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Subject: Is a reviewer's video compulsory ? rss

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David-Sean THOMAS
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Hello,

I am soon going to launch a KS campaign and I would like to have your opinion.
It seems that a lot of KS projects have a video made by a "professional" reviewer.
Is it supposed to give some credibility to the game ?
If the main point is to present the game and its mecanisms, can I do a video myself without asking a reviewer to do one ?
Is it unthinkable to support a project which has only the rules in pdf and not in video ?

Thank you a lot for your answers,

Best regards,

David-Sean
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Bryan Thunkd
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VictoHugo wrote:
Is it supposed to give some credibility to the game ?
Perhaps, but it also gives the game visibility. If you can get a professional reviewer with a following to review your game, it'll get seen by a lot of people.

VictoHugo wrote:
If the main point is to present the game and its mecanisms, can I do a video myself without asking a reviewer to do one ?
You can. It's probably a little harder than you think. You lose the exposure you'd get from a professional reviewer. And obviously no one will expect any criticism of the game from you, so when you present it as a fun great game, it's not as credible as when a professional reviewer makes the same claim.

VictoHugo wrote:
Is it unthinkable to support a project which has only the rules in pdf and not in video ?
No. But showing people enough of the game in video for them to get a feel for it will go a long way to selling (or dooming) your game.
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My totally unsolicited advice FWIW is to get a variety of reviews, both print and video. Admittedly I'm a Golden Reviewer but I know nothing about your game. What you what are reviewers who are fair and thorough and who approach things from a particular point of view. For example, I'm a strategy and tactics guy. Of course that means that the deeper your game is, the long a thorough review by me takes. There's a list of Golden Reviewers.
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Michele Nicastro
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-a KS without a review for me gives the message that the game is either unfinished and untested, a scam or just bad.

-The main point of a review is not to present the game and its mechanisms (do a video yourself for it), but to show a game, give an external opinion about it and convince possible bakers who are on the line (or didn't know the game yet).

-it is not unthinkable, if there are enough pictures to the actual game. it is unthinkable for me to support a game without any review tho (video or written it doesn't matter)


If you think that a review is a waste of time (or a waste of money) i would suggest you to try launching your KS, if you are right it will work, if you are wrong you will learn from it
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Written (not video) reviews by multiple regular folks who have thoroughly playtested a game would carry more weight with me than reviews by a "pro reviewer". JMO.
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Harry Jacobs
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Couple of things that has typically gotten my money,

1. Yes Video review or play through is handy, really helps create some excitement in a game.

2. Rules are nice, but find someone to bring the KS to TableTop Simulator, typically the games I have backed are games I have played on TTS, so rules posting would be mandatory, but having a prototype on TTS has not deterred me from spending my money. The three games I have backed to date all had TTS workshop versions.

Good Luck
 
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Yep, just package your game with some cash and send it to Undead Viking or Man vs. Meeple or any of the other exclusively Kick reviewers who allegedly only review games they enjoy. They'll rave about it like your game is the second coming of Christ and I'm sure they'll convince a few people.

Honest answer: I really don't think it's that important. What really matters is getting videos of people playing the game.
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Paul C
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If the creators appear on video to present and play through their creation, that should give me enough information to form my own opinion of the game, without needing to involve someone who makes money from criticising other people's work.
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David-Sean THOMAS
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Thank you all for your answers, there's a lot to think about. I'll try to do the best KS possible, with or without a "professional" reviewer !

lucky henry wrote:

Written (not video) reviews by multiple regular folks who have thoroughly playtested a game would carry more weight with me than reviews by a "pro reviewer". JMO.


Interessing, would you recommend me one of these reviewers ?


yenkin2001 wrote:
Couple of things that has typically gotten my money,

1. Yes Video review or play through is handy, really helps create some excitement in a game.

2. Rules are nice, but find someone to bring the KS to TableTop Simulator, typically the games I have backed are games I have played on TTS, so rules posting would be mandatory, but having a prototype on TTS has not deterred me from spending my money. The three games I have backed to date all had TTS workshop versions.

Good Luck


Thank you, I'm going to look for this TTS
 
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Matt Brown
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VictoHugo wrote:
It seems that a lot of KS projects have a video made by a "professional" reviewer.
Is it supposed to give some credibility to the game ?
If the main point is to present the game and its mecanisms, can I do a video myself without asking a reviewer to do one ?
Is it unthinkable to support a project which has only the rules in pdf and not in video ?

Thank you a lot for your answers,

Best regards,

David-Sean


No need for quotes. If a reviewer is taking money in via KS, then they are a professional. A name reviewer is going to add credibility. It is just like an athlete sponsoring something like shoes. The benefit of having a pro reviewer do it is based on them being a pro. They do this as a job, so unless you have done this before or can pull off a top notch video at first go, they will be better at presenting the game than you will be. There's a mighty few designers or publishers who can make a video on the level of Rodney Smith. In all honesty, I'm rather ignorant of anything in print, and have no qualms of watching a video. I'm a visual learner. Having a how to play video will always be better than posting the rules in a PDF.

lucky henry wrote:

Written (not video) reviews by multiple regular folks who have thoroughly playtested a game would carry more weight with me than reviews by a "pro reviewer". JMO.


Unfortunately, the range for an audience via written reviews is much smaller than it is compared to video. Vasel did a ton of written reviews. Once he switched to video, he was done with written reviews and video content takes much longer to produce.
 
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Dave J
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VictoHugo wrote:
Hello,

I am soon going to launch a KS campaign and I would like to have your opinion.
It seems that a lot of KS projects have a video made by a "professional" reviewer.
Is it supposed to give some credibility to the game ?
If the main point is to present the game and its mecanisms, can I do a video myself without asking a reviewer to do one ?
Is it unthinkable to support a project which has only the rules in pdf and not in video ?

Thank you a lot for your answers,

Best regards,

David-Sean


I personally don't believe they add credibility.

However, the good ones are used to talking in front of a camera since that's what they do. So I prefer to watch a "pro" since they are easier to listen to. No offense to you, you may be excellent in front of the camera, however, most times this is not the case that I've seen.

For the last question, yes, I'm guessing the actual rules will change and I'm lazy so it's easier to watch a video and when there's so much competition, you should do everything you can.

Good luck.
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VictoHugo wrote:
Thank you all for your answers, there's a lot to think about. I'll try to do the best KS possible, with or without a "professional" reviewer !

lucky henry wrote:

Written (not video) reviews by multiple regular folks who have thoroughly playtested a game would carry more weight with me than reviews by a "pro reviewer". JMO.


Interessing, would you recommend me one of these reviewers ?




Whoever you had playtest the game and proofread the rules. You did have people who were not involved in the game's creation playtest and proofread, didn't you? If not...shame on you! There is no other way to reliably know if the game works as intended.
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typo360 wrote:
VictoHugo wrote:
Hello,

I am soon going to launch a KS campaign and I would like to have your opinion.
It seems that a lot of KS projects have a video made by a "professional" reviewer.
Is it supposed to give some credibility to the game ?
If the main point is to present the game and its mecanisms, can I do a video myself without asking a reviewer to do one ?
Is it unthinkable to support a project which has only the rules in pdf and not in video ?

Thank you a lot for your answers,

Best regards,

David-Sean


I personally don't believe they add credibility.

However, the good ones are used to talking in front of a camera since that's what they do. So I prefer to watch a "pro" since they are easier to listen to. No offense to you, you may be excellent in front of the camera, however, most times this is not the case that I've seen.


This is why I believe written reviews are better. No distractions with poor audio, video, mumbling, accents, etc. You get a better feel for the game instead of the presentation.
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Matt Brown
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lucky henry wrote:
typo360 wrote:
VictoHugo wrote:
Hello,

I am soon going to launch a KS campaign and I would like to have your opinion.
It seems that a lot of KS projects have a video made by a "professional" reviewer.
Is it supposed to give some credibility to the game ?
If the main point is to present the game and its mecanisms, can I do a video myself without asking a reviewer to do one ?
Is it unthinkable to support a project which has only the rules in pdf and not in video ?

Thank you a lot for your answers,

Best regards,

David-Sean


I personally don't believe they add credibility.

However, the good ones are used to talking in front of a camera since that's what they do. So I prefer to watch a "pro" since they are easier to listen to. No offense to you, you may be excellent in front of the camera, however, most times this is not the case that I've seen.


This is why I believe written reviews are better. No distractions with poor audio, video, mumbling, accents, etc. You get a better feel for the game instead of the presentation.


Pros don't put out poor video, audio, etc.
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Sam Hillier
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broken clock wrote:
Yep, just package your game with some cash and send it to Undead Viking or Man vs. Meeple or any of the other exclusively Kick reviewers who allegedly only review games they enjoy. They'll rave about it like your game is the second coming of Christ and I'm sure they'll convince a few people.

Honest answer: I really don't think it's that important. What really matters is getting videos of people playing the game.


I came here to post something similar, and equally cynical.

Personally, I ignore videos from Undead Viking and Man vs. Meeple in a KS campaign. Both are long, prattling, raving "reviews" that don't actually say much of substance. But you'll get to see some pretty component shots, and hear about how this is one of the best games of the year.

At least rahdo does a runthrough so you can see what it plays like, and in his final thoughts he'll actually discuss mechanisms to enough of an extent that you can usually judge if you'd like it or not (and you can do this independent of what he personally thinks).
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matthean wrote:
lucky henry wrote:
typo360 wrote:
VictoHugo wrote:
Hello,

I am soon going to launch a KS campaign and I would like to have your opinion.
It seems that a lot of KS projects have a video made by a "professional" reviewer.
Is it supposed to give some credibility to the game ?
If the main point is to present the game and its mecanisms, can I do a video myself without asking a reviewer to do one ?
Is it unthinkable to support a project which has only the rules in pdf and not in video ?

Thank you a lot for your answers,

Best regards,

David-Sean


I personally don't believe they add credibility.

However, the good ones are used to talking in front of a camera since that's what they do. So I prefer to watch a "pro" since they are easier to listen to. No offense to you, you may be excellent in front of the camera, however, most times this is not the case that I've seen.


This is why I believe written reviews are better. No distractions with poor audio, video, mumbling, accents, etc. You get a better feel for the game instead of the presentation.


Pros don't put out poor video, audio, etc.


I suppose that's in the eye and ear of the beholder. I've been distracted by too many "uhms" and beginning each sentence with "so" among other things. And yes, these were by pro reviewers.
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Not having professional reviewers? I assume that you are really amateur and working on a small budget. Nothing wrong with that, since it is Kickstarter.

Not having videos at all? I am skipping your project. I can get more information in less time if I get both auditory and visual representations of how the game works. A good video should walk me through what I will be doing in the game, what decisions I will need to make each turn, and what sort of thought will go into the decision.

A rule book is not a very good substitute. Not only is it slower to read than to watch, but also, the information that you are providing should be different. A good rule book should present the game in enough detail that I can always understand what will happen in every game state. A good video should only show me what the typical flow of the game is.

Also, most Kickstarter project creators are not great technical writers, so having a gameplay video will often help me understand the game enough that I will only need the rules to fill in the details and corner cases.

Which reviewers would I recommend? Rahdo and Watch It Played. I have bought clunkers that Undead Viking praised (though he was careful to never actually say that he liked the game).
 
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Thunkd wrote:
VictoHugo wrote:
If the main point is to present the game and its mecanisms, can I do a video myself without asking a reviewer to do one ?
You can. It's probably a little harder than you think.
Possibly even a lot harder - I have seen a fair number of self made playthroughs on Kickstarters with terrible sound quality and frequent glossing over text on cards or other fine details of play.

The more effort it takes for me to determine if I might like the game or not, the less likely I am to get it.
 
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David-Sean THOMAS
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Ok thank you all, I hope that one of them will accept to make a review (some of them already answered to me and I was quite surprised to see such high prices but that's how it works I suppose).

I've put so much energy in my game that it would be very disapointing to fail just because of this (I know that Radho only review specific games for exemple).
 
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KS reviews aren't worth the paper they're written on (or in this case the bites they're put on?).

I never put any stock in "professional" reviews on KS because they almost never have any criticism of the game... They're more often than not glorified ads.
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VictoHugo wrote:
Ok thank you all, I hope that one of them will accept to make a review (some of them already answered to me and I was quite surprised to see such high prices but that's how it works I suppose).

I've put so much energy in my game that it would be very disapointing to fail just because of this (I know that Radho only review specific games for exemple).


Rahdo and Undead Vikings only review games they like. If they don't like the game, they won't say anything bad about it: they'll simply not review it.

Avoid Undead Viking, as they're not many good things floating around about him and it would probably not help sell the game.

I don't care about video/written reviews myself because I always think about the amounts of cash that go behind the scenes so that people say what you want them to say.

But an objective runtrhough is something I'd be looking for in a campaign page
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I own very few games that I have not either tried before purchasing or watched being played.

People are different, some like the "approval" of celebrities (or perhaps they lack personal identity sufficient to make their own choices...) others know what they like and just want to be able to evaluate an opportunity.

For me, a KS absolutely MUST have a recorded playthrough for me to watch. Ideally one that is not restricted to an introduction game. I want to see HOW a game plays before I throw my money at it. Try-once games are fine and can be fun now and then, but I do those at a gaming cafe and they will never end up in my collection. The ones I spend money on are the ones I know I will enjoy playing, and on top of that. I also need to know that my typical co-players will want to play as well. Having a game on the shelf is not doing much good if it is a game that I cannot get anyone to play with me.

As to more standard "reviews"... I never trust pre-release reviews. These people got access to a pre-release game and somehow managed to be inspired to record a video praising it. Smells too much like a paid add if you ask me. With one exception, a "review" allows comparison with other named games in a way that an official KS video cannot do within good marketing code. Sometimes having someone put words like "cardbuilding similar to gameX" or "turn sequence like in gameX" can form a reference for the game much faster than watching a long playthrough.

Poor quality videos are a thing of the past. People expect good sound and image quality. However, you would be surprised how much you can achieve with some thinking about the setup and a smartphone on a stand. If you know your game well, and you should if you are KS'ing it, it should be no problem to record a few playtests and when you get one with a good flow, use that as playthrough promo. I would even recommend recording your play tests for private use. They are awesome measures for play length, good references for tuning rules, and so on. Plus, they can be really fun to keep around once your game has sold thousands of copies
 
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I don't really trust a KS that doesn't have a video overview.

I don't mind creator made overview videos but if a reviewer does an overview video for the most part they are playing the game via the rules that they were given. Plus a reviewer will show me what a gamer likes not what the designer likes. I've made a few games and the stuff that I really care about is usually not what the player cares about.
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I want pictures and a good deal. Don't watch videos and don't trust reviews. I'm smart enough to know if I want your game if you show me it.
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I don't care about reviews, pro or not, as a primary decision point. I much prefer to see a full play through of the game. Also I prefer to have a copy of the rules available to read through. Those are the best ways (at least for me) to get a feel for how the game will play. Best yet: a PnP of the game so I can actually build a quick-and-dirty set to play myself. It doesn't have to be pretty, or final--just close enough to get an idea of how the game will go. As a bonus for you, the creator, that gives you a bunch of additional blind playtesters.
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