Do we really need another Video Game Website?
I'm working on a website project, that I'm tentatively calling django-frogohs. I'm using this thread to blog my progress and stay motivated, and hopefully get feedback and / or ideas.
The issue list is here, and should be public, though you might need to sign up for a bitbucket account to create or comment on issues.
I mentioned briefly on twitter last week that I have had this gaming site idea stuck in my head for like 4 years now, and I think I've finally hit the point where I need to make it, if for no other reason than to be able to stop thinking about it. Unfortunately, it isn't terribly original. Most of the features I have in mind exist in one site or another, but I haven't seem them all in the same site. So yes, I think it would be useful, but it would require a ton of work just to get parity with other sites, before even working on the stuff that is original (or at least less common).
If I'm actually going to get a site live this time (rather than languish after a couple weeks like I usually do), I need to keep motivated and focused.
For keeping focused, I'm going to work in thin horizontal slices (e.g. data-model, UI for admin, search, list and detail for platforms). Before I've typically done vertical slices (e.g. the entire data model) and it's led to burn out.
For keeping motivated, I want to be working on the right things. For first release (whenever the hell that ends up being), I want to find the minimum set of useful functionality. For that, I come to you guys.
Features I had planned:
- Game data. This is a lot of standard game database stuff, like which platforms a game is available on, and dev / publisher info. This might be as simple as a field for dev name and pub name, or a more general credits system, with Company Roles (dev studio), Person Roles (lead designer), and Acting Credits (VO + Mocap for a character). GiantBomb has a lot of this info but it is in wiki format, rather than structured data.
- Game Attributes. I'm not a fan of genres for describing things as I think they are too limited. I'd like more granular data like Perspective (e.g. First person, fixed, over-the-shoulder, etc), mechanics (e.g. Gun-combat, Melee-combat, Turn-based, etc) and modes (Solo-campaign, Team Deathmatch, Hordemode, etc). This might be as simple as a tagging system, or more detailed.
- Recommendation system. This is why I want the previous two items as structured data. Ideally, the system would be able to recommend games to you based on ratings. In the short term though, I would probably require actively searching. You like games by a particular designer, you can search on that. Particular mechanics, you can search on that.
- For the requisite rating system, I tend to think of even the 5 stars system more granular than is useful (nevermind confusing if there are "0 stars" ratings), and was thinking of a simple "Must play / Whatever / Avoid" system.
- Trading / Lending system - this idea originally came up because guys at my last job would often lend games out to each other, mostly by asking if someone had a particular game you were interested in. I thought it would be cool to have a system that allowed you to search for a game and find people who were willing to lend it to you. Goozex sort of does (as does a site called gametz that I found during research) this, but it was meant for lending, not trading, and was meant for in person lending / borrowing. It would probably need Lending Groups to be useful for this. I don't really want to build a full trading system, but an additional flag would be okay (e.g. "Willing to Lend" plus "Willing to Trade / Sell").
- List management. Collection, Played, Currently playing would probably be the same list, with filtering options (like backloggery). Wishlist could also have options for "Want to own" / "Plan to buy at release" / "Want to borrow" to hook into the lending system
- Playthrough information, like howlongtobeat. Possibly including a flag for whether the game has an in-game clock so you know if it is an estimate or exact time.
- Steam / XBL / PSN integration - Pull in games and achievements to populate lists. Perhaps auto-create playthrough info for steam games. Perhaps tag achievements so that I can do things like hook into the backlog system and automatically mark the game complete when you get the "Beat the game" achievement. Steam and XBL both have official APIs. I thought PSN got rid of theirs, but I know a few sites that support it, so there must be some solution.
There might be others that I've forgotten, but those are the big ones.
So, goodjer collective:
Would you use a site like this?
What are the minimum features to get you to shift from whatever you're using and use this?
Does something like this already exist and I'm wasting my time?
Any major features I'm missing?