What prevents you...?
December 07, 2007

So, I was wondering this evening: what prevents you from being more active on the site?

Right now, we have the Wii giveaway going on, and even that doesn't seem to be doing a lot to encourage the sort of activity I feel the site really deserves. We're improving and people are posting in their blogs more (hi, nash!), but it seems like there's still so far to go.

Is it something the site isn't offering that it really should? Are you just not into games like you once were? Are you new here and not sure how the community will react to your posts? Are you not sure how to even post?

I'd like to hear from anyone with an opinion on the matter. I can't promise a lot of changes at this point, since the site is pretty much where I want it to be in terms of features and design (finally), but I'm interested in hearing if there are a few small barriers here that could easily be removed to allow for increased activity from you and your friends.

The question doesn't just pertain to the blogs, but to the site as a whole. I'd like to know what we're missing, because I really want to hit the ground running as we head into 2008.

I'm all ears. Hit me!

Most recent blog posts from Jason Venter...

nash nash - December 07, 2007 (04:53 AM)
Two suggestions.

ratings/site rank:
I think it would be good to have more room for smaller user contributions. Game ratings are about as small as it gets, don't have to be approved and can be used in a variety of ways. Game sites I know of that allow user ratings (Metacritic, Gamerankings, IGN?) are a total joke in comparison to Rate Your Music. As far as I know there is nothing 1/100th as good for games. I've browsed around RYM for many many hours.

Can a list of the site's most popular games ("site rank") be viewed, at least? Being able to sort rankings by year, system, genre, developer, etc. would be great, especially with a more interesting set of users than the average game site. Like RYM, ratings with reviews would have more weight, as would ratings of more prolific users.

This is nice as a bonus feature, but to attract more players there would have to be a leaderboard or more organization in place. It is really tough keeping it legit and making it user/webmaster friendly, but I would suggest something automated with charts. I could offer ideas if this seems like a worthwhile idea. There was some site up for a few years like that. Would've been a great replacement for the manually updated charts on shmups forum if the creator(s) allowed it.

Other score sites are crap for one reason or another:
-MARP which is emulation-centric and a little too restrictive with proof.
-Twin Galaxies, again with insane proof requirements and the site and its "world records" are still a joke to most.

I wish I could submit scores for games I no longer own/can't take screenshots of.
sashanan sashanan - December 07, 2007 (06:38 AM)
For me, nothing you can really influence. Part of it is my own time constraints, the other not wanting to stand out like a loon. I'd start feedback topics on more reviews and submit more high scores if it fit in with the general site activity. As it is, I don't want to be the guy that's always spamming the contribution feedback board or the only one constantly submitting scores for games that nobody else seems to care about.
Felix_Arabia Felix_Arabia - December 07, 2007 (06:44 AM)
Here are my two cents:

-Inadvertent growth control

For example, you only need to go to Sportsman's Alpha strategy topic to see him give a large list of games not to review. While we regulars know this pertains to contests or whatever, not everyone does. New users may think they shouldn't review games because they don't have anything original to say about it. Suskie asked me just the other day if it would be wise to review Gears of War even though we already have several reviews for it. I told him yes, do it. I think we need to emphasize that this site can't grow if people don't write reviews. If anyone feels compelled to write about a game, then they should write about it regardless of past opinions.

Because I personally find it ridiculous when someone tells someone else not to write a review for game X just because they read two reviews on game X three years ago.

- Marketing

The word of mouth strategy could help HG get more traffic. Unfortunately, I don't think many people use the word of mouth strategy at all. I'll admit that even I really don't use it.

I opine that whenever someone writes a review, they should go to a site that gets a lot of traffic, like FAQs, and link it there. That's how I got nearly 600 hits for my Blacksite review, a game which isn't even that popular.

So that's something to think about.
siara79 siara79 - December 07, 2007 (06:45 AM)
Most of my problem is TIME. I have probably 5 half-finished reviews sitting on my computer at home and no time to get them done and submit them, though if I ever DO manage to get 'em done, I promise to put them through here first.

But I am reminding you (per a response to an email I sent you a while back) about a wishlist feature on the game collection page? :D You said something about the guy programming that being a slacker.. ;)

If I think of anything else I'll pop back here and comment. :)
EmP EmP - December 07, 2007 (06:57 AM)
Haha, that was my reply, not Jason's.

I still want my HGmail outbox!
overdrive overdrive - December 07, 2007 (09:58 AM)
Yeah, Felix's post really made a lot of sense. I've been around for forever and write about whatever games I want to, regardless of how covered they've been by other writers, but newer people might be discouraged from doing so. Like Felix said, we have an ABC strategy topic concerning the sorts of games judges won't want to read about for various reasons. I think it was Genj and/or Leroux who did the same thing in their blogs for the Summer Team Tournament. And if you were a new guy here and read the negative game-selection critiques for my Hydlide (old, bad game a lot of people did joke reviews for back in the day) and GTA: SA (really hot game of a couple years ago that's been covered to hell and back), you might think certain reviews aren't welcome on the site.

Because if you're new here and your first impression of what to CASUALLY submit is created by seeing a judge post/thread dedicated to what not to submit for a NON-CASUAL competition, you might think you shouldn't even bother submitting something for any game with more than one, maybe two, reviews here because it won't be welcomed.

And the other point is something I'm ashamed to say never entered my mind. Offering links on FAQs boards to reviews you do for here is a great idea that, at the least, will give us more hits and perhaps could even draw people in. Obviously, it'll be more effective for some people than others (if you do a lot of reviews for games with next-to-no or no message board activity there, it'll be meaningless......but linking a well-written review of a game people care about potentially could give us more activity.
daff daff - December 07, 2007 (10:03 AM)
I don't know if changes to the site itself will help a ton. Everything seems easy enough to find and it looks good.

I'm not sure what has been done in the past, but I think putting an emphasis on getting more people to check this site out would help the most. Linking reviews anywhere possible or even posting blogs about this site on other sites. Maybe double or the HG points you get for referring somebody that posts a review.

The reason I came to this site was because of pup telling me about it. I read a few reviews and some various blogs and I liked the site. I'm not much of writer, but there are a lot of people that would be writing reviews here if they knew this site existed.

MartinG MartinG - December 07, 2007 (01:10 PM)
I think I'm using the site sufficiently and enthusiastically, within my videogame activity :)
jerec jerec - December 07, 2007 (01:17 PM)
Regarding my lack of review submissions, it's not you (or the site), it's me.
siara79 siara79 - December 07, 2007 (01:42 PM)
Why am I not surprised, EmP? You trying to get me in trouble with Jason then? :D
nash nash - December 07, 2007 (02:47 PM)
or the only one constantly submitting scores for games that nobody else seems to care about.

I'm fine being that guy. And I thought of a simple solution to this:

I wish I could submit scores for games I no longer own/can't take screenshots of.

Maybe allow verified and unverified scores, label them as such and give less points for unverified scores. I just have to post my ridiculous Giga Wing Generations score.
Suskie Suskie - December 07, 2007 (06:02 PM)
Jason, I highly respect what you're doing here and I'm willing to support this site as much as I can. I've been trying to consistently submit at least one review every week, so I think I'm doing all right, but I like all of the ideas presented in this post.

To follow up what Daff said about coming to HG via word of mouth, it was Felix that informed us FAQs users about HG and TT. Were it not for him, I'd still be over there, rotting in RotD-stained mediocrity.
wolfqueen001 wolfqueen001 - December 07, 2007 (08:37 PM)
Yeah. I heard about this place from EmP. His enthusiasm for the place was irresistable. >.> Unfortunately, I'm just not much of a review writer (yet). When I came here, I still did RPing and fiction writing - still do, really... It's just something I haven't grown into yet. I definitely want to, though - that's why I participate in these tournaments...

The thing that's keeping me inactive now is time. College is really, really busy... About all I have time for is subbing screens/cheats/cover art. Also, my own confidence (or lack of it) in my reviewing sort of discourages me. However, I intend to become a lot more productive at some point... Just need experience first.

Also... the fact that I don't have time or the accessibility to video games anymore makes this difficult. I'm hoping to figure something out at some point, though.

It's nothing with the site, I assure you.

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