• How We Evaluate PC Games

    Where game reviewers simply look at the game’s gameplay, we go further and analyse how the game was developed, marketed, packaged, distributed and prepared for consumers. We dubbed our process Project RYG 2.0, a first in the Industry, which we're quite proud of creating.



    Contents
    1. Why Are We Doing This?
    2. How Does It Work?
    3. The Way We Rate PC Games?

    Why Are We Doing This?

    Our motivations in creating Project RYG 2.0 was borne from improper DRM strategies, which were recklessly instigated by DRM vendors and implemented unnecessarily by video gaming publishers. As the years went on, the issues of user experience and customer support became a systemic issue across a number of developers and publishers, which, of course, fed the negative confidence in PC Gaming.

    How we evaluate PC games is more than just a tool to inform consumers on the safety and usability of these PC games: they provide a glimpse into how publishers, developers, DRM vendors and digital distributors work together in making such games.

    A poor RYG rating indicated poor working relationships, workflows, processes and priorities from the companies that were involved in making these games. It also indicated a general lack of respect to consumers and to PC gamers in providing an unsafe, unfriendly and unusable product laden with overzealous legal conditions and a poor support service.

    We aim to correct this by providing a service which places positive PC gaming at the top of any game development strategy with Project RYG 2.0 as one of its components in the redesign process.

    Please note that Project RYG 2.0 serves only two purposes:

    1) Better inform consumers and gamers on whether these games are friendly and safe to play on their PCs;
    2) Serve as a "demo" for potential clients. If you do want to seriously change the way you make PC games, DRMs or distribution platforms, then please give us a call and we'll see what we can do. Seriously, we know what happens when companies take it upon themselves to correct their products after reading our “demo”. Let me tell you, it’s not pretty.


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    How Does It Work?

    For all PC games, we look at the entire lifecycle of a PC game. This involves analysing:
    1. How PC games are purchased
    2. How they hold themselves up across multiple PCs
    3. The customer and technical support associated with these games.

    1) Analysing the potential to empower consumers with choice

    When we look at how PC games are purchased, we analyse the PC game's DRM strategy, Privacy Policy, End User License Agreement (EULA or Terms of Service) and the PC game's archival and personal backup potential.

    During this phase of evaluation, we ask the following questions:
    • Was this PC Game implemented with a consistent DRM strategy? Is it clearly-defined and well informed across multiple channels?
    • Are the system requirements of this PC game overstated or undervalued?
    • How do these companies handle each Consumer's personal information? How serious are these companies when it comes to the privacy of their consumers?
    • What sort of legal implications would a consumer face when they "agree" to a company's EULA? Is it even simple to comprehend?
    • Can consumers make personal copies of the games they've legally purchased as a means of posterity? Are they even afforded the right to such a simple consumer right?

    2) Analysing the consumer's "gaming experience"

    When we say "gaming experience", we mean how these games interact with consumer's PCs. Do they work? Is the process painless, easy to follow, or is a complete pain to even activate the game? Here, we analyse the installation and uninstallation process, we look at how these games are updated, how they affect the performance of PCs and, of course, how DRMs affect and influence the way consumers can activate their games.

    During this phase of evaluation, we ask the following questions:
    • How much would PC gamers know about the things they're installing?
    • What sort of third party software(s) is/are required to even play this game?
    • How annoying, painful or lengthy is the activation process?
    • What sort of information is being sent/received in order to verify the legal copy?
    • Is this PC game going to interrupt any processes or software(s) running in the background?

    3) Analysing the human-centric value of customer and technical services

    We believe the way companies handle their customer and technical support after a game is near the end of its life-expectancy is as important as when gamers and consumers first buy their games. When we’re nearing completion of our evaluation process, we look at what sort of customer service frameworks are in place.

    During this phase of evaluation, we simply ask two question:
    • Are we going to encounter a human-centric customer service? Or are we going to encounter the usual issue-centric customer service?

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    The Way We Rate PC Games

    We ask all sorts of questions which would present a barrier to positive PC gaming. Any response we receive that enhances that positive PC gaming experience, we award these games with a higher score. A lower score is representative of a PC game that was made to annoy, infuriate and frustrate PC gamers.





    As you can see, we have a demanding scale that demands for exceptional standards and excellence. We don’t believe poorly-designed and packaged PC games deserve to be positively praised. Our result remains firm with sustainable PC gaming. We reward the companies we work with a set of Seals which says, “This product is to be trusted”.





    So if you see a game with this Gold Seal of Approval that’s on our footer, you’ll know that the companies involved have gone through great lengths to make this game playable, enjoyable and fun for you without complicated EULAs, poor website content, sketchy privacy policies and, above all, irresponsible DRM practices. If you’re in the video gaming industry and you would like this Seal of Approval stamped on your game, DRM or distribution platform, then please give us a shout and we’ll see what we can do for you.



    Update History:

    1 January 2011. First Publication
    20 February 2012. Republished edited version to reflect context


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