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Ikrananka

ColecoVision Collectors Database – v3.00 (2019)

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9 hours ago, zyzzle said:

For those who do not have Excel and / or prefer PDF, may you possibly release a PDF version of the database as well, formatted as 8.5 x 11 inch? If this is too much work, forgive the intrusion, but I think many would find PDF a valuable alternate to the spreadsheet format. 

 

The amount of work you've put into creating this resource is fantastic, and a big THANK YOU for the time spent gathering all of this together in one convenient place.

How about if I got this working in a free spreadsheet such as Google Sheets?  Would that be of interest?

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Here's an example of how I'm proposing to include Easter Eggs, Cheats etc. into the database.

 

1184071091_EasterEggs.png.9f21e1587e009768caf37d9a8f49e502.png

 

Because of the long textual nature of some of these items I'm proposing to embed the text in a "Note" in each relevant cell.  It will still be possible to filter the database for games that contain an Easter Egg, Cheat etc. as I'll be including a "Y" in the cell where a "Note" exists.  There are some issues with this approach that I'm concerned about:

  1. To see the note you have to hover your mouse over the relevant cell.
  2. To search for text within Notes requires the user, in Excel, to explicitly select to search within Notes.  Other spreadsheet programs may not even allow this but I just don't know.
  3. The same game may appear on quite a few different Sheets and so the Note may have to be repeated on all of those sheets.  For example, "2010: The Graphic Action Game" has an Easter Egg and the game appears in the database on more than 5 sheets.  What I propose is to only show Easter Eggs etc. on the sheets where original game releases exist, i.e. "US 82-85", "Non-US 82-85", "Telegames 86-13" and "Homebrew 96-19".  This will still lead to some repetition amongst the sheets but will at least be manageable.

I'm looking for feedback and suggestions before I proceed.

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I would just like to throw my 0.02$ into this, if you don't mind.

 

I see two types of users for this list: Those who want to work with it as a spreadsheet (i.e. edit certain fields according to the state of their own collection, or add columns in order to add their own pieces of data) and those who just want to consult the lists occasionally, as a static document, mostly to answer a question they happen to be wondering about (example: Which games come with an controller overlay?). I believe zyzzle, who is asking for a PDF version, is of the second category. To be honest, so am I.

 

So even if you offer to distribute your spreadsheet based on a free app like Google Sheet, it won't fix the basic issue of those who want a static reference document. Also, a static document doesn't have "hidden fields", so Easter Eggs and such should be plainly visible in such a document.

 

I guess you're going to have to recognize that you have two different kinds of "customers" for the fruits of your labours, Ikranaka. It's up to you to decide if you want to cater to both, or to only one. :)

 

Edited by Pixelboy

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1 hour ago, Ikrananka said:

How about if I got this working in a free spreadsheet such as Google Sheets?  Would that be of interest?

As a secondary format, great. As the primary format, provided there's no need to hold a Google account to access, maybe.

 

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49 minutes ago, Pixelboy said:

I see two types of users for this list: Those who want to work with it as a spreadsheet [...] and those who just want to consult the lists occasionally, as a static document[.]

This.

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5 minutes ago, mumbai said:

As a secondary format, great. As the primary format, provided there's no need to hold a Google account to access, maybe.

 

It would only be as a secondary format.  And only if this is something people want.  Unless I get requests for this I don't plan on offering it.

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1 hour ago, Ikrananka said:

Here's an example of how I'm proposing to include Easter Eggs, Cheats etc. into the database.

 

[snip]

 

Because of the long textual nature of some of these items I'm proposing to embed the text in a "Note" in each relevant cell[...]

Two concerns, here. One "on the ground": as you rightly surmise, this will rapidly become a usability headache, both for consumers of the information (obscured presentation) and producers (data repetition). Reproducing hypertextual linkage such as this to extended characteristics of titles is better managed and served in an environment other than a spreadsheet. It is probably better to find a more fitting medium to convey such information than bend any particular spreadsheet format to that end.

 

The other is more "up in the air": this sort of information moves farther afield from the current nature of the database, especially with regard to the two audiences that Pixelboy has identified. As things stand, I'm struggling with how to suggest additions to the current store that will not necessitate footnotes to outline variations in the indexed materials. There are already numerous footnotes that ought to be (in my opinion) integrated within the tabular data themselves so as to permit easier row-by-row evaluation without having to consult additional information that doesn't fit nicely within the construct of a spreadsheet.

 

This is not to say what you propose isn't a laudable goal. What I do mean to say is that in the short term it may prove more fruitful to correct, unify, and perfect the presentation of what is there before adding additional layers of information within a document format that is less than ideal for interoperable, transparent presentation.

 

(Altogether uncertain whether I'm explaining this position clearly, even in broad strokes.)

 

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8 minutes ago, Ikrananka said:

It would only be as a secondary format.  And only if this is something people want.  Unless I get requests for this I don't plan on offering it.

The offering is intended solely to address concerns about unrestricted access to the data without need for preinstalled software (as raised by zyzzle)? Or something more?

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3 hours ago, mumbai said:

The offering is intended solely to address concerns about unrestricted access to the data without need for preinstalled software (as raised by zyzzle)? Or something more?

The former, it was something that I believed could be easily imported into Google Sheets and would address the unrestricted access issue.  However, a quick test importing my Excel sheets identified a lot of manual reformatting that would be necessary to get it to display correctly.  So, unless there is reasonable demand for a Google Sheets version it's not a task I'm willing to take on.

 

 

 

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Okay, perhaps I should clarify what I am willing to do here, but first a little background to provide context.

 

When I first created this spreadsheet it was solely to replicate exactly the same information, and with essentially the same layout, as NIAD's original text collector's lists.  This dictated using the same "columns", layout and the use of the same footnotes.  I selected Excel as that is the only spreadsheet program that I have expertise in (apart from the old Lotus 1-2-3 and VisiCalc that is) and that I continue to own.  I have zero experience with dedicated database programs.  My only motivation at the time was to provide me with a means to catalogue my personal CV collection.  I thought this may be of similar use to others which is why I started to release it to the community in step with NIAD's releases (albeit sometimes quite some time after).  When NIAD had to stop updating his lists, I decided to continue updating my Excel version in the background, but again primarily for my own personal collection cataloguing requirements.

 

I wholeheartedly acknowledge that using a spreadsheet for a large database is not the way to go and is one of the reasons I have appealed for help from any database gurus.  Particularly as I would like to include images.  In the meantime, I can only continue to develop the database in the format that I know and understand.

 

As selfish as this may sound, if people want the data in other formats then this is something I personally don't have the time, and consequently am not willing, to do.  I would much rather that others took on certain tasks that they are passionate about to use/transform the data into formats that work for them and others like them.

 

Personally, I want to grow the content of the database to resolve the annoyance I have of having to trawl a range of different websites for certain information, e.g. EasterEggs, Developer etc.  If I have to keep this in Excel then so be it.  Hopefully, one day a true database option will present itself.

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It's good that you are clear about how far you're willing to go with this. Perhaps someone else will create a public document with your work.

 

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Ikrananka... I would stick to the format that suits your needs best and then the rest of us simple benefit from your sharing of this database with us. There is only so much that you can do and as far as I see, the only real alternative to providing so much information neatly would be akin to what https://cvaddict.com/ has setup on his website but with further additions to incorporate all the content of the Database... that would amount to a full time job!

 

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@Ikrananka @NIAD

Do you guys know, if the later officially CollectorVision releases differ to their earlier released prototypes counterparts from Opcode?

 

These are the games in question: Comic Bakery, Hang-On, Juno First, Sparkie.

Edited by AtariBuff

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On 1/27/2020 at 1:30 AM, youki said:

I just did a "save as Pdf" from excel , is it what you want?

 

BTW , i did not understood the Rarity Rating . Seems strange to me .

 

And i have some information on release quantities etc concerning my game ...   i could provide.  

 

 

 

ColecoVision Collectors Database v3.00 (2019).pdf 3.51 MB · 5 downloads

Yes, thanks for converting the Excel document into a pdf. Truly appreciated!

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5 hours ago, AtariBuff said:

@Ikrananka @NIAD

Do you guys know, if the later officially CollectorVision releases differ to their earlier released prototypes counterparts from Opcode?

 

These are the games in question: Comic Bakery, Hang-On, Juno First, Sparkie.

The CollectorVision releases of Juno First and Sparkie were programmed by Opcode.  Comic Bakery and Hang-On were programmed by others and therefore are unrelated to Opcode's prototypes.

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1 hour ago, zyzzle said:

Yes, thanks for converting the Excel document into a pdf. Truly appreciated!

Be aware that over the years I have been adding columns to many sheets to include additional information.  These extra columns generally render printing the entire contents onto Letter sized paper as unusable due to the resulting small font size (assuming one sheet wide is used).  Therefore, I have NOT been adjusting the Print Areas on the database sheets and as such any PDFs generated from the current Print Areas will not be an accurate representation of the database contents and will be missing information unless those areas are adjusted beforehand.

Edited by Ikrananka

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