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Help Wanted

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Okay, I probably ought to post this in the main forums, but I'll post it here first just to see if there are any takers.


One or two new product reviewers for www.gamedev.net. Now that our review process has grown a little more streamlined and reviews are getting out the door at a reasonable clip, we have found ourselves with more products waiting for review than reviewers to cover them. So we need some reviewers.

What I need from you:

1. Must be prompt and dependable. My policy for gamedev reviews is that we will have a review completed and ready for publication within 30 days of receipt of the product. So if I get you set up with a company to review a product, I want a good size review (see our existing reviews for a guideline. They can be longer, but not shorter than that) in a reasonable timeframe.

2. Must be literate and be able to produce a thorough and descriptive review. In the past, I've had to do very little proofreading because our existing reviewers are a fairly literate lot. I'd like to keep it that way. If your grammar-skills need a little polish, please polish them before applying.

3. Must be honest. In the past, we had a reviewer who received a couple-thousand dollars worth of graphics hardware and software, then disappeared. And it made us look really bad with a couple of important companies. If you're honest, you'll get a lot out of our review program (see below) both in tangible and intangible benefits. Honesty is the best policy here.

4. Must communicate. While you'll have pretty-much complete control over your schedule, I do need you to communicate with me (email, IM, forum, whatever) to let me know your progress.

What I can give you:

1. Products. With very few exceptions (i.e. Alienware laptops), our policy is that our reviewers receive fully licensed versions of the stuff they review. In the past that has meant everything from $25 shareware text-editors to $3000 3D graphics suites. And I don't mess around with vendors when it comes to this. The deal is, you're giving them exposure and feedback for their product on an industry-leading website, and that's worth something.

2. Freedom from the annoying technical details. All I need from you is a review with barebones HTML formatting and some screenshots/photos, and I'll do the rest. I'll take care of scheduling the article's appearance, formatting and posting it.

3. Resume credit. If you want to get your toe in the door for bigger and better media or press-related stuff, you could do worse than have a handful of well-written articles on gamedev.net.

How this works:

It's pretty simple, actually. If you're a reviewer, you'll have access to the "Reviewer's Central" forum on gamedev. This forum contains the info for any companies that have contacted us regarding reviews. If you want to review one of their products, you contact me. I'll then put you in contact with the company so that you guys can work out the details of receiving the product (snail-mail or download). Then you get the product, start writing, and post your review-draft to the aforementioned Reviewer's Central forum. If anyone has comments, we'll post 'em there. When the review's ready for publication, we publish it.

Also, we usually forward the draft review to the product company. This isn't so that they can try to sway our opinion of the product but so that they can ensure that your review covers any new features or important stuff you might have missed. For example, one company prided themselves on the quality of their phone-support, so they wanted me to anonymously call 'em up with a problem and review that.

Right now I think I'm going to give preference to people who can review programming tools over applications. Several of our queued items are things like Direct3D GUI libraries and 3D engines, and if I can get folks willing to hack together a test-app for somesuch library, that'd be more useful to me than someone willing to test out the latest drawing program.

If you think you're up to the task, email me at john@thecodezone.com. We currently have some cool stuff waiting for reviewers, like 3D engines, Direct3D GUI libraries, and the like.
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I'd be interested in giving this a shot. I'm about to be up for Christmas break and should have the time required to do something like this. If it's related to programming or programming tools I should be ok, but I wouldn't want to have to review some modelling package because I am in no shape or form an artist.

As for past experience i've written a small programming article relating to sound formats and sound APIs and conducted an interview with Pocketwatch Games for the IGF finals.

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