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PsiSoldier

Update Launchbox default Genres

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Is there a public method of updating the genres for game metadata on Launchbox?

The default Genre information it gives when downloading data for new games especially Stream games is woefully inadequate.  And I've noticed it doesn't even include tags from Steam.  Thus I am having to go through and manually add genre information that is missing.

 

This has been brought up in previous posts I've seen but it should seriously be added. If I or other people could access a public database for all the games and add more tags or genre information to them it would be beneficial to everyone.   That way when someone wants to setup genre playlists for launchbox/bigbox in the future it would not be such a gigantic headache and undertaking.

I'm assuming that this isnt currently an option since things like Call of Duty dont have FPS as genre and just get lumped in as Shooters. 

 

But this is Definitely something that needs to be done for a quality of life improvement.

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Yes I agree. And my shooters are a big mess too, lol. The first problem is consistency. You'll have shooters, FPS, First Person Shooter, First-Person Shooter, Shooter / First Person. But the second problem is the user can't really edit this data in a sane way (and i think they should be able to customize all their genres and revert to a default that is consistent if they change their mind down the road)

The cause of this problem seems to be that different platforms have different Genre declaration methods because they were sourced differently? For mine I have different styles of genres for Windows/steam, wikipedia, Arcade/MAME, the launchbox DB, and some odd things I cleaned up from Atari 800. I have stupid things too for arcade games like 'climbing / building" and "whac-a-mole / puzzle" i cleaned those up though (I think that's some kind of MAME database but i'm unsure how i went about it)

It would be great like so great if you could just right click the Genre and say "Rename" like you can with a platform when you list by platforms. Same with developers (those are a mess as well. Do we need 20+ derivatives of Midway?) Maybe thats feasible? it seems to be the most intuitive approach.

Someone had made a bulk editor for genres at one point, but perhaps there would be a bit of an search editor which could more smartly (and safely) search any field replacing something with something else? 

This could be helpful, For example:

Change [Platform] "NES" to  "Nintendo Entertainment System" (Renaming platforms causes probably EVERY user grief at some point when they discover you can't just do that! Heck, I know the drill by now and I still sometimes forget how to update it after i rename something in LaunchBox, so might as well make a more straightforward and easier way of renaming everything?)

Change [Genre] "Shooter" to "Shooter / First Person" and also give it the ability to preserve secondary [Genre] Tags by only targeting and isolating the first. And someday you might change your mind and want to lump them all into "FPS" so why not have a tool that lets you do it?

A tool like this would be great because it would allow a user to download metadata then rearrange it as they saw fit if they wanted. or change things down the road (Lets just rename all those Tactical FPS and regular FPS and open world FPS to "FPS")

And if the user decides they dont like that decision maybe an option to revert ot default meta data for the same isolated search results of FPS?


I'd spend the time to do it manually and load up an XML into editpadpro but currently the genre info is stored in each and every platform so you'd have to go through each one. or do it internally. Neither are really viable. that'd be a chore. I still might do it, focusing on the more bigger ones like Flight simulators and things that just annoy me the most.

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Can use the Genre filter in LaunchBox to find a problem Genre and select all (ctrl-a) then right click hit edit, and then change the genre of all games at once. That being said if you have a game with multiple genre's this becomes far more difficult. You could also open up the XML file and just do a find and replace all to change one genre string to another (I would backup your files before doing so). Not saying that there isn't room for improvement in regard to mass editing multi-string fields, but wanted to make you were aware of what options you currently have since I can't say when we would be making any changes to features in the way you are referring.

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Yeah I been doing that slowly its just taking a long time. I've been adopting things over to the MAME format and cleaning up the more stupid and redundant ones. I guess that's the only real solution and i'll have to do it one platform at a time. focusing on which problem genres exist for which platform. And maintaining a text file of default ones (for like PC/Windows games) that i want to switch the the MAME format.

 I personally like the MAME Format that subtypes different things like "Sports / Volleyball" rather than a billion games just 'sports' and am adapting my games to go that route.

I like multi genre format and think its a great way to screen for games you want to play with a very large library and the automatic population of playlists is really awesome. Maybe casual users just hand pick the things they are familiar with to play but those of us looking to explore older stuff this is a major feature that is held back by this little hitch

Another thing down the road that would be maybe overkill but still really worthwhile for some of us would be a rules creation system of some kind that allows importing a game and then declaring that if pulled metadata 'meets this filter' it automatically gets an override to become translated to 'this tag.' That way if you want "FPS" "First Person Shooter" "1st Person Shooter" etc to all become translated to "Shooter / First Person" upon import in the effort of maintaining consistency with little maintenance. Maybe even a Custom rules creation override for metadata upon import might be useful in other ways. (For example it would be tricky but a user could do neat things like: If 'Times Played' =>0 AND 'User Rating' =<black> edit tag 'Status' ='Backlogged'

That would mean if you ever launched a game but didnt rate it it goes to a backlog 'shelf' (the default shelf being imported roms) until you move it to a 'played' shelf or other system depending on how you sort it. Probably Very few people who actually do that but I mirror my shelves on the website grouvee.com to match my launchbox.

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I've been getting confused about the Shooter genre lately, since I've been going through all my genres to make bannerbox theme banners.  I've noticed that launchbox's default genre for a lot of Shoot 'Em Up games, is Shooter.  Which then of course puts them in with actual shooters like FPS games, or run 'n gun shooter games.  It's funny because I'll click on one obvious top-down shoot 'em up game and it even says in the Notes/game description "This shoot 'em up is loaded with action, bla bla bla".  So does this mean that the launchbox DB has never been gone through to separate Shoot 'em up games sub-genre from the Shooter genre?  This will need to be a manual task then?

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Incidentally, on the FPS/TPS/Shooter issue, I forgot where I ran into it, but I saw them labeled on some site as "Perspective Shooters".  A little awkward at first, but as I thought about it I saw the elegance of it -- it gets at the core of what makes an FPS or TPS different from all other shooters, and it does it in one word.  Whenever genre expansion/rationalization gets around to getting gotten to, I'd suggest "Perspective Shooter" as the two-word catch all that avoids the even-more-awkward alphabet soup of trying to define them in existing terms slashed together.

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This is probably a bizarre one to bring up but one I wanted to talk about: Change "Visual Novel" to "Interactive Fiction"; as there are plenty of IF games that are solely text, so the VIsual part doesn't apply to them.

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