Posted by : David Guyll November 10, 2014

I was tagged a couple times in a post on the Dungeon World Tavern a while back—which was the only reason I noticed it, as I'm not a member of that community—concerning a third-party Dungeon World product.

Basically someone was curious about it, but since there weren't any ratings or reviews they had no idea what to expect quality-wise, and didn't want to risk the asking price (which was ten or so bucks).

Of course, given that not all product reviews are necessarily an honest indication of content and/or quality, at that price I'm not sure I would pick it up even if there were any.

I briefly joined so that I could clarify a few things and pitch in my two coins, stating that this was why I'd previously brought up the matter of ratings and reviews: the more people that leave them, the more likely that a somewhat accurate picture will start to form.

That, and I think that honest reviews are a great way for an actually receptive creator to improve on their work.

In any case I was pleasantly surprised to wake up—several days ago as of this writing—and find myself tagged in a post by one Sophia Brandt, author of the blog space beyond reality: she was kind enough to not just merely rate 10+ Treasures and 10+ Treasures: Volume II, but write an entire review for both of them on her blog.

What I like about it is that it comes across as very honest and neutral. She likes both products, but still makes legitimate criticisms. It's almost as if she *gasp* understands that you can still speak favorably about something despite it's flaws, that it's "okay" to like something that is less than perfect (which ends up being basically everything I have ever read/watched/played).

In the end she even recommends them without making exaggerated statements like "it deserves your money".

This is the kind of stuff that we need to see more of. I fully believe that most gamers are already hesitant to buy indie products, and why wouldn't they be? Despite featuring poor organization, writing, and/or production quality, plenty of them end up with 5, maybe 4 stars, and/or blatantly dishonest blurbs proclaiming that it's amazing, deep, or even "has at least as much content as a $40 release from a big publisher".

Yeah, a book might only be a couple bucks, but if the product sucks that still means you've wasted a couple bucks: how many times do you think you're going to sucker someone before they stop gambling their money altogether? If you want to better support the indie scene, then when you buy something at least rate it, and rate it honestly.

Even if it's a friend (or a friend-of-a-friend, or a guy that did you a favor that one time), just tell them like it is: in the long run you'll be doing both parties a huge favor.

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