Author Topic: PC World Review for Aurora  (Read 8012 times)

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Online Steve Walmsley

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PC World Review for Aurora
« on: November 11, 2011, 08:56:28 AM »
PC World has reviewed Aurora and you can also now download the game from their server. It seems a very fair review from Ian Harac. It points out the lack of documentation and the fact there are some outstanding bugs but it is very positive in other areas. Much better than I would have expected from a mainstream site, especially in the fact that it doesn't mark down the complexity and steep learning curve.

http://www.pcworld.com/downloads/file/fid,201821-order,4/description.html

Steve
 

Offline Atlantia

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Re: PC World Review for Aurora
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2011, 09:05:38 AM »
Very interesting, and congratulations!
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Offline Erik Luken

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Re: PC World Review for Aurora
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2011, 11:58:27 AM »
Big time :)
 

Offline Beersatron

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Re: PC World Review for Aurora
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2011, 12:18:01 PM »
That is a very well written review.
 

Offline Zed 6

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Re: PC World Review for Aurora
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2011, 12:21:10 PM »
Congratulations on the review. Personally I find trial and many errors later better than being directed or told how to play for the most part. Imagination is not to be underestimated.
 

Offline HaliRyan

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Re: PC World Review for Aurora
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2011, 04:14:51 PM »
Seemed like a pretty fair review, and great exposure for your game. Congrats!
 

Offline Thiosk

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Re: PC World Review for Aurora
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2011, 02:06:31 AM »
At time of this posting, its been downloaded there 41 times.

I suspect we'll be seeing some fresh faces around the forums presently.
 

Offline Herode

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Re: PC World Review for Aurora
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2011, 03:49:49 PM »
Quote from: PCWorld
Aurora is happy to let you dump naked colonists on an airless world, or give a ship orders it doesn't have the fuel to complete, or send a warship into battle with no missiles loaded. I imagine that Aurora giggles in delight when you do this.
So true. That's why we love Aurora  ;D
 

Offline LizardSF

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Re: PC World Review for Aurora
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2011, 01:18:07 PM »
Just to comment (I am the reviewer; if anyone doubts this, I sent Steve some emails discussing the review, prior to publication. from the address I use for my professional work, and he can always write to that address and get a confirmation I'm me. Or something.), I'm glad the review was received favorably here, because I really like Aurora -- witness how many posts I've made long after the review was turned in. Aurora is a "keeper" for me. :) Reviewing is tricky business, because it's not just "I like this!" but "Does this meet the goals it sets for itself?", "How does it compare to similar games, including not just genre but budget and design goals?", and "Will the target audience like it, whether or not I do?" and so on. A good reviewer is both personal AND objective, a very interesting balance to try to keep. As "this guy playing the game", I can overlook the bugs and errors, but as a reviewer, I have to factor them in, especially when they're not just things like "Terraforming on planets orbiting G2 stars produces only half as much gas as it's supposed to during the second week of each month ending in 'R'", but database errors, "Invalid Use Of Null", and a lot of fairly basic things like trying to access elements of empty arrays if there's no items selected in a list (I get this all the time in the missile/launcher setup screens). As a programmer, I appreciate how hard it is to dot every t and cross every i, and VB doesn't have a strong enough object model that you can easily create logic to dim out buttons if there's no valid selection without having to hand-code it in all the time, so I want to be clear I am in awe, awe I say, of what Aurora does and that it works AT ALL, never mind if it works WELL. Nonetheless, my editor would rip me a new one if I didn't put some emphasis on very in-your-face bugs and she started getting hatemail from people asking if "those so-called reviewers ever used the software". We do.

I'm a little surprised that people are surprised PCWorld covered Aurora -- I've done reviews of Dwarf Fortress, ADOM, Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup, and other smaller/indie games with dedicated communities and deep gameplay. Reading comments in this thread, I'm getting the impression it's assumed "mainstream" sites don't cover games like that (or try to compare them to this week's triple-A title that was advertised on the Superbowl, and whine that there's not enough 3D explosions), so I'd like to do something I almost NEVER do and make a request. I get paid a flat rate per review, I don't get any kind of per-click revenue, but, of course, PCWorld does make their money off of ad views and the like, and they have to make decisions about what reviews to assign based on what's popular. So, if you want to, please spread links to this review to forums where people might not even think to check PCWorld. The more people show interest in a review, the more likely it is I can get assigned to review similar products, as opposed to yet another disk defragmenter utility. (And I want to be perfectly clear... I'm only asking that if you're an active member of a community or forum that might be interested in these kinds of reviews, and you genuinely think linking to them would be valuable or entertaining to your fellow gamers, that you let people know they're out there. I despise any kind of shills; it's instantly obvious when Captain Post Count=0 shows up in a forum and writes something like 'hey i no u lik gamez i found this game its cool go chek it out".)
 

Offline Din182

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Re: PC World Review for Aurora
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2011, 06:52:51 PM »
-snip-
I despise any kind of shills; it's instantly obvious when Captain Post Count=0 shows up in a forum and writes something like 'hey i no u lik gamez i found this game its cool go chek it out".)

That happens a lot, but less with games and more with male enhancements.  ;)
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Online Steve Walmsley

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Re: PC World Review for Aurora
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2011, 04:22:02 AM »
As a reviewer, I have to factor them in, especially when they're not just things like "Terraforming on planets orbiting G2 stars produces only half as much gas as it's supposed to during the second week of each month ending in 'R'", but database errors, "Invalid Use Of Null", and a lot of fairly basic things like trying to access elements of empty arrays if there's no items selected in a list (I get this all the time in the missile/launcher setup screens).

Thanks for commenting in the thread. I have no problem at all with the reference to bugs in Aurora as there plainly ARE bugs in Aurora :). My enthusiasm for adding new stuff generally exceeds my enthusiasm for hunting down bugs and fixing them. I do get an attack of conscience every so often though and go through the bugs thread to fix what I can :)

Steve
 

Offline Atlantia

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Re: PC World Review for Aurora
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2011, 12:31:26 PM »
My enthusiasm for adding new stuff generally exceeds my enthusiasm for hunting down bugs and fixing them.

True of every developer!

In any case, I shared both the review and the game on Reddit, so maybe we'll see some new people in here from there!
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Offline ndkid

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Re: PC World Review for Aurora
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2011, 12:37:09 PM »
I'm a little surprised that people are surprised PCWorld covered Aurora -- I've done reviews of Dwarf Fortress, ADOM, Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup, and other smaller/indie games with dedicated communities and deep gameplay.

I don't have hard numbers, but I feel like Aurora is farther out on the long tail than the games you mention there. My knee-jerk is to say that there's probably a degree of magnitude difference between the fanbase for those games and Aurora... maybe more. Certainly, in my limited personal experience, I know way more people who have played those three games than Aurora. So, to me, even a site which occasionally reviews indie games would surprise me when it reviewed Aurora.
 

Offline Erik Luken

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Re: PC World Review for Aurora
« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2011, 02:05:16 PM »
Considering this site is probably the "biggest" repository of Aurora knowledge, and there is just under 3200 members here; call an additional 50% for other people who get Aurora and don't register, that's still under 5k user base. Not bad for a niche free game I'd say.
 

Offline ndkid

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Re: PC World Review for Aurora
« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2011, 12:01:56 PM »
Considering this site is probably the "biggest" repository of Aurora knowledge, and there is just under 3200 members here; call an additional 50% for other people who get Aurora and don't register, that's still under 5k user base. Not bad for a niche free game I'd say.
I agree! And compare that to the 45k+ members over at Bay12, and my degree-of-magnitude WAD isn't *that* far off. ;-)
 

 

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