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Do we really need a list of what games are available on digital distribution services?

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Primis He / Him from Nsburg
He / Him
Aug 14th 2018 at 7:15:51 PM

The pages for Steam, GOG.com, Humble Bundle, Desura, Indie Royale and Indie Gala (and probably any other page for a digital distribution service that I missed) all feature a list of what games they have available for purchase, or in the case of Humble Bundle, Indie Royale, and Indie Gala, what was once on sale.

This seems completely unnecessary to me. TV Tropes isn't a catalog, no one's going to come to this site to see if a game is available on a different, totally unrelated site. They're just going to go to that site.

Not to mention that inventories are constantly changing (especially Steam's these days), so it's a hassle to keep these up-to-date.

Edited by Primis on Aug 14th 2018 at 8:09:16 AM

Fighteer Lost in Space from The Time Vortex Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
Lost in Space
Aug 14th 2018 at 8:38:11 PM

I've often mentioned that this sort of index is pointless, but I keep getting outvoted.

"It's Occam's Shuriken! If the answer is elusive, never rule out ninjas!"
TuefelHundenIV Watchman of the Apocalypse from Wandering Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Watchman of the Apocalypse
Aug 15th 2018 at 8:06:49 PM

No idea why we have them either. You can just simply mention it on the games work page which is common enough as it is.

"Who watches the watchmen?"
SeptimusHeap from Switzerland Relationship Status: Mu
Aug 15th 2018 at 9:49:43 PM

I think they are being mentioned because the pages are otherwise of little use to us.

"For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled." - Richard Feynman
Primis He / Him from Nsburg
He / Him
Aug 15th 2018 at 11:14:16 PM

[up] Could we perhaps merge all these pages into one? Like UsefulNotes.Digital Video Game Distributors or something similar? 'Cause yeah, these pages are pretty useless, especially the ones for Desura and Indie Royale since those both shut down years ago. The Indie Royale page hasn't even been updated to mention that, even though the site went offline in 2016 and had quit updating a while before that.

Except for the Steam page, none of these pages have an abundance of wicks or inbound links, so I don't think removing them would be particularly difficult.

Piterpicher Dislikes soulless stuff from Poland, for real Relationship Status: Awaiting my mail-order bride
Dislikes soulless stuff
Aug 15th 2018 at 11:46:13 PM

Merging them would be pretty much impossible. The Steam page is rather long, weighing 370+ KB according to a page size checker, and Humble Bundle weighs 210+ KB. That already exceeds 500 KB, and the other pages would add even more weight. It would display the too-long page warning anyway (if that warning still worked), so a move is probably pointless.

Also, having lists of games that were released on specific distributors is a plus we have above The Other Wiki, who salted their Steam games category. It will be a very bad move on our part to get rid of something that gives us an advantage over The Other Wiki.

And not every index on TV Tropes is meant to have narrative purpose. Some of them, like the digital distribution services indexes we have help readers find games related to their interests. And if those services have been shut down, that's even better, since we managed to preserve information even after its deletion. Finally, these indexes may also help us find games that don't have pages yet on TVT. So I'd say they should be kept.

Edited by Piterpicher on Aug 15th 2018 at 8:58:33 PM

Primis He / Him from Nsburg
He / Him
Aug 16th 2018 at 8:59:06 AM

[up] I didn't mean literally copy-and-paste all the text into one page. I meant make a new page that has maybe a paragraph explaining each service, and then Cut List or Redirect all the individual pages. The new page would not feature these indexes of games, which are probably what make up the bulk of the individual pages' file sizes.

I don't see how this "gives us an advantage" over Wikipedia. I wasn't aware we were competing, for one, and for two, how does it "gives us an advantage"? It's completely useless information, and I don't blame Wikipedia for cutting it from their site.

A distribution service is not an "interest", it's a method of delivery. The genre indexes do a far better job at helping users find new games. Browsing the distributor indexes won't tell you anything about a particular game, you're better off just browsing that store's actual site, which is what most people are probably doing anyway.

Fighteer Lost in Space from The Time Vortex Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
Lost in Space
Aug 16th 2018 at 9:28:49 AM

If I want to find out what games are on Steam, I'll go to Steam, not TV Tropes. That strikes me as utterly banal.

"It's Occam's Shuriken! If the answer is elusive, never rule out ninjas!"
Piterpicher Dislikes soulless stuff from Poland, for real Relationship Status: Awaiting my mail-order bride
Dislikes soulless stuff
Aug 16th 2018 at 9:33:59 AM

By "advantage", I meant "something we have that Wikipedia doesn't have." They don't have lists or categories for games on Steam or Humble Bundle, which I thought readers may be interested in. We really aren't competing, though… So, you may have a point. I still like these pages, but I hope more people tell what they think.

Edited by Piterpicher on Aug 16th 2018 at 6:36:10 PM

Rotpar Always 3:00am in the Filth from California Relationship Status: THIS CONCEPT OF 'WUV' CONFUSES AND INFURIATES US!
Always 3:00am in the Filth
Aug 16th 2018 at 12:33:27 PM

I don't see the point myself.

"But don't give up hope. Everyone is cured sooner or later. In the end we shall shoot you." - O'Brien, 1984
Aug 17th 2018 at 8:33:10 AM

Yeah, I think it would make more sense to mention the distribution service on the game’s page itself. If the intent is to help users find games they may like, that would be the best way to do it.

Zyffyr from Portland, Oregon Relationship Status: Complex: I'm real, they are imaginary
Aug 18th 2018 at 11:26:37 AM

I am fully on board with Primis' suggested merger.

TuefelHundenIV Watchman of the Apocalypse from Wandering Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Watchman of the Apocalypse
Aug 18th 2018 at 4:25:35 PM

Primis suggestion is pretty good. It pretty much cuts the clutter and keeps the pertinent info to a minimum.

"Who watches the watchmen?"
bwburke94 Friends forevermore from uǝʌɐǝɥ Relationship Status: RelationshipOutOfBoundsException: 1
Friends forevermore
Aug 20th 2018 at 7:44:47 AM

There's one special case that may need to be kept for historical reasons: WiiWare (and its handheld counterpart DSiWare).

Lumping WiiWare games in on the Wii games index would be quite misleading.

Feb 8th 2019 at 10:32:34 AM

Continuing on from this ATT post:

Steam has over 15,000 titles.

I ask again: what's the value of attempting (and failing badly) to list them here?

"Boy, I sure am looking forward to perusing this laughably incomplete list of games that were available on Steam at one point but may not be any longer, because Steam can and does lose distribution licenses all the time, and also their distribution list varies by region so this may not apply to me!" said no one ever.

We don't need an index of Books You Can Buy at Barnes & Noble. We don't need an index of Movies You Could Rent at Hollywood Video Back When Hollywood Video Was a Thing. We don't need an index of Songs That Are Available on iTunes.

The answer to all those questions is: "Most of them, but not all of them, and if you need to get more specific than that, check the particular storefront."

WarJay77 Time to go batty! from The Void Relationship Status: Armed with the Power of Love
Time to go batty!
Feb 8th 2019 at 10:40:16 AM

I don't quite see the point either. The only potential value I could see is that red links on the index may spur people to create new pages.

Wick Check Project - Troper Wall - TRS sandbox
Fighteer Lost in Space from The Time Vortex Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
Lost in Space
Feb 8th 2019 at 10:53:27 AM

Wouldn't they arrive there from the publisher's page? Or the platform?

Edited by Fighteer on Feb 8th 2019 at 1:57:37 PM

"It's Occam's Shuriken! If the answer is elusive, never rule out ninjas!"
WarJay77 Time to go batty! from The Void Relationship Status: Armed with the Power of Love
Time to go batty!
Feb 8th 2019 at 10:57:50 AM

I mean, yeah. Same as any work with a red link. No way to really know if it was the red link that caused the page to be made or not.

Edit: This is assuming you're responding to me of course Fighteer.

Edited by WarJay77 on Feb 8th 2019 at 1:58:38 PM

Wick Check Project - Troper Wall - TRS sandbox
Unsung it's a living from a tenement of clay
it's a living
Feb 8th 2019 at 12:11:09 PM

[up][up][up]I mean, isn't that enough? I don't mind moving it to a different page or even out of the "official" namespaces, but as far as I know there's no easier way to find what Steam games we have pages for, or any other way of creating a user-editable updated list. I don't have an immediate need for that information right now, but if anyone did, there it is. I just don't see the harm it's doing that necessitates cutting it.

Fighteer Lost in Space from The Time Vortex Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
Lost in Space
Feb 8th 2019 at 12:23:17 PM

First, it's unnecessary. As evidence, I present the Wikipedia article for Bioshock Infinite. Note the category tags at the bottom. "Games released on Steam" is not on there. It lists all the platforms it's available on, the year of its release, its publishers and developers, but not distribution systems.

Second, it's redundant. If someone wants to see what games are on Steam, they can go to Steam.

Third, unnecessary things like this can lead people viewing them to think we want more pages like it. For example, we've had the exact same discussion about Good Old Games, Netflix, and Crunchyroll. In each case, the existence of similar indexes is used to justify the others, in a circular logic feedback loop.

Fourth, these articles draw user time and attention that could be better put to other uses.

Fifth, index bloat is a problem, when you look down at the bottom of a page and your eyes glaze over all the indexes it's on.

Edited by Fighteer on Feb 8th 2019 at 3:25:43 PM

"It's Occam's Shuriken! If the answer is elusive, never rule out ninjas!"
Unsung it's a living from a tenement of clay
it's a living
Feb 8th 2019 at 12:35:38 PM

It's not for telling us what games are on Steam. It's for telling us what Steam games are on TV Tropes.

How much time can these lists really take up? The initial list probably takes one person maybe a few hours (or longer, if it's a long list and they're really dedicated to making it extensive), but after that it just takes a couple seconds to add an entry each time it comes up. And like I said, I don't have a problem with moving the lists, centralizing them, moving them to a less official namespace, not listing them as actual indexes at the bottom of pages, but for lack of a better way of searching this, I don't think they should simply be deleted outright.

Any wiki is about people using their spare time how they want to use it. If we're talking about tropers spending their time better, this seems like the kind of harmless background activity that would be better off left to its own devices unless it (somehow) got wildly out of control.

Edited by Unsung on Feb 8th 2019 at 1:55:46 PM

crazysamaritan Could we just... not have Death anymore? from Lupin III
Could we just... not have Death anymore?
Feb 8th 2019 at 12:40:53 PM

what Steam games we have pages for,
In the idealized end-state of the wiki, the answer to that question is All of Them. Measuring our progress seems more suited to a forum thread than a wiki page.

Link to TRS threads in project mode here.
Metroid26 from 11 Fathoms
Feb 8th 2019 at 12:45:48 PM

What if we trim them down to games that are either only officially available on that service or have some other official connection with them?

Warning! Drive by post in progress!
Unsung it's a living from a tenement of clay
it's a living
Feb 8th 2019 at 12:46:19 PM

[up][up]But realistically, if there are 15,000+ games on Steam and however many countless other works elsewhere to trope, that's not an achievable goal either. The wiki is a work in progress — so is this list. I mean, there's not really an end state to a wiki of this kind unless human civilization itself suddenly comes to a halt.

I mentioned on the ATT post that I'd be fine with a pinned thread if the list could still be added to by any user. I don't think the forums allow for that, though, in which case it would have to be curated by someone, which just creates extra steps and additional work.

Edited by Unsung on Feb 8th 2019 at 2:01:26 AM

crazysamaritan Could we just... not have Death anymore? from Lupin III
Could we just... not have Death anymore?
Feb 8th 2019 at 1:05:14 PM

I mean, there's not really an end state to a wiki of this kind unless human civilization itself suddenly comes to a halt.
Probably not, but there's more than 15,000 trope pages already. A page for every game on Steam is doable, and the thread doesn't need curating because any poster can add another post to the thread, listing ten or twenty games to focus on.

Sample post:

I'm making pages for Abbc D, Addd C, and Arc Blade. Could someone else check my tropes for ZCE?

"This list" is not a work in progress because it could list every game on Steam today if someone made the effort.

Edited by crazysamaritan on Feb 8th 2019 at 4:13:13 AM

Link to TRS threads in project mode here.

Single Proposition: Steam
9th Feb '19 6:11:07 AM
Vote up for yes, down for no.
At issue:
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