Nominator(s): Neelix (talk) 05:34, 29 November 2013 (UTC)
This article is about a 2010 science fiction video game developed in Newfoundland, Canada. The article passed a good article nomination back in April after receiving a copyedit from a member of the Guild of Copyeditors. I have submitted this article for consideration because I believe that it meets the featured article criteria. Neelix (talk) 05:34, 29 November 2013 (UTC)
Oppose I believe that the article is too short to be a featured article. It may need some time before its next FA nomination. Ug5151 (talk) 04:49, 30 November 2013 (UTC)
No offense but that is a terrible reason to oppose an article for FAC. I would like to point at MissingNo., which is WAY shorter than ProtoGalaxy and has been a Featured Article for over four years. GamerPro64 05:33, 30 November 2013 (UTC)
We've promoted video game articles of similar length (Gravity Bone) so this oppose should be considered unactionable. For a video game that I haven't heard of, the article looks pretty good after a quick glance, but my comments will have to wait until after I get some rest. Taylor Trescott - my talk + my edits 06:52, 30 November 2013 (UTC)
Note to delegate, this appears not to be a valid reason to oppose an article as it does not breach any of the criteria. Can this oppose be stricken from the final count? CassiantoTalk 10:52, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
My mistake. I made a stupid decision typing that opposition. I have read the FA criteria page and I still oppose the article only because of notability. It is very well written though! Ug5151 (talk) 03:02, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
Comments As always with your work Neelix this is a very interesting article. I have the following comments and suggestions:
Does the game have a storyline? This seems a bit unclear.
There's no coverage at all of the two years the game took to develop. This is a significant omission. I presume that the developers worked on the game in their spare time (more or less) so there probably isn't anything terribly exciting here, but this kind of material is pretty standard for games FAs.
Similarly, the game is missing information on its commercial performance.
"As an indie game, ProtoGalaxy struggled to compete with big-business video games" - this is a bit of a truism: virtually no indie developers have managed to compete on scale with the major firms, and it's not really their goal.
"ProtoGalaxy was described by Game Interface" - what's Game Interface?
The description of what players are in control of is a bit unclear - do they control a single spaceship?
Are the multiple player characters different people logged on, or is this a software thing controlled by a single person?
"The game is presented from a 2.5D perspective; while the 2D playing field simplifies the gameplay, the visuals are enhanced by 3D graphics." - a flat description would be better here rather than commentary
"One unique characteristic of ProtoGalaxy is its use of dynamical simulation; this incorporation of physics adds elements that are not traditionally found in shoot 'em up games" - I think that you mean "unusual" rather than "unique" here
"Allgame labelled ProtoGalaxy" - what's Allgame?
" Unlike traditional space arcade shooters in which there is a preset number of hit points, ProtoGalaxy employs a health bar that tracks the damage incurred by a player's ship. Both the player characters and enemy ships replenish their health over time" - the first sentence here is a bit confusing (as this is how a hit point concept works) - I'd suggest tweaking this as the point is that health regenerates
"Players' ability to use weapons diminishes with use" - do weapons eventually stop working, and can players replace worn out weapons with new ones during levels?
"Newfoundland-based" - has it operated from other locations?
"The local interest in the demo" - what was this local interest? I presume that it was from their friends at university?
"The choice to focus ProtoGalaxy on gameplay rather than graphics was inspired by old space shooters" - this is a bit unclear. I imagine that they wanted to reflect the good gameplay but clunky graphics of these games. However, given that developing graphics is very resource intensive, is this really the full story? Keeping the graphics simple would have greatly eased their task and saved time and money.
"The developers omitted respawning in order to increase the difficulty of the game. Brown called the game "an intense space themed dungeon crawler"." - this material isn't well placed coming straight after the information on the game's release
"A party celebrating the game’s launch was held on October 15, 2010 at Memorial University" - also should be moved forward
"Brown, Source Studio's CEO, stated in October 2010 that the company intended to expand ProtoGalaxy with new features and levels, complete with leaderboards" - has this since happened?
"On April 28, 2011, ProtoGalaxy was released on Impulse" - what's Impulse? (also, do we know why they released in on this format as well as Steam?)
In regards to the reviews, is it the case that the game has only been reviewed by smaller outlets? (eg, none of the heavy hitters such as PC Gamer - I'm rather out of the loop on the modern game reviewing scene though!). If so, this should be stated explicitly.
It might be worth separating out Mana Pool's comments as they seem to have been quite critical (I haven't read the review though)
"Brown considered the level editor one of the most innovative features of the game" - what did he think was particularly innovative? Nick-D (talk) 06:59, 30 November 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for the review, Nick! I have clarified the elements you mentioned were unclear, removed the truism about competition with big-business video games, flattened the description of the perspective, switched "unique" for "unusual", and moved the statements you recommended moving. Unfortunately, I do not believe that any existing sources include information about the game's two years of development or about its commercial performance. ProtoGalaxy was expanded with the new features Brown projected in 2010, but I don't know of any sources that say so. Similarly, it is true that ProtoGalaxy has only been reviewed by smaller outlets, but I don't have a source that says so; would you recommend that I add these statements without sources? I think the "Reception" section flows better by topic rather than by reviewer, so I have not separated out Mana Pool's comments, but I can do so if there is consensus to do so. Please let me know if you have any additional concerns regarding the article or if there are any comments you have made already that I have not addressed sufficiently. Neelix (talk) 04:35, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
Comments from Niwi3
I think that the gameplay section could use a more representative screenshot with a better caption (see some criteria for a good one). Explain what exactly in the gameplay section it is that you want to illustrate. --Niwi3 (talk) 11:43, 30 November 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for the recommendation, Niwi! I have switched the image to a more representative screenshot and have switched the caption as well. I would be grateful for any further comments you are willing to provide. Neelix (talk) 04:52, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
In the image description page, "This is a screenshot from the video game ProtoGalaxy." - Is it possible to be more specific about what part of the game this was taken from?
In the lead, "While ProtoGalaxy is primarily an adventure game, it incorporates elements of other gaming genres, such as arcade, shooter, puzzle, and role-playing genres." - I would move that to the first paragraph (after the plot lines).
In the gameplay, "The game is presented from a 2.5D perspective; the 2D playing field employs 3D graphics" - Again, this should be placed at the beginning of the section so that readers know how the game is generally presented before detailing the gameplay mechanics.
This source does not state that creating levels is a key feature of the game. Also, I would place this sentence at the end of the section since it does not fit properly right in the middle of the gameplay mechanics.
I would rename the development section to "Development and release".
"ProtoGalaxy was released on October 6, 2010 on Steam, a digital distribution platform. A demo was also released on the platform" - I would rephrase this to "ProtoGalaxy was released on October 6, 2010 on the Steam digital distribution platform along with a demo version" since it flows much better.
"Brown, Source Studio's CEO, stated in October 2010 that the company intended..." - Try to avoid unnecessary dates. The simpler, the better: "The developers also intended..."
I think the reception section is not very well-organized. You end the first paragraph analyzing the gameplay and then you talk about it again at the end of the second. I would suggest having one whole paragraph dedicated to the gameplay.
Hope it helps :) --Niwi3 (talk) 12:37, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
I appreciate the additional comments. I have expanded the image description as much as my knowledge allows, moved the sentences you recommended moving, removed the word "key", renamed the "Development" section "Development and release", rephrased the Steam release information, simplified the statement about the developers' intentions, and separated the gameplay-related information in the "Reception" section off into its own paragraph. Neelix (talk) 09:13, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
Oppose - This game is barely notable, and I do not believe there are enough reliable sources to present a comprehensive featured article.
The Voodoo Extreme (IGN) source is down for me. It's available on the Internet Archive, in any case, it's just the press release that you've already cited from MCV.
I'd say it was misleading to claim that it received generally positive reviews from critics, rather it was ignored by critics. The reviews cited do not seem to be reliable. Game Interface asks for donations, and Mana Pool's address is this terraced house. MMGN and Game Boyz seem more professional, but I've never heard anyone to give credence to their critical analysis.
"As an indie game, ProtoGalaxy struggled to compete with big-business video games." - sourced to the interview at Mana Pool. I don't think the developers comments should be taken at face value. ProtoGalaxy's lack of coverage is not predicated on it being an indie game.
Co-operative multiplayer is not rare in PC games. Local co-op is, which is what the source says.
The GameSpot source is actually a GameFaqs source. I'm not sure if they share databases for the game description, but citing the story is one facet where it's actually better to just goto the primary source - the game itself.
Aside from the primary sources above, the game is only covered in low quality sources like local news and student papers. This is trivia. I do not think it is possible to write a comprehensive featured article on this subject with the sources available, I would not have passed the article at WP:GAN. - hahnchen 20:14, 30 November 2013 (UTC)
I appreciate you taking the time to review this article, Chen. I have removed the statement about competition with big-bisuiness video games and added the word "local" to the mention of co-operative multiplayer. The VOCM source is verifiable; there is an archive in St. John's and there is a contractor that provides copies of their holdings for a fee. Is there any way that you believe the article proclaims the game to be primarily an adventure game? Your other comments seem to be aimed at demonstrating that the subject of the article is not worth having a featured article about; please let me know if I have misunderstood and these comments are actionable. My impression is that any subject that meets Wikipedia's notability guidelines is eligible to have a corresponding featured article, so long as the article is sufficiently developed; I have not seen an article that meets the notability criteria have its FAC fail for lack of existing sources. Are you arguing that the subject fails to meet the notability criteria? Neelix (talk) 05:08, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
It might be worth putting in a note about the VOCM archives in the references. "While ProtoGalaxy is primarily an adventure game" - from the lead. My comment that the subject is only covered by low quality sources would lead the article to fail 1c. - hahnchen 23:05, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
I have added the VOCM note you recommend and have altered the sentence about the game's genre. I am not convinced that this game is only covered in low-quality sources. Why is it a problem that Game Interface asks for donations? I also don't see the problem with Mana Pool having its primary address at a building with a terrace. Do you have any objective arguments against using the MMGN and Game Boyz reviews? All of these seem to me to be sources of sufficient quality. Neelix (talk) 09:28, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
Oppose Not comprehensive enough. Not the nominator's fault. It's just that little sources exist. This game was basically ignored by critics. The gaps here are too big for me to ignore. Beerest 2talk 20:42, 30 November 2013 (UTC)
Have you seen articles that meet the notability criteria fail their FACs because of a lack of existing sources? I thought exhaustive use of existing sources was sufficient to meet the featured article criteria, so long as the notability criteria were met. Neelix (talk) 05:12, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
Oppose. I am not even sure this meets notability requirements, as I see little evidence of significant coverage in reliable sources. Not one of the major game industry websites reviewed this game. Without reviews and/or sales figures, it is impossible to properly assess the impact of this game in an encyclopedic manner, hence it must fail on comprehensiveness grounds in my opinion. Indrian (talk) 06:35, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
I believe that the sources employed in the article demonstrate the subject's notability, but you are free to initiate a deletion discussion if you disagree. Neelix (talk) 09:29, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
Oppose on 1c. I certainly don't think that things like sales figures are necessarily a requirement for FAC; it's entirely possible to have an FA-quality article with comprehensive sourcing but not be able to include numbers that aren't publicly released, for example. But I don't think this it that article. I'm really unconvinced by the reliability of some of these sources. Game Interface doesn't have any editorial policy that I could find. I'm not impressed by Mana Pool either; also, you heavily cite a Mana Pool interview with the game's creators, which means an awful lot of this content is actually sourced to the game's creators -- that's especially true when you outright quote one of the game's creators in the Reviews section as though he were presenting an independent opinion on the product! That reference 5 is a GameFAQs page mis-cited as GameSpot doesn't do much to assuage my concerns. Squeamish Ossifrage (talk) 18:20, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
Just to be clear, I agree that sales figures are not necessary, as they are often hard to come by. My statement was that without reviews in major publications and/or sales figures, it fails on comprehensiveness grounds since the subject cannot be "placed in context." Reviews alone or sales figures alone might have sufficed. Indrian (talk) 18:36, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
I have switched the GameSpot reference to read "GameFAQs" and I have removed the creator quotation from the "Reception" section. Can we agree that both the MMGN review and the Game Boyz review are valid sources? Both of these websites are cited very commonly on Wikipedia. How many reviews are required? The information taken from Mana Pool for the "Reception" section is largely negative, and does not come from the game's creators; it is only objective statements that are taken from the interview with the game's creators. I have e-mailed Game Interface to ask about their editorial policy. Neelix (talk) 04:54, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
General comment - It has been determined here that Game Boyz, Mana Pool, and Game Interface are all unreliable sources, and I have therefore added them to the official list of unreliable sources for video game articles. Also included on that list is GameFAQs, so I have removed all of these sources from the ProtoGalaxy article, along with the corresponding information. It seems that most editors are arguing that this video game is notable enough to have an article on Wikipedia, but not notable enough to be featured. I had thought that the notability threshold was the same for both, and that the difference for featured articles was the quality of the article rather than a greater notability of the subject. Provided that the article meets all of the other FAC criteria, shouldn't the article be either featured or deleted? Neelix (talk) 13:39, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
While several of us have expressed doubts as to the notability of the subject, it is not accurate to characterize our objections as being on that ground. I cannot speak for others, but for me, the problem, as I clearly stated in my initial objection is one of comprehensiveness. 1b is very clear that a subject must be "placed in context." This requires material that places the game within the larger happenings of the video game industry generally and the indie game movement specifically. The article contains no information on the developers' influences, no information on how the game was received either commercially (sales figures) or critically (only one review from the dozens of sites aggregated by Metacritic). There is no information as to how it has advanced its genre or how it fits within the indie games movement or any other contextual information. So notability only requires "significant coverage," while comprehensiveness requires "context." Surely you can see how the FAC standard is a higher standard than the notability one.
The same thing is true of sources. Notability requires "reliable sources," while FAC requires "high-quality sources." These are not the same thing. This article mostly draws secondary source coverage only from lesser news outlets and primary source coverage in the form of press releases from more important sites like GamesIndustry.biz and Gamasutra. For many, though not for me, this would be enough coverage to pass muster under the relatively low notability requirements, but completely fails the "high-quality reliable sources" requirement of the well-researched criteria (1c). So to answer your question, yes it is possible to meet the low threshold of notability and yet still fail the high standards of FAC. Indrian (talk) 17:26, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
That the subject has only been covered in low quality sources does not automatically mean it is not notable. This FARC addresses issues of source quality, yet the subject is clearly notable. - hahnchen 20:44, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
If it is possible to have an article on a notable subject both written and sourced as well as possible without meeting the featured article criteria, it would be well worth making this fact explicit on the featured article criteria page. Otherwise, we are sending the impression to editors that any valid Wikipedia article can eventually become featured (like any American can grow up to be president), when such is not the case. Neelix (talk) 03:45, 14 December 2013 (UTC)