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Data Entry Guide

This manual explains how to enter a video game into the system. If you have any doubt about the process or a question that is not covered here, please ask in the How to VGG forum. Game developers may request a developer badge.

Other Submission Guides

This wiki page is geared toward the entry of Video Games. We have separate guides for the other types of media/data we allow into the database:

Design Goals

We want to create a database hierarchy that is flexible enough to handle a wide variety of collector needs but refrain from being overly complex, so that it is navigable to the average gamer. The idea is to be able to track things down quickly and easily, while still allowing for higher-level discussion and review of any game, expansion, franchise or hardware. While the current database structure is not perfect or intended to solve every problem (there will always be grey areas), we hope its design works at least reasonably well for the purposes of video game documentation and collection cataloguing.

What is covered?

Everyone defines the term "video game" differently. As a database and archive resource we want to be as inclusive as possible, so most games played digitally or on an electronic device are accepted.

What is accepted?
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Games / Software Most games played on an electronic device; including mobile games, plug-n-play, visual novels, walking simulators, etc.
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Hardware The electronic devices on which games are played.
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Series / Franchise A group of closely related games.
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Characters The persons or other beings in the game's narrative.
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Developer / Publisher The people and companies responsible for funding and making the games.

For now, designers, artists and composers are not part of the database, and the pertinent info about them should be added to the videogame entry under More Info. We may implement a credits system in the future. Any other cases contact one of the VGG Admins or post on the How to VGG forum. If you are a video game designer, you are entitled to a special microbadge; see here for more info.

What is not covered?

VideoGameGeek is intended only to cover video and electronic games. There is not a strict rule as to whether a particular game is appropriate for inclusion or not, but a few categories are explicitly excluded. That is not to say that there is never any overlap with some of the subjects listed below, but the focus of VGG is not on any of the below subjects.

What is excluded?
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Alternate Reality Games (ARG) The real world is used as a platform and employs transmedia storytelling that may be altered by players' ideas or actions. While some have electronic game elements to them, these are outside the scope of VGG. Not to be confused with Augmented Reality. Example: Commander Video
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Demos of Games Demos are just a demonstration or trial run of the full product. SPECIAL EXCEPTION: This content can be submitted if it was released as a physical Standalone disc. This rule applies mostly to older games distributed through magazines 20 years or more ago.
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Download Only Compilations We have had a lot of problems with these and submissions for bundles, marketing gimmicks and services. Compilations may only be submitted if they have a physical release because the content on them cannot change. N/A
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Electronic Toys [2] Any children's toys, board games and similar non-video game items that are powered electronically. Example: Code Name: Sector is not within the scope of VGG.
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Micro-DLC [1] Downloadable content with no story elements or gameplay related items. Example: skins/texture packs, slight graphical changes and music/language DLC for games that are not music/language based.

SPECIAL EXCEPTION: This content can be submitted if it was released as a physical Standalone disc. This rule applies mostly to older games released 20 years or more ago.

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Music Emulation Programs Anything with the single purpose of sharing, remixing, or replicating a musical instrument. Example: KORG DS-10
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Construction Kits / Assets A construction kit or development aid is used to help build a full game quickly and easily. A title marketed as a game, but that also comes with a construction kit is acceptable. N/A
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Utilities / VTT A website, software program or application that is used to run and play a variety of games. Most Virtual Tabletop Games aimed at board gamers. Example:

    • Service discs and other programs used to test hardware.
    • Emulators
    • Games that can only be played through the use of programs/engines such as Vassal or Cyberboard.
    • Online game gadgets that provide access to games through a webpage sign up or app.
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Non-Gaming Devices [2] Non-gaming devices that also happen to play games. Example: calculators on which you can play games.
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Pirated versions/bundles We will not accept pirated or any other illegal copies of games. We will take unlicensed games, see below. N/A
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Pinball Machines Any electro-mechanical coin-operated machines. Example:
  • Claw cranes and redemption games.
  • Gambling devices like pachinko machines are also out.
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Toolsets Programs that provide gameplay support for a non-computer based game. Games whose primary gameplay is beyond the computer. SPECIAL EXCEPTION: We will allow them for board game/video game hybrids that will not function properly without them, because they are interdependent and key to each others functionality.
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Unsupported Crowd-Funding Projects Due to the large number of crowd funded games and the high risk of failure, we cannot accept these projects UNLESS the funding goal has been reached. N/A

[1] This rule was put in place as a way to exclude content that is not a "game"; things like textures. A community poll was held in 2017 to determine what DLC should and shouldn't be included on VGG.

[2] Any game can be played on any device - even things like ATMs, printers, cameras, digital watches, toilets, etc. So as not to over complicate things, only official game releases on official/traditional hardware are accepted.

The items listed above are "outside the scope of VGG", but you are still welcome to discuss them or submit related images and threads to the Outside the Scope of VGG entry.

Development Stages

We accept games from all stages of development. As a way to better manage the database and simultaneously label each game's development status clearly, we have special franchises, banners and placeholder images that are applied to applicable games. If you choose to enter a game that falls into any of these stages, you will be required to copy and paste the banner code below into the game description box and link to the relevant franchise.

Unreleased Content - Unavailable

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Announced but unreleased items may be submitted for inclusion to the database, but must meet the following:

  • Images for unreleased items are not allowed (press kits are an exception).
  • Associate with the Franchise "(Unreleased Games - Unavailable)".
  • Add the following banner on the top of the item description:

Copy and paste the code below into the description box:

{| border="1" align="center" width="100%"
| style="background-color:#FF0000; color:#FFFFFF; text-align: center; font-size: 16px; font-weight: bold; padding: 5px 0;" |
UNRELEASED GAME – UNAVAILABLE
|-
| style="font-style: italic; padding: 5px 0;" |
This game has officially been announced by the publisher or developer and remains in development. Therefore, some of the game information may change in the future.
|}

  • Only submit versions that are CONFIRMED by the publisher, and include a link to the press release in the admin notes of the submission.

Unreleased Content - Available

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Games that are still in development, but offered to the public in their unfinished state as a work-in-progress. Typically with headers like Early-Access Alpha, Open or Closed Beta.

Copy and paste the code below into the description box:

{| border="1" align="center" width="100%"
| style="background-color:#25CF22; color:#FFFFFF; text-align: center; font-size: 16px; font-weight: bold; padding: 5px 0;" |
UNRELEASED GAME – AVAILABLE
|-
| style="font-style: italic; padding: 5px 0;" |
This game is still in active development, but available to the public for purchase in its unfinished state - Early-Alpha or Beta (or any status in between).
|}

Unreleased Content - Vaporware

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Vaporware is a product that is announced to the general public, but is never actually manufactured nor officially cancelled. Vaporware is often announced months or years before its purported release, with development details lacking. The developer or publisher may have no intention of releasing the game any time soon, if ever.

Copy and paste the code below into the description box:

{| border="1" align="center" width="100%"
| style="background-color:#000000; color:#FFFFFF; text-align: center; font-size: 16px; font-weight: bold; padding: 5px 0;" |
UNRELEASED GAME – VAPORWARE
|-
| style="font-style: italic; padding: 5px 0;" |
This game is stuck in the development limbo known as Vaporware. Few to no details have been released about its gameplay, plot, or release date since its announcement many years ago. It may or may not be in active development, but neither has it been cancelled officially.
|}

Unreleased Content - Cancelled

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Cancelled items may be submitted for inclusion to the database, but must meet the following:

  • Images for cancelled items are allowed, provided you own or have access to a copy.
  • Associate with the Franchise "(Unreleased Games - Cancelled)".
  • Add the following banner on the top of the item description:

Copy and paste the code below into the description box:

{| border="1" align="center" width="100%"
| style="background-color:#999999; color:#FFFFFF; text-align: center; font-size: 16px; font-weight: bold; padding: 5px 0;" |
UNRELEASED GAME - CANCELLED
|-
| style="font-style: italic; padding: 5px 0;" |
This game was officially cancelled or abandoned and is no longer in development. An unfinished version(s) of it may or may not have been made available to the public at some point.
|}

Unlicensed Games

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An unlicensed or unofficial game normally refers to a game that uses the characters, animation or world of another game, series, or franchise without proper licensing. This is different from piracy which involves taking a product and reselling it illegally (something VGG does not support!). If the licensed version is in the database, please place its ID number in the [thing] bracket.

  • Images for unlicensed items are allowed and must follow the VGG Image Policy.
  • Associate with the Franchise "(Unlicensed Games)".
  • Add the following banner on the top of the item description:

Copy and paste the code below into the description box:

{| border="1" align="center" width="100%"
| style="background-color:#7744EE; color:#FFFFFF; text-align: center; font-size: 16px; font-weight: bold; padding: 5px 0;" |
UNLICENSED GAME
|-
| style="font-style: italic; padding: 5px 0;" |
This game is an unlicensed version of [thing=#####].
|}

Getting Started

Anyone can contribute content to the database using the "Create Video Game" link found in the drop-down box under the "Community" tab of the navbar. For the purposes of VGG we separate or lump games based on their content; for more info see Game vs. Release Version.

Other Links

These guides provide additional assistance with video game entry:

Before submitting a game be sure to:

    1. Do a search of the database to make sure the game you want to enter is not already there.
      • BE SURE TO CHECK YOUR SPELLING! Search for any alternative names the game may go by, especially foreign names.
    2. Check the pending queues to verify the item hasn't already been submitted by someone else:

Create a Video Game Entry

The diagram below will guide you through the game submission form. In total, there are 15 required and 7 optional fields. By comparison BGG has 8 required and 18 optional fields. RPGG has 16 required and 7 optional fields. We want as much game information on VGG as possible and for the information to be whole and accurate. These mandatory fields are also used by the site's advanced search option.

The Video game item is the entry where the main information of a particular game will be collected. It is the central piece of the database, around which most of the data will orbit. A brief explanation of all the fields is in order.

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Create Video Game Block

Primary Name

The name the game is best known by. For foreign games, if there is a widely known English name, that name is preferred, otherwise use the native language name. After the game has been submitted and approved you can add alternative names underneath the primary one.

Genre

A genre defines the type of game-play found in a video game, independent of its setting or game-world content. The genres we use are all based on the industry standard with some decisions made by us to make things more clear.

If you have any doubts, check:

Each video game should have at least one genre applied to it and ideally not more then three. Select all that apply, but avoid over-linking and redundancy; for example, if you have "Action" and "Adventure" then select "Action Adventure".

Theme

Theme is related to where and when the game is set. It can be both a specific era and location (i.e. WWII, American Revolution) or a more generic one (Fantasy, Medieval, etc). Choose whichever apply. Each video game should have at least one theme applied to it and ideally not more then three.

Over-linking and redundancy should be avoided. When choosing a theme ask yourself: "If I was searching for this particular game what themes would I look for it under?" or "What is this game's core story and content about?" For example: Just because a dog appears somewhere in a game does not mean it should have "animals" listed as a theme. If the dog is the protagonist of the game then "animals" is acceptable.

Franchise

Franchises are a complex field with a lot of specific requirements attached. Choose which, if any, game franchise your submission is a part of.

For more information on franchises see:

There are also several franchises that are used as a sorting tool to aid in database management and labeling. Most of these are aimed at a game's development status.

Series

Series are a complex field with a lot of specific requirements attached. Choose which, if any, game series your submission is a part of.

For more information on series see:

Modes

Modes are ways of playing the game. Single Player, Multiplayer, Massive, etc. Select each that apply.

Minimum and Maximum Players

The min and max players fields list how few or how many people can play a game at the same time. The minimum number will usually be 1, although there are rare occasions where 2 and only 2 can play. The maximum field is required, but is not marked as such because in the case of MMOs, the max is impossible to determine. Check the rules below:

  • Both Fields Are Required.
  • For single player only use 1 in both fields.
  • For MMOs leave the max field empty.
  • For Multiplayer games use the max number of players that can be playing together in a given instance. For example: in Starcraft 1, up to 8 players can be on the map, making the maximum number of players 8.

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Min and Max Player Block - Both Fields Are Required

Regard both of these fields as REQUIRED. The only reason they are not marked as such is because it is nearly impossible to fill out for MMOs and for some older games. However, DO make an effort to find the Maximum. Oftentimes reviews or YouTube clips show the maximum.

Release Date

The first or oldest release date should be the one that is used. For games with no confirmed release date enter the date for next year. Only the year is mandatory. Never leave this field blank.

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Release Date Block

Expansions, Expands, and Contains

Video games often receive add-on content that expands or builds upon the premise of the base game. Sometimes a game is released that contains several different games bundled together (see Compilations).

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Expansions, Expands, and Contains Block

  • Expansion: Used to add the game(s) that expand the one being submitted.
  • Expands: Used to add the game the one being submitted expands.
  • Contains: Used if the game contains multiple games or DLC.

An expansion is used to add new content, features or areas to an existing game. A new game in a series is not an expansion. A sequel is not an expansion for its predecessor.

Description

The description should give an idea as to what the game is about. Its setting, plot, characters or gameplay. Descriptions must have an attribution source listed!

Sources we allow:

  • User Summary - A summary written by yourself. We prefers these descriptions above all others.
  • Publisher / Developer Website - The official website of the game creators.
  • Game Manual / Game Box - Straight off the product.
  • Wikipedia or StrategyWiki - These and any other website using the CC-BY-SA license.
  • Twitter/Facebook - Try to avoid this one if possible. A last resort.

Never use:

  • Retailers - This includes Steam, Amazon and Google/iOS app stores.
  • KickStarter - These are a direct violation of the Community Rules.

Formatting:

The description attribution must be formatted properly to ensure that links show up right and text configuration on the site is uniform. If you need help, we have a tool that will handle all of the formatting for you. See: How To Use The Attribution Formatting Tool

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The Attribution Formatting Will Save You Time

Create a Video Game Release Version

Release versions are used to record and differentiate between the differences in each release of the game - platforms, media, country/region or special editions for example. Retailers, like Steam or app stores, should never be given a release version.

For downloadable releases, only a single global version is used for the download, regardless of distributor. If certain digital distributors provide DRM differences, a note in the release description field to specify distributor differences will suffice.

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The Create Release window

Nickname

This is the shorthand identifier for the version, and is used to distinguish it from the other releases. The nickname must be in full English without abbreviations. A default for this field is:

Physical Media: "[Region/Country] [platform]", such as "North American Xbox edition" or "Japanese Famicon edition".
Download/Digital: "[platform][Media]", such as "Windows Downloadable edition"

  • Country names should be written in full: North American (not NA or US), Japanese (not JP or Jap), and European (not EU or PAL).
  • European releases that are not multilingual will need to include the language: "English/European" or "German/European".
  • If a version is for a special or collectors editions, that should be included in the name: "North American Playstation "Greatest Hits" edition".
  • Some games may require noting the media type. A "UK Commodore 64 edition" for example, could be either a 5 1/4" diskette or a cassette.
  • If a digital game is available for multiple types of PC, include them all on one release version: "Windows/Macintosh/Linux Downloadable edition"

This nickname, along with the cover image, will be the primary means of identifying a version in a game entry.

Release Date

The release date of this specific product. Only the year is mandatory.

Platform

Which platform this release can be played on. There should only be one platform per release version. iOS (iPhone/iPad) and PC (Linux/Macintosh/Windows) are exceptions.

Release Publisher and Developer

Every game version will have a company, known as the developer, who made and constructed the game and a company, known as the publisher, who paid for and marketed the game.

Important notes about this field:

  • If a release is a localized/ported version done by a company other than the original developer, then link the company that localized/ported.
  • If a company is not currently in the database, then you must add them using the Create Company form. Companies that are still pending can be linked to a release.
  • Specific people cannot be credited on video game entries. For games that were developed or published by an individual or a group of individuals not associates with any company, use (Self-developed) as the Developer and (Self-published) as the Publisher.

Media

Media is the format on which the game was released or made available. Media restricts which platforms the game can be played on.

For platform and media support:

Languages

Select the languages that are supported within the game. Do not include manual only languages.

Video Game Rating

Video games typically contain a rating on the box. Most downloadable titles and games released prior to 1994 never receive a rating. For these select (Not Rated) and for games that have yet to be released select (Rating Pending). The rating is an important field, so a bit of research is always good.

If you need help:

Some resources you may want to check:

  • ESRB Website - For US releases;
  • PEGI Website - For EU releases;
  • Cero Website - For JP releases (site in japanese);
  • Use google image search to find the cover for the release and check the image tag on it.

Rating Notes:

  • Not Rated - Use this when a game does not have a rating.
  • Rating Pending - This is for games that have not yet been rated, but will be in the future. All physical releases will get a rating at some point.

Region

This is a non-mandatory field that denotes possible region locks and a DRM system. Old cartridges have it and it became widespread with DVDs.


Misc

Microbadges

We have a special set of system awarded Microbadges for submitting content to VGG. The following formula is used to determine total entries: Video Games + Franchises + Series + (0.25 x Releases) + (0.25 x Characters) + (0.10 x Character Versions)

There are currently seven thresholds for VGG award badges:

Microbadge: Copper VGG Uploader for 10 Entries (Copper)
Microbadge: Silver VGG Uploader for 100 Entries (Silver)
Microbadge: Golden VGG Uploader for 250 Entries (Gold)
Microbadge: Platinum VGG Uploader for 500 Entries (Platinum)
Microbadge: Herculean VGG Uploader for 750 Entries (Herculean)
Microbadge: Ultimate VGG Uploader - This user has 1000+ entries and is in the VGG Hall of Fame! for 1000 Entries (Ultimate) - (This will also net you a place in the Video Game Geek Hall of Fame)
Microbadge: Unobtainium VGG Uploader - This user has 10,000+ entries and is in the VGG Hall of Fame! for 10,000 Entries (Unobtanium)

We have a separate set of special Microbadges for video game developers. These microbadges are handed out manually. For more info, see this thread: Game Designer/Developer Microbadges Now Available!

Microbadge: Video Game Artist - VG Artist
Microbadge: Video Game Designer - VG Designer
Microbadge: Video Game Musician / Audio - VG Musician/Audio
Microbadge: Video Game Programmer - VG Programmer
Microbadge: Video Game Producer - VG Producer
Microbadge: Video Game Writer - VG Writer

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