Synopsis - what to aim for?

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Gunness
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Re: Synopsis - what to aim for?

#16 Post by Gunness » Fri Sep 17, 2010 8:57 pm

Actually, some other kind-hearted admin uploaded it in the end, so I'm completely innocent ;)

I did negotiate a bit back and forth with Mark, who wrote it, but he seemed fairly happy with it in its current form.

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Re: Synopsis - what to aim for?

#17 Post by dave » Fri Sep 17, 2010 9:35 pm

Erm, that was me - it was partially so that I could see what the review page would look like in its final form and whether I needed to make any changes to it...

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Re: Synopsis - what to aim for?

#18 Post by Gunness » Fri Sep 17, 2010 9:50 pm

Don't worry, I'll only hold it against you and your family for the next seven generations. Give or take :)

Seriously, though, it was a start. I have to finish up my own reviews and hopefully this could persuade more people to join in the fun.

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Re: Synopsis - what to aim for?

#19 Post by Mark » Mon Sep 20, 2010 7:07 am

Hehe... you guys are of course right - the review is rather short. But honestly, I didn't want to write much more about the game. At least not here on this site. Not that it were a bad game - quite to the contrary. It is absolutely awesome. But it isn't a text adventure game. So I decided to give the kind of information important for hardcore adventure gamers; and that is "Hands off it" :wink:

As a matter of fact, I was pretty sure that my first review attempt would drown in a large number of other submissions very soon, submissions for real text adventures, hehe... I suggest you guys write some reviews yourself, and then we have many more examples to discuss :wink:

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Re: Synopsis - what to aim for?

#20 Post by Gunness » Mon Sep 20, 2010 8:44 am

Mark wrote:As a matter of fact, I was pretty sure that my first review attempt would drown in a large number of other submissions very soon, submissions for real text adventures, hehe... I suggest you guys write some reviews yourself, and then we have many more examples to discuss :wink:
Hehe, yeah, you're absolutely right - and I'm still grateful for your contribution, Mark! In the midst of a gazillion other tasks, I'll try to write up a couple of reviews :)

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Re: Synopsis - what to aim for?

#21 Post by Mr Creosote » Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:04 am

Mark: Hope you didn't misunderstand me - I do think your review is a perfectly ok review. What I wanted to point out using it as an example is that Jacob mustn't succumb to double standards: on the one hand, approving short reviews, but on the other hand, pretending in this discussions there are unspoken minimum standards for what constitutes a review on CASA.

Jacob: http://solutionarchive.com/game/id,1298/ - this is the type of 'synopsis' I object to. Everything after the first half of the first sentence is your opinion. What would you do if I submitted this 'corrected' synopsis:
Explore a haunted abbey filled with various monsters - and a multitude of appropriate, witty jokes and logical puzzles. Death is usually foreseeable and avoidable.

The puzzles are really ingenious: For instance, at one point you have to wear a gas mask in order to survive popping a lot of balloons, one of which contains a key for a safe. This is because the balloons are filled with a poisonous gas.
Would you approve it? How would you decide which is the more appropriate synopsis? Putting any such sentiments in comments, there is no problem, because we could both enter these contradictory views. Not so using the synopsis field.

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Re: Synopsis - what to aim for?

#22 Post by Gunness » Mon Sep 20, 2010 11:48 am

Mr Creosote wrote:Jacob mustn't succumb to double standards: on the one hand, approving short reviews, but on the other hand, pretending in this discussions there are unspoken minimum standards for what constitutes a review on CASA.
I don't think that's entirely fair. As I wrote earlier:
the single review currently available isn't exactly what I had in mind. It's much too brief.
I'm merely saying that personally I would have preferred something longer. But Mark has given his reasons and I'm fine with that. My quip about not approving it was followed by a smiley, to indicate that it was intended as a light-hearted remark.

In general, my own personal taste would be towards something with a fairly extensive main review, backed by comments for the various categories (just as Mark has done). But there are no strict rules, per se. In extreme cases, where the review is only three lines long with some scores on top, I reserve the right to suggest some additional text.
Mr Creosote wrote:Would you approve it? How would you decide which is the more appropriate synopsis? Putting any such sentiments in comments, there is no problem, because we could both enter these contradictory views. Not so using the synopsis field.
Fair enough - bad synopsis; my personal opinion is too visible here, and I'll tone down the synopsis accordingly. But I still believe there is room for a few personal comments, such as the multitude of sudden death situations and I'll gladly approve of something which I do not entirely agree with.
Of course, the comment field is open to all.

One of my key aims with CASA has been to create a site fueled by knowledge and enthusiasm (and I think everybody's doing a terrific job of fulfulling that aim). In part this is to distance ourselves from the multitude of sites that merely copy the same information from each other over and over again. That carries over to my preferences in synopsises. As the site is being developed as a mutual effort, my personal opinion isn't necessarily what's best for the site, and that's why I keep inviting other users to speak their mind.

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Re: Synopsis - what to aim for?

#23 Post by Mr Creosote » Mon Sep 20, 2010 2:05 pm

If there's one thing I'm not, it's fair ;)

I agree with your sentiment about providing original contents instead of reproducing existing stuff. Earlier (in another discussion), you said there isn't much information about most of these classic games available at all. That's perfectly true. Even a blurb type synopsis would be new information in most cases.

So, if you're able to provide a personal perspective, great! If you can't, there's no reason to feel bad about the synopsis 'just' being a blurb.

As for what constitutes a review (or a good review), I think I've made my opinion on that matter quite clear over the years by action instead of discussion ;) There were a decent number of reviews on the old CASA, too - what happened to them?

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Re: Synopsis - what to aim for?

#24 Post by Gunness » Mon Sep 20, 2010 2:29 pm

Mr Creosote wrote:If there's one thing I'm not, it's fair ;)
Fair (!) enough. At times it can be difficult to tell how to judge remarks made in writing ;)
Mr Creosote wrote:So, if you're able to provide a personal perspective, great! If you can't, there's no reason to feel bad about the synopsis 'just' being a blurb.
I couldn't have put it better myself. Whatever my preferences, something is a whole lot better than nothing, and I can only urge everybody to add whatever information they can come up with.
Mr Creosote wrote:There were a decent number of reviews on the old CASA, too - what happened to them?
Egads! Gadzooks! They're coming, whenever I can find the time to update them. I really need a week off, with no job, kids or other obligations, if I'm ever going to catch up ;)

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Re: Synopsis - what to aim for?

#25 Post by Mark » Thu Sep 23, 2010 8:10 am

Mr Creosote wrote:Mark: Hope you didn't misunderstand me
Just for the records - no offense taken whatsoever, no worries there.

:thumb:

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