VNDB 2.24: Staffing The Database

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#326 by kumiko1
2022-04-05 at 05:04
< report >At the very least can you add the #294 roles now, I don't think anyone would object to adding these important, commonly used roles, and we can always add more later if necessary.

This problem is likely to get amplified when adding minor roles, but handling release-specific staff well will require a major restructuring of the database and that's not happening anytime soon. :-(

I assume this is what's stopping you adding translators as well, but is it really so hard? You already have characters tied to specific releases in a pretty decent way, adding staff to specific releases in the same way seems to be no problem in my opinion. By default a staff is added to all releases (like characters), and you have a dropdown to pick specific releases if appropriate. And then you just put the specific release in brackets after the name.
Rather than just leaving this topic untouched for another few years I feel the database would be in much better shape if you added this feature, even if it's not perfect, and worked on refining it as you go. As you've seen you'll get much better feedback once you start implementing it.Last modified on 2022-04-05 at 05:05
#327 by Yorhel
2022-04-05 at 08:37
< report >
I assume this is what's stopping you adding translators as well
Indeed, and the recent acvity in this thread did get me thinking about the problem again.

The characters-linked-to-releases feature has given me great feedback that using that for staff is going to be garbage. Selecting the correct releases (out of many) is a huge pain, there's no clear way to display to which versions of the VN the relation applies (you get a list of release names... great) and people keep forgetting to update the relations as releases are added/removed.

My original idea for a solution was to add "editions" as a separate entry type (t13027.20). That would solve both the character linking and localization staff, but so far I haven't been able to think of a way to implement this in a way that it's not a huge complexity burden on everyone.

So I'm back to two possible solutions, both of which suck balls but they're an improvement on the status quo:

1. Stick with the current approach of abusing the notes field to indicate which edition(s) the staff was involved in, but just add "[language] Translator", "[language] Editor", etc roles so we can still separate out sections for localization roles. Downside: if there's multiple localizations, these will get mixed up in a single section, which will get ugly when there's both an official and a fan translation for a VN.

2. Add a light-weight form of "editions" that pretty much boils down to letting users explicitely group the staff listing into separate sections; so you can for example create sections "Original game", "PS2 port", "English PS2 localization" etc and put staff under that. Downside: no way add search filters for language-specific roles and I'm not sure yet how displaying these roles on the staff pages is going to work out.
#328 by miyanoshiho
2022-04-05 at 09:33
< report >not sure if this is a good idea or not, but i would go with a modified version of solution 1(?).

basically there would be localization sections which can be added one per language, with appropriate role sections added for it.
i guess like you said this could get messy for a section if multiple translations exist for the same language but i guess notes would have to be used in that case.

i assume there would be a tab system to change from the regular staff list to the respective language localization tabs. (similar to the one up the top which goes v#, relations, releases, etc. except at the top of the current staff section instead)

in settings you could choose which languages you would like to see localization staff for (i assume most people would just select english) which would mean that it doesn't get cluttered.
tabs would only appear on a vn page if you had selected to see that language in profile settings (i guess not logged in people would see all tabs by default)

in any case as long as localization staff doesnt get cluttered up with the original game staff then i wont complain. i see the advantage of that information being added for people reading the localized version, but since i personally dont read the translated version, i dont actually care (or want to see) the localization staff so keeping them seperate/giving an option to hide them is preferable for me
#329 by kumiko1
2022-04-05 at 14:09
< report >Honestly I'm fine with either option, anything is better than the status quo and I think it's better to try adding something and then refine on it

1 - seems good, I don't think VNs having multiple translations is that common, and having a simple note "fan TL", "official Steam TL" etc seems like it would be pretty self-explanatory, I don't think this is a major downside

2 - also good and has the upside of also being useful for staff who only worked on console releases etc. For keeping language-specific roles you could divide sections into language-specific like "Steam release (English)", "Steam release (Chinese)", or you could add languages in the staff-edition relation as well (Translator (Chinese) on the Steam release), or people can just use notes and search based on the language on the Staff page or something
#330 by Ezezin
2022-04-05 at 16:27
< report >
I don't think VNs having multiple translations is that common
Gyakuten Saiban
Dangan Ronpa Kibou no Gakuen to Zetsubou no Koukousei
Mugen Yasoukyoku
Rance - Hikari o Motomete -
Saya no Uta
Doki Doki Literature Club!

I guess you get the idea.
#331 by beliar
2022-04-05 at 16:41
< report >Actually, I don't think some of your examples count.
Mugen Yasoukyoku: The retranslation hasn't manifested and is probably dead.
Saya no Uta: The same translation with minor edits in all releases.
STEINS;GATE: The same translation with minor edits in all releases.

Why didn't you mention two of the most infamous VNs: CROSS†CHANNEL and Muv-Luv Alternative :-P
#332 by 4digitmen
2022-04-05 at 21:15
< report >I was thinking using some kind of dropdown arrow beside each language in a specific release, clicking on the dropdown arrow would show the translators.

Language V English
Translator: XXXXX
Editor: XXXXXX
>Chinese (simplified)
>Chinese (traditional)

This solves every issue except I don't know how this would work for staff pages and the like. I want to say it's as simple as "make their name hyperlink to their staff page" but obviously I know literally nothing about coding.

Patches to existing English releases (like Committee of Zero patches) will not credit the original staff, or else that would be a mess and might cause some problems.

(Also not sure if this isn't already one of the proposed solutions because frankly I didn't really understand what they meant)


Just to bolster the point:

ROBOTICS;NOTES (CoZ patch is practically a retranslation)
Fate/stay night
Umineko no Naku Koro ni (Umipro is extremely different, can easily be considered a different translation)
Rewrite (different releases but it counts)
Mahoutsukai no Yoru (not out yet)
Tsukihime -A piece of blue glass moon- (not out yet)
Utawarerumono (different releases)
Sharin no Kuni, Himawari no Shoujo (not out yet, but will it ever be)
Kono Yo no Hate de Koi o Utau Shoujo YU-NO
Togainu no Chi
DRAMAtical Murder
sweet pool
Sengoku Rance
Maji de Watashi ni Koishinasai!!

Yeah, there's a couple. I know more than these, there's a lot of retranslation patches too (a certain other MoeNovel game comes to mind).

Edit: The spacing in my example illustration there has clearly failed so that's cool. I hope you just understand what I'm talking about.Last modified on 2022-04-05 at 21:17
#333 by Ezezin
2022-04-05 at 21:22
< report >I hate muv-luv (more like their fans), the less it is mentioned, the better for me.

Saya no Uta I meant the Spanish translations.
STEINS;GATE and Russian translations.

The retranslation hasn't manifested and is probably dead.
Really? And I was patiently waiting for that release. :(
#334 by beliar
2022-04-05 at 21:31
< report >
Really? And I was patiently waiting for that release. :(
I mean, Nandemonai has been dragging this for close a decade. I have already written it off as vaporware at this point.
#335 by kumiko1
2022-04-06 at 04:43
< report >Cross Channel is probably a good example to think about since it has 3 different English translations, as well as multiple rereleases with staff unique to each one

So example 1 would look like

English Translator
Ixrec - 2009 Fan TL
George Henry Shaft - 2013 Fan TL
John Smith - Steam Release
John Doe - Steam Release

English Editor
Sheeta - 2009 Fan TL

while Example 2 would look like

Amaterasu Fan Release
Ixrec - Translator
Sheeta - Editor

George Henry Shaft Fan Release
George Henry Shaft - Translator

Steam Release
John Smith - Translator
John Doe - Translator

Looking at it this way I feel option 2 is slightly cleaner, but both seem fine to me
#336 by kumiko1
2022-04-13 at 02:58
< report >Since there don't seem to be any further objections, let me summarise the proposed changes

Added staff: Planning, Graphics, Producer, Background Artist, Translator, Editor
Other staff can stay in the generic Staff role for now.

Added staff "sections" for sorting staff who only worked on a specific edition.
Make it possible to select a language for a section and separate out languages - it's slightly inelegant for multilanguage releases but I think the most common usecase is users wanting to see who worked on the TL in the language they read the VN in, so this makes the most sense.
You may also want an "unofficial" option for editions to distinguish them, similar to unofficial publishers.

In terms of editing you have an "add Section" button in the Staff tab that adds a new section, and you can then add staff to each section instead of just the generic staff list.
For the UI all sections appear underneath the current main staff (so when there are a lot of staff, they only appear if you click the More button), and you have a separate text styling to go Name - Role - Note instead of just the current Name - Note for each line.
Language-specific sections also get a flag next to them too.

Yorhel, do you have any other issues with the proposal?
#337 by Ezezin
2022-04-13 at 08:15
< report >About adding staff roles, there were multiple proposals (#294, #296, #311, #313 and now yours).

I say discuss the model first. Once we a certain that the new model works, then we could start discussing new staff roles.
So I propose to only add Translator and Editor (possibly QA too) for now (all related to translators); Yorhel can add the rest once everything is tested and free of bugs.Last modified on 2022-04-13 at 19:47
#338 by Ileca
2022-04-13 at 08:17
< report >Uh, this is not my proposal. Mine is t6138.325.
#339 by Ezezin
2022-04-13 at 08:42
< report >And don't forget about not listing Patreons/Kickstarter backers.Last modified on 2022-04-13 at 08:44
#340 by Yorhel
2022-05-19 at 14:06
< report >Given that I suck balls at UI design, I'm going to crowdsource some ideas for displaying the staff. Current design has some problems: it's ugly, wastes space and long notes get hidden. Anyone feeling up for drafting something better?
(inb4 "copy EGS", yeah but that table layout will waste even more space if there's only one staff entry per role. Perhaps multicolumn that if there's enough horizontal space? but these things are tricky to get right and I have very limited patience with HTML/CSS...)
#341 by Ezezin
2022-05-19 at 22:17
< report >Just trowing some ideas for the long notes problem:

Maybe show the notes in several lines (like tags and traits names)? For example:
Name | This is a long staff
note for testing purposes.

Or maybe put the notes below the staff name? Instead of
Name | This is a long staff...
It will appear as
This is a long staff note for...
It will still hide part of the notes, but not as much as before.

Or both? For example
This is a long staff note for
testing purposes.
#342 by caffeinecrisis
2022-05-20 at 11:44
< report >From some brief research this might be a job better suited to flex grid, but I took a stab at it using flexbox and pulling in the CSS that VNDB uses to avoid changing too much.

Prototype: link
Image: link
Image without dashed lines: link

Dashed lines are just to help show the actual size of things, and shouldn't be considered part of the design.

Thoughts here are that it makes sense to me to add the "hover for details" text for anything longer than X number of characters (whatever makes sense). This could either be added after a certain cut off point IMO, or just replaces whatever the "too long" note is entirely. I do like the last suggestion in #341 though.

Alternatively, the hover for details link could be used and the title pop up could be styled to look nicer? But I suspect that would be more of an undertaking than may be practical.

I think inevitably there is going to be SOME kind of weird spacing issue, and with how I prototyped this the tidy grid layout definitely gets lost to a degree, but I think that's worth doing in favor of better utilizing the available space. I ran out of time to mess with this but I think there's SOME kind of way to bump any huge lists of a staff type (such as my QA examples) to a new line.

Anyway, these were just some quick thoughts that were faster for me to code than to mock up in Photoshop lol.
#343 by Lotuscale
2022-05-20 at 12:18
< report >that seems neat! but from my personal taste it would be better to separate those credits, because I believe many people only care one of them. like linkLast modified on 2022-05-21 at 01:44
#344 by caffeinecrisis
2022-05-20 at 14:05
< report >#343 I like this suggestion! Though there might then be a question of what languages get precedence if there's multiple, or if they're ordered by WHEN the localization happens?

Regardless though I think the dividing lines look nice... Regardless of how the layout is handled, I'm in favor of the lines between sections.
#345 by Ezezin
2022-05-20 at 15:09
< report >
Regardless of how the layout is handled, I'm in favor of the lines between sections.
I agree and I like this idea too.

Regarding with showing all credits, some visual novels have several translations made by different groups in several languages. It could get messy just like the release section in some entries. Instead of showing some staff for all releases, give priority to the original language and hide the rest by default (something like titles do).
I believe many people only cares one of them.
what languages get precedence if there's multiple [ones]
Then, make an option in user profiles to automatically show the languages they want to see. Something like titles where you can set the language priority (edit: except that the original language will always be the first one). By default, just use the same order as the titles, order by release date, language code or simply by alphabetic order. It won't matter that much if users can choose which language they want to see.

Edit: Yes, for this to work, we have to choose the language for each section. So a suggestion on how the edit form could work is allowing us to choose the language and name for every section and set them as official/unofficial. We should be able to create several sections for any given language (you know, consoles releases, ports, more than one translation, etc.).
The exception would be the first staff section: Language will always be the same as the original language of the visual novel, and the name will always be "first release", "official release", "original release" (or something like that) if there is more than one section; otherwise, just hide it since it won't be necessary if its the only one present.Last modified on 2022-05-23 at 13:24
#346 by kumiko1
2022-05-21 at 05:40
< report >#340 looking good!

I think it's pretty decent already, if it was me I would remove the "Original edition" subheading - especially for VNs without other editions, but in general it should be clear the staff at the top take priority. And I think having other editions being multicolumn if there's enough space is a good idea too, for most use cases I believe most translations will only have a few staff on them.

For long notes getting hidden, in general I think people shouldn't be writing essays in the note sections anyway, but looking at say Subarashiki Hibi ~Furenzoku Sonzai~ the song titles are worth having if possible - we already have hover for details, I guess you could make double clicking on the note make the full note appear with word wrap? Making a note this long appear in full by default seems like it would take up a lot of space, I think the current setup is fine.
#347 by Yorhel
2022-05-23 at 09:26
< report >\o/ good feedback.

Thoughts here are that it makes sense to me to add the "hover for details" text for anything longer than X number of characters (whatever makes sense).
Yeah, like we have now. It doesn't work on mobile though, so we'll need a proper "expand details" option. :(

Yes, for this to work, it means we have to choose the language for each section. So a suggestion on how the edit form could work is allowing us to choose the language and name for every section and set them as official/unofficial.
So each edition consists of a name, language and official flag. Should there also be an explicit ordering of the editions or is automatic order of original first -> official first -> order by language sufficient?

I had already coded a simple hack that would only store the edition name, but with these additions we're getting closer to a full "editions" proposal. :( Meh, should still be doable.

Then, make an option in user profiles to automatically show the languages they want to see.
I really, really, really want to avoid adding even more UI options. Perhaps tie it to the already existing visibility settings of release languages? (these preferences are currently saved when you change them on the VN pages, but I think it'll make more sense to make them explicit profile settings instead). Even without settings, I'd like the staff section to provide a somewhat concise overview so that displaying the full staff of editions you're not interested in won't bloat the page too much. That's much better than providing settings that will only be used by 1% of all visitors.
#348 by Ezezin
2022-05-23 at 14:56
< report >
Should there also be an explicit ordering of the editions or is automatic order.
Personally, I think automatic order is enough: original first -> official with the same language as original -> official first -> order by language -> order by name (alphabetic order, just in case).
This way, if there is any console or similar versions, those sections would be right under the original release.
By explicit ordering you mean selecting the order in the edit form?

I really want to avoid adding even more UI options.
Then something like #343 suggested? A button to hide staff sections, but instead of showing some staff like in that suggestion, hide/show them completely and save it as a 🍪.

This reminded me: should we credit the people who made an official or unofficial MTL? If yes, we might need a MTL checkbox in the edit form. Nevermind, on second thought this could be done by writing MTL in the name. It's not like users are going to add that many staff for MTL releases anyway.Last modified on 2022-05-25 at 13:30
#349 by Yorhel
2022-06-04 at 09:38
< report >Experimenting with releases-like expandable subsections. I've implemented the language and official flags now, too, so I could add display preferences for which editions to show by default. Default would only have original-language editions expanded, I guess.

That looks alright when the staff listing and notes aren't too long, but it doesn't combine well with the "more"/"less" expanding we have right now. Per-edition expanding as proposed in #343 means there are now 3 expansion states per section: fully hidden, truncated or fully shown. That'll either require more clicks to see everything or Javascript tricks (or both), neither of which sounds attractive to me compared to just spending some extra vertical space on the staff listing.

I've been sticking with the current HTML/CSS layout for the actual listings so far. The proposal in #342 looks cool but I'm not sure how to make that work without enforcing a max-height on each section, which will look weird on narrow resolutions. :(
#350 by NaioHoras
2022-06-04 at 13:08
< report >I have no complain for the UI, I guess. although I have some questions regarding the system and future guidelines:

- what would happen if the same staff performed two roles in two editions, but recognized as same role category by VNDB current scheme? for example, let's say Kanako Ito have the same role as OP vocal in two editions, but performed two different songs in each ones. meaning that Kanato ito would be listed as Vocal staff for each edition. but currently, it's not possible to add staff dupe of the same category. so I wonder, will the staff be duplicable unlike the current scheme? if we will allow dupes, then I'm guessing that we don't need to re-add the staff from the original ed if they have the same role as the original.

- will you add more staff role category? if yes, then what roles would them be? I've seen proposals of what staff category should be added to the db, but what we still don't have any confirmation from you.

- there are VN translations which are done by the original developer themselves. so in this case, should we create a new subsection for the translation staff or just jam them in along with the original language staff?Last modified on 2022-06-04 at 13:12