Title Consolidation / Make Things A Little More Organized

As I add more games to my collection I can’t help but notice that the way the core is organized is a little inefficient. Not to dig at the staff or anything but take a look for yourself.

I’ll start with Fullmetal Alchemist.

Immediately something to note is that the third game is listed with a half-English-half-Japanese name which kind of makes sense because it never got released outside of Japan but the sub-title has been translated. (The Girl Who Succeds God) I suppose the point I’m making here is that listing a title like this makes more clutter than necessary since the games also have listings under their JP names as well.

The same issue arises with other games too. Like Fatal Frame / Project Zero. The UPCs across regions get split up under different names filling the core with more bloat than necessary. I feel that when you search up a game with multiple names, regardless of which one you choose to look it up with, that all of the names would fall under a single item. And then, ideally, that item would be split up by each UPC it holds. This does not happen with multiple games in the Fatal Frame series.

A third example would be Drakengard. Known as Drag-On Dragoon in Japan. These titles are completely separated despite being the exact same game.

I suppose the app could display the English name and then somewhere directly below or to the side it could show the regional name in parentheses or something. But even if it doesn’t show that on the item page the app should at least be tagging each item by multiple names under the hood, to condense search results.

And I know for a fact that it’s already capable of this because when I look up “Dororo” none of the search results are titled as such.

Dororo is the original JP name for Blood Will Tell and somewhere somehow the core is able to make this distinction even though it’s officially listed as Blood Will Tell (JP). So I guess my final questions are: Why aren’t more games organized like this? And also: How do you want to handle games with multiple names going forward?

I have moved your post to the Core Errors section.

I don’t think there is a structural problem here. Just errors in Core that happened because of different data sources, some maybe user submitted data. Made worse by the fact that our content managers maybe did not know that Drakengard is the same as the Drag-On Dragoon :slight_smile:

All quite easy things to be resolved, once we know what the problem is.

As for games that have different names in different regions, maybe it is not such bad idea to keep them as separate games. As users may not know they are the same game either.
Now if a users own “Drakengard” and has the box in his hands, he searches for “Drakengard”, gets a result that says “Drakengard”, he adds it and the added game is also titled “Drakengard”. No confusion, he gets exactly what he expects.

Whereas in the case of “Dororo”, if the users owns a box that says “Dororo”, he searches in the app, and gets a result that says “Blood will tell”… huh?? “that is not what I searched for”???
( we make that work because our “Blood will tell entry” has an “alias” that says “Dororo”)

What do you think?
Split them up or merge them?

I would prefer them merged. However as I said in the OP I feel like there needs to be something on the item page that can tell you the regional name if it has one.

( we make that work because our “Blood will tell entry” has an “alias” that says “Dororo”)

This “alias” function you mention is exactly what I think you should utilize with as many games as possible if they have regional name differences. As long as the box art matches, and the region is marked I don’t think people will get too confused. And I believe all confusion can be completely removed if you can find a way to display the regional name alongside all the other miscellaneous information on the item page.

Now if the game is only in one region, say for example one of the several JP exclusive Konami jrpgs, then the name that gets displayed should be it’s official one, and the “alias” can be the English translation, if one exists.

Ultimately though it’s your app, so if you decide to keep them separate because you think it’s better / it’s too much effort to change then I won’t object. I personally think more use of the “alias” function is the way to go.

Yeah, that would be ideal, but that would require structural changes to the database and the search engine. With very little benefit to the user in the end.
Splitting up the different titles of the same game, into multiple game entries is a low-tech solution, that we can do now. In fact, it is a no tech solution, just a bit of content work.

The alias system is just a search engine trick. Allowing the game to be found under other names, or misspellings. It is not a structural system we can use for this, because it does not “know” which UPCs are for one title or for the other.

What, in your opinion, would be the advantage for the user to have ONE game entry?
For me, as a database nerd, I agree that having one entry if is it one same game is indeed preferred. But that is a complex solution that would have very little benefit for the users, who typically one the game under one title OR the other and may not even be aware of the other title.

It would be easier to track down the game overall if it has different names but they were all under the same umbrella. Right now the database is inconsistent on whether or not the different regions get grouped together or separately. Whether those separate entries are completely different names, half translations (such as Full Metal Alchemist 3) or, in rarer instances, something small such as someone using “3” in one entry and “III” in another.

Using the alias function is, in my opinion, the best way to fix these inconsistencies. It would tidy up the search results and I also believe it would be simpler to maintain from an archival perspective. Consolidating more information to a smaller space.

I’m not suggesting we use the alias function to directly assist in sorting UPCs. I’m only suggesting using it to link together the different regional names. Any type of UPC organization that comes about will simply be a byproduct. If the alias function works the way I think it can the UPCs should get sorted out naturally.

I don’t doubt it would require some form of overhaul which is why I completely understand not wanting to do so. It’s up to you and the rest of the staff.

How is that? For a user, who only owns one or the other, it would be more confusing.

I know, that is what we are going to fix here :slight_smile:

It would indeed be a big technical project.
Whereas the splitting up solution can be done right here, right now :slight_smile:

I’m just going to have to agree to disagree on this one. I feel as though if someone has taken enough of an interest in cataloguing their game collection they would be privy to the existence of regional differences and wouldn’t be too confused at different names. So long as the regions are specified.

It’s clear you don’t seem interested in my proposal. So please answer the following questions so that core entries/corrections I make are consistent across the board.

How would you like to handle games with only one regional non-US release? Use an English translation of the name? Or use the original name?

If a game already listed in the core has a unique regional name how should I report it? For example should a JP game be “ENG name (JP)” or “JP name”?

Do you intend on merging Fatal Frame and Project Zero? Or will you keep them separate?

And finally do you wish to hear reports of other games with split names in the future to merge them? Or leave them as separate entries?

That’s not the case. I am interested. And we did consider exactly that suggested solution a while ago when we were discussing the problem of games with different titles in different regions.
But in the end, we came to the conclusion that it would be a massive undertaking, with little benefit over just splitting up the game entries.

Another solution would be to use ONE game entry with both names in the title, e.g. “Drakengard / Drag-On Dragoon”? What do you think?

I would think to use the original name for those. In general, I would use the name that is on the box.

Sorry, I don’t understand the question.

Maybe one entry that is named “Fatal Frame / Project Zero” ?

I wanna hear about all Core errors.

For example Fatal Frame 3 has a unique name for each region. In the US it is called Fatal Frame III: The Tormented. In the EU it is known as Project Zero 3. And in Japan it’s called Zero: Shisei no Koe. If I was to report an error with any of the versions, would you want me to report it under Fatal Frame III regardless of region? Or do you want me to only use the name of the region version I’m reporting on?

That would work but I wouldn’t like the way it looks. I honestly don’t have a justifiable reason as why I dislike the way it looks. Probably some form of autism. Also if a game has several titles or two really long titles it might be a little crammed at the top of the page.

I’m asking if you consider a game split by two names an “error”. Such as Fatal Frame / Project Zero, Resident Evil / Biohazard, etc.

I think that depends on the solution we choose for games like this.

I am not a fan either.
Personally, I think that if a user owns the EU version “Project Zero 3”, I think he want to be able to search for “project zero 3”, then see a search result called “Project Zero 3”, he clicks it and he sees several different cover images, all have “Project Zero 3” on the cover. Exactly what he was looking for, great results, no confusion.

I think you may be overestimating the knowledge of users about these different namings in different regions. An average european user just buys the european version and that’s what he calls the game. That is what he wants to see when adding.

For example, I am a fan of the Resident Evil games. I played the games, I watched the movies. But until I seriously got working on our Core for games, I never knew the game was called Biohazard in other regions. And I doubt that many Resident Evil players do know that other name.

Again, that depends on which way we go with this.
If we opt for the “splitting up” solution, then it would not be an error.
If we opt for the “merged entries” solution, it it would be an error.

The only sort of compromise I can see is to keep each regional title separate, but to add an alias of the different titles to one another. That’s not the best explanation so in practice Drakengard would have the alias “Drag-On Dragoon” and Drag-On Dragoon would have the alias “Drakengard”. This way regardless of which item gets searched up, both will appear.

This does not link the games directly in the core but it does create a correlation. Perhaps you could add in some way to make the alias titles visible. Fully making the link apparent.

I realize this only creates more search results but it would manage to include all versions of the game while still letting people see what they searched.

This solution also doesn’t require any sort of overhaul to implement in it’s base form, I’m pretty sure. What do you think?

Haha, this one is hilarious.

US/EU version:

JP version:

They’re not exactly making it easy on us :slight_smile:

Try putting those two titles in the game name:

“Resident Evil biohazard / Biohazard resident evil”
I think no :slight_smile:

Anyway, you bring up a good point here, thanks for that.
We already discussed the problem here at the office a few months ago, when we ran into “Starfox / Leilat Wars” and some other big games with several different titles.
At the time, it looked like just splitting them up was the easiest solution, but maybe not the best in the end. In any case, we did not act on it yet, we did not make a final decision yet.

I will discuss this again with the content guys and the developers, see what we can come up with.

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No problem. I await further news.

Perhaps you could add something where items are highlighted if the search contains an exact match to an item name or alias name.

So someone searches for Drag-On Dragoon, the search returns Drag-On Dragoon and Drakengard, then both get highlighted, or get some sort of effect attached to them, to let the user know that what they entered applies to both games.

It seems a little redundant but it would probably raise the base level of knowledge people have about their games.

You know, the more I think about it the more I come to realize that most of the “problems” that arise from keeping unique titles separate could be fixed by forcing people to scan the barcode and having the app send back either “we got that” or “don’t got that”. But that makes the app unusable for people without the bar codes. This leads to the regular search function which leads to the question of keeping regional titles separate or not.

The obvious answer is to keep them separate because at this point all these fixes we’re trying to invent would only be for problems that arise from very niche situations which would probably get solved simply by scanning the barcode.

One such situation is when a person buys a game from a region foreign to them and they can’t properly read the title. Such as Fullmetal Alchemist 3. You said that you wanted to use the name on the box, well, the name for that game is in Japanese. Someone who can’t read Japanese wouldn’t be able to search up the title directly because they can’t read it, but they most certainly recognize the characters on the box art. Why else would they purchase a game they can’t understand? This person stuck in this very specific and very odd circumstance unable to read the title, would look for it by searching up the series name since they can glean that much from box art alone. And in this super detailed scenario, linking different games together with the alias function would lead them to the correct game. Without the alias function the third installment wouldn’t appear, since it’s a JP only game, and the user will probably mistakenly report it as an unlisted title.

Outside of something like that happening, there really isn’t benefit to stitching things together with the alias function. At this point the only real reason to do so is to sate my desire for complete information. I would still like to see it happen however, now - more so than before - do I understand why there really isn’t a need to do so.

Thanks for your further ideas.

We have discussed the issue here at the office and we have decided that splitting up the entries is the way to go, for multiple reasons:

  1. We can do that NOW, without any investment in more complex database structures, modifications to search engines etc…
  2. The added advantage is that we can set many fields better to suit the game they are about. Like Description. In the Description we can then refer to the correct name. Also, maybe the Publisher is different too. Also, game level default cover images and PriceCharting links can then be set correctly for the right game.

Alright. I will begin reporting on entries that don’t use their regional name sometime tomorrow. The core will be consistent one way or another.

Yes, great, let’s do this!
Thank you for thinking with us on this.