The official LitRPG tags/database project proposal

Discussion in 'All Things LitRPG' started by Windfall, Oct 19, 2018.

  1. Windfall

    Windfall Level 17 (Theurgist) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    The next 4-5 posts will contain my proposal for what I want to see in the LitRPG tags/database that aims to include ALL LitRPGs, including published books and web novels.

    This is the "final draft" that I hope we can start to work on. I'm very happy that @Paul Bellow has said he's interested in doing this seriously and I think the information here is enough to get things started.

    Our goal is to be TRANSPARENT and NEUTRAL, and we aim to serve the reader/writer community by listing as many LitRPG stories as possible in one place and giving users an easy way to filter and discover new stories. We also aim to promote conversation and quality reviews, which is severely lacking in the genre.

    Comments, criticisms welcome, but I think we will learn a lot as we go along.

    Everyone who works on this project vows to work for free without any hidden agenda except to see the genre flourish.
     
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  2. Windfall

    Windfall Level 17 (Theurgist) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    0. DATABASE

    - The aim of the database is to aid the discovery of new LitRPG books by readers, using filterable tags and community reviews.
    - Each record is either a book or a series. Only stories with 3 or more books have a 'series' record. Users looking for new stories can use the combination of "series" + "first book in a series" to filter out entries from the middle of series.
    - To populate the database:
    (Step 1) A public call-out to all authors to submit their own books, which are reviewed by the Working Committee and added to the database.
    (Step 2) Beta launch
    (Step 3) A team of volunteers (at least 3) list all the other stories where the authors have shown no interest in submitting their stories, which are also reviewed by the Working Committee and added to the database. We should aim for a total of 100 stories.
    (Step 4) Public launch
    (Step 5) Authors and volunteers continue to submit new books.
    - An update note is kept and published to allow for maximum transparency. For example:
    10/18/2018: SOMETHING ONLINE added.
    10/18/2018: "Multiple POVs" tag added to THE SWORD ARTIST. Reason: reader request / approved by author.
    10/18/2018: "Explicit Sexual Content" tag added to THE HAREM BOSS. Reason: reader request / approved by the Working Committee.
    - Users who are not logged in cannot customize their list beyond searching through filterable tags.
    User accounts
    - Users can freely use the database as guests if they do not want a permanent account
    - Users may create a user account, after which they become a 'PRIVATE USER'. Their ratings and reviews are for private use only and are not visible to the public.
    - Users may choose to become a 'REVIEWER' after they have rated or written a review for 10 books and made their reviews public.
    - Users may choose to 'follow' other REVIEWERs to receive system-generated personalized recommendations based on reviews of users with similar tastes
    Search results
    - To search, users select tags under "SHOW ME ONLY STORIES THAT HAVE THIS ELEMENT" and "EXCLUDE STORIES THAT HAVE THIS ELEMENT" and hit 'FILTER'. Logged-in users have the option of selecting "only stories I haven't read" to narrow down their searches.
    - Search results show a list of books/series that match the user's search criteria, sortable by "star-ratings: all", "star-ratings: reviewers I follow", "recommended: all", "recommended: reviewers I follow" and "release date"
    - Users can do blank search and then "sort by release date" to get a list of the newest releases
    Writing Reviews
    - Logged-in users can write reviews, which they can either keep for private use or make public.
    - Reviews will have the following criteria:
    (1) star ratings
    >> Story ideas/concept (1=terribly cliched, 2=okay but nothing really new, 3=quite good, 4=unique and interesting, 5=exceptional, mind-blowing)
    >> Game mechanics (1=makes no sense and is inconsistent, 2=solid but nothing new, 3=interesting but flawed, 4=very well done, 5=extremely well-fleshed-out)
    >> Characters (1=inconsistent, 2=okay but not memorable, 3=likeable, relatable to a certain extent, 4=loved them, 5=realistic, well-thought-out
    >> Writing quality (1=constant grammatical errors, 2=passable, could use an editor or a rewrite, 3=satisfactory, nothing to complain about, 4=well-written, 5=awesome prose)
    >> Overall execution (1=low effort, 2=okay, could have been better, 3=satisfactory, 4=very good, 5=masterfully crafted)
    >> Personal preference (1=didn't enjoy it at all, 2=it was okay, 3=enjoyable, 4=liked it a lot, 5=absolutely loved it)
    (2) review text
    (3) do you recommend this story?
    (4.1) what do you think is unique or is done well in this story? why did you enjoy this story or if you didn't, why do you think other people may enjoy this story? Try to name three things.
    (4.2) what do you think could be improved in this story? what did you not like about the story? why do you think other people might not enjoy this story? Try to name three things.
    Info shown to in search results
    - Book title
    - Book cover
    - Full title SERIES NAME BOOK X: BOOK TITLE
    - Commercial blurb
    - Amazon link
    - Tags (shows a dump of tags to save space), like: [COMMERCIAL GAME] [FANTASY] [TRAPPED] [QUESTING] [OPEN-WORLD PVE] [ARCHER] [ELEMENTAL MAGIC] [FAMILIAR] [MILD LANGUAGE] [INCIDENTAL HERO] [GROUP PLAY]
    - Overall star-ratings / Reviewers I follow star-ratings / Number of people who 'recommend' the story
    Each book entry has its own page
    additional info
    - Sample 'look in the middle' text (submitted by the author)
    - List of reviews (sortable by review date, high-to-low scores, with reviews 'by reviewers I follow' certified with a green check mark or some other symbol)
    - Casual community comments -- logged-in users can leave casual comments about the story without leaving an actual review (including PRIVATE USERS)
     
  3. Windfall

    Windfall Level 17 (Theurgist) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    1. TAGS
    - Tags do not aim to capture everything a story has to offer, but to allow readers a quick glance of what elements are present in the story, and also a chance to filter on/off specific elements they are either looking for or are seeking to avoid.

    - Each tag has four possible values:

    • Unspecified: the default value
    • Yes: this story contains this element
    • Some: this story somewhat contains this element (unclear, mild, debatable)
    • No: this story DOES NOT contain this element

    - Readers may use advanced filtering to include or exclude things in their search. For example: "female MC" + "familiar" will only show a list of stories where BOTH these conditions are met.




     
  4. Windfall

    Windfall Level 17 (Theurgist) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    1.1 Metatags

    POV: [MALE] [FEMALE] [OTHER] [GENDER BENDER] [SINGLE] [MULTIPLE] [1st PERSON] [3rd PERSON] [PRESENT TENSE] [TEENAGE] [NON-HUMAN MC]

    Series Status: [SERIES] [ONGOING] [COMPLETE] [FIRST BOOK] [BOOK IN A SERIES] [STAND-ALONE] [SIDE STORY] [ABANDONED/HIATUS]

    Availability: [WEB SERIAL] [E-BOOK] [KU] [PRINT] [AUDIO] [FREE]

    Content warning: [EXPLICIT SEXUAL CONTENT] [SUGGESTIVE SEXUAL CONTENT] [NUDITY] [STRONG LANGUAGE] [MILD LANGUAGE] [GRAPHIC VIOLENCE] [DUBIOUS MORALITY]
     
  5. Windfall

    Windfall Level 17 (Theurgist) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    1.2 LitRPG-specific tags

    World type: [COMMERCIAL GAME] [GAME GONE WRONG] [GAMIFIED DIGITAL REALM] [REAL WORLD WITH GAME RULES]

    • Commercial game: the story takes place in a game world that is designed to be commercial and played for entertainment
    • Game gone wrong: the story takes place in a game world where something unintentional
    • Gamified digital realm: the story takes place in a digital realm that is designed for other purposes than entertainment, such as a training facility, prison, or afterlife
    • Real world with game rules: the story takes place in a world that operates on game-like rules, which includes portal stories, as well as stories where the real world gain explicit game-like mechanics


    Trappings: [FANTASY] [MEDIEVAL] [SCI-FI] [SPACE] [MILITARY] [MODERN DAY] [SUPERHERO] [CYBERPUNK] [STEAMPUNK] [DIESELPUNK] [HISTORICAL] [OTHER CULTURES] [POST-APOCALYPSE] [ZOMBIES] [MULTI-WORLD]


    Main activities: [OPEN-WORLD PVE] [OPEN-WORLD PVP] [QUESTING] [DUNGEON] [LEVEL-CLEARING] [ZONE CONQUEST][ARENA/TOURNAMENT] [RAID] [WAR] [CRAFTING] [GEAR-CRAFTING] [SPELL-CRAFTING] [BASE-BUILDING] [DUNGEON DESIGN] [TOWER DEFENSE] [GROUP-BUILDING] [EVOLUTION] [PUZZLES]

    • Open-world PVE: characters spend a significant amount of time exploring, going places, meeting NPCs and completing challenges they come across
    • Open-world PVP: characters spend a significant amount of time engaging in combat against other players, engaging in faction wars
    • Questing: characters spends a lot of time completing quests, which give them clear goals and objectives and which serve to drive the story
    • Dungeon: characters enter dungeons or instances where they defeat monsters and overcome specific challenges
    • Level-clearing: characters progress from level to level
    • Zone conquest: characters expand their
    • Arena/tournament: characters engage in sports-like PVP events
    • Raid: characters engage in large-scale
    • War: characters engage in large-scale PVP conflicts, usually with the use of military tactics
    • Crafting: characters spend a significant amount of time
    • Gear-crafting: characters spend a significant amount of time crafting and upgrading their own armor and weapons
    • Spell-crafting: characters spend a significant amount of time exploring, discovering, and making their own spells or abilities
    • Base-building: characters spend a significant amount of time gathering resources for, upgrading, fortifying, and defending a specific location
    • Dungeon design: characters, usually the soul of the dungeon itself, spend a significant amount of time designing and upgrading a dungeon to
    • Tower defense: characters spend a significant amount of time designing defense mechanisms for a specific location, which usually involves strategic placements of troops and traps to ward off incoming hordes of enemies
    • Group-building: characters meet and collect fellow adventurers or followers to build an adventuring group
    • Evolution: characters, usually non-human, evolve and transform physically as they level up
    • Puzzles: characters spend a significant amount of time solving puzzles as part of the game challenge


    MC class/role: [MAGIC] [UNARMED COMBAT] [SWORD] [MELEE WEAPON] [SPELLSWORD] [GUN] [ARCHER] [BARD] [ROGUE] [PET MASTER] [SUMMONER] [HOLY MAGIC] [DARK MAGIC] [ELEMENTAL MAGIC] [NATURE MAGIC] [SHAPE-SHIFTER] [MULTI-CLASS] [CLASS CHANGE] [DAMAGE] [MELEE] [HEALER] [SUPPORT] [TANK] [CRAFTER] [DUNGEON CORE] [NPC] [MONSTER]


    Story elements: [TRAPPED IN GAME] [PORTAL] [REAL WORLD GAINS STATS] [NATURAL GAMEWORLD] [SENTIENT AI] [REAL-LIFE PLOT] [LOW-STAKE DEATH] [CHARACTER PERMADEATH] [DEATH STAKE FOR PLAYER] [FAMILIAR] [HAREM] [NON-HUMAN PARTNERS] [SOLO PLAY] [GROUP PLAY] [FACTION LEADER] [UNIQUE CLASS/ABILITIES] [REALISTIC COMBAT] [SLOW LEVELING] [OP MC]

    • Trapped in game: the story features a situation where the main character cannot leave the game
    • Portal: the story features a situation where the main character is transported to another world, usually permanently or for a prolonged period of time
    • Real world gains stats: the story features a situation where the real world suddenly gains game-like rules, such as leveled zones, stats, and game-like combat mechanics
    • Natural gameworld: the story features a situation where characters live in a world with game-like mechanics and have never known a different kind of world
    • Sentient AI: the story features a sentient AI, which usually controls the game world
    • Real-life plot: the story features a significant real-life plot line alongside the game story line besides the opening premise
    • Low-stake death: the stories features a situation where death for the game character is not heavily penalized
    • Character permadeath: the story features a situation where the game character has one life and cannot respawn
    • Death stake for player: the story features a situation where the character will die if their game character dies in the game
    • Familiar: the main character has a familiar that features significantly in the story
    • Harem: the main character collects multiple partners through the course of the story
    • Non-human partners: the main character
    • Solo play: the main character often adventures alone
    • Group play: the main character often adventures in a group, where group members and their abilities contribute significantly to the outcome of the combat
    • Faction leader: the main character is or becomes a leader of a faction or location
    • Unique class/abilities: the main character has a unique class or ability not available to other characters
    • Realistic combat: the story does not utilize video-game like combat, like HP
    • Slow leveling: the story spends a lot of time in the beginning part of the game, usually featuring the characters' adventures at lower levels, before end-game
    • OP MC: the main character is much more powerful than the average player

    Game type: [MMORPG] [OPEN-WORLD RPG] [TABLETOP] [ROGUELIKE] [RESOURCE-MANAGEMENT] [MOBA] [FPS] [RTS] [OTHER]
     
  6. Windfall

    Windfall Level 17 (Theurgist) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    1.3 Other tags

    Genre: [ACTION] [ADVENTURE] [COMEDY] [HORROR] [SATIRE] [SLICE-OF-LIFE] [REVENGE] [INTRIGUE] [MYSTERY] [CONSPIRACY] [ROMANCE] [EROTICA] [WISH-FULFILLMENT] [YOUNG ADULT]


    Theme: [HERO'S JOURNEY] [INCIDENTAL HERO] [POWER FANTASY] [COMING-OF-AGE] [TRANSHUMANISM] [HUMAN BONDS] [LOVE] [DISCOVERY] [SOCIAL COMMENTARY] [INTERNAL STRUGGLE] [MORALITY]


    Tone: [LIGHT] [SERIOUS] [HEAVY] [EMOTIONAL] [LITERARY] [INFORMAL] [SELF-AWARE]
     
  7. Windfall

    Windfall Level 17 (Theurgist) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    2. IMPLEMENTATION/MANAGEMENT
    - All major decisions are reached by the Working Committee, and a log of all changes is kept and published for transparency.
    - The Working Committee has the final say on everything. Troll-y users (such as those who post offensive reviews or give 1 star to everything) may be stripped of their REVIEWER status, after which, their reviews will no longer be visible to the public and their star ratings removed from the overall tally.
    - There will be an "Suggestions/Issues" page where users can request additions of tags. For example "Please add the 'harem' tag to SOMETHING ONLINE'. Other users may click 'I agree'. Suggestions/Issues that receive 20+ 'I agree' votes are looked into by the Working Committee, who will publish an official decision accepting or rejecting the change.
    - Users who attempt to abuse the system may be permanently banned and their account deleted. Decisions to do so will be published by the Working Committee, detailing the reasons.
     
  8. Windfall

    Windfall Level 17 (Theurgist) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    3. ACTION PLAN
    - Decide on whether all this is implementable and add/remove tags and tweak descriptions as necessary
    - Decide on how we want to manage the Working Committee --> maybe draft a 'job description' and ask for volunteers? The majority of members should already be well-respected members of the community, ideally NOT authors (at least not LitRPG).
    - Start making the website/search engine and beta-test until it's perfectly functional
    - Beta launch: Ask authors to submit their books
    - Recruit volunteer 'taggers' to submit additional books
    - Real launch: Ask users to sign up and start reviewing
     
  9. Paul Bellow

    Paul Bellow Forum Game Master Staff Member Shop Owner LitRPG Author Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    Do we want to use RPGbooks.net for this? That would include gamelit and LitRPG?
     
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  10. Windfall

    Windfall Level 17 (Theurgist) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    I don't know. That's up to you, I guess. But, yeah, I think we should include both gamelit and LitRPG, as well as 'fringe' stories?
     
  11. Paul Bellow

    Paul Bellow Forum Game Master Staff Member Shop Owner LitRPG Author Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    Yeah, I think that's why RPGbooks.net works? I'll need to buy an SSL certificate which is about $75/year. Not sure if I'm going to get a separate server for it yet.
     
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  12. Windfall

    Windfall Level 17 (Theurgist) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    Works for me :)

    Let me know how you'd like to proceed, though, and I'll see how I can help.
     
  13. Paul Bellow

    Paul Bellow Forum Game Master Staff Member Shop Owner LitRPG Author Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    Okay, cool. Might not be right away, but this project is tugging at me because it solves a big problem for readers in the genre.
     
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  14. Windfall

    Windfall Level 17 (Theurgist) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    Yep, I agree. It would be nice. And I really love databases and filterable lists.
     
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  15. Windfall

    Windfall Level 17 (Theurgist) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    Oh, and one major feature is that maybe the readers can use their account to keep track of what they've read as well.

    For example, we can have a "My Reading History" page, and it lists everything the reader has reviewed/given a personal star rating. And if the particular series has a new book out that the user hasn't reviewed/rated, it will show a little icon that says "new book available!" next to the series name.

    (Too much to ask?)
     
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  16. LWFlouisa

    LWFlouisa Level 9 (Burgler) Roleplaying LitRPG Author Citizen

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    Some tags I'm floating around [PREGAMELIT], [VAMPIRERPG], [REINCARNATION], [GAMELITERARY]

    Not all of them will be viable though, but I considered mentioning these if others might be interested.

    Pre-GameLit: A genre that sets up the world of a GameLit novella, without being a GameLit in its own right. Often dystopian in nature, even starkly political. It sets up the generally hopeless nature that makes teenagers addicted to the game.

    Ex. Am the only one that wants to read about the plague, and not just Ready Player One's game?

    Then there is Neo-Napoleonic: Don't think of Neo in the same way as Neo-Victorianism. It's closer to an Alternate Future, or a distant version of our future, that's stuck in an era of renewed European imperialism, whith the European Union taking over the old United States, after the control by the Far Right.

    I wanted to seperate it from Steampunk, which isn't what I'm trying to convey. Or Punk anything, I'm a goth girl. : D

    Ex. The future of Anna-Marie With Her Shotgun, has not yet come to pass.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2018
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  17. Windfall

    Windfall Level 17 (Theurgist) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    People are still very welcomed to chime in!

    As we had discussed earlier, we were trying to limit the number of total tags so they don't get completely overwhelming for the taggers.

    I've got an idea... maybe besides standard tags, we can allow authors/readers to submit requests for additional tags, provided that they can list an X number of stories from other authors that should have that certain tag, and this is

    For really unique pieces of work, maybe we also have "The Skinny" section, where it's a non-blurb quick glance written by the author to give the readers the skinny of what the story is about, like "A light-hearted slice-of-life story about a girl who discovers her dead mother's unpublished indie game and starts playing it, leading her to discovering family secrets. Heartwarming, cozy, sweet." Or "A group of friends discover an exploit in an MMO that links to real-world money making, but when the mafia comes knocking on their door, they are forced to enter into a deal that may eventually cost them their lives. A tale of friendship, trust, betrayal, with a lot of gun action. High-stakes, high-stress, intense life-and-death situations."

    So you get a snapshot of what to expect without the vague commercial blurb tiptoeing around the spoiler-y bits.
     
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  18. LWFlouisa

    LWFlouisa Level 9 (Burgler) Roleplaying LitRPG Author Citizen

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    Yea a good skinny would work across a range of my books, since GameLit was actually what I've been doing all these years for my main novellas.

    That or where the game world itself has merged with the real world in some way.
     
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  19. kajack

    kajack Lazy Author Beta Reader Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    SSL are free.
     
  20. LWFlouisa

    LWFlouisa Level 9 (Burgler) Roleplaying LitRPG Author Citizen

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    Wasn't there some part of the web development process that was expensive? There is the peer to peer web, but that's a different kettle of fish.
     




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