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Incomplete submissions

Posted at 07:50 on June 17th, 2012 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Quoted from the King's Quest thread:

Originally posted by Shroomy at 18:29 on May 9th, 2012:
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As for the complete game submissions of [...] Tie Fighter [...] What you wrote about Tie Fighter is about 160 words. That's half the minimum review length as stated on the respective form.


Sorry about that, it was getting pretty early in the morning for me; and I didn't have my TIE CD-ROM handy for quick screenshots.

I'll work up on my review for TIE and get the screenshots?

Just to showcase to you all that this is exactly what happens with 90% of all game submissions. Usually, it is just not visible publicly. People submit something which is incomplete, promise to amend, but then never show up again and ignore further attempts at contacting them. In case you're windering what happens in the other 10%: 90% of these ignore even the first attempt at contacting them. So on the whole, that leaves 1% of all submissions which make it to the site. So I'm sending reminders, doing itensive bookkeeping to keep track of things and so on. All for nothing. It's great that people seem to be willing to contribute to the site, but is one single reply (even one stating "I don't want to do it anymore") really asking for too much? And people wonder why I get frustrated…

Anyway, there are some cases where only a tiny bit is missing from some submission. For example, right now, there is one for King's Quest 2 which is only missing screenshots (there is already a good review) and one for Warcraft which is only missing one screenshot (the title screen). How to deal with these? Seriously, I could, but I don't feel like completing these myself since I already do quite a bit of work for each submission by someone else. Call it what you want, but I think contributors should at least cover the very basics. Anyone else up to filling those gaps? Or maybe an idea how to improve the situation overall?
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Edited by Mr Creosote at 08:06 on June 17th, 2012
Posted at 13:07 on June 17th, 2012 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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My experience with this kind of thing shows me I have no idea how to handle these problems. Actually, I don't even understand why somebody offers his help, but then won't even answer back any message.

The only thing I can do is sending you the Warcraft title shot, but I don't have anything for KQ2, as that's not one game I like.
Posted at 21:08 on November 22nd, 2012 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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@KQ2: Are you still looking for those screenshots? I would be willing to make them (since I kind of have a soft spot for old Sierra adventures). Also if other reviews are stuck in limbo just because of some screenshots: I have quite a huge collection of old DOS games and with DOSBox it's almost no effort to take some screens.

@Improving the overall situation:
-) I just had a look, but I coul not find any submission guidlines for reviews in the FAQ. (Btw. slightly off topic: I also can't find the guidelines for the rating system. Am I missing something?)
-) Adding some hints on how to make screenshots (like Ctrl-F5 in Dosbox, or Screengrabbing Programs) might help.
-) If there are that many reviews stuck in progress, maybe a list of those with current status could be helpful. So anyone can see what is missing and jump in if the original reviewer is unreachable.
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Posted at 21:43 on November 22nd, 2012 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Originally posted by Herr M. at 21:08 on November 22nd, 2012:
@KQ2: Are you still looking for those screenshots?

Yes. For the record, the review is about the original IBM version, not one of the remakes.

I'll address the rest tomorrow.
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Posted at 07:26 on November 23rd, 2012 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Originally posted by Herr M. at 21:08 on November 22nd, 2012:
-) I just had a look, but I coul not find any submission guidlines for reviews in the FAQ.

Before the last redesign, it was the overall impression that such FAQ/guides were not read at all. So we moved it all to the respective forms instead. For example, on the review form, it says:
Quote:
For a text to be classified as a review, it has to be at least 300 words long.

On the file uload form, it says:
Quote:
For new game entries, at least five screenshots (title screen plus four in-game shots) are mandatory

As usual, I'm not claiming any of this to be ideal, but my usual question: Where would you expect the information, what should it contain and what form should it take? A dedicated page showing (including pictures) each step so that people can prepare themselves?

Quote:
(Btw. slightly off topic: I also can't find the guidelines for the rating system. Am I missing something?)

Here, as linked from every game's page. Again, same question: Where would you expect it?

Quote:
-) Adding some hints on how to make screenshots (like Ctrl-F5 in Dosbox, or Screengrabbing Programs) might help.

I'm not a big fan of reproducing what it plainly written in an application's documentation already, but if it's necessary, I'd say this belongs in such a step-by-step guide. The question is just where to start and how far to go. This site covering, in principle, every system there is, and me personally not using the same means of playing the games as most visitors, how can I cover "all" cases?

Quote:
-) If there are that many reviews stuck in progress, maybe a list of those with current status could be helpful. So anyone can see what is missing and jump in if the original reviewer is unreachable.

Yes, not a bad idea, but in practice, I wouldn't really know what to list there and what not. OK, only screenshots missing (as in these two cases and two or three times before) should be obvious. The vast majority of incomplete submissions is much further from completion, though. To name the most extreme case imaginable: What if someone just filled out the first game entry page (i.e. just the bibliographical information)? That's basically nothing, isn't it? Copying that from some other site (usually) takes a minute. If anyone wanted to "complete" such an entry, it would be the same time investment as starting from scratch. So is there any point to list such a submission even?

Most typically, though, the problem is with the review. Too short, or, actually in most cases, not a review (texts copied from guides or manuals pasted into the form instead). Same question: list these? Writing the review is by far the biggest time investment. Screenshots, if present, have probably been stolen from another site anyway (I'm trying my best to spot and reject even that, but it's impossible to catch all of the time). The game submission pages after the review (comparisons, links, videos) are almost always empty anyway. So, again, I wouldn't say these are really worth following up on by a third party.
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Edited by Mr Creosote at 07:32 on November 23rd, 2012
Posted at 16:30 on November 23rd, 2012 | Quote | Edit | Delete | Delete Attachment
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First of all: The KQ2-Screenshots should be in the attachment to this post.

Originally posted by Mr Creosote at 07:26 on November 23rd, 2012:

Before the last redesign, it was the overall impression that such FAQ/guides were not read at all.


Well I am a FAQ-Reader, and I can't imagine, that I am the only one. And since most people seem to notice that there is some kind of point system, they must at least have had a superficial look at the FAQ.

Posting the information next to the forms is a good idea, I would keep that. But it might be too late, to notice, that you are lacking the screenshots while you are filling in those forms. And probably the reviewer doesn't have the game handy (or at all) and can't or doesn't want to make those screenshots.

Of course this doesn't excuse the lack of replies to your requests for completion.

Originally posted by Mr Creosote at 07:26 on November 23rd, 2012:

Where would you expect the information, what should it contain and what form should it take? A dedicated page showing (including pictures) each step so that people can prepare themselves?


I guess a step by step tutorial with screenshots would be too much info (and quite an effort to create and maintain). After taking a closer look at the FAQ I would suggest the following:

Subsection with the Heading "Share Memories" or "Participation" or "I want to help!" or "We want YOU!" with the following possible questions:

How can I help to improve the site?

"You can help in many ways. For a example you could write a review, add files (like downloads, screenshots, documentation) and data (like links, videos) to the games or write an article about something you always wanted to share with the gaming community. Simply take a look at the Request page or give a shout in the Forums."

What does it take to contribute?

"A simple registration (see Registration) and a little of your time."

What are the minimum requirements for a review?

Put here whatever you find lacking in all the partial submissions. ;)

Which format do you prefer for the submissions?

Originally posted by Mr Creosote at 07:26 on November 23rd, 2012:

Quote:
(Btw. slightly off topic: I also can't find the guidelines for the rating system. Am I missing something?)

Here, as linked from every game's page. Again, same question: Where would you expect it?


It took me quite some time to find the link. I don't find it that obvious, that some of the headlines are links (since there is no underlining and almost all the other headlines aren't). I would either suggest a link next to the Rating-Scale, like under the Screenshot Section, where you have a link titled "More...". Or you could add the link next to the headlines (like in the comment section).

Originally posted by Mr Creosote at 07:26 on November 23rd, 2012:

I'm not a big fan of reproducing what it plainly written in an application's documentation already, but if it's necessary, I'd say this belongs in such a step-by-step guide. The question is just where to start and how far to go. This site covering, in principle, every system there is, and me personally not using the same means of playing the games as most visitors, how can I cover "all" cases?


You can't cover all cases, but you could make a suggestion for the most common cases. Mentioning that most emulators have a build-in screenshot function (with some examples like ctrl-F5 in DOSBox and for the favorite Commodore and AMIGA emulator) or that you can take them with almost any graphics program ("just have a look into the documentation") could help some of those "too lazy to to think for themselves" people. ;)

Originally posted by Mr Creosote at 07:26 on November 23rd, 2012:
The vast majority of incomplete submissions is much further from completion, though.


Ah, OK I didn't know that most of them were that bad. Listing all of them certainly doesn't make any sense, but you should (as you have) mention those which lack just a few minor details.
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Posted at 20:11 on November 23rd, 2012 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Originally posted by Herr M. at 16:30 on November 23rd, 2012:
First of all: The KQ2-Screenshots should be in the attachment to this post.

Great, thanks! This has been added to the update queue (which, as you can probably tell, is still well filled right now – which means that submission-wise, things are going very well right now, so not all it bad :D).

Originally posted by Herr M. at 16:30 on November 23rd, 2012:
Originally posted by Mr Creosote at 07:26 on November 23rd, 2012:

Before the last redesign, it was the overall impression that such FAQ/guides were not read at all.


Well I am a FAQ-Reader, and I can't imagine, that I am the only one. And since most people seem to notice that there is some kind of point system, they must at least have had a superficial look at the FAQ.

Pff… I can tell you how it goes: Random guy types something like "master of magic download" into Google, receives a page like this, clicks "download", receives an error that he needs "points" for this download and then complains without having read any further. Unfortunately, people are that superficial.

Quote:
After taking a closer look at the FAQ I would suggest the following:

Added, thanks!

Quote:
Originally posted by Mr Creosote at 07:26 on November 23rd, 2012:

Quote:
(Btw. slightly off topic: I also can't find the guidelines for the rating system. Am I missing something?)

Here, as linked from every game's page. Again, same question: Where would you expect it?


It took me quite some time to find the link. I don't find it that obvious, that some of the headlines are links (since there is no underlining and almost all the other headlines aren't). I would either suggest a link next to the Rating-Scale, like under the Screenshot Section, where you have a link titled "More...". Or you could add the link next to the headlines (like in the comment section).

Better now?

Quote:
Originally posted by Mr Creosote at 07:26 on November 23rd, 2012:

I'm not a big fan of reproducing what it plainly written in an application's documentation already, but if it's necessary, I'd say this belongs in such a step-by-step guide. The question is just where to start and how far to go. This site covering, in principle, every system there is, and me personally not using the same means of playing the games as most visitors, how can I cover "all" cases?


You can't cover all cases, but you could make a suggestion for the most common cases. Mentioning that most emulators have a build-in screenshot function (with some examples like ctrl-F5 in DOSBox and for the favorite Commodore and AMIGA emulator) or that you can take them with almost any graphics program ("just have a look into the documentation") could help some of those "too lazy to to think for themselves" people. ;)

Added one such question to the FAQ as well.
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Edited by Mr Creosote at 20:12 on November 23rd, 2012
Posted at 20:58 on November 23rd, 2012 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Originally posted by Mr Creosote at 20:11 on November 23rd, 2012:
Great, thanks!


You are welcome. :) Playing through this piece of childhood nostalgia was really entertaining.

Originally posted by Mr Creosote at 20:11 on November 23rd, 2012:
Pff… I can tell you how it goes: Random guy types something like "master of magic download" into Google, receives a page like this, clicks "download", receives an error that he needs "points" for this download and then complains without having read any further. Unfortunately, people are that superficial.


Well, yes most people are that superficial, but those with a supershort attention-span and unwillingness to read anything else besides the download button will get their downloads elsewhere anyway. For those that get intrigued there is a good chance that they will read the hints and guidelines and will appreciate them.

Originally posted by Mr Creosote at 20:11 on November 23rd, 2012:
Better now?


Yes, looks fine! I think it clears up a lot of questions.
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