Staff database drafting
|#1 by yorhel|
2013-09-16 at 13:13
|< report >Years of idle complaints about the lack of a staff database and still hardly anyone has shown any initiative to help to create one. Awesome.|
To at least start a discussion, I've written down and organized some of my thoughts on the staff database in a draft. I'd love to get feedback on a number of things:
- First and foremost: Discussions on the various possible answers to the questions noted in the draft.
- Secondly: Are there more issues that need to be discussed?
- And finally: (Raw) examples of existing staff listings would be helpful. Both in answering the questions I thought of and to find more issues in mapping a staff listing onto a database abstraction.
I'll be updating the draft as useful feedback comes along. Note also that the draft is written in a concise form and cross-references are all over the place. You may need to skim through it several times to figure out what is meant.
|#2 by ds1150|
2013-09-16 at 13:57
|< report >Thanks a ton for setting up a draft. |
New database entry type: 'Staff'
- Birth date?
- List of aliases? (Generated from the links?)
- Producer affiliations?
- Are you including a Romaji name there too? Just like for VNs and producers? (It might be hard to find the romanised name)
- List of aliases sounds good
- Is there really a need for producer affiliations? I mean, do staff members switch producers often or freelance for several producers? If they do the list might become a hassle to maintain.
QS1: The list of games getting a renew is much smaller than those with only 1 release. I'd say staff members for renews only could simply get a note in their VN <-> Staff relation.
QS2: Maybe link to VNTLS entries if available like the current anime cross linking?
QS3: Which roles to include?
- Obviously: Writers, BG/character artists
- Music? Or just link to VGMdb?
- Sound effects?
- Translation staff? (see QS2)
- Coffee supplier?
- "Special thanks"?
- Is our goal to replicate the full game credits? Or only to select a few
Writers, BG/character artists, music, sound and programming sound good enough to me.
Note #1: Programming would be less common to include though I guess.
Note #2: music/sound, I can imagine music being done by existing bands/company's. For example the music in v12476 is being done by link which is a seperate group. How would you handle those?
QG1: I like sources as the official homepage, Getchu, Erogetrailers and link (for later) as sources outside the game credits. Those usually include the roles people would be most interested in.
QG2: All traits/tags/VN fields are English too. That should suffice.
QG3: That would be testers I guess? Depends on if you're listing TLstaff / testers
QI2: A free text box sounds bad and leaves options for the same roles being written differently. Would a list in a DB table which only admins/moderators can modify suffice? (They would be shown in a dropdown list, unlike the tags/traits)
QI3: Importance (set in role, see QI2) -> Alphabetical imo.
I agree with you about Seiyuu, they would most logically be assigned to characters rather than VNs, but better done later once this is sorted.Last modified on 2013-09-16 at 14:04
|#3 by takata|
2013-09-16 at 15:11
|< report >I wasn't -that- keen to have a staff database, but I'll throw in my 1 yen's worth.|
Years of idle complaints about the lack of a staff database and still hardly anyone has shown any initiative to help to create one. Awesome.I'd put this down to a major web-programming skill-shortage, but I'm not sure.
I think only the roles which have a major influence on the content of the VN should be included. Do not attempt to replicate full game credits.
You could reasonably care about who wrote the story, who drew the characters, or who composed the music. I do not think it reasonable to care about who managed the PR, who programmed the VN engine, who debugged it, who shows up in the "special thanks" list, or who designed the VN's offical website (no offence to your profession, Yorhel >.<).
Include: writers, character/background artists, music composers, maybe some other roles.
Don't include: testers, programmers, website designers, PR staff, coffee suppliers, "special thanks".
All options you've listed look reliable enough. You seem to have listed them in order of favourability too.
I think standardised, vague role names like "Writing", "Character art", "Background art" and "Music" would work. Don't list debuggers/testers. Maybe also have an "Other" option for -important- staff whose role defies classification. See my answer to QI2.
Aside: myanimelist.net gives these options for staff roles. Paste here to see how it looks. Naturally, a lot of these roles don't apply to VNs.
<select name="jtype" class="inputtext">
A few (or maybe a lot of) hardcoded roles seems okay. Also allow staff to have more than one role on a VN.
Maybe include a free text box too for extra details. Ex. If the role is "character artist", which character did they draw? Ex. If the role is "Other", then what did they do? Ideally, you wouldn't use this box all the time. Kind of like the "notes" box on release entries.
Infer from role. If you want to differentiate between main and assistant writers, you'll have to to that back at QI2.
About voice actors:
Minor point: A voice actor may have another role in the development of a VN. Hence, a "staff" entry should be linkable to VNs AND characters.Last modified on 2013-09-16 at 15:14
|#4 by moogy|
2013-09-16 at 21:13
|< report >In terms of what staff to list, I think it's best to stick with:|
Let's be realistic - if you start listing everything that the actual staff rolls do then nobody is ever gonna fill in anything anyway, so better to just stick with what you can easily look up online or just remember off the top of your head. EGS lets you put notes for what exactly any given staffer covered, like noting that X writer did the routes for characters A and B next to their credit; I think this would be worthwhile to implement as well.
Translation staff could be pulled from VNTLS per-release if you really wanted to, but I don't think they're necessary to include, and certainly not on the VN page itself.
Also post #3 above me pointed out that seiyuu can indeed be otherwise involved in the production of a VN; it's an extreme fringe case, but I actually know an example off the top of my head (Shindou Mayumi was both the producer and a seiyuu in v1138), so it's worth taking into consideration. Though I suppose it's debatable whether you'd want to include producer as a staff role at all.
Oh, I guess another role worth taking into consideration is game design for VNs with gameplay elements; would feel a little unfair to, say, Keimaru at Ninetail not to include it, heh.Last modified on 2013-09-16 at 21:18
|#5 by silence|
2013-09-17 at 12:27
|< report >|
Years of idle complaints about the lack of a staff database and still hardly anyone has shown any initiative to help to create oneI'm working on it, actually (T_T). I mean, similar to how I did it for the walkthrough. I'm close to the finish, but I have to translate the description. However, this is only a database of the voice actors, their roles and songs. It doesn't cover all of the staff.
|#6 by silence|
2013-09-20 at 13:53
|< report >So, I offer my understanding of how the interface for seiyu might look like. I could miss something, or make it irrational, so feel free to express your criticism and suggestions.|
As an introduction, I would like to say that the Voice Actor's (hereinafter: VA) profile will be created through the user menu (as shown in the picture), and after that the VA will be attached to the character through character profile. I also tried to consider the possibility of attaching the characters to the VAs, but in the end I gave up on this idea for several reasons (see the paragraph 8 in the picture for details). And of course, I have to mention the fact that the information in this concept is partially fictional.
* Link from the paragraph 4 of the picture.
|#7 by moogy|
2013-09-21 at 12:19
|< report >That image is fairly confusing, so I can't actually be sure how you propose to group aliases, but regardless, I'm not sure you realize just quite how many aliases some eroge seiyuu use. link (Mizuhashi)|
Obviously you can't have separate pages for all of these so there needs to be some sort of grouping system implemented for aliases so you can list them separately on game pages but link them all back to the same page.
Also, voting on seiyuu is a really, really bad idea. We don't need images either. Most of that profile information is superfluous, honestly, and I don't know who would even want to take the time to fill in the bios of hundreds of seiyuu, many of whom have no information available in English.Last modified on 2013-09-21 at 12:21
|#8 by silence|
2013-09-21 at 13:36
|< report >|
I can't actually be sure how you propose to group aliasesSame way as in the character profile.
not sure you realize just quite how many aliases some eroge seiyuu useI don't see any other solution but to list them all. Otherwise, it will be difficult or impossible to find seiyu in the database using only their birth name.
Obviously you can't have separate pages for all of these so there needs to be some sort of grouping system implemented for aliases so you can list them separately on game pages but link them all back to the same page.I'm losing the thread of the discussion (>_<). Separate pages? What you're talking about? All the aliases will be listed in the seiyu's personal page. Its have a lot of space for that. And I don't understand, what relation do the "game pages" have to this stuff. Are you replied to my post or to the Yorhel's post?
Also, voting on seiyuu is a really, really bad idea.I can agree with that.
We don't need images eitherI can NOT agree with that.
I don't know who would even want to take the time to fill in the bios of hundreds of seiyuu, many of whom have no information available in English.I'm sure there are enough people who would gladly deal with it. Also, no one's forcing you to fill all the fields and write the bio, if you cannot find enough information or pictures. We have plenty of character profiles, in which many things are missing too.
|#9 by gerardlonewolf|
2013-09-21 at 13:52
|< report >|
We have plenty of character profiles, in which many things are missing too.
That is true. *look at Baldr Sky characters list*
|#10 by moogy|
2013-09-21 at 21:49
|< report >Oh, so I guess with your implementation, seiyuu wouldn't necessarily even be listed on the game page to begin with. Regardless, it's inaccurate to simply use one name per seiyuu for every character they're related to - you need to have the actual alias they used in the game that character appeared in linked to that character, with that alias in turned linked back to a master page for the seiyuu listing all of their aliases.|
|#11 by gundamace|
2013-09-21 at 22:24
|< report >#10|
Then why not refer to this site? It's got a pretty cohesive list of seiyuus, not to mention compiling them by their aliases and real name. The only downside is that it's entirely in Japanese, so those who don't know Japanese wouldn't be able to help contribute.Last modified on 2013-09-21 at 22:25
|#12 by silence|
2013-09-22 at 01:54
|< report >|
Oh, so I guess with your implementation, seiyuu wouldn't necessarily even be listed on the game page to begin withYes.
it's inaccurate to simply use one name per seiyuu for every character they're related to - you need to have the actual alias they used in the game that character appeared in linked to that character, with that alias in turned linked back to a master page for the seiyuu listing all of their aliases.Well, maybe you're right. While creating my concept, I didn't expect that it will be a database of all the staff. Your idea is reasonable, but I cannot imagine how it could be implemented. Perhaps, Yorhel will say something clever about it.
Then why not refer to this site?That was just a random example. I bring it just to show that there are the different types of songs, which have their own abbreviations, that we could borrow.
The only downside is that it's entirely in Japanese, so those who don't know Japanese wouldn't be able to help contribute.I think that our primary goal is to create the profiles at least with minimum info, what the most users can do. Besides, we can steal some stuff from anidb, eng-wiki or other resources.
|#13 by ds1150|
2013-09-22 at 08:22
|< report >Regarding the staff database itself: I agree with the suggestions to not include the programming role. I don't think I ever remembered a game because of the person who did the programming. While that happened for the other roles mentioned.|
@silence: That's quite the comprehensive draft, thanks :).
if I may:
I agree with a seiyuu having their own page, image and bio info. Especially the aliases are important as Moogy mentioned. I believe the alias which they used for that character should be listed on that character's profile rather than their "Name". Things could get really confusing if it didn't.
We're not voting for characters either and I don't like the idea of seiyuu voting.
Minor detail: Why not move the edit and history tabs to the right? Just like everywhere else.
3: Yes, allowing people to hide seiyuu images is a far better solution than a NSFH checkbox :). I don't think it's necessary at all though.
4: I for one am not someone to fill in songs at all (or even know about it) but I assume this'll only be songs that are used in VNs? (or related CDs at least)
7, 8: I suggest to leave character type out while editing. Also, what's the idea of all/others?
|#14 by tiglath|
2013-09-22 at 10:19
|< report >I have a suggestion. How about adding "years active" field for a voice actresses/actors? It's a matter of finding the first VN they voiced and the last one if they have retired. So it would be, for example: "Years active: 2003-present" or "2001-2008" and so on.|
|#15 by silence|
2013-09-22 at 12:21
|< report >|
thanks :)You're welcome ^_^
I believe the alias which they used for that character should be listed on that character's profile rather than their "Name"Ok. Then, how about to make the aliases searchable? I mean, when you typing seiyu's name (paragraph 8), it should also list their aliases, so we can choose the right one.
Minor detail: Why not move the edit and history tabs to the right? Just like everywhere else.On the contrary, I suggested to separate them in different directions, according to their functionality. For all the VNDB pages. And I mentioned it in paragraph 1. But none of you read the description, right? :D
In the future, there may still be added a Walkthrough tab and/or something else. And then it will turn into mess. Well, if you don't like the idea, I wont insist.
I assume this'll only be songs that are used in VNs? (or related CDs at least)Of course. We wont create the personal discographies of every performer, as they're not related to the VNs.
I suggest to leave character type out while editingDo you propose to borrow the character type from the character database or do you wanna skip it completely? I believe, it should be here, because I think you wont be interested in other VA's roles, if they are minor.
Also, what's the idea of all/others?Dude, I can not write about it again (T_T) My English is not good enough to explain it in a different way. I just wanted to say, that we'd better avoid using them as much as we can because of some cross-collisions xD
I have a suggestion. How about adding "years active" field for a voice actresses/actors? It's a matter of finding the first VN they voiced and the last one if they have retired. So it would be, for example: "Years active: 2003-present" or "2001-2008" and so on.o_O
Maybe, maybe...Last modified on 2013-09-22 at 12:23
|#16 by space-ranger|
2013-09-22 at 16:52
|< report >|
While programming skills really is in short supply, I do think there is more to it than that. The thing is people who becomes good programmers and do open source programming for free tend to have certain personalities and interests. I don't think VNs are high on such a list and a list of staff for VNs is likely close to non-existing. I don't think there is anything at all we can do to change that. This is not a VNDB only problem. Based on my experience the programmers who wants to work for free tend to work on something related to linux meaning most of the programming power goes into code, which is attractive to linux users.
Years of idle complaints about the lack of a staff database and still hardly anyone has shown any initiative to help to create one. Awesome.I'd put this down to a major web-programming skill-shortage, but I'm not sure.
As for ideas on how this feature should work... well I can't say I care much. I don't think I will use it personally. The only comment I can give is to make it as automatic as possible. Say we add a "voiced by" field to characters. The staff page can on this info alone generate this info:
-involved in 18+ rated titles
-voiced characters with H-scenes themselves
Possibly even more data like this if you think hard enough.
The better the database is at combining info like that, the more likely it is to reveal info that nobody will bother to type in (possibly even be aware of), which is one of the things I really like about this database system. Don't think of the database as a book, think of it like a data organizer, which helps you locate and combine information.
|#17 by chipp12|
2013-09-24 at 17:21
|< report >@4|
In terms of what staff to list, I think it's best to stick with:How about a Director (監督/ディレクター)?Last modified on 2013-09-24 at 18:15
|#18 by myopius|
2013-12-03 at 11:50
|< report >I don't see any post saying that there is no use for more opinions, so I'm going to respond to yorhel's draft questions here.|
(begin Q/A response)
QS1. #4 has a fairly optimal solution: "EGS lets you put notes for what exactly any given staffer covered, like noting that X writer did the routes for characters A and B next to their credit; I think this would be worthwhile to implement as well."
It seems odd to try to link staff to entire releases; if a staff is linked to one release but not another, it usually deserves more of an explanation anyway. And it should be far from common. In the case of multiple staff members with the same role, this "note" system would let us note down whatever useful info we have about what songs were composed (or characters were designed, or routes written, etc.) by which person. But let me say in advance that there should be a way to spoiler-protect parts of this info (for example, sometimes the fact that a character has a route is a spoiler).
QS2. I would say "no" to including translation staff, for several reasons. One, it's often not too difficult for anyone to find on VNTLS or by Googling even if you don't speak Japanese. Two, aside from the translator, who worked on a TL project has only a vague or insignificant artistic impact on the product (besides making it worse, but that's more of a group issue). Three, I realize this is my subjective opinion, but I think you'd have an explosion of pointless ego if you gave dozens of the most well-known people in this community their own VNDB entries.
QS3. Mostly what #17 (and by extension #4) said. Taking a look at EGS and adapting and organizing appropriately...
- General: Original concept; maybe planning and direction too (企画 and ディレクター)
- Music: Composer (be sure to list BGM, OP, ED, OP II, insert song, etc., for each of those that applies to a particular composer, and name all songs while you're at it!), Singer (be sure to list any specific songs)
- Writing: Lead scenario writer, Scenario writer
- Artist/illustrator/graphic artist: I don't know if there's a need to divide them into types. Lead and non-lead? (EGS uses the words 'main' and 'sub' frequently to indicate some kind of hierarchy or relative influence). There doesn't seem to be much detail in the one particular EGS entry I'm looking at, but some VNs like Steins;Gate would certainly name the character designer, another type of artist.
- No programmers, testers, etc. because they don't directly impact the artist product. (I'm not sure if VNDB should even bother to add a producer... though I suppose it wouldn't hurt.)
I said "maybe" for planning and direction, but I actually do find those significant. For example, when I look at Nakazawa's works, I often think that which ones were good and which ones were forgettable depended on how many different creative responsibilities he took on. Deciding which roles should be included seems like one of the most subjective problems involved in designing this staff database, but I think that having a precedent in EGS helps out a lot (and could serve as a default of sorts).
QG1. Yeah, the original websites, and info in the game itself sound reliable. Does Getchu receive info from the original companies directly? If so, that would also be reliable. Realistically, people will just go to EGS...
QG2. I think they should be mostly translatable. I admit to not having great Japanese and thus not being clear on the exact meaning of things like 原画 (which #4's moogy left untranslated).
QG3. I think this is covered by my answer to QS3.
QI1. VN staff. My answer to QS1 is all about explaining why.
QI2. Option 2 is certainly ideal, so it's too bad that it "comes with a high implementation and management overhead". Well then, why not pick option 1 (a fixed list) and just try to be as inclusive as possible? Would there be some way to pick option 3 (a free text box) and have the VNDB website not actually allow free input (i.e. client-side verification), and just have constraints somewhere to prevent people from submitting a form maliciously? I don't have any strong opinion. By the way, I don't understand the relevance of QI3 ("3 seems better, but see QI3").
On a side note, the word 'role' seems kind of ambiguous.
QI3. I don't really have an opinion on this or understand why it matters. As I mentioned earlier, EGS uses the words 'main' and 'subs' to indicate relative importance between staff doing the same sort of job, but that probably doesn't answer the larger question. Why not just do it like EGS? You (yorhel) asked for a raw example, but have you not seen what EGS looks like? If so, click here: link Or maybe you were asking for a mock-up.
(end Q/A response)
I'd lean against including personal info of staff like pictures or birthdays. Since people in the eroge industry aren't as public as those in the anime industry, I assume you'd have a lot of trouble finding that info anyway. Links to websites and Twitter accounts would be a major plus though. And ratings aren't worth the drama; I'd sooner look in the VNDB discussion board associated with the staff and see what people are saying to decide if I might like their work.
I'll summarize what I think a staff entry could look like, based on what I've been thinking and in accordance with the answers I've given.
Staff's Japanese name / Romaji
Aliases (this doesn't really seem normal, but I imagine it happens often enough)
Associated developers: [list of developers, autogenerated from the below info, ordered by frequency]
Website, Twitter, Pixiv, Blog
Description (Use this to mention where they are currently employed and what their future plans are, along with any other works like light novel or anime that they may have been involved in. If preferred, separate the description into multiple sections based on what you think VNDB people would like to know.)
Then a row for each VN they've worked on:
- Date (month, day, year) of first complete release of the visual novel (yes, I'm aware there's a problem with this if they weren't involved in production of the original release; one possible fix would be to mimic VNDB's character DB, and /optionally/ allow release associations, in which case this date would default to the release date for that)
- Visual novel name (with link, naturally)
- List of responsibilities i.e. "roles" (when editing a staff's entry, you'd add each responsibility individually, and they'd be comma-separated here). For example: "Lead scenario writer, Original concept". Optionally, you could just have an individual row for each responsibility (e.g. two rows for one VN because the person had two jobs); that might make it easier to sort alphabetically on VNDB's website?
- Notes about what they did (for a singer of an OP, type up the song they wrote; for a scenario writer, type up what routes they did, etc.; the more the better)
I just took another look at the draft, and it seems that what I just typed up is extremely similar to what is already there.
|#19 by wakaranai|
2014-12-10 at 05:27
|< report >this site tries to maintain translation of its interface, and it brings up an issue regarding QG2 (role naming), that is, should they be translated to languages other than english?|
in case of hard-coded role names they could easily be localized within "lang.txt" along all other content. i, personally, more inclined to implementation that stores credit types within DB (either as a table maintained by mods or a "free" field). how translation should be implemented then? or just leave it english-only, like most of the other DB contents?
i was just thinking about database schema while playing around with sources and thought this issue should be cleared up before actual DB design decisions are made.
|#20 by yorhel|
2014-12-10 at 12:58
|< report >To be honest, I don't really care that much about the translations. There's been "plans" to make database contents, especially tags/traits and such, translatable, but I'm unsure if the additional complexity is worth it. Not to mention the maintenance burden of translators and tag admins.|
So, erm, just ignore the translatability considerations for now. It's not that important.
As for all the other feedback, I'm slightly surprised that in most cases the simple solutions are preferred. But that's good. :-) I still have to go over all of the individual feedback some time and fix up the draft.
|#21 by wakaranai|
2014-12-13 at 13:17
|< report >what do you think of this database schema: link|
unlike for characters and vn, all names here are stored in separate table 'staff_alias' and true (or primary) name is referenced from 'staff_rev.aid'. 'vn_staff' stores credits as vn<->staff_alias releations (created/updated by VN edits) and 'chars_seiyuu' stores character cast (created/updated by character edits). 'credit_type' table stores available staff roles and probably only mods should have access to it. there would be default entry 'Staff' in it and most minor staff should be just linked to it along with explanatory note for clarification.
|#22 by yorhel|
2014-12-14 at 09:31
|< report >I think you're getting too ahead for now, let's first agree on some draft. :)|
Updated draft: link
Things I've changed:
- Based on #2, #3, #4 (and others), only stick to a few important roles, don't try to list everything. This simplifies the answer to QI2 and QI3: I'm in favour or a simple hardcoded list of roles now. It's simple and does the trick.
- One person can have multiple roles, I suspect it's better to have a list of roles in the VN<->staff link than to have multiple VN<->staff links for the same person. This is also easy to implement if the list of roles is hardcoded.
- Looks like we have mixed ideas on what info about staff to include. Personally, I don't think we need to be very comprehensive here. I've listed a few fields in the draft that are okay with everyone, but more fields like an image, birthday, and native language are fine with me too.
Some thoughts regarding your schema: Looks good for the most part. I like the handling of aliases, but I'm not a huge fan of the handling of credit_types, as I mentioned above. Even if mods can change the list of roles, there's only really one operation they can perform without significant complexity: Add roles. Removing/merging roles is going to require a lot of editing of existing staff links. Hence my proposal for a fixed list of roles. Changes made to a fixed list necessitates database update queries, so conversions of existing links are then automated.
Also, you might be underestimating the work necessary to implement the necessary browsing/editing interfaces. For your own sanity, defer the seiyuu part for when the staff part is online. I'm also not sure if the VN id is necessary in that link, it's somewhat in the same situation as with releases for VN<->staff links. A note could serve the special cases just as well.
|#23 by dk382⭐|
2014-12-14 at 10:12
|< report >I figure I'll lend my thoughts to the questions that are still ambiguous. I agree with the ones you give clear-cut answers to.|
QS3: Definitely stick to the important roles. Of the two question marks, I'd say that that composers definitely fit, but singers/performers do not. This makes the major roles writer, character artist, background art (CG art is often a collaboration), composers, and also I think project leads should be included (is that what you meant by Scenario?). For background art, there will probably be a lot of games with missing info on that, since most VN companies tend to outsource it. It may not even be important enough to include, I'm not sure. Perhaps you could have one artist role and we'll use notes to denote a specific kind of art if it's applicable.
QI3: I still think ordering is at least somewhat important even if there won't be many roles per game. My reasoning is pretty flimsy, it would just feel weird to not see project leads and writers at the top of the list.
|#24 by wakaranai|
2014-12-14 at 10:56
|< report >|
For your own sanity, defer the seiyuu part for when the staff part is online.it's because i personally more interested in seiyuu staff ^_^
I'm also not sure if the VN id is necessary in that linkcharacter could have no voice in one VN and voiced in other (sequel/side story). in this case without a VN id seiyuu would be listed among the cast even if he/she haven't actually participated in this particular VN. or the same character could be voiced by different actors in different VNs (although separate character instances could help in such case).
@dk382 with fixed list each role would be simply assigned a number, like 1-writer, 2-art, ..., and then staff could be simply sorted according to it when database query is processed.
|#25 by wakaranai|
2014-12-15 at 17:04
|< report >i have another small proposal, there should be "virtual" entries like on anidb -- when nothing is known about person, the only entry in the database would be his/her 'alias'. actually, i think majority of the staff would be listed that way given that not much information on eroge authors is publicly available. if names are stored in a separate table that could be implemented naturally by assigning NULL staff-ids to 'virtual' entries. then, such entry could be converted to 'real' one by providing missing info.|