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12-15-17 06:32:35 AM

Jul - TCRF - New Category Discussion: Prerelease Materials New poll - New thread - New reply
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BMF54123

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Posted on 07-11-13 04:33:41 PM Link | Quote
For the past couple of years in #tcrf, we've been bouncing around the idea of a separate category/namespace for prerelease materials, such as screenshots and videos, that show games in earlier stages of development. The plan is to allow them to be archived and documented, but kept separate from the stuff actually found in games (which is, and will remain, the primary focus of the wiki). Pages with these materials available will likely contain a small "this game has prerelease materials" link in the bob, similar to prototype and notes pages.

Our biggest concerns right now are quality and quantity: we want to archive the best and most useful materials, and not become an image dump for every blurry, watermarked thumbnail in existence. (If you can't tell whether that fuzzy spot is a speck of dust or an unused enemy, we don't want it.)

If such a category were to be added, what rules and guidelines would you like to see put in place? What kinds of media should we accept? Should we also document unreleased games for which no known prototypes exist? (This one is a bit trickier, as there would be no mainspace page to attach the materials to, and it's a bit outside the usual scope of the wiki.)
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Posted on 07-11-13 04:42:54 PM Link | Quote
I'm not sure how common it is, but I think music would be a good addition.
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Posted on 07-11-13 04:43:19 PM (last edited by Sanky at 07-11-13 04:43:40 PM) Link | Quote
Prime example of what I do not want:
http://www.x-cult.org/games/36/Sonic_Battle/1190/Prototype_Screenshots/


Besides that, I'm definitely in support!
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Posted on 07-11-13 06:20:26 PM (last edited by einstein95 at 07-11-13 09:23:59 PM) Link | Quote
I've been thinking about this, (although I thought it could go on a separate wiki, like a sub-domain or something) and how about a rule that states that:
"The pre-release material must appear in some sort of publication, whether digital or analogue (ie. magazine or press kit) and can be proven to appear in said medium.
Exceptions can be given for trustworthy sources, such as former employees of said game development studio."

Other than that, I think that it would be a great idea, and we could (finally) obsolete such chaotic dumping grounds such as this.

EDIT: added exception to the rule
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Posted on 07-11-13 07:00:53 PM Link | Quote
I've mentioned it on the wiki before but I'm really looking forward to this category being added. I definitely agree with a quality over quantity approach - we don't need to show every prerelease screenshot or video, just the best. I wouldn't mind having separate archive downloads with all of the materials, though. For example, I have like 130 unwatermarked GoldenEye screenshots presumably straight from Rare, but only a few things are shown which aren't present in the final game in some form. I think all of these screenshots have historic value, though, and I'd hate to see them drop off the web when the next GE/Rare fansite decides not to renew their hosting.

I do think that if the only screenshot of a scrapped feature is a blurry, watermarked mess, it should be allowed anyway. Documenting the content is more important than looking pretty, and as long as the article is well written, having an ugly shot is better than not covering the content at all. (See the stage 4-5 shot in the CV Bloodlines article) Same goes for videos, I've got a prerelease Perfect Dark vid with a music track that later got reused in TimeSplitters: Future Perfect, but it's watermarked and kinda shaky since it was captured with a camera at a trade show. I definitely want that vid on the site because of the unused music and the fact that it shows the game very early in development. To my knowledge, it's the only video with this music, and it disappeared from the internet for a while until I got a copy of it from someone and rehosted it.
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Posted on 07-11-13 08:09:29 PM Link | Quote
It feels like this would definitely fit in the scope of the wiki, but yeah, quality will have focal point. Part of it is will be what gets pointed out.

For example, the first video we got of New Super Mario Bros. featured what was obviously a demo stage to show off Mario's moves. Clearly, it was never meant to be in the game, so there's no point in mapping it out, listing enemy locations. And yes, it was early in development, so the sounds weren't even done yet, so there's not much point in focusing on the fact it uses SM64 sound effects as placeholders.

However, what would be worth pointing out is how radically different the art style is, for one. Everything has a sort of artsy, soft look to it with thick outlines reminiscent of Yoshi's Island. You could also point out how the design of the environment is much different, too, with a swampy kind of grass floor, lots of round trees and rocks, and even an entire night-time town background.
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Posted on 07-11-13 08:25:39 PM Link | Quote
Originally posted by einstein95
...and how about a rule that states that:
"The pre-release material must appear in some sort of publication, whether digital or analogue (ie. magazine or press kit) and can be proven to appear in said medium."


Although I agree with you that a proper source should be given, I don't think it should be limited to publications. For example: http://grantkirkhope.bandcamp.com/album/bk-betas
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Posted on 07-11-13 08:59:59 PM Link | Quote
I can agree that we should accept quality over quantity. The wiki shouldn't be filled with pictures like this



If something for prereleased materials does get implemented, should there be a focus on the source of where prerelease materials come from? We could use it to try to filter down the amount of media by looking at the sources. For example, media X comes from an issue of Nintendo Power and can be verified ---> kept. Media Y comes from Billy's First Website and can't be verified ---> deleted. As far as how to define "media", I think the definition can at least include(but not limited to) images and videos.

Originally posted by BMF54123
Should we also document unreleased games for which no known prototypes exist? (This one is a bit trickier, as there would be no mainspace page to attach the materials to, and it's a bit outside the usual scope of the wiki.)
I'm a bit flip flop with this idea. On one hand, it might be interesting to document prerelease materials for games that never made it to the store shelf. On the other hand, would the general population of users who visit TCRF care about such a thing and would such pages be visited enough? In order for people to get to those pages, they would have to either know the name of the unreleased game or go digging through a category page to find it. Chances are, for an unreleased game, most people probably haven't heard of the game to begin with and searching through a category page is not exactly fun but what the hell do I know.

That's my 2 cents for the moment. Hopefully my opinions help in some way or another.
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Posted on 07-11-13 09:24:04 PM Link | Quote
Originally posted by Cuber456

I'm a bit flip flop with this idea. On one hand, it might be interesting to document prerelease materials for games that never made it to the store shelf. On the other hand, would the general population of users who visit TCRF care about such a thing and would such pages be visited enough? In order for people to get to those pages, they would have to either know the name of the unreleased game or go digging through a category page to find it. Chances are, for an unreleased game, most people probably haven't heard of the game to begin with and searching through a category page is not exactly fun but what the hell do I know.


What about the population that just come to TCRF to browse around, stumbling across pages from other pages, leading to god-knows-what page and being amazed at what's still in the game. Kinda like tvtropes.org

Originally posted by m64m

Although I agree with you that a proper source should be given, I don't think it should be limited to publications. For example: http://grantkirkhope.bandcamp.com/album/bk-betas


True, I've added an amendment onto it about trustworthy sources (eg. former employees).
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Posted on 07-11-13 09:32:16 PM Link | Quote
Originally posted by Cuber456


If something for prereleased materials does get implemented, should there be a focus on the source of where prerelease materials come from? We could use it to try to filter down the amount of media by looking at the sources. For example, media X comes from an issue of Nintendo Power and can be verified ---> kept. Media Y comes from Billy's First Website and can't be verified ---> deleted. As far as how to define "media", I think the definition can at least include(but not limited to) images and videos.



A problem there for websites would be that the pre 1998 archives of the major gaming sites are incredibly spotty, for the OoT collection I did I had to go through many, many old sites to find all of the shots. Technically the only "proof" remaining of where they came from is the watermarks.
I'm probably being too pedantic here, though.

As far as quality goes though, I did some experiments with using magazine shots to fill in cropped shots and erase unsightly watermarks here:

http://lavacopter.imgur.com/zelda/

I think it turned out pretty nice.
I can understand if people would be leery of using edited images, however. Also it takes an awful lot of work to make it look any good.
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Posted on 07-12-13 06:35:09 AM Link | Quote
Originally posted by einstein95
What about the population that just come to TCRF to browse around, stumbling across pages from other pages, leading to god-knows-what page and being amazed at what's still in the game. Kinda like tvtropes.org
Fair enough. I was speaking personally I guess. For me, I don't usually browse for unused stuff in games I haven't played/seen. The reason is because I get more of a kick when I see unused materials for a game that I at least know about. To each their own though .

Originally posted by Lavacopter
A problem there for websites would be that the pre 1998 archives of the major gaming sites are incredibly spotty, for the OoT collection I did I had to go through many, many old sites to find all of the shots. Technically the only "proof" remaining of where they came from is the watermarks.
I'm probably being too pedantic here, though.

As far as quality goes though, I did some experiments with using magazine shots to fill in cropped shots and erase unsightly watermarks here:

http://lavacopter.imgur.com/zelda/

I think it turned out pretty nice.
I can understand if people would be leery of using edited images, however. Also it takes an awful lot of work to make it look any good.
I can understand the problems that would arise from trying to document the source for older prerelease material. However, I'm still not budging on my position for providing sources. Completely putting aside BMF54123's worries about images being blurry and/or watermarked, what I am worried about the most is someone with too much spare time who might fake prerelease materials. If we have the source of where the material came from we can confirm if it is real or not.

BTW, good job getting rid of the water marks in those pictures.
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Posted on 07-12-13 07:52:31 AM Link | Quote
Thanks

Well, almost all them them could be sourced to some magazine or other. Requiring them to be scanned from them would be pretty yech, though. Howabout if they can be confirmed to be real from some source or another, they don't necessarily have to be from that source if it's shitty?
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Posted on 07-12-13 08:49:30 AM Link | Quote
Originally posted by Lavacopter
Thanks

Well, almost all them them could be sourced to some magazine or other. Requiring them to be scanned from them would be pretty yech, though. Howabout if they can be confirmed to be real from some source or another, they don't necessarily have to be from that source if it's shitty?



This seems like a good idea, with the shown image/video/whatever being cleared up for viewing, and the source image/media backed-up somewhere safe.
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Posted on 07-12-13 01:31:10 PM Link | Quote
I'd be OK with this... but as a part of the wiki? I dunno. I think the site would just get cluttered up real fast.

Maybe a separate site?
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Posted on 07-13-13 12:23:32 PM Link | Quote
I think I know what you mean. As it is, we cover a very specific, very interesting niche: content that was removed from the game but it still in the game data. And while content that was planned but scrapped seems like it would fit within the scope of the wiki, things like "look at this thing in this screenshot" would undoubtedly drown out what makes the site unique. Sites like Super Mario Wiki already document a lot of the pre-release screen stuff as it is. While I think it might be a good idea to have a site dedicated to researching that sort of thing, I now think it might be best as a sort of spin-off site.
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Posted on 07-15-13 02:50:37 PM Link | Quote
Something like... Unseen64?
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Posted on 07-15-13 06:30:18 PM Link | Quote
Originally posted by Xkitty
Something like... Unseen64?


Probably, but with less "beta, beta, beta, ...", a much cleaner layout, and less waiting until someone sees your comment for it to be added to the article.
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Posted on 07-16-13 02:28:56 PM Link | Quote
I don't really see any issues with it being a part of the wiki. Sinte it goes on a separate namespace, it can't really clutter anything, and I assume quality control will be good as always, given we've always gotten good guitelines and the right admins to enforce them. "Creating" another site would just generate confusion and in general be pointless, and while Unseen64 is nice, I've always seen it as more of a news site than a.. well, wiki.
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Posted on 08-11-13 06:59:09 AM Link | Quote
On the subject of new categories, I think it'd be nice to have a category for BIOSes and other programs that weren't games, but ran on game consoles, and for test ROMs and such programs that were never intended to be seen or used by the general public.
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Posted on 08-14-13 01:42:42 PM Link | Quote
Originally posted by Lavacopter
Originally posted by Cuber456


If something for prereleased materials does get implemented, should there be a focus on the source of where prerelease materials come from? We could use it to try to filter down the amount of media by looking at the sources. For example, media X comes from an issue of Nintendo Power and can be verified ---> kept. Media Y comes from Billy's First Website and can't be verified ---> deleted. As far as how to define "media", I think the definition can at least include(but not limited to) images and videos.



A problem there for websites would be that the pre 1998 archives of the major gaming sites are incredibly spotty, for the OoT collection I did I had to go through many, many old sites to find all of the shots. Technically the only "proof" remaining of where they came from is the watermarks.
I'm probably being too pedantic here, though.

As far as quality goes though, I did some experiments with using magazine shots to fill in cropped shots and erase unsightly watermarks here:

http://lavacopter.imgur.com/zelda/

I think it turned out pretty nice.
I can understand if people would be leery of using edited images, however. Also it takes an awful lot of work to make it look any good.


On one hand, I'd be wary of using edited images. On the other hand, that is a fantastic watermark cleanup job.

I'd be for it, but only if there was some strict quality control in place. We can't get huge screenshots all the time; sometimes, on simply older games, they wouldn't exist due to the limitations of bandwidth from the era. But they must be, at least, clear and distinct.
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Jul - TCRF - New Category Discussion: Prerelease Materials New poll - New thread - New reply




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