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Subject: How to encourage owners of games to take pictures... rss

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Herb
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A number of games which have been sold as boxed games don't have pictures of the box games, yet those games have listed owners. (I know that the "own" flag can mean anything...)

I for the most part have resisted the temptation to nag owners about taking pictures, though I would like them in some of my research on games, and in some of my geeklists. Obviously if owners were nagged all the time about pictures they would get annoyed.

Some of the games for which I'd like pictures only have a few owners. The truth is that BGG is getting to be a historical record of games. I don't know of any site that comes close to the content of BGG. I also have to believe that someone who is interested enough to own hundreds of games would also be interested enough in games to contribute to he historical record.

In particular some owners with hundreds of games no doubt use the geek to keep track of the games that they own. Is there some easy way for the owner of a game to get a list of the games that he owns that need pictures? The owner is bound to be taking pictures sometimes, and if he could easily get a list of games that need pictures, then he might throw in a game or two that is missing pictures. But for someone who owns hundreds of games, it would take a great deal of effort to open each game that he owns in BGG to see if it needs pictures.

I started tagging games as "needs_pictures" but within BGG there is no way to use system characteristic "own" with the tag. You could of course export the two lists and find common games, but that is a lot of work. The point is to make it very easy so that owners of games would be encouraged to take pictures.

The same problem exists if the owner has tagged the games "own". There is no way to combine her "own" tag with the herd's tag "needs_pictures".

Perhaps in part the answer lies with characterizing images. For instance if there is no image characterized as BoxFront, then somehow the owners could easily review the galleries for the games that they own, but don't have an image characterized as boxfront. Then later they could print games that need pictures with some sort of annotation on the list as to which types are needed. (There are a couple of problems. At present no way to note which version the BoxFront is for. Also games would ideally have more than just a box front picture.)

It has got to be a opt in process, not an opt out one. So nagging folks isn't the answer. But it has to be easy to encourage folks.

-----------

Also I came across a game that was listed numerous times on ebay, but had no pictures. I think that it would be a real good idea that if the game is linked at the geek, that the geek system drops them an email and asks, Geeze we listed your game to market it to our members but we don't have any pictures. Could we use yours?

ebay isn't the only auction site of course. But it is the only one for which members can now link games.

Again this has to be a polite process. In the mad quest for geek gold we don't want 15 geeksters nagging the same ebay seller about pictures. So this might need to be a manual process for a couple of dedicated helpers with some specialized tools/reports.




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col_w
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Here's some lists of games with no images:

Games without pictures
Games without pictures: 2007 edition
Games without pictures: Year of 2008
 
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Herb
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col_w wrote:


Not sure what your point is. Yes, geeklist has been circulated before. But it isn't easy for me to find the game on the list which I own.

I want a printed list that says:
***** GEEK PICTURES NEEDED ****
******* FOR GAMES YOU OWN *****
Bunny hop pictures: boxtop
Pegpen, need pictures: boxtop, gameboard, pegs
...
...
...
and so on, where I own all the games on the list.

It is annoying enough that I spend an hour taking and loading pictures, but I am supposed to spend an hour putting the !@#$%^&* list together too?
 
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YaVerOt YaVerOt
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How about making a guide on how to easily take pictures that are worth submitting?

I'm not crushing my box in a scanner, assuming I can get the scanner working again.

So I need to know how to quickly and easily set up a spot where I can take the pictures.
I need to know what settings (to over-ride) on my camera are.
While I can easily crop pictures, I don't know how to de-tilt, nor how to scale it upto or downto the limits here: http://videogamegeek.com/wiki/page/VGG_Image_Policy

The page forgets to tell me valid file-types I may upload. Can I do the .tiffs that my cropping software produces, or do I need to convert them into something more normal? Are .pngs normal?

----
tl;dr:
Lower the hurdles, even if by education, of submitting pics.
 
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Herb
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YaVerOt YaVerOt,

the Video Geek's submission policy is obviously trying to avoid mistakes from BGG's problems. There is a need to balance getting people to participate vs. creating obstacles so high that too few make the effort.

I do think a game ought to have a primary gallery and secondary ones. That way you can show a few decent size images on the game page to give an idea of the game. Yet you could still allow people to participate. To me a less than perfect image is better than no image at all. With all plastic used in packaging today, glare is hard to avoid.

But there are limits. I tried but how are you going to totally avoid any glare on something like this popping dice roller from the game Zotto? I'm just not going to fool around all day to get a shot worthy of some artsy fartsy photo magazine.



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On the issue of how to take a good picture...
I'm assuming a digital camera and taking shots of boxes and stuff. It isn't rocket science. you will learn tricks as you go.

(1) Use sunlight for lighting. Choose a spot that has lots of diffuse light so that it won't create a lot of glare.
(2) Don't try to de-tilt the image. Just take the image square to start with. I zoom from about 3 feet away.
(3) Use a dark neutral background. blue for green box, green for blue box.
(3) I used 10 second delay on a tripod, no flash. That way there was no wiggle.
(4) Careful with software and image type when trimming. JPGs recompress image every time you crop. So image gets fuzzier and fuzzier. Nice choice for browser but a lousy choice when playing with the images.
(5) Review pictures while you still have setup and reshoot any with problems. digital photos are cheap to take and easy to delete. So for a box that has a shiny top I might tilt it slightly 3 or 4 different ways and choose the best later. The tiny image in camera makes it hard to see glare. It is easier to shoot 3-4 when setup than to reset again.

Hope that helps...

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