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Thread: Digital Press /Portable/ Rarity Guide

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    What a great idea, and badly needed. I am very happy to see some the best videogame guides around possibly make the jump to digital. Count me in, and will contribute when I get paid.
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    Are those Kickstarter tier rewards for real? They're kinda... off the wall especially at some of the mid tiers.

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    I really sound like a wet blanket lately, but 3 months to write a database front end?

    Do you have mobile device programming experience?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ProgrammingAce View Post
    I really sound like a wet blanket lately, but 3 months to write a database front end? Do you have mobile device programming experience?
    I have been programming since elementary school. I am well versed in C++, PHP, and Python. I have also created some programs in Java, C, JavaScript, and scripting languages such as DOS batch and Linux Bash. I have programmed cross-platform graphical programs using SDL and FLTK. I have also created a small yet unreleased Android application.

    The estimate of three months for development time is not "just" for writing a database front-end. If that was the case I've already written a database front-end for the Collector's Guide using MySQL. The time period is a purposeful overestimation to account for learning the finer details of the knowledge I'll need to refine an application that is not just a connection to a SQLite database but is also easy, intuitive, and dare I say it, fun to use. This is also to allow for the required time to learn two API's (PhoneGAP and its underlying JavaScript API, JQuery) which I do not normally use.

    And of course I'll be asking for feedback from our beta testers to not just eliminate bugs, but to make the GUI a friendly, good looking, and native-feeling experience. Getting lots of feedback and releasing often to our beta users in an iterative release methodology is a high priority to me to maximize ease-of-use. Don't worry, I won't let this look like "programmer art" nor will I compromise my code to cut corners to save time in the short term which will cost much time in the long run.

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    What happens to the money that the app generates once it is released?
    Check out www.videogameconsolelibrary.com for all of your console review needs!

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    If I donate $850 can I have a sightseeing tour of NJ and Atlantic Coast boat ride with TV's Hasselhoff?

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    Sorry. DP, aside from the Sega-16 refugees who quickly left once their site was back up, has been a ghost town as of late.

    Maybe it's just me, but I'm not sure people want to plunk down money on something that has been out of date for the last few years. I've noticed repeated requests for the guide to be updated in the past and I'm not sure if anythings happened with it.

    I could be wrong about that though. It's a cool idea for an app, I'm just not sure I'd use it.


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    I guess I just don't really see the point. If you have an Android or iOS device that you are using in the field, chances are you have Internet access and given how outdated some of the DP info is, you're probably better off just doing a completed Ebay search or even doing a Google search which will pull up discussions relevant to whatever you might find from a variety of websites. Most people I know have unlimited data plans and my Droid X has great battery life.

    I also don't think it's reasonable to expect us to donate so you can buy a computer, Android device, insurance, rent, etc...If the app is going to be free, I could see raising enough to cover maybe 80 hours of your time at say $30 an hour or $2400. Otherwise, I have no problem paying $5 for it once it's released, but people shouldn't have to do both.
    Last edited by Bojay1997; 07-15-2011 at 12:56 AM.

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    I get the idea of checking prices while out and about, but I haven't relied on the DP guide in ages as the prices haven't been accurate in years. I still use the rarity part of it but when buying games I'm more interested in the prices than rarity if I'm not wanting it for my personal collection(or else I would just buy what I want regardless of rarity or value).

    I don't even have a smart phone so I can't use this app anyway. I guess I'm just a bit annoyed with how useless the guide has become in recent years, I used to use them back when they were printable PDF pages so I've been using the guide for awhile. The whole point of making it online was so it could be updated often, instead it rarely gets updated but at the same time it's regularly down so I can't use it when I need it.

    Basically what portnoyd said in another thread is true, the site isn't updated as often as it used to be. The guide is rarely updated, there haven't been any new articles posted in years(I used to read them all the time), and there's been no Mystery Sound for the longest time.

    It's kind of funny how you worded the costs. It will only be $5....after you pay more money now. That and your reasoning why to use this instead of a printed guide, like printed guides are easy to lose or damage. Not like a phone, nobody ever loses those and they're indestructible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nz17 View Post
    Well gamers and game collectors, to be honest I am depressed: after three days, we haven't received a single contribution... not even one dollar.

    ,,,

    Oh well, at least some people have spoken in support of my idea.

    Feel free to leave comments in this thread.
    Since you asked for some thoughts, here are mine...

    First off, I like the idea and if I wasn't as broke as can be right now I would be willing to put a little something toward seeing it happen. Having said that, here's some things to think about:

    - Do many classic gamers have smart phones? I really don't know -- personally, I just recently picked myself up a PDA, so an app like this would do me no good. I'm not sure if old school game collectors generally have a newfangled phone or not.

    - Unless I'm just looking at buying to resell, I would think that a more 'checklisty' thing would be a better overall tool. I do look to buy to resell, but I think I'm in the minority in that running a game site and all. And, 95%+ of the places I buy at know what they are doing with their pricing anyway, so knowing rarity doesn't help. A nice app that would show me which games I have an am missing at any point in time would be great. I keep a TXT file on my PDA with what I'm most after at any given moment.

    - While the DP rarity guide is great for rarity, the pricing has always seemed to be off to me. Again, if this doesn't have a built in checklist feature, and the prices are somewhat off (and updated yearly with a fee-based style thing), the functionality goes way down. If that copy of Donkey Kong Country 3 is an R1 or an R2 is way less important to me as a collector than if I have it or not, and is way less important to me as a reseller than if it is currently getting $25 online or $20 online.

    Based on all that, while I think it is a neat idea -- although again, not one I could use with the current PDA set up -- I think that it doesn't benefit anyone enough with what you've explained so far to really entice them into paying for it. I'd suggest rethinking the main design, maybe looking for more input on it to make it even more useful to people, and then seeing if the tune changes. I would LOVE to find an app of some type that could catalog my collection well for me no matter what the platform -- I don't like Cart Commander or whatever it is called much, and I don't like the online ones, so I keep a giant TXT file on my computer instead. Finding a solution to make an app that would nicely show me rarity, collection and so on would be great, and I'd happily pay for it. Hell, it might be what would push me into finally buying a smart phone!

    Hope this helps!
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    I actually just looked for DP on the Android app store for the hell of it the other day, then found this when browsing here today.

    After reading all of the comments, I agree with most of it. Maybe not the outdated nature; the content is still valuable. I think in the long run it would be easier to just have a mobile version of the site, trimming the fat and maybe offering the guide and forums, nothing else, all built for mobile. That would be helpful. You can see what AVSForum did with their mobile app to get an idea of what I'm picturing.

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    It is too easy just to transfer the info into a spreadsheet. There is no reason to pay for anything.

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    Those of us who have our 10 year merit badges know the forum vibe isn't the same, and some of our most prolific posters from years ago have moved on. The same goes for those who used to write the DP Feature Columns. That is the nature of things. However, parts of the site continue to be updated, such as the Easter egg compendium and Library sections, and new interviews are still being posted. DP probably now hosts more printed material, such as magazines and newsletters, than anybody. If you looking for articles, the latest run of DP newsletters (2009-10) was full of new reviews and columns - all of which are online.

    Also, the 8th edition of the "classic" Collector's Guide IS coming out later this year, with a full update of the online DPG info to follow. "nz17" has also revamped the interface used for updating the online rarity guide, so editors will see their changes take effect immediately.

    Lastly, rather than bemoaning the fact that something hasn't been updated, why not contribute something? Write an article, or a review for a game that we don't have. Offer to take over the Mystery Sound contest or the Ebay Insanity contest. Everyone has a MILLION things to do in their lives, and nobody has ANY time do anything. Those of us who keep the site alive, whether it's maintaining the server, moderating forums, or whatever, don't get paid for our efforts. But those who'd rather complain than contribute won't find much of an audience at DPHQ.
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    Support get!

    Not sure how I missed this one.

    Great idea! I would love to have the guides in an app format.

    Android is great but get an iOS version out there as well/next.
    "And the book says: 'We may be through with the past, but the past ain't through with us.'"


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    Quote Originally Posted by stonic View Post
    Those of us who have our 10 year merit badges know the forum vibe isn't the same, and some of our most prolific posters from years ago have moved on. The same goes for those who used to write the DP Feature Columns. That is the nature of things. However, parts of the site continue to be updated, such as the Easter egg compendium and Library sections, and new interviews are still being posted. DP probably now hosts more printed material, such as magazines and newsletters, than anybody. If you looking for articles, the latest run of DP newsletters (2009-10) was full of new reviews and columns - all of which are online.

    Also, the 8th edition of the "classic" Collector's Guide IS coming out later this year, with a full update of the online DPG info to follow. "nz17" has also revamped the interface used for updating the online rarity guide, so editors will see their changes take effect immediately.

    Lastly, rather than bemoaning the fact that something hasn't been updated, why not contribute something? Write an article, or a review for a game that we don't have. Offer to take over the Mystery Sound contest or the Ebay Insanity contest. Everyone has a MILLION things to do in their lives, and nobody has ANY time do anything. Those of us who keep the site alive, whether it's maintaining the server, moderating forums, or whatever, don't get paid for our efforts. But those who'd rather complain than contribute won't find much of an audience at DPHQ.
    While I think your points are valid, there is just no getting around the fact that there are a number of clear reasons nobody is rushing to pour money into this project. There just isn't much demand for it. As such, rather than simply ignoring all of the well articulated explanations for why people can't or won't support it at this time that have been laid out above, perhaps the OP would be well served to take a step back and see if his plan could be revised to address these concerns. Failing that, perhaps his time and efforts could be put more effectively into updating other aspects of the site that are more critical to the majority of the dwindling audience here and perhaps that could spark new interest and membership.

    Kickstarter is an amazing tool, but it should never be used as a means of notifying the vast majority of a potential audience to a project. Discussions should be had before hand to determine whether something is needed or wanted long before a fund drive is put together. Frankly, it also seems very risky to distract energy and funds from the museum effort by launching a second project at exactly the same time. Perhaps someone from the team at DP could do a sticky post in one of the main forums outlining which projects or aspects of the site could use some extra help so that people with relevant skills can volunteer to take them on. I think most active users on here would be happy to contribute, but simply saying repeatedly that there is lots to do is not helpful in directing that energy.
    Last edited by Bojay1997; 07-18-2011 at 12:25 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bojay1997 View Post
    While I think your points are valid, there is just no getting around the fact that there are a number of clear reasons nobody is rushing to pour money into this project. There just isn't much demand for it. As such, rather than simply ignoring all of the well articulated explanations for why people can't or won't support it at this time that have been laid out above, perhaps the OP would be well served to take a step back and see if his plan could be revised to address these concerns. Failing that, perhaps his time and efforts could be put more effectively into updating other aspects of the site that are more critical to the majority of the dwindling audience here and perhaps that could spark new interest and membership.

    Kickstarter is an amazing tool, but it should never be used as a means of notifying the vast majority of a potential audience to a project. Discussions should be had before hand to determine whether something is needed or wanted long before a fund drive is put together. Frankly, it also seems very risky to distract energy and funds from the museum effort by launching a second project at exactly the same time. Perhaps someone from the team at DP could do a sticky post in one of the main forums outlining which projects or aspects of the site could use some extra help so that people with relevant skills can volunteer to take them on. I think most active users on here would be happy to contribute, but simply saying repeatedly that there is lots to do is not helpful in directing that energy.
    While I understand the points you make here, I hope you'll pardon my amusement at the irony of a forum member who has personally taken the time and effort to not only volunteer his personal time to aide in the maintenance and functionality of the site (which was literally physically failing before he and others worked to help move it, evaluate the problems surrounding bugs/errors/etc. and bring it up to a level of stability) but also with the revision and further proliferation of the DP Guide (in this case bringing it to the realm of smart-phones/apps).

    I get that this can easily be scoffed at by many here with the sentiment "we don't want it/we don't need it" (which seems to be a running theme lately when new projects are discussed) ... but what nz17 is doing for the community is relatively epic, even in what some consider to be a low point of on-site community activities or a time of exodus for many forum veterans.

    While it may not be particularly appealing/desirable for some who have vocalized it here and elsewhere, to write it off under the assumption that nobody would use it is silly. I'm sure there are an equal number of people who would similarly be disinterested in an analog version of the guide, but that doesn't mean that one shouldn't be compiled/published on a semi-regular basis.

    Furthermore, this does appear to be a well thought out project which incidentally specifically includes a level of detail on the budgetary break-down that many criticized Joe for omitting in the Museum project. And, since Kickstart is a risk-free endeavor from a pledging standpoint I see no harm whatsoever in attempting to solicit assistance from the community in this fashion. But, hey, that's just me and that's just my opinion.

    And where the concept of bringing in new members in to the "community" is concerned, what's to say that the DP name being exposed to millions who may search the Android/iOS marketplaces for keyword "classic video games" won't help bring new community members into the fold?

    I certainly can not argue with the fact that there are many that vocally miss the community-centric topics, contests, and activities that helped DP members bond/grow in the past, but as far as I know those were all volunteer activities/roles/duties in the past and they continue to be in the present.

    Would we stand in the way of anybody who wants to run 12 days of Christmas, the Mystery Sound contest or the Zine? I don't think so ... at least I've never seen any such resistance from those who are in the position to say "Go for it!" ... so, why not just let this one play out on its own?

    Even failure by way of not attaining a Kickstart funding goal shouldn't be considered a failure on all counts ... I still think that a live-update-friendly digital proliferation of the guide is a goal for the future that should not be ignored.

    *shrug* I don't know...I just see somebody going above and beyond and in what seems like a trend, those efforts are questioned at best and scolded at worst by the community that the efforts seek to benefit. That's just my take on it. I'm not saying you're wrong and I'm right ... I just can't help but feel that sometimes this community is its own worst enemy.
    "And the book says: 'We may be through with the past, but the past ain't through with us.'"


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    Quote Originally Posted by Bojay1997 View Post
    Failing that, perhaps his time and efforts could be put more effectively into updating other aspects of the site that are more critical to the majority of the dwindling audience here and perhaps that could spark new interest and membership.
    My post is in response to all the 'non-app' complaints people have mentioned in this thread, and how people are welcome to help out with the site. You read and even quoted my post, and yet still somehow didn't learn anything from it. Maybe YOUR time would be better spent helping out, yes? It's a simple formula - the more people that help out and contribute to something, the better the end result is.

    Or you can, ya know, continue to sit back and complain like others.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frankie_Says_Relax View Post
    While I understand the points you make here, I hope you'll pardon my amusement at the irony of a forum member who has personally taken the time and effort to not only volunteer his personal time to aide in the maintenance and functionality of the site (which was literally physically failing before he and others worked to help move it, evaluate the problems surrounding bugs/errors/etc. and bring it up to a level of stability) but also with the revision and further proliferation of the DP Guide (in this case bringing it to the realm of smart-phones/apps).

    I get that this can easily be scoffed at by many here with the sentiment "we don't want it/we don't need it" (which seems to be a running theme lately when new projects are discussed) ... but what nz17 is doing for the community is relatively epic, even in what some consider to be a low point of on-site community activities or a time of exodus for many forum veterans.

    While it may not be particularly appealing/desirable for some who have vocalized it here and elsewhere, to write it off under the assumption that nobody would use it is silly. I'm sure there are an equal number of people who would similarly be disinterested in an analog version of the guide, but that doesn't mean that one shouldn't be compiled/published on a semi-regular basis.

    Furthermore, this does appear to be a well thought out project which incidentally specifically includes a level of detail on the budgetary break-down that many criticized Joe for omitting in the Museum project. And, since Kickstart is a risk-free endeavor from a pledging standpoint I see no harm whatsoever in attempting to solicit assistance from the community in this fashion. But, hey, that's just me and that's just my opinion.

    And where the concept of bringing in new members in to the "community" is concerned, what's to say that the DP name being exposed to millions who may search the Android/iOS marketplaces for keyword "classic video games" won't help bring new community members into the fold?

    I certainly can not argue with the fact that there are many that vocally miss the community-centric topics, contests, and activities that helped DP members bond/grow in the past, but as far as I know those were all volunteer activities/roles/duties in the past and they continue to be in the present.

    Would we stand in the way of anybody who wants to run 12 days of Christmas, the Mystery Sound contest or the Zine? I don't think so ... at least I've never seen any such resistance from those who are in the position to say "Go for it!" ... so, why not just let this one play out on its own?

    Even failure by way of not attaining a Kickstart funding goal shouldn't be considered a failure on all counts ... I still think that a live-update-friendly digital proliferation of the guide is a goal for the future that should not be ignored.

    *shrug* I don't know...I just see somebody going above and beyond and in what seems like a trend, those efforts are questioned at best and scolded at worst by the community that the efforts seek to benefit. That's just my take on it. I'm not saying you're wrong and I'm right ... I just can't help but feel that sometimes this community is its own worst enemy.
    I agree with you to some extent and people should be encouraged to pursue whatever projects they feel would benefit the community, but I am also someone who has seen a lot of people with good intentions come and go over the years and sadly, good intentions can actually cause a lot of distraction and sapping of energy, especially at a critical time when financial resources need to be 100% focused on the biggest initiative the DP team has ever taken on.

    Just to clarify, as I read his proposal, he is going to only develop the app for Android right now and I would assume an iOS version would require a separate fund raising and development effort. While I am an Android user, many other collectors I know are iOS users or use other mobile operating systems including Windows Mobile and Symbian. As such, he has already limited the value of this particular application to a subset of a small niche community to begin with. It seems like the suggestion someone else brought up to create a more universal mobile version of the DP site would better address this issue.

    I think another critical issue here is that he is looking for people to pay for his investment of time up front and is asking us to buy him a new computer and Android phone which is not something I have seen other people do here or elsewhere in classic gaming communities. In fact, the only time anyone has ever asked for this type of compensation up front that I can think of is when someone dumps a prototype, but even then, it's to compensate the owner for the loss of value which will be suffered once it's dumped and widely available. It's not a completely charitable effort and I'm not saying it's an inappropriate approach necessarily to expect some compensation for hard work, but it's not like he is stepping forward and assuming all of the risk or volunteering his time.

    Finally, I find it troubling that the OP posts several times lamenting the fact that people aren't contributing and then ignores most of those posts explaining why people aren't sold on the idea, instead focusing on the fact that in one week, only a single contribution has been made. Certainly, he is free to continue the fund raising efforts, but I have learned over the years that sometimes it's much more powerful to take a step back, admit you made some mistakes and then regroup to take another shot at something with the benefit of advice from other people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bojay1997 View Post
    I agree with you to some extent and people should be encouraged to pursue whatever projects they feel would benefit the community, but I am also someone who has seen a lot of people with good intentions come and go over the years and sadly, good intentions can actually cause a lot of distraction and sapping of energy, especially at a critical time when financial resources need to be 100% focused on the biggest initiative the DP team has ever taken on.

    Just to clarify, as I read his proposal, he is going to only develop the app for Android right now and I would assume an iOS version would require a separate fund raising and development effort. While I am an Android user, many other collectors I know are iOS users or use other mobile operating systems including Windows Mobile and Symbian. As such, he has already limited the value of this particular application to a subset of a small niche community to begin with. It seems like the suggestion someone else brought up to create a more universal mobile version of the DP site would better address this issue.

    I think another critical issue here is that he is looking for people to pay for his investment of time up front and is asking us to buy him a new computer and Android phone which is not something I have seen other people do here or elsewhere in classic gaming communities. In fact, the only time anyone has ever asked for this type of compensation up front that I can think of is when someone dumps a prototype, but even then, it's to compensate the owner for the loss of value which will be suffered once it's dumped and widely available. It's not a completely charitable effort and I'm not saying it's an inappropriate approach necessarily to expect some compensation for hard work, but it's not like he is stepping forward and assuming all of the risk or volunteering his time.

    Finally, I find it troubling that the OP posts several times lamenting the fact that people aren't contributing and then ignores most of those posts explaining why people aren't sold on the idea, instead focusing on the fact that in one week, only a single contribution has been made. Certainly, he is free to continue the fund raising efforts, but I have learned over the years that sometimes it's much more powerful to take a step back, admit you made some mistakes and then regroup to take another shot at something with the benefit of advice from other people.
    Yeah, good points and they're fair enough, though I assume you got the crux of what saddens me about the way people are generally reacting to rally calls on things like this these days.

    Even if we break this one down into component parts - and decide that the necessity of a new computer and android device aren't reasonable requests for the community to fund his "development process", perhaps somebody could offer to lend him a powerful enough machine and Android phone/device for the duration of the development process.

    Those who know me know that I'm a big proponent of not squashing positive momentum, and where a flaw is recognized - thinking outside of the box to help it/fix it instead of stomping on it. Not that you're specifically doing that, but that's quickly where I see this thread going when it COULD be going towards thinking of positive ways of assisting that doesn't shoot the whole concept to bits.
    "And the book says: 'We may be through with the past, but the past ain't through with us.'"


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    Pear (Level 6) wingzrow's Avatar
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    This is the greatest idea ever. Let's hope the prices get updated frequently though, some of the prices on the old digitpress guide are very out of date. I think this may make me get a smart phone, it was only a matter of time. Then again, if I already HAVE a smart phone then I could just look up eBay prices on the spot.

    do you think you might support barcode scan support like eBay redlight eventually? I would be great to find a boxed game, take a picture of the barcode, and then know exactly what the game is worth/what rarity it is just from that.
    Last edited by wingzrow; 07-18-2011 at 02:26 PM.

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