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N-cyclopedia 64 - POWERED BY N64 FOREVER
Topic Started: Mar 27 2017, 06:39 AM (3,418 Views)
Tyree_Cooper
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Hello, No64DD kindly introduced me to this project a few days ago. I'd love to contribute to the best of my knowledge, which relates mostly to Asian non-Japanese N64 material. I'll be happy to share something with him so that he may pass it to the other members involved. Here are some comments "on the spot" after going through the thread:

-- italia64's internal screenshots have different black borders. For example, Wipeout has a much thicker border. Is this normal?

-- My feeling is that the reviews are too long. I've never been an avid magazine reader so I may be biased here. Is 800 words a meaningful choice, like some kind of golden rule to keep a reader interested?

-- Box variants are definitely a must. How will you treat minor variations such as updated phone numbers or addresses on a box? Or boxes which are the same but have interesting stickers on them (not a price tag, I mean more official stickers like bonuses included, distributor stickers or similar)?

-- gamerjerome mentioned the ToC of the existing N64 Anthology (10 chapters). What is the tentative ToC of this book?

-- I have very mixed feelings toward rating every game. I understand why most books and websites always rate a game after introducing/reviewing it, but I just feel it's such a personal choice that I barely care about it nowadays. The reason is that, in the past, I avoided several games because of "general bad reviews" and later found out they were pretty good games in my opinion.
Also, like you said, you will be "forced" to rate "famous" games with 4 or 5 stars even if you have very good arguments about flaws and shortcomings, or if you think the game is overrated and can explain why.
My feeling is that such a book is supposed to be "above" ratings, a general and long-term guide for collectors and curious people alike, which does not need to put a rating to each game. Think of it as a car 'guide' or 'history book' written by experts. They won't rate a car with a number and won't bias the reader by saying "it's worth buying" or things like that. They will use their expert opinions to talk about all the facets of the car (history, development, performances, looks...) and remain as neutral as possible.

-- What's the plan with item photos (not screenshots)? Are you going to show flat scans, photos or both? For another gaming project we were mostly relying on scans:
~box front, back, left, right and top (since bottom had no information, but N64 games may require it)
~instruction manual front, back
~cartridge front
For items/parts that are usually the same or similar, like the back sticker of a cartridge, I believe it makes more sense to show them separately, in some kind of initial "guide". Then, you don't need to show a boring same-looking sticker every 2 pages. For example, if we have 5 revisions of US back stickers, we show them all together and then we can mention this information for each game ("This game has been seen with the back sticker no. 1, 3 and 4.").
I say this, but I have no idea how far you will go into the collecting part. To mention my previous project again, I went as far as opening each cartridge and analysing the PCB and plastic shells (which have number codes).

:yeah: :n64:
Edited by Tyree_Cooper, Jul 5 2017, 10:19 PM.
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Tyree_Cooper
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Got it, thanks a lot.

I understand your points and agree, in fact I wasn't commenting based on the two reviews you posted (I should have made this clear, sorry), which look great. It was more of a general comment and warning, because your job here will be incredibly long and harsh. I reckon it will take months if not years. This is why I was wondering if 800 words wasn't too much for what is basically a game catalog with photos and detailed release information.

I totally love the idea of describing the games from the history/dev/promo side, I think collectors and enthusiasts are looking forward to this even more than good reviews. This is information that is absolutely scattered around the real world (magazines etc.) and the virtual world (websites, forums etc.), just as you said. If you could bring all the most important and meaningful information in one place, it will be an invaluable source to go back to time and time again.

Do not take it personally (I know you didn't), mine was a very personal opinion on game reviews. When I was discussing how to handle the game descriptions for my past project with the main project guy, we were thinking of either not doing a review at all ("Not the point of the book, people can read reviews anywhere, there is no added value in repeating that Link's Awakening is a great game because blah and blah."), or just a very brief game introduction/review, 1-3 small paragraphs maximum. So again, I am a bit biased as I keep on looking at this N64 project as geared toward collectors, and it may not be the case.

So I think your reviews look real good and I certainly wouldn't be able to do any better. If I had to keep one comment, but it's more a question than a comment, it would be: "Make sure you are fully confident that 800 words is the right number." Once you're done with 50 reviews and realise they are too short/long or not OK for whatever reason, it will be a serious pain to change everything.

All clear for the pics, I'm sure those internal screenshots at native resolution will be amazing. The examples posted look great already.

As for a final rating, well, you got my point. I also understand most readers will EXPECT a rating if there's a review. It's just that it doesn't add much value to me; moreover, imagine we are 20 guys finalising this thing and we end up not agreeing on ratings and it all turns sour.

In the end, I am not a decision-maker in here, so I just want to put some thoughts and opinions on the table, to make sure you guys haven't forgotten anything. When you are sure that you are doing the right things in the right way, then it is just a matter of time and nothing can shake up (or shake down?) the project. Draw a clear line to define what you want to do and how far you want to go, and you will be left with only a few easy-to-handle exceptions. :yeah: :yeah:
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Tyree_Cooper
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nice snapshots :)
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Tyree_Cooper
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I am sweating at that long, thick and nutritious post, good job and thanks for the update.

Reminds me I have not made much progress except for some scans. It's hard sitting in a small room all alone >_<
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