The future of IFDB: volunteers wanted

Like Jonathan said, we can discuss it later, but I think there’s a reason that out of IFDB and IFWiki, it’s IFDB that’s received the most attention. The main attraction or use of IFDB to most users (I believe) is its download links, with cover art, description and reviews only secondary to that. I think the wiki format would be better if information was the main purpose of the sight, but I think for a lot of people it’s just like a convenient dressed-up version of the IFarchive plus links to other games out on the web. I think moving from file-management focus to information-management focus isn’t necessarily a pro.

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Right. Movies have IMDB and Wikipedia entries in most cases, and each site serves a different purpose. If you want to know the entire cast and who that random guy with a bit part was and see what other movies he’s done, you use IMDB. If you want the general story and history of the production in narrative format, Wiki may be better.

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For anyone who wasn’t aware: there was a survey about IFDB in 2017. Results are here: https://iftechfoundation.org/reports/ifdb-survey-2017/

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if-db.com ?

I’m not in a position to tech lead but would love to volunteer on the software side of things.

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I have a lot of love for IF, I’ve just got nothing to show for it (aside about 20 Inform, Twine and Adventuron side-projects…). However, I’ve over a decade of web development using Linux under my belt (Debian / Ubuntu), and a lot of devops knowledge also. (I currently manage 50 servers with Ansible.) I’d be excited about (helping to) run the show, for sure!

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I unfortunately don’t have the focus nor time nor state of mind to help with any of these things (and last time I touched PHP was 15+ years ago) :disappointed_relieved: but I’m really happy to see there’s so much interest to continue IFDB, and that there’s thought going into keeping it running in the long term. I think the site is very good to have, and is more like a GoodReads of the IF community than a wiki. Good luck!

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Quick followup to this: I don’t think anybody who is heavily involved in IFWiki has spoken up. Or if you have, I missed it.

Does someone want to? I don’t expect we’re going to make any radical jumps like “IFDB turns into IFWiki” or vice versa. But it would still be good to have an IFWiki perspective in the discussion.

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I think IFWiki should always be independent, as it serves a different purpose. However, it would be really nice if every entry in IFDB had an entry in IFWiki and the former had a link to the latter. It is a lot of work to maintain it, though.

Another thing that hasn’t been mentioned is that there is currently a fantastic database of hints, walkthroughs, solutions, maps and screen grabs at the Classic Adventure Solution Archive. IFDB should have links to that for each game. Ideally the two databases should be a union. There are lots of games in CASA that aren’t in IFDB and vice versa.

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It would definitely be great if there were links back and forth between game pages on IFDB, CASA and IFWiki. However, I don’t see why IFDB and CASA should be a union. At least historically, IFDB has never been the place to upload things (except cover art). Instead, it links to most things relevant (and ideally “all” things relevant). In my opinion, what it is lacking on IFDB is simply links to the most obvious sites with game-specific pages: IFWiki and CASA (others?). And I think that these links should be near the top of each game listing instead of at the bottom, which is currently the case for the “Baf’s guide”-link.

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As an admin there, I would say that we cover slightly different ground at CASA than the IFDB… Although there is certainly no firm agreement as to what should be included in the database, historically the site has covered games that are on the text adventure side of things, rather than interactive fiction… I think we do, however, have most of the IFcomp entries (and other major competitions) included in the database. It usually needs to have a parser for CASA… although we do have multiple choice (and even word icon driven games) on the site too. The lines can get very blurry. :slight_smile:

Despite the name and URL, CASA is not just solutions. It also aims to accurately document text adventures; an awful lot of work is put into this side of things… that’s one of the main things I choose to spend my time doing; going back to primary sources to check the information that just tends to get copy and pasted across the various 8-bit archives.

Contributions to CASA are always welcome. It would be nice to see solutions and hints submitted for more of the modern IF/adventure games.

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Yes, that’s what I meant. I didn’t mean that they should share a common database.

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I think this is a great step. I’ve been running various non-profits for 20 years and would happy to be part of the committee.

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