Site Suggestions (Missing games, import errors, incorrectly combined games, etc)

I recently joined this site and promptly gave up on using it due to numerous problems adding my library. I think that the problems I experienced are likely also driving away other potential users, given that the people who look for a site like this are trying to track and organize their collections.

The first issue I noticed was with the Steam import. A large number of games (a full 242!) ended up impossible to match to any game on Grouvee on the import_help page. (I emailed this list to support as instructed, but figured I’d also post here since I found some more issues.) This is roughly ~10% of my library that is impossible to add. The typical problem is just that they don’t exist on Grouvee. Grouvee needs some way for users to submit a game addition, like sites like Goodreads or Criticker have.

But as I looked at the imported games more closely I found more problems. Some games that were imported have a potential match on Grouvee, but the Grouvee page lumps multiple distinct games together. This is extremely common with games that had a handheld verson and a home console version released at the same time under the same name but that are totally different and made by different developers. Some examples of this happening include Alice in Wonderland (2010) and Corvette (2003) (Corvette (2003) | Grouvee). Users (or power users, like Goodreads librarians) need some way of splitting games or flagging them for review.

Problems like that tie into a variety of other problems.

  • Some games do not attempt to import from Steam at all (not even ending up on import_help), whether they exist on Grouvee or not. Examples:
  • Conflict: Desert Storm (2002) and Sherlock Holmes: Secret of the Silver Earring (2004) exist on Grouvee but do not attempt to import from Steam.
  • Pretentious Game, Project D Online, Sherlock Holmes: The Mystery of the Mummy, and War in a Box: Paper Tanks do not exist on Grouvee and do not attempt to import.
  • Some games import and map to a Grouvee game, but do so entirely incorrectly. For example, emulated Sega Genesis games on Steam add a library entry for “Sega Genesis & Mega Drive Classics.” This is the emulator itself, and all games are functionally treated as DLC within the Steam database. This entry maps automatically to the Sega Genesis Collection (2006) for PS2 and PSP, which is completely incorrect. (It’s also worth noting that I can’t permanently remove this entry. Every time Grouvee syncs with Steam, it gets recreated.)
  • Some games are lumped together or potentially lumped together in potentially incorrect ways even when not suffering from the handheld issue described above. For example:
  • “Zombie Driver” and “Zombie Driver HD” are mecahnically different games with different Steam appids. Both import to the same entry.
  • “Costume Quest prototype” is a different game than “Costume Quest.” The former has no entry and doesn’t seem to import; the assumption seems to be that they are the same.
  • The other Double Fine prototypes (there are at least 13) are all not imported. Some exist, but without the prototype qualifier in their name, indicating a future potential incorrect lumping. Others are already incorrectly lumped, like Costume Quest and Spacebase DF-9, but Hack n Slash is not, showing inconsistency across the site. Others don’t exist on Grouvee at all, like Mnemonic.
  • Sometimes games are clearly editions of the same game, but the editions are still significantly different. These are usually lumped together with no way for users to differentiate. Examples:
  • Games that have a free-to-play edition and a not-free-to-play edition are not usually discriminated. Examples include Gotham City Imposters and Aerena, which have multiple functional versions on Steam.
  • Games with base games, expansions, remasters, and compilation editions are not treated consistently anywhere. See, for example, the entries for the Age of Empires games and expansions. This may be a decision not a bug, but the inconsistency and inflexibility is severely limiting.
  • Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened doesn’t import from Steam but it isn’t obvious what’s wrong with its entry. My guess is that the problems are caused by the existence of both “Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened” and “Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened - Remastered.” The former exists on Grouvee. It’s not obvious how these related but substantially different games should be dealt with, as mentioned in my previous points.

The combined effect of these issues is that this site is pretty unusable for someone trying to organize a large and complicated library. My guess is that this site is currently losing those users who have the most potential to be highly active on the site, because the site cannot be used with their collections in a reasonable way. Such users probably stick with Backloggery and the like, which is flexible but lacking the features Grouvee aspires to have. In my opinion, fixing the issues with how the database handles games should be a high priority, as it trickles down to all other features and is necessary to retain many users. The problems I’ve found are just from spot-checks. If I found that many issues spot-checking for half an hour, there must be many more that I did not list. Hopefully this is dealt with at some point.

I hope this didn’t come off as overly critical, and that it is useful in the site’s development.

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sorry, tiny bit offtopic but;
your comment above suggests to me:
Grouvee Librarian” - status might be a good idea!? (& the suggested editing abilities)(some people have a real eye for detail) for power users such as yourself…

That’s one way of dealing with editing entries, but there’s a whole spectrum of possibilities, such as flagging it for review by moderators or going full-on wiki. For adding entries, a site presumably has more freedom to allow users the power to add things, since that can’t mess up existing users’ libraries. Criticker, for example, lets any user add an entry in its entirety. It is functional for that user from the outset, but doesn’t become publicly useable until approved by a moderator. Goodreads, I believe (I can’t check because I have librarian privileges there), lets any users add books, but only librarians or admins can change existing ones. It really just depends on how crowd-sourced the site wants to be.

Of course, this all also depends on how the Giant Bomb database is integrated under the hood.

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All very good suggestions, which I think make a lot of sense for grouvee. Crowdsourced site maintenance sounds like a good idea here, Peter is only one dude, and he does all this on the side…
You are correct, I just checked my Goodreads account, I don’t have Librarian status there, but they still allow me to manually add a book…
But I can’t do any of this: (which is a good system I find)

Goodreads members with Librarian Status can edit book and author data, add book covers, and combine different editions of books. Each book and author has one unique entry in the Goodreads database. Librarians help correct book issues, like if the data isn’t correct, or is missing things like the book description or URL.
goodreads_librarian_manual

I agree that fixing the database should be a high priority considering it’s the reason most people use the site.

I’m going to try and address your issues here, but if I miss something, just holler at me :smile:

A lot of my answers are going to be me pointing back to Giant Bomb, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t something I can do to fix it.

The Steam import issue comes down to games not in Giant Bomb’s database. I would love to be able to work with them a little more and make it easier for me to add game’s to their database so that I could add 242 games real easily. As their process stands now, that’s a good 10 hours of work that I don’t really have to get those games added. I think I can set it up so users could add a game to the database that doesn’t have a Giant Bomb entry backing it, but it would be a little tricky if it got added to GB after the fact. It’s possible though.

As for games lumped together that really aren’t the same game, the data comes from Giant Bomb. Some of these games that come out on PS2, DS, PS3, Xbox360, etc. tend to get lumped under one name for the sake of simplicity. For most of their user base, they don’t really care to have them split out where as a collector user base like Grouvee’s definitely does care. I’m not too sure how to handle this yet.

I’ll take a look at the games you mentioned that don’t show up on the Steam import. Occasionally Steam doesn’t report a game in a library correctly. There are forum posts that talk about which ones those are.

Most of the lumping issues described come down to release data. There is a section on each game for releases. I would consider Zombie Driver HD a “release” of Zombie Driver (Zombie Driver (video game) releases | Grouvee). I used to have Grouvee setup where you could add a release to your shelf instead of just the game. There were a couple of problems with it. One, Giant Bomb’s data isn’t very complete when it comes to the releases being filled out. The other problem is that no one really used it. I’ll take another look at it though because it probably was my implementation of it that was the problem. I don’t know if those Prototypes would fall under release data or not. Probably not.

The main takeaway from all of this is that I think a librarian/moderator system is desperately needed. I also think we need to be able to separate ourselves from Giant Bomb a little more. All of the data is copied into Grouvee, so we could drop GB at any time we wanted. My first step is to let users fix box art. The second step would be to let us fill in more data, split and combine games, etc.

Keep the suggestions and critiques coming. I want to make this site the best I can, but like @danfreedom23 says, I’m only one person working on this on the side.

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Those are all very reasonable reasons for the issues to exist, and developing on the side certainly means there’s a limited amount you can work on. There’s not much way around that.

From a user retention standpoint, being able to add missing games is probably more important than being able to split “lumped” games. Lacking specificity in the library is definitely not as big a deal as just not being able to add the library, however I think that addressing both should be long-term goals at least. Matching added entries to future Giant Bomb additions definitively is probably tough, unless Giant Bomb wanted to work with you or something, letting you directly edit their database. It could be automated, but mistakes would probably occur, still necessitating moderator/user/admin interaction on occasion. It’s a growing problem, though - just look at how many new steam games there are daily versus how many new releases get added to this site daily. This also means that there is a bias in what users are retained (aside from just users with massive libraries like me); users with more niche interests are unlikely to be able to add as much of their library, which means the community grows in certain directions but not others (that may or may not be desirable).

Anyway, thanks for taking the time to listen to my comments!

I realized today that the Giant Bomb database is actually a wiki (which you kinda alluded to but I didn’t pick up on), so this can be partially addressed by users editing that wiki. Adding a game, for example, seems like it should be straightforward. Does the API allow such addition edits to be submitted by API rather than registered web user? If so, that’d be a solution. If not, perhaps a link to the Giant Bomb editing guidelines when a game can’t be found is a stop-gap solution.

For more subtle issues like splitting releases, it seems to require moderator intervention on Giant Bomb. I made a forum post there to ask about it, but the forum seems kinda inactive, so I’m not sure I’ll get a reply. We’ll see.

Unfortunately it doesn’t. I know they’re working on a new version of the API, but I don’t think it’s going to have that capability. That would be the ideal situation though.

I have no idea how quickly they respond to that forum. My guess is not very quickly. I’m liking the idea more and more of making it so we can be a little bit more flexible in terms of editing data here on Grouvee though.

I’m gonna post some other minor suggestions here in lieu of a new thread. These are all more of the “long term wishlist” variety of things that aren’t really essential rather than necessities. Some of these might be good for a paid “Grouvee Pro edition” or the like. Anyway:

-DLC subratings: It’d be nice to be able to rate DLC separately from the main game. For example, for a game like Magicka with many DLC, a user might rate/tag/save a playthrough on its game page, but also be able to do that for each DLC individually in a box on the side of the page. This may be possible with the existing Giant Bomb API, as it tracks a game’s DLC.
-Score predictions for unplayed games, and an associated recommendation engine. Criticker is the site that does this best for other media, but there are multiple possible methods and Criticker’s exact method would need a fair amount of adapting to work with the rigid 5-star system here. Roughly, though, they compute a user’s most similar other users, and then average their scores of a given piece to determine a probable score for the user. These can then be used to make general recommendation based on criteria, assuming the whole matrix is generated upfront.
-Statistics and associated plots. It be nice to plot score breakdowns for whole libraries and library subsets, both for a user’s own library and the site generally. Other potentially nice plots: a user’s (or the site’s) genre breakdown, release year breakdown, etc.
-Better, more general filtering over all attributes. It’d be nice to be able to filter any page, whether my library or a search page, by any combination of things like arbitrary release date ranges, arbitraty playthrough date ranges, genre, average game length, average score ranges, my score ranges, etc.

If I come up with more, I’ll post again here.

-The search should treat equivalent symbols equivalently. For example, searching for “Rose and Time” should let you find “Rose & Time”.

Hi ! I’m not sure this is the right place but the following games which are missing :

  • Magna Carta Tears on Blood (on psp)
  • Final Fantasy XII Zodiac System (ps2)
  • Shadow Hearts II Director’s cut (ps2)

Giant Bomb is a wiki, so users can directly add games to it, although they don’t seem to allow the API to add games so Grouvee could not directly interface with the form to add games. Giant Bomb also restricts the ability of new users to add games, which limits the ability of Grouvee to just direct users to make accounts and add games. If Grouvee allows users to add games just to the local database, that still has potential issues if Grouvee also continues importing from Giant Bomb. For example, it could easily lead to multiple entries for the same game. This already occurs, although I’m not sure of the precise cause. See, for example, this search query: Search results for “ingress”

Even if Grouvee allows users to just edit game info, that could still create conflicts with the Giant Bomb database, so there would need to be a well thought out plan for how to continue to expand the site’s game database without creating messy conflicts.

Maybe if some people could be in charge of managing the library, and others could send the names of the titles they can’t find yet (with a link to a wiki page or something similar for more info)? That would limit double entrees maybe?

Library admins, I guess? :slight_smile:

There definitely should be a way for certain people to add missing games and missing info to pages. One little thing I’ve noticed is that when selecting a platform for a game on my shelf, it’s missing options. (for example, there’s no way to label a 3DSware game as just Nintendo 3DS. Same goes for PSN & Xbox live games, there’s no way to label them as simply Playstation 3 or Xbox 360) :smile:

We’ve got a curator status in the database for people to add new box art. That seems to be working really well currently (thank you very much @headrollsoff, @kazooie, @titusfox!). I’ll probably introduce a system to edit game details, and add games to the database next. I can’t decide if this should be just curators, or let everyone edit and let the curators approve. I’m leaning towards just letting curators edit details right now. What do you guys think?

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Just letting curators edit makes sense to me, but having a place in the forums for others to make suggestions would be beneficial.

How are you looking to handle the interactions with Giant Bomb for locally edited stuff. I know when additional Giant Bomb data is entered, it comes over to Grouvee (i.e. release dates, platforms, etc). You would still want to get that information but not write over something that was locally edited because of differences in how Grouvee and Giant Bomb want to handle their data.

The way I do that now with the box art is to give priority to what’s been uploaded on Grouvee. So basically I have the Games table that has the box art image location of what’s uploaded on Giant Bomb, and then I have another table for Custom Box Art uploads that has the location of any box art that has been uploaded to Grouvee. I give precedent to the Custom Box Art table. That way I can revert back to Giant Bomb’s box art if we get junk uploaded to the Custom table.

I’ll do something similar with game data. It’ll be a little trickier than the box art, I think it could work just as well.

Alright, that makes sense. That way you can still pull down the data from Giant Bomb but allow the Grouvee data to show instead. I can see it being tricky because you are dealing with more than one straight compare like the box art. When you get to releases or platforms, that could be x number of records.

Someone mentioned it above, but cleaning up the platforms list would be cool. I hate how Giant Bomb has stuff like Playstation 3 and Playstation 3 (Network). It is really the same thing. Though it does tie into my email about tracking physical versus digital copies.

I think Giant Bomb realized the PS3 and PS3 (PSN) differentiating was dumb because they got rid of it for this generation of consoles. Now there’s only a PS4 platform in the database, but no PS4 (PSN). It’s nice, but it’s confusing. I could probably just get rid of the digital versions of platforms and combine them in the database. Then in the new metadata dialog have the digital / physical checkbox like you suggested.

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That would be cool.

I’ve also noticed that if a Platform was included on Giant Bomb, checked on Grouvee and then removed from Giant Bomb, then Grouvee still shows the platform on your details for the shelf but does not allow you to edit it at all. You can take a look at Guacamelee on my shelf to see how the Xbox One version was split out to the new Super Edition, but the old game used to have it.