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Game categorization and other frontend stuff #106434 07/08/16 09:39 AM
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EoceneMiacid Offline OP
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Hi,

I've been working on a set of DAT files, which contain category information for every software entry. They are modeled after AntoPisa's catver.ini. I plan to release them together with the newest edition of my logo pack, along with some other goodies other frontend developers might like.

It's progressing slowly. While adding entries, it becomes apparent that AntoPisa's method isn't flexible enough to accurately and objectively categorize tens of thousands of games across all formats. The nature of arcade games is such that the majority of them can be neatly pigeonholed, but there's a lot more diversity and overlap in consumer gaming land, which is creating some problems for me if I want it to be done right. And the better it's done, the more useful categorization becomes.

Since I'm also planning on adding additional information - such as port/conversion tags - maybe flat text files aren't the ideal format to encode this information in. I'm contemplating switching to the XML format along the lines of MAME's xml output, so it can be provided as an optional set of 'meta-hash' files.

As far as categorisation goes, what I have in mind is a system adopting tags/keywords. The core file would contain these (self-explanatory) tags. For example:


[Perspective]
SideScroll
VertScroll
MultiScroll
...

[Activity]
Run/Jump
Run/Jump/Shoot
Fly/Shoot
Fight/Martial Arts
...

[Structure]
Linear/Action
Adventure/RPG
...

[Theme]
Cartoon
Sci-fi
Mech
Dragon
Fantasy
War
...


Next, we can then use these to describe predefined genres:


[VerticalShmup]
Perspective=VertScroll
Activity=Fly/Shoot
Structure=Linear/Action


And lastly, we can then use both tags and genres to describe the games fairly accurately:


<software name="dspirit">
<Category>VerticalShmup></Category>
<Theme>Fantasy,Dragon</Theme>
</software>


Obviously, this format needs more refinement, but what this will mean in practice is that frontends will be able to offer advanced filtering options and make the huge MAME/MESS library more easy to navigate.

I'm primarily doing it for my own project, but I'm positive other frontend maintainers may want to adopt this too, which is why I'm posting this here - to get some additional input, remarks, comments, insights, suggestions.

Re: Game categorization and other frontend stuff [Re: EoceneMiacid] #106435 07/08/16 09:46 AM
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judge Offline
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Using comma separated ilsts inside xml is quite ugly though.

Re: Game categorization and other frontend stuff [Re: EoceneMiacid] #106436 07/08/16 09:50 AM
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EoceneMiacid Offline OP
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I agree. That's why I said the format needs refinement smile

Re: Game categorization and other frontend stuff [Re: EoceneMiacid] #106437 07/08/16 11:59 AM
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etabeta78 Offline
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I think these don't belong to the sources or to xml. They shall stay in external datfiles (maybe their format could change, if that's an issue)

also for the record, original catver is from ProgettoEMMA ( http://www.progettoemma.net/?catlist.php ) and there will soon be a set of console catver too wink

we can work to join our efforts but I'm quite against including these into the source because every classification is highly subjective and debatable (for instance what you consider a major activity in a piece of software could be better described in a different way by another person) and it would be better if the source stays focused on objective hardware-related information instead

Re: Game categorization and other frontend stuff [Re: EoceneMiacid] #106438 07/08/16 12:14 PM
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qmc2 Offline
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FWIW, catver.ini (the original as well as AntiPISA's version) is good the way it is. If its format would change, this would affect all FEs using it. Whatever "your" way, Eocene, keep it local.


A mind is like a parachute. It doesn't work unless it's open. [Frank Zappa]

We're searching for QMC2 translators and support for existing translations. Interested? See here!
Re: Game categorization and other frontend stuff [Re: etabeta78] #106439 07/08/16 01:18 PM
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EoceneMiacid Offline OP
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Originally Posted By etabeta78
I think these don't belong to the sources or to xml. They shall stay in external datfiles (maybe their format could change, if that's an issue)

also for the record, original catver is from ProgettoEMMA ( http://www.progettoemma.net/?catlist.php ) and there will soon be a set of console catver too wink

we can work to join our efforts but I'm quite against including these into the source because every classification is highly subjective and debatable (for instance what you consider a major activity in a piece of software could be better described in a different way by another person) and it would be better if the source stays focused on objective hardware-related information instead


I think so too. So much in fact, I clearly stated that it is an entirely optional frontend thing. Repeatedly.

The subjectivity is what bothers me. That's why I aim to remove the subjectiveness. It's one of the bullet points of this project.

I didn't know there was another console catver project going on. Good, I suppose. However the original categorization method doesn't provide enough accuracy, and is too subjective.

Re: Game categorization and other frontend stuff [Re: qmc2] #106440 07/08/16 01:20 PM
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EoceneMiacid Offline OP
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Originally Posted By qmc2
FWIW, catver.ini (the original as well as AntiPISA's version) is good the way it is. If its format would change, this would affect all FEs using it. Whatever "your" way, Eocene, keep it local.


I don't think it is good enough. It may be roughly sufficient for arcade games, but is just too generalized and inflexible to properly categorize home games.

Also, fuck you and your terribly small-minded 'keep it to yourself' mindset. I'll make it available. Adopt it if you want, don't if you won't. Keep your retarded bullshit for yourself otherwise.

Re: Game categorization and other frontend stuff [Re: EoceneMiacid] #106441 07/08/16 01:22 PM
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qmc2 Offline
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Yeah, fuck yourself for apparently not being able to read and being aggressive - "local" and "for yourself" are different things.


A mind is like a parachute. It doesn't work unless it's open. [Frank Zappa]

We're searching for QMC2 translators and support for existing translations. Interested? See here!
Re: Game categorization and other frontend stuff [Re: EoceneMiacid] #106442 07/08/16 01:59 PM
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EoceneMiacid Offline OP
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I have no idea what you could possibly mean with 'keep it local' otherwise.

Thanks for expressing your concern QMC2. I took note, and then discarded it.

Re: Game categorization and other frontend stuff [Re: EoceneMiacid] #106444 07/08/16 03:58 PM
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Just Desserts Offline
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Originally Posted By EoceneMiacid
Thanks for expressing your concern QMC2. I took note, and then discarded it.


I suppose that's fair. After all, it seems to be what everyone else does with your useless input anyway, you arrogant cock.

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