MobyGames approval process is a moving target

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MobyGames approval process is a moving target

Postby liqmat » 2018-1-03 @ 18:35

Have been scanning and capturing various items to submit to MobyGames. I find their volunteer approval people extremely inconsistent which, as far as I am concerned, means the whole MobyGames approval process has no standardized approval criteria. An example would be that I submitted numerous games and cover art with no issues at all and they all got approved rather swiftly. Then one title was sent back for using a description that the approver claims was longer used at MobyGames when in fact I had just received approval for numerous titles with the same descriptor. Or when I took screenshots of certain DOS titles of mine and enlarged them to 1024x768 because 640x480 is so tiny on modern screens you can barely see it. First couple of title screenshots I submitted at 1024x768 were approved no problem, but the latest title was completely rejected due to the approver saying that is not a native DOS resolution and is not accepted even though that is completely untrue since my other titles were accepted with the same resolution. Like I said, to not allow enlarged screenshots is idiocy since 640x480 is basically useless on large high resolution screens. So I finally have given up and have withdrawn my rarer titles that MobyGames does not have in their games database as their volunteer approvers make it a painful experience.

Anyone else who contributes to MobyGames run into this and find it frustrating that one approver has a completely different set of rules than the next?
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Re: MobyGames approval process is a moving target

Postby leileilol » 2018-1-03 @ 18:49

It's why I gave up submitting to the site in general. I feel they bias towards those with the tensofthousands points that submit in bulk, leading to things like loads of "enhanced" (read: always 320x240x32 with anti-aliasing) emulator screenshots for way too many Playstation games for example.

Hell the first thing I ever submitted to Mobygames in 2006 was a screenshot of ATF running in 1024x768, rejected for being "impossible in dos". Some things never change. It's like the VESA standard (and the other exotic XGA video cards) hadn't ever occured to some of the approvers with the power fantasy....
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Re: MobyGames approval process is a moving target

Postby liqmat » 2018-1-03 @ 19:02

I also sent off an email to MobyGames about the issue. Silence.
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Re: MobyGames approval process is a moving target

Postby clueless1 » 2018-1-03 @ 19:14

I've submitted a couple of reviews without problem. But they were pretty hardcore about a couple of hints. They require "proof" which sometimes get you into a chicken-egg scenario. They wouldn't accept my CTRL-F show framerate tip for Pacific Strike because I couldn't show documentation. Well, hitting CTRL-F and seeing the framerate is not proof enough? Finally, after scouring the webs, I found reference to it in a PC Gamer review of the game and that satisfied them.
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Re: MobyGames approval process is a moving target

Postby vvbee » 2018-1-03 @ 19:51

Submitting in the native resolution and letting their site handle upscaling dynamically for the viewer is probably better for consistency. Ironically, wanting to submit in one's favored upscaled resolution is the opposite of standardization.
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Re: MobyGames approval process is a moving target

Postby liqmat » 2018-1-03 @ 20:44

vvbee wrote:Submitting in the native resolution and letting their site handle upscaling dynamically for the viewer is probably better for consistency. Ironically, wanting to submit in one's favored upscaled resolution is the opposite of standardization.


They don't upscale as far as I can tell. The 320x200 DOS game screenshots on their site stay that small which looks like a freaking thumbnail on my screen. It's pathetic. You can't see any detail with something that small. Regardless, my point was that some of the volunteer approvers approve my upscaled screenshots and others do not. No consistency.

Anyway, I've vented. I move on. My short brush with MobyGames is over. I don't have time to do all the legwork for them, for free, and then they give me a hard time about my 300 DPI super clean scans/screen captures on titles they don't have in their database. No sweat off my back.

Update: Interesting. I strictly use Firefox and the 320x200 screenshots stay tiny. Chrome and IE upscale them to a larger size. Wonder what's going on with that. Will have to look into this further I suppose.
Last edited by liqmat on 2018-1-03 @ 20:56, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: MobyGames approval process is a moving target

Postby xjas » 2018-1-03 @ 20:55

I would have rejected your screenshots too, don't take that so hard. I'd much rather see screenshots in their native res than some user's attempt to upscale them. I can resize them myself if I need to.

All kinds of things that could go wrong there, especially since 320/640->1024 is a dirty transformation & can't be evenly scaled. What resampling algorithm did you use? What color space? Etc.
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Re: MobyGames approval process is a moving target

Postby liqmat » 2018-1-03 @ 20:57

Actually I think this is a Firefox problem at my end. Still, approvers should all play by the same standards is my point. One approver approves my 1024x768 screenshots and one does not. One approver approves of my description on a media scan and another does not even though they are described exactly in the same way. That's a problem in my book. It makes it confusing to the person doing all the hard work and submitting it.
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Re: MobyGames approval process is a moving target

Postby konc » 2018-1-04 @ 07:11

Try submitting an obvious mistake/wrong info correction... Good luck with it.
Mobygames, although there's no better alternative, is becoming cumbersome and inconsistent.
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Re: MobyGames approval process is a moving target

Postby chinny22 » 2018-1-04 @ 13:32

I think you hit the problem in your first sentence "volunteer approval"
You get what you pay for, while there may be a set criteria, peoples interpretation will be anything but standard.
It even happens in Paying jobs, how often you call some helpline got poor performance, call back again and get someone really useful?
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Re: MobyGames approval process is a moving target

Postby BloodyCactus » 2018-1-04 @ 14:28

its funny. I was in on mobygames the day it opened. I got jack of the whole thing after a very short time in like late 2000. I sent Jim several huge boxes of software from australia, I later saw most of it show up on ebay (collector items with same serial numbers that I had donated...). dont think I've been back since like late 2000 or early 2001? I forget lol. Its been a while since I got a message saying someone replaced something I uploaded or whatever messages they used to send out.
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Re: MobyGames approval process is a moving target

Postby DosFreak » 2018-1-04 @ 15:01

Sounds like a good job for taking a human out of the equation except for the edge cases of course
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Re: MobyGames approval process is a moving target

Postby Silanda » 2018-1-04 @ 17:30

Sadly not unique to Mobygames. IMDB can suffer from similar problems in getting edits approved, and even Wikipedia has had issues with bias and unqualified reversions and deletions from prominent editors/admins.
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Re: MobyGames approval process is a moving target

Postby liqmat » 2018-1-04 @ 17:47

Here's an example of the scaling issue I feel they have. I submit two high resolution keyboard overlay scans for the DOS game Gunship 2000 and they are approved. After they got scaled, they are not even legible anymore. I understand they have to conserve space, but what's the point of archiving these items if researchers and historians can't even read the documents?

http://www.mobygames.com/game/gunship-2000/overlays

The original scans I submitted:

keyboardoverlayxtat.jpg

keyboardoverlayibm101.jpg
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Re: MobyGames approval process is a moving target

Postby liqmat » 2018-1-04 @ 18:07

xjas wrote:I would have rejected your screenshots too, don't take that so hard. I'd much rather see screenshots in their native res than some user's attempt to upscale them. I can resize them myself if I need to.

All kinds of things that could go wrong there, especially since 320/640->1024 is a dirty transformation & can't be evenly scaled. What resampling algorithm did you use? What color space? Etc.


Really? Let me give you an example.

I submitted the DOS game Bez Pegs which was not in their database which was fully approved and I upscaled my screenshots to 1024x768. Clear and easy to see.

http://www.mobygames.com/game/dos/bez-pegs/screenshots

I then got rejected for doing the same thing when I submitted screenshots for the DOS title TrianGO so I resubmitted the screenshots in their native resolution as requested. I think they look rather blurry and unclear especially the text on the title screen.

http://www.mobygames.com/game/dos/triango/screenshots
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Re: MobyGames approval process is a moving target

Postby leileilol » 2018-1-04 @ 18:39

Stretched up uneven jPEGs from a lower res source, wtf?

OK, no sympathy for this.
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Re: MobyGames approval process is a moving target

Postby liqmat » 2018-1-04 @ 19:36

leileilol wrote:Stretched up uneven jPEGs from a lower res source, wtf?

OK, no sympathy for this.


I think my keyboard overlay work looks fantastic. Took me an hour each to get those perfect. Had to splice together two scans for each of them. If you mean the screenshots I submitted, those are not stretched or uneven. Those are the correct aspect ratio and far better than many submissions on MobyGames. I personally think MobyGames recompressed screenshots look rough and the color is off due to the heavy compression.
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Re: MobyGames approval process is a moving target

Postby gdjacobs » 2018-1-05 @ 02:30

For items like the overlays that feature highly structured, sparse data, you're best served using a grey scale color space, applying quantization to the grey levels (16 discrete luminosity levels, perhaps), and encoding as PNG (or TIFF) data. DCT based encoding doesn't represent monochromatic spaces as efficiently as most lossless compression methods.
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Re: MobyGames approval process is a moving target

Postby liqmat » 2018-1-05 @ 03:40

gdjacobs wrote:For items like the overlays that feature highly structured, sparse data, you're best served using a grey scale color space, applying quantization to the grey levels (16 discrete luminosity levels, perhaps), and encoding as PNG (or TIFF) data. DCT based encoding doesn't represent monochromatic spaces as efficiently as most lossless compression methods.


MobyGames did convey to me they are apparently working on getting the overlay scaling problem corrected. I did try experimenting in greyscale, but did not like the results. I am completely happy with the overlay final results. They are very clear and most importantly very usable.
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Re: MobyGames approval process is a moving target

Postby gdjacobs » 2018-1-06 @ 02:28

Fair enough. I'd still experiment with using PNG from the initial scans as deflate (LZW, too) is much more efficient with sparse raster data compared with DCT based encoding. Greyscale and color quantization simply reduces the encoded image size even further.
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