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Posted at 14:51 on October 29th, 2019 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Originally posted by Mr Creosote at 12:03 on October 29th, 2019:
Nevertheless, you should also acknowledge that my view won't just go away, either.


Then I would appreceate to make things happen but only in small and may be reversible steps. I could imagine the following steps regarding the website's menu-design:

* a new menu item with a "German only" area with some new styled example-content, to give the public a first impression about the new ideas and maybe getting some feedback.

* direct and easy access-link to the disc image archive from the start page, for the benefit of TGOD's download-guests.

* To get a fresh new look could be achieved without too much work by exchanging the outdated TGOD's website-logo by some more catchy design. Maybe this could be done by someone in the forum who is good at photoshop? Anybody?
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Posted at 12:03 on October 29th, 2019 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Originally posted by LostInSpace at 08:50 on October 29th, 2019:
Originally posted by Mr Creosote at 17:22 on October 27th, 2019:

The two I find somehow interesting:
* Spin out a German website, make this one English only (but then, consider that I will go back to the drawing board and likely not just make a conceptual copy of TGOD)


In what kind of relationship will these two websites remain? Friends or foes? If friends: why devorcing? If foes: where is the problem?

Yes, good point. I think it is what I was trying to say as well here:

Originally posted by Mr Creosote at 10:16 on October 28th, 2019:
My main concerns:
* Moving contents, we inherit all the legacy issues (quality, consistency, approach).
* Having two sites, there would still be the very strong temptation to nevertheless try and procude "universal" contents fitting both. Conceptually weakening the individual parts again.


Originally posted by LostInSpace at 08:50 on October 29th, 2019:
Why not just carry on writing reviews for ONE site and try to make the best out of it?

I think I covered it at length. For me, personally, I see that "the best" I can get out of this website, as it is and (as evidenced) can never be changed seems hardly worth it by now. Whether you agree with my assessment of the subjective issues or not is one question. I acknowledge you disagree. Nevertheless, you should also acknowledge that my view won't just go away, either.
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Posted at 08:50 on October 29th, 2019 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Originally posted by Mr Creosote at 17:22 on October 27th, 2019:

The two I find somehow interesting:
* Spin out a German website, make this one English only (but then, consider that I will go back to the drawing board and likely not just make a conceptual copy of TGOD)
* Improve existing contents: totally essential in my view, as preached repeatedly, but it's just a goal. No concrete proposal how to manage this exists. My doubts, based on our bad track record in comparable cases, remain.


In what kind of relationship will these two websites remain? Friends or foes? If friends: why devorcing? If foes: where is the problem?

Why not just carry on writing reviews for ONE site and try to make the best out of it?
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Posted at 10:16 on October 28th, 2019 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Originally posted by Herr M. at 20:18 on October 27th, 2019:
Originally posted by Mr Creosote at 17:22 on October 27th, 2019:
Searching by review length would be technically possible. I personally doubt many people would ever use it.

Simple question: How much work would it be and how unlikely do you think it would be used?

My assumptions: an hour of work, used once a year ("just to see what this does").

Originally posted by Herr M. at 20:18 on October 27th, 2019:
Originally posted by Mr Creosote at 17:22 on October 27th, 2019:
Quote:
Create index for unique downloads? Yes

If you define "unique", we can discuss it. But it's a mean, not a goal. What's the goal?

Unique as in "cannot be found anywhere else". Like my Polyhymnia sound track project or certain walkthroughs, hand written copy protection codes, cheats, hacks and so on. Or to be more precise: User created content besides reviews. The goal being offering a service no-one else does.

That would basically imply to have a checkbox for each file classification field called "unique", which if ticked then places the file on some to be created index. I.e. someone would need to go through all present and future files of the site and make an estimation whether it is "unique", or whether it has already been copied by another website. And maintain this status, to keep track of what has been copied elsewhere. I.e. huge amount of manual work. Who volunteers?

Originally posted by Herr M. at 20:18 on October 27th, 2019:
Originally posted by Mr Creosote at 17:22 on October 27th, 2019:
I browsed the stats again to see. They are indeed not as horribly skewed by Chinese bots as I feared. Most of it seems sound, with some funny exceptions (Freedom, an obscure text adventure from ten years ago, being the 27th most popular game ;)). So, yes, technically possible, but what's the goal you try to achieve with this?

I can only speak for myself, but as cheesy as top 10 lists are, they simply work. Whenever I see one I just cannot help myself and at least take a look at it, if not outright click on it. The goal being: Get people more involved, get them to maybe think a bit outside the box.

So, what would be the criteria for such a list? Most/least pageviews of all games seems obvious. What else? Top/least pageviews per system? Top/least pageviews per genre? Per theme? Keep in mind that many games have more than one genre/theme, i.e. they would appear in various lists if they are popular.

Second: where/how to show it? I.e. how make it accessible? Where would it be placed in which menu? (I'm aware of the irony here, but of course, I won't put anything into the old layout anymore. So maybe we have to take this second discussion to the internal forum to talk about new layout.)

Originally posted by Herr M. at 20:18 on October 27th, 2019:
Originally posted by Mr Creosote at 17:22 on October 27th, 2019:
Quote:
Try to improve existing reviews? Yes, I think at least some of the suggestions in the original post should be doable

Knowing that we never even managed to replace those "too short" existing reviews, what would be your practical proposal to achieve this in a reasonable timeframe without jeopardizing the availability of "new" contents?

Some things I already mentioned, like putting quotes from contemporary reviews inside (or beside or under) the actual review.

That, alone, doesn't improve bad old reviews in my view. Just take the existing Stronghold review. There is no way to save it, apart from replacing it completely.

Originally posted by Herr M. at 20:18 on October 27th, 2019:
As for too much work: Maybe we would not be able to do improvements to each and every review. Still, I would start with the lengthier reviews and work my way up.

You would start with the longer ones? If anything, in my view, the most viewed games should be covered first.

Originally posted by Herr M. at 20:18 on October 27th, 2019:
Originally posted by Mr Creosote at 17:22 on October 27th, 2019:
Quote:
-) Speaking of which: Some of the screen shots could still be improved.

Indeed. Same point as previous one.

Maybe it would be a better idea to advertise and reward these actions instead of new reviews? I mean: If someone wants to really write a review they will contact us anyway, and if someone just wants to help out (even if it is just for points) smaller things are easier to handle and still worth a lot?

Easier to do for visitors maybe. But handling such submissions is actually tiring.

Originally posted by Herr M. at 20:18 on October 27th, 2019:
Originally posted by Mr Creosote at 17:22 on October 27th, 2019:
Quote:
More Marketing? I think we all agreed on that one

What are the practical proposals?

OK, I gave this a lot of thought and it seems like one of the toughest parts to me.
One thing we could try is write a review for either an immensely popular oldie or a retroish new game and try to get this one published or linked on as many sites as possible. If it does draw some attention: great. If not we can still go back to the drawing board.

Or if you want to get more concrete I could even suggest a game:
Disco Elysium
As far as sites go, just think of any site you frequent except this one and which covers games. ;)

I don't know any other website which covers games. This is not a joke.

Originally posted by Herr M. at 20:18 on October 27th, 2019:
Originally posted by Mr Creosote at 17:22 on October 27th, 2019:
Quote:
Maybe consider opening up a dedicated German games section.

Quote:
-) If you really feel like splitting, how about creating a German edition of The Good Old Days like "Früher war alles besser!". Put all of the German reviews there (especially for German only games) and be done with it. Either for archiving reasons or to really make a branch if there is interest enough.

Wow, funny ;) That was actually the original name of the website before it went online! Did I write this in the site history, or was it just a random guess from your side? Anyway, this indeed sounds like a potentially viable proposal. Any other views? What we'd lose, of course, is cross-cultural awareness: showing what games existed on the German market to those who never had access to it.

I am not sure about whether I knew about the original name, I might have read it some time, but right now it just was the most obvious meaningful translation to me. ;)
If we were to make this transition I would recommend strongly linking the two sister sites and trying to keep this cross-cultural awareness intact as much as possible.

My main concerns:
* Moving contents, we inherit all the legacy issues (quality, consistency, approach).
* Having two sites, there would still be the very strong temptation to nevertheless try and procude "universal" contents fitting both. Conceptually weakening the individual parts again.

Originally posted by Herr M. at 20:18 on October 27th, 2019:
Originally posted by Mr Creosote at 17:22 on October 27th, 2019:
* Spin out a German website, make this one English only (but then, consider that I will go back to the drawing board and likely not just make a conceptual copy of TGOD)

You mentioned something on the German Quo Vadis thread, and I thought it sounded interesting, even if you meant it is like warts on your feet or something. Personally I would like to get things like "Schwert und Magie", the Werbespiele etc on a site like this. But I guess this would be something for the German section anyway.

Schwert und Magie was somewhat fun. But 90% of those games I tried in this brief stunt was bland imitations of arcadey originals. Hard to keep playing longer than 5 minutes and hard to write more than two sarcastic sentences.

Originally posted by Herr M. at 20:18 on October 27th, 2019:
Originally posted by Mr Creosote at 17:22 on October 27th, 2019:
* Improve existing contents: totally essential in my view, as preached repeatedly, but it's just a goal. No concrete proposal how to manage this exists. My doubts, based on our bad track record in comparable cases, remain.

I would start spinning this off in its own thread.

Sure, go ahead.
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Edited by Mr Creosote at 10:17 on October 28th, 2019
Posted at 20:18 on October 27th, 2019 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Well, now we are talking!

Originally posted by Mr Creosote at 17:22 on October 27th, 2019:
For each game, assemble relevant information from third-party sources and add something original. Specifically, more formally distinguish the appreciation of each game in categories like "past appeal" (how good was it when it came out), "historical significance" (should you have played it?) and "today's qualities" (should you play it today?).

Actually I remember agreeing on all of those points and even started suggesting on how it could be done?

Originally posted by Mr Creosote at 17:22 on October 27th, 2019:
Then, show the game "live" as well as possible in different formats: pictures, videos… those help for different people in different situations.

Including videos more directly into the reviews has also been mentioned on several occasions. We could also include sound snippets or sound tracks?


Originally posted by Mr Creosote at 17:22 on October 27th, 2019:
We can do the four-eye principle if you like, though apart from not just exposing one person in the "evil dictator" role, I'm not sure how it would improve things. The rest is already policy today, so no change.

I would do either the four-eye thingy or like I mentioned restricting reviews with the option to submit a review but no guarantees to publish it. So if a review is not up to par simply reject it right away or putting it in the comment section. Would really appreciate the opinion from the others on this one though, because it seems a rather critical point to me.

Originally posted by Mr Creosote at 17:22 on October 27th, 2019:
Searching by review length would be technically possible. I personally doubt many people would ever use it.

Simple question: How much work would it be and how unlikely do you think it would be used?

Originally posted by Mr Creosote at 17:22 on October 27th, 2019:
Quote:
Keep the database? YES

Nobody, ever, contested this. So obviously agreed.

I think there were some misunderstandings on especially this part. It was my impression that some of us (at first even me) thought that you wanted to remove the old reviews. If it sounded like no-one wanted to change anything it might just have been that we all grew kind of attached to the things that are already here.

Originally posted by Mr Creosote at 17:22 on October 27th, 2019:
Quote:
Create index for unique downloads? Yes

If you define "unique", we can discuss it. But it's a mean, not a goal. What's the goal?

Unique as in "cannot be found anywhere else". Like my Polyhymnia sound track project or certain walkthroughs, hand written copy protection codes, cheats, hacks and so on. Or to be more precise: User created content besides reviews. The goal being offering a service no-one else does.

Originally posted by Mr Creosote at 17:22 on October 27th, 2019:
I browsed the stats again to see. They are indeed not as horribly skewed by Chinese bots as I feared. Most of it seems sound, with some funny exceptions (Freedom, an obscure text adventure from ten years ago, being the 27th most popular game ;)). So, yes, technically possible, but what's the goal you try to achieve with this?

I can only speak for myself, but as cheesy as top 10 lists are, they simply work. Whenever I see one I just cannot help myself and at least take a look at it, if not outright click on it. The goal being: Get people more involved, get them to maybe think a bit outside the box.

Originally posted by Mr Creosote at 17:22 on October 27th, 2019:
Quote:
Try to improve existing reviews? Yes, I think at least some of the suggestions in the original post should be doable

Knowing that we never even managed to replace those "too short" existing reviews, what would be your practical proposal to achieve this in a reasonable timeframe without jeopardizing the availability of "new" contents?

Some things I already mentioned, like putting quotes from contemporary reviews inside (or beside or under) the actual review.

As for too much work: Maybe we would not be able to do improvements to each and every review. Still, I would start with the lengthier reviews and work my way up.

Originally posted by Mr Creosote at 17:22 on October 27th, 2019:
Quote:
-) Speaking of which: Some of the screen shots could still be improved.

Indeed. Same point as previous one.

Maybe it would be a better idea to advertise and reward these actions instead of new reviews? I mean: If someone wants to really write a review they will contact us anyway, and if someone just wants to help out (even if it is just for points) smaller things are easier to handle and still worth a lot?

Originally posted by Mr Creosote at 17:22 on October 27th, 2019:
Quote:
More Marketing? I think we all agreed on that one

What are the practical proposals?

OK, I gave this a lot of thought and it seems like one of the toughest parts to me.
One thing we could try is write a review for either an immensely popular oldie or a retroish new game and try to get this one published or linked on as many sites as possible. If it does draw some attention: great. If not we can still go back to the drawing board.

Or if you want to get more concrete I could even suggest a game:
Disco Elysium
As far as sites go, just think of any site you frequent except this one and which covers games. ;)

Originally posted by Mr Creosote at 17:22 on October 27th, 2019:
Quote:
-) Add comments to the screen shots in order to either make them more informative or at least more interesting.

Can already be done when embedded in reviews (a feature nobody but me has ever used) or if they are collected in a picture gallery (again, never used feature). For basic screenshots, I'm against. This would increase compulsory workload to enter a new game significantly.

Funny thing, I could have sworn I used images in my reviews more often, but I only found Operation Cleaner and Fish Fillets. But yes you are right: This is something which is already there yet seldom used. Which does not mean that it cannot be done.

Originally posted by Mr Creosote at 17:22 on October 27th, 2019:
Quote:
-) Disk images are opened up by one of the following things: One review for a game not in the database OR two reviews for games already in the database OR 20 (verified) disk images. Effectively this would lower the point limit to 20, though I would not put this in the FAQ, instead simply write those three options.

Don't care, neither for nor against. Not sure what this should achieve, but if generally favourable feedback, fine.

I think the reason why this pops up so often is that there are at least a two digit percentage of reviews which are obviously just there to get the disk images opened up. You asked how to decrease the work load and I guess we can all agree on that this change would.

Originally posted by Mr Creosote at 17:22 on October 27th, 2019:
Quote:
-) Think of something new to restrict disk image downloads or open them up for everyone.

Has been discussed over the years many, many times. Where are the proposals which people universally agree to?

OK, here is the thing: We all agree on that we do not like the current situation. There have been several suggestions on what we would do instead, maybe we should finally cast a vote on something? Since it seems to be such a big topic, it might be worth its own thread (again :P ). My current take is like I mentioned above: Let newcomers handle the smaller stuff, ambitious people will try to add reviews anyway.

Originally posted by Mr Creosote at 17:22 on October 27th, 2019:
Quote:
-) I would probably still keep the quota, i.e. one point = 1 image download.

As you said, current policy.

Yes it is, but it does make sense and is rather simple. Except if we drop the point system.

Originally posted by Mr Creosote at 17:22 on October 27th, 2019:
Quote:
Maybe consider opening up a dedicated German games section.

Quote:
-) If you really feel like splitting, how about creating a German edition of The Good Old Days like "Früher war alles besser!". Put all of the German reviews there (especially for German only games) and be done with it. Either for archiving reasons or to really make a branch if there is interest enough.

Wow, funny ;) That was actually the original name of the website before it went online! Did I write this in the site history, or was it just a random guess from your side? Anyway, this indeed sounds like a potentially viable proposal. Any other views? What we'd lose, of course, is cross-cultural awareness: showing what games existed on the German market to those who never had access to it.

I am not sure about whether I knew about the original name, I might have read it some time, but right now it just was the most obvious meaningful translation to me. ;)
If we were to make this transition I would recommend strongly linking the two sister sites and trying to keep this cross-cultural awareness intact as much as possible.

Originally posted by Mr Creosote at 17:22 on October 27th, 2019:
Quote:
-) I do not think that the one about activity needs that much involvement. In a way that is our current goal, is not it? If you write a super fine review and there is no response, do you feel overly motivated to keep on writing?

Not sure I catch the point.

OK, strange sentence on my part. I guess what I was trying to say (or should have said) is that posting a couple of comments here and there, adding news items for even small items and so does get us more involved in the site and the more involved we get the more fun it will be? Also: As good as discussing our reviews before publishing them is, I often get the feeling that there are a couple of thoughts in those discussion which could/should also have been in the comments sections.

Originally posted by Mr Creosote at 17:22 on October 27th, 2019:
Quote:
-) Close contributions. If someone wants to add a short review like the dozen of sys requirments or history lessons we get, the comment section is always open and might even lead to more interesting discussions.
-) But still leave the option open to potential new members to send in their full reviews. Just do not promise outright that it will be published.

It's what we had in the first few years. Long time ago, admittedly. But practically, what would this change? If someone shows interest, we would always say "sure", wouldn't we? The initial hurdle to get there would be higher, granted, since people would basically need to ask in the forum first.

OK, call me stupid, but you asked how to decrease your work load and I thought one of the things you were talking about (and you even suggested something in that vain in the opening post) is sub-par reviews and handling them.

Originally posted by Mr Creosote at 17:22 on October 27th, 2019:
Hope this addresses all.

Yes, and thanks for going into such detail.

Originally posted by Mr Creosote at 17:22 on October 27th, 2019:
* Spin out a German website, make this one English only (but then, consider that I will go back to the drawing board and likely not just make a conceptual copy of TGOD)

You mentioned something on the German Quo Vadis thread, and I thought it sounded interesting, even if you meant it is like warts on your feet or something. Personally I would like to get things like "Schwert und Magie", the Werbespiele etc on a site like this. But I guess this would be something for the German section anyway.

Originally posted by Mr Creosote at 17:22 on October 27th, 2019:
* Improve existing contents: totally essential in my view, as preached repeatedly, but it's just a goal. No concrete proposal how to manage this exists. My doubts, based on our bad track record in comparable cases, remain.

I would start spinning this off in its own thread. As for the bad track record: We would need to find a motivation. Back in my heydays I did dozens, hundreds of screen shots and actually had a lot of fun doing so.
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Posted at 17:22 on October 27th, 2019 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Originally posted by Herr M. at 13:41 on October 27th, 2019:
Well, even if most of my suggestions have either been ignored or rejected so far

Yes, but that's exactly the essence of this whole thread, isn't it? I started it, there were responses, but I felt like they mostly went beside the point and ignored the practical proposals. Since I felt that, I didn't engage on the practical proposals made in exchange. Which made you feel ignored. We're talking about completely different things. That's why we can't conclude and agree on anything.

Anyway, as I said, I consider my initial proposals rejected. As a reminder, those were:
Quote:
What would I do if I were to start this website again today, from scratch:

For each game, assemble relevant information from third-party sources and add something original. Specifically, more formally distinguish the appreciation of each game in categories like "past appeal" (how good was it when it came out), "historical significance" (should you have played it?) and "today's qualities" (should you play it today?).

The first part can be pretty well assembled through review quotes from those times, with few original additions. A lot of material is available on the Internet.

The second part could, for example, be about showing what other games this one influenced etc.

The third part would remain mostly original, but also show other current opinions where available.

Then, show the game "live" as well as possible in different formats: pictures, videos… those help for different people in different situations.

What I wouldn't do anymore:

  • Game downloads, manuals etc. – covered "well enough" elsewhere
  • Bilinguality – this is breaking my back and all my (quite proactive) attempts to put this load on more shoulders have only ever worked for a very limited amount of time
  • Self-sufficiency/autarchy – third party sources which are reliable enough (i.e. will not likely disappear any time soon) now exist
  • Broad contribution scheme – probably fine to accept contents from others, but only if dedicated to and convinced of the same (written) mission, with more courage to simply reject for purely subjective reasons


I'll try to address the remaining proposals.

Quote:
Remove Downloads? Partially, follow the semi-official "remove if legally available", keep unique content

Already past and current policy, so no change.

Quote:
Bilinguality? Yes, but do not make it compulsory

Quote:
-) Only games which were originally released in German need a compulsory German review. Everywhere else I think it would be OK to have them optional.

Already past and current policy, so no change.

Quote:
Contributions? Higher quality standards, stop wasting time on 300 word reviews, I like Mobius vote suggestion

Quote:
-) If two staff member agree on a submission being sub-par it gets deleted without further discussion.
-) Correction suggestions are still OK, but if they are essentially a rewrite it might be better to outright drop the submission.
-) If someone fails to answer a question about their submission within a week delete it. If they are really serious about it they will re-submit it anyways.

Quote:
-) Increase the quality standards for reviews: More than 50% of the review must be about the actual game, it has to mention at least something about the game play, how it feels to play the game, how the game influenced other games or how it was unique in its way, some outstanding feature or why you should/should not play this game. Less than 50% should be a history lesson or system requirements.

We can do the four-eye principle if you like, though apart from not just exposing one person in the "evil dictator" role, I'm not sure how it would improve things. The rest is already policy today, so no change.

Quote:
Make good reviews more visible? Yes

Quote:
-) Split the reviews in several categories, depending on their word count. The higher the word count, the more attention the review should get to get finished, that is each and every detail entered into the database. Maybe even split the database or add a filter that helps finding the more elaborative reviews.
-) Speaking of searching and finding: If Google fails to index the page decently, it seems all the more important to me, that the search function is as flexible as possible. Like mentioned above add a word count or length filter. Or how about a obscurity filter listing the games per visitor count.

I assume these are all related. Searching by review length would be technically possible. I personally doubt many people would ever use it.

Quote:
Keep the database? YES

Nobody, ever, contested this. So obviously agreed.

Quote:
Create index for unique downloads? Yes

If you define "unique", we can discuss it. But it's a mean, not a goal. What's the goal?

Quote:
-) Are the top 10 lists really that hard to implement? The statistics are already there, making them a bit more public might increase interest in the site. And like I said a top 10 of the most obscure ones could draw more attention to all those games that deserve more attention.

I browsed the stats again to see. They are indeed not as horribly skewed by Chinese bots as I feared. Most of it seems sound, with some funny exceptions (Freedom, an obscure text adventure from ten years ago, being the 27th most popular game ;)). So, yes, technically possible, but what's the goal you try to achieve with this?

Quote:
Try to improve existing reviews? Yes, I think at least some of the suggestions in the original post should be doable

Knowing that we never even managed to replace those "too short" existing reviews, what would be your practical proposal to achieve this in a reasonable timeframe without jeopardizing the availability of "new" contents?

Quote:
-) Speaking of which: Some of the screen shots could still be improved.

Indeed. Same point as previous one.

Quote:
More Marketing? I think we all agreed on that one

What are the practical proposals?

Quote:
Create game disks?

Personally, don't see the point, so I wouldn't invest time. Not against it if anyone else wants to take initiative.

Quote:
monetization

Total no-go. As soon as any sort of income gets involved, my legal risk skyrockets.

Quote:
-) Add comments to the screen shots in order to either make them more informative or at least more interesting.

Can already be done when embedded in reviews (a feature nobody but me has ever used) or if they are collected in a picture gallery (again, never used feature). For basic screenshots, I'm against. This would increase compulsory workload to enter a new game significantly.

Quote:
-) I already mentioned it, but it seems really important to me (others have also hinted at it): I think it is important to show activity. Nothing is more off putting (at least to me) than a forum with age old threads and a news section with irregular updates.

Up to everyone.

Quote:
-) Disk images are opened up by one of the following things: One review for a game not in the database OR two reviews for games already in the database OR 20 (verified) disk images. Effectively this would lower the point limit to 20, though I would not put this in the FAQ, instead simply write those three options.

Don't care, neither for nor against. Not sure what this should achieve, but if generally favourable feedback, fine.

Quote:
-) Think of something new to restrict disk image downloads or open them up for everyone.

Has been discussed over the years many, many times. Where are the proposals which people universally agree to?

Quote:
-) I would probably still keep the quota, i.e. one point = 1 image download.

As you said, current policy.

Quote:
Maybe consider opening up a dedicated German games section.

Quote:
-) If you really feel like splitting, how about creating a German edition of The Good Old Days like "Früher war alles besser!". Put all of the German reviews there (especially for German only games) and be done with it. Either for archiving reasons or to really make a branch if there is interest enough.

Wow, funny ;) That was actually the original name of the website before it went online! Did I write this in the site history, or was it just a random guess from your side? Anyway, this indeed sounds like a potentially viable proposal. Any other views? What we'd lose, of course, is cross-cultural awareness: showing what games existed on the German market to those who never had access to it.

Quote:
-) I do not think that the one about activity needs that much involvement. In a way that is our current goal, is not it? If you write a super fine review and there is no response, do you feel overly motivated to keep on writing?

Not sure I catch the point.

Quote:
-) Like suggested in the German Quo Vadis thread: Remove the ratings. Thumbs up/middle/down with a short summary sounds like a really good idea.

Don't see what that would solve. I proposed it as part of an overall restructuring of the reviews. Without this, it makes little sense, because the essential question of what is being rated would still remain. Are you giving "thumbs up", because you had a lot of fun with the game thirty years ago? Or because it was revolutionary (even if flawed) thirty years ago? Or because you're having fun with it right now? That was why I proposed splitting these three criteria, but the conclusion was that this stifles creativity. So let's forget about it.

Quote:
-) Close contributions. If someone wants to add a short review like the dozen of sys requirments or history lessons we get, the comment section is always open and might even lead to more interesting discussions.
-) But still leave the option open to potential new members to send in their full reviews. Just do not promise outright that it will be published.

It's what we had in the first few years. Long time ago, admittedly. But practically, what would this change? If someone shows interest, we would always say "sure", wouldn't we? The initial hurdle to get there would be higher, granted, since people would basically need to ask in the forum first.

Hope this addresses all. Feel free to pick and and carry on on the points you still believe could lead to something useful.

The two I find somehow interesting:
* Spin out a German website, make this one English only (but then, consider that I will go back to the drawing board and likely not just make a conceptual copy of TGOD)
* Improve existing contents: totally essential in my view, as preached repeatedly, but it's just a goal. No concrete proposal how to manage this exists. My doubts, based on our bad track record in comparable cases, remain.
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Posted at 13:41 on October 27th, 2019 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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"Aufegeben tut man einen Brief!"

Well, even if most of my suggestions have either been ignored or rejected so far, I will keep them coming. I am stubborn in this case and I am convinced that there is something which can be done!

-) If you really feel like splitting, how about creating a German edition of The Good Old Days like "Früher war alles besser!". Put all of the German reviews there (especially for German only games) and be done with it. Either for archiving reasons or to really make a branch if there is interest enough.
-) Like suggested in the German Quo Vadis thread: Remove the ratings. Thumbs up/middle/down with a short summary sounds like a really good idea.
-) Close contributions. If someone wants to add a short review like the dozen of sys requirments or history lessons we get, the comment section is always open and might even lead to more interesting discussions.
-) But still leave the option open to potential new members to send in their full reviews. Just do not promise outright that it will be published.
-) Think of something new to restrict disk image downloads or open them up for everyone.

And as for the mock-up: I did not dislike it per se (actually I quite liked it), I am just no friend of restrictions as far is writing is concerned. If this works for you great, I stop being creative as soon as I start filling out forms.
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Posted at 09:26 on October 27th, 2019 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Originally posted by Herr M. at 22:46 on October 26th, 2019:
OK, on a more serious note: What is the current plan? What do we agree on?

We agree on my initial assumption that this website can never be transformed. We agree that I'm alone in my desire to change something or do something else.

No offense intended, Herr M., but I'm really unsure how you see the list of items you posted on the 22nd. My view: this is exactly the status quo. Or 98% of it. 1% difference being you want to lower the threshold for disk image access (tiny change) and 1% difference being that you repeat the administrative performance goals to handle submissions which are already there in theory, but which I'm never meeting even today. Which is not going to improve in the foreseeable future, no matter what.

Quote:
Everything staying exactly the same? Some changes? Revolutionary modifications?

Since even my practical mock-up of adapting review format has been met with universal dislike, the only option is to retain the status quo of this website.

The likely consequences of this, I have described in the initial post.

For myself, it means I need to seriously consider going back to the drawing board and see whether I still have the energy to start over by myself somewhere else. Don't know whether this will happen. Honestly, unlikely.
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Edited by Mr Creosote at 09:27 on October 27th, 2019
Posted at 09:14 on October 27th, 2019 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Originally posted by spamolatherobust at 04:57 on October 27th, 2019:
This may sound crazy, but what about allowing and even encouraging forks of this site? You could put reviews, the game database, and the forum under a Creative Commons license which allows others to copy, use, modify, and redistribute the work.

Not crazy at all. However, impractical. Roughly half of the contents have been produced by people no longer reachable. They have not agreed on licensing under CC terms, which they would have to do.

Nevertheless, I doubt anyone would object. In this spirit, I have already provided full and partial snapshot dumps of the site to several people. Just in case.

Quote:
Assemblergames.com has been online for 23 years, run by one dedicated (albeit quirky) individual. It now appears about to close: https://assemblergames.com/threads/this-forum-to-close-in-30-days.71032/

For financial reasons, which this site doesn't have. At all. And there would always be the fallback of pulling the plug on game downloads and major (CPU heavy) interactivity and just continue serving static text/image pages instead, reducing costs to virtually nothing.

I'm extremely happy to see that sites like archive.org have begun archiving game files in recent years. Their way of semantic indexing, searchability and discoverability obviously leaves a lot to be desired for now. I do firmly believe this is the right way to go overall. So if anything ever happened to this place, I'd try to mirror what we had there for sure.
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Posted at 04:57 on October 27th, 2019 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Originally posted by Mr Creosote at 17:47 on October 25th, 2019:
Originally posted by spamolatherobust at 12:16 on October 25th, 2019:
Why would anyone want to be participating in a community where everything could disappear at any moment? If I understand correctly, if this site goes down, there's no way to have another one take its place and continue on with the same reviews and files.

Yes, but this is the dilemma of every privately owned and operated website.

This may sound crazy, but what about allowing and even encouraging forks of this site? You could put reviews, the game database, and the forum under a Creative Commons license which allows others to copy, use, modify, and redistribute the work.

Originally posted by Mr Creosote at 17:47 on October 25th, 2019:
Nevertheless, bear in mind that this specific one has been online for 19.5 years. Meaning it is older than Wikipedia, Facebook, Imgur etc.

Assemblergames.com has been online for 23 years, run by one dedicated (albeit quirky) individual. It now appears about to close: https://assemblergames.com/threads/this-forum-to-close-in-30-days.71032/

It's actually quite sad because it has a lot of useful information from over the years. While some of the pages are backed up on archive.org, Google and other search engines won't return any results to them.
Posted at 22:46 on October 26th, 2019 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Well yes this thread might be a bit intimitating, and yes we tend to quarrel now and then, and at times we are cranky.

But in the end it just proves that we care about the site and all the effort and lifeblood that went into it.



OK, on a more serious note: What is the current plan? What do we agree on? Everything staying exactly the same? Some changes? Revolutionary modifications?
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Posted at 18:22 on October 25th, 2019 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Quote:
I noticed that the review for DOS version of Karateka mentioned that the disk image wasn't booting, so I took the time to upload a working copy.


It was my review, but I never really mentioned it there. You must've seen it in the floppy archive. Yes, the imaged version won't run due to missing physical copy protection. Files alone won't fix it, it has to be dumped using other tools, and we do actually have a good dump of it, just that we can't publish it yet due to certain technical issues.

Anyway, we also have a working (cracked) version of this game right on the review page, you just missed it. Check Downloads->Full Version. But keep in mind, it's only a file archive, it has nothing to do with imaging original disk contents. Disk images is a parallel project which may or may not provide options for related content, while disembodied and archived files are oftentimes present, since they are easier to procure.

Thank you for all your efforts and welcome to TGOD.
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Cheer up! Remember the less you have, the more there is to get.

I am on irc.freenode.org: #TGOD
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Edited by Moebius at 19:50 on October 25th, 2019
Posted at 17:47 on October 25th, 2019 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Originally posted by spamolatherobust at 12:16 on October 25th, 2019:
Why would anyone want to be participating in a community where everything could disappear at any moment? If I understand correctly, if this site goes down, there's no way to have another one take its place and continue on with the same reviews and files.

Yes, but this is the dilemma of every privately owned and operated website.

Nevertheless, bear in mind that this specific one has been online for 19.5 years. Meaning it is older than Wikipedia, Facebook, Imgur etc. I've made the open promise in this very thread old contents will remain online. Why wouldn't they? After such a long time, maybe a little basic trust in my ability/willingness/dedication to keep things online (and ideally running) is warranted?

This thread was just to ask about the future. Unfortunately, any such attempt turns into overwhelmingly dominent feedback being "don't you dare change anything" (as evidenced here once again). In spite of solid evidence of me being dead on my feet as far as my ability to still operate it as running is concerned. Or, even worse, a "discussion" about whether visitors are necessary at all.

Originally posted by spamolatherobust at 12:16 on October 25th, 2019:
I can tell you what drives me away: an appearance of a community where there is bickering and fighting and not a lot of fun being had. It sounds like there's a lot of extra work required of people when you'd expect an accepting, laissez faire attitude.

Yes, you'd expect that. But a place is what people make of it, at least as soon you one lets other people in and have their say. You want it to be different? Great! Let's work on that :D
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Originally posted by LostInSpace at 16:36 on October 20th, 2019:
The decline of attention leads Mr Creosote to ask questions. Is it the design? Is it the quality of content? Is it the point-system? Maybe we should start the other way round: What drive visitors apart?


Hi! I'm new here.

I can tell you what drives me away: an appearance of a community where there is bickering and fighting and not a lot of fun being had. It sounds like there's a lot of extra work required of people when you'd expect an accepting, laissez faire attitude. These are just video games and archaic ones at that.

I can also tell you why I came here: I wanted to contribute so that other people can enjoy the games I grew up with. I also wanted to read reviews of some games so I can find good ones to run on my old hardware.

I noticed that the review for DOS version of Karateka mentioned that the disk image wasn't booting, so I took the time to upload a working copy. It felt good to be contributing something that people would enjoy. While I was at it, I also uploaded the Apple ][ version of Karateka, including a review, because I noticed that it wasn't even listed here.

I returned today to upload screenshots to the review I wrote presuming it would be online, but it's not yet. I went to this forum to ask, but instead came across this rather depressing thread. I hope I'm misreading things, but it sounds like the community here is going to implode. All the work everyone has done may very well evaporate if the person running the server gets too cranky.

Why would anyone want to be participating in a community where everything could disappear at any moment? If I understand correctly, if this site goes down, there's no way to have another one take its place and continue on with the same reviews and files.

Oh, well. I guess I'm lucky I haven't invested much in this community yet. If goodolddays.net disappears, I can still play the games online in my browser. It won't have the reviews and I won't be able to download the disks, but it'd be something:

https://archive.org/details/softwarelibrary_msdos_games?tab=collection
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Edited by spamolatherobust at 12:18 on October 25th, 2019
Posted at 17:16 on October 22nd, 2019 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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OK, some suggestions for a decrease in work load:
-) If two staff member agree on a submission being sub-par it gets deleted without further discussion.
-) Correction suggestions are still OK, but if they are essentially a rewrite it might be better to outright drop the submission.
-) If someone fails to answer a question about their submission within a week delete it. If they are really serious about it they will re-submit it anyways.
-) Disk images are opened up by one of the following things: One review for a game not in the database OR two reviews for games already in the database OR 20 (verified) disk images. Effectively this would lower the point limit to 20, though I would not put this in the FAQ, instead simply write those three options.
-) I would probably still keep the quota, i.e. one point = 1 image download.
-) Increase the quality standards for reviews: More than 50% of the review must be about the actual game, it has to mention at least something about the game play, how it feels to play the game, how the game influenced other games or how it was unique in its way, some outstanding feature or why you should/should not play this game. Less than 50% should be a history lesson or system requirements.
-) Only games which were originally released in German need a compulsory German review. Everywhere else I think it would be OK to have them optional. Maybe consider opening up a dedicated German games section.

As for my other thoughts mentioned above:
-) I do not think that the one about activity needs that much involvement. In a way that is our current goal, is not it? If you write a super fine review and there is no response, do you feel overly motivated to keep on writing?
-) Are the top 10 lists really that hard to implement? The statistics are already there, making them a bit more public might increase interest in the site. And like I said a top 10 of the most obscure ones could draw more attention to all those games that deserve more attention.
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Posted at 19:37 on October 21st, 2019 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Originally posted by fuxxxyfloppy at 20:43 on October 20th, 2019:

I think another unique part of TGOD is the floppy archive which grow largely during the last two years. But its updates are hidden in one thread in the forum.


My initial contact to TGOD was about getting floppy images. So, I had to write at least two Reviews maybe the first time in my life to get the points for the download. I think this would be a good starting point to improve the website-layout. Just create an independent menu-item to get direct access to the download area for floppy discs. This seems to be not too much effort to reach a massive improvement for the public.
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Posted at 18:00 on October 21st, 2019 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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All totally valid and important points. My goal, however, is to reduce efforts to a manageable amount. Not increase it.
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Posted at 16:22 on October 21st, 2019 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Some further thoughts:
-) Split the reviews in several categories, depending on their word count. The higher the word count, the more attention the review should get to get finished, that is each and every detail entered into the database. Maybe even split the database or add a filter that helps finding the more elaborative reviews.
-) Speaking of searching and finding: If Google fails to index the page decently, it seems all the more important to me, that the search function is as flexible as possible. Like mentioned above add a word count or length filter. Or how about a obscurity filter listing the games per visitor count.
-) Add comments to the screen shots in order to either make them more informative or at least more interesting.
-) Speaking of which: Some of the screen shots could still be improved.
-) I already mentioned it, but it seems really important to me (others have also hinted at it): I think it is important to show activity. Nothing is more off putting (at least to me) than a forum with age old threads and a news section with irregular updates.
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Posted at 20:43 on October 20th, 2019 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Wow... what a topic. It's difficult to catch up. But I'm following the discussion carefully.

Many things are already said concerning reviews.

I think another unique part of TGOD is the floppy archive which grow largely during the last two years. But its updates are hidden in one thread in the forum. This could be published on the main page to make it more visible to users. We already made several suggestions to improve the visualisation and accessibility to make it more valuable to users.
Another type of reviews could be the comparison of different versions of the same game. But I'm not sure, if there is something interesting to tell about or if the differences are too marginally.

Just recently, I discovered the quiz. Maybe something like this but with user-interactions could be a path to explore and attract users regularly. (E.g. allow users to post screenshots and users can tip the game. The user who won, can post the next screen.)

Sorry, I'm also not very connected in social media and I can't help on that front.
Posted at 19:58 on October 20th, 2019 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Originally posted by LostInSpace at 16:36 on October 20th, 2019:

That's probably the biggest issue of such discussions: those who can/will participate, by default, don't see a need for change or even re

That's probably the biggest issue of such discussions: those who can/will participate, by default, don't see a need for change or even resent it.
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