Poorly made screens vs. carefully chosen screens

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#1 by eiesoldar
2015-01-10 at 00:44
< report >I suppose you know screens for a large number of VNs (especially old ones) are poorly made in first 1-2-3 minutes of gameplay. There can be guys trying to upload better ones... but their efforts get reverted just because "no need to replace existing screens". So poorly made snaps of title screen and backgrounds become better than snaps of guys fully completed the game.

I ask just because I mostly (in 95% of cases) upload screens of the games I fully or almost fully complete, then I carefully choose the best ones to upload. VN I play/read now has feebly made screens on VNDB and I want to upload new, much better ones but I don't want my edit to be reverted, that's why I ask first. Brighter and better screens can make people interested in a completely obscure untranslated VN (I usually upload snaps for this kind of novels), so I have a point. Well...?Last modified on 2015-01-10 at 01:01
#2 by warfoki
2015-01-10 at 01:16
< report >Although I have no authority on this, as one of the people who does exactly what you've described problematic (snapping random screens form early in a game), I thought it'd be appropriate to answer. Tons of VNs don't have any tags, screenshots or description up, so it's hard to decide for the potential viewer whether they'd be interesting or not. I can't help much with descriptions and tagging, since I can't read Japanese, so I upload screenshots when I can. Usually I try to make screenshots with different characters, different background, a non-H CGs (if there's any), H CGs and gameplay (if there's any). I'm sure someone actually playing through these VNs could do better, but since no one had bothered before my upload, well it's better than nothing.

As for the reverts, I think the point there is that "better" is a very subjective term. So the reverts are supposed to prevent people editing out each other constantly to add "better" screenshots. If the screenshots are broken in some way (way too many textless CGs; same sprites in front of same background over and over, etc.), then sure, go right ahead, I sincerely doubt, that your edit is going to be reverted.

However if the screenshots already show the various aspects of the VN, showcase the art style (or styles) and somewhat representative of the content, then there's no need to change it. VNDB isn't here to market VNs. It's not our task to cherrypick the best that a VN has to offer and show it in the screenshots, that the publishers job. Not ours. We are listing VNs, not advertising or selling them.Last modified on 2015-01-10 at 01:46
#3 by anonymous
2015-01-10 at 01:20
< report >Like warfoki, I have no authority over this, but I'd suggest just to make an argument in your edit reason for why the new screenshots are better. (More representative, better image quality, whatever.)
#4 by takata
2015-01-10 at 01:29
< report >@#1:
What VN did you want to edit the screenshots for?

I agree with warfoki that whether a new set of screenshots is "better" is often subjective. I'll also agree with minah that providing a good reason for your edit will reduce the chance of your edit being reverted.

I've replaced screenshots a few times, but I usually found something technically wrong with the existing ones (blurry, wrong resolution, borders, etc). However, I can agree with replacing screenshots with better ones, even if there's nothing outright wrong with the existing ones.Last modified on 2015-01-10 at 01:35
#5 by eiesoldar
2015-01-10 at 01:38
< report >@warfoki
So I hope you don't mind if I upload new screens instead of yours if I fully complete one of the games you already tested someday? Of course I understand you may not have enough time or japanese knowledge to play more.

"Better" is subjective, yes, and VNDB isn't a market, but I suppose many people agree with an opinion that good screens sometimes can provide more info than tags. Topics like "Can you recommend me a VN with **** or *****?" answered with "Search tags/ratings and don't ask anymore" appear frequently and adding more characteristic screens (for example, gory images for dark murder-themed VNs or images with group sex for nukiges) can surely help.
It's not our task to cherrypick the best that a VN has to offer and show it in the screenshots, that the publishers job
But VNDB is more accessible resource for non-japanese people, right? Many publishers' sites also block foreign IPs.
#6 by eiesoldar
2015-01-10 at 01:39
< report >@#4
Right now I'm talking about Utagoe, if you're interested.
#7 by loctar87
2015-01-10 at 01:45
< report >Using random screens from the beginning of the game also has the benefit of never giving away any spoilers. Even boring screens from the late game can be spoilers. If the story involves Girl A seemingly dying, but then not really being dead, a screenshot of some random H-scene with her saying "Ahhhhh!" becomes a major spoiler. Can't have sex with dead girls. Usually.Last modified on 2015-01-10 at 01:47
#8 by eiesoldar
2015-01-10 at 01:49
< report >#7
Yup, but:
1)spoilers are mostly noticed and neutralized (at least in modern/well-known VNs)
2)I personally upload screens for old obscure games. Without brighter screens no one will notice anything special in these games hidden among thousands of the same kind.Last modified on 2015-01-10 at 01:49
#9 by venomg3
2015-01-10 at 01:51
< report >@5
gory screenshots also run really close to spoiler as they spoil who might get injured / killed
while yes im sure a many use VNDB as there primary source for finding a new title(myself include), that doesn't make it VNDB's purpose

i see nothing wrong with any of those screenshots
as i like technical screenshots of menu's (and wish more people made menu screenshots), its one of those subjective things
as already pointed out,
brighter and better is subjective, as everyone has different monitor resolution's, settings , eye's & taste
adding screenshots that suite eye's / taste per person would just result in screenshots being constantly shuffled.

this leaves Screenshots essentially under a First come first served basis,
unless there's a issue, when the 10 spots are gone there usually gone.Last modified on 2015-01-10 at 01:52
#10 by eiesoldar
2015-01-10 at 01:54
< report >
Screenshots are essentially under a First come first served basis
That's the problem I'm talking about. If you upload screens for a game that doesn't have a single one yet, can you PLEASE put MORE effort into making screens? OR allow others to make better ones later.Last modified on 2015-01-10 at 02:05
#11 by venomg3
2015-01-10 at 02:07
< report >the FAQ has encouraged the exact opposite of what you want,

screenshots early in the beginning of the VN are preferred

as warfoki pointed out its not VNDB's purpose to pick the best screens to make a VN more appealing
screenshots are there to show the basic design choice's,
its up to the individual user to investigate the title more
#12 by warfoki
2015-01-10 at 02:10
< report >
So I hope you don't mind if I upload new screens instead of yours if I fully complete one of the games you already tested someday?

Of course I don't. I never revert anything aside of very obvious troll edits. But that doesn't mean that nobody else will either. As I've said, I don't have authority over this.

And frankly, I don't have the time since I've uploaded literally hundreds of screenshots, possibly over a thousand at this point, I don't know, I don't bother to keep count. I upload these for the betterment of VNDB, not because I care about the VNs I upload screenshots from.

@Venomg3: The reason for that is exactly to avoid spoilers. If the uploader is careful about that, it's not a problem. Check out FSN's screenshots for one, there are shots from the Heaven's Feel route, which is pretty late game.Last modified on 2015-01-10 at 02:15
#13 by eiesoldar
2015-01-10 at 02:19
< report >@#12

Ah, ok then. I understand your position and I know the more info for obscure games the better. I'll just substitute screens for some games if/when I play it.

And the second part of this sentence you didn't quote is
shots later in the game are fine as long as they don't reveal any major information about the plot.
So I make it right. You can make a screen with gore, for example, but it won't spoil the plot for ya.
#14 by venomg3
2015-01-10 at 02:20
< report >@warfoki
i think that's actually eiesoldar's basic point

Fate stay night was VN number 11 added to the DB
which allowed the time for late game screenshots to be added as VNDB was just getting started

but now the number of people using and adding to VNDB is much larger so the 10 screenshot limit is hit, long before any screenshots can be selected from later game content

(edited in)
i agree it can be done proper,
but when existing screenshots have to removed, your removing what someone else decided was acceptable
and the last thing anyone wants , is to see a fight in edits over screenshots with 2 or 3 people constantly changing the screenshots over and over.Last modified on 2015-01-10 at 02:39
#15 by takata
2015-01-10 at 03:00
< report >@#6 eiesoldar:
I don't see anything noticably bad about those screenshots. That said, I personally don't mind you removing any screenshots I put up if you think you can upload a better set. Unfortunately, not everyone thinks that way, so... just avoid an edit war, that's all. I try to leave a few slots if I'm uploading screenshots for a game I haven't finished or don't intend to finish, so that other people who get a better idea about what the VN is about can put their tilt on the VN entry.Last modified on 2015-01-10 at 03:06
#16 by silence
2015-01-10 at 03:54
< report >I agree with TS, because the good screens are attracting attention, while the boring ones are not. But we have to deal with edit wars then. Still, I think that a mod could at least take into account the reason like "I wanted these screens to show more VN colors". Especially, when it's obvious, that the old screens were hastily made.
#17 by dk382
2015-01-10 at 04:56
< report >I'm a new mod and have little authority, but I'll chip in my two cents: The purpose of screenshots is to show a healthy representation of what a game is. If you can come up with a convincing argument on why the current screenshots aren't actually representative of the game in question, then you should feel free to replace screenshots. Examples of this are maybe if the screenshots are only of a prologue in a VN where the rest of the story takes place in a very different setting with different characters (and that setting change isn't a spoiler). Or if someone uploaded ten non-gameplay screenshots of a VN with gameplay. Or for more technical reasons, like the screenshots are blurry, heavily artifacted, have messed up color balance, etc. Replacing screenshots to show off those elements or correct those errors would further our goal of properly cataloging all VNs.

However, if the existing screenshots already meet this goal, then additional changes for subjective reasons like them being of supposedly more interesting parts of the game are unnecessary. While such edits may make the VN look more appealing, they don't really further the site's goals. These "unnecessary" changes only lead to edit wars, lead to arguments on inconsequential matters (on the internet!? never!), and they waste the moderators' time by making them cross-reference the actual game if they have to settle debates. Now admittedly, none of those issues are actually all that major when this is done on a small scale, but if many people start replacing screenshots for many games, things could get real hectic, and it would be all for a mostly meaningless reason (we don't care about making a game look better to its audience). An example of an edit that would be unnecessary would be replacing screenshots with ones that show off minor or unimportant aspects of a game such as gore in a game where gore isn't a major theme. It would be a problem if a Black Cyc VN entry didn't show off some of the gore, but it's not a problem if some moege with some random gory scenes doesn't. Another example using your own example, group sex in a nukige isn't really important enough. We don't have to show every heroine or every possible type of sex scene. Tags can tell us what is and isn't in the game, and people can get an idea of what that's like using the existing screenshots. Replacing existing screenshots to show off a specific h-scene you may think is more interesting than others is the type of edit that would be rightfully reverted. *However* if a nukige was like 90% group sex and the screenshots only showed the few h-scenes without that, then an argument could be made for replacing screenshots.

I'm just curious, but what specifically about Utagoe's screenshots bothers you? They look fine to me. At a glance, they appear to show off an appropriate spread of backgrounds, characters, and game systems. Is there really something major in that game that can't be shown off with the remaining two screenshot slots?

tl;dr: I would have to assume that the policy of reverting unnecessary screenshot changes is simply to save the moderation team's time and effort so they don't have to resolve every conflict and spend time verifying everything on edits that don't actually benefit the site. As long as it's representative of the VN and not obviously flawed, it's first-come-first-serve, which avoids potential chaos while still serving the database's purposes just fine.Last modified on 2015-01-10 at 05:52
#18 by warfoki
2015-01-10 at 11:18
< report >Oh, that reminds me: aside of Yorhel and Eyeless we have four new database moderators that have authority over this since last November. See t5938. So Minah actually DO have authority here. Unless there were further changes since then.

(We really should have a list of mods and their authorities somewhere...)Last modified on 2015-01-10 at 11:20
#19 by gabezhul
2015-01-10 at 12:37
< report >Just for the record, in case people are curious:
The DB is set up so that each user profile has a set of "rights" that can be set or disabled independently. For example, the right to post on the boards, edit tags or edit the DB itself can all be toggled separately. Banning someone from the boards is essentially revoking their right to post, meaning they are still able to edit the DB or tags.

Moderation rights are just like that as well. There are four in total:

Yorhel is and always shall be our wise and benevolent dictat*cough* I mean, admin. He, of course, has full rights (naturally).

Eyeless, Immlff and Echomateria are full-mods, having all the rights except for Usermod. Immlff and Echo are inactive and presumed MIA.

Warfoki is the tag moderator, so he only has Tagmod rights.

Minah,Beliar,Dk382 and Nutellafan are database mods, so they only have DBmod rights.

Finally, my humble self have Boardmod and Usermod rights. The former is obviously for the forum moderation while the latter allows me to give or take rights, put people's votes on the ignore list and rename or delete accounts. Also, I am kind of a proxy tag-mod as well, due to Warfoki running most of his overhauls through me before they even get put up for discussion.

That's it folks, this is the VNDB crew. Huzzah.Last modified on 1970-01-01 at 00:00
#20 by eiesoldar
2015-01-10 at 15:26
< report >Speaking of edit wars: aside of titles everyone knows like FSN, where have you seen EW on VNDB in last year or two? I haven't, the only one I remember is Castle Fantasia, but it seems to happen in 2010 and I can't call CF obscure series. People would usually care about edit wars among well-known titles. If that ever happens among obscure ones, no one will give a fuck.

@#17 I was playing this Utagoe for last several days, completed routes for 2 out of 3 heroines and made 95 screenshots in Hypersnap this far. Mostly I make it for myself, but I also choose top 10 screens for VNDB. What bothers me? Screens were made in first two minutes of gameplay (or even one?) and show nothing interesting at all. It's nukige with a very small number of safe CGs where you "tutor" the future idol you choose from 3 girls. I suppose obscure titles should have less undescript screens allocating them among thousands and thousands of the same kind. As you can see, a few people care about these games, even uploaders themselves.

I'll also show a positive example: I completed M.E.M. ~Yogosareta Junketsu~ before Utagoe and made almost 200 screens, but I don't think changing screens out there is necessary despite having much better ones. It's because an uploader actually put some efforts into making screens and showed it's dark nukige with a wide spectre of fetishes. And yes, I remember many people here dislike nukiges.
#21 by wakaranai
2015-01-10 at 17:23
< report >
where have you seen EW on VNDB in last year or two
if you haven't seen any it doesn't mean there aren't any. they do happen sometimes. just for some examples:

link <- this one is from 2012 but yorhel's comment made me smile ^_^
#22 by eiesoldar
2015-01-10 at 18:19
< report >Well, the most intense wars happen with well-known titles, so you just proved me right. I don't touch these games at all 'cause there are many people willing to edit it again and again instead of guys like me. And since people play better known titles anyway, the necessity of making better screens is lower, imho.Last modified on 2015-01-10 at 18:19
#23 by Yirba
2015-01-10 at 19:35
< report >@19:
That's it folks, this is the VNDB crew. Huzzah.
I feel it'd be kinda helpful to include that information on d7 or something…
#24 by wakaranai
2015-01-10 at 21:00
< report >@22 i'm not exactly sure what are you trying to prove here. so if there was no edit wars over the old games yet you think it's fine if you provoke one by replacing some legit screenshots? i suggest you read a byproduct of one such war over the screenshots.
#25 by eiesoldar
2015-01-10 at 21:05
< report >@24
I already explained a lot. Want more?
And yes, you also gave a link on a war over the screens of another popular VN. Now read #22 again.