How to Find a Game You Are Looking for - in a TZX (Emulator) Context


I was looking for information about something else but I found a totally different concern instead . Whilst looking I found out that have been loads of enquiries over the years about looking for a game because WOSSERS often cannot find the game they are looking for:-

https://worldofspectrum.org/forums/search?Search=game+mauals

And recently people have asked about such things a "Vertical Bat Games" . It got me thinking as I knew there was another BAT GAME somwehere but I could not think what it was . I then thought that it would be nice if all these "tiny sub genres" could be organised into folders of sub genres or even sub sub genres because it would be easy to find and play stuff .For example ,the sub genres could then be put in a "MASTER FOLDER" for that sub genre so they are all together in one place and easy to find in future.

Well maybe a could start with Medieval ,Feudal ,Overlordship ( a sub genre of the Strategy /War "big genre") . How many Sub Genres can be created with one ? But of course "sub-genre-ing" can be done right across the board . Maybe I should start in the WOS archive and get a list of what the main "big genres" are as a starting point . The biggest genre is probably ARCADE and there must be loads of Sub Genres for that .

This could take a lot of time so I will approach it on an "ad hoc" basis!
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  • I had a quick go at the " Medieval , Feudal Overdship" games sub sub genre ( or is it a sub sub sub genre?) . Here I am aiming for management rather than battle games but as I have not looked at them in detail there may be a few "wrong uns" included here:-

    Baron (Temptation Software) 1983 : Baron ,The (RD Foord) 1984 : Defender of the Crown (The Cat) 1989 ,:Euphoria 2D (2012) : Evil crown (APS) 1985 : Feudal Overlord (Digital Phantasia) 1984 : Iron Lord (Ubisoft) 1989 : Kingdom (Altwasser) 1982 : Kings Bounty (EJB) 1995 - this one might be just a battle game , not sure : Siege of Doune Castle ( The Interface) 1983 - this could also be just a battle game ,not sure : Sword and Shield (The Power House) 1987 - and possibly this one .So a few of these could be in the wrong sub sub Genre as I am going for "area management" rather than mere medieval battle games ( which will be its own sub sub genre of course! ). Any informed suggestions on this appreciated.
  • edited October 25
    So the next sub sub category of Strategy/Management/Business games is easy to come up with . For me this would be " European , Feudal and Medieval Battle games ( ie not Overlordship Management games already "done" as per above) . But this category needs a lot of work . So why not skip to something "totally different - a sub genre of Simulation where more "work" has been done and it is more "ready to go" ? Here is a relevant thread about this sort of thing focussing on FRUIT MACHINE SIMULATORS:-

    https://worldofspectrum.org/forums/discussion/57778/the-best-zx-spectrum-fruit-machine-simulator-title#latest

    This early inclusion of this category does not mean I am a fan of it . In fact I am quite disappointed . But I did have "high hopes" initially . Here is my "very provisional" first go at it:-

    1) Dizzy Dice (Players ) 1987
    2) Fruit Machine ( Green Fish) 1985
    3) Fruit Machine (Sinclair) 1984
    4) Fruit Machine (Simon Micro) 1983
    5) Monte Carlo Casino - Distribution Denied (Code Masters) 1989
    6) Fruit Machine ( C-Tech) 1982
    7) Fruit Machine and Pontoon (Astro) 1982
    8) Fruitmachine (unknown) 1983
    9) SuperNudge 2000 ( Mastertronic)
    10) Fruit Machine ( Dktronics) 1983
    11) Fruit Machine ( NCH /Sinclair???) 1984
    12) Fruit Machine Simulator - Distribution Denied (Codemasters) 1987
    13) Gambler , The (Diamond) 1987
    14) Vegas Jackpot (Mastertronic) 1984
    15) Fruit Machine (Granada) 1983
    16) Friut Machine (Sinclair ) 1984
    17) Fruit Machine Simulator 2 - distribution denied (Codemasters)
    18) Jackpot (CRL) 1984.

    So that is a "rough" first go at it so they are probably dups and games missing . The main point is that they are not all listed under "F" for fruit simulator so a lot of them are hard to find or otherwise access to play. Another point is :- THERE ARE LOADS OF GAMES HERE - so the question is how to organise them so they can actually be played.
    Post edited by harriusherbartio on
  • Quizzes are another easy one for me to do . This is the thread:-

    https://worldofspectrum.org/forums/discussion/51764/quiz-games-like-the-kosmos-fact-files-from-the-answer-back-series#latest

    The thing is Quizzes do not always begin with "Q" so they can be hard to find . Here is my "rough draft" list:-

    Aircraft (Chalksoft) 1984 : BBC Mastermind ( Mirrorsoft) 1984 : BBC Mastermind Quizzmaster ( Mirrorsoft ) 1984 : Blockbuster (Compusound) 1984 : Blockbusters (TV Games) :1987 : Carol Quiz ( Zx Computing) 1984 : Cashcade ( Fasrback) 1990 : Clever Clogs (Argus Press) 1984 : Crime Quiz (Flexibase) 1994 : Double Dare (Alternative) 1991: English Literature (Sinclair Research) 1982 : Educational Quiz Geography ( Thor) 1984 - disribution denied I believe : Geography 1 (Sinclair Research) 1982 : History 1 (Sinclair Research) 1982 : Hotline Quiz (Chalksoft) 1984 : Inventions 1 (Sinclair Research) 1982 : Knowledge Quiz (Micro Debug) 1982 : Kosmos Quizzes loaded by Master loader with Junior Answer Back Music 1 (Sinclair Research) 1982 : Powerplay : The Game of The Gods ( Players) 1988 : Pub Trivia Simulation Quiz (Code Masters) 1989- distribution denied : Quiz Quest (Alligata) 1985 : QuizMaster (ZX Computing) 1984: Quiztimer (Macmillan) 1986: Snookered (Top Ten) 1988 : Stuart Henry's Pop Quiz ( Bellmaster) 1984 : Superquiz 1 and 2 (Scripture Union) 1984 : Telly Trivia (K Pirie) 1984 : Ultimate Soccer Quiz (Marksman) 1984 : Wender Bender (Rankhigh) 1984 :

    There's probably a few more ....

  • Trivial Pursuit? There are 4 different official releases for that one.
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  • Good point . That one should be included.
  • edited October 26
    As stated at the beginning this ( for those interested in it) could take a lot of time . How did the classic Sinclair Mags tackle it ? Well from memory i think they had categories like ARCADE , ADVENTURE , UTILITY , EDUCATION , PUZZLE . I do not remember categoies like "FIRST PERSON SHHOTER" as I think that came later on PCs.

    What are the relevant points?

    1) Well everyone will have there own "take on it" so it is good to keep it as flexible as possible

    2) There are "hard" and "soft" categories . The "hard" ones are the more definite ones like "QUIZZES" which are easy to categorize. But even then QUIZZES could be duplicated under games and education .Softer means "fuzzier" which means more scope for duplication ( which can be good though at least by the time it gets down to the "sub sub sub categories)

    3) If duplicates are allowed then how is the most recent version to be identified ( I use label "LATEST with date)

    4) Should duplication of games in several categories be encouraged ? I think so . After all PC hard drive storage space is not an issue . So if a game fits into severall categories then why not?

    5) So for me a game can be allowed into an almost infinite number of "sub genres" as the software "cake" is "sliced and diced" in different ways .


    My own "to do list" :-

    1) I need to build in "ADVENTURE" as a a category ( I have not put it in yet)

    2) ARCADE is a big problem as I have no sub categories ( Any ideas anyone?)

    3) Developmg new sub genres that work well takes time . The current one I am thinking about is "European Battles 500AD to 1450AD" ( a snappier title for this would be good)

    4) The really irritating ones are the ones I know I have but have forgotten about ( because they are in the loft) I have forgotten the detail because I do not have the full instructions to hand (eg Harrier Attack and Great Fire of London - again in the loft)

    So one idea for the further use of this thread would be for ideas on "sub sub genres" . Ideally these sub genres could come "ready pre-filled" with software as per the examples above!
    Post edited by harriusherbartio on
  • edited October 26
    I found this as an example of some of the work that has already been done in the "Batty /Breakout" clone genre area :-

    https://worldofspectrum.org/forums/discussion/57977/arkanoid-batty-clones#latest

    I wonder if it could do a similar thing with QUIZ games?

    I tried it here but got no similar info on quizzes so I suppose , just like my effort here , this could be a potential work in progress!:-

    https://worldofspectrum.org/archive/software/educational/answer-back-junior-kosmos-software-ltd

    Its amazing what you can find out!
    Post edited by harriusherbartio on
  • edited October 26
    And this for Breakout

    https://worldofspectrum.org/archive/software/games/smashout-digital-image

    See othe clones of Breakout at botton of page.

    I wonder if there are as many with Tetris?
    Post edited by harriusherbartio on
  • edited October 28
    Timmy mentioned in the "Batty" clone thread that there were 135 Special groups on the WOS archive and there 12 clone categories (eg Pacman , Minesweeper and Chess) . Is there a quick way of getting a complete list of these categories (ie genres of game types or categories)? .

    Lets find a quick route to the GENRES!

    I did find this :-

    https://worldofspectrum.net/archive/features.html

    At the bottom there is a list of the clone type . But I could not see a "special Groups" list as such . Am I missing something obvious?

    It is perhaps worth listing the clones types here: Battleships : Blitz : Boulderdash : Breakout : Centipede : Chess : Frogger: Minesweeper : Pac-man : Reversi : Tetris : Tron .

    My next question wouls be ( slightly jokingly) : What is the difference between a "clone" and a "sub sub Genre or Category ? Maybe this difficulty inhibited the list of "clones" from becoming more comprehensive as people wrestled with the "deep" question of whether they were really looking at "Sub Sub Genres"! It is easy to get "your knickers in a twist" over something as deep as this.

    What is interesting though is the huge number of games involved . On the Battleship clone area I counted about 36 separate games . I would have guessed at 3 or 4 , which would have been way out .A lot of these MIA though it seems. Mindyou with all the battles going on it is not surprising really)
    Post edited by harriusherbartio on
  • Timmy mentioned in the "Batty" clone thread that there were 135 Special groups on the WOS archive and there 12 clone categories (eg Pacman , Minesweeper and Chess)
    ...
    https://worldofspectrum.net/archive/features.html

    At the bottom there is a list of the clone type . But I could not see a "special Groups" list as such . Am I missing something obvious?

    There are about 135 links on that page. Also, "special Groups" is just a term a made up. I don't know how to call them otherwise.
    My next question wouls be ( slightly jokingly) : What is the difference between a "clone" and a "sub sub Genre or Category ? Maybe this difficulty inhibited the list of "clones" from becoming more comprehensive as people wrestled with the "deep" question of whether they were really looking at "Sub Sub Genres"! It is easy to get "your knickers in a twist" over something as deep as this.

    You can probably find it on the forums. We've discussed that in some old thread.
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  • edited October 29
    Yes it is good to get an idea of "how far it got" . Documetning the entire Spectrum back catalogue is a truly massive and very difficult task for a variey of reasons . When I took a quick look at the "Battleship" clone are I could see that a large proportion of the titles were MIA - an that is just one area of difficulty .

    I think the list that Tmmy refers to is a list of "features". And some of the more specific features refer to a particular publishing house . I would argue that "features" like this are not the same as "genres". And so it appears that there may be no actual "genre" list covering the categories used in the WOS arcive .And therefore It could be quite a job going through it all and trying to work out what the complete list should look like .Maybe it will be easier for me (as just one user) to use my own system rather than trying to find a non existent WOS system of genres . (it is better to be creative rather than slavish!) . And so perhaps it does not matter . In the end each user is free to adapt in their own way the material that is available : the WOS archive is after all a great resource. And not all users will worry about this kind of thing . They will know where their favourite games are anyway. But I myself still find it to be a bit of an "education" as I know so little about this really big "ARCADE" genre . So I at least will find it interesting to "dig around" in this area.

    Post edited by harriusherbartio on
  • edited October 30
    The use of the word "clone" has been discussed on this thread as well:-

    https://worldofspectrum.org/forums/discussion/58034/best-of-the-major-clone-groups-on-wos#latest

    It appears that my use of the term in this way is a bit controversial ( and rightly so ,I thinK)

    Post edited by harriusherbartio on
  • edited October 31
    This should really be here ( see "Some of the different approaches that can be used" ) dated 31 Oct 2020:-

    https://worldofspectrum.org/forums/discussion/58034/best-of-the-major-clone-groups-on-wos#latest

    On this thread I mentioned the "anything goes" idea of "PWI" . It took just a few moments to come up with this list:-

    Batty : Deathchase (3D) : Galaxians : Jetpac : Jumping Jack : Lode Runner : Manic Miner : Pinball (CP) : Sentinel ,The : Spy Hunter : Stop The Express : Tetris : Way of the Exploding Fist : Wild West Hero .

    So sub genres like this can be just "made up" in "five minutes" and added "according to taste" . I suppose everyone knows this really so it just needs a bit of effort and ideas .
    Post edited by harriusherbartio on

  • Although I have not been able to find a complete list of the game categories that are in the WOS Archive clearly WOS workers have done a lot of sorting out in this area . One important one that is used is "TACTICAL COMBAT" which is quite close in some ways to strategy games , so it is a genre that is of interest to me and one that I should have a go at.
  • edited November 3
    Although I have not been able to find a complete list of the game categories that are in the WOS Archive clearly WOS workers have done a lot of work on these categories . One that interests me is TACTICAL COMBAT : pressing R gets me all of the "R" games so if I do this 26 times I should be a complete list of all the tactical combat games! But R seems like a good place to start as it takes you to REBELSTAR . There is no REBELSTAR clone category however ( unlike BLITZ or TETRIS ) . So I think this is why the "CLONE" concept "runs out of road" as it can only be reasonably applied to a small proportion of the games.For me a TZX Master Folder for "TACTICAL COMBAT" seems like a good idea and it something that I have not done yet ( But I am only 26 clicks away from doing it!)
    Post edited by harriusherbartio on
  • edited November 3
    So defining games by genre, a fairly standard practice for any library, be that games, music, movies or books, knowing that some items will span genres.
    Post edited by Antiriad2097 on
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  • edited November 3
    Good point . Libaries manage to do it . I think they use a standard system - think one system was called the DEWEY system of classification:-

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Library_classification

    Individual users can always vary this according to taste.So "making up" individual categories for TZX folders should be considered in the same way Most people do not have book libaries in their homes ( though I have seen people who bought up masses of very cheap libary stock "disposals" , and then put it on shleves in their "libary room" or study . The only "giveaway" that they probably just "aping" this gentrified lifestyle was all the libary classifications clearly visible on the spines of all the books !) . But WOSSERS do not have to do all this as a hard drive is usually sufficient ( so you do not have to move to a bigger house with a big libary room or study to do it!).
    Post edited by harriusherbartio on
  • edited November 10
    THE IDEA OF THEMES

    WOS Can be a BIg Help with THEMES (which could be a great way of organizing TZX files for emulation particularly if you like the THEME in question ).

    I found this out when looking at the Game REDCOATS by Lothlorien . The idea of THEMES ( i suppose this sounds a lot better than sub genre , or sub sub genre or even sub sub sub genre !) is shown here with this game titlel. I am not sure what the difference betwwen a theme and a game type /category /genre is - but it sounds nicer probably .

    The THEME shown here for REDCOATS is the "HISTORICAL WARFARE" theme . and loads of games are listed . So all the work for this genre has been done , unlike the "IPWI" games genre which I have only just "made up"! : it stands for "Immediately Playable Without Instructions" games .( And so no one has got a list of games for this paricular THEME ready yet!). I suppose the main benefit of the THEME idea is that it does not "clash" with a pre-existing genre , though the question of whether genres really do clash with each other is a bit debateable.

    So with THEMEs the thought that the genres are dplicating each other is gently put to one side . The obvious "clash" here is with STRATEGY games . But by using the THEME idea this possible clash is gently "parked" . And it is so easy to set up a new THEME and "park it" wherever you want.

    And as in the analogy of "building a house" ( of TZX files) it does mean that the "rooms" can be configured any way the WOS user wants , whilst at the same time "giving a hand" with some of the main ideas . Will the WOS user "Send in the Clones" or "Send for the Themes"?
    Post edited by harriusherbartio on
  • Libraries have a problem that doesn't exist in the digital space, namely that you can only ever have one ordering of physical books on a shelf. So systems like Dewey Decimal have to try and create a hierarchical structure where you can quickly drill down into the specific area you are focused on. That inherently creates problems when something spans categories but there isn't much you can do to solve that in a physical arrangement.

    Digital content is much, much easier to organise because it doesn't matter how many different routes you have to get to the thing you are trying to find. The modern solution is "tagging". Any number of arbitrary tags can be associated with a given result (in this case a game) and by filtering data on one or more tags you can drill down to the things you are interested in. It doesn't matter if something gets classified as PLATFORM or SHOOTER, for example, because both tags can be applied and a game can appear in searches for either.
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  • edited November 10
    Yes, good point . Any perceived "clash" is just psychological and because maybe we prefer one way of looking at it to another and we take that into account in the way we organise things.


    I suppose from an individual point of view , then one aspect is "How to skew the categorization your way" . In other words ,any given individual will have their own favourite categories of games . WOS has "Built it to damp" ( using the "building a house" metaphor) . Does the user want to let WOS "do the ground floor" as well ? In other the user can impose his own choices straight away or accept "the clones" and "the themes" and any other WOS ideas and only then start to refine his choices at a later stage ( the first or second floors) .
    Post edited by harriusherbartio on
  • edited November 10
    Yes I think the THEMES idea is pretty useful . The HISTORICAL WARFARE theme refines down from the broader category of Strategy/Business/Management games to an area that is still pretty broad . I will set up a "HIstorical Warfare" master folder and then just copy the games across to this new folder . The duplication will not take up much space . Them I could refine it down still further to HISTORICAL BATTLES AD450 to AD1450 (Easy peasy!) .And I will look out for more themes.
    Post edited by harriusherbartio on
  • edited November 10
    But then I discovered another THEME in the WOS archive ,it was "Medieval Legends" . So I will have to decide between that and "HISTORICAL BATTLES AD450 to AD1450" . Now that will be a tough choice , so I could well end up doing both! So these THEMES appear to be a bit "soft facty" (versus my clearly delineated category). It would probably be a bit of a "battle" just to sort it out.
    Post edited by harriusherbartio on
  • This is something we are looking at from an archive point of view, but I do know that some emulator authors are integrating the API with their software. I'm not sure how this would help with storing files physically, but in theory, when we are done, you wouldn't need to sub-folder titles.
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  • Yes and I am very API to find out about what this means:-

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/API
  • You shouldn't need to duplicate files in subfolders to do this anyway. It's the sort of thing a front end is made for, something like Gamebase for example (though I'm aware that has it's limits and may not be the ideal solution here).
  • Yes and I am very API to find out about what this means:-

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/API

    Basically, the entire WoS database will eventually be searchable, and we are adding other categories to titles so those can be listed too. The API allows emulator authors to access the data directly via their own interface. Also other websites, etc..
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  • edited November 10
    Thanks for that . It could certainly take things in a different and interesting direction .So the role of emulation could become a lot more important perhaps?
    Post edited by harriusherbartio on
  • Thanks for that . It could certainly take things in a different and interesting direction .So the role of emulation could become a lot more important perhaps?

    No more than now, but it does open up the possibilities for emulators. Being able to read instructions, reviews, etc from the emulator, and we are looking at making titles directly accessible to them too. Nobody will have access to update the DB though.
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  • Yes , so I suppose "metaphorically speaking" with the "house build" reference , the idea of WOS taking the "build up to damp" comes in here. But now it seems WOS contributors cannot add to the "WOS house" at all now "above or below the damp" but at least they can still build their own DIY "Speccy house" .and put in their own "extensions wherever they want (damp or otherwise!).
  • I think I have found one that is debatable!

    Just to Show How Tricky The Classification of Games into Genres is:-

    "Vikings" (Challenge Software) has been themed by WOS under "Medieval Legends" rather than the "Historical Warfare" theme . So the 2 battles of 1) Menai Straits 2) Stamford Bridge have been deemed to be more like "legends" than actual historical hard fact well documented battles . So the virtue of duplication here would mean that it could still be found if it was entered into both categories (just an idea) .
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