|The format of the directory|
I've tried to create an all-encompassing format for the directory so that the most important information about every game is available presently and to allow easy searching and filtering by many categories.Title
About the categories:
Only thing that needs to be said here is that I included the version of a game in the title only when I considered it to be constructive. If some game was developed for long time and many versions of it were released, it's necessary to point out this information so that users can know which version they are downloading. Also, if I spotted in some game documentation words about upgrades in a possible future version, the version number of that game is included. If a demo features version/build number, this information is definitely included in the title. Version numbers in the titles are mostly intended for the developers of these games so they can warn me if a more current version of their game/demo exists.
If a same developer worked under more nicks/company names and alone, I will pick one name (mostly his real name) and put it under each of his/her games. I will usually include a real name and nick in the brackets if I know it. If a company name is more familiar to people than the name of a designer (by my assessment), I will include the company name. If a game was developed by a real company (a group of people), the company name will be definitely included.
I will always include the year of the last version of a game in this section, unless the last update is insignificant and/or not mentioned. The year of the final release is what I look for. Sometimes I have to assume the year of the release by the dates in the game files if no other information is available. So the data in this section is not to be considered 100% correct.
The games in the directory are divided into 7 categories. Action, RPG, platform, driving, adventure, puzzle and strategy. Platform and driving genre can fall into the action genre, but I'm using these two extra genres since they are distinctive enough and are useful for filtering.
Action: The name of the genre says it all. Any kind of game that involves quick fingers, reflexes and such.
RPG: Role playing game. A game where you control one or more characters who feature many characteristics that develop during the game. Also, RPG-like games fall into this category, unless some other genre in the game concept prevails.
Platform: A very specific group of action games which involves the game character jumping on platforms, killing and/or avoiding enemies/obstacles.
Driving: A very specific group of action games which involves driving a car or any other vehicle and racing (or chasing).
Adventure: Any game that involves solving puzzles by talking to characters and exploring your surrounding. Both point & click and text adventure games (IF - interactive fiction) fall into this category.
Puzzle: Any game that involves thinking in order to solve a level/beat a round.
Strategy: Any game that involves strategizing and planning to beat a level or a round.
This section is used to give a short but informative description of a game covering the most important aspects of it, like the graphics, gameplay and sound. I will always mention if a game features Sound Blaster music and/or sound effects. If they are very good or bad, I will point that out too. This "Sound Blaster" doesn't meant ONLY for Sound Blaster cards. I'm not familiar with sound hardware, but many of these sound routines should be compatible with Gravis Ultrasound or some other category of sound cards. If I only mention music and/or sound effects, I'm also referring to digital Sound Blaster compatible sound/music since PC Speaker ones are not worth being mentioned. Very rarely I will mention PC Speaker sound/music if a game features it. If sound or music is not mentioned in the description, that game doesn't feature it or they are played through the PC Speaker. If a game is in hi-res graphic mode (in high graphic resolution) I will almost always mention that and the resolution. I personally don't find the game resolution very important, but I know many people do. With hi-res I'm referring to any resolution higher than 320*200 or 320*240 or non-ModeX resolution.
No need for much explaining. Section used to filter compiled from uncompiled games.
No need for much explaining. Section used to filter finished (complete) games from demos (unfinished or limited shareware games). There are quite few excellent games in the demos section, like Wandering Hamster or Star Wolf, so when browsing though the database never filter the demos out since you might miss a demo of a really good game, often longer than many finished games in the directory. Only filter out complete games if you are specifically interested in demos included in the database.
The trickiest section in the database. Used to score the games from 0 to 10. The main reason why I have included this section is to enable filtering of the best games from the weakest games. Many games could have been scored differently, but that's usually for one point. I cannot avoid from being slightly subjective and unmerciful to games with very poor gameplay. The scoring takes into consideration the entire game, but it also puts the most weight on the gameplay.
What you should not do with my scoring system is compare it with others 0 to 10 scoring systems from other sites since I'm using my own standard which makes it almost impossible for a game to get the perfect score. Till this day I've never played a game that completely satisfies all my requirements. The games that come most close to my ideal are Another World and Star Control 2 (non-QBasic games).
It was very difficult to create a system that scores such different games fairly. So comparing the games by score and concluding that a game with a higher score is better than the one with a lower score is pointless. A very good coffee break game can't get the same score as a very good RPG game. Another thing, many games excel in graphics and sound department but fail in the gameplay, while some games feature rather poor graphics and no sound but have a great gameplay. Such two games can get the same score. That doesn't mean they are both equally fun to play. The score should be used to evaluate a game together with the description before downloading.
More a demo is less a game (like a 3D engine or a walk-around RPG demo) the score makes less sense so I advise you to ignore it with such demos.
I can recommend to collectors almost all games above 2, but for real players games above 3. Have in mind that many games with scores 4 and 5 might look flashy, but have a poor gameplay. Also, many games with the same score feature different quality of gameplay. Read the descriptions. If you are looking for top quality, look for games with scores 8 and 9. Still, you'll miss a lot then. It all depends on your interests and free time.
Elaboration for the remaining categories is not needed.