One of the problems with my reviews to date is its scoring system. The original polearm rating was a bit of whimsy on my part, back when I never imagined I'd write so many reviews or that so many people would read them. After nearly a year of doing them, the inadequacies of the scores is starting to become more apparent. For one, the use of a zero to five gradation, even with half-grades in between, is a lot less intuitive than it ought to be. A 0 to 10 scale probably works better, since most readers seem to get it more easily. Secondly, and more importantly, a single grade doesn't really capture all the nuances of a product. And, frankly, I'm inconsistent on how many points I knock off for the things I don't like. So, sometimes a product I like but that has lots of production errors gets off more lightly than one I don't like that has far fewer such errors. What I need is a system that takes into account these various aspects of a book.
With that in mind, starting with my next review, I'll be using the 0 to 10 scale in three categories. These categories are:
- Presentation: This category covers the physical qualities of the product (if applicable) as well as its layout, artwork, and editing.
- Creativity: This category covers the ideas and concepts presented in the product.
- Utility: This category covers how useful the product is to players of old school games.
Let me also note that I don't generally write reviews of products I dislike. Even those products I rated 3 out of 5 under my old system (the lowest scores I gave) were ones I liked, even if I had issues with them that affected their final scores. Part of it is because I'm buying the vast majority of the products I review and I'm a picky buyer. I don't generally take chances on products I don't think possess some virtues, even if only as an idea mine. Now, if that situation were to change and I were to start getting lots of freebies from publishers, I might start publishing more negative reviews (not that I like writing negative reviews). Until then, I expect my reviews to be generally positive, even if I take them as opportunities to pick nits as well.