The topic of reviews and our scoring system comes up an awful lot among the Push Square editorial team. Is an out-of-10 scale still the right way to go? Should we move to a 5-star rating? How can we make scoring games easier for our fleet of reviewers? Do we need scores at the end of our reviews at all?
It's something that's needed looking at for quite some time. Ultimately, we wanted to figure out a way of scoring games that complemented the writing process, something that had a degree of flexibility, and that we could build into the site relatively easily. Today, we're finally ready to unveil our brand new scoring system.
Introducing the Push Square review dice.
Each staff member and contributor has been issued a set of two six-sided dice, or d6s for you D&D players out there. They're in a nice blue colour to match our branding -- we think they look pretty spiffy.
Anyway, let's break down how reviews are going to pan out moving forward.
How the Dice Review System Works
It's pretty straightforward stuff. When a review code is sent to a reviewer, they will play through the game as per usual. Once they've completed the game and are able to pen an informed critique, they again do so as normal. This is where the dice come into play. After writing the review itself, the reviewer will then roll the two dice, and whatever number the roll is will become the score for the game. For example, if Sammy Barker is reviewing God of War and rolls a four and a two, God of War will be awarded a 6/10.
It then falls to the editorial staff to nip and tuck the review so that it matches the score. This will eliminate any complaints of a review reading differently to its score.
And we know what you're thinking -- what if we were to roll an 11 or 12? It's a good question, and one with a simple answer. In these cases, we'll award games an 11/10 or 12/10, in a similar fashion to that of the WeRateDogs Twitter account.
There is an alternative to the above method that our reviewers will be free to employ if necessary. If they are short of time or need to write the review in a hurry, they can roll the dice before they write anything, and this will give them a much clearer idea of the kind of review they need to write. As an example, if review code arrives late for Detroit: Become Human and the embargo is only a day or two away, the reviewer can roll the dice -- let's say they rolled a one and a two -- and focus on writing the review without needing to put in hours of playtime.
We've chosen a dice-based scoring system because it's more flexible, more unpredictable, and more fun than our old method. It adds an element of risk that, while potentially controversial, we hope most of our readers will enjoy.
How Can You Be Sure a Dice Roll is Legitimate?
All dice rolls will be verified with a member of the editorial staff to ensure there's no monkey business. To achieve this, the reviewer must perform the dice roll over a live video feed. There will be a strict rule in place prohibiting re-rolls.
What About Our Older Reviews?
It will be a big undertaking, but we plan to roll a new score for every game we've reviewed for PS4. You won't notice a difference straight away, as we'll be doing this gradually. We won't be doing the same for our PS3 and Vita reviews, as no one plays those systems any more, so there's little point.
How Will This Affect Our Readers?
You shouldn't notice much of a difference day to day. Our reviews will retain the quality you've come to expect, and the unpredictability of dice roll reviews means you can never be certain what score we'll be dishing out for each game.
Beginning next week, all reviews will be carried out using this method. We hope you enjoy the change, and we look forward to hearing your feedback over the coming months.