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  #1  
Old Nov 8, 2011, 08:41 AM
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Default Products - Phase II

So it's been over a year since I first implemented the product-linking system, and I've done very little work on it since then. I think we've got some solid answers to questions that I had back then, and it's time to push this feature to completion. First, I'd like to thank you guys for using the system so far, particularly Cedille, Seanne, and CHz, who really kept it rolling long after I got lazy. Anyway, I've put together a short design document for the next phase of this. Most of it is notional, and definitely open to discussion. A few things need to be hammered out, and any new ideas are welcome:


1. Linking to Releases

We need to be able to optionally link an album through the product to one or more releases. This indicates that music on that album comes specifically from the specified releases.
  • New database field to contain list of release ids. (Blah's idea from 1st thread)
  • Product linking page needs multi-selection box that contains releases. This will appear only on linked products, so one additional step required to link to releases.
  • Can select multiple or no release. No linked release means the music is common to all releases
  • Linked albums need to propagate up to product / franchise (I think this will work with no change).
  • Would be nice to display the release in the album list on the product pages, but I don't know how to fit it yet.
  • Need a way to mark these on the album page in the products display (e.g., "Final Fantasy VII (PC)")


2. Product link classification

We would like to provide metadata that describes how an album relates to a product. This classification resembles the album classification.
Quote:
Original Soundtrack
Arrangement
Fan Arrangement
Vocal Arrangement
Drama
Talk
"uses themes?"
Derivative Work (like "inspired by" albums)
  • Need to finalize list of classifications. (Should we use all the album classifications + a couple extra?)
  • New database field to contain list of release ids.
  • Product linking page needs multi-selection box that contains release. This will appear only on assigned products, and must be filled in order to link.
  • We can smartly fill the field's initial values based on the album classification, and the submitter can modify as needed.
  • Must select at least one classification. Can select multiple classifications.
  • Would be nice to display this classification in the album list on the product pages, but I don't know how to fit it yet.
  • Add a filter on the product page that lets you filter albums by classification (just like the filter on the artist page works)
  • Should we differentiate these in the product field on the album page? (maybe different colors for the different types)


3. Product-Artist Cross-reference

This is the big one right here, adding something that people have wanted for a long time, and something that effectively closes the loop on our coverage.
(Populating this table may also require some discussion with other sites.)
  • Linking will occur on edit-product page (most likely). Need to divine an intuitive interface.
  • New roles may be needed. We need to resurrect the effort to standardize on a role list.
  • New tab on artist pages will show the "game discography" (forward chronological)
  • New tab on product/release page will list artists and their roles
  • Will also be able to assign artists to specific releases.
  • I will need Blah's help to make the product and artist pages look good with this (page html; javascript for tab switching; etc.)


4. Product (and release) page design

Mostly, we need to figure out what to do with the big space to the right of the logo.
  • Add short description and notes fields?
  • Use flags instead of currencies (need to find a good set)
  • Add any missing "delete" operations from the edit pages


5. Deployment
  • Submission guidelines
  • Open the whole thing up to Trusted Editors after a short beta.


6. Long range future project: Cataloging technical details for game's music

This is very long range, and difficult to plan for, but it would be very cool. It's also something nobody has ever really tried to catalog.
  • Compile artist credits for every piece of music in a game.
  • Data on how the sound data is stored -- spc, wav files, psf
  • All those redbooks we've been saving would fit in here in some way
  • Not sure how non-game products fit in here.
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  #2  
Old Nov 8, 2011, 11:39 AM
Cedille Cedille is offline
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I'd nice to be able to link product to companies, too.

Btw, have we ever considered changing the "Related Albums" section where currently only the albums sharing the exact same text are shown up? Because of this, if someone writes more than one product name in an entry, the section doesn't work well as intended. I've never wrote any server side script, but I think we could just separate the string at the product field by comma, assign each of them to an array, and run SQL commands to search the database. The possible issues with this is it might often return more than 10 results which seems to be the maximum one page can display, and how to handle a product which include a comma in its name (I doubt there are so many, but I know some)
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  #3  
Old Nov 8, 2011, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cedille View Post
I'd nice to be able to link product to companies, too.
I hadn't considered that connection. We wouldn't be able to completely cover that, unless we permit addition of companies that have no publishing or distribution credits for albums

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cedille View Post
Btw, have we ever considered changing the "Related Albums" section where currently only the albums sharing the exact same text are shown up? Because of this, if someone writes more than one product name in an entry, the section doesn't work well as intended. I've never wrote any server side script, but I think we could just separate the string at the product field by comma, assign each of them to an array, and run SQL commands to search the database. The possible issues with this is it might often return more than 10 results which seems to be the maximum one page can display, and how to handle a product which include a comma in its name (I doubt there are so many, but I know some)
We've considered it, but need to come up with a formula -- something like a weighted index that includes product-similarity, artist-similarity, classification-similarity, and similar rating by the same raters. That would be too slow to compute each time an album page is loaded, so it would have to be cached and run daily.

I also forgot a few details above about distinguishing release-links and different classifications of product links on the album page.
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  #4  
Old Nov 8, 2011, 02:16 PM
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you can replace the comma by a CR
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  #5  
Old Nov 12, 2011, 04:10 PM
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I started working on things, but then I found a major SQL slow-down in listing the albums on the Franchise pages. The slowdown was caused by an OR clause that was there to display all the reprint albums. I figured out a way to rewrite the query so that it is more efficient. So, the Final Fantasy page used to take 6.5 seconds to load, but now it takes 0.11 seconds.
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  #6  
Old Nov 13, 2011, 02:45 PM
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Sounds good to me - the only additional thing I can think of at the moment would be to separate official and unofficial releases, like we do on artist pages.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Secret Squirrel View Post
Mostly, we need to figure out what to do with the big space to the right of the logo.
Isn't it supposed to be used for various sound related credits?
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  #7  
Old Nov 14, 2011, 07:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seanne View Post
Sounds good to me - the only additional thing I can think of at the moment would be to separate official and unofficial releases, like we do on artist pages.
I was thinking about using the Product Link Classification to allow the user to filter the album list. Unofficial albums would fall (mostly) under Fan Arrange. If we separate them like the artist pages, then we would probably have to take the further step of dropping the pagination in the album list, and just showing the whole list, which would make the game pages very long. (The alternative - two independently paginating lists on the same page is kind of weird.) The current design isn't set it stone, so it is possible to consider. We have so many other elements to add to this list, that a redesign is inevitable.

Actually, I hadn't considered making the album list look more like the artist page in style, but it might actually be cleaner. I've been using the same style as the org pages.

Quote:
Originally Posted by seanne View Post
Isn't it supposed to be used for various sound related credits?
I think the number of different roles we'll credit for a game could be much larger than we'd want for that box, so I was thinking about putting them in a separate tab that you could switch to (kind of like how we switch between tracklists without re-loading the rest of the page.)

I'm going to add a short "Description" field to the box, and remove the two roles that are there. Maybe we should use Cedille's idea and listthe publisher(s) here too.
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  #8  
Old Nov 15, 2011, 07:40 PM
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So, which way to you like it?

http://vgmdb.net/product/182

http://vgmdb.net/product/182?exp

Note, still notional, and I just copied how we do it on the artist pages, but some adjustment maybe needed. The "Original", "Fan Arrange", etc. classifications are just notional, as we don't have that data in the links yet.

If you want to look at another page with the artist-style disco, just append ?exp to the URL.

EDIT - I think I'm sold on the new style.
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  #9  
Old Nov 15, 2011, 10:01 PM
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I like the new style. I'm thinking perhaps we should just have the year in the date column as well and remove the year section dividers (so that we have a regular table).

Also, I'm wondering if artist discographies should be sorted by year descending as well.
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  #10  
Old Nov 16, 2011, 05:16 AM
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Thanks. I'll switch it over to use the new style tonight.

I still like having the section dividers though, particularly for long discographies. Maybe it's because I don't have the best eyes, but it makes it easier to find the year you want.

I guess the artist page is now the only forward sorting list, so reversing it would be more consistent. On the other hand, I think people have come to expect discos to sort in forward chronological order (if Discogs is any indication). I could just as easily switch it to forward chronological order on the product pages.
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  #11  
Old Nov 16, 2011, 06:19 PM
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  • Product discographies converted to the new style
  • Notes field added for franchises and titles - use this for any miscellaneous info
  • Description field added for titles - use this for a short description of a product
  • Publisher field added for titles - use this for the publisher(s)

Next up is linking to specific releases. Could you guys give me some examples of some already-linked products that should be linked to releases?
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  #12  
Old Nov 16, 2011, 08:16 PM
Cedille Cedille is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Secret Squirrel View Post
[*]Description field added for titles - use this for a short description of a product
Could we do a quick search for that field, too? VGMdb doesn't use unofficially translated titles, but this trend is actually pretty common among the gaming community (e.g. NeoGAF). So I'd want to habor them somewhere so that we don't alienate casual visitors.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Secret Squirrel View Post
[*]Publisher field added for titles - use this for the publisher(s)[/LIST]
While I hate to make things complicated, I think Developers are also entitled to stay here. Perhaps 'Related Organization' or such, on the condition that we don't make a company entry that has never published VGM albums.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Secret Squirrel View Post
Next up is linking to specific releases. Could you guys give me some examples of some already-linked products that should be linked to releases?

http://vgmdb.net/album/308
http://vgmdb.net/album/5659
http://vgmdb.net/album/5681
http://vgmdb.net/album/10164
http://vgmdb.net/album/15275

I had some little concern about linking a release, along with a suggestion for platform table abolishment, but I didn't have time and want to see how it's implemented first. Thanks for hard works so far anyway.

Last edited by Cedille; Nov 16, 2011 at 08:18 PM.
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  #13  
Old Nov 17, 2011, 07:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cedille View Post
Could we do a quick search for that field, too? VGMdb doesn't use unofficially translated titles, but this trend is actually pretty common among the gaming community (e.g. NeoGAF). So I'd want to habor them somewhere so that we don't alienate casual visitors..
We could do this, but there's no way to prevent searches from matching the rest of the text in the descriptions, so there is the potential for lots of false positives.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cedille View Post
While I hate to make things complicated, I think Developers are also entitled to stay here. Perhaps 'Related Organization' or such, on the condition that we don't make a company entry that has never published VGM albums..
I renamed the field to Organizations, so we can put all publishers and developers in a comma-separated list. Our goal isn't to reconstruct the whole taxonomy of game developers and distributors, so this should be adequate. We can make this linkable too, like we've done with labels on the album page.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cedille View Post
I had some little concern about linking a release, along with a suggestion for platform table abolishment, but I didn't have time and want to see how it's implemented first. Thanks for hard works so far anyway.
I don't think it would lead to complete abolition, because albums still need to be searchable on the platform field, just like artists are now. The Product and Platform sections will probably have to change though. I was pondering how to do this, because there's a lot more info we want to present:

Quote:
Originally Posted by OLD
Xenogears, Chocobo Racing, Minesweeper, Final Fantasy VIII, The Pokemon Movie
Quote:
Originally Posted by NEW
Xenogears (Sony Playstation) Soundtrack, Arrange
Chocobo Racing (Sony Playstation 2) Fan Arrange
Minesweeper (Multiple) Vocal, Arrange
Final Fantasy VIII (Sony Playstation, PC) Drama, Talk, Image
The Pokemon Movie Soundtrack
That's a lot of text which will make this section a lot longer. Is there a way to compress this info? I don't know. Colors are probably out, because they should be used to denote the product type (game, anime, radio, pub) -- I don't remember if that's implemented yet.

(Note, I used "Multiple" as a replacement for a large number (maybe >5?). Just an idea that can be discussed.)

Note also that some of these may be linked to a title, and not a specific release, so that means that the platforms from all of that title's releases had to be gathered and listed. Generally, an album can be linked to zero or more releases. If it is linked to no releases, the assumption is that it contains music from all releases. An album should not be linked to a product when it contains no music that relates in any way (via the classifications) to any of its releases.

EDIT - Of course, releases can have different names on different platforms. We might have to be even more clever about this, but I'm still lacking examples that I can use to define usecases.)
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  #14  
Old Nov 18, 2011, 05:18 PM
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Some thoughts.

- IMO products have big 'soft-requeriments' that should be lowered. Release dates, moby/ocr-links, etc. I'd have bare entries + albums links, and encourage other users to fill the product over time (plenty of English info out there, hard to screw up, not our priority anyway).
There are some minor franchises I'd like to add but having to hunt and double check exact release days, logos and whatnot for stuff very few care is just too much. Even worse with old games with tons of releases. You could say "oh but it's just a few of minutes" but it adds up to hours...
Sorry if I sound negative, nobody take it personally. I do like products and appreciate the hard work.

- Linking to concrete releases would be nice indeed.

- Platforms for anime please: series, OVA, movie.

- Product page: album filters, even cheapo JS "clic and hide" stuff, would be appreciated (orange noooo).

- Now that you can search products, alternate US titles in the album titles (for search purposes) could be dropped --cleaner albums, simpler to mantain, clear guidelines. See this.

- For the products list I prefer linear rather than comma-separated list (looks bad). Some simple abbreviations +tooltips could work well.
Quote:
> Products Represented
Xenogears (PS) S,A
Chocobo Racing (PS2) F
Minesweeper (Multi) V,A
Final Fantasy VIII (PS/PC) D,T,I
The Pokemon Movie Soundtrack
- Searching with the quickbox, you skip the "search results" page of only one match was found. Now many product and album's names will be shared you won't be able to do that.
What about adding some prefix searches like "a=final fantasy viii", "p=tales phantasia" to limit the queries to album/products and so on? (this would be useful in general too)
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  #15  
Old Nov 18, 2011, 07:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dag View Post
- IMO products have big 'soft-requeriments' that should be lowered. Release dates, moby/ocr-links, etc. I'd have bare entries + albums links, and encourage other users to fill the product over time (plenty of English info out there, hard to screw up, not our priority anyway).
There are some minor franchises I'd like to add but having to hunt and double check exact release days, logos and whatnot for stuff very few care is just too much. Even worse with old games with tons of releases. You could say "oh but it's just a few of minutes" but it adds up to hours...
Sorry if I sound negative, nobody take it personally. I do like products and appreciate the hard work.
I do understand. It is time-consuming, which is partially why I haven't submitted many entries either. Maybe we could talk about relaxing some of those, or trying to automate some of the steps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dag View Post
Platforms for anime please: series, OVA, movie.
We've been talking about the platform field going away once an album is linkd to products. Still, this would be easy to add, and probably wouldn't hurt anything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dag View Post
Product page: album filters, even cheapo JS "clic and hide" stuff, would be appreciated (orange noooo).
This is coming.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dag View Post
For the products list I prefer linear rather than comma-separated list (looks bad). Some simple abbreviations +tooltips could work well.
I'm glad someone else agrees. I just experimented with breaking out the product field line by line as you suggested. Go ahead and check out some albums, and see if there's anything you don't like about it. We might need to shorten some of the other stuff up top (the add to wishlist/collection area seems like it could be packed more efficiently.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dag View Post
Searching with the quickbox, you skip the "search results" page of only one match was found. Now many product and album's names will be shared you won't be able to do that.
What about adding some prefix searches like "a=final fantasy viii", "p=tales phantasia" to limit the queries to album/products and so on? (this would be useful in general too)
I don't have an opinion on this, as I don't think I would use it (especially with the advanced search panel just one click away.)
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Old Nov 18, 2011, 07:53 PM
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Did you break the line by comma? That doesn't work with products including a comma in its name (and that's part of why I had no idea how to separate and assign strings at the product field to an array adequately).

http://vgmdb.net/album/19579
http://vgmdb.net/album/15638

I thought we should ultimately stop separating artists and products names by manually added commas, but it might mean the total redesign of the submission system...
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  #17  
Old Nov 18, 2011, 08:00 PM
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Yeah, that totally breaks it. I think quite a few animes have commas, so we are probably going to have to think about finding the least painful way to transition this field to <CR> separated. At least the product field would be easier than the artist fields. They have much more that depend on them.
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  #18  
Old Nov 18, 2011, 08:11 PM
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I like the linear separation for the products...

Though i think it's not working as intended and too confusing without any separation character.
As stated above, products with a comma in the title is causing problems..
AND
it's confusing because you can't tell anymore what is the complete title of the game, it's becoming too confusing:

Example here

Doki Doki Penguin Land: Uchu
Daibouken

I do know that the complete title is "Doki Doki Penguin Land: Uchu Daibouken", but the profane might not..
Is a game "Doki Doki Penguin Land: Uchu" ? and "Daibouken" another one ?

I hope you get my point.
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Old Nov 18, 2011, 08:17 PM
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Holy cow, that has a lot of products.

I'm thinking the extra platform and classification info might help some.

Quote:
> Products Represented
Xenogears (PS) S,A
Doki Doki Penguin Land: Uchu
Daibouken (PS2) F
Minesweeper (Multi) V,A
Final Fantasy VIII (PS/PC) D,T,I
The Pokemon Movie Soundtrack
The only alternative might be to put some more space in between entries, but then that would push scans and links down much further on the page. On a related note, I wonder if we should do some reorganization -- move links and purchase links up, and drop related albums altogether.
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Old Nov 19, 2011, 01:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Secret Squirrel View Post
I do understand. It is time-consuming, which is partially why I haven't submitted many entries either. Maybe we could talk about relaxing some of those, or trying to automate some of the steps.
I understand having complete data is this site's creed, but IMO easing up the 'workload' for contributors is very important, for functions only +trusted can use, since there are so few active people.
Consider old animes that were released in many countries in who knows which date. Original release is more than enough for me, and users from each country could complete the dates better than I'd could/would.

A few alternatives you could use to keep the product page complete while I retain my sanity would be adding auto links if no exact links exist, using relevant sites' GET functions. Ex.-
(if the releases' platforms include games, use generic links)
* Mobygames (auto): http://www.mobygames.com/search/quick?q=okami
* Ocremix (auto): http://ocremix.org/quicksearch/game/?qs_query=okami
* Gamefaqs (auto): http://www.gamefaqs.com/search/index.html?game=okami
(but if I add manual links, no need for the above)
* Mobygames (PS2): http://www.mobygames.com/game/ps2/kami
* Mobygames (Wii): http://www.mobygames.com/game/wii/kami
* Ocremix: http://ocremix.org/game/537/okami-ps2
* Gamefaqs: http://www.gamefaqs.com/ps2/920500-okami
(also, if there are anime series/ova/movie releases)
* ANN (auto): http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/search?q=naruto


Quote:
Originally Posted by Secret Squirrel View Post
We've been talking about the platform field going away once an album is linkd to products. Still, this would be easy to add, and probably wouldn't hurt anything.
I too agree on taking it away the platform field after linking, but those would be used for the product page releases too.
Example - all releases are "unspecified".


For the product list, maybe you could separate them by comma when no products are linked, and linear by linked entries when they are. This way the separation wouldn't fail, I think, plus the incentive to link the albums.
About the problem Myrkul mentioned, if we make it a css bullet list?
Code:
> Products Represented
* Xenogears (PS) S,A
* Chocobo Racing (PS2) F
* Minesweeper (Multi) V,A
* Doki Doki Penguin Land: Uchu
  Daibouken (AC) D,T,I
* Final Fantasy VIII (PS/PC) D,T,I
* The Pokemon Movie Soundtrack (Movie)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cedille View Post
I thought we should ultimately stop separating artists and products names by manually added commas, but it might mean the total redesign of the submission system...
This I completely agree with. Again not too sound ungrateful or anything, but synchronizing large fields can be a such pain.
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  #21  
Old Nov 19, 2011, 07:22 PM
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I think the comma-separated fields can be converted to <CR>-separated without too much major restructuring. The product field is probably easier to deal with than the others. Moreover, for Products I switched the old static textbox out for a resizable text area, and it seems to be working well. It makes editing the product list a little easier. These may help even if we keep separating by commas.

I've set it back to display the comma-separated products when there are no links, so that takes messing around with that out of the critical path for product work.

Meanwhile, getting the products to display nicely on the album page is going to be more work than I thought. The release info we need spreads our SQL lookup across a couple more tables, and I'd like to do it in one query, so I have to stick this stuff in a data structure. Also, I have to abbreviate every product, put those somewhere accessible, and come up with some logic to display "Multi" whenver it's just too long. Then, there's making it all look good....

Anyway, the select-box for releases is up for comment, though it isn't activated yet.

The search-links idea is an interesting one. We currently only have one precedent for it -- the google search tab that appears in the Simple Search results. I guess I'm really not a fan of those unless we are going to make it a consistent feature over the rest of the site (albums, artists, etc.)
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  #22  
Old Nov 21, 2011, 05:22 PM
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The mechanics of release linking works. You can select one or more releases, or you can select "All Releases" when the album contains music that is found on all releases. You can even select "All Releases" and another release, if the album contains music from all releases and music from a specific release.

Albums appear on the release pages now. I've separated the discography into 2 sections, one for albums that contain music specifically for that release, and one for albums that are common to all releases. Both of these are different than what you get up on the title product page.

http://vgmdb.net/db/release.php?id=1161
http://vgmdb.net/db/release.php?id=87

You can follow the links from the product pages to the release pages now, but only for releases that have albums linked to them. (I didn't want to generate a bunch of new pages with no useful info.)

Next, I need to work on how this stuff displays on the album page.
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  #23  
Old Nov 21, 2011, 11:26 PM
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Been playing with linking releases. Nice work.

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Originally Posted by Secret Squirrel View Post
Next, I need to work on how this stuff displays on the album page.
My #1 thought is that there should be some way of grouping or culling "similar releases." It would suck to see Infinity Gene in the list three times for the Evolutional Theory album. I think this could be potentially difficult/impossible to automate without adding a way to manually group releases, though.
  • Same title on different platforms: could group as "Space Invaders Infinity Gene (iOS, XB360, PS3)"
  • Different title on same platform because of localization: not showing both "Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles" and "Akumajo Dracula X Chronicle" on the Dracula X Chronicles OST (ideally this would be selectable by language preference)
  • Different title on same platform because of limited edition, reprints, etc.: Little Busters! Ecstasy Tracks would hopefully show just "Little Busters-EX" and not "Little Busters-EX, Little Busters-EX (First Press Limited Edition)"
  • Different title on different platform because of retitling ports/remakes or localization: (EDIT) Little Busters-EX was later ported to the PS2 and PSP as Little Busters Converted Edition. Both EX and CE releases are covered on Ecstasy Tracks. Maybe at that point it would be better to ungroup and show "Little Busters-EX, Little Busters Converted Edition."
Some of these cases could also be solvable by being stingier with creating releases or looser with creating products. (EDIT) Could also just collapse all specific release info entirely: hide it all until the user clicks and then show all covered releases without having to worry about grouping and shit. It'd certainly work better with the new vertical listing than it would have before.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Secret Squirrel View Post
You can even select "All Releases" and another release, if the album contains music from all releases and music from a specific release.
This is cool, and I've already run across a couple of uses for it. Is the plan to show both the main product and then the specific release separately?


ANOTHER THOUGHT: I'm going to end up linking the Little Busters-EX and CE releases to a number of albums. Looks like 15. No big deal, has to be done at some point.

Suppose the game is rereleased again later: another port, or a Best Edition or whatever. So I add another release. But now I have to go back through those 15 albums again and link them to the new release too. This is lame.

Last edited by CHz; Nov 22, 2011 at 04:16 AM. Reason: added more content
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  #24  
Old Nov 22, 2011, 05:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHz View Post
Been playing with linking releases. Nice work.
Thanks! And thanks for the thorough comments.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CHz View Post
My #1 thought is that there should be some way of grouping or culling "similar releases." It would suck to see Infinity Gene in the list three times for the Evolutional Theory album. I think this could be potentially difficult/impossible to automate without adding a way to manually group releases, though.
Actually, I was thinking that there would only be one link for any product, but that you could hover over the link, and the hover text would give the full detailed breakdown - every release and every classification relationship. I was pondering some exceptions, like if it's linked to 2 releases, and the releases have different names and platforms, then maybe we can put both links. However, we don't really want "Best of", or "2500 Series" to trigger new links, since they are also just reprints.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CHz View Post
  • Same title on different platforms: could group as "Space Invaders Infinity Gene (iOS, XB360, PS3)"
  • Different title on same platform because of localization: not showing both "Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles" and "Akumajo Dracula X Chronicle" on the Dracula X Chronicles OST (ideally this would be selectable by language preference)
  • Different title on same platform because of limited edition, reprints, etc.: Little Busters! Ecstasy Tracks would hopefully show just "Little Busters-EX" and not "Little Busters-EX, Little Busters-EX (First Press Limited Edition)"
  • Different title on different platform because of retitling ports/remakes or localization: (EDIT) Little Busters-EX was later ported to the PS2 and PSP as Little Busters Converted Edition. Both EX and CE releases are covered on Ecstasy Tracks. Maybe at that point it would be better to ungroup and show "Little Busters-EX, Little Busters Converted Edition."
You pretty much outlined it all here. With those rules, we could automate this and I think the result would be reasonable. By the way, the links already do change with the language setting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CHz View Post
Some of these cases could also be solvable by being stingier with creating releases or looser with creating products. (EDIT) Could also just collapse all specific release info entirely: hide it all until the user clicks and then show all covered releases without having to worry about grouping and shit. It'd certainly work better with the new vertical listing than it would have before.
We could do something like that too. I was leaning towards the hover text instead, and will probably implement that. However, some of you guys are pretty good at clever designs, so we should leave it open for replacement with something better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CHz View Post
This is cool, and I've already run across a couple of uses for it. Is the plan to show both the main product and then the specific release separately?
We could do that, since these are special cases.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CHz View Post
ANOTHER THOUGHT: I'm going to end up linking the Little Busters-EX and CE releases to a number of albums. Looks like 15. No big deal, has to be done at some point.

Suppose the game is rereleased again later: another port, or a Best Edition or whatever. So I add another release. But now I have to go back through those 15 albums again and link them to the new release too. This is lame.
Yeah, that would be a lot of work for minimal gain. We could add a couple of features to remedy this. One would be a "reverse linkup" page, where you can select which albums link to a release from the full list of the product's albums. Another idea is to allow you to copy the album-release relationship from an existing release when you create a new one.

Also, much of what we talked about in this post is applicable to the classification, which will be coming along shortly.
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Old Nov 22, 2011, 06:09 AM
Cedille Cedille is offline
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I think other members could elaborate it better and can give you a constructive suggestion, so I'll just talk about this particular problem. In my understanding, regardless of how many releases are related to one album, we have to add and assign only one product name and then specify the releases. That's reasonable, but at the same time, I think it could be confusing in some case.

For instance, this album is a soundtrack for a PSP remade game Tacics Ogre: Unmei no Wa, which was originally released as Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together for SNES in the world, yet the remake was released under Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together outside of Japan. More complicated is this album also contains some tracks from the original SNES game. So the least misleading album page could be like below;




I know, with the platforms selected (SNES and PSP), users could barely figure out these mess, but I don't expect much from the platform field especially if multiple consoles and system are selected. The remake FFVI page also depends on the platform field so strongly, and if a bunch of platforms are selected, we can no longer figure out it's the remake, even after clicking the name and visit the product page.

All that being said, sorry if I'm missing something and we're just at the alpha stage and this issue will be later solved by an ongoing development.
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Old Nov 22, 2011, 06:31 AM
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Secret Squirrel Secret Squirrel is offline
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This definitely highlights that what we have so far doesn't solve all the problems.

One thing to keep in mind is: there will sometimes be cases where you want to manually create 2 separate links to the same product. Let's say an album contains the original soundtrack for the PSP release, but it also contains an arrangement of a track from the SNES. In that case, you would need two links so that you could get:

- ProductName (PSP) Soundtrack
- ProductName (SNES) Arrange

There isn't any other way that makes sense to do it.

Another tricky one, Okami. Since they removed the staff-roll for the Wii remake, there is 1 track on the soundtrack that doesn't appear on the Wii version. I wonder how we should represent this (if at all)...
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Old Nov 22, 2011, 06:17 PM
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CHz CHz is offline
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A couple of quick bug reports:

I'm trying to link up a specific release of Natsume Brothers! to this album: http://vgmdb.net/album/17926. However, none of the releases are showing up. Maybe because the data for the releases are incomplete?

The catalog number field on release pages isn't working. This release should be showing SLPM-55203, but instead it's showing PCCA-90027: http://vgmdb.net/db/release.php?id=1769. That happens to be the catalog number of the last album displayed in the list, so my guess is a variable is getting clobbered.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Secret Squirrel View Post
However, we don't really want "Best of", or "2500 Series" to trigger new links, since they are also just reprints.
A thought: maybe adding a "reprint" flag or (more complicated) a way to add relationships between releases? Could be a way of clearing up some of the name linking issues.
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Old Nov 22, 2011, 09:47 PM
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Thanks, both bugs are now fixed.

Will have to think about this idea of a reprint flag, which may make some things easier.

EDIT: for the curious

Bug 1 - Needed to change INNER JOIN to LEFT JOIN so that we don't exclude from the query albums that don't have the platform listed.
Bug 2 - When I added the new code for querying and displaying the album list, I accidentally reused the variable containing the catalog number.
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Old Nov 24, 2011, 06:04 AM
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Just getting ready to head over to my sister's house for Thanksgiving. The next thing I'm going to work on (most likely tomorrow) is the classification selection. I want to get the mechanics of this completed now since it looks like there's a lot more product linking happening. After that is working, I'll work on the album page display issues and maybe the reprint flag.

To continue, we need to discuss the list of classifications (this discussion may seem familiar):

Quote:
Original Soundtrack
Arrangement
Fan Arrangement
Vocal Arrangement
OP/ED/insert song
Drama
Talk
Prototype/Unused
Sound Effect
Data
Video
"uses themes?" (like when an anime uses themes from the game that inspired it)
Derivative Work (like "inspired by" albums)
Maybe we don't need some of these, or maybe we are missing some important ones.

Also, once we decide on these, I'll seed the current links using the albums classification, and then we will need to fix any mistakes that arise.
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Old Nov 25, 2011, 08:01 PM
Cedille Cedille is offline
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Much as I hate to make things complicated or messy, I eventually conclude that we have to make album pages basically list every release name, since otherwise we can't understand what game(s) is behind the album we're looking at, until we click the link and visit the product page.

http://vgmdb.net/album/4061
http://vgmdb.net/album/18160

These albums contain music from expansions of FFXI, and rather than plain "Final Fantasy XI" alone, I think it would be clearer to everybody that all the related expansion names are displayed there.



The biggest problem with this method is we have multiple releases to linkify and have to puzzle about which one to link; As we make a release entry per console, per region, and FFXI is released for PS2, PC, 360 and in Japan, US, Europe, Australia, we have more than 10 candidates to pick up! Perhaps we just link only one product while putting more into a link text, or use a menu, but I'm not sure either of them is ever possible with our linking system and language switch options (or is even worthy of consideration, to begin with). If you're going to solve this by hover text or such, mine can be easily neglected.
Quote:
<a href="http://vgmdb.net/product/206">
Final Fantasy XI<br>
Final Fantasy XI: Rise of the Zilart<br>
Final Fantasy XI: Chains of Promathia<br>
Final Fantasy XI: Treasures of Aht Urhgan<br>
Final Fantasy XI: Wings of the Goddess
</a>


As for another usage for "Related Album" section; we now probably have better and more comprehensive way to provide product-based information (despite it being one click away from the album page), but rather than removing the section as a whole, we could display album-based relationship (e.g. Scitron 1500 series, SQ series, Club Nintendo gift albums, 'SQ' series, etc, none of them can be grouped by us).

Quote:
Original Soundtrack
Arrangement
Fan Arrangement
Vocal Arrangement
OP/ED/insert song
Drama
Talk
Prototype/Unused
Sound Effect
Data
Video
"uses themes?" (like when an anime uses themes from the game that inspired it)
Derivative Work (like "inspired by" albums)
Look fine to me. "uses themes" could be helpful to handle game cases like below, but I don't want to see almost every Final Fantasy album to have "Final Fantasy I" just because of "Prelude" arranged somewhere.... On the other hand, games like Dissidia virtually has an arrange album, so those 'featured' game are entitled to be linked.
http://vgmdb.net/forums/showpost.php...7&postcount=20
http://vgmdb.net/forums/showthread.php?p=22972
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