The Origin of Species of GamersThe Origin of Species of Gamers

Posted on Aug 28th 2017 at 08:00:00 AM by (bickman2k)
Posted under State of the Site, Upgrades, apps, Google, security

A quick discussion about projects and site work that is upcoming.

First of all, I'd like to begin this by giving a big thank you to the entire community of RF Generation. Over the years, our community and user base has grown by quite a bit. We continue to have great members that are accepting of others, willing to help, and always have a great attitude. I couple of times over 8 (8?!) years, I've written some open letters of thanks to the community. The thoughts expressed in those still apply today.

While some members have moved on and others have jumped in, the overall feel of the forum hasn't shifted and we've even extended out to have more members and even meeting up in person to get a more personal touch to the site. We've also had tables at RetroWorld Expo, allowing even more people to get to know the site!

With all of that being said, we on the administrative team have some work to do. There are a couple of main topics that we are going to have to tackle in a fairly short manner that will ultimately be for the best.

First, we have to work toward getting https working site wide. This is something that we should have done in the past, but now we're being sort of pushed that way as Google will be marking any site that does not use https as not secure. We have not had any issues that we're aware of regarding accounts being compromised, but it is still something that needs to be implemented to help with security.

Secondly, SPAM! We see the reports and work to get those accounts removed as quickly as possible, but it's gotten out of hand. We are running older forum software currently that is no longer supported. As part of the work to help bolster security, we will also be working on getting the forum software upgraded. This will require a lot of work to get the forum software upgraded as well as working to get the theme changed back to something that would fit in with the site look better.

The initial plan is to get the forum software updated properly with a generic theme, then work to get the theme modified gradually to get the look we are going for. This will allow us to get the software and basic features upgraded, giving us both additional security as well as helping to block spam bots further by being able to implement ReCaptcha.

Until that work is done, we are looking in to changing how user registration is handled. This would include making a user click a link to confirm their account before they can log in. We wanted to try to avoid any possible hurdles to registration, but I feel that there are enough accounts out there that require both that it wouldn't be a great inconvenience to implement this feature.

Because of the nature of the work and the work itself involved, we will need to do the forum upgrade and the https work first. We can then do work with new features, theme work, or other pieces being implemented, but we need to get the initial pieces in place before we start work on new stuff.

Also on the table is a reworking of the Android app and getting it published back on the Play Store. But that's taking a little longer than I would like, just because of a lack of time to really dig in. It is something that I would like to have happen to both modernize the app a bit as well as add in a few features.

Now, what we need from you is some feedback. Is there anything that you would like implemented? Any concerns about how things are going?

Thanks again, everyone, for helping make RF Generation one of the best places to be on the Internet. And, as always, don't forget to keep it on channel 3!

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Thanks for the update and the hard work! 

Off the top of my head, one thing I would like to see is a "Back to entry" link / button after submitting something.  I often will submit info / photos for a entry and would like to go immediately back to the entry after submission.  Instead I have to search for the entry again.  Not a huge deal but it's something that stuck out when trying to do a lot of submissions and work fairly fast.
Always nice to hear updates, i hope the security upgrades go smoothly!

As for feedback, did you guys ever find a good way to collaborate on projects, simpler methods of sharing code? I know Shadow mentioned that being a hurdle to redesigning the site at one point, but never heard any updates on that. On that note, will we be looking at a complete site redesign anytime soon after the security upgrades? The site is getting quite dated, and although I have no issue using it myself, I'm sure that new members would be even more interested if it was modernized. If it was mobile-friendly too then maybe the app would be unnecessary, people could just use the mobile version of the website.

The only specific feature I can think of that would be nice is filters on the database search after you've searched, so that you can narrow down your search without having to start it over. Similar to Ebay searches with all the filters on the left, preferably having the options adapting to the search at hand.
@Bear78: That should be something simple to add to both the regular and staff pages. Shouldn't be a problem, and I can push that out even before the security upgrades once we get everything setup.

@techwizard: Collaboration isn't really a huge problem for us, once we get everything setup. The site is just in such disrepair that touching one thing impacts all of the other systems, so it's very difficult to have multiple hands working at the same time. Part of the forum upgrade grants us something to allow us to decouple the database from the forum profiles more, and a proper redesign of the database schema gets us the rest of the way there. The schema is a very, very large undertaking, and it'll be a bit of time until we get to that, but once that's done the rest of the redesign will fall into place quickly.
i am looking forward to any positive changes to the site - would be nice to see more categories - like as we have mentioned in the past for Gaming Magazines, Strategy Guides, Books etc. While I know this isn't probably quite yet possible that is okay but any changes are good changes.  This is a community 1 of 2 that I enjoy dearly.  I know I have been absent quite a bit but I would love to join and help with anything that might need help with my brother would also be a great help as well.  Keep up the awesome job guys.
Hi. Some thoughts I have. Some I'm guessing would be easier to implement than others:

1. As mentioned above a paper/document database would be great. Being able to create ties between this and the software and hardware databases would be great too. And preferably a quick way to add in hundreds of issues of magazines

2. Ability to create links between the hardware and software databases. Mainly for bundled games and hardware

3. People seem to have a desire to enter hardware or games only available as part of a bundle (including leads for consoles etc). It would be good if these could be added but there was a box to tick stating not available individually

4. Further filter options for the searches. E.g. Original releases only, no homebrew, no non-game softwares, format selection (tied to console picked)

5. It's great that people can rate games and there's top 10 lists. However ratings seem to be averaged by country which means only USA generally has enough to get an average suitable for the top 10 lists. Can ratings default to a worldwide average (on the games database entry page) and then add filters to the top 10 lists to filter by country, console etc

Hopefully some useful suggestions there :-)
Hi there.

I'm quite new here, entering on majority age (18 months) in this fantastic comunity.
About the database, in first place want to say that RFG is awesome already. With a great Android APP, that give the oportunity to check our database offline, hope it also can grow with the website.

I do have some suggestions to do, some could be lack of information, also don't know if they are feaseable or not, and possible many are already in a TODO List or are bugs:

A) Editing collections: When we move a game for one folder to another that already have the game, the previous entry gets overwrited and we loose comments on that one. It's possible to have an warning in that cases, or, even better have multiples entries of the same game in the same folder, that way we can add different comments? This would be nice to have also in the Android APP.

B)Game/hardware page: It could be nice when we select a game/hardware to add to our collection to have a option to choose the folder where we want it. Just Like the Android APP.

C)Game/hardware page: Have an option to show personal data of that game (CBI  and Comments). This could be awesome to have on the Android APP, in the website, maybe only visible as an option.

D)Game/hardware page: When clicking on an image would be great to have an inside viewer that can let us scroll between the images. On the Android App this should be also a great addition in conjuction with an auto-resize image to full-screen.

E)Updated Entries date: Possibility to see this information in the listing collection, and also possibility to check/filter the list by updated entries dates. Also have a page to check the updated entries and not only the last 8 on front page.

F)Check Lists: The possibility to search with region wide mode, for example, the Europe region don't show exclusive games (not variants) from other european countries, maybe should be created Europe (Wide) region for that. When using the option group variants, the variants WITH Variant Name will also appear on the list

G)Check List: With the possibility to have an Europe (wide) region, or others, when we choose to show list with collection entered and group variants, would be nice that the list came with the collection entered if we have one of that regional variants.

H)Android APP: Please don't drop the support ! But keep the simplicity of it!!

It will be great to have a TODO List of improvements, maybe that way it could be easier to get help to do some of the tasks and we all could help in a more effective way.

I do enjoy a lot the way RFG is builded and the way this is grownnig, please keep the good job.
Hope it helps, and be a useful comment!
Simple and Functional !

Yeah, I'd really like the app to stick around too.  I know switching over to a newer layout would allow for the site to be ran in a mobile friendly view but the convenience of the app is still preferred for me.

One other sort / filter one I thought of would be the ability to search publisher / developer.  If I want to see every game someone developed, it would be cool to just search their name and have them all come up.  I know some developers / publishers are in the database under multiple name variations though so it wouldn't be perfect unless someone was able to clean it up.
Yeah! The Apps it's very nice to have it, and work offline and quickly, hope it gets updated with more functions, like the ability to update/edit entries and see more info, like comments, and also see varitions, game trivia,...

About the website, in the meanwhile remembered about the possibility to add extra fiels, like cost, condition, date of aquisition, but this fields must be private fields, in my opinion, or add a possibility of X number of customs fields, with the possibility for each owner/user change the name of the custom fields, and select if it's a private field or public.

Also add more options in exporting collection, like UPC, comments, whatever...
I have been using RFGENERATION for 11 years. It has been my go to site for collection tracking.  I loved it when the andriod app came out. I don't know what I would do without it now because i don't own a computer or laptop anymore.

All that being said it is really showing its age.  People don't really use the forums like they used to.

One thing I would really like to see is the ability to add photos (either to the database or forums) directly from my phone.  Ever since photobucket screwed us all. It is a nightmare to post photos to the forum with my phone. I have to jump through hoops it seems like.  LOL  This one change would get me back to adding photos to the database.  I'm not real sure how a website works or anything but I love how I can just pull pictures off my phone to ebay with no issues whatsoever
@toze3: I didn't realize the app could be used offline! I don't use it myself and assumed it was always connected to the RFGen database. If it works offline then i completely agree, it should stay. We still need a mobile friendly version of the website too though.
@techwizard  yea, it works offline with the last data syncronized. Offline it only shows some basic information, the same you get with export to csv function, but that basic info is enough to see wich games you have and if they are complete in a very quick way. Adding games or see more information, like images, only online. 
I appreciate all the work  done on  the site. Even a tiny bit is far more than I could ever do . The site has saved me a few times from buying stuff I already have.

Off the top of my head I can think of only one suggestion for the update and that's to time and date the changes to an entry. Or is there a way the site can be made in a wiki way where there's a list on each entry of the changes?
The only thing I could think of is that the DB needs a major overhaul, digital games are here to stay. I like retail as much as the next guy, but we need to incorporate the vast array of digital stores into the DB in a more tidy manner. Other then that, the site runs great!
Thanks for the update, and as I've mentioned before, if there's any way I can help, let me know.  I know I'm not a database guy, but I want to see the site continue to grow and thrive.  Thanks for your hard work, and for the rest of the team as well!
Thank you for the updates.  I love this site and the app, and used them all the time.  I like the App the way it is now.  I understand needing to do updates, though.  If you could keep it similar with some added features, that would be cool.  Thank you all for the Hard work!
Im late to the party, but Ive been busy.  I would like to see a few things,

1.  I like to use a barcode scanner to find my games.  Is there a way that the second set barcodes could be on another line or ignored when searching. (Ex 10010 on gamecube games).
2.  I assume that when the app is updated the seaching will have a sort or more options, and a way to submit games and pics from the app.
3. the Chat... It needs to just go away from IRC and just use a Discord, slack, or other modern chat programs or sites.
4. Users that have not logged in for years.  maybe have there accounts in a limbo state, so our all user section is easier to see the active members. Mostly for trades or wish list.  It sucks seeing some one has a game for trade. And when you see their status last logged in 2009... heart sunk..
5. RFGeneration Con Smiley In Ohio.. Ill help set it up Wink
@cverz2: if you Tapatalk, you store the Photos on their server when you need to post on a forum.
@douglie007: Maybe somewhere a little more central to everyone. Like Kansas City... Smiley
@bickman2k: LOL split the difference and have it Illinois Tongue
Just wondering if there is any TO DO list with features to implement and if is there any time line defined ?
For both website and Android APP

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As much as the world has changed, our still somewhat niche spot as gamers has adapted to the times as well as the games. We have created our online museum of our past. We share our experiences about the present. And we will evolve together as the gaming community continues to change. I hope to write about some of my experiences with gaming, as well as on some topics that were not directly relevant to me, but to the community or you personally.
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