A lot of people have questions about the file reviews at this site, and I don't know why. They are pretty straight forward if you ask me. Anyways, for those people who find these confusing, here is an explanation of a lot of the questions/comments people have made.
Explanation of the scoring system
The scoring system used on the reviews on this site is pretty simple. The reviewer gives each category that is reviewed a score from one to five stars (five being the best). These ratings are not derived with any special ruberic or system. They are just the reviewer's personal feelings about that category of the program. Ratings are generally made in comparison to other QBASIC programs rather than new commercial games. Please take into concideration that different reviewers have different tastes, and some reviewers are harder raters than others.
Below is a lil' ol' graph explaining the rating system.
|75% - 100%||This program is great! It's a good example of what QB can do, and deserves a download. The files with a score of 90 or above are definitely 'must downloads'!|
|50% - 75%||This program has a lot going for it, and it's not so bad. It just had something go horribly wrong, or was just low-scoring overall.|
|25% - 50%||This program is bad. Programs in this range were usually programmed by newbies, and need A LOT of work.|
|0% - 25%||The words "Pure Unadulterated Crap" come to mind.|
Explanation of the fields and how they work.
Fields are a nice, clean, easy way to review files. In each review, the reviewer essentially reviews the five main features of the game, and then takes an average. Each field is given a rating of from 0 to 5 stars (5 being the best.) An explanation of the good and bad points of that field in the program is given with the rating. The fields vary from program to program, because some fields are more important to different genres. (The reviewer chooses these five categories.) The final category will always be "Overall Impression", which is the reviewer's personal opinion of the game. Then the stars awarded to the program are added up, and this number is divided by the maximum number of stars overall. A percentage score is given to the program based on that equation. When a field's score is "N/A", the reviewer felt that it was important to stress that the program did not have any of that field incorporated in it. Instead of giving the field a 0, it is given a N/A. This is so that the program does not
lose a lot of points because of something not being incorporated in the finished product. The N/As are disregarded when the final score of the program is tallied up.
This system is pretty simple, and is easy to understand. It also gives a pretty accurate idea of how good a program is if done right.
Why does it take you so long to review files?
A lot of people ask me why I haven't gotten around to reviewing their files yet, or resubmit them. This isn't necessary, because if you submitted something, I have it but haven't gotten around to reviewing it yet. As you are reading this, there are probably about 100 files that have been submitted but not reviewed yet. I'd like to review them all and put up the reviews, but reviews are hard to write. It takes me about 1 to 2 hours to open up a program, play it and evaluate it, get screenshots and write the review. Writing reviews is usally boring and is more like doing homework than anything else.
Another reason why reviews take a long time is because there is no will to review them unless they are fun to play. I'll explain -- most people enjoy playing games more than utilities and graphics examples. I prefer them too, so they usually get reviewed sooner than other genres. Also, better games generally get reviewed before worse ones, because they look more exciting. I actually want to try good games with good gameplay. Last but not least, I review programs with names closer to the front of the alphabet than the end, simply because their review directories are listed sooner than the ones at the end of the alphabet.
Anyways, reviews are time consuming, and not fun to do, so if you're not prepared to wait, don't submit.
How do I submit files to be reviewed?
Simple. All you have to do is take the file that you want to submit and attach it (or give me the URL) to an email that you send to firstname.lastname@example.org. In the email, all you have to tell me is the name that you want me to say the file is by. (If none is given, I take the name of the person whose email address sent it.) Either in the title of the email or in the body, tell me that it is a file you want reviewed. Simple enough. If you think that you should/want to give any more info on the program, just put it in the body of the email. When I receive the file, I will reply to tell you that I have received the file. That isn't that hard, is it?
**Please note that when you submit a file for review, you are also giving this site permission to post the file for free distribution over the internet.**
Example: The example email layout you send me should be something like this. Of course, tell me anything you want in the email about my site or the file, or whatever else you want to tell me. (Don't make this sample email keep you from telling me what I need to know to help me review the file.)
From: Peter Berg (email@example.com)|
Subject: File submission
Here is a copy of my game, "Caterpillar Land". Please review it for me.
The controls for this game are: The Arrow keys move your caterpillar around the screen. Space shoots string, and enter makes you jump. The rest is just like any other platform game.
This file is by Peter Berg.
How do I review file for this site?
You want to review a file for this site? It's very simple. All you have to do is pick a file you want to review, then go to this page and read the instructions listed under "Reviews". It's pretty simple. If you have questions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you want to review a file for this site but don't have a file to review? Just email me and tell me that you would like to review a file, and I'll hook you up with one. The file that I give you will probably be a game, because they're easier to review, and more fun. Please review files for this site, because it's hard reviewing all the files by myself.
Why are there two reviews of some files?
Everyone has a different opinion of something, and everyone likes different things. A game may be crap to one person, and awesome to another person. Some people review harder than others. Some people notice different parts of games and find them more important than what another person sees. At any rate, everyone has an opinion, and having two opinions is better than having one. Below, I demonstrate how people can have drastically different opinions on a game.
Why the screenshots?
A picture is worth 1000 words, and if you can see what the graphics and screen looks like in a program before you download it, you'll know what you're in for. Of course, pictures can lie also, because games can look great when they're stopped, but can be very ugly and choppy, and horrible over all. Anyways, if you see and have described what you're in for before you download it, you're less likely to be dissapointed by the program.
How do you capture those screenshots?
A lot of people ask me this. Capturing screenshots isn't very hard, it's just a feature of Windows that many people have never discovered, and it's pretty handy if you're a programmer. The way I capture screenshots is by running the program and simply pressing the 'Print Screen' button on my keyboard. This automatically copies the screen onto the Windows clipboard (you must be running Windows to do this). Then you can paste it in any ol' graphics editor and do your worst. Here are some tips to improve the quality of your screenshots:
- When you take screenshots of DOS programs, it usually looks bet to have them in full screen mode instead of a MS-DOS window. Pressing alt+enter makes the DOS window take up the full screen.
- If you only want to take a shot of the current (highlighted) window, hold down alt when you press print screen. This will copy an image of only the current window onto the clipboard.
- If the program is text-only, and you're running it in full screen DOS mode, instead of copying the screen as graphics, the screen is copied as text. In cases like this, capture the current window. You can crop off the Window if you want. This may make the text a bit distorted, though.
- To take more than one snapshot without having to run the program multiple times, use the Windows buttons on your keyboard to go back and forth, or press alt+enter to do this. Paste the image, and then go back to the DOS window for another screenshot. Note: In order for DOS to be able to start the program up again where it left off, it must be in a lower resolution, or a text resolution. Windows can not restore 640*480 or higher resolution MS-DOS windows.
- Always decrease the color depth in screenshots to the lowest amount of colors possible without losing quality. It's also generally a smart idea to resize pictures to their actual pixel size.
- You should always save QB screenshots as .gifs or similar formats. BMP files are good because no quality is lost when you save the file, but they also take up a ton of space. JPEGs aren't good because they blur pixels together, and make the picture look bad. Besides, they take up more space than .GIFs. You're aiming for the best quality for as little space as possible. (Usually.)
Why are the scores so high?
That's a good question. I guess it's because I'm too nice. Sometimes my ratings are based on effort rather than actually how good it is. Sometimes I add a point or two to the rating so that the score is more like what I think it's worth. That's because I'm an easy reviewer. If you submitted your first newbie program for review, you better hope that an easy reviewer like me reviews it.
On the other hand, there are people that really criticize the programs and rate the games lower than I do. It's perfectly fine to be a harder reviewer. It's the reviewer's opinion. Sometimes I (or you) may not agree with the opinion, but that's just the way it goes.
What's up with that "FAV" icon? ()
This icon: is a little icon that I put by the link to reviews of games that I reccomend that you get. A lot of games are reviewed (I usually review games that I like -- that's why there are a lot of FAVs there). Those games are ones that deserve a download. The ones without a FAV icon can be good too, but it just means that I didn't really like the program that much.
All files here are here by the author's permission, either direct permission, or by permission through read me files, his/her site, etc. The review on this site are meant to give an accurate description of what a file does before a person downloads it. Any damage that these files do to your computer is neither Pete's QBASIC Site's fault or the fault of the person(s) who made the program. None of these files are meant to hurt your computer, but if one does, don't blame us.
Ever notice how disclaimers are always in italics? :)