If you are a long-time visitor to RPGamer, you may be aware that we have sometimes struggled with delivering an accurate and comprehensive scoring system for our reviews. While we have done the best we can, criticisms of inconsistency and a lack of objectivity continue to be an issue, and so, after a great deal of discussion and careful calculations, we have developed a new system which we hope will be undeniably definitive and beyond question.
Called the Geometric Unirepresentational Endochromatic Scoring System, or G.U.E.S.S., RPGamer's new system eliminates traditional, numerical scores in favor of a purely visual abstraction that can inform on a game's quality in an instant while being based on a careful set of mathematical algorithms. All reviews will henceforth be awarded a colored shape of varying sizes, the proportions of which are determined by the qualities of the game in question. It is our hope that this simple and straightforward system will alleviate any concerns our readers have about our future review scores. Below you will find a detailed explanation of how our calculations are made and applied.
Stage One: Shape
The first calculation we make is one to determine the shape used for the final score. To do this, we take into account a number of the game's technical aspects, including the mode framerate during our play session (F), average model polygon counts (P), texture resolutions (T), input sensitivity (I), and the number of glitches encountered (G). These values are applied to the following mathematical formula:
S = ((PT/F + F^I) % G) + 3
The resulting integer is used to determine the number of sides the shape has. In the event of a divide by zero error, we use a circle, or an infinite-sided shape. The result, S, is also used in future calculations.
The next step is to determine the degree of each angle in the shape, which is accomplished using a short script as well as a detailed analysis of the game's music (M) and color palette (C). Before examining how this script functions, we should first examine how the two afforementioned values are determined.
Firstly, our musical value, M, is calculated by taking the sum of the numerical value of every note in the game's soundtrack (determined using an 8-octave scale, N), dividing that by the sum of the number of bars (B), and finally subtracting the sum total of all the rests (R).
M = N/B - R
Meanwhile, our color value, C, is determined iteratively, using the most common RGB values present in the game's visual design. When the script is implemented, it ends up looking something like this:
for (i=0 AND d=360, i
A[i] = M*C[i] % d
A[S-1] = d
d -= A[i]
In this case, each value of A determines the angle of each vertex of the shape. At this point, we have now finalized our shape.
Stage Two: Color
The game's color valuation is representative of the game's overall enjoyment factor, E. To arrive at this value, RPGamer has carefully developed a formula to biometrically quantify the concept of fun. We do this by measuring heart rate (H), blood pressure (Z), focus (O), and smile width (Y).
E = (H^Z * O^Y) % 16777216
E is then converted into an RGB color value, which decides the color of the shape.
Stage Three: Size
The final stage uses the enjoyment factor, E, the technical quality of the game, represented by the number of sides of the shape, S, our musical qualifier, M, and the first value of C, which is the most common color in the game's palette, to determine the pixel size of the shape, X, as represented by the following formula.
X = (E/C * MS) % 500
With all these calculations complete, we now have a precisely calculated metric by which we can objectively rate any game we come across, all presented in an easy to visualize icon of nearly infinite variety. It is our hopes that this new system will be universally acceptable and finally end all those silly debates about review scores. With some luck, it might even become the new industry standard!
Look for the G.U.E.S.S. system to be implemented in all future RPGamer reviews.