2013 Reviewing

The reviewing process starts now, and ends on June 5th. In that time you will need to review four assigned games and recommend one that you think deserves a shot as a finalist.

Which Games Should I Review?

Chefs are semi-randomly assigned four games to review as follows. To find your assignments, check this Google Doc (submitted by Thought Check Games). You can access the games in this comments list.

Review each of your assigned four games and submit your review before June 5th. The sooner, the better!

If you feel unable to review a particular game (because it isn’t accessible for you, or the content is triggering, etc), you can arrange to swap that review with a fellow chef, on a 1-for-1 basis.

Thought Check Games’ google doc does the helpful work of sorting out all the judging assignments based on these instructions I provided:

  • Starting with your entry, count down the list +1, +3, +6, and +10. If you read the end of the list, scroll up to the top and continue counting. These are the games you will review.
  • For example: your game is entry 43, near the end of the list. You are responsible for reviewing entries 44, 46, 49, and… you reached the end of the list, scrolled to the top, and continued counting until you ended on entry 4.

How Should I Review My Assigned Games?

Read each game in a cooperative spirit, looking for ways to support and challenge the author. Provide at least two short paragraphs of feedback on each: a paragraph on what was most compelling and awesome, and a paragraph on areas that need improvement and revision. You can write more, but let that two-paragraph structure form the foundation of your review.

Try to avoid reading the other reviewer’s comments on the game. Focus on your own insights.

Where Should I Post My Thoughts?

Each entry provides a contact method for sharing your review with the author(s). Contact them by their preferred method, and start that dialogue! You’re not obligated to stick around and continue the discussion, but it’s sometimes really helpful to do so.

How Should I Pick One to Recommend?

Please do not indicate in your reviews which game you are recommending as a potential winner! Honestly, the business of winning should not get in the way of providing helpful feedback and support to your fellow chefs.
Instead, please fill out the form below to submit your recommendation, picking 1 of the 4 games you reviewed to be a potential winner of Game Chef 2012.

When picking an overall winner, you determine your own metrics. Consider some of the following:

  • Are you excited to play this game right now?
Do you feel able to play this game right now?
  • How well did the designer use the theme and ingredients?
  • How brave was the designer in attempting this game?
  • How compelling and innovative are the mechanics?

Your selection will be anonymous unless you decide to announce it. Additionally I’m not planning on announcing the number of votes each game receives, since I suspect that would be a distraction from the more specific comments each game accrued in the reviewing process and simply appreciating everything the participating chefs have accomplished.

What If I Can’t Finish by June 5th?

Please let us know as soon as possible, since there are a number of former Game Chef participants and friends of Game Chef who might be able to step in and help out with reviewing.

And Then What?

Send out your peer reviews and submit your finalist recommendation, and you’ll be rewarded handsomely with a badge to denote your completion of Game Chef 2013. Badge is a small jpeg image with no value other than the pride and meaning you imbue it with.


26 responses to “2013 Reviewing

  • PiHalbe

    This procedure means that the valid range of scores in the first round is 0…4, probably with a heavy weight on 1.

    So, will you be reviewing all games with a 4 (or if there are not enough, all games with a 3 as well)?

    I am just confused because the numeric space is so small and results might be really granular.

    Anyway, thanks for doing this!

    • joemcdaldno

      Thanks for asking, PiHalbe.

      This is the same system used last year (and I believe the year before as well). It’s worked well then!

      We’re going to include all the 4-Recommendation games and 3-Recommendation games as finalists. If the pool is smaller than five, we’re probably also going to include all the 2-Recommendation games – it’s a matter of looking at the spread and deciding where the logical cut-off point is.

  • Thought Check Games

    Hey, I threw together a Google Spreadsheet to make it a little easier to track reviewing assignments. Enjoy! https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AvPkZzQ522OZdHJVWDJXVkZldGxGcEI4eWlEa0xaeHc&usp=sharing

  • rsid

    Hey, I don’t see an email address/link to leave reviews at for Larry Bierworth’s game Heart and Feather. Larry, you can leave contact info in a reply to this comment if you like.

  • Steve

    I’ve just noticed that TheBoyd, author of The Spy (Game 10) didn’t leave a method for me to contact him. I’m working on the review of his game right now and would love to get in contact.

  • joemcdaldno

    (I’m deleting comments when they are resolved + don’t seem relevant any longer. Just trying to keep the page tidy.)

  • pihalbePiHalbe

    I just noticed that the font in the PDF is broken. I used a default (Linux) font and it did not get included in the PDF. Which breaks the file on Windows machines.

    I have an updated file which I would like to replace the old one, including the correct font.

    Are these technical-only updates ok or a no-go?

  • David Berg

    Game Chef 2013 best Reviews

    This link goes to a spreadsheet where GC2013 participants can express their appreciation for good reviews!

    I’ve instructed chefs to vote for only the most helpful review they received. This is just to avoid the situation where (a) someone feels bad about being the only reviewer a given chef did not vote for, or (b) a chef votes for everyone in order to avoid that.

    That said, I’d advise chefs to be somewhat flexible about this. If you received two fantastic reviews and can’t pick one over the other, vote for both. If you didn’t receive anything helpful, don’t vote for anyone.

    A “vote” is actually a simple tally mark next to a reviewer’s name. The more tally marks you get, the more people particularly dug your reviews.

    The purpose of this is mainly to show some appreciation for helpful reviewing. I think it’s a big part of Game Chef, and deserves some love.

  • Brianna Sheldon (@briecs)

    What do I do if I don’t have a Praxis account but that’s the only option given for feedback? I’m not sure how long it takes to get approved, and I didn’t realize you needed one to participate.

  • Todd Zircher

    Just curious about the badge thing, were there badges for 2011 and 2012? If not, could you make some? :-)

    Seriously, I’d love to post those on my web site/blog.


  • Nathan Harrison (@emoglasses)

    What steps should we take if one set of feedback hasn’t been received yet? Are reviews due by the arrival of June 5th, or its end? Or is it actually June 7th, as the Submissions sub-page states?

    • joemcdaldno

      End of June 5th. That 7th is a typo. Oops!

      If you haven’t received one of your sets of feedback, you can gently nudge the person – but they do still have a day to get it to you.

      We’ve got about 60 of the 92 finalist recommendations submitted so far. Doing well.

      • Josh Porter

        I also have not received one of my reviews, but the missing review is from a participant with no contact info. Do you have a way of getting in touch with the chefs that is unavailable to the general populus, Mr. Mcdaldno?

      • joemcdaldno

        Josh, who is it? I am generally good at tracking people down.

      • Josh Porter

        It’s Contestant #10: TheBoyd, author of The Spy. I can’t find a way to contact him.

      • joemcdaldno

        Josh, I’ve already addressed TheBoyd in these comments. There’s a Praxis thread for giving him feedback. Scroll up for the URL.

      • Josh Porter

        Well, duh! I guess I did not look hard enough.

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