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Garrett

List of Local Multiplayer Games overhaul

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I have been working on an automated version of the List of Local Multiplayer Games.

 

This initial version does not divide games by store or show a store link because I don't know whether such division is considered necessary. This could be accomplished by adding more SMW properties to the availability templates.

 

The notes column has been omitted due in part to technical limitations (the text datatype has problems with some wiki formatting, e.g. external links). The screen type column has been omitted due to having no equivalent in Template:Network/Multiplayer.

 

There are some minor visual/selection issues due to the current behaviour of other templates, e.g. platforms with TBA release dates aren't shown in the OS column due to Template:Infobox game/row/date behaviour (this could be resolved by adjusting those templates).

 

Anyway, let me know what you think.

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The mention of whether a game is split-screen, screen sharing or hot seat seems the most important to me, and something we shouldn't lose if possible - this might be the better way to split the page though, instead of doing stores, let's do types of local mp!

 

Hot-seat games could be split easily enough since it is treated as a distinct multiplayer mode, but there is no way to separate shared/split-screen from each other without some feature being implemented in Template:Network/Multiplayer.

 

A bigger issue is of course the impossibility to place games that do not have articles on the wiki - I do not believe it would be easy to encourage people to create pages for them.

 

I'd mostly miss us losing references, which I honestly do not believe we have enough of, for many things.

 

Making more pages is still preferable to having a static list that inevitably ends up containing information that is missing from the game pages themselves and vice versa; the automated list has more games overall but doesn't have all the information given on the static list (I have added some of this during testing).

 

References can be put on the individual game pages as always, so that information would merely be relocated.

 

 

As to the OS issue, I'm not sure how to best resolve it - many times TBA is placed for games waiting for a release on platforms, as well as those that are available, but in early access. Maybe we should just add a new option called EA (Early Access), that would show the game as available on an OS, though not released.

 

Introducing some sort of release date for playable games is certainly a viable solution as the other easy option (including the TBA platforms) would result in the list showing platforms for ports that aren't available yet.

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In its current state, it does appear to lose quite a bit of info, but that could be worked around by moving more of it to pages and expanding the templates. I do agree the store division is silly though. The mention of whether a game is split-screen, screen sharing or hot seat seems the most important to me, and something we shouldn't lose if possible - this might be the better way to split the page though, instead of doing stores, let's do types of local mp!

 

A bigger issue is of course the impossibility to place games that do not have articles on the wiki - I do not believe it would be easy to encourage people to create pages for them.

 

I'd mostly miss us losing references, which I honestly do not believe we have enough of, for many things.

Imo, game mode should be the criterion for division.

If then I wanted to quickly know native/hackable I would just have to press on the corresponding column to order games.

 

Besides as said by garrett references are already presented in the game article..

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I have now updated the list to show hot-seat games separately. Some games appear on both lists due to implementing both modes. I didn't split the hackable list since there are currently no hackable hot-seat games.

 

I've noticed a few things are missing from the list and I don't really see why - for example HoMM4 appears, but HoMM3 and HoMM2 do not.

 

Query results are subject to MediaWiki's caching behaviour (as covered in the SMW FAQ); as usual you can force an immediate update by purging the list and/or the individual game pages (depending on the cause of the delay).

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It is reasonable to expect that players will read the per-page details before buying/playing, so a lot of these specific considerations could be covered by a general note at the top explaining that this is just an automated overview.

 

Biggest loss now seems to be in type (moved to sections, but that makes them more generic), notes, and references.

 

Screen mode isn't specified on similar lists (Co-Optimus, PCcouchCOOP.com, etc.) so retaining that distinction probably isn't crucial; the simultaneous/hot-seat distinction would be very easy to retain since it is already divided like that in the network template.

 

Another issue I see is with player counts. Games like TowerFall which only have 2 players max in co-op but 4 in versus, or TrackMania having 4 for splitscreen but 8 for hotseat. Maybe instead of having player type, have a column with the following format "Type: no. of players" (e.g. "Co-op: 4\nVersus: 8").

 

The current split version only shows results for the same player types. If results remain split as in this version the games that have both types wouldn't be an issue.

 

We also need a consensus on what goes into the players column in network tables - max players? Min-max players? Only include the lower number if there's some modes that have it as the max number of players?

 

Two players is the expected requirement, so it's probably easiest to just list the maximum and then use the notes for the exceptions that require more than two players.

 

There's also the issue as to how far do co-op games go - if the game has only 5 levels in co-op (compared to 80 in single), who cares to even bother with it?

 

That sounds like veering into the territory of assessing the quality of the content rather than describing it as presented. Five co-op levels is still co-op, and the notes on the game page itself would then mention that detail.

 

Maybe we can replace/add links directly to the network section? It would help with the above issue as well, a bit.

 

It's probably best to not link to the Network section since the reader might just as easily be wanting for the Availability section or whatever. Additionally, some games need tweaks etc. that are only covered in the key points and/or essential improvements, so those would be skipped past with a direct link.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=768h3Tz4Qik

 

These fancy "automated systems"!

 

But seriously, I'm happy to be relieved of this job seeing as I haven't been updating it much since the initial release of the list. My main concern is that we'll lose a few dozen games that don't yet have wiki pages, which is a pretty significant issue. Before pushing this to release, we need to make sure as many of the listed games have pages as possible so we don't lose too much information. 

 

Screen mode isn't specified on similar lists (Co-Optimus, PCcouchCOOP.com, etc.) so retaining that distinction probably isn't crucial; the simultaneous/hot-seat distinction would be very easy to retain since it is already divided like that in the network template.

Co-Optimus does actually have a screen-type distinction under "Co-Op Extras", e.g. Portal 2's page.

 

 

There's also the issue as to how far do co-op games go - if the game has only 5 levels in co-op (compared to 80 in single), who cares to even bother with it?

I agree with what Garrett said above, it's not our job to police the list for "real co-op". Unless it's a buggy, non-functioning mess, we should list it, and even then we should just list it with a warning.

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I think it's time to revive this discussion and get a suitable automated version sorted out so the static content can finally be done away with.

 

In regards to player count disparity between modes I don't think that's a deal-breaker since readers will check the individual game pages for the specifics of each game's modes.

 

EDIT: Mirh has revived discussion on the Co-op / play distinction which is also relevant to this.

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I have revised the sandbox example to introduce a modes column. The modes could alternately be presented as separate columns for easier sorting.

​

​This list is set to have greater prominence in the front page redesign so it needs to be migrated to an automated layout of some sort prior to that.

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OK, I have migrated the page to an automated layout and reworded some instructions.

​

The list is currently short enough to show all games at once; when it gets too long there will be a "further results" link for each section as expected.

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