Jump to content

Photo

ColecoVision Collectors Database - Suggestions Wanted


20 replies to this topic

#1 Ikrananka ONLINE  

Ikrananka

    River Patroller

  • 2,946 posts
  • Location:Canada

Posted Thu Jan 31, 2019 4:08 PM

As many of you are aware, from 2010 to 2014 NIAD compiled and maintained the superb "ColecoVision & ADAM Cartridge Collector's List" with the latest being v2.11.  During this period I maintained an Excel spreadsheet version of this Collectors List with the last version being v2.11a released in 2015.  I have since been updating this Excel version to bring it completely up to date.

 

However, there are many issues with using Excel as a database, probably the most significant of which is that not that many people have Excel on their home computers.  Another major drawback is that if you use the checkbox drop-downs I added to catalog your collection there is no easy way to incorporate updates from the next version without re cataloging your collection.

 

On top of this is the fact that I would like to expand the database to include a lot more information such as if games are 1 or 2 player (competitive or co-op), F18A enhanced or not, SGM requirements/enhancements, game developers/programmers (plus a short bio for each where possible), game/prototype background history etc.  As such, I really believe that Excel is not the tool to use for this and that some form of database software would be much better suited to this.

 

I had been eyeing Gamebase for many years, but this hasn't been updated in a long time and is now rather long in the tooth.  I'm also aware of a number of commercial game cataloging applications some of which are online based and some local to you PC.  One of these is Game Collector.  However, I really would like to use something that is not only up to date but ideally free.  Personally I don't mind paying for the software if it totally fits the bill and is being maintained and updated.  However, I want any database I create to be as accessible to as many people as possible and cost may become a barrier to that.

 

Ideally I'd like to be able to make updates to the master database that can then be imported by you while still maintaining your specific catalog of collected games.

 

So, the purpose of this post is to ask you for suggestions on what game cataloging software you think might fit the bill.  Don't hold back, I'm open to anything - even if it's just to stick with Excel?


Edited by Ikrananka, Thu Jan 31, 2019 4:09 PM.


#2 mumbai OFFLINE  

mumbai

    Dragonstomper

  • 751 posts

Posted Thu Jan 31, 2019 4:29 PM

[Most certainly] Not arguing in favor of Excel, but are the features in use at present within the database so exotic as to be incompatible with "free" spreadsheet programs that offer some compatibility with .xls(x) format (e.g., Numbers, Calc, ...)?

 

That being said, a spreadsheet likely isn't the most flexible solution here if the personal collection check-offs are to be retained as a feature, if only for the reason you stated above.



#3 digress ONLINE  

digress

    Stargunner

  • 1,118 posts
  • Location:Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Posted Thu Jan 31, 2019 6:34 PM

Um. I find the atariage Atari database excellent for looking up info on 2600 games etc. Perhaps Albert might be interested in adding a coleco section? Or at least find out what he is using and set it up elsewhere.

 

As many of you are aware, from 2010 to 2014 NIAD compiled and maintained the superb "ColecoVision & ADAM Cartridge Collector's List" with the latest being v2.11.  During this period I maintained an Excel spreadsheet version of this Collectors List with the last version being v2.11a released in 2015.  I have since been updating this Excel version to bring it completely up to date.

 

However, there are many issues with using Excel as a database, probably the most significant of which is that not that many people have Excel on their home computers.  Another major drawback is that if you use the checkbox drop-downs I added to catalog your collection there is no easy way to incorporate updates from the next version without re cataloging your collection.

 

On top of this is the fact that I would like to expand the database to include a lot more information such as if games are 1 or 2 player (competitive or co-op), F18A enhanced or not, SGM requirements/enhancements, game developers/programmers (plus a short bio for each where possible), game/prototype background history etc.  As such, I really believe that Excel is not the tool to use for this and that some form of database software would be much better suited to this.

 

I had been eyeing Gamebase for many years, but this hasn't been updated in a long time and is now rather long in the tooth.  I'm also aware of a number of commercial game cataloging applications some of which are online based and some local to you PC.  One of these is Game Collector.  However, I really would like to use something that is not only up to date but ideally free.  Personally I don't mind paying for the software if it totally fits the bill and is being maintained and updated.  However, I want any database I create to be as accessible to as many people as possible and cost may become a barrier to that.

 

Ideally I'd like to be able to make updates to the master database that can then be imported by you while still maintaining your specific catalog of collected games.

 

So, the purpose of this post is to ask you for suggestions on what game cataloging software you think might fit the bill.  Don't hold back, I'm open to anything - even if it's just to stick with Excel?



#4 fiddlepaddle OFFLINE  

fiddlepaddle

    River Patroller

  • 2,509 posts

Posted Thu Jan 31, 2019 10:41 PM

Since you are already comfortable with excel, it might be fairly easy for you to create a new database with openoffice or libreoffice (both free and run easily on most computers).  You could likely use your existing spreadsheet as a starting point by just opening it up from libreoffice and see what you get. 

 

The open source file formats are very portable, importable, and exportable these days. 

 

...and sortable, supportable, reportable, and even abortable if you decide you don't like it.



#5 Swami OFFLINE  

Swami

    River Patroller

  • 2,619 posts
  • Location:Twin Cities, MN

Posted Fri Feb 1, 2019 12:51 AM

As many of you are aware, from 2010 to 2014 NIAD compiled and maintained the superb "ColecoVision & ADAM Cartridge Collector's List" with the latest being v2.11.  During this period I maintained an Excel spreadsheet version of this Collectors List with the last version being v2.11a released in 2015.  I have since been updating this Excel version to bring it completely up to date.
 
However, there are many issues with using Excel as a database, probably the most significant of which is that not that many people have Excel on their home computers.  Another major drawback is that if you use the checkbox drop-downs I added to catalog your collection there is no easy way to incorporate updates from the next version without re cataloging your collection.
 
On top of this is the fact that I would like to expand the database to include a lot more information such as if games are 1 or 2 player (competitive or co-op), F18A enhanced or not, SGM requirements/enhancements, game developers/programmers (plus a short bio for each where possible), game/prototype background history etc.  As such, I really believe that Excel is not the tool to use for this and that some form of database software would be much better suited to this.
 
I had been eyeing Gamebase for many years, but this hasn't been updated in a long time and is now rather long in the tooth.  I'm also aware of a number of commercial game cataloging applications some of which are online based and some local to you PC.  One of these is Game Collector.  However, I really would like to use something that is not only up to date but ideally free.  Personally I don't mind paying for the software if it totally fits the bill and is being maintained and updated.  However, I want any database I create to be as accessible to as many people as possible and cost may become a barrier to that.
 
Ideally I'd like to be able to make updates to the master database that can then be imported by you while still maintaining your specific catalog of collected games.
 
So, the purpose of this post is to ask you for suggestions on what game cataloging software you think might fit the bill.  Don't hold back, I'm open to anything - even if it's just to stick with Excel?


Im not sure what kind of feature would allow someone to import a checklist correctly from an old version to a new one, but What if you added a date added to database column to an open source spreadsheet program, then people could sort by date added, copy over the old list in the rows of earlier entries and then resort to whatever order they want. Resorting of course carries a risk of someone sorts wrong, then end up with everything jumbled up.

#6 Ikrananka ONLINE  

Ikrananka

    River Patroller

  • Topic Starter
  • 2,946 posts
  • Location:Canada

Posted Fri Feb 1, 2019 11:23 AM

Um. I find the atariage Atari database excellent for looking up info on 2600 games etc. Perhaps Albert might be interested in adding a coleco section? Or at least find out what he is using and set it up elsewhere.

 

 

Good suggestion, I too very much like the AtariAge Rarity Guides.  My only concerns are that it is only available to use when online and also that you can't maintain a catalog of your collection with it.  Is it possible to print out the database?

 

Regardless, I've sent a PM to Albert to explore this as a possibility.



#7 Ikrananka ONLINE  

Ikrananka

    River Patroller

  • Topic Starter
  • 2,946 posts
  • Location:Canada

Posted Fri Feb 1, 2019 11:29 AM

So far it would seem that a spreadsheet format is certainly not hated.  And I very much like Swami's idea that some kind of identifier (e.g. date) be added to each record (which is similar to what real databases do - except they add a unique identifier to every record).  What I could do is to simply add a column that identifies what version of the database each record was added and perhaps another column that identifies when that record was last changed.  So when you get the new database you can at least sort as Swami suggested to aid the merging of new with your personal older cataloged version.

 

Still, it would be nice to be able to create a fully fledged, offline accessible, database that includes pictures, manuals, box scans etc......

 

Further thoughts and suggestions are most welcome.



#8 retroillucid OFFLINE  

retroillucid

    Quadrunner

  • 8,091 posts

Posted Fri Feb 1, 2019 3:57 PM

I'm working on a ColecoVision Games Book 
It'll include all official releases, prototypes and unreleased games

Not sure how much time is going to take considering all th works I already have planned for 2019 
But I'll get it done, that's for sure



#9 Ikrananka ONLINE  

Ikrananka

    River Patroller

  • Topic Starter
  • 2,946 posts
  • Location:Canada

Posted Fri Feb 1, 2019 4:05 PM

I'm working on a ColecoVision Games Book 
It'll include all official releases, prototypes and unreleased games

Not sure how much time is going to take considering all th works I already have planned for 2019 
But I'll get it done, that's for sure

 

I'll look forward to that  :)

 

Hopefully, the updated Excel spreadsheet that I'll be releasing soon will help you.



#10 retroillucid OFFLINE  

retroillucid

    Quadrunner

  • 8,091 posts

Posted Fri Feb 1, 2019 4:07 PM

 

I'll look forward to that  :)

 

Hopefully, the updated Excel spreadsheet that I'll be releasing soon will help you.

 

Oh, definitely! 
It's going to help for sure



#11 Pixelboy OFFLINE  

Pixelboy

    Quadrunner

  • 8,161 posts
  • Location:Montreal, Canada

Posted Fri Feb 1, 2019 5:24 PM

I'm always drawn to simplicity for things like this. Heck, I'd be happy with a CSV file. It's the useful data content that's the real draw of a list like this, not really the format: Game name, publisher name, release date, included overlay (yes or no), number of players, can two players play simultaneously, type of game (space shooter, platformer, puzzle, etc.), arcade conversion (yes or no), is it a homebrew (yes or no), etc.

With that kind of data, you can either load it in an Excel spreadsheet and play around with the rows of data, or just load the data in an actual database engine and query the night away.

Adding such mundane data as the number of box variants, the type of manual, the number of pages in the manual, the number of fire buttons used by the game (1 or 2, or 4 on Super Action Controller), Roller Controller support (in "roller" mode), etc. is what makes the list fun to use. The more data is included, the more fun to use the game list becomes.

Just my two cents. :)

#12 NIAD OFFLINE  

NIAD

    Quadrunner

  • 6,210 posts
  • Location:Chicago Suburb

Posted Fri Feb 1, 2019 6:29 PM

Making updates is exactly why I started the Collectors List thread. I couldn't imagine people re-entering their collection info after I made available a new version, so I wanted one master list and then anyone could post corrections, additions, etc. in the thread. Unfortunately, only the usual suspects contributed and life got real busy for me.

I would make one master version and then make update files available for the end-user to enter by themselves.

#13 Pixelboy OFFLINE  

Pixelboy

    Quadrunner

  • 8,161 posts
  • Location:Montreal, Canada

Posted Fri Feb 1, 2019 6:50 PM

The last thing I want for a list of ColecoVision games is to go the Wikipedia route, where anyone can update the data, because it leads to incorrect data being integrated into the whole, and unnecessary public debate emerging around such erroneous additions. Someone needs to be in charge of this list, and there needs to be an official transfer of ownership and responsibility when the guy in charge decides to move on.

#14 fiddlepaddle OFFLINE  

fiddlepaddle

    River Patroller

  • 2,509 posts

Posted Fri Feb 1, 2019 8:28 PM

Public forums are so messy; much better if self-appointed experts control the information.

#15 Ikrananka ONLINE  

Ikrananka

    River Patroller

  • Topic Starter
  • 2,946 posts
  • Location:Canada

Posted Sat Feb 2, 2019 10:03 AM

I'm always drawn to simplicity for things like this. Heck, I'd be happy with a CSV file. It's the useful data content that's the real draw of a list like this, not really the format: Game name, publisher name, release date, included overlay (yes or no), number of players, can two players play simultaneously, type of game (space shooter, platformer, puzzle, etc.), arcade conversion (yes or no), is it a homebrew (yes or no), etc.

With that kind of data, you can either load it in an Excel spreadsheet and play around with the rows of data, or just load the data in an actual database engine and query the night away.

Adding such mundane data as the number of box variants, the type of manual, the number of pages in the manual, the number of fire buttons used by the game (1 or 2, or 4 on Super Action Controller), Roller Controller support (in "roller" mode), etc. is what makes the list fun to use. The more data is included, the more fun to use the game list becomes.

Just my two cents. :)

 

I always appreciate your two cents - so thank you.  I agree that simplicity is best, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it can't be complicated behind the scenes (the AtariAge Rarity Guides are a good example) - just so long as it is simple for users to use and, where appropriate, update.  You mention a number of parameters such a number of players, genre etc. that currently are not in the collector's list.  These are things I want to add but it won't be for the upcoming release.  There are already so many changes between the 2014 release and now that I want to get the current update issued and draw a line under it.  I'll then work on adding additional parameters such as some of those you have suggested.

 

 

Making updates is exactly why I started the Collectors List thread. I couldn't imagine people re-entering their collection info after I made available a new version, so I wanted one master list and then anyone could post corrections, additions, etc. in the thread. Unfortunately, only the usual suspects contributed and life got real busy for me.

I would make one master version and then make update files available for the end-user to enter by themselves.

 

What I'm now contemplating is to continue working in Excel (it's what I'm most familiar with) but to provide not only a full master whenever there is an update but also a cut down "incremental update" that only includes changes and additions.  That way the incremental update version can be used for people to cut and paste into their own already catalogued master.

 

 

The last thing I want for a list of ColecoVision games is to go the Wikipedia route, where anyone can update the data, because it leads to incorrect data being integrated into the whole, and unnecessary public debate emerging around such erroneous additions. Someone needs to be in charge of this list, and there needs to be an official transfer of ownership and responsibility when the guy in charge decides to move on.

 

 I agree - the Wikipedia/Wiki route is one I briefly thought of and dismissed.  Pages easily get vandalised and it takes a large, active and disciplined community, with moderators, to have any chance of staying accurate.

 

Just to be clear - I haven't taken over ownership of the CV Collector's List.  I created the Excel version, to work in parallel with NIAD's text based list, because Excel was something I wanted to use personally at the time for cataloguing my collection.  Since 2014 I have been occasionally updating and adding to my Excel list.  Partly to keep my own catalog up to date with all of the homebrew releases, but also because I didn't want the CV Collector's List to die.  The original list is such an outstanding piece of work and deserves to be kept alive and up to date.  I'm just the owner of the Excel file which is simply a fork of the original master CV Collectors List which NIAD still owns.  If NIAD returns to updating his list then I'll definitely work with NIAD to get both the text and Excel lists aligned.



#16 Ikrananka ONLINE  

Ikrananka

    River Patroller

  • Topic Starter
  • 2,946 posts
  • Location:Canada

Posted Sat Feb 2, 2019 10:13 AM

Um. I find the atariage Atari database excellent for looking up info on 2600 games etc. Perhaps Albert might be interested in adding a coleco section? Or at least find out what he is using and set it up elsewhere.

 

 

I've touched base with Albert and he is certainly keen on trying to get a ColecoVision Rarity Guide up on the site.  However, while the existing CV Collector's List has most (but not all) of the raw text data needed, Albert also needs a lot of scans of boxes, manuals etc.  I can spend some time getting the rest of the text data together (e.g. number of players, genre, programmer(s) etc.) others would need to help out with the images and manuals.  If we can make this happen it would be an incredibly accessible resource.



#17 Swami OFFLINE  

Swami

    River Patroller

  • 2,619 posts
  • Location:Twin Cities, MN

Posted Sat Feb 2, 2019 4:27 PM

So far it would seem that a spreadsheet format is certainly not hated.  And I very much like Swami's idea that some kind of identifier (e.g. date) be added to each record (which is similar to what real databases do - except they add a unique identifier to every record).  What I could do is to simply add a column that identifies what version of the database each record was added and perhaps another column that identifies when that record was last changed.  So when you get the new database you can at least sort as Swami suggested to aid the merging of new with your personal older cataloged version.
 
Still, it would be nice to be able to create a fully fledged, offline accessible, database that includes pictures, manuals, box scans etc......
 
Further thoughts and suggestions are most welcome.


To avoid a mixup during sorting, I would suggest changing the format of the new entries before copying the old entries over, such as a different color or bold format or something, then you can check to make sure all the entries in any particular row belong together or you have to start over. You can change them all to the same format again when you are done.

#18 digress ONLINE  

digress

    Stargunner

  • 1,118 posts
  • Location:Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Posted Sat Feb 2, 2019 4:44 PM

I think this is the way to go. If someone loses track of the data or no longer wants to maintain it it will still be available here. It's available to more people here too and I think atariage is stable and will not disappear. 

 

 

 

I've touched base with Albert and he is certainly keen on trying to get a ColecoVision Rarity Guide up on the site.  However, while the existing CV Collector's List has most (but not all) of the raw text data needed, Albert also needs a lot of scans of boxes, manuals etc.  I can spend some time getting the rest of the text data together (e.g. number of players, genre, programmer(s) etc.) others would need to help out with the images and manuals.  If we can make this happen it would be an incredibly accessible resource.



#19 NIAD OFFLINE  

NIAD

    Quadrunner

  • 6,210 posts
  • Location:Chicago Suburb

Posted Sat Feb 2, 2019 11:30 PM

Actually, the last update to my text version was v2.11 on June 26, 2015. ;)  Hate to say it, but I am done updating it as I just don't have the time anymore to maintain it and continue working on the CV&ADAM Archive... with a lot of my focus on ADAM now.


Edited by NIAD, Sat Feb 2, 2019 11:31 PM.


#20 JEFF31 OFFLINE  

JEFF31

    Dragonstomper

  • 594 posts
  • Location:Michigan, USA

Posted Sun Feb 3, 2019 9:04 PM

Actually, the last update to my text version was v2.11 on June 26, 2015. ;)  Hate to say it, but I am done updating it as I just don't have the time anymore to maintain it and continue working on the CV&ADAM Archive... with a lot of my focus on ADAM now.

 

 

 

I kinda talked with NIAD a few years ago about keeping this DB updated but - man I work 12 hour days 7/14 days biweekly... so no time...

 

Thanks for keeping this updated!!!

 

For me Excel (or a variant that I could download into Excel) is the best way to go... 

 

 

 

Thanks

Jeff



#21 zyzzle OFFLINE  

zyzzle

    Space Invader

  • 43 posts

Posted Sun Feb 3, 2019 10:33 PM

Seriously, I've always preferred plain ASCII text. It's so simple, easy to load, easy to read, easy to edit, and can even be displayed on our beloved Colecovisions.






0 user(s) are browsing this forum

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users