Linking Databases, part 2

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#1 by yorhel
2019-08-21 at 07:44
This update adds a batch of webshop links to release entries:

- Steam (& SteamDB)
- MangaGamer
- Denpasoft
- J-List
- GOG.com
- DLsite (Japanese & English)
- Gyutto
- Getchu (& DL.Getchu)
- Digiket.com
- Melonbooks.com
- DMM
[EDIT] And also:
- Itch.io
- JAST USA
[EDIT] And two non-shops:
- ErogameScape
- ErogeTrailers

We already had various shop links in the notes fields of releases, I've made an attempt to automatically extract those links and put them in the right field. The script is intentionally conservative to avoid messing things up, so many entries will still need to be updated manually.

Note that some webshop links are automatically turned into affiliate links (currently: MG, Denpa, J-List and DLsite). I also intend to change the old affiliate links section to use these new database fields, but I've not gotten to that yet. I'll probably also write a few crawlers so we can display up-to-date price information - which will hopefully be useful as well.

On a slightly different note, I wanted to include ErogameScape links in this update, but I'm still undecided if those should be added to VN or release entries. On the one hand EGS gives each release its own game entry, but on the other hand our releases tend to be even more specific. I don't think EGS differentiates between download and package editions, for example. (Or do they?) Feedback appreciated in any case.Last modified on 2019-10-10 at 17:54
#2 by tw1sted
2019-08-21 at 08:37
I think EGS links should be added to the VN entry. There are far, far more release entries here on vndb than on EGS, since EGS only creates new entries for console ports or rereleases with actual content changes. Look at Maitetsu for example, here on vndb there are 17 releases for the Japanese version alone, whereas on EGS there are only 4. In most cases it would be unnecessary to have individual EGS links for releases.
#3 by eacil
2019-08-21 at 08:55
There is a mirror of EGS somewhere, allowing us to bypass the geoblocking. I don't have the link under my paw right now but I wonder how it works and if it wouldn't be better to link to it like it's accessible to everyone.

You might consider adding Itch.io because it's big for OELVN.
#4 by trickzzter
2019-08-21 at 08:57
Awesome! Can you also mass-convert Steam Community links? I added them for the games removed form Steam. This one for example: link
Even though the Steam store links will be useless for such entries, you still can get to Steam forums and Steam community hub via SteamDB.
#5 by yorhel
2019-08-21 at 08:57
The page of that EGS mirror has this to say:
Try not to share it too much publicly
I can see it getting banned when it gets too popular, so let's not accelerate that process.

EDIT:
mass-convert Steam Community links
I considered doing that, but a quick DB query gave me far too many false positives - primarily things like links to community patches and works that were related to the Steam ID, but not the same.Last modified on 2019-08-21 at 09:04
#6 by kiru
2019-08-21 at 09:02
EGS links to releases is better. Simply because choosing the right one for a VN entry would be rather subjective, and sometimes there's a good reason for checking the reviews for different versions of the game. Sure, not every release will get one, but I think that's okay.

EGS adds things rather sporadically anyway. New content isn't even necessary all the time. Collections may also be there. It is, how it is. They seem to not care much. Entries that people don't care about simply have little to no information.
#7 by trickzzter
2019-08-21 at 09:03
Ok, I'll edit them manually.
#8 by npzmzfg
2019-08-21 at 09:21
There are also a large number of visual novels released on Itch.io:
link

Would you consider adding a field for that website?
#9 by yorhel
2019-08-21 at 09:29
[EGS] Simply because choosing the right one for a VN entry would be rather subjective
That won't be necessary, it'd be possible to add multiple EGS links to a VN entry. But that may get messy, too. Little Busters! would have about 8 links or so.

> Itch.io
vndb=> select count(*) from releases where notes like '%itch.io%' or website like '%itch.io/%';
count
-------
2097
(1 row)
No kidding. Yeah, I'll add a field for that.
#10 by kiru
2019-08-21 at 10:21
^A list for EGS per VN would have an issue with collections though. I think if we are going to hold on the idea of releases as we do, it makes only sense to have EGS part of releases as well. To me it makes the most sense like that at least.
#11 by yorhel
2019-08-21 at 10:41
Itch.io links have been added now as well. Most of them automatically converted.

A list for EGS per VN would have an issue with collections though
Ah, right, collections...
#12 by shadowzephyr
2019-08-21 at 13:28
Awesome update! With this, can we have feature to filter release by webshop later?

This is one of the feature in VNDB that I wanted the most; able to list all VN releases that available in Steam / MG, together with existing filters e.g. Original Language - JP and Misc - Fully voiced.
#13 by beliar
2019-08-21 at 14:43
I think we have to get one issue out of the way while we are here. Many VNs have a store as the official site, usually because there is no other official source of information. That affects many MangaGamer, J-list, Denpasoft and especially Steam releases. What should we do in such cases:

a) Duplicate a link, so for example both the official site link will have the Steam page and the Steam store link will have the same page?
b) Remove the official site and only fill in the store link?
c) Don't fill in the store link and only keep the official site link.

Seems the automatic conversion was aimed at option b (example: r61617.4). Should we consider this the standard while going forward?
#14 by yorhel
2019-08-21 at 15:01
@13: Either a or b, and I'd go for b. Only downside with that option is that there is no external link listed on the releases section of the VN page, but that can be fixed once I figure out a good way to determine what link to display and how it should be displayed...
#15 by beliar
2019-08-21 at 18:53
A few suggestions (don't know how useful they would be):
a) You probably could also include Nutaku and Humble Store links, though both shops are less popular than others.

b)And what about Jastusa? It's both a store and a publisher, just like MangaGamer, and J-list is mostly used to stash their physicals. I think, if we have J-list links, we should also have Jastusa links.

c) At first I also thought about also including a Patreon field, but now I'm not sure it would be useful, because it's most frequently used as an official site, rather than just a note in a description, like stores were. Transferring it to a separate field would result in thousands of duplicated fields for little to no benefit. On the other hand, SubscribeStar seems to have been gathering steam for a while now, but I'm not sure there are yet enough VNs to benefit from a separate field....

d) I think a good idea about displaying store links might be to display some sort of a clickable custom symbol, clicking which would result in a drop-down menu with all the links. Maybe place it besides the "official site" symbol...

On a side note, the automatic conversion was not that perfect. It left a lot of redundant links in the notes, added blatantly wrong store links (many all-ages releases seem to have received adult links) or outright didn't transfer the links from the notes, especially where there were a few links in a single sentence.

I now have a notification backlog of over 400 entries and no time to look thorough all of them now. Something to do on the weekend... :-)
#16 by rampaa
2019-08-22 at 02:46
As weird as it may sound, melonbooks.com gives a 403 forbidden error while melonbooks.co.jp doesn't.
#17 by yorhel
2019-08-22 at 06:17
You probably could also include Nutaku and Humble Store links
Undecided on these. Neither really cater to VNs and neither have all that many VNs.

And what about Jastusa?
Yup, good idea.

Patreon field
For producers? Sounds like a good idea. Note that moving information into dedicated fields has the advantage of making them queryable and allowing for better integrations and automatic actions (subscriber counts, backlinks, analysis, liveness checks, etc). There's a lot of potential we're not exploiting yet.

some sort of a clickable custom symbol, clicking which would result in a drop-down menu with all the links
Another good idea!

On a side note, the automatic conversion was not that perfect.
I'm aware - those things are *hard*. My guiding principle was to err on the side of caution - it's less work to remove a little redundancy than to find and fix a wrong entry, and it's better to do nothing than make a mess of it. Unfortunately some incorrect edits still slipped by. :(
Apologies for all the extra work.

melonbooks.com gives a 403 forbidden error while melonbooks.co.jp doesn't
Japanese companies are weird... They're different shops though, and I didn't include .co.jp because I didn't see any links in release notes - not sure they even carry VNs.
#18 by sakurakoi
2019-08-22 at 07:36
Undecided on these. Neither really cater to VNs and neither have all that many VNs.
Well, their selection of titles sure is by far lower than Steam's, so it really is up to you how comprehensive you want it to be/determine a minimum amount of recently added VNs to that site in the last X years to make your magic worthwhile.
#19 by yorhel
2019-08-22 at 12:50
Jastusa.com added.
#20 by kuronyan
2019-08-22 at 13:19
melonbooks.co.jp are like Getchu which sells package edition

melonbooks.com are like DL.Getchu which sells digital edition and mostly block on other countries.
#21 by shadowzephyr
2019-08-25 at 10:31
@14
Either a or b, and I'd go for b. Only downside with that option is that there is no external link listed on the releases section of the VN page
Hi yorhel, is it now decided to go with b? (remove official website link if the same store link is available).

Well, the thing is, I had fixed few releases that previously carrying MangaGamer product link URL as official website that was dead due to their store URL behavior update which now requires adding "/r18" in the link. Now, I've received notification that those official website links that I've fixed were deleted (e.g. r62601.5, r54547.11, r51122.6) due to similar store link is already exist; which I do aware & fine with that. So, if we're going to option b, I'll proceed with the same then, by deleting the official website if the similar store link exist e.g. r19777.11, r57754.9. Of course, this is not applicable when the official website and their store link is different e.g. r46909.7 or r47516.29.

I do aware that I had previously fixed the official website even though the similar store link exist since I'm not sure the final decision on this, and yorhel concern on the absent of external link on the release section when official website is gone.
#22 by yorhel
2019-08-25 at 10:37
Hi yorhel, is it now decided to go with b?
That's what most entries are normalized to now, so yes, let's continue with that approach.
#23 by vlad777
2019-08-25 at 22:08
Undecided on these. Neither really cater to VNs and neither have all that many VNs.
Actually, Nutaku has more VNs than GOG. And VNs are a significant part of Nutaku games. I'm not sure about Humble store though. All I can say, I have 12 VN on wishlist there. The problem is they don't have "VN" tag there, as VNs are listed there as "Adventure", "Simulation", or "Indie". So it's hard to tell how many VNs there are.Last modified on 2019-08-25 at 22:10
#24 by eacil
2019-08-26 at 00:59
Erk, advertising for Nutaku. And why not displaying banners for Sakuracrap while we are at it?
I do hope all those links are sponsored because if not, those stores got the sweetest deal ever.

Edit: maybe it's time to remove Novelnews and Renai.us links?
Reminder: pixiv and erogetrailer.Last modified on 2019-08-26 at 01:05
#25 by yorhel
2019-08-26 at 09:47
Edit: maybe it's time to remove Novelnews and Renai.us links?
Reminder: pixiv and erogetrailer.
Novelnews is already hidden; Renai.us is still somewhat alive, so might as well keep it. Pixiv for staff? It is a Wikidata property, suppose we could import that. Erogetrailer for releases? Hmm.

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