Tuesday 27 January 2015

New Poll: How many game posts should we schedule each week?

Since The Adventure Gamer became community-run in October, we've been playing two games at a time and posting one post a week on each game. We've also been slotting extra posts ('Missed Classics' and 'What's Your Story' posts mainly) between main game posts.

With multiple reviewers we've been able to continue writing posts at a rate that would have a single person collapse with exhaustion

Now, we're asking you, our readers, what you think of our schedule and whether we should change it. Our reviewers are dedicated and working faster than expected so we've been considering increasing our posting schedule. The options we were thinking of appear on the poll in the left hand side of The Adventure Gamer's web site. Vote now! Or read further for more information.

That's right, a new pole! [This pun was brought to you as a tribute to Spellcasting 101]

To put it simply, we're looking at doing either 2 or 3 main games at a time (we currently do 2) and 2 or 3 main game posts a week (we currently do 2).

Note that if we do 3 game posts a week we'll get through the game list quicker, but have less room for extra posts (one a week) while with 2 regular posts a week we've had either one or two extra posts in a typical week. This assumes we continue with out current maximum of 4 posts per week.

No matter what the result, we'll keep things flexible and adjust the planned schedule if it seems like a fun idea, as we did when playing The Scoop Holiday Marathon (TM).

If you don't like any of the options or have any other suggestions let us know here in the comments.

Disclaimer: The Adventure Gamer takes no responsibility for not being able to keep up with our intended schedule due to...

...alien invasion...

...ghost pirate kidnapping...

...or any other reason...


  1. Thanks for TBD for great poll introduction!

    Personally, I’d like if we wouldn’t restrict ourselves to one format, but could change it according to circumstances. If we had plenty of extra posts in line (and we seem to have plenty of eager writers producing Missed Classic -posts) and main game posts are produced more slowly, we could do two main game posts a week and more extra posts. Then, if we had plenty of main game posts in store, we could speed up their publication rate. I’d particularly like to have a chance to play more than two games at the end of each gaming year. IMO, it makes some sense that there is a clear break between games of different years (especially as there will be an “award post” at the end of each year), so it would be better to link the last game of a year with other games of the same year, instead of playing it with the first game of the next year.

  2. Oh, very tricky!

    See, as a reader I think I can handle the three posts per week very well. I like the two real games and one missed classic model that we have been following, even though as a writer I am frustrated because the world has had to wait many weeks to discover just how amazing and/or awful "Wizard and the Princess" and the rest of the games I hope to review as Missed Classics are.

    I think the most we should do is one post every two days (alternating weeks of 3 posts and 4) because beyond that and keeping up will be quite tough, not to mention following along.

    1. To make matters clearer, the poll is not about the absolute number of the posts, but about the main game post/ extra post –ratio. We will most likely continue with alternating between 3- and 4-post weeks (at least as long as there is enough material), because like you say, more posts would make following the blog harder (occasional exceptions are a different thing). It is just a matter whether the readers want us to spend more time on the main games or whether they like e.g. Missed Classics so much that they’d like to see them more. With the first option of the poll, there would be room for one or two extra posts a week, with the other options only for one extra post in two weeks (that is, if we continue with the aforementioned alternating).

    2. So, as a guy who wants to produce more "Missed Classics" than the schedule allows, I will have to go with the option that lets me do that. ;)

  3. I'm happy with the current system - Two games alternating and an occasional "missed classic". This gives the writers time to write up their sessions without (hopefully) feeling too much pressured.

  4. I did a bit of a summary of pros and cons for each option:

    2 games, 2 main game posts:
    + More extra posts
    + More time for reviewers to get their posts ready (might be of interest, if the game is hard or the reviewer is busy)
    - Main game list proceeds slower

    2 games, 3 main game posts:
    + Main game list proceeds faster
    - Less time for reviewers to get their posts ready
    - Less extra posts

    3 games, 3 main game posts:
    + Main game list proceeds faster
    + More time for reviewers to get their posts ready (because now there’s three reviewers, all doing one game a week!)
    - Less extra posts
    - Could require some tweaking in the order of main game list (to avoid situations, in which some reviewer would have to play two games at the same time)
    - Might be harder for readers to follow three games at once?

  5. Not too many posts per week! We need to have a little time to comment too, and to keep up if anyone plays along.

    Generally, the number has been fine so far, and I do like the idea of having two games on the go at once, but I think three might be a bit too much.

  6. Three games at a time starts to get a little confusing while following along at home. If there is material banked up, I could see releasing it a bit faster though.

    1. This is something that changes a lot. With Countdown and Operation: Stealth we did have material banked up, with Spellcasting and Elvira not really (we do have some extra posts banked). So, it might be hard to keep a faster publishing rate of main game posts regular, but we might be able to do it occasionally.

    2. It's a little hard to follow sometimes especially when the 2 alternating games follow the same theme with similar art directions.

      I mixed-up a little of what happened in Countdown with Operation: Stealth earlier myself.

  7. I've voted for 2 games - 3 posts a week.

    I think 3 posts altogether a week is optimal - at the moment we have some extra Missed Classics on the way, but personally I'd prefer if we spend more time on main game posts to get the game list moving quicker - assuming the reviewers can do 1.5 posts a week. I also think 3 different games at a time is one too many.

    My personal preference would be to aim for 3 main posts a week but whenever we don't have a main post ready throw an extra post (Missed Classic) in there if we have one available.

    I'm not quite as anti-missed-classic as it may seem from this comment (I'm actually in the process of writing one myself) but I'd like to see the main game posts get a much greater focus with Missed Classics more of an occasional aside than sharing space almost equally with main posts.

    If we do end up aiming for more main posts, a lot will obviously depend on the speed of whoever is writing the current main game reviews - I know I'm likely to have a problem even keeping up with one post a week when my turn with King's Quest V comes up. But I have a cunning plan to counter that by playing and writing posts while the previous games are still being played.

    1. Perhaps it would be good to hear the experiences of reviewers who've already got the chance of blogging a main game, that is, Aperama, Joe and Deimar. Would it be harder to make 1,5 posts ready in a week (or 2 posts in 3 weeks)? Aperama's comment would especially be valuable, since he's doing his second main game in a row.

      Also, considering that the poll results appear to be leaning more to the "more main game posts" -side (although it's still a bit early to tell), we should probably also think whether the number of posts for a single Missed Classic -game should be restricted. I mean, it might become difficult to follow "a ten-parter", when you can read just one post every other week (plus, longish Missed Classics would clog up the flow of Missed Classics for months).

    2. My experience has been mixed. When I played "Operation Stealth", I was running ahead of postings for the first number of weeks but as I got to the end I was finding it harder and harder to come up with enough content for a post. (This was because there are only so many ways you can type "I explored everything again and came up short.")

      1 post per week worked out well in the end as a writer. But I could certainly have done more at the beginning, and since I am not writing anything now I could get well ahead on the next games if that was what we wanted to do.

    3. I would also set in a rule that "Missed Classics" should generally be 1-2 posts, with 3 being acceptable. "The Scoop", while lovely, went on a bit long and you could tell that Kenny was struggling to keep writing when the screenshot-to-text ratio took a nosedive.

      (I do not mean this a criticism of Kenny! It was a good read, but I think for all of our sanity we should avoid going that long on "Missed Classics" again.)

      I know that I am a bit of an outlier and I respect the views of the poll. I have frankly found the "Missed Classic" posts to be more interesting, but maybe it is because I am finding the current crop of games to be a little weaker. Once we get to more solid games, we may be on better footing.

    4. I'm willing to admit that I'm more or less playing Spellcasting to deadline, now. This wasn't really an issue in Countdown. Ironically, Spellcasting is definitely the better game of the two, but I didn't get much time to play through gifts etc of other games over the Christmas break, and playing Spellcasting vs a more pleasant CRPG which I can leave in the background and knock off some TV in the interim? Yeah, I'm probably going with the CRPG.

      That said, I also prefer actually playing it to the schedule somewhat - in Countdown, I was lost a couple of times and instead went 'I'll spend an extra hour pixel hunting' as opposed to just asking for a couple of clues. If I had more posts coming up in a week (theoretically in the case of 2 and 3 it'd be two posts every second week) I'd probably be more interested in the adventures. I don't know about people's free time, though - I can almost always leave a night or two aside for playing, writing and proofing throughout the week without really struggling. If someone were posting without this ability, it could be far more difficult.

      Also, Joe - I think that the 'Missed Classic' posts may be more interesting not necessarily due to the games, but rather that the content tends to be considerably more abridged. I've tried to make a policy of at least showing one picture of each in-game screen in both games I've played through - doing so in two posts would be kinda silly, so instead you gravitate towards the more interesting ones. (It's only natural.)

  8. I'm also thinking of taking up another couple of those Missed Classics as well; namely: Sierra's Mixed-Up Mother Goose (1987) and Sierra's Mixed-Up Fairy Tales (1991), which are not in the Master List. Sure, I was in my teens by then but f*ck, it's Sierra's adventure games and I'll be damned if these are not in there when Putt-Putt and Fatty Bear are already on that list, hotdammit!

    Also, since those 2 games are kid-friendly, I figured it may temper my writings for those into a milder and more mellowed-out style. Haha! Who am I kidding? It's gonna be terribly M-Rated that would scar young minds and dredge whatever pristine sweet childhood memories of people whom had played them before through a toxic mile-long sewage trench.

    BTW, Ilmari, I just remembered that I forgot include the number of hours played for The Scoop. It's about 4-5 hours. It's pretty short because it doesn't have any dead-ends or deaths that forces you to reload and start all over again from your last saved game.

    1. The thought of you doing that to those poor, innocent adventure games is tempting me to come out of retirement and blog then before you can, Kenny.

  9. It's been hard enough to keep up as it is, after the amount of posts exploded... I've been skimreading a lot.


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