Since our last update, the RetroCollect Squad has been busy behind the scenes working on new features for the video game database. After a long overdue rewrite, the database will now allow import games to slowly make an appearance, whilst other new features such as the Database Hub and eBay Assistant are ready for action.
This update to the game database is by far our most complicated piece of work yet, but without a doubt will be one of the most indispensable tools around to retro gamers. How so? Well, let us detail some of these new features and how they’ll make your game collecting antics a breeze.
Introducing the eBay Assistant
Here at RetroCollect we’re (obviously) huge retro gamers. With this in mind we’ve often sat down and debated what’s missing from our lives that would make retro gaming a much more enjoyable hobby. One of the conclusions we drew up was a solution to our ongoing frustrations faced when trying to buy the games we were after.
Those collecting retro games will often face the issue of having to manually type in everything they’re looking for into eBay every time they want to make a purchase. While eBay’s handy saved searches do help eliminate this issue to a certain extent, they can be a real pain to set up - especially if you’re after quite a lot.
So how do we go about fixing this? We have introduced the eBay Assistant purchase view into the game database. Similar to how you would change the database to either take the default view, a list style or even a view of replica shelving filled with games, there is now a new tab labelled up as purchase. Upon clicking on here you’ll find a new list view which harbours plenty of quick and handy eBay link buttons.
By clicking any one of these buttons (depending on your country), it will automatically search eBay for the associated game without you needing to type in a single character. So in a matter of seconds you’re able to search for just about every game in front of you just by clicking these buttons.
But it gets better.
Those who are tracking their collection with RetroCollect’s game database can make even more of this feature. For example, if you wanted to search on eBay for all the Sega Mega Drive games you are yet to own, all you need to do is view the Mega Drive games currently in your collection, click the button ‘view missing games’ and then change to the ‘Purchase’ view.
Voila - you can now quickly go hunting for those last few treasures you’re after!
Introducing the Search Hub & New Sidebar Options
As the functionality has grown within the game database, we’ve found it very difficult to keep it all in one place and easy to access. As a solution to this, we have introduced a search hub page which will act as the new homepage for the game database.
In here you’ll find lots of quick and accessible buttons to take you around the database and its many different options. If you want to view your collection, search the database, check your statistics, change your settings, or anything else, they’re all now just a click away.
The sidebar of the game database pages also reflects these new changes by offering the most helpful links needed to get the most out of the game database.
American, Japanese & Other Import Games in the Database
When RetroCollect first launched, its database and target demographic was very much PAL (European/Australian) gamers. Given that over time the site has grown considerably and retro gamers from all over the world have begun arriving in the masses, it’s only natural we begin introducing games from abroad into the database.
While we’d have loved to have added these much earlier, the game database’s code was very much written to accommodate only a single region - PAL. After a huge rewrite, import games can now be added to the database.
As of speaking we only have Sega 32X CD, TurboGrafx-16, Neo Geo and Virtual Boy imports present in the database (while we test this functionality further), however, to help ease your import desires, we have countless updates ready and waiting to make an appearance starting from the Japanese PC Engine library to the American Super Nintendo releases.
Expect to see plenty more games being added very soon from all over the world.
Games, Ports and Releases
What’s the difference I hear you ask? Well, given that video games span multiple regions, multiple releases and so forth, having them all appear in the same search at times doesn’t quite make sense.
Take for example a retro gamer who doesn’t collect games and only wants to search for each individual game. Prior to this update, a search for Lemmings would result in countless versions for countless systems.
In this new update, however, there are now multiple ways to view the games in the database which we’ll now explain:
- Games Mode - This mode shows you the individual unique games in the database. For example, a search for Lemmings (again) would show you several results, one for Lemmings, one for Lemmings 2 and also 3D Lemmings. All the different versions and regions of each release are combined into one result.
- Ports Mode - This mode shows you every different version of a game, however, it combines each collecting regions’ releases into one. So for example a search for Lemmings (once again) would result in every single version being shown exactly once (for example the Super Nintendo one, the Amiga CD32 one, etc). If they were released across different collecting regions (Europe, North America, Japan ...) they will still only be shown once in a combined result.
- Releases Mode - This is the view that everyone will be used to up until now. This view shows you every single release in the database without combining anything. This means that every single different port of a game will be present, along with the many different collecting regions these ports were released in. This is the mode in which you can track your collection as only here you are able to distinguish between owning the US and NTSC version.
Complicated at first, but something that hopefully makes sense after being used a few times. And if you don’t mind us saying so, this new way of viewing games in the database is something exclusive to RetroCollect and far from present anywhere else, so make the most of it!
What’s next for the RetroCollect Game Database?
Don’t you worry. We’re not resting after launching so many new additions!
As import games are now ready to be added to the game database, we will be moving our focus towards them to bring you the most comprehensive and up to date catalogue of retro games around.
As for new features though, you’ll just have to wait and see what happens!
How can you help us get more into the database faster?
If you’re interested in helping the cause, we’re very much in need of scans and imagery to help populate the game database. Should you have a scanner at the ready and plenty of games sat around, we’d love your help. We’ve recently created a guide on providing scans of video games for our database which can now be seen here.
With all these new additions and features, we’d love feedback. As quite a few of these bring along new functionality and options that were previously missing, we’d love to hear your thoughts on these - both good and bad.Hopefully you’ll all enjoy our recent hard work and we hope that you can all make the most of these new features.
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