Homepage minetest.net sucks at showcasing games

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Wuzzy
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Homepage minetest.net sucks at showcasing games

by Wuzzy » Tue Sep 17, 2019 17:11

The homepage https://minetest.net still sucks. It does a terrible job at showcasing good games.

Compare this abomination <https://www.minetest.net/customize/> with:
https://www.solarus-games.org/en/games
http://flarerpg.org/index.php/mods/

minetest.net is an EPIC FAIL because:
  • No screenshots about the games (except 6 boring ones ironically called a “gallery”)
  • Littered with tons of mostly MTG-only mods, many of which are probably outdated as well or have been superseded
  • No apparent quality control, looks like everything is just “whatever the core devs like”
  • It features Minetest Game, which is crap
  • It features Tutorial, which is not a game (Tutorial should rather be bundled, but I have given up to fight this battle years ago)
  • It features Pixture, which is broken in MT 5.0.0 and is very buggy and has horrible UX even in MT 0.4.17
  • Games link to the forum (which is awful) or the wiki (which is not as awful, but still seems unprofessional)
  • Overall, it looks very boring and I probably won't feel compelled to try any of the games
  • The descriptions are also boring

Solarus' and FLARE's homepages are a WIN because:

  • Proper overview of all games with nice images
  • Every game has their own, highly informative page with all important links and other game data (release data, download link, etc.)
  • Beautiful imagery
  • On solarus-games.org, only high-quality PLAYABLE (!) games featured. There was obviously some quality control before any game “made” it to the homepage. Sadly, FLARE also features incomplete things, but at least it's clear from the text. FLARE also doesn't have many games yet (this has to change!), so I can at least understand it here.
  • Overall, it looks much more inviting. I feel much more compelled to at least look at the games

Why is this important? Because games are the most important feature in Minetest. This is what players want to play. Showcasing the games that you can actually play in Minetest is extremely important.
Players are not going to be excited about a game engine if there are no games. Or you have to dig deep in the forums or Content DB, which are littered with tons of tech demos.


How to improve minetest.net? Well, obviously, inspiration from both FLARE and Solarus should be taken.
Then, some quality guidelines should be established. This needs to be discussed, but as a bare minimum I suggest for games:

  • Compatible with MT 5
  • No crashes, bugs, show-stoppers, etc.
  • Game is playable and considered complete (or almost complete)
  • Players enjoy the game
  • Check every game for eligibility again after every Minetest release. Delist games that have “gone bad”
  • Game is fun out of the box
  • 100% free software (what's the point of Minetest if it's yet another proprietary Minecraft clone in the end?)

It should also be considered to not feature so many mods, if any. It's not good that every mod that adds one minor feature gets featured. Only mods that make a significant contribution/extension to a game or offer significant gameplay. I think it's also very difficult to maintain a huge curated list of mods because they are constantly changing at a fast pace, and it's just a ton of work to keep up. Best to just link to the Content DB.

My suggestions are not exhaustive. But bascially it's “take inspiration from Solarus and FLARE”. :-)
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Re: Homepage minetest.net sucks at showcasing games

by rubenwardy » Tue Sep 17, 2019 17:15

The website is open source, perhaps you should collect the resources and make a pr. Or just collect the resources

Everyone likes to complain about the website, but it seems like not many actually try to improve it
 

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Re: Homepage minetest.net sucks at showcasing games

by Wuzzy » Tue Sep 17, 2019 17:31

Not me. Why? Because I'm involved in a lot of other projects (for example, ACTUALLY MAKING GAMES FOR MINETEST!). I have to focus. I can't do everything. :P

Anyway, this doesn't render the complaints invalid. It would be nice if you would have made comments on the subject matter rather than just posting a standard “somebody has to do it” response. Well, duh! Captain Obvious strikes again! :D

Besides, I think it's way too early for a PR yet. Quality guidelines need to be discussed. This is a discussion thread.
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Re: Homepage minetest.net sucks at showcasing games

by rubenwardy » Tue Sep 17, 2019 17:39

My point is: the reason it took so long for the screenshots to be updated is because no one bothered to contribute that. People just kept complaining without actually fixing. I also can't do everything, but people expect devs to do so.

Wuzzy wrote: Compatible with MT 5
No crashes, bugs, show-stoppers, etc.
Game is playable and considered complete (or almost complete)
Players enjoy the game
Check every game for eligibility again after every Minetest release. Delist games that have “gone bad”
Game is fun out of the box
100% free software (what's the point of Minetest if it's yet another proprietary Minecraft clone in the end?)


I agree with all of these on principal, except that some of these things are hard to evaluate (for example: 4 and 6)

Games with potential dodgy use of IP, such as Lord of the Test and Mineclone2 should probably not be promoted. A way around this would be to improve the sorting algorithm of ContentDB, and source the features games directly from there with a disclaimer (Games most popular in the community)
 

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Re: Homepage minetest.net sucks at showcasing games

by Wuzzy » Tue Sep 17, 2019 17:45

Ummm, as far I remember, hundreds of screenshots were contributed, it's just that most screenshots were rejected.

Can we please just discuss the subject matter? :-)

EDIT after your ninja edit (lol): About “players enjoy”: Enjoyment is obviously highly subjective, it's just meant as a guideline. Some people should draw enjoyment from the game. If nobody enjoys it, then it's not eligible.
With “fun out of the box” I mean the game is working as intended (i.e. fun) without any additional workload, like installing billions of mods, or installing sqlite3, editing hidden config files. Stuff like that. MTG would be disqualified by this rule because as a player, you're pretty much expected to install tons of mods. Even some (or all?) of the MTG devs call MTG a “modding base” now. The fact that pretty much no server hosts a 100% vanilla Minetest Game, but only a heavily modded one, speaks volumes.

I think the real problem with MTG is just that its “advertised” to the completely wrong people. Vanilla MTG sucks for players. Maybe this is because it was never meant that way? For servers, MTG is actually great, as long you make good use of mods. I've seen many great modded MTG servers. There, I actually said something good about MTG. :-)

Games with potential dodgy use of IP, such as Lord of the Test and Mineclone2 should probably not be promoted.

It depends. MCL2 should not be promoted yet for other reasons as well. It's buggy. But I should go eventually full berserk mode to wipe out even the slightest hint that this might be a copyright violation (I still believe it's not, but IANAL). If you feel nervous about MCL2, I'm more than happy to discuss details in the MCL2 thread.
About LOTT, I don't know.

A way around this would be to improve the sorting algorithm of ContentDB, and source the features games directly from there with a disclaimer (Games most popular in the community)

Doesn't it already sort by download count? I don't really like the idea of games being reduced to a mere popularity contest.
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Re: Homepage minetest.net sucks at showcasing games

by parasite » Tue Sep 17, 2019 20:12

I agree with Wuzzy that the emphasis should be on games. Examples with solarus-games.org and flarerpg.org are are obvious. I can imagine the screenshot, game name and two sentences about it on http://www.minetest.net, and the link to th minetest wiki, where selected games could be described in more detail then.

Now, can you name singleplayer games that meet these criteria?

Wuzzy wrote:
  • Compatible with MT 5
  • No crashes, bugs, show-stoppers, etc.
  • Game is playable and considered complete (or almost complete)
  • Players enjoy the game
  • Check every game for eligibility again after every Minetest release. Delist games that have “gone bad”
  • Game is fun out of the box
  • 100% free software (what's the point of Minetest if it's yet another proprietary Minecraft clone in the end?)


I suspect that NodeCore can meet these criteria, at least most of them, but I don't have time to play it so long that I can be sure it doesn't contain any serious bugs or crashes triggers. I mention this game because it is slightly different from the classic MTG / minecraft game and is not on the forum. If MCL2 should not be promoted, then maybe this game could be promoted?

Also notice that many games are created exclusively as a product for a specific server: Pandorabox, MustTest, Tunnelers Abbys ... I can't name those servers as simply "the same" modded MTG. Each of these games differs significantly and has unique features, not found anywhere else, significantly different strategy which player need to implement and individual tips & tricks of the gameplay, also these games give a different experience for the player. Of course, from the technical point of view these games are MTG + mods, even if sometimes those mods are additionally modified and customized by administrators... (On the other hand, nothing prevents from describing the MTG + mods concept with a list of examples on the website) And yet these games are not available in the singleplayer version (and this is to what I want to pay attention here).

I am not sure if specific servers should be listed on the http://www.minetest.net site, as you maight be interested only in showcase of singleplayer games there. This approach can be understood. But it maight be that more advanced, complex and complete games are created for servers than for singleplayer fun. Does Inside the Box or Capture the Flag can be considered as singleplayer games?
 

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Re: Homepage minetest.net sucks at showcasing games

by mcbits » Tue Sep 17, 2019 23:37

I don't think that page is an abomination. It just serves a different purpose from those other pages.

If there is a problem, it's perhaps that the "download a game" link on the home page leads to the Customize page with an extra click to get to ContentDB instead of the other way around. I think the ContentDB site is more enticing than either of those other two sites.
 

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Re: Homepage minetest.net sucks at showcasing games

by Linuxdirk » Wed Sep 18, 2019 08:32

rubenwardy wrote:The website is open source, perhaps you should collect the resources and make a pr.

I remember multiple issues and forum posts addressing the heavily outdated and depressing screenshots.

Nothing was changed ever.

rubenwardy wrote:the reason it took so long for the screenshots to be updated is because no one bothered to contribute that

Ahem.
 

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Re: Homepage minetest.net sucks at showcasing games

by rubenwardy » Wed Sep 18, 2019 09:04

Only one PR was ever created, and it was merged within 2 days. Posting thousands of screenshots isn't contribution, creating a PR with a set of screenshots is. The forum topic you link also doesn't require licensing information

We already have so much to do which we do in our free time. Anyone can choose better screenshots, it's not an especially technical task.

"Nothing was changed ever" is because no one bothered to contribute a change for a long time. Put some effort in rather than constantly complaining

I understand now that this topic was actually to discuss the requirements rather than just complain again, so I apologize for bringing this up

--------------------------

In my opinion, the best candidates could be repixture, the end, and nodecore. I'm unsure on the stability of each, however. I believe the latter two are still heavily WIP

Wuzzy wrote:Doesn't it already sort by download count? I don't really like the idea of games being reduced to a mere popularity contest.


It uses a contrived algorithm based on views per day and number of replies to the forum topic. Download counting is a recent feature which still isn't a reliable measure. Download counting also self reinforces - the top mods get downloaded again and again - compared to forum topic replies which actually correlate to interest
 

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Re: Homepage minetest.net sucks at showcasing games

by Linuxdirk » Wed Sep 18, 2019 09:43

rubenwardy wrote:Only one PR was ever created

Please read again. I mentioned issues and forum posts. To me PRs are the result of issues.

Screenshot-related issues

https://github.com/minetest/minetest.gi ... /issues/78
https://github.com/minetest/minetest.gi ... issues/123
https://github.com/minetest/minetest.gi ... issues/152
https://github.com/minetest/minetest.gi ... issues/175

Threads with contributed screenshots

viewtopic.php?t=10366
viewtopic.php?t=20782
viewtopic.php?t=15105
viewtopic.php?t=10128

rubenwardy wrote:Put some effort in rather than constantly complaining

I'm not going to give Microsoft one single bit of code or creativity so I rather spend time being active in the forums, thanks.
 

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Re: Homepage minetest.net sucks at showcasing games

by paramat » Fri Sep 20, 2019 20:37

Some good and valid points but ...
Wuzzy wrote:Compare this abomination [...]

minetest.net is an EPIC FAIL because:
  • No apparent quality control, looks like everything is just “whatever the core devs like”
  • It features Minetest Game, which is crap

Ridiculous insults will cause resentment.
Core devs make the final decisions so it will obvoiusly be what the core devs consdier best.
It does have quality control and follows MT's strict development rules.

Isn't this better as an issue in the repo?

Mineclone2 can never be officially promoted and bundled in MT.
Even though it may not use MC assets and may be 'legal', it is still a blatant MC clone, so it is distasteful to promote such a game in MT. Also, it raises the risk of negative attention from Microsoft if promoted.

Linuxdirk,
PRs make things happen, issues are just discussion. You can't just discuss stuff in an issue and expect others to actually do the work.

> I'm not going to give Microsoft one single bit of code or creativity so I rather spend time being active in the forums, thanks.

PRs are for MT, and MT is not Microsoft just because the repo is on GitHub and that is owned by Microsoft.
Do you have evidence that PRs for MT are stolen by Microsoft for use elsewhere? How could they be used anywhere other than MT?
This is a ridiculous extremist attitude.
 

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Re: Homepage minetest.net sucks at showcasing games

by Linuxdirk » Fri Sep 20, 2019 22:05

paramat wrote:PRs are for MT, and MT is not Microsoft just because the repo is on GitHub and that is owned by Microsoft.

GitHub is Microsoft. Hosting code there or write code there is giving code to Microsoft because it is a Microsoft-owned platform.

paramat wrote:Do you have evidence that PRs for MT are stolen by Microsoft for use elsewhere?

It’s not about stealing code, and you know that.

paramat wrote:This is a ridiculous extremist attitude.

I have mine, you have yours.
 

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Re: Homepage minetest.net sucks at showcasing games

by Casimir » Fri Sep 27, 2019 19:10

An easy way to fix this is to just link to the content DB, instead of recreating it for the website. I proposed this in #155. Maybe also include some tags to filter for, like comlplete or FOSS.
 


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