About Game Canary

Game Canary is a video game review and discussion site. My goal is to have intelligent and in-depth discussions about games. Rather than posting a lot of banal articles which provoke no thought or discussion, I’ll try to hone in on details that aren’t really discussed anywhere else. This post will give you a sense of what I intend to accomplish with this site, and what kind of content you can expect. The initial update schedule will be twice a week: Wednesday and Friday.

Reviews – Fridays

Every Friday, there will be a review posted of a recent game. Keep in mind that since I’m a single person, I simply won’t be able to review every single game that comes out. I’ll review most major titles, but there are also many games in between major releases that are worth talking about. Furthermore, each game that I review will be bought with my own money and played after release, just like a consumer. This makes sure there is no bias whatsoever during the review process.

The rating system is where the name of this site originates. Much like a canary in a coal mine, the “Game Canary” will warn you to avoid the bad games, and be singing with joy when it’s a great one. There are four rating levels:

DEAD – These are games you should avoid unless you’re a masochist. They have few real redeeming qualities, and just are all-around bad titles. The Canary’s dying wish was that you wouldn’t make the same mistake he did, so don’t desecrate its memory.

SICK – These games are mediocre. They aren’t horrible, and some people may certainly enjoy them, especially if they’re fans of the genre.  But it’s recommended to pass on for most gamers.

HAPPY – These games are far from perfect, but are overall an enjoyable experience. They’re recommended, but if you dislike games of this genre you may still have reason to stay away.

SINGING – If the Canary is singing, that means the particular game is one of the best titles of the year, and is something you shouldn’t miss unless you have a really good reason. No game is perfect, and these games won’t be, but they are highly recommended.

The scoring scale roughly corresponds to a “4 star” rating system with no halves or zeroes. Dead = 1 star, Sick = 2, and so on.

Feature Articles – Wednesdays

Each Wednesday, there will be a “feature” article, which can be one of many different types. They are intended to be a bit longer and in-depth, and should provide for great discussion. Here are some of the types of articles I’m planning:

Game Discussions – Rather than a review that has to dance around spoilers, a game discussion will look at a particular game and really focus in on one or two. These will be full of spoilers, but will allow candid discussion on the game’s mechanics. Typically, I’ll wait a month or two after release before a discussion is started.

No BS Interviews – These will be interviews with developers in the industry about games they previously worked on. It’s intended to be like a post-mortem, but also to get candid thoughts on various aspects of the game. There will never be interviews with developers of upcoming games because those usually result in what’s essentially an advertisement for the game.

Critical Analysis – This will look at one specific mechanic in a large number of games, and try to come up with conclusions on what works and doesn’t work. For example, an article talking about difficulty curves in RPGs might show up as one of these.

Previews

You’ll notice that I don’t discuss previews at all. That’s because I feel that previews are glorified hype machines. Inevitably, the developers will try to make a game look much better than it actually is, and make promises they can’t keep. I don’t want to participate in the hype machine that so many other sites do. The only exception to this might be an open beta, but only if it’s clear the product is in its final form.

Work in Progress

The site’s still evolving, and there are several things that will happen in the short term (such as getting cool graphics to go with the rating system).

About the Editor

In addition to running Game Canary, I work as a lecturer at USC. I also have several years of video game industry experience.

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4 Comments to “About Game Canary”

  1. Claudio 26 December 2011 at 11:11 am #

    Hello,

    I have been reading Game canary since yesterday.

    Congrats, I think you are achieving what you aim for. Your reviews seem unbiased and honest, and that is really helpful for those who are deciding to buy (or not) a game.

    keep up the good job.

    Thank you,

    Claudio

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