I understand the rationale behind reviews, in the sense that they should not completely govern how the public sees a game, especially in this era of review-bombing and public brigading. That’s fine and acceptable. But you can’t have it both ways; you can’t have a rating system and then hide half of it. You can’t have the site ask people to rate games when they don’t understand the impact of their rating. Hell, even you agree that they should be redesigned, too. So we both agree there.
The search system is definitely not the worst, but in a world where auto-complete and suggestion repos exist, “this is how it has always been” is not a good counter-argument. You can have a full-title search system while also accepting semi-complete titles - Bandcamp is a good example.
Now, the algorithm. The fact that it’s obfuscated to prevent exploitation is not the problem - it’s something I expect and respect. I also fully understand the problems with balancing such a system, and I outlined them in the review. My point is that the system has already been unintentionally “gamed” by a positive reinforcement loop, and it should be fixed or at least tampered. One can keep a trade secret while trying to fix it.
Thank you very much for reading through, though I think I might have been misunderstood. The main thesis of the article is that itch is great for devs and kinda awkward for anyone else to use, as it was built that way from day one. Nowadays it is in a weird limbo where it is neither a standardized storefront nor a Newgrounds-esque community space. This base assumption fuels every single criticism. If you disagree with that assumption - that’s perfectly fine! We’ll have to agree to disagree about the issues and the way to solve them. I love itch, otherwise I wouldn’t use it for the better part of nine years.