Strats Taxonomy (Organizing Content)

For those of you not in software development professionally, this will be an exercise in how to design potentially complex technology products. Maybe that interests you, so I’m writing it here instead of in some closed channel with @therubymug. I also want your feedback!

The purpose of this post is to flesh out an understanding of the optimal taxonomy for organizing content around video games. What I want to get across here is if I were to submit an piece of content and want to associate it with an appropriate categorization (be it category or tag or flag), what would that look like?

Types of Content

These are examples, not complete lists, of the types of definitions that would be available.

The core item is the content piece that the user is posting. I’m proposing we call this a strat—however when we’re talking about things like short-form or microblogging type posts, is that really a strat (that is to say, a strategy/how-to/info/article)? Maybe that’s perfectly ok or maybe article needs to be renamed strat instead. That brings up the other issue of videos and images.

In terms of creation, I think that’s secondary. In this case, I think strat as a content type makes sense. The user can create a “New Strat” and put whatever content he or she chooses within that post. That might contain a full article or just a simple forum-style post. I’m leaning toward that model, personally.

  • Strat

    • Article (long-form)
    • Post (short-form, microblogging, forum post style)
    • Video
    • Audio
    • Image (screenshot)
  • Game

    • Destiny
    • Evolve
    • PlanetSide 2
    • etc.
  • Platform

    • PlayStation
      - PlayStation 3
      - PlayStation 4
    • Xbox
      • Xbox 360
      • Xbox One
    • PC
      • Windows
      • Mac
      • Linux
      • etc.
  • Genre (as defined by Wikipedia?)

    • Action
      • Shooter
      • MMOFPS
      • Tactical
    • Simulation
      • Life
      • Vehicle
    • etc.

Record Associations

  • game has many platforms
  • platform has many games
  • game has many genres
  • genre has many games

What happens when I want to post something about wishing Mass Effect would get released for PlayStation 4? Mass Effect is not associated with PlayStation 4 because it is not currently available on the system. Does this scenario advocate for a completely open taxonomy?

Additionally, there’s some ownership over the content in the form of an author.

  • author has many strats

So the game has many platforms association can have a released_date on it that indicates when or if it has been released on that platform.

I don’t see where you tie a strat back to any of the available associations. Should a strat (I realize it’s short for strategy) be tied to something more generic like a genre or even a platform? Maybe someone wants to create a long-form article strat to talk about how platform A compares to platform B. Or how would that work in practice?

Or better yet, what would be the business value of associating a Strat to anything other than a game?

I can see how we can get lost in making and curating all these crazy associations. I just want to make sure we focus on the value for everyone. :slight_smile:

A strat can have any of the above. It can be associated with a game, platform, or genre, and I think potentially more than one.

The other scenario is to only allow it to be associated with a game and then everything else is inherited based on that game association. However, that limits the ability to post content about things outside of those directly tied to a game.

For example, posts in our Hardware category could still be achieved under scenario 1 by associating them with PC > Windows. Let’s do some real world scenarios:

Hardware: This post would be a micro-blog type of post (not an article) and would probably be categorized PC.

Dragon Age: This post would be more like an article or long form content. It would have been associated with the game title Dragon Age: Inquisition and the information within is not specifically for a particular platform (it’s general strategy info about the game) and thus that should somehow be reflected. e.g. Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One

The question with the Dragon Age example is should we be smart about it and if the author does not select a specific platform, all platforms are used? Or none are used?

Or is that level of granularity overly complex and unnecessary? Perhaps it doesn’t matter what the platform is except when searching as a reader. That is to day, the author would simply associate the content with a game title and we have an understanding of what platforms that game is available on.

It might seem overly complex now, but in the future would be quite necessary. At our current state the search bar works for finding content that we desire. With larger numbers comes me clutter. This cutter will be need to sorted out carefully to allow people to have the best experience. This kind of organization will prepare us for the future.

The “strats” sounds amazing to me. Things like intro posts and anything else that is interned to be in a professional tone will thrive there. It will take our posts and give them much more legitimacy and take people away from thinking in the forum mentality. I love the ideas you guys have, I think it’s setting Strats up for the future.

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If I’m a PlayStation 4 gamer, do I want to filter content only for that system?

Or, is it enough to understand that Dragon Age is available for PS4 as well, so for the most part the information should be relevant?

I think it would depend on the post. General gameplay discussions aren’t platform specific. If you were talking about an LFG or event that is happening, it might be appropriate to organize by platform.

Edit: Look at games like PS2 we could utilize two categories for organization. It might be something that is implemented where needed, not universally.

I’m not currently factoring in a LFG post as I think making a post is a hack and not a real solution to that issue. Though I think the ability to post something not associated with any category should be allowed. This would essentially act as an off-topic or like a “I just want to write something” format.

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It kind of seems like Strat is the central object of interest here whereas Games, Platforms, and Genres are different ways of describing the scope of a Strat’s topic.

If that is the case I wonder if it isn’t necessary to associate Games with Platforms and Genres with Games, etc.

Game, Platform, and Genre sound like 3 different taxonomies with many descendant taxons.
(terminology inspired by Spree Commerce).

Strats could then be associated with 0 or more taxons, from any taxonomy. Seems like that would grant a lot of flexibility for organizing / filtering Strats.

One other thought that comes to mind with Games is that it might be hard to keep them up to date as games are being released.

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Thanks for the feedback @kroehre.

That is exactly right. I’m open to the approach of associating any and all or none of the taxons to a strat. The more I’ve been thinking about it, I’m considering dropping genre completely. That is by far the most difficult and cumbersome categorization to make. If we assume all strats will be in reference to a game or games or not (and thus a more generalized topic), then we don’t really need a genre.

I also think genre for a reader is outside the scope of this project. That is to say, it is doubtful that a user will be interested in any shooter type game content. They will have a game in mind and it’s not our job to create a comprehensive matrix of the gaming world.

So yeah, I think you are right.

  • Any combination of taxon for a strat.
  • Kill the genre

Certainly a barrier to entry but I have solutions for this already.

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