FAQ: releases' producers

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#1 by eacil
2020-02-02 at 17:50
< report >The FAQ says:

The companies/groups/individuals involved in the development or publishing of this release. Does not include distributors. The following roles can be selected:

Developer
>The producer involved in the creation of the game itself, not necessarily of this specific release. Keep in mind that producers that have made modifications to a game but have not made the game itself should NOT be listed as developers.
Publisher
>The producer responsible for publishing this specific release. The publisher may have made modifications to the game (e.g. translating all text or porting to a different platform), but was not involved in the creation process.
Both
>When the release is developed and published by the same producer. This is often true for doujin games and the first releases of commercial games.

I propose to add some clarity to those rules as it clearly needs some additional writing, if only to explicit after the developer entry: "Additionally, do not link the original developer to a localization if it is not a main party involved in the creation of this release".

The problem is that we DO add original developers to ports... even though they are not involved. I mean, look at AiCherry.
So the rule is pretty much "do not add the original developer to localizations". I applied this rule mindlessly since I don't remember anymore why we do that. I assume it is because they are not involved and so they shouldn't be linked to not give false information. It is inconsistent with how we treat ports so I must be wrong somewhere. It is also inconsistent with the "not necessarily of this specific release" part of the definition.

That brings us to what I think is a major problem with vndb as an international db: it's impossible to make a list of localizations for a given producer. If I want to know what Eushully were translated in English, I can't. Same with other languages. It's painful to have to check dozens of release of a producer to find it has no translations. I think it's a query a lot of people are bound to ask as we less care for publishers like MG than the developers the work they localize. If you don't keep updated with English publishers and do not regularly check releases, you have no way to know that your fav brand had one of their game localized in English.
This is why I suggest to add a new type of relation: original developer. You could add it to localizations and ports.

But I digress as there are still a number of cases we need explicit rules, such as:

-what if the original developer is involved in a localization, not just to check if the publisher is doing an alright job? Sometimes, they do all the programming work.
We do not link them usually and I think it's fair.

-we add fantl teams when we know they are at the origin of the translation even though they aren't publishers anymore, even from a fantl pov. In fact, we add pretty much anyone who is involved with the localization process as a publisher even if they are not. I had this recent case: r52376.2. Maybe we need another relation as the publisher is not always the guy who actually do the (translating/porting) job. When I checked every entry of F&C, I found a number of times that they were the publisher for ports even though they did not port the game (edit: or maybe it was their publisher who didn't do the porting, I don't remember), but I couldn't add them because of the "Keep in mind that producers that have made modifications to a game but have not made the game itself should NOT be listed as developers" rule. Well, I assumed "porter" guys were not important enough to be worth an entry.

-I recently found another pickle when I removed Lose from r66780 as it was to me a localization made by Circle Entertainment. The problem being that it is an "international release, Japanese included", it means there is no Japanese-only Switch release. So, is it a localization or not? Do we add the original developer as a developer? My intuition says no but this straddles what we do as this release is as much a localization as it is not.Last modified on 2020-02-02 at 18:32
#2 by rampaa
2020-02-02 at 18:51
< report >
If I want to know what Eushully were translated in English, I can't.
I've asked a developer tab to be added to VN filters a while ago (t12507.21) for this exact reason, but there's no indication it will ever be a thing. :\

But you can use this query in the meanwhile: linkLast modified on 2020-02-02 at 18:52
#3 by Yorhel
2020-02-02 at 19:53
< report >Just quickly commenting on one thing:
This is why I suggest to add a new type of relation: original developer.
Based on current guideline wording, that's already exactly what the "developer" role is, except we don't set that field for localizations, because that'd suggest that the original developer created the game in that language. And, with the current way developers are displayed, that'd be super confusing. Actually, it already is super confusing for multilanguage initial releases. Maybe the "developer" field should be a VN property rather than one of the release.

As for not being able to see which VNs of a developer have been translated: That's purely a UI limitation, our current data model is sufficient for that use case.
#4 by eacil
2020-02-02 at 21:15
< report >
we don't set that field for localizations, because that'd suggest that the original developer created the game in that language
But we do it for ports, "suggesting that the original developer created the game in that platform".
Can you give me an example of what confuses you with multilingual initial releases? I understand that this makes it impossible to distinguish what is the original language (though you can deduce what language it is by checking the producer's nationality) but no example comes to my mind where you can't distinguish who is the original developer. I am not sure I understand what you mean.

Maybe the "developer" field should be a VN property rather than one of the release.
Yes, maybe set at least a global original developer and a global original language for a VN. Then, do we need to keep the developer field? Hmm... considering that "developer" on vndb pretty much is restricted to the original developer position, I don't think it would change anything.

I also forgot remakes! Some remakes don't change the script but the presentation is so different that it is almost an entire different game. I think of Kamaitachi no Yoru which was remade multiple times.
Let's say a producer remade a game but a different producer published it. Under current rules, the developer which remade the game shouldn't be listed and at best relegated to the note field even though the publisher didn't do a single thing worth of mention. Unfortunately, the release doesn't deserve its own entry, which might have allowed the "remaker" to be upgraded to the status of developer.
So I suppose we should also make explicit the fact that developers who remade a games shouldn't be listed either, alongside people who made ports?

With the developer field gone, new fields could be made for producers who do porting and remaking. Maybe repurpose the old developer field?

I personally have always hated how publisher always get the lion's share, like producers, even when they don't lift a finger. Why are they the only ones listed on stores? Who gives a rats ass about a guy who decided he wanted to publish your work? Publishers are at best relevant as a label, a selection. As a reader, a customer, I have always found that data to be completely irrelevant.
Edit: don't get me wrong, if a publisher does the translation, the porting or any developing job, it is important, but listed as such.

As for not being able to see which VNs of a developer have been translated: That's purely a UI limitation, our current data model is sufficient for that use case.
Isn't it complicating things to add localizations to a producer pages by checking if they are the original developer of each VN listed on their page and then bringing back the non-liked releases under another label, if that's what you meant?Last modified on 2020-02-02 at 21:19
#5 by uvix
2020-02-04 at 04:23
< report >
Yes, maybe set at least a global original developer and a global original language for a VN.
Global original developer makes sense. Global original language might be tricky. What do you pick if it's a multilingual initial release? And if you go with the language of the developer, what if it was never released in that language? (I can't think of VN examples right now, but there have been games developed in Japan intended for only overseas release.)

Then, do we need to keep the developer field?
I think repurposing the release developer field as an actual release developer field makes a lot of sense. Right now there's cases like Lemnisca LLC who've done localization work but haven't actually published anything. However, they're listed as publishers because that's the data field we have. Keeping a developer field on releases would let that distinction be made.
#6 by Yorhel
2020-10-25 at 09:06
< report >Reviving this thread as it's a much better place for discussion than t8242 (#331 - #341).

New proposal: (as I understood it)

1. Add "Developers" field to VNs, to be used for the original developers.
2. Change the list of producer roles for releases to:
- Developer (for Remake/Remaster - think this needs a clearer name)
- Porting
- Localization (Agree with eacil, would be useful regardless of localization credits)
- Publisher

These should probably not be mutually exclusive - a single producer can do all of the above. Do we keep using the Publisher role as before? i.e. are translation projects both Localization and Publisher?

I suppose this means that the original developer should only be (explicitely) linked to a release if it fullfills any of the above roles. The original developer is displayed on the release info page based on the VNs the release is linked to.

Data migration:

The easy part: Edit all VNs to add original developer based on release info.
The hard part: Releases. Batch-remove all original developers? Editing all releases to change "Publisher" to the correct role is going to be a lot of work, unsure how much of that can be automated.

(Why am I asking all the questions again? Where's the complete and coherent proposal that I asked for? :P)
#7 by Yorhel
2020-11-15 at 11:34
< report >Bump. Did people stop caring or am I demanding too much?

I've been trying to get people involved in data model drafting so that I don't have to be the sole bottleneck in improving those aspects of VNDB, but the feedback so far has been lackluster. If you wait for me to solve all the data modelling problems then things will generally be moving at a slow pace, as I am prone to analysis paralysis. :/
#8 by warfoki
2020-11-15 at 12:48
< report >Well, not an expert on data sampling, but if we are changing these anyway, I think we should have an original developer or similar field so that the original developer can be searched for even in translated releases. Why is this important? Well, let's be real, majority of the userbase will only ever read English-translated titles. So, if they read something translated that they like, a logical next step would be coming up on VNDB to check if the developers have any other titles translated to English.

The logical way to search for this is developer + English language. Except this doesn't work. Example if I want to find all the Black Lilith stuff in English, this is all I get: link

And no, clicking on Black Lilith and scrolling through the releases searching for that English flag doesn't work either (obviously, otherwise the search would work too). So the ONLY way to find what is, I imagine, a very commonly searched piece of information is opening EVERY SINGLE VN page associated with the producer and look at the language flags on the individual VN pages. Which is convoluted as hell.Last modified on 2020-11-15 at 12:48
#9 by Yorhel
2020-11-15 at 12:53
< report >That problem is already being addressed with t14995. In fact: link - no database changes needed.
#10 by warfoki
2020-11-15 at 13:28
< report >Well, skimmed through that thread, but didn't see this being mentioned directly, so brought it up. Nevermind then.

To actually address the original proposals here:

1. Add "Developers" field to VNs, to be used for the original developers.

Seems... useful? Like, the problem with you asking questions from layman is that I'm not sure what will this change. Originally I was thinking that this will be helpful for search purposes (hence my previous comment), but if that can be done without linking VN pages directly to developers, then I don't know what will this achieve, so, kinda feel unqualified to give an opinion...

So, if I understand the idea correctly: the "original" developer will be attached to the VN page directly, not the releases. Releases will only have a developer role listed if it is a remake or something, right?

Developer (for Remake/Remaster - think this needs a clearer name)

Well, regardless of the name, some people will just toss in the original developer anyway under this, so if you don't want a ton of redundancies, you got to make sure that the Original Developer field at the VN page and the Remake Developer release field cannot have the same producer listed. Provided that trying to do that gives a clear error message as to why that didn't work, I think the name itself for the field is not that important: the first time someone will get an error message misunderstanding things, it'll make it clear what the purpose of this field is.

- Porting
- Localization (Agree with eacil, would be useful regardless of localization credits)
- Publisher

Okay, a couple things here, first of all, localization should have an official / unofficial flag attached to it with neither selected by default (same way as image flagging has no default selection).

So, honestly, Publisher option with all these more detailed options is bit weird here. Not necessarily wrong, but needs clarification. Like, Publisher should only be marked for the company or individual that actually acts like one: that is selling or marketing the release in some capacity, in a legal manner. A fan translator should never be marked as a publisher. Yes, currently they are, because we MUST select publisher or developer, and publisher is less wrong, but it's still wrong. Also, if a company outsources translation to a third party commercial translator or company, who only work on the translation, but are not publishing the actual title and are only mentioned in the like the credits roll, then does that mean we are going to add translator companies like that to the database, or we don't want to go into such details?
#11 by Yorhel
2020-11-15 at 13:44
< report >
Like, the problem with you asking questions from layman is that I'm not sure what will this change.
That is exactly the aspect I'd like to get people to get involved in. I mean, I can work this all out by myself and come up with more detailed proposals and such, but I can only work on so many projects at a time and that's a bottleneck. Granted, these topics are pretty complex and require deep knowledge about how VNDB works - not so much in terms of the detailed technical aspects, but more in the way the data is currently organized and used. Perhaps I am asking too much...

So, if I understand the idea correctly: the "original" developer will be attached to the VN page directly, not the releases. Releases will only have a developer role listed if it is a remake or something, right?
Exactly.

localization should have an official / unofficial flag attached to it
Funny you bring that up. I had a similar proposal that is independent of how we credit companies.

For the rest: Good points.
#12 by eacil
2020-11-15 at 23:38
< report >I didn't forget this issue, I am just waiting on what I consider to be a pretty big issue:

While we are at it, I would raise another issue: subcontractors. Sometimes, staff from other studios work with a developer and you can see their own studio being credited after their name, or figuring in their own section. I mean, music studio are frequently credited as staff here. But what about something like Type-Moon which is credited on 428 as a developer even though they are a subcontractor and only made a tiny tiny fraction of this huge game? Should they get that special treatment, appear like the creator they are not? For example, I am playing The Letter and Sound Cadence Studio, Dualist Make Music and Cylight Studios all have their own section in the credits but you don't add them as developers even thought they "developed" the musical and vocal parts of the game.

I am pretty much asking: who do we consider worth linking as a developer? Who should be a producer and who should be a staff? Should we take this opportunity to repatriate all producers on this side (but it would split credits)? If not, we need criteria, which is not that simple because we can't rely on this convenient main/subcontractors dichotomy as some developers were contracted by a publisher. Someone could probably say that Nitroplus was only a support on C;H and S;G. Some will say that Type-Moon was a developer because they wrote a "whole" side-story to 428. How mendokusai.

Seems... useful? Like, the problem with you asking questions from layman is that I'm not sure what will this change. Originally I was thinking that this will be helpful for search purposes (hence my previous comment), but if that can be done without linking VN pages directly to developers, then I don't know what will this achieve, so, kinda feel unqualified to give an opinion...
The main benefit is that localizations would appear on the producer page.
On a side note, not linking the original dev every time would be a huge gain of time and clarity.

I use producer pages all the time and my main complaint is about nesting. Unless you use the producer field to link to the parent brand (ex: Orcsoft), you can't have a list of what a company has done because it's hidden inside "nests" aka "imprints". Sometimes, it's not enough to do that when you have imprints of imprints like I recently saw with Red Zone+. Even if those two releases were, in the end, "published" by F&C Co., Ltd., they can't appear on its page unless you do something as inelegant as linking it next to Red Zone+.

Well, regardless of the name, some people will just toss in the original developer anyway under this, so if you don't want a ton of redundancies, you got to make sure that the Original Developer field at the VN page and the Remake Developer release field cannot have the same producer listed.
Only if they are alone.

So, honestly, Publisher option with all these more detailed options is bit weird here. Not necessarily wrong, but needs clarification. Like, Publisher should only be marked for the company or individual that actually acts like one: that is selling or marketing the release in some capacity, in a legal manner. A fan translator should never be marked as a publisher. Yes, currently they are, because we MUST select publisher or developer, and publisher is less wrong, but it's still wrong. Also, if a company outsources translation to a third party commercial translator or company, who only work on the translation, but are not publishing the actual title and are only mentioned in the like the credits roll, then does that mean we are going to add translator companies like that to the database, or we don't want to go into such details?
Well, yes, that's the whole point of this. Publishers are now publishers. And yes, we will add those "third party commercial translator or company", unless you not care about who is doing the real job and prefer the label that get all the money for doing nothing? That's why now we would have a localization field.
If you don't want publishers anymore, think about SP being deleted from the db... :(( :))))))))))))Last modified on 2020-11-15 at 23:57

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