Jump to content
LaunchBox Community Forums

We really need better quality cover sources...


Khenemet Heru

Recommended Posts

Time and again, if I load in a ROMset into LaunchBox, I have to manually add all my images, because the cover images downloaded by the front end from your database and providers is either incorrect or of such low quality that I don't want to use it. I have had to do this with practically every system I have set up, from Atari 2600 and Odyssey2 to TG-16 and Sega Saturn. I find myself relying heavily on GameFAQs for cover images, which are often of much higher quality scanning and resolution, and usually from a better physical condition source as well (MobyGames is another I end up relying on, but generally only for MS-DOS games). My suggestion would be to offer GameFAQs as a location to scrape images from, as they have better images overall for just about every game in your database as well as for tons of games for all systems that are not even in your database (and were not even in the previous gamesdb database...). Might even be a good idea to try to partner with them for the database itself, honestly...

I love the front end, don't take this wrong, it is exactly what I was looking for for a long time (and I don't even use Big Box, though with the new coverflow themes I might - just don't need all that other information). It's simply that it's a lot of work and very time consuming to set up this way, especially for a system like GameBoy Advance with over a couple thousand unique games, and it seems to me it should be a goal to make it much easier to make the gamelists look pretty, since that's half the benefit of a front end like this. Looking pretty is challenging when the cover images look like dirt.

Edited by Khenemet Heru
spelling, clarity. Proper title (thanks Zombeaver)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Feel free to submit superior images to our DB if you have them. That's kinda the whole point. Where do you think they came from on the alternatives you mentioned - they just materialized out of the magical ether of the interwebs? No, somebody took the time to add them.

The reason we moved away from external DBs for this stuff in the first place is because they were either unreliable as hell (GamesDB) or they constantly changed their site to make it almost impossible to hook into them on a consistent basis (Mobygames).

Could the DB use some work? Heck yeah. But talking about it needing work rather than contributing to that end gets exactly nowhere.

  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I may do just that, when I've finished all the work of importing my ROMsets and finding all the images, which so far has been going on for 9-10 months, a few hours at a time. For some of that time I was submitting to gamesdb, but we see where that effort went. As I'm duplicating effort with every search, image replacement, and Photoshop tweak, I'll be at this for a while. Hence my suggestion.

My suggestion was to hook into gamefaqs as an alternative image source for users to choose, which would cut that time down significantly and make it a lot easier for me to contribute in that way at the same time that I'm doing my setup. Maximizing effort and time spent, in other words.

Part of the problem also stems from having to id the game manually because if I use the automatic import, it renames things arbitrarily against the entire database instead of only by platform specified, so for example some Gameboy titles are being renamed as Super Nintendo games because it finds no entry in the GB section but it finds a pattern match in SNES... And some games are renamed as something totally not related because they happened to have a word in common. Which is why it would be a good idea to incorporate at least a copy of a more complete external database into your own if using external db's is too unstable, or adding more than Wikipedia to scrape (which is really out there on a lot of matches, btw).

I'm trying to explain my user experience, to be helpful in the way I can be at the moment... if that's not useful then I registered for nothing. Sorry for wasting your time.

Edit: I wasn't trying to be rude, I obviously came off as such (and probably continue to do so) but I'm blunt. No offense meant.

Edited by Khenemet Heru
spelling, clarity.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

What you are running into is a problem for everyone no matter what front end you are talking about.

Either you use something like Hyperspin (or any other front end) and you have to download art from somewhere like Emumovies and rename everything (either the rom files or the art files) to match up exactly to get it to work. Or in the case of Launchbox which at least is more forgiving in the file names and we are working on the database which as you already know is a huge task but it at least semi automates things.

I cannot comment on whether or not hooking into gamefaqs is a viable option or not, maybe @Jason Carrcan shed some more light on to that.

You also have to remember that Launchbox is a one man operation which is Jason. There is no big team of developers or behind the scenes people working on all of this stuff. It's the community that is helping put everything together and it is still a work in progress and probably will be ongoing for quite a long time because of the sheer volume. A prime example right now would be the Amiga section of the database. Because of all the different games and naming conventions used in the files it's tough to even know where to begin to get that into something resembling a usable state.

Anyways, if you want to contribute to the database art you are more than welcome to do so and I am sure it would be greatly appreciated.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 9/19/2016 at 4:42 PM, Khenemet Heru said:

I'm trying to explain my user experience, to be helpful in the way I can be at the moment... if that's not useful then I registered for nothing. Sorry for wasting your time.

The problem is the way that you're conveying that. You're coming on here saying "You really need...". You mean we really need? Because the DB relies on you just as much as it does some mysterious other entity in order to be brought up to par. We (theoretically) pulled the entirety of the GamesDB as a starting point for the Launchbox Games DB; how successful/complete that was during transition, I don't know - but that's where it came from in the beginning. From there, we rely on contribution and moderation by members here.

It's all well and good to say that our images "look like dirt" but it doesn't really contribute anything to the cause of improving it. Don't get all defensive after coming on here and trashing the efforts of many other members and contributing nothing yourself.

As far as hooking into the Gamefaqs API, I know that it's been suggested; more than once in fact. It hasn't happened as of yet and I'm not exactly expecting it to. Jason could possibly provide more specifics on why but presumably there's some complication there that we're not privy to. In any case, the current situation is such that, if you want to improve the DB, you need to make some submissions - if you can do that, it would be appreciated because everyone reaps the benefits.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was aware Jason was the only dev but I didn't realize there weren't people behind the scenes dedicated to handling the other aspects, emails and posts made it seem that way to me. That paints a totally different picture and makes me appreciate how good LaunchBox is against other front ends.

Of course, if I can provide what I have dug up as replacements I have no problem doing it. I'll have to look that up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks guys, I get it now. :$

Zombeaver, I was under a mistaken impression - I knew users could submit info but I was under the impression that info was reviewed by others before being added, and that the majority of entries were being added by those 'others' that were responsible for the database solely and were the support part of Jason's 'team' (which I now understand isn't a team).

I stand corrected. I'll try to do what I can and be better.

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, Khenemet Heru said:

Thanks guys, I get it now. :$

Zombeaver, I was under a mistaken impression - I knew users could submit info but I was under the impression that info was reviewed by others before being added, and that the majority of entries were being added by those 'others' that were responsible for the database solely and were the support part of Jason's 'team' (which I now understand isn't a team).

I stand corrected. I'll try to do what I can and be better.

 

Submitted data is reviewed and approved or declined because if it wasn't there would be too many people over writing other people submissions and often not for the better. So there has to be some control over it.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 minutes ago, lordmonkus said:

Don't take Zombeavers comments too personal, he's the grumpy muscle so I don't have to be and no wants me to be that guy, trust me ;)

The "grumpy muscle" haha. I like it - sounds like a super villain.

"What will our heroes do on the next exciting episode of Launchbox when they face their greatest opponent yet... THE GRUMPY MUSCLE. Stay tuned!"

In all seriousness though, my comments aren't intended to be jerkish, you just have to understand that people from our community - people just like you - took the time and made the effort to make the contributions that you were downing. I don't respond well to that kind of thing ¬¬

10 minutes ago, Khenemet Heru said:

Zombeaver, I was under a mistaken impression - I knew users could submit info but I was under the impression that info was reviewed by others before being added, and that the majority of entries were being added by those 'others' that were responsible for the database solely and were the support part of Jason's 'team' (which I now understand isn't a team).

I stand corrected. I'll try to do what I can and be better.

Understood. No harm done. And like I said, I don't disagree that there's room for improvement - but that just comes from everyone here, not a mysterious team of gerbils behind the curtains.

Your contributions will be greatly appreciated by everyone here! I've been making an effort to work on C64 and Atari ST myself as there's still quite a bit of stuff missing. C64 is kindof an impossible task since there's more than 10,000 games for that platform... but it's a righteous struggle!

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, Khenemet Heru said:

... I knew users could submit info but I was under the impression that info was reviewed by others before being added...

I was under the same impression because Jason said in this video there's a "three step review" for each added element.

Isn't this the case any more or never was..?

 

... and a probably dumb question related to the above said, forgive me, I'm new here: How exactly do I contribute to the database? Is it enough to just use the built-in upload/backup function or do I have to do contributions on other ways..?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 9/20/2016 at 5:24 AM, Eirulan said:

@DOS76 thank you.

Wow - that's unfortunate. Would make the whole process much more convenient if you could edit the data in LB and it syncs with the DB. But that's maybe technically just not possible at the moment...

I had the same thought...initially. When you really consider the ramifications of that, however, you'll see that it would be a moderation nightmare. The first step in adding games to the DB is to verify that it's not currently there already, then you add in the release date, publisher/developer, description, etc. along with any images you have (preferably with the correct region for them) at which point your submission goes into a moderation queue and moderators approve or deny them. If literally anyone with LB could just click a button and suddenly their library entry was uploaded for moderation, with no examination/consideration of any other current or pending DB entries, it would be a complete disaster. We could really use more moderators as it is, let alone with 100 times the workload.

You're eligible to moderate once a certain number of submissions are accepted. I think it's 50, which sounds like a lot but it's really not - completely filling out a new library entry with all fields and including front and back covers is something like 15 changes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...