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Profile for Mission_316
Name:  Mission_316
Forum posts:  600 (0.12 per day) (View)
Forum threads:  14 (42.86 posts per thread)
Since:  (registered for 14 years and 9 days)
Last post:  , in Ghost In The Machine. (General Discussion)
Last activity:  (11 years, 3 months and 9 days ago)
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Submissions:  1 (View)
Location: The Good Ship Lollipop
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User Bio

It's been a long time since I've been here, but it's good to be back. I'll be in and out over the next few months, and then in May, I'm done with school! Woot. At that point I'll make a legit bio, but until then - no.

Just in case anyone is curious how I review, this is my algorithm. Actually, "algorithm" is a horrible word. It's still subjective.

Anyway, there are 7 basic categories: Story, Overworld, Level Design, Graphics, Music/Sound, Programming, and Fun. Each has a different amount of points to be gathered, but the max score for each is 10.

How does that work, you ask? Here's how. Let's use Level Design as an example.

Level Design:
X/Y points, for a score of Z

Y is the maximum amount of points to be scored. X is how many I actually give the hack. Z is then the score out of 10. However, Z may not be a mathematical interpretation of X/Y. In some cases, like 9/10 for x/y, I might give a score of 5 for Z. Why is this?

Simply, the fractional number is the objective point measurement. The Y number is a list of various things that a hack should have or avoid. Each guideline followed (like "no bad pallets" or "good difficulty curve") gets a point for X. So for a score of 15/18, for example, it indicates that the hack misses 3 particular things, each of which I'll mention in the review.

The Z number is entirely subjective. If you miss 1 point, you might not lose anything and still get a 10 for Z. Or you might get a 5. It depends on how substantial the missing element is. (Occasional annoying levels won't lose you points, but bad level exits can cost you.)

That said, here's a further breakdown:

Story - 7 points max.

If there's no story, I skip the section and give it N/A. But if there is a story and it isn't original, I give a score of 0 no matter what.

1 point is awarded for each of the following:
Original Story
Unimpeded Story (it doesn't get sidetracked)
Integrated Story (it doesn't stop the flow of the game)
Story has a beginning,
a middle,
and an end (so 3 points for all)
Complete lack of grammatical errors

Overworld - 9 points max.

If the hack is a demo with no original overworld, I skip this section and give N/A. Otherwise, a non-original overworld gives a score of 0.

1 point is awarded for each of the following:
No bad tiles
No bad pallets
Good pallets
Interesting layout
No glitches
Good use of exit tiles
Events work correctly
Good level names

Level Design - 10 + (no. of levels) points max

1 point is awarded for each of the following:

Thematic consistency within levels
Thematic consistency within worlds
Thematic consistency within hack
Logical progression throughout game
Well-designed difficulty curve
Nothing too easy
Nothing too hard
Variety from level to level
No levels too long
No levels too short

In addition, 1 point is awarded for each level if I think it is well-designed.

GFX - number of points max depends on if the hack is vanilla or chocolate

With no ExGFX, 5 points are possible:
No bad pallets
No cutoff
No incorrect tiles
No garbage tiles
Entrance points set correctly

If any changes are made, the appropriate points are possible:
Good custom pallets
Thematic consistency
Creative use
Custom GFX well-designed

Music - number of points max depends on if the hack is vanilla or chocolate

With no custom music, 2 points are possible:
Fits level

If any changes are made, the appropriate points are possible:
Ports sound enough like original
Good instrument choices
Good length
Volumes correct
Rhythms correct
Interesting to listen to

Programming - number of points max depends on if the hack is vanilla or chocolate

With no custom anything, there are 4 points possible:
Reasonable lack of slowdown
No crashes
No bad level exits
No sprite disappearance!

If any changes are made, the appropriate points are possible:
All blocks work
All sprites work
All ASM patches work

If you get all possible points in a category, you get a 10. But depending on the point you lose, your score can drop by varying degrees. The point system is simply so you (and I) can find exactly what is done right and what is done wrong.
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