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The Game Developer's Showcase

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The Game Developer's Showcase holds a very special place in my heart because it's predecessor, then named the Game Programming Workshop, is one of the main reasons I got to be where I am today. I am gladdened that it is getting its much needed revamping.

But the GDS doesn't work properly without YOU. Games need reviews, or else how can the authors possibly hope to improve their craft. The basic idea is that you download the game, you play the game, and then you review the game, much the same as when you buy a book. The comments serve an important purpose, they let an author know what makes a game good or what could make it better.

I've put some of my own games up in the GDS. They are old, completed, and will not be improved upon(although there is always the possibility of them getting redone), so comments are less important(except for the people whose lives I ruined with JetLag--you know who you are--its always nice to hear from people you addicted to your game). But new games will be coming to the GDS soon. I may even make standalone exes of one of my flash games once I get FSP.

If you are one of the people who have a hard time writing a review, here's the skeletal structure/guidelines of what a proper review contains:

1: Specify why you decided to download it, how long you played it for, and if you are generally a fan of this type of game.

2: Give a general impression of the game's design, play, and presentation. This is sometimes tricky, because you cannot judge a novice developer in the same way you judge a seasoned developer. The expectations are different based on experience of the developer, naturally. You can, however, talk about what your expectations were and where the developer fell short or exceeded them, and why you think so.

3: If you enjoyed the game, tell why. If you did not enjoy the game, tell why. If your review is mixed, tell about both.

4: A lot of problems are avoided by two magical words: "I think". Compare "This game sucks." to "I think this game sucks." to see why.

5: Many people confuse "constructive criticism" with "positive criticism", but constructive has nothing to do with positive or negative. It's a completely different scale. Constructive criticism is helpful. Neither "This game rules!" nor "This game sucks!" is constructive, as they do not help the developer.
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