Thursday, December 6, 2012

The weird X-Wing series or Why do we model data?


Oregami is designed to become an interactive database for computer and video games, with a similar complexity like the Internet Movie Database  has for TV and film. Thus, if we talk about Oregami we quickly drift to our data model - or technical model - and to the statement that this ominous model shall be better than that of any existing video game database. But why that? What is a data model, actually, and why the heck is it not enough for us what MobyGames and TheLegacy offer?

Now our beloved hobby brings along a real mountain of data: computer and video games have a title, belong to one or more genres, are published for different systems in different versions at different times, even in different countries, and so on and so forth. We want the users to be able to enter all these data into our database, but that alone clearly isn't enough. If the user checks a game entry, he / she may exemplary want to learn the systems it was released on and when. If one visits a compilation entry the included games shall be visible, and with one more click every of those game entries must be reachable for more information. Or which games of a certain genre have been released on a certain system within a given time frame?

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Retrobörse in Bochum (Germany) on November 10th

The next event of the "Retrobörse" ist coming up: on November, 10th there will be something like a really big flea market in Bochum, Germany - by nerds and for nerds - filled with retro stuff like old computers, consoles, games and merchandising.

There will be one single booth selling old gaming magazines exclusively - which is mine. As usual I will offer hundreds of issues from mags like Powerplay, ASM, Video Games, Maniac, PcXtreme, 64er and more.

Of course - that's the reason for writing here - you may interrogate me about our online game database Oregami: What do you think about our project? What ideas or wishes do you have? How could yo help us build the best online game database "ever"?
Things concerning my "other" website are permitted as well :-)

Come and enter a great retro world!

Monday, August 27, 2012

A visit to the Gaming Veterans (aka "Spieleveteranen")

Some days ago I was able to take part in the latest edition of the Gaming Veterans' Podcast and, thus, was able to chat with some of the old stagers of German gaming journalism: Heinrich Lenhardt, Anatol Locker, Winnie Forster and Jörg Langer may not be known to international readers, but are quite famous amongst German retro gamers. For the last years I've had my share of contact with them through my German retro mag site and I can assure you that they're nice guys whose experience and competence in the games business blow you away every single time. 

But this time, I had something to tell to them and to all the listeners out there: What's the gist of our project OREGAMI?

Here's the digest:
  • we want to give birth to a new, open and comprehensive online database about everything related to the world of computer and video games.
  • we want to found a non-profit association to host the project organizationally, legally and financially. The details can be found here.
  • we are actively searching for new team members in order to be able to fulfill our self-created time schedule.
  • right now we're looking for Java programmers. More info for hackers are here.
  • soonish we will be looking for Law experts to, exemplary, discuss licensing issues regarding database contents, screen shots, etc.. The respective discussion takes place here in the forums [German].
  • upcoming will be our search for Designers for a cool and fresh, but usable look of our website. Interested people can show up and discuss with us right now, too, of course. :-)
So well, if you know some German, then listen to the podcast, read through our open forums, register, partake! If you don't know German, then skip the podcast and the reading, just register and comment in the English section of our forums. Only together we will be able to tackle such a huge project. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Technical three-way with Jenkins, Git and Tomcat

The goal was clear: Our Java code shall be regularly compiled by a Jenkins build server, then deployed to our Tomcat server. So far, so good. But implementing this automatic workflow saw quite some obstacles to jump over.

When it comes to code versioning my personal programming past mainly brought me close to CVS and Subversion, but both don't really hold up any more today, so I decided to use git for source code maintenance. And because so many famous projects cannot be wrong, I chose Github as our online hosting service for this.

For professional reasons I am used to my program code being built at least once a day, so the Jenkins build server was an obvious choice. And a Tomcat server for our Java web service should be an easy target to deploy to, or so I thought.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

As of now: open for everyone!

For some one and a half years now, we 're tinkering around with some people on our new and ultimate online database for computer and video games named OReGamI (full name is "Open Registry of Game Information"). Within over 800 forum posts we've already created a large amount of the very important data model, built the foundation for the coding with Java and, now, are ready to take the next step: publishing our unfinished work.

Why that, you may ask? Because we want everyone of you to take part in the complete development process of this ambitious project. This can mean reading into our forums as often as you want, or sniffing around in our Java code base.

And when there's something you wanna tell us regarding our ways, or wanna comment on a certain issue, just do it! Register at the forums and post to the public area what's bothering you. If you'd like to join us and actively take part in the development, you should send some info about yourself to Sebastian using gene[at] We're always open for new people, be it gaming experts, programmers, designers or lawyers.

We're curious to meet you!

Some final words: We're German and in order to not introduce an additional language barrier, we started this project using our native language. But this is not a Sauerkraut project. It can't be, because we wanna document the global history of video games. So, we're slowly trying to switch to the English language whereever possible.

We started by offering the contents of our shiny new website bilingual. Substantial information about our project crave for readers.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Open up!

A few weeks ago a founder of asked for access to our internal discussion board, where we develop a brand new game database called "oregami" ("Open register of Game Information"). My first reaction was like "uh, do you want to steal some of our nice ideas?". The answer went something like: "Hey, you claim that you are building a truly open system - doesn't seem to be *that* open."

Ouch. Good shot. He was right.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

And the winners are:

We have chosen the games. The games with which we will try applying our model for computer und video game data to.
These games need not be "great" concerning publicity, fun factor, graphics or something similar. Wo chose them because they have some special properties, e.g.:
  • multi platform availability
  • alternative or special editions
  • add-ons
  • compilation
  • series
  • downloadable content 
So here is the list of games: