Let's Talk: Reviews & scores

Reviews: liberty, equality, quality

Soon on Whisplay, you will discover the game pages, comprehensive and awesome! Meanwhile, we will share today one of the most important aspect of our platform, both for the players and the developers : the reviews.

When we wait for years for a game that holds a special place in our heart, we will surely buy it. For the rest, we quite often turn to other’s opinions and reviews to evaluate a game pros and cons, maybe triggering off the decision to buy it. The same applies for developers and editors: experience feedbacks – good or bad – are of paramount importance for the future evolutions of a game. And for this to happen… a review system needs to be coherent, sound and reliable.

Whisplay is completely independant from the gaming press: scores and reviews on the website will be those of the players. An author from a gaming site or from another structure will of course be able to publish an article, but he will reach the same visibility and his opinion will weigh the same than any other player. Only quality matters when it comes to a review: its usefulness, popularity and pertinence will put it under the spotlight.

You have options

How can you sum up Whisplay’s review system in one word? Comprehensive. That’s our solution for a simple constatation: none of the gaming platforms is 100% efficient when it comes to publishing a complete game review… Not enough characters, or on the other hand the possibility to write a 42 pages article that will be illegible, due to a poor display space or a bad layout. On Whisplay, we are minding everyone and will offer two options.

For those in a rush, there will be a possibility to share your opinion in just a few well chosen words, thanks to the short review. For the driven, the completionists and the artists, a multitude of options will be available, conceived especially to lay out extensive and well- designed articles, known as long reviews. Who wouldn’t want to design complex publications, previously reserved only for press authors, with typography options, pictures, quotes or videos: nothing will get in the way of creativity.

Of course, as any other content on Whisplay, every review or article you write may be instantly shared around you, to your public and private spheres.

Our reservations about the evaluation system…

Users may encounter frustration nowadays on many platforms when comes the time to evaluate a game (amongst other things): scoring is a complex endeavor in which many variable elements are involved. Our personal experiences are facing the issue of subjectivity (‘’Everything is relative’’) and each person’s relationship to the notion of ‘’mean score’’.

Subjectivity is precious when we talk about freedom of speech, and a way to express our emotions. But the countless variables that come into play when grading a game makes subjectivity a double-edged sword: the (inconscious) collective hype of a game, too high expectations after a long wait, bad experiences with a title under development, our personal tastes… and the merciless will to defend, whatever the cost, your game against haters (or the other way around). Add the trolls in top of that – only there to exacerbate tensions – and scoring might become a arduous task.

Along with the issue of subjectivity come another problem, barely adressed on a conscious level: each and everyone’s relationship to the mean score. The arithmetic mean that everyone learned in school (15/20, 75/100…) is not you ‘personal’ average. It varies depending on everyone’s imperatives. A game scored 45/100 will be considered bad by everyone, while certain aspects of the game might be worth considering… A game scored 75/100 might be considered very good for a player, a not good enough for another. Therefore this arithmetic mean loses its credibility as an efficient scale to guide the players.

Furthermore, each player concentrates on different aspects of a game, depending on his taste and expectations. Nothing is black or white, and a very interesting title might get a bad collective review for a single bug, a lifespan or… awkward-looking faces. ‘’This game has a great story and a wonderful soundtrack, but the game time is too short’’. ‘’This game has an awesome gameplay, but disappointing graphics’’. This were subjectivity might take the lead: nevertheless, a player can admit that a storyline is good, even if he doesn’t like the genre. Thus, it’s important to be able to score every aspect of the game, simply because every player has different criteria and expectations. A lot of gamers seek games with complex and immersive gameplay, with no interest in good graphics… while others swear only by photorealistic animations. An obvious example in that matter is Mario : obsolete graphics and a more than simple story (‘’Save the princess!’’) somehow manage to stay in our hearts!

… led us to rethink the scoring system

While subjectivity will (fortunately) always be omnipresent when it comes to evaluation, Whisplay wants to address the problem of the scoring system in the press today. In addition to giving a voice to EVERY player at the same level, every game will be awarded an general score based on the users recommandation (the PlayerScore) AND specific scores for each criteria (the GameScores).

The PlayerScore

Using a grading system with a large interval (out of 100) encourages an endless arithmetic war between the 0/100 and the 0/100 clans, seeking to counteract the average scores until death comes.

Therefore, we decided to create the PlayerScore: it’s a rate of global satisfaction by the means of a percentage (the percentage of positive review over the total number of reviews). Each player will be given the possibility to tip the balance in favor (YES) or against (NO).

The GameScores

Players who wish to color their judgement and bring precious information to the community about the different aspects of a game will be able to do so with the GameScores: specific scores – independant from the PlayerScore – on various criteria.

To do so, the user will chose between three segments: the game performs UNDER, IN or ABOVE what he considers HIS personal average (whatever it is). Those GamesScores are separated, and do not interfere with the PlayerScore.

We want every aspect of the game to be evaluated simply and efficiently. Thanks to those evaluations, the players will be given the opportunity to search for games based on their taste and criteria, and will be given a clear vision of the pros and cons of a game :

The Whisplay community is based on sharing and equality: everyone will get the chance to share its opinions – succinct, detailed, creative or just on the spot – with comprehensive review tools and a fair scoring system. The time has come to overcome the limits and give a voice to EVERY player! We look forward to see you on Whisplay… Stay tuned.

Pictures : unsplash.com, Fallout (Bethesda Softworks)