1-40 score for Famitsu for example. And speaking of Famitsu, does somebody know a source to find "full" scans of them? I haven't found anything about it. I hope they are not only available in obscure Japanese only file-sharing programs, but they must exist. Nearly every magazine is scanned today but the Japanese ones are not easily available.

2013-12-29
About Famitsu:
in Japan copyright holders are extremely aggressive.
I have searched ( thanks to my wife that is Japanese ) and many Japanese gaming forum/sites have disclaimers asking the users to not publish Famitsu scans to prevent legal issues.
Sorry. ... so please refrain from linking to Famitsu (and other Japanese) scans

About scores:
I'm now adding 1-6 , 1-12 and 1-40

About magazine pages:
It is on the to-do list!

About charts:
Bar charts are made in html and are easily linkable. They are there since the very first release of UVL because they are so easy to build.
The graphs are made with a really easy, lightweight and fast Google API that sadly will be discontinued in about a year. They are image-based and can't be interactive.
Every now and then I look for a library for building charts, aiming to javascript/svg interactive charts.
These libraries are very heavy (in weight and processing power) and the good ones always lack some features, like the radar/spider charts, for example.
I even thought of building the svg all by myself without external libraries (in the end is just like html, just different tags, and I like to do things by myself)
I recently implemented external js charts at work, and I'm quite unsatisfied of the final result.

I have already checked a lot charts libraries, if you have any advice, or know a site that is showing good charts just let me know.

2013-12-29
Some requests for myself:

- A game was deleted (Gran Chaser), and the review was still there. It should be deleted along with the game.

- We need a list of all the reviews for a certain magazine, not just the last 20

- The main reviews page is too slow. Needs caching.

2013-12-29
- Added the country in the game info page. Added a gauge bar beside the percentage value.
- Added the 1-6 , 1-12 and 1-40 scores. Added Famitsu for testing purposes.
- Added link from the magazine issues list to the list of reviews for that issue. From there you can move from one issue to another of the same magazine.

2013-12-29
- Added the country in the game info page. Added a gauge bar beside the percentage value.

The bar needs color I think. From bad (red) to very good (green).

- Added link from the magazine issues list to the list of reviews for that issue. From there you can move from one issue to another of the same magazine.

Great addition. I like that very much.

2013-12-29 (updated 2014-01-01)
- On that page the "game" and "score" columns are now sortable.

-edit-
The reviews sources page is now cached (refreshed every hour)

-edit-
In the game info page, the issue# is now a link !

-edit-
The gauge bars are colored. 0-33 red, 34-66 yellow, 67-100 green.

2014-01-02
Note
Some magazines handle multiple platforms, so it should be a good idea to add a platform column in the reviews list.

2014-01-02 (updated 2014-01-02)
Great improvements!

I just noticed that we can't edit a magazine. I realized "Joypad" magazine changed its notation system on March 1998, so I wanted to split it into "Joypad 1-72" and "Joypad 73-222" (like already done for "Your Sinclair") with the first one "1-100" and the second one "1-10". Moreover, if we keep this solution (split magazine for notation change), it should be a good idea to add "notation changed" to the status of a magazine (but I think this list is cloned from "companies status" as "no games anymore" is senseless).

EDIT: I'd like to have a "Latest used: [magazine name here]" as a first option of the scroll-down list of the review source when adding a review, similar to what is done for the platform in the "Game edit" page.

EDIT 2: I can't give a "0" score to a game.

2014-01-02

EDIT: I'd like to have a "Latest used: [magazine name here]" as a first option of the scroll-down list of the review source when adding a review, similar to what is done for the platform in the "Game edit" page.


I second that. Logically the drop down list gets longer and longer. And normally I also add all reviews of a single magazine issue in one session. Anything that makes monotonous fast mass adding of reviews easier is appreciated.

2014-01-02
You should be able to edit a magazine. The edit link is just beside the magazine name.
I recently modified how the edit link works, If you really don't see it please refresh the browser cache and reload. If still not there, I'll need more data.

I'm not sure that the status is the right place to state it.Maybe a new field "notes" could be added, but maybe it is bette I start working on making a info page for magazines.
Yes, the list i cloned from the companies...

"Latest used" will be ready soon.

About the 0 score, is this for a specific magazine (so I should add a new score type to the list) or it is better to make all the scores to accept a zero?

2014-01-03
You should be able to edit a magazine. The edit link is just beside the magazine name.
I recently modified how the edit link works, If you really don't see it please refresh the browser cache and reload. If still not there, I'll need more data.


Should it be on this page? I can't see it and couldn't find it anywhere else, even after empty the cache and reload the browser.

About the 0 score, is this for a specific magazine (so I should add a new score type to the list) or it is better to make all the scores to accept a zero?


I found a 0 score for a game in the "Joypad" magazine (1-10), but I think it might be available for all magazines, as a 0 score is always something possible, as well as a 100% or 20/20.

2014-01-03 (updated 2014-01-03)
About the editing, you were right.
Now you should see it.

-edit-
Now a zero score is accepted.
There wasn't actually a validity check, it was more like a weird PHP bug.

-edit-
The latest source, issue and date are now set as default, you don't even have to select it.
It looks better than the game editing mode. Am I right?

2014-01-03
About the editing, you were right.
Now you should see it.


Still not: here is all I can see.

The latest source, issue and date are now set as default, you don't even have to select it.
It looks better than the game editing mode. Am I right?


Yes, it's great! But I would rather not apply the same system to the game editing mode, for several reasons (more data = more chance to forget to change the platform and make a mistake on it, plus a session "games adding" is not necessarily adding games from the same platform).

Thank you very much, now the reviews adds are much faster!

2014-01-03
re: re:
I would rather not apply the same system to the game editing mode, for several reasons (more data = more chance to forget to change the platform and make a mistake on it, plus a session "games adding" is not necessarily adding games from the same platform).

Maybe tickbox on both for remembering it? And keep it ticked if it was kept. Or have that in user preferences.

2014-01-07
The gauge bars are colored. 0-33 red, 34-66 yellow, 67-100 green.


I would suggest:
0-25 red
25-50 orange
50-75 yellow
75-100 green

2014-01-12
Little question here:

I just added the Christmas 1986 issue of Amstrad Action and I wondered which "date" I should have given it.

Issue 15 is December 86
Issue 16 is Christmas 86
Issue 17 is February 87

Now I had to choose between 1986-12, 1986-13 and 1987-01. In the end I chose 1986-13, although it is not even a valid date, but I have seen similar special end of year issues on other sites in this form and UVL doesn't say its an invalid date, so I went with it. However I want to ask if this should be the normal way to handle such issues. In this case it is extra problematic because there is no January issue or you could say instead of calling it January they called it Christmas. So it is not a 13th issue per year, they just skip/rename the January one.

2014-01-13
Personally, I would have chosen 1987-01 if the issue was published in January.

Most of the magazines I enter in UVL use "Summer" as a date for the issue of July-August, but since the magazine is published at the beginning of the summer, I choose July as a date.

EDIT: oh, but they chose to call "Christmas 1986", so using "January 1987" could be wrong... I don't know, then.

2014-01-14
re: re:
The gauge bars are colored. 0-33 red, 34-66 yellow, 67-100 green.


I would suggest:
0-25 red
25-50 orange
50-75 yellow
75-100 green


This would be my suggestion:

0-40 red
41-69 yellow
70-100 green

or if more colors could be used the same color scale as the UVL popularity colors.

2014-01-15
Sounds quite good to me. My main concern about the current colours is that a game which is rated between 66 and 69% is shown as green. I thought about keeping the same range for a colour, but maybe it is not mandatory.

Thinking about it, my favourite one would be:

0-39 red
40-59 orange
60-69 yellow
70-89 light green
90-100 dark green

Or maybe having a colour different for each value. This would be possible by weighting a certain amount of R, G and B to each percent - something like this..

2014-02-26
About the editing, you were right.
Now you should see it.


Yes, I can finally view it!

I noticed a broken link on this page.

2014-03-12
I'd like to see the name of the game's platform beside the game's name on the reviews list of a magazine (this page for example).

Plus, it might be a good thing to specify for every magazine which games they focus on. This could be, for example : everything, computer games, console games, Sega games, Nintendo games, role-playing games, Amstrad CPC games, console games released in Europe, etc... That may appear on this page.

2014-03-17
Platform by name, agreed

I think platform focus should be included in the description. As this can change and be complicated, including the publication not focusing on games at all and covering any platform, game, hardware, or software that catches their attention. Such is the case of PC World that has covered everything at one time or another and even included retro platform news in recent times such as using twitter and facebook on a Commodore 64. However, currently the description seems to only be visible when editing. Showing descriptions on the Reviews Sources page seems a bit too much info to pack into the list. Mouseover maybe. But the Source Issues page and the Reviews on Source page would be an excellent place to show descriptions on top, on bottom, or both.


Oh, what about include TV, radio, webcasts, youtube, BBS, and news papers that used units of some sort to rate games? The system seems adequate currently to enter the review information just as if they were magazines.

2014-03-18
Mouseover maybe.

Could use indented line below with the description, hiding it by default and expanding with some javascript magic (would be thus expanded by default with javascript disabled).

2014-05-27
Joystick magazine changed its notation system on September 1994: now two scores are given per game. The first one is called "realisation", and the second one, "interest". The more the game is technically impressive, the more the first score is high; the more the game is fun and interesting, the more the second score is high.

How could we handle this?

1- Doing the average of the two scores. I don't like this solution.
2- Add both scores.
3- Only add "interest" score.

I'm not sure about what to do here...

2014-05-27
Joystick magazine changed its notation system on September 1994: now two scores are given per game. The first one is called "realisation", and the second one, "interest". The more the game is technically impressive, the more the first score is high; the more the game is fun and interesting, the more the second score is high.

Sounds a bit like the objective/subjective voting/rating i've suggested here. Both are interesting to have IMO, so I don't have good suggestions for this besides adding both in some manner.

2014-05-27
Not sure. Did Joystick magazine say the interest score is a "final" score? Did the readers think the interest score is the more important one (I personally do). I find it interesting that they would divide it so strictly. If a game is technically good or bad has a good amount of influence on the fun factor. So I tend to option 3.

2014-05-27
Not sure. Did Joystick magazine say the interest score is a "final" score? Did the readers think the interest score is the more important one (I personally do). I find it interesting that they would divide it so strictly. If a game is technically good or bad has a good amount of influence on the fun factor. So I tend to option 3.


In fact, they explain that because of the CD media becoming more present and 3D graphics becoming more impressive, they tended to "overscore" games that were brillant technically, but not so fun / not so interesting to play. So, they had to divide it into two scores so the games "technically retarded" would not be penalized anymore with an overall score.

So, yes, I think that the "interest" score is the main one, but they both appear in the same font size, side by side, none is highlighted.

2014-07-12
I have a similar problem.

The German magazine PC Player used two different rating systems:
from the first issue (01/1993) to 04/1996 they gave a game a score between 1 and 100 points, from 05/1996 to 12/1997 they used 1-5 stars (no half stars) and from 01/1998 on they switched back to 1-100 again which they kept until the last issue.

How to deal with this?

2014-07-13
I have a similar problem.

The German magazine PC Player used two different rating systems:
from the first issue (01/1993) to 04/1996 they gave a game a score between 1 and 100 points, from 05/1996 to 12/1997 they used 1-5 stars (no half stars) and from 01/1998 on they switched back to 1-100 again which they kept until the last issue.

How to deal with this?


My suggestion for this. Make two entries for PC Player. The first entry titled "PC Player" should be for the 1-100 point periods (both of them) since this is the most common one. The 5 star period was much shorter. A second entry could be "PC Player xx-yy" (where xx = issue number of 04/1996 and yy = issue number of 12/1997). Thats the only way at the moment to handle different rating systems.

2014-08-05
Ok, so I've added PC Player (so far only the 1-100 period - on a side note, I've noticed that officially PC Player gave between 0 and 100 points, though 0 points never happened, the lowest was 7, 8 or something like that, so I think it's ok to leave it as it is).
However there seems to be an issue with deleted games.
After adding the reviews from issue 11/98 and checking them again, I noticed that there still is a review for a game I deleted. The game was Dynasty General, which I deleted since it was a duplicate (Dynasty General is just the European name of People's General). Unfortunately I deleted it only after adding the review and now the review of the deleted game is still in the list.

edit: Ha, I just noticed that I can just delete the article from the review list. So I'll do that. I'll keep that in mind, should I delete another game.

Another curious thing I noticed: when you order the games by review score (descending) in the above issue, then 9/100 is on second place (after 91/100 and in front of 89/100) when it should be last.

2014-08-05
Right, when deleting a game, all the related reviews should be removed too. Thank you.

I have fixed the reviews page.
There is a new column "platform", and the sorting is now available for this column and the "score %", that sorts correctly.

2014-09-28
The score type 1-10 points with half points is missing, or should 1-10 be used in this case?
It's needed for the Polish magazine Reset which initially gave 1-10 points without half points and later introduced half points.

Also, the country Serbia is missing from the countries list. I would like to add Svet Igara which first appeared in Yugoslavia and continued to appear after the independence of Serbia, so I was planning to add it as a Serbian magazine even though this might not be 100% correct. If you think I should split it into a Yugoslavian and a Serbian magazine, please let me know (and add Yugoslavia in this case).

I also observed that the country list inclused Former Eastern Bloc. Is that really needed? Every magazine or company from the "Eastern Bloc" is from one of its countries, so when would it be used? Also, I don't like the term "Eastern Bloc" since to me it sounds somewhat derogatory. So if it is needed I would prefer a more neutral name.

2014-09-28
The score type 1-10 points with half points is missing, or should 1-10 be used in this case?


You mean scores of 0 - 0,5 - 1 - 1,5 .... 9,5 - 10? Hm, thinking of it I would convert this to a 1-100 scale. So a score of 8,5 would be a 85/100. I did so with older issues of German magazine Power Play before they switched to a normal 1-100 scale.

2014-09-28 (updated 2014-09-28)
I'm going to add a 1-10 (half stars) then.

The countries list is the same used for platforms and companies, Serbia is missing because (apparently) no platforms and no companies belong there.

I'm going to add Serbia. About splitting the magazine with Jugoslavia I'll wait for the other editors opinion, and add it if needed.

About the "former eastern bloc", just propose a better name the we can use.

-edit-
New score type and Serbia added.
I have already added Reset magazine for testing purposes. Please edit it with the missing data.

2014-09-28
Former Eastern Bloc

This was requested for game release territories (used by the still work-in-progress updated multi-release thingy) by me because several major Russian publishers seemed to at the time favor labeling their release territory as this rather than Russia and the individual countries.

2014-09-29
Some companies divide operations for this area to the left and right of the Ural Mountains. I'm not sure why.

2014-10-01 (updated 2014-10-01)
I think that the reviews shown in the "External Reviews" block should be sorted differently. Maybe by review date, or by score, but not by review source alphabetically. Otherwise, the best solution would be to add little arrows next to column titles to allow the user to sort it the way he wants to.

EDIT: I was wandering for a long time which country could be "nam", the country of "Computing Game World" magazine according to this page. Namibia? Viet-Nam? So I clicked on "edit" to see it, and none country is selected on the edit page. Usually, the page displays nothing in the country column when no country is selected, so what is this "nam"?

2014-10-02
Nam would be North America. USA, Canada, Alaska (which isn't always 'USA' in business) and implied Mexico.

2014-10-02
Nam would be North America. USA, Canada, Alaska (which isn't always 'USA' in business) and implied Mexico.

I've never heard North America called NAM, only NA.

2014-10-02
re: re:
Thank you very much for adding the score scheme and Serbia, Andrea! I'll start adding some reviews.


Former Eastern Bloc

This was requested for game release territories (used by the still work-in-progress updated multi-release thingy) by me because several major Russian publishers seemed to at the time favor labeling their release territory as this rather than Russia and the individual countries.


Would Eastern Europe describe it properly? If not, we may keep the Eastern Bloc thing. I'm not really fond of it, but there aren't really any alternatives, I'm afraid. Countries of the former Warsaw Pact may be a neutral expression, but sounds... stupid when referring to a release region of video games.


Viet-Nam?


That was actually my first thought, too, when I saw nam some time ago :-)
Of course, I soon found out that it's not Vietnam but North America, but it really is an unusual abbreviation. I agree with Sanguine that it should be NA.

2014-10-02
NA is also a common abbreviation for Not Applicable
In the case of CGW, it is also published in Mexico.

2014-10-03
Not Applicable should be N/A.

2014-10-26
A new problem I encountered now with entering reviews from UK-based magazine "C&VG - Computer and Videogames). The early issues have a 1-10 rating and generally 4 scores. They are:
- graphics
- sound (sometimes replaced with other scores more fitting for the genre like "realism" for wargames)
- playability
- value

They don't have a visible overall score (which they would add in the late 80s). When starting adding the reviews I defined "value" as the overall score and wrote so in the mag description. Some other magazines have the value score defined officially as overall score as well so I thought it to be the logical option. Problem I generally have with this is the fact that budget games are pretty in advantage oftentimes, making an average game rating often quite high in the end score. I could define playability as the overall score. Another gaming database (which for the sake of Zerothis I won't mention here) uses the playability score as overall score. I already added a couple of magazines, but it is not yet too late to revert my reviews from value to playability based. I still prefer value - though not optimal - as best option, but wanted to get the other editors opinions about this.

2014-10-27 (updated 2014-10-27)
I still prefer value - though not optimal - as best option, but wanted to get the other editors opinions about this.


I agree with that.

The "best" solution would be IMO:

Have the possibility to add multiple scores, add the label of these specific scores (graphics, playability, value, overall, etc...) and have the possibility to choose one or several labels as "overall" (overall score(s) would be emphasized somehow).
This would solve the problem I have with Joystick magazine (I stopped adding reviews to this magazine as I'm stuck for now with UVL's system) which uses two "overall" scores: technical and interest (note that they complicated it a bit later, adding a "design" score in addition to technical and interest ; then chose to emphasize "interest", making it the only overall score).

With this system, we would also be able to add other scores which are not overall.

Two problems here: how to display these scores? Isn't it a bit complicated? It would force editors to spend much more time adding reviews.

(Note: regarding the issue I have with Joystick, I think I can choose to use the "interest" score as an overall score if no other solution is found).

2014-10-27
re: re:
how to display this scores? Isn't it a bit complicated? It would force editors to spend much more time adding reviews.

"Graphics (76), Design (62), Interest (88), Overall (81)" <- maybe, if horizontal space isn't a problem and bold the name of the score and its value unlike the others. Otherwise could show "76/62/88/81" with the last number bolded and have the mouse over show the actual names (imo not so great, but works when the number of scoring criteria goes much past 3).

Nothing too complicated about it, and the last bit about spending much more time required by editors is kinda given as that can't be avoided when more data is involved.

2014-10-27
re: re: re:
the last bit about spending much more time required by editors is kinda given as that can't be avoided when more data is involved.


This would force us to type the "labels" (graphics, interest, ...) for each review. We could choose to set every label per magazine, but it's not a good idea as labels can change. We could also choose to set every label per issue, but it can also be a problem because some magazines rate games differently (The Games Machine I currently add reviews for, chose to split reviews into two categories: "classic" games and "adventure/RPG/strategy" games. Classic reviews do not have the same labels as adventure/RPG/strategy - plus, the labels can change depending on the game within the same category).

So the only solution which should work for every issue of any magazine would be to type the labels for each review. And this is overly time-consuming in my opinion.

2014-11-22
Scoreless reviews by the way. Their existence should be recorded and noted that they do not offer a plainly understandable score. I don't know if any publication uses such, but there's several out there at least online. I believe this is related to some reviewers feeling scores are insufficient to express what the reviews say in truly meaningful manner.

2014-11-22
Yes, I saw a few of them in some magazines. Most of the time, it is an error, but it may also be intentional.

2014-11-22
Hard to implement with the current system which is based on scores, and honestly the score is the relevant information. Seeing the different scores, seeing how well a game was received by the media and comparing the scores is the whole point I think. Just mentioning that a game was reviewed at site x or magazine y is not really interesting information. But thats only my opinion. So I personally have no problem to omit those reviews.

2014-11-23
Hard to implement with the current system

I believe the score data is not restrictive format, so it could easily be something like NG (not given), N/A (this unfortunately can be mistaken for us lacking it instead of it not being in the publication itself), etc.

honestly the score is the relevant information

Still could record in which publication the review was in even if they didn't give a score.

2014-11-23
I would like to see the comments on a review shown somewhere. Maybe a little (i) or (?) or (+) icon, at the end of the row after the red/yellow/green graphical score, which would show the comment if clicked / hovered by the cursor.

2015-07-27
Could we use the average review score of a game (from external reviews) to add another ranking under "best games" of a platform from external sources (magazines)?

Example for Atari ST: www.uvlist.net/platforms/best-games/23-Atari+ST
At the moment there is a "Most popular" as well as "Top ranking" (based on UVL votes). Could we add a third ranking here maybe with the average (or median if thats better) review score from magazines/external sources. To qualify for being displayed the number of reviews should be rather high. At least 5, maybe even 7 should be minimum. Would like to see the results of such a metascore especially for older games.

2015-07-28
Median is better. But I think it should note for both user ratings and the external ones that how large portion of the total games for that platform was even considered, in case of missing or insufficient ratings for games.

2015-08-18
I would like to see the comments on a review shown somewhere. Maybe a little (i) or (?) or (+) icon, at the end of the row after the red/yellow/green graphical score, which would show the comment if clicked / hovered by the cursor.


I support that suggestion.