More Features...
December 07, 2007

As a result of a LOT of coding on my part during the past 24 hours, the site now has two features you might not yet have noticed.

1) While You're Here...

This feature applies to game profiles on the regular site. When a user loads a game profile page, or a review or cheats or any other page that links to a game profile, they'll get the usual info, plus a "While You're Here..." box that recommends another title from the database.

The box will recommend the closest relevant match that will likely generate interesting content for the visitor. So for exmaple, a game classified as 'Horizontal Shooter (Vertical)' would be matched to precisely that if possible, or next to just 'Horizontal Shooter' or finally to just 'Shooter' if no other matches are available. The matches stay linked to that one system, and the result that will display is the most popular one of that type.

This ensures that as the site rank for games changes, the ones that display within that feature also evolve. It also should mean more exposure for related games. So if you've just reviewed a Shining Force game, for example, and someone comes to the site looking for info on some other Shining Force game on the Genesis, he would be encouraged to check out our Shining Force coverage and might read your review (whereas he almost never would have before).

The feature is too new to know if it'll work, but I do know that we've had a lot of people coming to the site from Google and GameRankings who visit only the first page they open, then leave for other sites. Hopefully, this feature will get them to stick around a bit longer.

2) Game Ratings...

Now users can rate games on a scale from 1-10 without having to post a review. The site will tally and display the average vote for a given game on its profile page. This feature was implemented after nash's suggestion in response to my previous blog entry.

From any game profile page, you can click to rate the game and specify both the rating and a little bit of text to support your rating (up to 250 characters, though you don't have to enter anything if you don't want). This means that even people who aren't great reviewers can still share in the site's activities if they want.

Rating a game will net you 10 HG Points, which maybe isn't all that much but is at least something. Your ratings will also show up under the 'Ratings' link in your blog, and along the right column unless you uncheck that option in your 'Settings' page.

Like the other function I announced, the 'Ratings' feature is designed to make it easier for newcomers to start participating in the community and enjoying all of the features it has to offer. I hope everyone enjoys and utilizes the new features, and I hope that you remember to tell friends about them. I agree that word of mouth is the most powerful tool we have to grow the site, and I'd like for all of you to be happy enough with the site that you feel comfortable recommending it to friends.

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sashanan sashanan - December 08, 2007 (01:11 AM)
I noticed While you're here. Looks interesting. On GameSpot I always liked the "Related games" thing that's a lot like this, especially if I was checking out reviews for a new system for me. On the DS, a lot of my initial interest list was assembled by checking a few titles that had been recommended to me, and then clicking through to what the site said were similar games.

Game ratings, huh? Well, be interesting to see how much they'll be used. Throwing in a handful of HG points is probably the right way to go about it, a feature like this becomes really interesting once games attract multiple ratings.
Halon Halon - December 08, 2007 (07:03 AM)
I just rated Space Megaforce the 2/10 it deserves. Go me!
woodhouse woodhouse - December 08, 2007 (11:50 AM)
Rating games is definitely addictive. Hopefully it's not just me.
MartinG MartinG - December 08, 2007 (12:25 PM)
It is NOT. *rates indiscriminately*
bodo_parkour bodo_parkour - December 08, 2007 (03:44 PM)
I'm concerned that this may be abused somewhat.

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