Author Topic: Requesting an appeal from the AGS Panel Review  (Read 2288 times)

Requesting an appeal from the AGS Panel Review
« on: 24 Jun 2018, 09:59 »
I was looking at my old games for nostalgia's sake and noticed this review from the AGS Panel on my game The Netherworld, made for MAGS in some month of 2006.

This is what the AGS Panel has to say about it:

Quote
"I started playing the game (June 2018) and went to a very nice graphical room. The player said a couple of lines and that was that... Nothing...Clicking everywhere got nowhere... Could not proceed. I therefore can not give it a rating in it's present state... will check back later in the year. "

I don't think this very fair. The game uses a Verbcoin interface and I find it hard to believe that an adventure game reviewer couldn't figure that out.

Granted, it's probably not the best design choice and maybe it should have been stated at the beginning of the game, but it is a MAGS game and was released nearly 12 years ago.

I'd really prefer it if people didn't think the game was broken (it's not) when they go its page on the database. Is there any way to fix this?

Matti

Re: Requesting an appeal from the AGS Panel Review
« Reply #1 on: 24 Jun 2018, 12:53 »
That really isn't fair. The panel reviewer obviously neither read the comments on the game page nor the one's in the hints & tips section of the forum. They also could've contacted you. It's quite obvious that the game is playable.

On the other hand you should have updated the readme that comes with the game, it's common to state how the controls in a game work anyway. And maybe you could've made the verbcoin pop up faster, given that several people said they didn't know what to do at the beginning of the game.

Anyway, the game looks nice and I will try it out soon :)
« Last Edit: 24 Jun 2018, 12:56 by Matti »

Ali

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Re: Requesting an appeal from the AGS Panel Review
« Reply #2 on: 24 Jun 2018, 12:57 »
This is also, tragically, a good reason not to use the verbcoin. I've seen the exact same thing with Spoonbeaks Ahoy, even though there's a help button that tells you exactly what to do. I've taken the verb coin out for the HD remaster.

I remember enjoying this game, I hope you get another review!

Times seem to have changed
« Reply #3 on: 24 Jun 2018, 14:01 »
The game uses a Verbcoin interface and I find it hard to believe that an adventure game reviewer couldn't figure that out.

On the other hand, it seems far-fetched that someone goes to the trouble of reviewing games, probably with a sense of conscientiousness and for the sake of quality control, who is then superficious and bad-minded about it.

So the more probable root problem must be that times have changed over the last decade and verbcoins have been buried in oblivion. Contemporary players simply don't expect anything other than fast-clicks for interface any longer, so they click around and “get nowhere” and don't know what to do.

But you're the owner of your page in the games repository. As a simple first remedy, you could add an explanation (something along the lines of “NOTE: Interact with hotspots by clicking AND HOLDING, and a menu with action options will pop up”).

Since attention is a scarce resource nowadays, such an explanation must be very conspicious and near the start in order not to be overlooked.

A better solution would be to prefix the game with an explanatory screen - if you can still find the sources.

However, that would mean recompiling the sources, which might become cumbersome on its own. It might mean having to  first install AGS 2.72, then load and save the game in that version, then switch over to AGS 3.4.1 and load/compile it there.

But the advantage would be that it would improve the game automatically, too: Current AGS provides superior installation options for windows mode. If you play the game as it is, the window is quite, quite, quite tiny. Contemporary AGS has zoom modes that are much better suited for large monitors.

Just my 2 pence

Snarky

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Re: Requesting an appeal from the AGS Panel Review
« Reply #4 on: 24 Jun 2018, 14:23 »
Well, this proves what I've always said: verb coins are a terrible UI and should never be used! 8-)

But a new panel review does seem warranted.

Re: Requesting an appeal from the AGS Panel Review
« Reply #5 on: 24 Jun 2018, 14:28 »
It does seem a bit unfair.

You can appeal by messaging Andail:

Quote from: Andail
Can a particular rating be appealed?
Yes, you can PM me, Andail, and state your case. As with any jury, judge or similar instance, it's unlikely that the Panel will revise their rating, but you're welcome to voice your opinion.

You can also demand that the Panel give you a more specified motivation for a particular rating. The Panel will try to formulate a longer comment to justify the rating.

Re: Requesting an appeal from the AGS Panel Review
« Reply #6 on: 24 Jun 2018, 15:14 »
I think clicking the right mouse button to get the correct action cursor is worse, especially if I click too many times and have to go through the actions all over again.


Ali

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Re: Requesting an appeal from the AGS Panel Review
« Reply #7 on: 24 Jun 2018, 15:41 »
People don't even understand a two-click interface any more. I swear some people played through The Fowl Fleet without right clicking on anything (even though it tells you how to do it), and then complained that the puzzles didn't make sense.

Kids today!

Re: Requesting an appeal from the AGS Panel Review
« Reply #8 on: 24 Jun 2018, 16:02 »
People don't even understand a two-click interface any more.

Time for a no-click interface? After a pre-set time out, the pointer moves automatically to the correct spot, changes into the correct modes and triggers the correct option. Rinse and repeat! 8-)

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Re: Requesting an appeal from the AGS Panel Review
« Reply #9 on: 24 Jun 2018, 16:09 »
Time for a no-click interface? After a pre-set time out, the pointer moves automatically to the correct spot, changes into the correct modes and triggers the correct option. Rinse and repeat! 8-)
That's called "watching a Let's Play".

Re: Requesting an appeal from the AGS Panel Review
« Reply #10 on: 24 Jun 2018, 16:16 »
Or change the verbcoin interaction:

Seen from a Windows perspective, a verbcoin is a context menu:  If you right-click into, say, Windows Word, you'd expect a menu to pop up with relevant options for interacting with the thing you clicked on. You'd expect to select a choice from that menu by fast-left-clicking it, or to close the context window by moving the mouse off it.

So the “Windows” way of a verbcoin would be: A (fast) right-click opens the verb coin, which stays visible until the player either left-clicks on an option or moves the mouse off the verb-coin.

If this is the handling that a Windows user ”expects”, then long-left-clicking instead of right-clicking and dragging the mouse to the option instead of fast-left-clicking the option is quite counter-intuitive.
« Last Edit: 25 Jun 2018, 18:24 by fernewelten »

Re: Requesting an appeal from the AGS Panel Review
« Reply #11 on: 24 Jun 2018, 17:43 »
Time for a no-click interface? After a pre-set time out, the pointer moves automatically to the correct spot, changes into the correct modes and triggers the correct option. Rinse and repeat! 8-)
That's called "watching a Let's Play".

Also "Visual Novel" :P

Ali

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Re: Requesting an appeal from the AGS Panel Review
« Reply #12 on: 24 Jun 2018, 18:33 »
So the “Windows” way of a verbcoin would be: A (fast) right-click opens the verb coin, which stays visible until the player either left-clicks on an option or moves the mouse off the verb-coin.

If this is the handling that a Windows user ”expects”, then long-left-clicking instead of right-clicking and dragging the mouse to the option instead of fast-left-clicking the option is quite counter-intuitive.

Maybe this is off-topic, but I think it's interesting. You're right, *except* lots of people probably never right click in Windows, or use a touch screen. I am resigned to thinking that single-click is the only option. The dev of Unforeseen Incidents insisted on single-click and I disagreed, but they were right. In the end we wrote two+ responses for every object, so if you do left and right click, you get the same experience.

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Re: Requesting an appeal from the AGS Panel Review
« Reply #13 on: 24 Jun 2018, 20:59 »
I saw no reference to the verbcoin GUI myself when I played it quite some time..I got stuck not knowing.

You should have put this better in the readme file or in game.

I'm not a keen lover of the verbcoin.

Hopefully a reviewer will see this and re access and give it a cup rating after playing the game.

One can only hope.


Re: Requesting an appeal from the AGS Panel Review
« Reply #14 on: 24 Jun 2018, 21:03 »
You're all probably right, I should maybe put a hint in the write up, or change the readme file.

Anyway, thanks for the tip about contacting Andail, I'll do that.

As for this topic, I can see some interest in a discussion regarding interface design. So if the mods would like to change the topic or something, I'd be down with that.

Slasher

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Re: Requesting an appeal from the AGS Panel Review
« Reply #15 on: 24 Jun 2018, 21:10 »
I will certainly be playing it again now that I know ;)

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Re: Requesting an appeal from the AGS Panel Review
« Reply #16 on: 25 Jun 2018, 02:35 »
The game uses a Verbcoin interface and I find it hard to believe that an adventure game reviewer couldn't figure that out.

Granted, but you also might take into account that, someday, your game may be played by people who have little experience with adventure games. Or no experience, for that matter.

A few lines of explanatory text can go a long way.:)
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Mandle

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Re: Requesting an appeal from the AGS Panel Review
« Reply #17 on: 25 Jun 2018, 12:39 »
I must admit that I have tried playing the game just now and was the same loss the panel reviewer found themself at even though I knew there is supposed to be a verbcoin.

It took me quite some time before discovering that holding down the left-mouse-button for a second or so makes the interface pop up. Aren't verb-coins supposed to just pop up straight away if you click over an interactable? Why the pause before it pops up? This just makes an already clunky interface more annoying to use each time.

You should at least probably update the download page with control instructions, and the read-me too if possible.

I feel that very few players are going to discover this interface on their own and will just assume the game is broken, as the reviewer did.