Change "Beta" and "Proto" tags

General No-Intro related discussions.
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Hiccup
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Joined: 09 Oct 2015 11:29

Change "Beta" and "Proto" tags

Post by Hiccup »

These tags are pretty confusing at the moment.
"Beta" is a specific development stage, but in datomatic, its used to mean any "pre-release" version.
"Proto" is also a specific development stage, but in datomatic, its used to mean an unreleased game/version. Also its commonly (but incorrectly) used on the internet to mean a pre-release version of a game.

Also, if the specific development stage is known, this can result in weird contradictory datfile names, like "Game Name (Beta) (Alpha YYYY-MM-DD)"

I think it'd be better to use these instead:
"Pre-release"
"Unreleased"

These are both common terms that have straightforward meanings.

Any thoughts?
badinsults
Posts: 274
Joined: 05 Jun 2008 01:34

Re: Change "Beta" and "Proto" tags

Post by badinsults »

I am confused, why wouldn't you consider anything that is not the final version of the game to be called a prototype? This is the term that I always use.

I agree, though, that the "beta" tag should be changed.
piyo
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Joined: 07 Jul 2020 18:03

Re: Change "Beta" and "Proto" tags

Post by piyo »

badinsults wrote: 04 Oct 2020 09:22 I am confused, why wouldn't you consider anything that is not the final version of the game to be called a prototype?
A prototype actually is a very early draft of a software, often created to test a new idea or to showcase it to the publisher. The development stage usually will be prototype -> alpha -> beta -> release.

In the DOM "prototype" is sometime be used as an develoment status, to describe an early abandoned idea of a game. But usually it is used to label any unreleased game, which includes ready-to-release versions, which were discarted by the publisher for whatever reasons. In the latter case, it is used more as a release status, similar to "Unlicensed".

Sometimes, beta versions and internal demos might be released as bonus content on later compilations (like the Aladdin Demo in the Disney Classic Games collection). So I wonder, if "(Unreleased)" should be appended to unreleased pre-release version? Like "Game Name (Pre-release) (Alpha YYY-MM-DD) (Unreleased)" ? It would be more consistent, but result in very long file names.
Hiccup
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Re: Change "Beta" and "Proto" tags

Post by Hiccup »

Currently, this is how they are used:
Beta = Pre-release version of released games
Proto = Unreleased game or unreleased revision/regional-variation of released game

They aren't used together.
relax
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Joined: 27 May 2008 17:52

Re: Change "Beta" and "Proto" tags

Post by relax »

I agree that the meaning of the current tags is not obvious for anyone that hasn't read the 2007 No-Intro convention. I like that we use two different tags for released and unreleased games, but I have no devotion for the current tags, so I'm open to changing them.

Outside of No-Intro the word proto/prototype is used for both released and unreleased games. And the use of the word beta (vs. for instance alpha) is very subjective.

Hiccup's suggestion is good, and the tags should be easily understandable. I think it's worth a serious consideration.

Funny that I should see this box today, where the publisher wrote "pre release".

//

As for the beta with the confusing name that inspired Hiccup's post, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 (USA) (Alpha, 2001-04-20) (Beta), I wouldn't have added "Alpha" with the date, but kept that to the comment field. One man's alpha is another man's beta :P
scyther-grovyle
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Re: Change "Beta" and "Proto" tags

Post by scyther-grovyle »

I agree with hiccup, even though the meaning of the terms evolves, we should not be contributing to mistaking the original meaning and his suggestion is a clear way that does not have the same problems :)
omonim2007
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Re: Change "Beta" and "Proto" tags

Post by omonim2007 »

As for me It doesn't matter how to call them, but the whole title + tags need to be as short as it can be ))

"Demo", "Beta", "Proto" are very good and short tags.
"Pre Release" or "Pre-Release" is sooooo long both.

There are a lot of Japanese games with more than 40...50 symbols in there titles, so we can't make them more longer.
Hiccup
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Re: Change "Beta" and "Proto" tags

Post by Hiccup »

That's a good point. Maybe they could be shorterned to "Prerls" or "Unrls". But its not that much of a priority to change them at all, really. Its more of a semantic thing.

Edit: For long Japanese names, maybe the game name itself should be shortened. You've got the "Original Title" custom field in the archive's Media section, to store the actual, full, title.
battousai_hades
Posts: 10
Joined: 04 Nov 2020 23:59

Re: Change "Beta" and "Proto" tags

Post by battousai_hades »

In my opinion it would be:

DEMO = demo released.
Beta (or Proto) = Pre-release version of released games.
Unreleased = Unreleased game / demo or unreleased revision / regional-variation of released game.
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