Dev Blog: Transparancy as a Video Game Critic and Developer Laura Kate February 18, 2014 Developer Blog So, let’s get this out of the way. My name is Laura, I am one of the founding members of Indie Haven and I am primarily a video game critic. I cover games in a way that is balanced and highlights the positive or negative experiences for the consumers and the gaming community at large looking for honest opinions. I’m also a video game creator, developing a game called You Are The Reason. While I started this journey from critic to developer with noble intentions of improving the quality of my critical content and my perspective on the industry, I need to address the fact that in straddling both sides of this line there are precautions that need to be taken to ensure no conflict of interest arises. Indie Haven will not publish any critical coverage of my game. We will not write up preview coverage of the game or publish a review. We will at no point attempt to tell you if my game is any good or not. The only place we plan to have any You Are The Reason content on Indie Haven is here, written by me in our Developer Blogs section of the site. This content will be written by me and from the perspective of a developer discussing their creation rather than a critic attempting to provide their critical feedback on the experience. The only other aspect that probably needs addressing is reviews of RPGs. Our current plan is to continue reviewing RPGs as we currently are doing so. As Indie Haven is providing zero critical coverage of my own RPG I feel that we’re in a position where we can cover this genre free of any biases. Review scores for RPGs on Indie Haven are decided by multiple editors reading the text and assigning a score whose text descriptor closely matches how the review read to us. I myself will not have the ability to wildly sway review scores on RPGs downward to make mine appear better by comparison. If I review any Indie RPGs that share similarities with my own game I will make this very clear in the text of the review. Anyway, that’s that. I really think on a personal level that getting involved in game creation is a really important aspect of being an informed critic. For me creating a game is teaching me a lot about the realities of game development and press relations, the challenges of keeping everyone on the project organised and the issues with getting yourself noticed. I’m learning a lot that is helping me to understand the other side of what I critique and I am confident that can only be a good thing for my writing. One of the voice actors on my game, Jim Sterling, is also in this situation as a critic and voice actor. His solution is that he is not reviewing games he voices in and his site are making his VO status well known to their readers. I feel that this is a good solution for his situation too and I really hope we reach a day where more critics find some way to take part in game creation without effecting the legitimacy of their own coverage.