Developer Diary September 2018
It's been more than a year since my last blog post about developing our open game database. But that doesn't mean I haven't made any progress. Therefore I would like to report to you today once again about the current state of development.
In the last 15 months I have tried to rethink our game database according to the principles of Domain Driven Design (DDD). In short, the focus is on core areas or contexts (DDD: "bounded contexts") of the planned application. These are then loosely coupled to each other during implementation, so that each individual context can implement its own subject logic independently. more
GameDB News Roundup 01/2017
Let's take another look at some developments within the video game database landscape.
(The content in this update is a bit outdated, as this will be the last GameDB News Roundup for the time being, because I want to concentrate more on subject matter work to finally bring Oregami online, and couldn't beat myself to publishing this earlier. If you want to continue writing these contents, please get in touch at our forums.)
IGDB.com released version 2 of their API this summer. And while I cannot tell the differences to version 1, version 2 is claimed to be faster, more stable and ready for heavy-weight usage. more
Thoughts about internationalization (i18n)
It comes to no surprise for Oregami to face internationalization (i18n) issues sooner or later, since we are a project that wants to become the authoritative and free data pool for the global video gaming community. While English is a good choice for the first language of the project, and German as our native language a good choice for the second, a complete documentation of video games requires spreading the work and expertise to more languages. more
Domain Driven Design, CQRS, Event Sourcing, Hexagonal Architecture & more
The road to the right software architecture can be very long. Especially when you're not a professional software architect who helps his customers with developing complex applications day by day.What will be the Oregami way to the right software architecture? If you've been monitoring our project from the beginning, you know that we threw over the chosen technologies one ore two times already. In the beginning I only had the classical multi-tier architecture in mind and mainly thought about which Java framework to use for persisting our game objects and which database software to use for that. Until today my mind changed in many ways. more
One step back - two steps forward?
If you are watching the Oregami project you may have noticed that it got rather silent during the last months. What could be the reasoning for that? Real life! ;-) But exactly due to RL we create everything in the open: data model, ideas, source code. Nothing gets lost, everybody can jump on the Oregami bandwagon at any time to support the first real open game database! The cause for this blog post is my attention towards the project Spring Boot. more
GameDB News Roundup 01/2016
In 2016, we want to continue our little series of blog entries about new developments within the video game database landscape.
The biggest news this cycle, again, came from the team of the IGDB.The core team of the site obviously found investors to believe in their success, and thus the developers are now working full time on the code. You can check out their headquarters and core people in their first episode of "Insight" videos. Also, in a turn of events unseen before, the lead developer of IGDB shared the technical base of the site in a 46 minute video. more
GameDB News Roundup 02/2015
Let's take another look at new developments within the video game database landscape.
The biggest news this cycle made IGDB, who launched the first version of their API. An API offers standardized access for fetching all kinds of data from a database, so they can be used elsewhere, and is therefore an important thing to have. This first IGDB API offers access to game data, companies, people, franchises, and platforms, which seems quite comprehensive so far. There's also the possibility for game shops to integrate their game products to the price comparison feature of IGDB. more
Sorting out the platform mess
It's no secret that every game needs some hardware (HW) to run on, and most of them also need some basic software (SW) like an operating system (OS) on top of that HW. But the traditional platform model we see at many, if not all, video gaming sites out there is a wild mix of HW and SW. You see consoles like the PlayStation, OS's like Linux or Windows, "platform-independent" SW like a Browser, or even Arcade boards lumped together into one single layer of platform data. This get-together of all the different technical platforms in one place leads to quite some problems when it comes to documenting game releases. more
GameDB News Roundup 01/2015
This blog post shall be the start to a series of news items which shortly summarize the latest developments in the video game database landscape. As we closely watch a number of projects, it's only logical to collect all the news in one place.
In the last months, three databases reported new contribution milestones regarding the number of games in the databases. MobyGames reached 50K "unique games", the rather new project IGDB reported reaching 10K games, and the Italian project UVL even celebrated 100K games lurking in their database. Now does that mean that MobyGames is five times as successful as the IGDB, and the UVL is twice as successful as MobyGames? Obviously not. more
Software at Oregami
At Oregami we are using a bunch of open source software products, or commercial products that are freely available to open source projects like us to get things done. This blog post will tell you what we are using! more
Open source RESTful server application (Dropwizard - Google Guice - JPA Hibernate)
Around one year ago I decided to use the Java framework Dropwizard for our server application. Since then I read a lot, I learned a lot and I implemented many things.
As the recently published new Dropwizard version required some re engineering of our application, I used the opportunity to start all over again from the beginning to strengthen my knowledge about the whole implementation. I want to permanently understand every single detail of it, that's the only way I can extend and document it in a meaningful way. It should also help other people to get involved in the development! more
Nomen est omen: the naming of games
One of the main recurring criticisms of MobyGames - despite all its serious flaws in other parts of their data model - is the naming of the game entries. As MobyGames is, and always has been, a US project, every game is only accepted into the database using its US release title as the "main title". Missing that, a release title of other English-speaking countries is accepted, and only if there's no English title available, the original title of release is allowed, regardless of origin. When a main title is found for the game, every other title is only accepted into the database as an "alternative title".
There's one big problem with this approach. It may well be that the rest of the world doesn't care one bit about the US release title of a game. Imagine a Japanese player browsing MobyGames, only to find the fourth entry of the Final Fantasy series listed as "Final Fantasy II", just because it was the second FF game released in the US. There must be a better way to do this, so, let's conduct some research about how other game sites are approaching this issue, and allow me to introduce you to the planned Oregami solution. For reference, I will always link Final Fantasy IV as an example game. more
First Language English
The recent demise of MobyGames was sad to see, but it flooded the Oregami forums with disappointed people looking for a new home. We tried our best to answer all the questions that were asked and address all the concerns that were raised. We realized that it's about time to advance the internationalization of Oregami.
The main positive response was that we're on the right track with what we're doing. There is a growing demand for a future-proof, sophisticated, and multilingual video game database, now more than ever. Here are some examples: more
Oregami association on the horizon
It is quite hard to believe, but the first real discussions about the founding of our Oregami association already took place in January 2012, i. e. some 20 months ago. And founded it is not, yet! So what were we up to all this time? And why do we want an association hosting this project at all? A little retrospect shall give these information, furthermore we want to give a little perspective on the future. more
Oregami featured in German podcast "The Three Vogons"
One of the best-known nerd podcasts of Germany is the one produced by "The Three Vogons".
Some months ago I was asked to join the Three for a guest interview within their next podcast. Well, how did I respond? YES !
Now the new issue of their podcast is online!
In the best of habits of "The Three Vogons", the podcast lasts for no... more
The weird X-Wing series or Why do we model data?
Oregami is designed to become an interactive database for computer and video games, with a similar complexity like the Internet Movie Database has for TV and film. Thus, if we talk about Oregami we quickly drift to our data model - or technical model - and to the statement that this ominous model shall be better than that of any existing video game database. But why that? What is a data model, actually, and why the heck is it not enough for us what MobyGames and TheLegacy offer?
Now our beloved hobby brings along a real mountain of data: computer and video games have a title, belong to one or more genres, are published for different systems in different versions at different times, even in different countries, and so on and so forth. We want the users to be able to enter all these data into our database, but that alone clearly isn't enough. If the user checks a game entry, he / she may exemplary want to learn the systems it was released on and when. If one visits a compilation entry the included games shall be visible, and with one more click every of those game entries must be reachable for more information. Or which games of a certain genre have been released on a certain system within a given time frame? more
Retrobörse in Bochum (Germany) on November 10th
The next event of the "Retrobörse" ist coming up: on November, 10th there will be something like a really big flea market in Bochum, Germany - by nerds and for nerds - filled with retro stuff like old computers, consoles, games and merchandising.
There will be one single booth selling old gaming magazines exclusively - which is mine. more
A visit to the Gaming Veterans (aka "Spieleveteranen")
Some days ago I was able to take part in the latest edition of the Gaming Veterans' Podcast and, thus, was able to chat with some of the old stagers of German gaming journalism: Heinrich Lenhardt, Anatol Locker, Winnie Forster and Jörg Langer may not be known to international readers, but are quite famous amongst German retro gamers. For the last years I've had my share of contact with them through my German retro mag site Kultpower.de and I can assure you that they're nice guys whose experience and competence in the games business blow you away every single time. more
Technical three-way with Jenkins, Git and Tomcat
The goal was clear: Our Java code shall be regularly compiled by a Jenkins build server, then deployed to our Tomcat server. So far, so good. But implementing this automatic workflow saw quite some obstacles to jump over.
When it comes to code versioning my personal programming past mainly brought me close to CVS and Subversion, but both don't really hold up any more today, so I decided to use git for source code maintenance. And because so many famous projects cannot be wrong, I chose Github as our online hosting service for this.
For professional reasons I am used to my program code being built at least once a day, so the Jenkins build server was an obvious choice. And a Tomcat server for our Java web service should be an easy target to deploy to, or so I thought. more
As of now: open for everyone!
For some one and a half years now, we 're tinkering around with some people on our new and ultimate online database for computer and video games named OReGamI (full name is "Open Registry of Game Information"). Within over 800 forum posts we've already created a large amount of the very important data model, built the foundation for the coding with Java and, now, are ready to take the next step: publishing our unfinished work.
Why that, you may ask? Because we want everyone of you to take part in the complete development process of this ambitious project. more
A few weeks ago a founder of retrocollect.com asked for access to our internal discussion board, where we develop a brand new game database called "oregami" ("Open register of Game Information"). My first reaction was like "uh, do you want to steal some of our nice ideas?". The answer went something like: "Hey, you claim that you are building a truly open system - doesn't seem to be *that* open." Ouch. Good shot. He was right. more
And the winners are:
We have chosen the games. The games with which we will try applying our model for computer und video game data to.
These games need not be "great" concerning publicity, fun factor, graphics or something similar. Wo chose them because they have some special properties, e.g.:
- multi platform availability
- alternative or special editions
- downloadable content
So here is the list of games: more
Meanwhile on another Website
Well, of course we'll keep an open eye at the rest of the world as we are interested in what happens there.
So, a great looking and promising game-database is going to start in the next months: Archive.vg more
What happened so far, part 1
In December 2010 a guy named Jens registered in the discussion board of Kultpower and TheLegacy and asked the communtity:
"What if we found a non-profit registered association of gamers to create the ultimate, worldwide, community-based database about computer and video games, pushing to academic standards of documentation?"
After some hesitant answers from other board-members he went further and stated:
"I want to create a new project like Mobygames or TheLegacy, but better."
Wow. That was an announcement! To "replace" Mobygames and TheLegacy, that is a sweeping goal, indeed. MobyGames with more than 60,000 game entries, TheLegacy with more than 35,000 games recorded. Not to forget the hundreds of thousands of screen shots and cover scans, these two projects have accumulated over the years.
So we asked for some more details. more
We finally arrived at an agreement about the name of our new game database: Oregami, which stands for "Open Register of Game Information". Keep this one in mind!
For the moment we will only maintain a weblog where we want to inform all of you about the progress we are making in the development of our new game database. Stay tuned for more!
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