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  • The Sonic Database is NOW OPEN

    A brand new section for the Sonic Stadium!
     
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    I’m very proud to announce a brand new feature for the Sonic Stadium and the Sonic community.

    Introducing… the Sonic Database!

    sonicdb-twitter.jpg

    Enter the Sonic Database [BETA]
    Enter the Media Gallery [BETA]

    The Sonic Database is a re-imagining of an old legacy section we used to have on the Sonic Stadium (namely, the Info Section), brought into the modern age and using the power of SSMB to open the door for crowd-sourced community collaboration.

    We are launching the Sonic Database in a BETA state right now. What that means is, it’s not informationally complete in the slightest and there may be some UI and editor-related quirks to improve. But by and large, the format we have here is what we’re broadly going for.

    Open to all, our goal with the Sonic Database is to provide an online encyclopaedia of blue blur knowledge that was fast, easy to use, void of UI clutter and with its own distinct visual identity. It doesn’t look like an out-of-the-box wiki, because it isn’t a wiki: the code powering the Sonic Database is the same running the SSMB community.

    That means anyone with a Sonic Stadium account can get involved and start contributing!

    We have TONNES of categories where Database records can be created - from the Sonic video games, to merchandise and comics and beyond! Here's the general make-up of a record on the Sonic Database:

    sonicdb-sonic1-page.jpg

    You'll notice a couple of cool things going on there:

    • A tabbed section at the top of the record, which allows you to switch between the core page information as well as several other views:
    • An 'Articles' tab that shows, at the moment, reviews that relate to the product being viewed (if it exists on the SSMB database)... more to come on that whole thing
    • A 'Media' tab that dynamically shows related image galleries like screenshots, artwork and box art (if it exists in the Media Gallery)
    • A 'Reviews' tab which allows Sonic Stadium/SSMB users to write their own five-star review of the game/product being viewed (not all records will allow this)
    • A 'Talk' tab dedicated for editors and Database Curators to discuss the development of the record
    • A Table of Contents that is dynamically created based on the number of section headers made on the record
    • An 'infobox' style element that contains quick facts about the product being focused on

    I hope you'll agree, this is pretty sweet! There's a fair amount of other cool things we've baked into this system, and are planning for more things in the future as well - like a new set of SSMB Achievements to help encourage contributions and community collaboration.

    Now, this is the first time we've launched anything this collaborative, on this kind of scale, so we are launching things with a few caveats to start:

    • Anyone with a 'Sonic Community' usergroup can edit and create records...
    • ...but all such contributions will require approval before they go live. Approvals will be made by SSMB Admins and users in a new usergroup; 'Database Curator'
    • Users in the 'Database Curator' usergroup will have NO social status above regular users - they are simply trusted members of the Sonic community that will be responsible for keeping the peace and organisation of the Sonic Database. They will have a few overriding options in the Sonic Database, and can upload media to the Media Gallery, but think of these users as helpful sherpas rather than users of any authority on Sonic Stadium or SSMB.

    We have a few SSMB members assigned as Database Curators, and at this time I'm happy to consider users who also want to step up and join the group. It's a usergroup that requires responsibility and trust from me and the rest of the team, so please make sure your account is in good standing.

    Anyone looking to help contribute to the Sonic Database should first take the time to read and follow the guidance outlined in the Database Guidance category, as we have written a number of organisational rules that should be followed.

    I will be setting up a channel on the Sonic Stadium Discord server for discussing overall Sonic Database development, so please join our server and collaborate with us! 

    I've spent a long time behind the scenes cooking this new feature and I'm really excited to see how the community takes to it. I want to try and establish a fantastic, accurate and fun resource packed full of Sonic the Hedgehog information - just like we used to back in the 2000s.

    And I'm keen to see how positively you guys all take to it. Even if you can't, or don't want to, contribute to the Sonic Database, I'd love to hear thoughts and feedback on the design, user journey and anything else from a general user perspective.

    Here's to new horizons and the start of a fantastic new feature for the Sonic community!


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    I can vouch for the length of time this has been in the oven. I'm really excited to have been a small part of this and I also hope we can really beef up the database to be a definitive resource for Sonic information.

    We definitely need SSMB'ers to pitch in for this, though. It's a lot of work and we have a lot of ground to cover. 

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    It’s going to be a marathon, not a sprint, that’s for sure! I’m going to spend some time over the next week or so just adding new entries and some bits that I have left over from TSS’ old 2000-2010s archives. But yes, generally this is going to need a big effort from the whole Sonic community to get things to the quality we need. :) 

    I can already see some contributions coming in, and I thank you guys for that! Over time we can develop and add to all of the records we create so they can be as full of information as possible.

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    This seems like a neat addition to the site, and despite it looking initially somewhat opposing, it’s actually pretty simple enough to get to grips with and make database records. The only thing I can’t figure out is how to add a image to the right side of a record (Where there’s currently a default Sonic picture).

    That said, if I could make a suggestion, would it be possible to bring over the option to adjust pictures from profile banners/event banners? I notice that a lot of the banner images when you go into a record is misaligned and there’s no way of adjusting it like you can for other such things on the site.

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    3 hours ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

    The only thing I can’t figure out is how to add a image to the right side of a record (Where there’s currently a default Sonic picture)

    That’s actually what we call the Hero Card (the image field that is above the STATS Box text field). You can use that for uploading an image to sit above the Stats Box area. It’ll only show if there is content in the Stats Box field though. If you can’t see the field, I may have messed up in the visibility permissions on the field. I’ll take a look.

    This is probably a good time to mention the documentation I’ve written up for this project, it mentions all of the structural things Sonic Database offers as well as best practices. Worth giving it a look for all who want to contribute:

    https://board.sonicstadium.org/database/guidance/

    Good suggestion as well! I am unsure I can make that work for the Pages area as of yet but I do like the idea and I’ll try to make it happen.

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    1 hour ago, Dreadknux said:

    That’s actually what we call the Hero Card (the image field that is above the STATS Box text field). You can use that for uploading an image to sit above the Stats Box area. It’ll only show if there is content in the Stats Box field though. If you can’t see the field, I may have messed up in the visibility permissions on the field. I’ll take a look.

    Yeah, I can see the default image within the Hero Card, but there's no options in it to try to add a image to it. So while info can be added to the STATS box, it doesn't seem like a image can be added, unless you just embed or upload the image like a normal picture.

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    Just checked the field settings and yeah it wasn’t visible for anyone besides Admins on the edit page. I’ve tweaked it and it should be fixed now. Sorry about that!

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    So question:

    Anyone can edit these, right? Or can only the person who made the article do so? I put in a few contributions just to get a few started, but I made them sparse because I didn't want to come off as plagerizing other wikis which basically provided the same info.

    Wouldn't mind others adding to them so that SSMB has it's own distinctness to the database.

    EDIT: Nevermind, that was a dumbass question. Forget I asked...XD

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    Haha, yeah anyone with the ‘Sonic Community’ usergroup can edit all articles in the system. It’s all in the documentation :) 

    You’re fine to kick off small records and invite others to contribute to it; I will look to adding a toggle on the edit page to mark a record as a ‘stub’ so that a message appears like how it works on Wikipedia.

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