Friday, September 2, 2011

An honest question about getting reviews

One thing I have often wondered is how many people actually read anything they find on-line that is longer than a few pages long.  Given the reluctance most players would have to reading even a two page hand-out on a games setting I have my doubts that it is a great number.  This became more central to my focus today after reading the Hill Canton's from yesterday.

So I wanted to ask a question and I am hoping to get honest answers that will hopefully be useful to all content generators looking for feedback.

What would it take to get you to read and review a setting, module or game?

Please be as descriptive as possible in the blurb about page counts etc.   Cash? Swag?  Artwork? Quid Pro Quo (you review my stuff I review yours) etc.  If so how much?  $0.10/page? etc etc.  Saying something like "I will review anything that interests me!" isn't too helpful,  what would it take then to get you to review something RPG related you didn't really have an opinion of?

Knowing what it would take to get the average RPG blog reader to not only read, but to review an item would be very useful if people are looking to get feedback (for improvements, or ego,  why doesn't matter to me for this exercise).


  1. To review a product, I either have to be enthusiastic about it, or enthusiastic about tearing it into shreds. Both can work. Otherwise, even if I read it and find it good or bad, I procrastinate and the review never gets written (or, more commonly, gets written in my head and doesn't get typed up).

    Or, as comrade A. Zhdanov had once said: "Artists, create masterworks!"

  2. So what does it take to make you enthusiastic about it/destroying it?

  3. Speaking for my personal preferences, a supplement that adds something really new, or one that does something well-tried perfectly could do the trick. For example, Stars Without Numbers is a great old-school based game that takes the classic D&D systems to space, and adds a highly refined, exploration-centric game to it. Or Anomalous Subsurface Environment, which does the D&D-Gamma World crossover thing very well, or even City Encounters, which does not cover new ground but gives a table of encounters which is just grand. It is not so much a function of physical quality or pagecount; a 10-page module made with simple DTP technology can be interesting in its own right.

  4. Outside of the internet community, reviewers are people paid by a newspaper or something else, and video game reviewers online are still that way. I figure either a review exchange or payment is the only way to really ensure you're getting a well thought-out review on time. I know at least for me my time is so precious and is given to me in such infrequent bits and pieces that without something on the other end as a viable incentive, I simply CAN'T justify taking that much time out of my day to read something and review it.

    So yeah, an exchange or 15 cents a page would get it my undivided attention and thoughtful reviews written up. 5 cents a page would get it done, but only as long as I could do it around my other time-consuming activities. But I would love to do it if it came with swag, and artwork I could use in my own products would definitely count really, really high on the list of things that are awesome and I'd love to get for doing a review.