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Add To Games DB AddToGamesDb v.Next

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About This File

*** Updated for Initial Support for LaunchBox v.Next ***

AddToGamesDb:  A plugin to help automate the process of submitting all of your game information and images from your collection to the LaunchBox Games Database.

About the Plugin

This plugin makes use of an application traditionally used in automated testing (Selenium) to automate the process of submitting games to the LaunchBox Games Database.  It will open an instance of your default browser (provided that browser is either Chrome or Firefox.  If some other browser is your default, it will try to open Chrome), and attempt to submit the selected game to the LaunchBox Games Database based on the information provided in your collection. 

  • If the game does not exist in the database, it will create a new game entry and submit it to the database.
  • If you have added additional information or images to a game that already exists in the database, it will enter the title and platform, then pause to let you choose the existing game, then add any additional information from your collection to the LaunchBox Games Database.

Installation Instructions

Note:  For this plugin to work, you will need to have either Chrome or Firefox installed.  If you have both installed, it will use whichever you have set as your default browser.  If you are using Firefox as your default browser and have enabled Firefox Profiles, please note that this will run under the default profile.  For any and all other cases, Chrome is the preferred browser.

  1. Unzip everything to the Plugins folder.

Usage Instructions

Note: If, in editing your collection, you are prompted to download an update for the LaunchBox Games Database, afterward you will need to close and re-open LaunchBox for the plugin to detect the changes.

  1. Open LaunchBox and browse to a game that is either missing from the Games Database, has additional information not in the database, or has images not in the database -- right click that game, and select the appropriate option, it will show either:
    • Add Game to LaunchBox Games Database
    • Update Game in LaunchBox Games Database
    • Add New Images to LaunchBox Games Database
  2. The first time you run the plugin, you may be prompted to login to LaunchBox Games Database.  If so, the plugin will pause here to allow you to login as normal. Check "Remember Me" to skip this step going forward.  Your login information is not read or stored in the code, it is stored in Chrome or Firefox's normal AppData cache on your system.  If you do not login, the plugin will time-out after 5 minutes and close the browser. 
  3. Depending on the game, you may be prompted with a screen that identifies similar titles and you will be asked to either select the correct title, or click the button to add a new game.  If so, the plugin will pause here until you make your desired selection, then automation will resume for the remainder of the process.

Logging

By default, the logging is only set to a general "Info" level and up that contains generic start and submission successful messages, along with any errors encountered.  If you continue to encounter an error somewhere along the way, please take the following steps:

  1. Browse to the plugin's folder -- LaunchBox\Plugins\AddToGamesDb
  2. Open NLog.dll.nlog in Notepad or another text editor.
  3. Scroll down to the bottom and find the <rules> section of the configuration.
  4. Find this line: 
    <logger name="*" minlevel="Info" writeTo="file" />

    And change it to this: 

    <logger name="*" minlevel="Trace" writeTo="file" />

     

  5. Try to submit the problem game, if it is a particular game causing the issue, or another game in general otherwise.

  6. Browse to the log file in the plugin's folder -- LaunchBox\Plugins\AddToGamesDb\log\AddToGamesDb.log

  7. Feel free to post the error and preceding trace either on the plugin's support page or PM me either the entire log or the part pertaining to the last issue, whichever is easier for you.  From there, I'll investigate and make any updates necessary.

Supported Fields

Auto-population of the following fields is currently supported:

  • Name/Title
  • Platform
  • Release Date
  • ESRB
  • Developers
  • Publishers
  • Genres
  • Wikipedia URL
  • Overview
  • Max Players
  • Cooperative
  • Images

Known Issues

  • Context Menu (right-click menu) does not refresh on Audit window.
  • If you update the information for a game in LaunchBox (clicking Edit from the right-click menu for the game), you will need to click away from the game (click some other game, for example), and then right-click on the updated game again for the context menu to update.  Even without doing so, however, the correct process should run even though the text and icon on the menu haven't yet updated.

A lot of work has gone into stabilizing the initial release and this latest release, but if you encounter any issues, please let me know and I will be glad to work with you to update the plugin accordingly.

Thanks, Jason, for providing your amazing software and thanks again to Jason, the LaunchBox staff and the community for your support in developing this plugin.


What's New in Version AddToGamesDb v.Next   See changelog

Released

AddToGamesDb v.Next:

  • Adding initial support for LaunchBox v.Next.  This only works with Chrome.  Please let me know if you encounter any issues.

AddToGamesDb 2.5.0 Update:

  • Support for LaunchBox 8.0+.
  • Confirmation dialog after successful game submission.
  • General bugfixes to support the latest releases.

AddToGamesDb 2.4.0 Update:

  • Fixed issue causing LaunchBox to crash.
  • Updated to latest drivers for browser automation.

AddToGamesDb 2.3.0 Update:

  • Updated for .NET Framework 4.7 being used in the latest beta of LaunchBox.
  • Updated automation.
  • Updated error checking to skip any Image Types that are not yet implemented in the form.
  • An issue was identified with custom platform names, so for now, when it is time for the automation to enter the platform name, if you have set a custom platform name, the automation will pause while you manually select the platform, then resume after you click "Add Game".

AddToGamesDb 2.2.0 Update:

  • Made the Chrome version portable!  You will need to enter your username and password on the login form and select Remember Me again, but now your Chrome profile for the automation will be stored in a Profile folder within the plugin's folder.  No more AppData for it.
  • Also, Chromedriver.exe was updated from 2.2.9 to 2.3.0 this week, and the latest version is included here.  A changelog for the latest version can be found here.
  • Maintenance changes -- stability, flexibility and re-usability improvements in the code.  Now that I've finally gotten around to it, please note that if you're also using Startup Video Manager, you will likely need to update it as well.  They share a DLL or two and that will ensure both are running optimally.  Now that everything's in order, it shouldn't be an issue going forward, but since this is the first time I've moved the code around in this way, both plugins may need to be updated to the current release to guarantee full functionality.

AddToGamesDb 2.1.0 Update:

  • Found a race condition that could be encountered when adding images to an existing game that already has other images on it.  This update solves for this possibility.

AddToGamesDb 2.0.0 Update:

  • Supports the latest versions of the LaunchBox Games Database submission pages.
  • Relaxed automation code where possible to be more resilient to page changes.
  • Added pop-up dialogs if an error is encountered that caused submission to fail so that the user gets some feedback on any issues.
  • Re-write of all automation code with extensive error handling and logging.
  • Improved support for various metadata fields.
  • Tweaked automation timeout settings to allow for a reasonable amount of time for slower internet connections, without causing too much lag for faster connections.
  • Activated configurable NLog logging to capture everything needed for any debugging issues that may arise from form submission page changes.

AddToGamesDb 1.5.0 Update:

  • Fixed an edge case where the automation will pause for an extended period when populating existing games that do not have any images associated with them.

AddToGamesDb 1.4.0 Update:

  • Re-wrote the implementation that checks for existing games being updated.  This functionality is working now.

AddToGamesDb 1.3.1 Update:

  • Solved for a race condition when choosing to update an existing game that could cause the automation to stop.

AddToGamesDb 1.3.0 Update:

  • Added support for multiple Developers, Publishers and Genres.
  • Added support for Max Players and Cooperative fields.

AddToGamesDb 1.2.0 Update:

  • Increased timeout for image uploads to ensure that all image uploads have time to complete.
  • Added support for all remaining Image Types -- thanks @Jason Carr!

AddToGamesDb 1.1.0 Update:

  • Support added for Screenshot - Gameplay image type.
  • Added initial logging support.
  • Cleaned up underlying code -- better stability, reduced total file size, getting everything ready for more testing and logging capability.
  • Changed the way Metadata.xml (LocalDB) is being loaded to see whether or not a game already exists in the database.
  • Like 23
  • Unusual Gem 1

User Feedback

Recommended Comments



Hey all, been away again with qualifying life events.  I should be able to take a look this month, maybe later this week or next week, and get some much needed updates on the way.

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The only option I am ever provided is  Add New Images to LaunchBox Games Database. Does anyone know why that might be? This happens when I choose any game, including one that is not yet in the database.

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Probably because I really need to update this plugin. I should have enough stuff off my plate by next week to take a look and rewrite this a bit.

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Does not seem to be able to find any browser type on fully updated Windows (the default to Chrome path no longer works for me).

/poke (very politely)

 

We yearn for the return of time saving on the part of so many poor, currently unloved games.

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As of the month of December 2021, this plugin does not seem to work. I am on Win 10 and do use the latest Chrome version as my default browser.

Every time I try to add a new game to the database, by right-clicking o on said game and using the "add game to LaunchBox games database" option, it will ALWAYS result in an error message, no matter what I tried (including the "Nlog.dll.nlog" tweak using Notepad)… 

Please, have a look at said error message below. I took a screenshot of it. It is always the same error.

Is there anything I can do to fix that? If not, then how are we supposed to add new games to the database?? 

Any ideas, comments? Thanks for your time either way!

1603425052_ERRORMESSAGE-AddToGamesDbPlugin(2021-21-17).thumb.PNG.3a6dbef7cf43ec79aaa4f4815717caca.PNG

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14 minutes ago, Unholy said:

As of the month of December 2021, this plugin does not seem to work. I am on Win 10 and do use the latest Chrome version as my default browser.

Every time I try to add a new game to the database, by right-clicking o on said game and using the "add game to LaunchBox games database" option, it will ALWAYS result in an error message, no matter what I tried (including the "Nlog.dll.nlog" tweak using Notepad)… 

Please, have a look at said error message below. I took a screenshot of it. It is always the same error.

Is there anything I can do to fix that? If not, then how are we supposed to add new games to the database?? 

Any ideas, comments? Thanks for your time either way!

1603425052_ERRORMESSAGE-AddToGamesDbPlugin(2021-21-17).thumb.PNG.3a6dbef7cf43ec79aaa4f4815717caca.PNG

This has been broken for a long, long time, I don't expect it will ever work again I'm afraid.

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It’s true, it stopped working back before the LaunchBox redesign and I was working too many hours to address it.  I’m currently working on a rewrite, hopefully I’ll have time to finish it soon.

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Yeah, it seems like it stopped working about 3 years ago.

And UW, it's awesome that you are currently working on a rewrite! Thank you very much man.

But my question is, right now, how do we add new games to the database? I only have only entered about 60 steam games on this specific laptop's LaunchBox, and I can already see 2 games that are not in the database. And those games are not totally unknown or forgotten at all... I would take the time to enter everything manually, but how do I submit all of that to the database? 

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11 hours ago, Unholy said:

Yeah, it seems like it stopped working about 3 years ago.

And UW, it's awesome that you are currently working on a rewrite! Thank you very much man.

But my question is, right now, how do we add new games to the database? I only have only entered about 60 steam games on this specific laptop's LaunchBox, and I can already see 2 games that are not in the database. And those games are not totally unknown or forgotten at all... I would take the time to enter everything manually, but how do I submit all of that to the database? 

LaunchBox Games Database (launchbox-app.com)

Also our steam importer pulls info and images from steam itself as well.

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Thanks for the infos Neil. I just added Mighty Goose for Windows. Let's see whether it will be accepted.

But something more streamlined is sorely needed! All possible information they ask for are, in such a situation, on their Steam page. So it should be a no brainer to be able to add a steam game to the database, from LaunchBox itself, by just pointing out the URL of the game's store page... No?

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59 minutes ago, Unholy said:

But something more streamlined is sorely needed! All possible information they ask for are, in such a situation, on their Steam page. So it should be a no brainer to be able to add a steam game to the database, from LaunchBox itself, by just pointing out the URL of the game's store page... No?

That is essentially what we do, no need to specifically add it to our database unless its store exclusive to another store really. I guess people dont worry as much about the current games as that info is pulled from the stores themselves when importing including videos for a lot of games that for retro games would usually require you to have a premium emumovies subscription but are pulled directly from the stores own pages.

I am a little worried about this plugin being revived though, as last time we ended up with in all honesty a ton of shit uploaded to the database, that has to be manually waded through by the moderators and rejected. Personally i think the manual way is better as it makes the submitter actually think about what they are uploading and whether or not it is any better than what we already have there, rather than just effectively copy pasting all the stuff they have to the database with no regards to the quality of that media, or the moderators who have to spend the time looking at it all. 

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I totally understand the point you're making in you last paragraph. The best, imho, would still be to revive the plugin, but make it so that those game addition "suggestions" only get actually added after it is vetted by a mod with such responsibility. So basically, not something that would directly add to the game database, but only be a community suggestion, which can then be added once vetted. But I am not a mod here, so I have no idea how everything is structured... 

BTW, what is your opinion of the Steam Scraper 2.3 plugin (https://forums.launchbox-app.com/files/file/1440-steam-scraper/?tab=comments ) ?

I used it yesterday for the first time, and did EXACTLY what I wanted in the first place. When it comes to a Steam game that isn't in LB's game database, I think it only adds all game infos and media on the user's LaunchBox, without affecting the database. Am I right here? Either way, it works VERY well. 

Edited by Unholy
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16 minutes ago, Unholy said:

totally understand the point your making in you last paragraph. The best, imho, would still be to revive the plugin, but make it so that those game addition "suggestions" only get actually added after it is vetted by a mod with such responsibility. So basically, not something that would directly add to the game database, but only be a community suggestion, which can then be added once vetted.

That is exactly how it currently works, every single bit of metadata or image is vetted, and it needs to get a certain amount of approvals more than rejections. So it can take as little as 5 people to approve something (if all 5 approve it) to potentially dozens if the approve/reject is a close call ( anything added to the database needs 5 more approvals than rejections). this is why a sudden flood of data, is a concern, if the database is flooded with rubbish then the chance of moderators just saying im not dealing with this is high.

19 minutes ago, Unholy said:

BTW, what is your opinion of the Steam Scraper 2.3 plugin (https://forums.launchbox-app.com/files/file/1440-steam-scraper/?tab=comments ) ?

I used it yesterday for the first time, and did EXACTLY what I wanted in the first place. When it comes to a Steam game that isn't in LB's game database, I think it only adds all game infos and media on the user's LaunchBox, without affecting the database. Am I right here? Either way, it works VERY well. 

Yes, plugins like this are good and provide options.

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On 12/19/2021 at 3:00 PM, neil9000 said:

That is exactly how it currently works, every single bit of metadata or image is vetted, and it needs to get a certain amount of approvals more than rejections. So it can take as little as 5 people to approve something (if all 5 approve it) to potentially dozens if the approve/reject is a close call ( anything added to the database needs 5 more approvals than rejections). this is why a sudden flood of data, is a concern, if the database is flooded with rubbish then the chance of moderators just saying im not dealing with this is high.

Thank you for the explanation! Yeah, it is a great way to do things, IMHO, and is very to how we do things between us regarding new content on Arcadepunk (and on other stuff/orgs I'm involved with). And yes, absolutely, a surge in BS data can be problematic. There is some kind of paradox with things that are largely community-based like LaunchBox; low or inexistent community input is very problematic, as is too much community input... And it's hard to find a sweet spot somewhere.

Right now, I think that the best would be an easier way to add to the database from the software itself (a little bit like how community star ratings are added by the users currently, for example), but in a way that would avoid getting swamped under a sea of useless data, as you explained very well with your reservations. It can be achieved with the combination of a number of things; a big one that has worked very well in such area in projects I am involved with, is with an internal "user rating," so basically, if a user sends you garbage data, that user would then be internally  flagged and his/her "contributions" will then stop reaching the assigned content approval team (while the opposite thing would happen with users that contribute in the right way). Such a system can be a little overwhelming at the very start, because all users will start with the same internal "rating," but things will typically fall in place very quickly, and usually stay that way once it is reached. 

I tried to explain everything in the simplest way I could think of, in a language that isn't mine, so please excuse me for any mistakes.

Anyway, I LOVE LB, I was a VERY early adopter, and you guys proved yourselves to be wise in the way things are run. So thank you!! 

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2 hours ago, Unholy said:

Thank you for the explanation! Yeah, it is a great way to do things, IMHO, and is very to how we do things between us regarding new content on Arcadepunk (and on other stuff/orgs I'm involved with). And yes, absolutely, a surge in BS data can be problematic. There is some kind of paradox with things that are largely community-based like LaunchBox; low or inexistent community input is very problematic, as is too much community input... And it's hard to find a sweet spot somewhere.

Right now, I think that the best would be an easier way to add to the database from the software itself (a little bit like how community star ratings are added by the users currently, for example), but in a way that would avoid getting swamped under a sea of useless data, as you explained very well with your reservations. It can be achieved with the combination of a number of things; a big one that has worked very well in such area in projects I am involved with, is with an internal "user rating," so basically, if a user sends you garbage data, that user would then be internally  flagged and his/her "contributions" will then stop reaching the assigned content approval team (while the opposite thing would happen with users that contribute in the right way). Such a system can be a little overwhelming at the very start, because all users will start with the same internal "rating," but things will typically fall in place very quickly, and usually stay that way once it is reached. 

I tried to explain everything in the simplest way I could think of, in a language that isn't mine, so please excuse me for any mistakes.

Anyway, I LOVE LB, I was a VERY early adopter, and you guys proved yourselves to be wise in the way things are run. So thank you!! 

I would love an API-driven approach.  Any crowdsourced data is going to have varying degrees of quality and require a manual review mastering process.  That’s just the nature of the beast at the moment, even wikipedia has manual editors.

Around the time I had to step away, they were working through implementing multilingual support in metadata entries.  As I get up to speed, I’m interested to see what approach was ultimately taken there as well.

I do know that when I complete it, it will only be text data.  I’m leaving out image upload support as that ended up causing a lot of duplicate images to be uploaded.  I can add some image comparison logic, but those types of algorithms aren’t 100%.

I should be able to focus on it toward the end of the week, and am definitely open to any feedback on what people would like to see from it.  

One thing I am considering is to only support adding new games to the database.  The previous version allowed modifying existing entries, and I imagine that is where the majority of the junk data originated.  

At the very least, I think I need to highlight the differences between the user’s data and the games database’s data, with an “Are you sure” button before the user can submit the changes to the database.  Maybe even a Visual Studio-esque diff tool to indicate which differences should be selected for submission to the database.  

For example, the user may select a game to review its metadata and say, for this game, the description in the database is better, so replace my description with the one from the database, but my genres are better, so submit the genres to the database for consideration.

It becomes a more manual process in that case, but it can still be done within the app instead of having to go out to the database web interface, so I think it’s still a better user experience.  The added step should help curb bad data from being submitted haphazardly just because the plugin says you have additional or different metadata for a game than the database.

Edited by UnderwoodNC
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