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  • Joined: 12 Jan 2005
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Amazon-style user reviews for games?
Post Posted: Sat Jun 28, 2014 4:01 pm
I'd love it if we could have an user reviews system for each game page so you can add your own opinion and rate the game. Is there a plugin or script to add this feature to SMS Power?

At least a comment + star rating system would be great. If it would be possible, a more complex system (comment + graphics/sound/playability/control/fun factor rating system would be awesome).

Opinions?
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Post Posted: Sat Jun 28, 2014 4:35 pm
I like this idea! :)
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Post Posted: Sat Jun 28, 2014 5:30 pm
The sky's the limit but we are lacking development energy for the site. Most of the current site architecture has been built by Maxim. And if we've got web programmers around (php/pmwiki/phpbb) to help there are more urgent things to do such as optimizing our current back-end which is very slow.

Maxim actually build a rating system based on comparing two games - it is more playful / entertainment and I suspect can list to a better ordering than a 1-5 star systems would lead. Can't find the link but I'm sure Maxim will post it. That was quite simple but quite cool ! Perhaps with a bit of love this could be polished and made more prominent.

I'm not sure about a comment system, the status-quo of comments on the internet is that they suck. You add comments and the next day your pages are full of "this game sucks lol" and that's not really what SMS Power is. I'd rather have us invest time in adding the missing content, sprites, screenshots, vgm packs, typing back of the box text, etc. Or let people express themselves in more personal way (anyone can start a really of posts, even a blog/site).
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Post Posted: Sat Jun 28, 2014 5:37 pm
I give this idea 4 stars out of 5.

edit: I didn't see Bock's post inbetween while I was replying. I am referring to the OP idea.
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Post Posted: Sat Jun 28, 2014 5:57 pm
The link:

http://www.smspower.org/Games/Vote

The idea would be to record the results, and do analysis to produce a ranking based on it. Algorithms exist to do this, but I never got any further than the front end - the votes don't go anywhere.

As for reviews: go look at http://www.alexkidd.com/ and tell me that there's anything of value there.
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Post Posted: Sat Jun 28, 2014 6:10 pm
The problem with comparing two random games is that not everyone is familiar with all the games, so you'll end up with lots of "I can't decide" votes. Allowing star-based rankings would lead to a different scenario, where the most popular games (e.g. Sonic) have thousands of votes and the least known games might have no votes at all. I'm not sure that's desirable, either, but it would still work better, imo.
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Post Posted: Sat Jun 28, 2014 6:21 pm
Thanks everyone for your input.

Bock: I don't think adding comments is worth any time on development. After posting, I just googled a bit and found out there may be some recipes for PmWiki. this one adds the ability to rate (sans comments), for example.

Maxim's idea sounds awesome! You guys always come up with the coolest ideas :)

As for the comments, yes, they suck overall. But even though I don't participate here as much as most of you, I see SMS Power as an exremely friendly site. I never came across a flamewar here. Most of the users seem knowledgeable. If you restrict review submission to members only, I think there will be not much spam or idiot comments like "lol, this game sucks".

Anyway, thanks for the replies :)
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Post Posted: Sat Jun 28, 2014 6:58 pm
I think a structured way to have users contribute short personal game reviews, not comments, would be a nice feature at some point in the fututre. I love reading some of the nostalgia stuff scattered around here :)
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Post Posted: Sat Jun 28, 2014 7:20 pm
I used to have a reviews recipe for the VGMs section, but I removed it because it was kind of badly implemented and made things even slower than they already are.

One idea I'm considering is to use the forum for this. I could make a new section for reviews, one thread per game (let's imagine we autocreate them), in the form of a poll (rating 1-5 perhaps). Comments would make long form reviews. If the quality is bad, we can delete the rubbish and make it read only except for known users, or appeal for moderators. The game page would query the DB to calculate an overall percentage rating and display that. This would be separate from the magazine reviews we already have.

The main blocker for site development from my point of view is that this site is blocked by my company's web filter :( and that used to be where I was able to squeeze in bits of work. These days I'm doing what I can on a mobile phone, which is painful (and frequently suffers from autocorrect). But if there's appetite for reviews, I'll try to get something done.
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Post Posted: Sat Jun 28, 2014 9:37 pm
Maxim wrote

The main blocker for site development from my point of view is that this site is blocked by my company's web filter :(

- auwgh, that is tough. Now and then I have all sorts of SMS-Power procrastination right from my office. I'm afraid I'm not a person to be trusted with semi hi-tech backend dabbling, but I would love to help out by writing a few short reviews to testdrive a new structure, if it is implemented at some point in the future :)
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Post Posted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 7:15 pm
So I made a reviews section, but it's not all hooked up yet. You can post reviews now if you really want - initially, only people with site editing permissions should be able to do so. I may open it up to all members later. I should get to the other parts later this week.
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Post Posted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 7:18 pm
Haha, I was already over there to check it out :) I'll see if I can get a review for Shinobi up and running.
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Post Posted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 7:45 pm
One moment ago, when the new section was empty and locked it had a strange queare black and orange icon. I might be short-sighted but it looked like a corrupted image.
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Post Posted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 8:42 pm
No, that was a locked door from Wonder Boy in Monster Land, as the forum was locked while I figured out how to make it somewhat restricted.
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Post Posted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 8:52 pm
LOL! It must be that I'm short-shigted.
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Post Posted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 10:08 pm
I just uploaded an attempt at reviewing Shinobi; just experimenting with the personal/looking back review format - not the technical features (voting etc.). Feel free to use/reformat/etc. if it can help in the development process.
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Post Posted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 6:35 pm
I've written the code to show the average review score on the game page. I still need to write the code to autocreate the topic when necessary - this is scarier because it involves writing to, rather than reading from, the database. Until then, people need to:

- Create a poll on the review topic, matching mine (copy/paste, lots of manual steps).
- Edit the game page to have a line saying
:ReviewTopic:14859
where the number is the topic number of the poll

I need to make it so the poll is auto-created by a "bot" user and the topic ID edited into the page automatically. Then you can just reply/vote.
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Post Posted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 8:11 pm
It sounds nice. You can create a review right from a game's page, and code will set up links, poll, etc.? And then one can browse the reviews forum for all the reviews in one place? Very promising! I'll delete then resubmit my Shinobi review when things are up and running :)
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Post Posted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 9:07 pm
I should be able to merge it in.
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Post Posted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 11:34 pm
Oh boy, I totally know what I'm going to do the next time I'm bored.

Thanks Maxim.
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Post Posted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 7:15 pm
OK, it's done... if it seems to break something, please stop and let me know.
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Post Posted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 7:28 pm
Great! And I see that it is the Kidd himself that takes care of the maintenance :)

Looking forward to be reading and contributing reviews!
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Post Posted: Sat Jul 05, 2014 5:04 pm
You rock, Maxim! (but I'm sure you already know that) :)

I'll start working on a review in a few days or maybe sooner. It will be probably G-LOC (Game Gear).

Thanks for your hard work!
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Post Posted: Fri Jul 11, 2014 7:41 am
I love this new section. Reading the reviews from you guys makes me want to try out the games! :)
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Post Posted: Mon Jul 14, 2014 7:23 am
New feature: it now works for games with apostrophes in the title. Also, it's less SQL injection prone, although you had to be a wiki editor to be able to exploit it anyway.
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Post Posted: Sat Jul 19, 2014 12:09 pm
We should update the Reviews sticky?
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Post Posted: Sun Jul 20, 2014 8:34 pm
Finally I wrote my first review :) A bit long, and not structured like Maxim's. But there it is :)
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Post Posted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 3:36 pm
Someday, when the site has more developers and there are a significant amount of votes and reviews, it would be great to have a Top 10 for each system in the main page. This would encourage voting a bit more.
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Post Posted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 4:27 pm
That wouldn't be too hard, but you really need a lot of reviews before it means anything. I intend to open this up to all forum members soon, so long as it doesn't go downhill.

I warmly recommend playing through games with the intention to review them, it is a much more cerebral experience to think about a game in this way and I found that very rewarding back when I was doing it...
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Post Posted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 10:51 pm
So now voting should be open to all forum members. Let's hope it doesn't get too ugly.
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