Wikipedia:WikiProject Video games/Peer review/Sacrifice (video game)

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Sacrifice (video game)[edit]

Parallel peer review: Wikipedia:Peer review/Sacrifice (video game)/archive1

I would like some additional requests and comments to help Sacrifice be more accessible to gamers and non-gamers alike (and to attain GA- or FA-class). Note that I have not included a table of scores (which has been debated in previous WT threads), as over the time, I found it usually not really of use to non-gamers, so consider this article an experiment. Jappalang (talk) 03:22, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

I have rewritten the first two paragraphs of Reception to more tightly focused on real-time strategy games (showing how it was popular and by extension, how people were keen when Shiny started working on a real-time strategy game). Jappalang (talk) 12:50, 27 September 2009 (UTC)
That's an improvement. However, I still have a problem with "Sacrifice's creatures look weird". Is there a better way to phrase it, so that it doesn't sound like original research? JimmyBlackwing (talk) 05:54, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
Made further copyedits. Jappalang (talk) 14:47, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
Added a quip from NextGen (unfortunately, its review is quite brief and general), I think I have exhausted all searchable print material (David Fuchs kindly provided me with the results of a search on newspaper databases). Jappalang (talk) 22:29, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
  • I'll have a full review for you later. Right now, I'll say two things. First, there are too many fair use images. The box shot, first gameplay image and creature image should be fine, but I'm not sure the pictures of the first-person perspective and the gods are justifiable. Fair use images are a huge FAC sticking point, so you want to minimize them. Second, you'll want more print reviews—this is another FAC point. Luckily, the newly-created Online print archive has you partially covered. You'll need to get the rest from the Reference library proper; the Edge and Next Generation Magazine reviews are both available there. You might also want to add GamePro's review, available on their site. I'll be back with a more complete review soon. JimmyBlackwing (talk) 23:18, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
    • There is no limit on the number of fair use images, as long as they convey significant information that cannot be accurately described by words alone. Undoubtably, this is subjective; hence, I would appreciate more evaluations on the media used here before taking a decision to remove some of them. The current media shows concepts that are significant in the commentary and are not easily conveyed by words alone, neither are they easily reproduced in a single shot (I concede it might be possible to eliminate File:Sacrifice by Interplay - the gods.jpg to just James alone, but the commentary is on the gods' appearance to their voices).
      • There is extreme hatred for fair use images at FAC. I mentioned those two because they seemed the most likely to rile FAC reviewers. JimmyBlackwing (talk) 02:40, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
        • Like I said, if the images are used frivously (i.e. without significance or that words can easily explain the concepts illustrated) then they should be removed. It is not the number that matters. However, as significance and conception with words are quite subjective (as these images here are not shown simply for purely illustrative reasons), we should await for more opinions before taking the decision. Jappalang (talk) 22:56, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
    • As for sources, not all print sources are reliable or substantial. As it is, I had already discarded PC Gamer's and GamePro's reviews before writing this article. PC Gamer has much of its opinion reflected in other reliable print sources, or is too generic (other equally reliable web sources expounded similar points in greater detail). GamePro's review, like most if not all of its early reviews, is plainly useless (no substance at all) in terms of detail. I have asked Mitaphane and X201 for Edge's and Next Generation's articles, in case something new is brought up (like what I found in Computer Games Strategy Plus (CGSP) news section). Otherwise, unless they have something in greater detail (like what CGSP's review has for certain points), it would be pointless to just include them when GameSpot and IGN serves a better purpose. Jappalang (talk) 02:04, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
      • Actually, I've seen it argued that the less comprehensive, more reliably-published review (in this case, PC Gamer) is the one to go with. If you don't want to, it's fine, but I just thought I'd warn you that you may get complaints at FAC. Either way, you should probably include Computer Gaming World's review. I'm bringing all this up because I've seen VG FACs fail for focusing on online sources over print, particularly those from Sacrifice's time period and before. Anyway, sorry about the wait for a more complete review; I'll have it up tonight. JimmyBlackwing (talk) 02:40, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
        • To reiterate, PC Gamer's review is not used because whatever points it have are covered by other print sources or web sources of equal reliability or better. FA reviewers also frown on over-citing a piece of information (redundancy) and if two points can be covered with one reliable source, it is not recommended to cover them with a mixture of three or four. Jappalang (talk) 22:56, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
          • Information from Edge has been added. Jappalang (talk) 06:39, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Review:
    • The prose could use a second or third pair of eyes. If you want, I could lend a hand with this; my solo copyediting work has helped others pass FAC, most recently MissingNo..
    • I'm no expert on source quality, but browsing the references, the following stuck out to me as being troublesome at FAC: FiringSquad, Stratos Group, SharkyGames and MacGamer. Beyond that, I noticed that you clearly did your research on the topic; I still think you could use the Computer Gaming World review, though.
      • Refer to Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Midtown Madness for FiringSquad. Stratos Group was a respected group within the industry for their guides and reviews. They have written the Parent's Guide series, and guides and manuals for IGN and several games such as Age of Wonder.[1][2][3] SharkyExtreme is similarly respected for its views.[4] The same for MacGamer.[5]. Tom Chick's review has been included for two of his opinions, but it does not serve for other pieces of information in the article. Jappalang (talk) 22:56, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
        • That sounds fine to me. You might have to justify it to other at FAC, but I don't think there will be any problems. JimmyBlackwing (talk) 00:14, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
    • Clarity issues in the Gameplay section aren't anything a little copyediting won't fix. However, I noticed that the prose strays from the references a few times. A few examples include:
      • "At the start of a match, the wizards appears next to their altars." Reference: "You begin each mission (most of them, at least) with your wizard and an altar to your god". Even if your version is more factual, you can't stray from the reference. Perhaps the manual contains a closer version?
        • How is "At the start of a match, the wizards appears next to their altars." controvesially straying in meaning from "You begin each mission (most of them, at least) with your wizard and an altar to your god"? Cites are meant to support controvesial or possibly challenged statements, not to serve as a template to be mirrored. Jappalang (talk) 22:56, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
          • I have seen two group views about references: the "only for controversial statements" people, and the "cite everything" people. I simply follow the latter, so my advice will naturally be along those lines. JimmyBlackwing (talk) 00:14, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
      • "Using the keyboard and mouse, players move their wizards around a virtual world, directing armies and casting spells to eliminate their opponents." The first part, involving virtual worlds and keyboards, is not even mentioned in passing by the reference. The second part is a pretty big stretch from the source.
        • "Virtual world" is a non-controvesial point here. It is common sense for a computer game; where else is the game going to take place? Keyboard is mentioned with "Unless you get the many hotkeys for all your spells, formations, and summoning down to reflex actions, you'll never be able to keep up against a tough opponent." Do "While at first it may seem that the object is to create armies of followers and direct them to the fight, in reality it's not nearly that simple. You will be constantly moving, running even, to collect the souls of your fallen and to convert the souls of the enemy dead, not to mention so as not to remain a sitting duck for your enemies to target. You'll also need to keep a tight leash on your minions, since souls are a lot harder to come by than, say, some gold in Warcraft." and "As mentioned above, your wizard will have spells available to him, such as the standard and self-explanatory 'Speed-up' and 'Heal,' and ranging from rather mundane spells like 'Rock,' (tosses a rock at a foe) to mega-cool offerings such as 'Rain of Frogs,' which sends forth a torrent of croaking judgment toward your opponents. He can directly attack the enemy, but you'll find yourself directing your minions and lending support where needed more often than not." not substantiate "directing armies and casting spells to eliminate their opponents."? Jappalang (talk) 22:56, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
          • I'm just not used to seeing articles summarize references to that extent. Now that you spell it out, it looks better. JimmyBlackwing (talk) 00:14, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
      • "Souls are primarily used to summon creatures, who form the mainstay of the players' offensive capability." The "primarily" needs to be removed; the review talks about souls only in terms of summoning creatures. The part about creatures being the mainstay of offensive capabilities should also be removed, since it's not in that review.
        • How is "You'll be using these the most as creatures are the brunt of your offensive." not a source for "creatures, who form the mainstay of the players' offensive capability"? Jappalang (talk) 22:56, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
          • Must have missed that. Still, the primarily thing needs to go. JimmyBlackwing (talk) 00:14, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
      • There are others, but if I break down each one, I won't have time to do the rest of the review. Just note that FAC reviewers have recently started checking out the relationship between references and article text more thoroughly. You should go over the prose to make sure that it's all 100% backed by the reference.
        • You should still be sure to do this part. JimmyBlackwing (talk) 00:14, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
    • I found your combination of plot and campaign elements (Single-player campaign) to be very interesting. While it might not work for all articles, it's an innovative approach that will hopefully be adopted by other editors.
      • Thank you. WP:VG/GL is a guideline and I hope this can offer another choice for a smoother-flowing outline for certain other game articles to take. Jappalang (talk) 22:56, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
    • Technology has me stumped. I cannot, for the life of me, understand this:
      • "Following a binary triangle tree data structure, the polygon components of the models are isosceles right triangles, each of which is infinitely divisible into two triangles of the same shape and half the original size. The simplicity of this division frees up the graphic processor for other duties, allowing more resources to be spent on managing the level of detail.[42] Sacrifice's spell effects are composed of parametric surfaces,[41] which also can be broken down into triangles, facilitating tessellation.[43]"
        • Reworked, please take a look. Jappalang (talk) 22:56, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
          • It makes a bit more sense, but I still can't fully grasp it, unfortunately. Maybe it's just me, though. I don't think you could simplify it more without losing your meaning. JimmyBlackwing (talk) 00:14, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
    • Also, this: "With the appropriate software, these new cards took over the burden of T&L processing from the computer's processor, allowing more detailed graphics and smoother animation". Better to axe this and let the bluelink explain it to people, since the source you cited doesn't appear to say that.
      • Forgot to add the source, now it is there. Jappalang (talk) 22:56, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
    • The tangent at the beginning of Reception, while interesting and historically relevant, is synthesis. The second paragraph strays too far off topic, and appears to go against WP:NPOV: "Shiny Entertainment stood out in the industry by developing products that showed imagination: their games were original in concept and employed artistic designs different from their competitors"; "Despite the originality and beauty of their work". This violates WP:NOR: "Sacrifice's creatures look weird, but they move in a very fluid and believable manner". This needs to be more clearly stated as someone's opinion: "Despite the extravagant appearances of the characters, their voice actors conveyed an extra depth to the roles without any tones of overacting."
      • "Shiny Entertainment stood out in the industry by developing products that showed imagination: their games were original in concept and employed artistic designs different from their competitors": sorry, but when several, if not most of the reviewers (even the critical ones), state this to be the case, it is the majority view (backed up by reviews and articles from other sources) expressed by GameSpot. Claiming this as NPOV would be akin to requiring others to state "So-and-so said that the sun rises in the east". "Despite the originality and beauty of their work," has beed reworked. Jappalang (talk) 22:56, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
        • It violates NPOV because you're stating someone's opinion as fact. Include something like "it has been assessed that", or something. Otherwise, even if it's the majority view, it's POV. JimmyBlackwing (talk) 00:14, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
    • The combination of these two sentences is synthesis: "During the 1990s, "solid" real-time strategy games could easily sell more than 100,000 copies, and publishing houses considered those that sold less than 75,000 copies to be commercial failures.[63] No sales figures were released for Sacrifice, but the industry acknowledges the game did not sell well.[58][64]".
      • Again, two facts are stated with no different conclusion.
        • fact one: 75,000-100,000 is the common sales figure for RTS
        • fact two: no sales figure released for Sacrifice, but games industry acknowledge it did not sell well
      • The first fact is background information; the second is the statement for Sacrifice. No new conclusion is drawn here. Jappalang (talk) 22:56, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
        • The new conclusion is that Sacrifice sold under 75k-100k units. JimmyBlackwing (talk) 00:14, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
          • I am afraid you are reading what is not there. Nowhere does it state Sacrifice sold less than 75k-100k units, it just states the industry said it did not do well at the market. Jappalang (talk) 02:02, 26 September 2009 (UTC)
            • A source that is related to the topic is put alongside one that is not, and together they reach an unstated conclusion in the minds of everyone reading it. Even if the text doesn't explicitly state its meaning, which is that Sacrifice sold under a certain amount of units, it's what I would call synthesis. If you insist on keeping it, I can't stop you; we'll see if it's noticed at FAC. JimmyBlackwing (talk) 03:01, 26 September 2009 (UTC)
    • "The game was mostly forgotten by the others;" - Original research.
      • This is a lead-in to Gillen's and GamesRadar's statements. They have stated as such, so how is this original research? Jappalang (talk) 22:56, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
        • If they've said it, then mention that in the article; it's stated as fact, when it's actually someone's estimation. JimmyBlackwing (talk) 00:14, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
  • There you have it. I get that you were trying to innovate with Reception, but it doesn't come off as well as the Single-player campaign section, since you were forced to synthesize information to do it. Anyway, it's still a fairly strong article overall, and with some work could pass FAC. JimmyBlackwing (talk) 08:48, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
    • I believe you are mistaken in your concept of synthesis. Nowhere is the first paragraph creating new events from different unrelated occurences. This is just like editing history articles, where one has to sift through various similar occurences and extract a sequence of events. There is no new conclusion derived from these sequences here. Jappalang (talk) 22:56, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
      • Maybe synthesis isn't the best term. It was the way you created a background for the game from unrelated sources; it seemed (and still seems) like OR to me, but since it's cited, synthesis was the only term I could think of. I haven't seen the approach in VG articles, and I don't know how it'll go over at FAC. But if you think it's fine, just go for it. JimmyBlackwing (talk) 00:14, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Besides all that we've gone over above—images, accusations of OR, the need for more review sources, your approach to Reception—the big issue at FAC will probably be prose related. While I said before that I could help to copyedit the article, I've gotten busy since then, and I had already guaranteed my help to User:Tezkag72 on his FAC, Lego Star Wars II. After I'm done with that, I don't plan on taking on more Wikipedia work for some time. So, I'm sorry, but I can't help. However, if you plan on taking it to FAC, you should definitely find a few copyeditors. JimmyBlackwing (talk) 03:01, 26 September 2009 (UTC)
  • I was asked to comment on images and media and would suggest removing the picture and voices of the gods, as unlikely to pass NFCC#8. No comment on anything else. Stifle (talk) 15:47, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
    • Okay, replaced with Curry's and Garrett's photos. Jappalang (talk) 06:39, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
Comments by David Fuchs

First, you really shouldn't start up simultaneous PRs for both the Wikiproject and main PR page... we transclude the main ones anyhow :P I'll try and post some comments later, but the email you requested has been sent. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 21:40, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

Well since I wasn't able to send you anything useful, I guess I should try and provide some comments...
  • Lead:
    • "Developed by Shiny Entertainment, it is a real-time strategy game, featuring elements of the action and other genres." 1) Shouldn't RTS be linked? 2) Shouldn't it focus a little more on what an RTS is? 3) "elements of the action and other genres" is not grammatically correct. It should be "of the action and X genres", but it just sounds awkward with "other" instead.
      To be accurate, a lot of literature classify Sacrifice as a RTS with action elements. However, among these literature, there are reviewers who comment that RPG is included, and others who comment that adventure is involved, etc. Basically, except for action, the "other" genres carry an insubstantial weight on their own, but as a whole is significant. Hence, rather than spelling out the different weightage of the mentions of other genres, or fill the lede with a list of genres, I chose "other". I took out the definite particle "the" if that helps. Jappalang (talk) 00:50, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
    • Sacrifice iswas the first commercial video game to take advantage of video graphics cards that can process transform, clipping, and lighting instructions.
      Uh, is it not still the first commercial game to do so? That is to say, such status is still true and persisting, so it should be present tense, right? Jappalang (talk) 00:50, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
    • "The game was ported to the Mac OS 9.2 in 2001." Never heard of using the operating system as the; just cut out, as it's describing a version? (you wouldn't say the Windows, after all.)
      Done. Jappalang (talk) 00:50, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
    • "Unlike most of its contemporaries" probably should be explicit and say unlike most of its contemporary {type of game}.
      Done. Jappalang (talk) 00:50, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
    • There's an odd, ever-changing method of referring to players. Occasionally it's singular, occasionally plural (the players', in which case "the" should be cut). It should be standardized whichever way you prefer.
      The "player/players" is a bit more complex, since this is a single-/multi-player game... The article tries to make it singular when the occasion calls for it. Jappalang (talk) 00:50, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
    • "...and the compositions of Kevin Manthei" can you be specific (I'm assuming "musical" compositions? This sentence sounds a tad press-releasish.)
      I have added "musical" but I am not certain how the "Complementing the art is xxx and xxx." is "press-release"-ish. Jappalang (talk) 00:50, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
    • "...and no sequels of it are planned."
      Done. Jappalang (talk) 00:50, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Body:
    • "Published in 2000 for the Windows 98 platform (and in the following year for the Mac OS 9.2), Sacrifice is a video game of the real-time strategy genre and incorporates elements of the action genre." Seems odd to explain when it was published here. Considering there's a release subsection, I think it's better to just chop that bit off and start with Sacrifice.
      It establishes the context straightaway, especially for readers who prefer to skim through the lede and jump straight into the main text of the article (as the ledes are summaries, which means sometimes people could ignore it). By denoting the year of publishing at the start, readers have a rough gauge of what sort of technological level this game is supposed to be. Jappalang (talk) 00:50, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
    • "overlooking their characters from behind" is "overlooking" the word that Kasavin uses? It sounds rather odd. Better to say "observing" or something like that? Overlook generally means either to look down on from above or to look past and fail to see entirely; a tighter choice of diction would be clearer.
      Changed to "looking over". Jappalang (talk) 00:50, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
    • "through the magical "sacrifice" of a friendly unit" why's sacrifice in quotes? You're physically sacrificing the unit in-game, correct? Then there's no reason for the extra formatting.
      In the game, the sacrificial ritual is magical (no one takes a knife to the offering). Jappalang (talk) 00:50, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
    • "SufferingHaving suffered a cataclysm long ago, this world—now a collection of floating islands—was split into five realms."
      Done. Jappalang (talk) 00:50, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
    • "Sensing the opportunity for a new lease of life" I may be misremembering, but I'm pretty sure the saying goes "new lease on life".
      Damn the American/British English differences!!! While the British "lease of life" is the overwhelming majority,[6][7] in American English, it is "lease on life".[8] Changed. Jappalang (talk) 00:50, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
    • "Mithras reveals himself as Marduk—his prophecy and appearance on this world was part of Stratos's plan" Stratos' plan isn't mentioned at all before this. Is he the traitor?
      Yes, Stratos is the traitor, but since the game only reveals this at the end by means of this revelation, it would be original research to guess when he started planning it or such. I rephrased the sentences; hopefully, it is much clearer on Stratos's status now. Jappalang (talk) 00:50, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
    • "The tool displays the user's changes as they are added to the level." the wikilink to WYSIWYG get really be removed or added explicitly; generally these kind of "non-WYSIWYG" links are frowned upon.
      WYSIWYG is "showing changes as they are done", so I think it is applicable, i.e. it is not a "easter egg link". However, I have no qualms of dropping it if this is shown to be violation of policy/guidelines, or more editors find it to be more confusing than helpful. Jappalang (talk) 00:50, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Images:
    • I'm not sure you're going to get some of these images to fly at FAC. I'm fairly sure you can reduce File:Sacrifice by Interplay - formation.jpg further and still keep the interface legible, considering there's no text concerns. As for File:Sacrifice by Interplay - creatures.jpg, the resolution could be decreased by simply focusing on a smaller selection of creatures; that would allow us to see greater detail anyhow. Finally I'm not sure if File:Sacrifice by Interplay - tornado.jpg is really necessary; the graphics I think are carried by the other screenshots, and having one just of the first-person view seems excessive considering what other bases the images cover, and considering there's only one source for the stated rationale.
      Regarding the interface picture, one of the focal point is the mouse-gesture interface as I have composited near the top right. If I reduced the dimensions of the image any furthter, I find that it becomes illegible. As for the creatures shot, because the reviewers are focusing on the design of a wide variety of creatures, I believe it would be more accurate to show the diversity as much as possible while abiding WP:NFCC, especially as none are focusing so much on one class of creature or another (Haumersen's quote was more on animation than design). For the volcano, it is not one reviewer who comments on the effects, but almost all. It would be impractical to quote all of them (since many just give generic "wow, so beautiful/awesome" and viewing such effects is effectively from the "first-person view", even though it is a third-person game). As it is, Bye gave a nice quote to use, and Kasavin was the one who gave an explicit explanation on why they (reviewers) found the effects awesome. Jappalang (talk) 00:50, 16 October 2009 (UTC)

Overall it's an excellent article, and aside from some of the issues above all it needs is a light copyedit; there shouldn't be too much of an issue with accessibility. Taking a cursory look at the sources, I don't think there are any issues in terms of choices; the lesser sources (Allgame, etc.) are only being used for reviews, and there's a strong use of books; overall I think it will meet the "high quality" requirements. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 18:50, 15 October 2009 (UTC)

Thank you for taking a look. I requested Maralia for a copyedit, so hopefully she has accepted. Jappalang (talk) 00:50, 16 October 2009 (UTC)