Requesting Thoughts on a Search Engine

Note: if there is a better category for this thread to be in (maybe Site Feedback?) please relocate this thread. Thank you in advance.

There have been a number of users requesting assistance finding new games (or even other content) that fit their desires (recent examples 1, 2, and 3). While throwing out the help line may be effective, I wonder if there is a more efficient way to connect people to games they may be interested in. This forum already has some features to assist, including a search function and tags. This subject of creating a one-stop-shop has been partially addressed by @kilif (via Google Sheet), @dingotush (via Wiki thread post), and others (via simple thread). Pinning these threads to the top of the projects category was certainly a clever idea. According to @grotlover2, a similar topic has already been deliberated upon extensively, and there were perhaps even plans to have a full Weight Gaming website host what could be the precursor of a search engine.

In theory, having a search engine with filters could be quite beneficial to both community newcomers (not sure what game to start playing first) and established members (hungry to start a new game) alike. Filters on the gender(s) of the weight gain, platform (i.e. device played on), medium (i.e. type of game–what software it is programmed on), development status, length/depth, additional fetish content, etc. would hopefully save users time they might have otherwise wasted exploring threads of games they may ultimately not be interested in. [Imagine even getting custom recommendations based on the games you favorite-d.] Most of the game developers that I have witnessed posting their games on this forum have clear descriptions of the game story overview, fetish content featured (and not), and more.

However, I can imagine the moderators have already weighed the pros and cons of developing and maintaining a search engine. Heck, Weight Gaming’s current “Advanced Search” function already performs much of the same actions. I remember being informed about the copyright front by the forum owners, so I know that any searchable list would only include games either hosted by this website or with the explicit permission of the respective game developer(s). Nevertheless, I would love to hear everyone’s thoughts on this concept, and particularly the thoughts from leaders of this forum.

P.S. On an unrelated note, where is this “interactive new user tutorial”?

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Personally I think a game database where the author has to answer some basic details about their game to get it listed would be a useful thing to have. And to not re-invent the wheel (while being entirely open to re-skinning the wheel and adding some new trim) the database has a good number of features that would be useful. It’s been integrated into the forum they use (BB?) so you can go back and forth between the forum thread and the DB entry. No idea how easy or hard that might be to do with Discourse, but maybe it’s worth approaching Cat to see if they would share the code?

I do know a good chunk of the downloads I get for Yaffaif are from the links from its DB entry - which is good. When I post an updated version it’s going to notify anyone who has subscribed, and they also post the update to a channel on their Discord.

What it doesn’t do though, and this is where I have some reservations, is drive interaction on the forum thread there. Anon users can search the DB, download, play, and move on without any engagement. If it weren’t for my web-logs from where I host the files I’d have no idea that was happening. It feels like it’s missed a trick there, though you could perhaps argue that the people who do that aren’t the people you want on the forums? It’s good for users (easy to find and get what pushes your buttons), good for developers (more exposure and easy to manage), but does it help the community?

I’ve no idea where the interactive new user tutorial is either!

Yes, we are actively pursuing this with the main site. When I took over about 2-3 years ago now (wow time moves fast) @kilif wanted to do something like system but after some discussion we decided it would be more worth while to expand the scope and focus on creating a store site like then just a simple data base.

Unfortunately, this is a slow going process due to the limited about of time I have to work on it. When I switched jobs around December I was actually going to take a full month and a half to work on it back in January but the company I moved to needed me there ASAP due to how understaffed they where so that plan got shot.

We do have quite a few features planned though including forum integration. Its actually not very difficult to do as Discourse has a well defined REST api. We have not considered using the forums for updates and change logs though as we where thinking of having pages for those instead with updates emailed out to those who want them.

As for the user tutorial, there should be a DM from system of discbot that holds the link for starting it. I am not sure if migrated users get it though.

That’s probably the reason why I do not recall seeing it. Not a problem.