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VGG Guide to Data Entry
Data Entry Guide
This manual explains how to enter a video game into the system. If you have any doubt about the process or a question that is not covered here, please ask in the How to VGG forum. Game developers may request a developer badge.
Other Submission Guides
This wiki page is geared toward the entry of Video Games. We have separate guides for the other types of media/data we allow into the database:
These guides provide additional assistance with video game entry:
We want to create a database hierarchy that is flexible enough to handle a wide variety of collector needs but refrain from being overly complex, so that it is navigable to the average gamer. The idea is to be able to track things down quickly and easily, while still allowing for higher-level discussion and review of any game, expansion, franchise or hardware. While the current database structure is not perfect or intended to solve every problem (there will always be grey areas), we hope its design works at least reasonably well for the purposes of video game documentation and collection cataloguing.
What is covered?
Everyone defines the term "video game" differently. As a database and archive resource we want to be as inclusive as possible, so most games played digitally or on an electronic device are accepted.
For now, designers, artists and composers are not part of the database, and the pertinent info about them should be added to the videogame entry under More Info. We may implement a credits system in the future. Any other cases contact one of the VGG Admins or post on the How to VGG forum. If you are a video game designer, you are entitled to a special microbadge; see here for more info.
What is not covered?
VideoGameGeek is intended only to cover video and electronic games. There is not a strict rule as to whether a particular game is appropriate for inclusion or not, but a few categories are explicitly excluded. That is not to say that there is never any overlap with some of the subjects listed below, but the focus of VGG is not on any of the below subjects.
 This rule was put in place as a way to exclude content that is not a "game"; things like textures. A community poll was held in 2017 to determine what DLC should and shouldn't be included on VGG.
 Any game can be played on any device - even things like ATMs, printers, cameras, digital watches, toilets, etc. So as not to over complicate things, only official game releases on official/traditional hardware are accepted.
The items listed above are "outside the scope of VGG", but you are still welcome to discuss them or submit related images and threads to the Outside the Scope of VGG entry.
We accept games from all stages of development. As a way to better manage the database and simultaneously label each game's development status clearly, we have special franchises, banners and placeholder images that are applied to applicable games. If you choose to enter a game that falls into any of these stages, you will be required to copy and paste the banner code below into the game description box and link to the relevant franchise.
Unreleased Content - Unavailable
Announced but unreleased items may be submitted for inclusion to the database, but must meet the following:
Unreleased Content - Available
Games that are still in development, but offered to the public in their unfinished state as a work-in-progress. Typically with headers like Early-Access Alpha, Open or Closed Beta.
Unreleased Content - Vaporware
Vaporware is a product that is announced to the general public, but is never actually manufactured nor officially cancelled. Vaporware is often announced months or years before its purported release, with development details lacking. The developer or publisher may have no intention of releasing the game any time soon, if ever.
Unreleased Content - Cancelled
Cancelled items may be submitted for inclusion to the database, but must meet the following:
An unlicensed or unofficial game normally refers to a game that uses the characters, animation or world of another game, series, or franchise without proper licensing. This is different from piracy which involves taking a product and reselling it illegally (something VGG does not support!). If the licensed version is in the database, please place its ID number in the [thing] bracket.
Games that can no longer be played in any form. This usually applies to online games whose servers have been shut down.
Anyone can contribute content to the database using the "Create Video Game" link found in the drop-down box under the "Community" tab of the navbar. For the purposes of VGG we separate or lump games based on their content; for more info see Game vs. Release Version.
These guides provide additional assistance with video game entry:
Before submitting a game be sure to:
Create a Video Game Entry
The diagram below will guide you through the game submission form. In total, there are 15 required and 7 optional fields. By comparison BGG has 8 required and 18 optional fields. RPGG has 16 required and 7 optional fields. We want as much game information on VGG as possible and for the information to be whole and accurate. These mandatory fields are also used by the site's advanced search option.
The Video game item is the entry where the main information of a particular game will be collected. It is the central piece of the database, around which most of the data will orbit. A brief explanation of all the fields is in order.
Create Video Game Block
The name the game is best known by. For foreign games, if there is a widely known English name, that name is preferred, otherwise use the native language name. After the game has been submitted and approved you can add alternative names underneath the primary one.
A genre defines the type of game-play found in a video game, independent of its setting or game-world content. The genres we use are all based on the industry standard with some decisions made by us to make things more clear.
If you have any doubts, check:
Each video game should have at least one genre applied to it and ideally not more then three. Select all that apply, but avoid over-linking and redundancy; for example, if you have "Action" and "Adventure" then select "Action Adventure".
Theme is related to where and when the game is set. It can be both a specific era and location (i.e. WWII, American Revolution) or a more generic one (Fantasy, Medieval, etc). Choose whichever apply. Each video game should have at least one theme applied to it and ideally not more then three.
Over-linking and redundancy should be avoided. When choosing a theme ask yourself: "If I was searching for this particular game what themes would I look for it under?" or "What is this game's core story and content about?" For example: Just because a dog appears somewhere in a game does not mean it should have "animals" listed as a theme. If the dog is the protagonist of the game then "animals" is acceptable.
Franchises are a complex field with a lot of specific requirements attached. Choose which, if any, game franchise your submission is a part of.
For more information on franchises see:
There are also several franchises that are used as a sorting tool to aid in database management and labeling. Most of these are aimed at a game's development status.
Series are a complex field with a lot of specific requirements attached. Choose which, if any, game series your submission is a part of.
For more information on series see:
Modes are ways of playing the game. Single Player, Multiplayer, Massive, etc. Select each that apply.
Minimum and Maximum Players
The min and max players fields list how few or how many people can play a game at the same time. The minimum number will usually be 1, although there are rare occasions where 2 and only 2 can play. The maximum field is required, but is not marked as such because in the case of MMOs, the max is impossible to determine. Check the rules below:
Min and Max Player Block - Both Fields Are Required
Regard both of these fields as REQUIRED. The only reason they are not marked as such is because it is nearly impossible to fill out for MMOs and for some older games. However, DO make an effort to find the Maximum. Oftentimes reviews or YouTube clips show the maximum.
The first or oldest release date should be the one that is used. For games with no confirmed release date enter the date for next year. Only the year is mandatory. Never leave this field blank.
Release Date Block
Expansions, Expands, and Contains
Video games often receive add-on content that expands or builds upon the premise of the base game. Sometimes a game is released that contains several different games bundled together (see Compilations).
Expansions, Expands, and Contains Block
An expansion is used to add new content, features or areas to an existing game. A new game in a series is not an expansion. A sequel is not an expansion for its predecessor.
The description should give an idea as to what the game is about. Its setting, plot, characters or gameplay. Descriptions must have an attribution source listed!
Sources we allow:
The description attribution must be formatted properly to ensure that links show up right and text configuration on the site is uniform. If you need help, we have a tool that will handle all of the formatting for you. See: How To Use The Attribution Formatting Tool
The Attribution Formatting Will Save You Time
Create a Video Game Release Version
Release versions are used to record and differentiate between the differences in each release of the game - platforms, media, country/region or special editions for example. Retailers, like Steam or app stores, should never be given a release version.
For downloadable releases, only a single global version is used for the download, regardless of distributor. If certain digital distributors provide DRM differences, a note in the release description field to specify distributor differences will suffice.
The Create Release window
This is the shorthand identifier for the version, and is used to distinguish it from the other releases. The nickname must be in full English without abbreviations. A default for this field is:
Physical Media: "[Region/Country] [platform]", such as "North American Xbox edition" or "Japanese Famicon edition".
This nickname, along with the cover image, will be the primary means of identifying a version in a game entry.
The release date of this specific product. Only the year is mandatory.
Which platform this release can be played on. There should only be one platform per release version. iOS (iPhone/iPad) and PC (Linux/Macintosh/Windows) are exceptions.
Release Publisher and Developer
Every game version will have a company, known as the developer, who made and constructed the game and a company, known as the publisher, who paid for and marketed the game.
Important notes about this field:
Media is the format on which the game was released or made available. Media restricts which platforms the game can be played on.
For platform and media support:
Select the languages that are supported within the game. Do not include manual only languages.
Video Game Rating
Video games typically contain a rating on the box. Most downloadable titles and games released prior to 1994 never receive a rating. For these select (Not Rated) and for games that have yet to be released select (Rating Pending). The rating is an important field, so a bit of research is always good.
If you need help:
Some resources you may want to check:
This is a non-mandatory field that denotes possible region locks and a DRM system. Old cartridges have it and it became widespread with DVDs.
We have a special set of system awarded Microbadges for submitting content to VGG. The following formula is used to determine total entries: Video Games + Franchises + Series + (0.25 x Releases) + (0.25 x Characters) + (0.10 x Character Versions)
There are currently seven thresholds for VGG award badges:
for 10 Entries (Copper)
We have a separate set of special Microbadges for video game developers. These microbadges are handed out manually. For more info, see this thread: Game Designer/Developer Microbadges Now Available!
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