Ads are gone. We're using Patreon to raise funds so we can grow. Please pledge support today!
Google+   Facebook button  Twitter button 
3DS | DS | PS3 | PS4 | PSP | VITA | WII | WIIU | X360 | XB1 | All

Forums > Announcements & Site Feedback > Possible removal of numerous systems

Add a new post within this thread...

board icon
Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: April 17, 2013 (03:20 AM)
Actions: Register for a free user account to post on the forums...

This post is to let you all know that I'm thinking seriously about removing system listings (and associated content) for a number of old systems currently listed on the site. The list of platforms that would be removed is as follows:

Amiga
Amiga CD32
Apple II
Apple II GS
Channel F
Commodore 64
FM-Towns
Mac
MSX
Odyssey
PC-88
PC-98
PC-FX
Sharp X1
Sinclair ZX Spectrum
TI-99
VIC-20
X68000

Removing the above listings isn't an easy choice, but I believe that it is the right choice for a variety of reasons that I could spend hundreds or thousands of words telling you about.

More briefly, I should at least say that people rarely come to the site looking for content related to any of the above systems, and contributors very rarely ever decide to submit related content (many of the systems listed still have no content associated at all, while others have 10 or fewer reviews contributed over the course of as many years). I hope someday to have complete listings for every system that remains listed on the site except for the PC, which is and always has been an utterly unmanageable mess, but there's no sense in spending literally hundreds of hours adding or maintaining thousands of listings that will tie up database resources and probably not even be seen by actual human visitors.

After the proposed cut, the site will retain listings for all currently listed consoles and handheld systems. Visitors will have a clearer idea of exactly what to expect from the site, which will continue to offer expansive retro coverage... only now in a more focused and reasonable manner.

I've posted this notice to give you time to make local copies of any reviews you have contributed that relate to games on one of the above systems, though this move should have no impact on most of you and only slight impact on a few others. This pruning has been long overdue and now is the time to act on that. If you have any concerns, you should express them quickly, as the systems mentioned will likely disappear a few days unless the community mounts a passionate defense that I've not yet considered.


"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy on reality

"What if everything you see is more than what you see--the person next to you is a warrior and the space that appears empty is a secret door to another world? What if something appears that shouldn't? You either dismiss it, or you accept that there is much more to the world than you think. Perhaps it really is a doorway, and if you choose to go inside, you'll find many unexpected things." - Shigeru Miyamoto


board icon
Author: EmP (Mod)
Posted: April 17, 2013 (07:11 AM)
Actions: Register for a free user account to post on the forums...

I'll just come out and say I that I'm fully behind nerfing any system that has zero content against it. Listings like the ZX Spectrum was a cool idea that has resulted in zero interest in the four or so years we've had it up, and it's little more than a half arsed database we're unlikely to every flesh out properly. A lot of these systems are in the same boat. They will not be missed, and allow focus to be only on worthwhile platforms.

However, the idea of getting rid of content, any content, is ludicrous to me, and potentially insulting to authors. The Sharp X1 has exactly one review to it: a review that we, as a site collective, asked OD to make so we could have complete coverage of the Thunder Force series. It's a review that has been linked in to every other review we did in that series, and has links from other sites leading to it. We only have two reviews on the MSX; they're both killer Sho efforts that we should be lauding rather than talking about deleting, and, again, have outside sites linking in to them. Hits for Sho's Vampire Killer review? 42674. I think there's an argument for interest there.

Talking about wiping content from the likes of Bloomer, Sho, Schultz, OD and Zipp (amongst others) is something I just can't wrap my head around. Maybe some of it can be sorted with a bit of chicanery (merging Mac reviews with PC counterparts, for instance, and taking the URLS with them). Otherwise, you, sir, are the potential ranting of a madman.


For us. For them. For you.


board icon
Author: zippdementia
Posted: April 17, 2013 (09:14 AM)
Actions: Register for a free user account to post on the forums...

I also don't believe that MAC content should be erased. Not just because I have a fair number of reviews in there, but the MAC is swiftly becoming a more viable system for gaming and the listing may be useful in the future. You may even want to rename it "MAC/iPhone" games and put the iphone reviews back up under that category, as I agree with EmP that it seems detrimental to remove any actual content from the site. Several of those iPhone reviews were commissioned by the selling company, even.


Note to gamers: when someone shoots you in the face, they aren't "gay." They are "psychopathic."


board icon
Author: overdrive (Mod)
Posted: April 17, 2013 (11:32 AM)
Actions: Register for a free user account to post on the forums...

I'd more or less agree with EmP.

Partly for the reason that I'd probably be more affected than most anyone, considering I have 1 Sharp review, 4 Mac ones and 2 Apple II ones. And "losing" those would put a big crimp in my plans to review games for more different systems than anyone else on this site/the internet in general.

Also for things like what EmP said (ie: we hit up all the Thunder Force games and reviewed them in quick succession). One of those was for the Sharp. Taking it out would kind of defeat the purpose of our Thunder Force review-a-thon. And make how I've lost valuable time from my life that will never come back playing that thing seem like a cruel joke.

I'd also say, just to point it out, that despite those mainly being systems which are really obscure and don't have the general interest that other retro ones have, that my review hits for the games I've done for them are comparable to reviews I've done under the same situation for other systems. As in: regular member Mac reviews have comparable hits to regular member NES reviews I've done; basic (as in: not a more-promoted assigned review; just ones I've done for whatever reason over the years) staff Sharp review has comparable hits to basic staff TG-16 reviews. In some cases -- such as my Sharp Thunder Force review, I might have the best/only true English-language review of that game on the web.

I do agree that the site listing page is overly long and cluttered, making it tricky to tell what systems have been focused on (to some degree, at least) and which ones are basically wastelands with few if any content attached to them. I just don't know if removing content that gets/has gotten hits is an answer. Would it be feasible to do something like, on the site listing page, to put up a link titled something like "Obscure/Retro Computer Systems" that leads to a listing of those obscure models and then remove the actual links to each system from the site listing page? That way, the content would still be there, but the site listing page itself would be less cluttered and more streamlined.


Oh, EmP, are we still doing the Star Soldier deal or has that essentially been quashed over the two years of inaction? Wondering because I have my review done (and have for like forever) except for the conclusion and can submit it at about any time.


I'm not afraid to die because I am invincible
Viva la muerte, that's my goddamn principle


board icon
Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: April 17, 2013 (12:14 PM)
Actions: Register for a free user account to post on the forums...

Since its inception, HonestGamers has focused primarily on consoles and handhelds. All of the computers that are currently in the database (even the PC) were added by special request, after people promised loads of great content if I added them... and then in many cases failed to deliver.

I appreciate the affection the community has for that older content, and I do share that appreciation. Like other members of the community, I've reviewed games that were released for some of those systems. The problem--and it is a genuine problem--is that we really would be looking at hundreds and possibly even thousands of hours of work to whip all of those system listings into proper shape. That's work that none of us can really afford to devote to the project, as much as we might wish we could, yet leaving things as they are will most likely continue to impact the site in a negative way (perhaps even substantially, thanks to Google's distaste for stub pages).

Overdrive's suggestion in this thread has inspired a solution that I now plan to implement over the course of the next few days (though it may take longer, depending on my schedule). It's a solution that allows us to keep all of the current reviews, and it will allow us to continue to post new content for the affected systems if the need or desire ever arises. It works as follows:

First, I will create a "Computers" system listing, which includes all of the computer systems that I mentioned in my first post, as well as the PC (there's no point in pretending any longer that we have the resources to catch up there). Listings are then added under that category only when content for those systems already exists on the site, or when new related content has already been written and needs to be added.

There will be absolutely no effort made to offer a comprehensive listing for every game on every computer platform, and current listings that don't already have associated reviews will also be removed to free up resources. Remaining listings will be arranged alphabetically and the name of the relevant platform will also be included in a special column.

This new arrangement will prevent any reviews from needing to be removed, and it will allow for new contributions to obscure systems in the future, in the unlikely event that a community member wants to undertake a special project.

Adding this special archive for computer content will require a fair bit of coding, but I should be up to the task and it should represent a substantial improvement over the current system. I'd rather spend 50 hours implementing this feature--while improving the site and its likely performance in the process--than 800 hours adding a bunch of listings that won't ever be used.

Consoles, handheld systems, and the arcade listings will remain separate from the "Computers" category. iOS and Android listings will continue to be excluded from the site altogether. I will continue to work to flesh out the listings for console systems, as I have been for years now. In a nutshell, everybody wins.


"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy on reality

"What if everything you see is more than what you see--the person next to you is a warrior and the space that appears empty is a secret door to another world? What if something appears that shouldn't? You either dismiss it, or you accept that there is much more to the world than you think. Perhaps it really is a doorway, and if you choose to go inside, you'll find many unexpected things." - Shigeru Miyamoto


board icon
Author: JoeTheDestroyer
Posted: April 18, 2013 (11:26 AM)
Actions: Register for a free user account to post on the forums...

Well, I had hoped to contribute to this topic, but it seems everyone hit all the feelings I wished to express.

I'm glad you haven't completely nixed the idea of accepting further reviews for some games. I do plan to still cover PC titles, as I have an immense collection of Steam games that I'd love to cover (in reader reviews, of course), and even a few Apple II games I've been meaning to get to (Archon II: Adept, for instance). What I think I'm going to do is hold of on requesting any new pages to be added until I've fully completed a project, final draft and all. That way we won't find ourselves adding pages that won't receive any content.

It's funny, because every time you mentioned having a comprehensive database, I kept thinking, "How the hell are we going to do PC?" I don't think even GameFAQs is comprehensive in terms of PC listings, especially when you consider the immense number of homebrews, indie games, mods, freeware, horribly obscure titles, and even very old and obscure games that have been forgotten by society.

Anyway, great job!


The only thing my milkshake brings to the yard is a subpoena.


board icon
Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: April 18, 2013 (12:47 PM)
Actions: Register for a free user account to post on the forums...

I should mention that while nearly everything went much, much better than anticipated (there were some minor hiccups, but they mostly won't affect you), one issue is that screenshots and assets included within the text of your reviews will in some cases need to be updated. If you inserted screenshots in your reviews for games that appeared on one of the Miscellaneous systems that is NOT the PC, you'll need to update the URL referenced in your code. The console number has changed from whatever it once was, and is now 13. This is a simple fix that should take approximately 30 seconds per impacted review. I will be going through myself and hitting some of the most obvious reviews with a quick update, but otherwise you'll either need to do so yourself or alert me to the reviews that need fixed.

As part of this effort, roughly 1/3 of the game profiles that were in the database are now gone. That works out to around 13,000 titles removed. The location of thousands of files was also updated automatically, by a special tool I created. Honestly, I'm surprised by how well it all went!


"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy on reality

"What if everything you see is more than what you see--the person next to you is a warrior and the space that appears empty is a secret door to another world? What if something appears that shouldn't? You either dismiss it, or you accept that there is much more to the world than you think. Perhaps it really is a doorway, and if you choose to go inside, you'll find many unexpected things." - Shigeru Miyamoto


board icon
Author: wolfqueen001
Posted: May 01, 2013 (05:27 PM)
Actions: Register for a free user account to post on the forums...

I just want to let you know that a few of the game listings lost some of the data in the transaction. I only checked the ones in the PC section, since this applied to me, but I just wanted to let you know anyway in case it occurred elsewhere.

Of course, it is also possible the content was never there to begin with.

Half-Life:
Developer = Valve

Worms: Armageddon:
Genre: Strategy
Developer: Team 17
Publisher: Atari
Release Date: 1999 (EU); 5/31/1999 (US)

Age of Empires II: The Age of Conquerors:
Genre: Real-Time Strategy
Developer: Ensemble Studios
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
Release Date: 8/24/2000 (US); 9/15/2000 (EU)

Thanks. Truly I'm glad you found a way to keep all the content we had while still freeing up some space and eliminating clutter.


What espiga does in his free time
[Eating EmP's brain] probably isn't a good idea. I mean... He's British, which means his brain's wired for PAL and your eyes are NTSC. - Will


board icon
Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: May 01, 2013 (09:02 PM)
Actions: Register for a free user account to post on the forums...

Yeah, those listings never had the content in the first place. Thousands and thousands of listings were just a title, and there were numerous listings for games that never even existed (or were merely announced and then canceled).

I'm going through the database now, system by system, and adding a bunch of information and artwork and such, so that effort should eventually include any and all remaining PC profiles. I've spent the last few weeks quietly handling that between the scenes--and actually I'm just taking a brief break from that effort right this moment--so you should already see a huge improvement on the site for numerous systems.

Anyway, that effort is likely to take a few more weeks if I don't get burned out first, so please just give it some time and I think you'll be able to check back in and find marvelous results.


"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy on reality

"What if everything you see is more than what you see--the person next to you is a warrior and the space that appears empty is a secret door to another world? What if something appears that shouldn't? You either dismiss it, or you accept that there is much more to the world than you think. Perhaps it really is a doorway, and if you choose to go inside, you'll find many unexpected things." - Shigeru Miyamoto


Info | Help | Privacy Policy | Contact | Links

eXTReMe Tracker
© 1998-2014 HonestGamers
None of the material contained within this site may be reproduced in any conceivable fashion without permission from the author(s) of said material. This site is not sponsored or endorsed by Nintendo, Sega, Sony, Microsoft, or any other such party.Opinions expressed on this site do not necessarily represent the opinion of site staff or sponsors.