Saturday, July 4, 2015

My criteria for reviewing Game Chef games


I have a simple structure for reviewing Game Chef games,

First, I record my stream-of-consciousness, reading-it-for-the-first-time impressions.

During that first read, I take notes and divide them into sections that match Edward De Bono's Six Hats process:

    • Structural thoughts: What do I think the designer's 'vision of play' is? What will a session of the game look and feel like when the game is working perfectly?
    • Information: What don't I know? What do I have questions about?
    • Feelings: I tend to find I write this section last, as it ve synthesises my other thoughts.
    • Insights or Ideas: What would I like to see next from this game? What would I suggest in order to achieve the vision of play?
    • Positives: What is the game doing that I find fun, worthy, well-executed, interesting, or unique?
  • Issues: Is there anything that I'm unsure about? Perhaps I don't think it fits with the game or that it won't work.

How does it apply the theme: A Different Audience?

What ingredients are used? How effectively are they integrated into the game? Personally, I don't give this much weight: I see the benefit of Game Chef as encouraging people to write a game. Sticking too closely to the ingredients may inhibit developing the game further.

Finally:

Am I inspired to run the game? Is there anything missing that I need in order to feel like I can run it? If I don't want to run it, is that because I'm not the target audience for the designer's vision of play, or is there another reason?

I then take a few hours break from the game. I let it settle, before coming back to it.