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Forums > MobyGames > What would be your ideal version of Related Games?

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MobyReed (164) on 2/22/2023 6:38 AM · Reply · Permalink · Report

If you've used the Related Games feature, I'm curious what your ideal version would be?

Think of your favorite game of 2022. You're on the game page. Maybe you collect it. Then you scroll down to Related Games.

What do you want to see?

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vedder (64434) on 2/22/2023 12:04 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

When looking at Deus Ex, I see 2 of its sequels which I sort of expect to see here. I also see Deus Ex: GotY Edition, which is also nice to see here, because it's a special edition of this very game. Then I see Some special editions and DLC for the sequels, which isn't very useful here (but since we have no relationships between special editions/dlc and the main game it will be hard to filter out unless you want to filter them all out).

Then I see Project Snowblind, which I'm very excited to see here, because it's the spin-off that wasn't. So it's definitely good it shows up here. I wonder if that's because the trivia for that game directly links to Deus Ex or because of a match in devs/companies/groups/?.

The last game I see is "Tower of Deus" which is only shown here because it's a partial name match? Seems useless. But full game matches would be useful, because maybe you ended up on a wrong game page or are unaware there are multiple games with the same name. E.g. here: https://www.mobygames.com/game/758/mixed-up-mother-goose/ I get an identically named remake as the first hit which is nice.

Blue Sky thinking: I'd love to see games like System Shock 2 or Dishonored show up here as a sort of recommendations. But to get to that point there should be a certain overlap in genres and game groups probably. Maybe connections can be created if games often end up in the same user collections. But in general I gather such recommendation systems work better with tags rather than our rigid genres system.

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joicrawu (0) on 2/22/2023 12:39 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

Hi there,

This would be a very complicated procedure but I´ll try my best.

For relevance sake, you could include the following based on the ones with the highest Mobyscore (if applicable):

Firstly I think including a couple of DLCs/Special editions/Compilations for the game (if any).

Next would be to include a couple of games which belong to the same Game series and/or licencees and/or franchise.

Next I would include games which have the same type of gameplay, first ones which coincide with all the different gameplay entries for that game (if more than one). If the gameplay entry is only one and covers lots of possibilities, then it could be narrowed down to either the year it was first released, and/or the first platform/s it was released on, and/or the developer of the game. (Choosing amongst those 3 is difficult, maybe try to match all 3?). Maybe there could be a weighting assigned depending on the number of games released by that developer and the number of games on that platform/s (as many platforms have very few games).

In general I think that there should be a weighting assigned to all the different platforms, companies (primarily developers but also publishers), genres (prioritizing gameplay over basic which is too broad), game groups and possibly even year.

For Sports categories and Educational categories it seems like it would be more straightforward, but for other genres, I think we have to consider their relative importance. Vehicular themes could also be interesting as a related option.

As far as I can tell, Basic genres (except for Idle, Gambling and Educational) cover too many games, Perspective and Visual presentation are very common, Art Style is mostly just Anime/Manga, Pacing is mostly always real-time or turn-based, Interface/control is very common, Setting and Narrative might be too generic, and Special edition and Other attributes are too generic as well. DLC content is also really common when a game is a DLC.

Therefore, after including related games which are DLCs, Special Editions and/or Compilations (ideally with high Mobyscores), and following from that related games belonging to the same Series and/or Franchise and/or Licensees, it would be a matter of weighting the possibility of excessive options showing up in other categories such as gameplay, and therefore narrowing down the possibilities by adding other filters until a relatively small but important selection of games is reached in order to fill in the 9 related games spots.

I know it´s much easier said than done though...

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Cantillon (59767) on 2/22/2023 1:03 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

I think I certainly would not want to see Compilations in there.

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joicrawu (0) on 2/22/2023 6:05 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

Actually you're right. Unless maybe the compilation includes many games from the series?

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joicrawu (0) on 2/22/2023 12:48 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

Personally I don´t think Title matches are generally necessary, as that is nearly always going to happen in some way if the game belongs to "X" group or has DLCs, Special Editions or Compilations (Although these usually belong to the game´s corresponding Game groups don´t they?) I guess you´d be relying on the fact that games have been appropriately included in Game Groups (which might be difficult especially with all games released over the last 10 or so years).

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Morpheus Kitami (108) on 2/23/2023 2:30 AM · Reply · Permalink · Report

Characteristics that closely relate the two games, like the more it shares genres, groups, staff, a publisher and developer the more likely it is the game should be considered related. With something to filter out "shovelware" entries like DLC and compilations. Maybe something to remove remakes too? I'm trying to think if there's a case where that wouldn't be obvious.

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Vereina (676) on 2/23/2023 5:47 AM · Reply · Permalink · Report

What everyone above said - it has to be somehow related to the game entry itself in the gameplay setting or story first and foremost, and just the name matches shouldn't be there if they have nothing to do with the opened entry.

Oh, there was that game group thing. I say, first of all games from there are to be seen.

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Kayburt (19706) on 2/23/2023 7:14 AM · Reply · Permalink · Report

Related games as it is seems to pick some random titles based on sharing one or more words from the title you are currently viewing. Not a very ideal way to put related games. The way I see it a related game should be sequels, prequels, spin-offs of the the current title mixed with games that share a common theme and gameplay style some of which coming from the same developers/publishers as well as titles derived from a game group. Ideally some related games should share the same computer/console platform as the currently viewed game. Here are a couple of examples:

  1. The game “Hour of Victory” https://www.mobygames.com/game/30132/hour-of-victory/ doesn’t have sequels or spin-offs but it was competing with similar WW2 themed First Person shooters such as “Medal of Honor” and “Call of Duty”. The game it does share more common elements with is “Commandos: Strike Force”. It makes sense that the related games match the theme with a few matching the sub-genre of stealth.

  2. The game “Trolls” https://www.mobygames.com/game/6522/trolls/ is one of multiple titles of the Trolls franchise. In addition to related games being other Trolls games, the are relatable to other platformers by Flair Software sharing almost all the same platformer mechanics such as “Oscar”.

The algorithm for automatically populating a new game would have to take into account the following data types based on a ranking system:

Platform

Developer/Publisher

Genres

Sub Genres

Game Groups

This does put some complexity in what counts as a related game, but other sites like the google play store make use of Similar Games, which could be replicated to allow users to find the game(s) they are looking for.

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Vereina (676) on 2/23/2023 7:44 AM · Reply · Permalink · Report

I glanced at Fallout 2.

The way I see it, related games first gotta show the rest of the games in the franchise.

Then the one most closest to it, like Wasteland.

Then those that closely resemble it in setting or plot, e.g. Metro - also survival after a nuclear war; The Fall - cus it is also future Earth, postapoc; Stalker - not really postapoc, but a nuclear disaster, Atomic Heart - nuclear bright future.

Then I'd throw in the games that doesn't seem very related, but might interest the F2 player: Horizon for both post-postapoc setting and a deep epic story; Colony Ship - a modern day hardcore sci-fi isometric CRPG with million builds and choices.

The last section would require implementation of the tag system scratches head

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Cantillon (59767) on 2/23/2023 9:42 AM · Reply · Permalink · Report

"The way I see it, related games first gotta show the rest of the games in the franchise."

Typically those would also be found in one of the game groups. Makes the Related Games a bit useless. I would like to see other games there.

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Kayburt (19706) on 2/24/2023 5:55 AM · Reply · Permalink · Report

Not necessarily useless. Game groups usually show you lists, some with a large number of games. Related Games can show a few games (4 minimum and maybe 10 maximum) that are not restricted to one group, to allow for variety in addition to a single screenshot for each title. It’s a secondary navigation method that allows users to find more or less what they are looking for.

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Vereina (676) on 2/24/2023 11:05 AM · Reply · Permalink · Report

I'm pretty sure you aren't going to really argue that the franchise games are related to each other. I just listed there the way I'd organize it. And the same series or franchise can go there as the first option because sometimes sequels have completely differing names, so unless you know it by then, you'd not think they are the same.

I never said the whole group of games has to show. Maybe indeed a pick of a random game from each of the four cathegories I listed above.

Actually, I'd change the "Related Games" into a bit cliché "You might also like" or similar lol

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Amon2501 (161) on 3/4/2023 1:04 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

Related must be RELATED. It should be either same game series, same universe or (at least) same developer or same genre. If not it `s UNrelated then.

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joicrawu (0) on 3/6/2023 8:13 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

Hi there, first of all Kudos for the redesign!

Anyway, I´ll attempt to give a more structured take on Related Games logic.

First of all I´m going to assume that the first premise would be to look for "relevant" related games. This would probably be based on mobyscore but I guess it could also be based on critic scores or user scores?

Regardless let´s start with a basic premise: Select related games based on mobyscore.

However, as there´s a limit of 9 related games, selection of games should probably be based depending on how many subsequent filters will be used. For example, if a game has very limited info regarding genres and groups, then Related games could be populated based on, let´s say, just 1 filter. However if the game has a lot of Genre and Groups info, then I guess that Related Games should be populated based on one filter, then the next, etc...up to 9.

Another option (which I think is the best one) would be to populate Related games in a variable manner (it might even be easier). In other words, instead of having 9 as a fixed value, that could range from, let´s say 1 to 20 Related games. This would be based on the number of "relevant" games associated. By relevant, we could mean a Mobyscore of 8.0 or higher, for example.

In general, if a game has 2 or more Basic genres or Gameplay, or belongs to several important groups, etc..., an AND function should be used to make them match as well as possible.

Again, I would strongly encourage a variable number of related games based on relevance (AKA Mobyscore?).

There will obviously be overlaps:

  1. Look for games which belong to the same Series or "Games" (this should contain DLCs and Special Editions (maybe even Compilations?). When I say "Games", I´m referring to the fact that some games belong to a "Games" group instead of Series.
  2. Look for games which belong to the same Universe / Licensees or are Variants of it.
  3. If it´s a Sports game, look for the related Sports theme/s.
  4. If it´s an Educational game, look for the related Educational category/ies.
  5. If it´s a Racing game, look for the corresponding Vehicular theme/s. Then, look for Groups such as Automobile/Tank/Aircraft.
  6. If the Genre is Gambling or Idle, return Related Games, as they don´t have many.
  7. If the Genre/s is/are different to the above or a hybrid including any of the above, continue searching...(unless the options are only amongst the 5 mentioned above). I say this because except for Idle and Gambling, Basic genres contain too many games to narrow down a search.
  8. Gameplay (could be 2 or more). If it returns, let´s say, 1,000 or more games (such as with Arcade gameplay), continue.
  9. Group genres. There are several of these, and they help to specify games´ genres even more. (For example, auto-run platformer, Labyrinth / Maze, Simulation - farming etc...)
  10. Group Gameplay features. There are several of these as well, for example, Alchemy, Day / night cycle, Monster capture, Poker, etc....

I think those would cover the most important Related games. Again, I would stress that it would probably make more sense if a variable number of related games was possible, as I mentioned before, maybe with a minimum of 1 and maximum of 20 ?

This system I´m proposing (which is obviously easier said than done and is just a basic outline), unfortunately doesn´t include many other things that other people would value, however there has to be a general consensus. However, it is VERY IMPORTANT to point out, that we shouldn´t forget that it is precisely the powerful Game Browser you have implemented which should be used to find related games, so you could even argue that it is a superfluous part of the overview (this is not a negative criticism, I´m just pointing out that I personally don´t need related games, as I´ll very quickly find them myself thanks to the new Browser).

Therefore, maybe you should just settle on something more basic for related games, where you poll people and see which preferences stand out, and take it from there. I´ve seen people talking about year of release (or time period), developer, platform, perspective, setting, narrative, etc... and therefore if there isn´t a consensus of some kind, I guess you´ll agree that it isn´t possible.

As for myself, again, I don´t need a Related Games section, I´m all good. Was just giving what to me would be the logical steps to take.

Thanks for reading!

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joicrawu (0) on 3/6/2023 8:18 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

In number 2. I forgot Franchise