Greetings and some doubts

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Greetings and some doubts

Postby pharum » 22 May 2014, 12:22

Hi everyone,

I'm new around here and I'm trying to understand the scope of this project and how you're plannig to do it. First of all, let me tell you that I love what you're trying to accomplish and the way you're planning everything is amazing, I'm a computer engineer I think it's the right thing to do. The agile aproach is great but things like the Data Model must be clear from the beginning to try cover every corner case possible.

I've been reading the forum for a couple of days and I still have some doubts on what you're going to store in the database:
  • First of all, I've been looking at the test pages on the wiki (the monkey island one) and I'm not sure how you're storing the compilations. Is it a Game with a specific game type and relations to the different releases that it contains?.
  • Another thing I'm curious about is what you're going to store about each game. I know that you're going to store images of different types but, are you planning this types to be like categories?. Let me explain, for example, you have screenshots or different types of covers (BTW I like your approach about the box model for the covers, with the covers stored like that you can make a 3d model of the case, right?) but, how about maps, artworks and things like that? Will they have some special place like "Extras" or "Maps" on the database or you're not going to store them?.
  • Are you planning to link to external resources like reviews or guides? (for example, link to a specific entry on gamefaqs or a review from some online magazine).
Well, these are some of my doubts and if I keep reading the forum maybe there will be more (hope you don't mind if I ask... :D ). I'll try to help bringing new ideas and when the time comes to start developing maybe I'll be able to help.
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Re: Greetings and some doubts

Postby Ultyzarus » 22 May 2014, 21:15

I'm not one of the founders here, but the cover art template was my idea, so here is how I see it:
When adding a new set of cover art, the user will select one of the existing templates and upload his files to each of the available upload slots. Those package type will be in layers, so lets see how it goes with a fictional collector edition:

It's a PS3 keep case inside a Slipcase, and includes a soundtrack, so the cover layers would be:
-Slipcase
-PS3 Keep Case (with X number of discs and manual templates attached to it)
-Jewel Case (with X number of discs attached to it)

In addition to packaging templates, I would also create media, manual and other stuff templates (the manual template would for instance have two upload slots, front and back, while an artbook template would have front, back and spine)

I would also have specific templates, such as blue, white or green keep cases. Many would have to be added over time, but it is quite easily manageable. I think there should also be a color picker to fill slots that don't have any art....
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Re: Greetings and some doubts

Postby pharum » 22 May 2014, 21:51

Ok, I think its a great idea. The color picker should be enough to fill the empty slots.

But when I was talking about artwork and maps, it's about the digital media like the artwork which sometimes come inside the CDs of some games, the artwork published online by the developers to rise the hype of their next game or the digitalization of the manual in pdf (I don't know if the last one is possible in terms of copyright). Maybe also, media custom made by users but relevant to a game. I just ask because I don't know if it's one of the objectives of the database but it could be a good idea to cover as much information about a game as possible.
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Re: Greetings and some doubts

Postby Ultyzarus » 22 May 2014, 22:28

There will definitely be screenshots, but a section for other artwork could be interesting. I just don't know how it could be managed...
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Re: Greetings and some doubts

Postby pharum » 22 May 2014, 23:22

Maybe an independent section for this kind of things, an "Extras", "Additional Content" or "Goodies" section (the name is not relevant right now), but I think that this kind of things must be separated from the screenshots or cover images.
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Re: Greetings and some doubts

Postby MZ per X » 23 May 2014, 16:07

pharum wrote:Hi everyone, I'm new around here and I'm trying to understand the scope of this project and how you're plannig to do it. First of all, let me tell you that I love what you're trying to accomplish and the way you're planning everything is amazing, I'm a computer engineer I think it's the right thing to do. The agile aproach is great but things like the Data Model must be clear from the beginning to try cover every corner case possible.

Hi pharum, nice to have you here! :)

Thanks for your encouraging words, this is really appreciated. Planning everything upfront is as important as it is impossible. :) You just cannot consider every corner case out there, but I hope that we will have most of them covered without drifting too much into "German over-engineering" or wasting too much time. And building a solid legal and technical basis is essential, as we've learned from other projects' problems over the years.

pharum wrote:First of all, I've been looking at the test pages on the wiki (the monkey island one) and I'm not sure how you're storing the compilations. Is it a Game with a specific game type and relations to the different releases that it contains?

Basically, yes. Every compilation will have its own game entry flagged as such. This is necessary because compilations, just like every game, have their own release histories which we need to document. We will then mirror every compilation release to the games contained in it. While this is quite some data duplication, I think it is necessary, because the mirrored game releases will have slightly different data in it. For instance, while we will link all the media covers to the compilation release, the mirrored game release will only have the media with the game on it linked. BTW I wrote a blog piece about this some time ago.

pharum wrote:Another thing I'm curious about is what you're going to store about each game. I know that you're going to store images of different types but, are you planning this types to be like categories?. Let me explain, for example, you have screenshots or different types of covers (BTW I like your approach about the box model for the covers, with the covers stored like that you can make a 3d model of the case, right?) but, how about maps, artworks and things like that? Will they have some special place like "Extras" or "Maps" on the database or you're not going to store them?

Basically, we will try to store everything about each game. :) All the things that come with releases will be stored as goodies. We just need to expand the data model for this, e.g. separating between digital and printed goodies, or link the goodies to the packagings or media where they belong to, or find a way to document goodies outside releases, e.g. from internet sites. If you take a look at our UML model, you will find a group "ReleaseContent" which shows the current state.

Screenshots and covers are stored elsewhere in the data model. Screenshots are not implemented, yet, but will have tags attached to it like screen resolution, graphics mode, or game content shown. Covers already have types implemented, too.

pharum wrote:Are you planning to link to external resources like reviews or guides? (for example, link to a specific entry on gamefaqs or a review from some online magazine).

Yes. But as we aim to really preserve things forever, and as links tend to often die, we will always prefer screenshots of online reviews or dumps of game FAQs. Having said this, we will of course respect the copyrights, so such stuff will be stored as a non-visible backup of the link, I think, just in case it dies or we'll get author's permission to publish it at Oregami.

pharum wrote:Well, these are some of my doubts and if I keep reading the forum maybe there will be more (hope you don't mind if I ask... :D ). I'll try to help bringing new ideas and when the time comes to start developing maybe I'll be able to help.

We certainly don't mind answering questions. Questions and doubts are really important to further improve our planning. And the time for developing is now, please just watch gene's developer diary, and jump in if you feel like. :)
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Re: Greetings and some doubts

Postby pharum » 23 May 2014, 19:56

MZ per X wrote:Basically, yes. Every compilation will have its own game entry flagged as such. This is necessary because compilations, just like every game, have their own release histories which we need to document. We will then mirror every compilation release to the games contained in it. While this is quite some data duplication, I think it is necessary, because the mirrored game releases will have slightly different data in it. For instance, while we will link all the media covers to the compilation release, the mirrored game release will only have the media with the game on it linked. BTW I wrote a blog piece about this some time ago.


Ok, I understand it now, thanks. I'll take a look to the blog posts, they are in my todo reading list :D

MZ per X wrote:Basically, we will try to store everything about each game. :) All the things that come with releases will be stored as goodies. We just need to expand the data model for this, e.g. separating between digital and printed goodies, or link the goodies to the packagings or media where they belong to, or find a way to document goodies outside releases, e.g. from internet sites. If you take a look at our UML model, you will find a group "ReleaseContent" which shows the current state.


Storing everything about each game is the right thing to do!! . Maybe if we allow the Goodies class to attach a file (taking care of what filetypes the users are allowed to upload) we can cover most of these cases to keep them.

MZ per X wrote:Yes. But as we aim to really preserve things forever, and as links tend to often die, we will always prefer screenshots of online reviews or dumps of game FAQs. Having said this, we will of course respect the copyrights, so such stuff will be stored as a non-visible backup of the link, I think, just in case it dies or we'll get author's permission to publish it at Oregami.


Yes, I was thinking the same thing. External resources tend to change and eventually die and if we plan to keep everything its not a good solution, but maybe we can think of a solution to store the relevant information from these external resources in the database (what you say can be a good solution)

MZ per X wrote:We certainly don't mind answering questions. Questions and doubts are really important to further improve our planning. And the time for developing is now, please just watch gene's developer diary, and jump in if you feel like.


Great, thanks! I'll keep asking :D. I saw this morning that gene posted the first version of the generic server. I'll take a look at the code and talk to gene to see if I can help with anything.
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Re: Greetings and some doubts

Postby MZ per X » 23 May 2014, 20:53

pharum wrote:Great, thanks! I'll keep asking :D. I saw this morning that gene posted the first version of the generic server. I'll take a look at the code and talk to gene to see if I can help with anything.

Looking forward to your questions. I suggest using the respective threads in the "Features" board, regardless of how old they may be, so we have everything roughly in one place. And if there's no thread your question would fit in, don't hesitate to open a new one.

As development goes, setting up a development environment would be a good start. Here and here are gene's HowTo's.
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