Hi, didnt read much yet, but a quicky critique on the graphics of "adult content" icon, have you tried to make the fangs in red, inside the mouth instead of out?, it may fit better that way. The look very profesionall, good work!.
Hello, all! I'm happy to announce the soft-launch of the new version of TIGRS: The Independent Game Rating System!
After much feedback from developers, publishers, and distributors, the system has been reworked and reformed to meet your needs! The system is now entirely flexible to match exactly what you want, from age and content ratings to the style of the rating box! In addition, the new system is being launched with a brand new website designed to make creating ratings easier than ever! You can get started rating your games right away:
From family friendly games to mature adult titles, it only takes a few minutes to make a beautiful content advisory for your game!
If there are any suggestions or rating themes you'd like to see, please post them here. The new system is still in soft-launch, so it's ready to be moulded to your needs! Also, if you have problems with the rating generator, please let me know immediately. It has been tested on major Windows browsers, but not on Mac browsers.
If you are using the old rating system, it is strongly recommended you upgrade today! It only takes a few minutes and there is no uploading necessary!
You can visit the site's homepage here: http://www.tigrs.org/
Your feedback is much appreciated!
Your vertical/horizontal radio buttons show the wrong preview picture!
EDIT: After filling in the exact details I realised they are infact correct but looks like a bug when you just have the picture without the description.
Wish generated HTML was in a bigger box.
HTML code has some problems. The lower text table doesn't match up to the picture size properly when doing a vertical rating. The 'click here for rating' link is a relative url which obviously doesn't work on my website.
But otherwise they look really nice, will generate some for my games.
Last edited by Nexic; 03-13-2007 at 03:58 PM.
Excellent work, Daniel. The web site and graphics are very slick and professional looking.
Thanks for your time and feedback!
Very cool system and designs!
My only concern is that my game would probably fall into the Teen Content category, and I wonder if displaying that would turn off the 20-30 something crowd. And if I say it's Family Friendly, it'd probably turn off the teen crowd.
Maybe that's why the MPAA defines their ratings by minimum age.
Flea Circus Games
Very nice! We will be using them.
Great work, thanks. It looks and works great, the rating UI is nice. I have to update my website now, the old rating images disappeared..
I think possibly you should have an option for some different types as you had previously. As someone mentioned, Teen and Family Friendly might put the wrong people off since people are weird like that. I'm definitely going to use it for my next game since I can proudly display the ultra cool adult box. That means I'll get loads of 10-16 year olds playing!
Not sure what to display for a shoot em up though. Family Friendly makes it look like a sedate happy 'let's hold hands' type game, but I don't think blowing up space ships really requires a teen rating either. For these games would be nice if there were some other options.
Hrm, having cartoon violence set to intense and sexual violence checked produces a family friendly icon just mentioning those two attributes, surely that can't be right I'm not sure manga style tenticle rape squid should be considered family friendly imho.
Anyone can explain to me why INDEPENDENT game developers would need such stuff at all? Graphics?
I mean you are independent so say this to your customers/visitors directly that your content belongs to some category. Or I get something wrong as always and creation of another rating system which would start charging you after it will grow enough is your task?
As always, customers do rely on established structures and information. If you as a customer see this label on several games you start to realize that it is not only a loose/subjective label that the developer put on their package. you will probably understand that these labels are tought-through and actually are put there due to strict criterias.
I don't find anything negative with standardization at all. I like pressing ESC to go to menu and to click X to end an app.
These kinds of stanardizations also lifts up the Independent scene to a better professional level if Indie-developers can unite in certain (minor) issues.
Edit (additional): This remind to me the situation with that Paul, who was pretty often here in forums before, he was always stating that he is "the same developer as anyone else here" and we had pretty open discussions. Later he just hired a couple of managers who took the power of conversation with developers to their hands and ask me always why I sound so dissapointed with their company in my messages in forums. Not to say that they require to change the contracts we established with Paul before. And sure thing no one of them cares how we were helping to each other. What I'm really talking about ah?... Oh! Be careful with creation of another Paul guys...
I like the system as well, and I'm going to use it for my next (um.. well: first) title as well.
Web site and design of the faces are great and professional - but I agree with Christian - having red fangs going inward in the adult version might look slightly better and it would also ensure that the three logos have more in common - right now the adult logo looks slightly different.
Blah, but no matter in which direction those fangs are pointing: Great work.
Is comical shenanigans really relevant to a games rating? It sounds more like advertising to me ... though, "strong sexual content" sounds like advertising to me too, so maybe my opinion shouldn't count
Great resource though!
The problem I see with this system is two-fold. First, it is designed to allow developers to rate their own games. We're a bit too biased to rate our own games properly. We know the customer group we're trying to target, and we're going to pick the rating icon that helps us reach that target. Also, everyone has different definitions of what constitutes mild violence versus non-violence, mild language versus strong language, etc. There's no way you can have any kind of consistency in meaning among everyone's independent use of these ratings. All this rating tells a customer is what the developer or publisher thinks of the game, which is worthless. As a customer looking for clean games for my kids, I want to know what some independent party thought of the game, someone who has no financial stake in how well the game sells. For any rating system to really be effective, it has to be applied independently by one person or group, who has no stake in the outcome and who can interpret and apply the ratings consistently across a wide spectrum of games.
The second problem I see with this system is that the categories are too narrow. The ESRB categories are much more generic and can be used with a much broader range of games. For example, I have a friend who is developing a strategy game that is designed specifically for hard-core strategy gamers (most of whom are adults). Ratings of "family-friendly", "teen", and "adult" are pretty much meaningless for this game. What would work better is a more generic rating like ESRB's "E for Everyone" with a minimum recommended age criteria.
I know soniCron put a lot of work into this, and I don't mean to discount his effort. But I just don't see much benefit here.
What about something for online games where the ESRB does something like "Game Experience May Change During Online Play". I'm planning on having some filters but I can't really vouch for what the rating will be against some 13 yo punk. I can include that outside of the game rating I suppose, but it'd be nice to make it clear in the graphic somehow.
Congrats, Daniel. You just earned 730 credibility points for finally finishing this project. Seriously, good job. The art and your website looks pretty slick.
I don't agree with letting the developer pick the age rating. It's true we are forced to trust the developer here in coming up with the information. But even assuming good intentions, there is currently no way to make the age rating consistent from one self-rater to the next. I think the age rating should be selected automatically based on the content choices the developer makes. This gives the self-rating system a chance to be somewhat objective and useful to the game consumer.
Seespace Labs - Interactive exeriences with wide-area motion sense seespacelabs.com
Let him select his options. Then, present a suggested rating. Let the developer override this, if he wants.
ISTR in one of the earlier versions of this project, it was automatically generated, and this led to some silly results like a game being flagged Adults Only because there was one scene in which characters drank alcohol, even though it was portrayed as a very bad thing to do.I think the age rating should be selected automatically based on the content choices the developer makes. This gives the self-rating system a chance to be somewhat objective and useful to the game consumer.
Nuances are hard to get across in a few simple radio-button choices, they need an actual person looking at it.
REALLY digging the icons. Superb job, Daniel! Makes me wanna rush to finish my game just so I can sport one of them
First, I want to thank everyone who has passed along kind words. This project was a long time coming and took a great deal of work, and I'm pleased to have it in beta. I also want to thank you all for your patience. The last two years of my life have been very rocky, so finding time to work on a volunteer project of this scale was tough.
Now, there were many good questions, so I'll try to answer them:
Q: Why can I only choose Family Friendly, Teen Content, and Adult Content?
A: One of the intentions for the new system was to simplify it as much as possible. Exploring ESRB's many ratings, I discovered there were only three major categories: Children, Everyone, and Everyone 10+; Teen; Mature and Adult Only.
The ESRB ratings transcend content rating and try to suggest which ages would actually find the game appealing. This is, in my opinion, beyond the scope of a content rating system. It's up to the marketing of the developer, publisher, and distributor to persue the game's ideal audience. It is the responsibility of a content rating system to identify potentially offensive material -- nothing more, nothing less.
While I think Teen and Adult are self-explanatory, I had hoped to use something as universal as "Everyone," but obviously cannot do that. The only other low-grade rating I could come up with was "Family Friendly," which, in my opinion, effectively conveys the intent of an "Everyone" rating.
Q: Why doesn't the generator suggest ratings?
A: The last version of TIGRS took incredible heat for imposing specific ratings. I wanted to avoid that, this time. As Papillon said, it's no small task to discern an age-appropriate rating for a game based on some radio buttons; it takes the human touch, and that's something I just don't have time for.
So, instead, I chose to experiment with total freedom; see what the developers come up with. While it's possible to rate a game Family Friendly and enumerate strong sexual content within it, I'd like to believe the developer simply wouldn't bother rating their game at all. After all, there is no requirement anyone rate their game, and so I imagine it sort of solving itself.
The only problems I can forsee arise are minor inconsistencies, such as the blurred lines between adjacent age ratings. And for that I can only suggest the developer look up similar games in the ESRB database to see how they were rated. (In Nexic's case, for example, a Teen Content rating would probably be most appropriate, due to the violence in his games.)
That said, I may take the suggestion and entice the developer toward a more appropriate rating. But I will not impose an age-specific rating on any developer.
However, if the system does occasionally fall to disuse, the developer is in violation of the license agreement and I reserve the right to revoke their privledge of using TIGRS. A fair trade, I think, for so much freedom.
Q: Why TIGRS at all?
A: TIGRS is neither a replacement nor even an alternative to the ESRB ratings. Its purpose and function, while similar in effect, are very much different. By appealing to the good nature of people, I hope that TIGRS can facilitate a change among free and low-cost downloadable games developers and publishers by alerting their audiences of both positive and negative content containted within their games. TIGRS is by no means necessary, but it's important that we show initiative and responsibility within our community if we want to be taken seriously.
Q: Will it remain free?
A: Andy brings up an interesting -- and bleak -- picture of the future. However, it's important to understand that I have never intended to charge anyone to use TIGRS, nor do I ever plan to. There are already many organizations that will rate games for money, and as regulated bodies, they will provide a great deal more credibility than TIGRS can.
More importantly, a voluntary rating system could not thrive on a for-pay basis. Without an incentive to use the system, such as retailers refusing to cary unrated games, it is already pressing to ask a developer to volunteer a rating.
Fortunately, it would stand to reason that no retailer would in their right mind require a voluntary, self-rating system. As soon as an entity requires a self-rating system be used, the credibility of the rating becomes suspect, thus eroding confidence in the brand, and effectively negating the requirement to begin with.
In short, not only is it not -- nor has it ever been -- my intention to charge for such a service, its sustainability is not even possible.
Q: Can we have other descriptors, like On-line Experience May Change?
A: Indeed! I'm keeping a list of suggestions and will include the suitable ones. (Mature themes, such as racism, slavery, etc. was also suggested.)
Q: Why are the fangs protruding from the bottom of the mouth?
A: I'm thinking it's more like a vampire emoticon.
Oh, and I'd like to thank Indiegamer's GameStudioD for his suggestion to use emoticons in the rating boxes! And, of course, Adrian Lopez for initiating the discussion that led to the birth of TIGRS! Thank you, Adrian! And thank you, everyone, for your feedback and support! Please, drop me a line if you're using the new ratings! I'd love to see where it ends up!
And this is just one possible scenario.
REM: Daniel asked for my answer guys. So please accept this as fulfilling of his order.