That is a concern yes, though if nothing gets past C after a while that could be what people think anyways. Though it might help if you posted what the standards are too, so it is more clear (or did you and I missed it?). For instance, I use the following when I rate a game:
A: Game of the year candidate
B: Good game
C: Average game. Playable. Didn't like or dislike it.
D: Poor game. Has major issues with plot and game balance.
F: Unplayable. Usually these the bugs are so bad I couldn't finish the game at all, like CTDs that I can't get past, key events will not fire so plot cannot be continued, and so on.
I also do apply letter score penalties for bugs, so a really buggy good game can end up a C or a D even depending on how serious the bugs are.
Though I also use a slightly different version of this for Visual Novels as for those its all about the plot. Though IIRC I think you said you are not doing VNs so probably not needed to be considered then.
We sorta talk about the grading on the first episode. I think your lettering system is fairly close. We're definitely giving F's to games that can be completed, though. I think we see C being of higher value, A is not quite that strong.
When it comes to bugs... I tend to draw more attention to the obvious ones, especially if they are easy fixes. I don't expect a one-man team to perfectly polish every pixel, so we generally don't go bug hunting. When we find bugs it's usually stuff that slapped us right in the face. I think this is fair for the "average user" perspective.
VN's will probably never get covered. Unless they have pretty heavy sim gameplay stuff. The other problem is that I feel like there's a pretty narrow range of subjects that VN stories can be, and those types of stories are not my thing. I also have this fear that a VN will just be the same level of incompetency but with the extra laziness of not bothering to do game design.
Honestly, Skyborn to me looks like the kind of game that launched at the right time and right place, I remember there was an era, I think early 10's where SqueeNix was moving away from turn-based, more classically focused JRPGs, and other JRPGs seemed to be MIA. I think this is why the original Bravely Default was successful because it was just a JRPG-JRPG kind of game in a time when they weren't so plentiful. Likewise, if I am correct about my timeline here, Skyborn launched during that time, so many folks hungry for a good classic JRPG latched on to Skyborn. This is total hearsay, I should clarify. It's just the vibe I get when looking at the game's store page that it's just a well-crafted "RPG Maker game", but maybe not much more beyond that.
I think there's a lot to what you're saying here. Skyborn predates both Steam Direct and Steam Greenlight as well. It also got pretty heavy discounts and I got in a Humble Bundle for like $10 (with a million other things).
The problem is - especially with Omori and Oneshot - these have fairly dedicated fanbases and if my reviews have taught me anything: No matter how hard or soft you deliver your criticism, if the fans sniff hate for something they love, they will let you know.
Tony actually wants this kind of thing to happen
I can't believe that defense of League of Losers. What tactics game are these people playing where you only control one character and all he can do is punch within one square? The gameplay he's describing sounds like a point and click. Nonsense!
@TheAM-Dol : Oh yes. I have taken crap for daring to say Skyborn is not a perfect game, the nirvana of RPGMaker games. Heaven forbid one dares to critique it.
I should probably just come out and say I already played the game years ago. I was doing so to research what RPGMaker could do, scope out the competition and stuff. Spoilers: I'd probably give it a C.
... Is... is this the reason everyone's trying to do the sardonic "Marvel Humor" thing nowadays? Because I know for a fact there's a lot of people who are afraid of being genuine just because they don't want to be made fun of themselves.
I am kinda guilty of this, too, maybe. My MC in Oni Sellsword is sarcastic and all, although I tried to play this as a double-edged sword: she's closed off, defensive, and pushes people away. Anyway, the main thing I want is that the story itself
is not sarcastic. The characters still need believable motivation, the goals of characters should be clear, and the story needs stakes with grounded consequences both positive and negative.
Far as I can see, nobody's getting past a C on your grading scale unless they minmax every aspect of their game to be the best the industry can provide.
Given that RM developers usually wind up being some dude in their closet with no budget or formal training/practice in game design, we have a better chance of winning the lottery twice in a row.
I would say IN THEORY an A should be possible. Both Tony and I are no strangers to chintzy RPG's of bygone eras. He's even replaying Icewind Dale at the moment and has talked about his strange love of FF8. I played and loved some wack RPG's that came out on the Mac in the 90's, and really dug Wasteland 2 and the recent Shadowruns. My own tinkering in the engine gives me a lot of hope because I can see that it's possible to do a lot of cool stuff; I've been getting pretty high on my own jank I've been working on!
As far as what's actually out there? It's tough. I've talked with Tony offline about how there's this upper boundary of skill/budget where any good dev would feel forced to move on to a "real" engine (something like "As soon as you have more than 5 dev's and ~$10k, drop RM). I hope there's some dev out there who just doesn't have the programming skill or the friend network and is really good but is stuck with RM, because that's where I'm at. But I think those games never get completed
OMORI might not stand too good a chance here, given all of the complications I've heard about its gameplay...
It's on my radar, of course, especially since it's on gamepass now. I'm not so big on Earthbound-likes or depression simulators, though.