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Weekly Challenges Are Back!
This week's theme 'PD Quick', see https://opengameart.org/forumtopic/weekly-challenge-public-domain-due-ap...
Be sure to include the following tags in your submissions:
Challenge, PD Quick
The advanced search is working better than ever! I have been able to clean or correct about 900 tags across thousands of submissions. I wasn't even aware of some really great assets before now since the tags were preventing them from showing up in my tag searches. We're still looking at a few tweaks to make it work even better, but this should make for some quick improvements in the meantime. Woohoo!
Based on some frequently asked tag questions lately, Kurt asked me to post a quick DOs & DON'Ts guide on how to get the most out of the tags system. Great idea, Kurt! This guide applies to both art submitters and people searching for art. This guide only applies to tags; not title, description, or other search fields. :)
The goal of tags is finding what you're looking for. Think of as many single-word ways of describing what you're submitting/seeking. Although there are situations where multi-word tags are needed, the overwhelming majority of tags are single-word descriptors. Try to enter several single-word tags instead of fewer multi-word tags. "dark, fantasy, rpg, rigged, static, mesh, lowpoly" is more effective than "rigged lowpoly mesh assets, static 3d meshes, dark fantasy rpg art".
#hashtag- OGA tags are not linked to twitter. Please don't use hashtags when submitting or searching by tag. They just make the artwork harder to find since "#sword" will not show up in a search for "sword". They also break alphabetical sorting since #ZXY comes before ABC. Omit commas between tags- If you don't put a comma between your tags, people searching will find nothing, and people submitting will never be found. "do not forget commas between tags" is all one tag that has to be matched exaclty >:( "do not, forget, commas, between, tags" is 5 different tags that can be searched or matched individually. :) ennemy, midevil, enviroment, sord- Be sure the tags are spelled correctly for best results. (I always misspell "medieval") Over 20 different styles!, Mega-Awesome Studio Pack v1.14881b, Haha! :), boring artwork I made, I need artword that doesn't suck- Who would submit/search for these phrases?
free, open source, video game, art, asset- Everything on OGA is a free video game art asset. These words won't help narrow the search. cc0, cc-by, gpl, Creative Commons, Public Domain- Tagging the license is unneccessary. There is a separate field dedicated to searching by specific licenses. texture, 3d art, 2d asset, music, sound effect- Tagging the art category is unneccessary. There is a separate field dedicated to searching by specific art category. Don't put "string music, dark 2d art". Just put "string, dark"
s, rock s, icon s, cact i- Plural tags will not show up in a search for the singular version. Searching for "sword" will not show any artwork tagged "swords" and vice versa. When in doubt, just use the singular tag (sword, rock, icon, cactus) Even if the asset contains more than one icon, many swords, a big pile of rocks, and a whole forest of cacti... the singular form of any tag is far more commonly used. You could include both forms, I guess, but it will keep things a lot simpler if you try to stick to a singular convention. The exception to this is when the singular form has an entirely different meaning than the plural. Pants =/= multiple pant, glasses =/= multiple glass.
Makes no difference:
- Case SEnsiTive - UPPER-CASE, lower-case, makes no difference. When in doubt, though, put everything in lower-case.
- artist/submitter name in the tags - Adding your name or your project name as a tag is unlikely to help anyone find the asset and has zero SEO impact. There is a separate field dedicated to searching by the artist's/submitter's name.
- orchestral, chiptune, trance, portrait, synth, pixelart, chibi, anime, painterly - tags that indicate the style of art are useful.
- 32x32, 8-bit, 16-bit, dawnbringer, db32, 128x64, 44.1 kHz, 110bpm, specular, bumpmap - give common technical specifications of the asset, if any apply. Being able to search by dimension, palette, sample rate, et cetera is helpful.
- 3/4 perspective, overhead, ortho, 1st person, isometric, oblique, sidescroller - include the art's perspective, if applicable. Different games have different viewpoints. Being able to find the right kind is invaluable.
- sword, dog, face, warrior, robot, grass, rock, sad, spooky, upbeat, relaxing, western, fantasy, scifi - a few one-word descriptions of what is in the asset will go a long way.
- gui, ui, animation, animated, sci-fi, scifi - Try several versions of tags with very similar meanings. Sometimes people try one and don't think of the other. This will allow the search to work either way. No need to go overboard, though. "gui, ui, graphical user interface, user interface, graphical ui, u interface, user i, gu interface" is just getting ridiculous. Just a couple of the most commonly used tags is enough. Not sure which are most used? search for the ones you're thinking of and see which one returns more results.
- .png, .blend, .obj, .wav, unity3d, .svg, .flac, .xcf - tagging the file format is often useful for people working with specific software suites or working with specific programming constraints. For the sake of conformity and ease-of-searching, please always include the dot before file extensions. Otherwise people searching for Photoshop ".psd" files will never find the asset tagged "psd".
- Edit your submission - Don't be afraid to click that "Edit" tab at the top of your submission. If you misspelled something or forgot the commas (I always do), no need to delete the submission, just click edit, fix whatever doesn't look right, and click save. easy peasy.
TL;DR: A good rule of thumb I use to test if a tag of mine is good or not: If I search for any single tag I've used, but my submissions- no one elses- are the only results... It's likely no one will ever find my submission using that tag. I should probably change or remove the tag from my submission. If I'm the only person that thought of this tag, I'm the only person that will ever find my art.
Just wanted to let everyone know that we've got search indexing working again. Near as I can tell, it looks like the problem was due to a couple of corrupt nodes (out of about 60,000) causing the search index function to throw an exception, and then stop dead. I've patched the Drupal instance it so if it ever runs into this issue again, it'll log a warning and keep indexing.
At any rate, the short version is that everything should be indexed now, so search should be useful again. We'll keep an eye on it and make sure it continues to work properly.
We have recently resolved a bug where some accounts were not showing up in the approval queue. This mostly affected people who changed their profile details, and we believe we have now resolved the issue for most people. If you have been waiting a long time for approval please let us know in the comments so our admins can look into it for you.
Thanks for your time.
There was an old, unused test Drupal instance that was sitting on the server unpatched, with a couple of PHP scripts sitting in the files directory, including one that was meant to send outgoing mail. I've removed the test instance in question and started the mail server back up. It's always possible that I didn't get everything, so please let me know here in a comment (or in a private message) if you receive any more suspicious emails from OGA.
Hi. I got word an hour or two ago that the site was sending out phishing emails to OGA user accounts. If you have recently received a sketchy, poorly-spelled email that starts with "Your Acount is disabled for the purposes of security", you can safely assume that your account was not, in fact, disabled for the purposes of security, and under no circumstances should you provide anyone with any of your passwords, particularly information pertaining to your "Peypal" account, as the email calls it.
I have currently disabled the mail server on OGA until I can assess the extent of the hack. Since they managed to get a complete list of account emails, it's safe to assume that they also grabbed (hashed) passwords, so you should consider your OGA password compromised and change it wherever you're using it, particularly if you're using it with the email address that you used to sign up to OGA. Until I've determined the source of the intrusion, it's probably best to hold off on changing your OGA password.
I'll post another blog entry as soon as I know more.
Update: As of 12 hours later, the malware scan I'm running on the server is about half done. I'll post an update when it's finished.
I saw this last night and thought I'd share: The British Library has a Flickr account with over a million public domain images, here:
The images are all pretty old, so how useful they'll be for your game depends entirely on what kind of aestheic you're going for, but there's a wealth of excellent stuff there. In particular, I recommend poking through the Albums section, where you can find items that have been sorted into categories.
I did a couple test searches and the results look better now. Solr still needs to be set up, but this should do in the meantime.
I added some smarter caching to the front page, which should make it load noticeably faster (and help ease the load on the database, which should improve responsiveness of the whole site).
Also, we're rebuilding the search index as a stopgap measure to fix some of our more pressing search issues until we can get Solr working. There are a total of about 87,000 items to index, and from the look of it, it's going to take around half a day, assuming that all of the items take the same amount of time as the first thousand or so (which they probably won't, but it's all I have to go on). I believe I've managed to find and fix the problem that was causing new items not to be indexed, and I've also added some code to forcibly index art tags (which seem to have been indexed inconsistently until now).
I'll post an update when it's done. Until then, searches might not turn up many results.
Edit: At the time of this edit, it's a bit less than half way done, so it's going to have to run over night. I'll check back in the morning. In the meantime, I apologize for any performance issues.
I've made a couple of minor changes to the way art tagging works:
- Spaces are now treated as breaks between tags, so you no longer have to separate them with commas.
- Hashtags (#) are filtered out automatically.
At the moment, there are in excess of 11,500 different tags. Of these, just about half are used exactly once, and about 800 aren't being used at all (most likely because they were attached to spammy art). To really fix OGA's tagging system, we need to do a lot more:
- Find all of the misspelled tags and replace them with their correct spellings (this could be at least partially automated, although the replacements would have to be reviewed before they are applied).
- Set up term hierarchies, for example: tree -> maple, so that if you search for "tree", you'll get things tagged "maple". This is actually an interesting example, because even though all trees are plants and it would be intuitive to put "plant" one level above that in the hierarchy, when most people search for the word "plant", they probably mean to exclude trees. In other words, the hierarchies need to be built with what people want to search for in mind, as opposed to technical correctness.
- Merge certain tags that mean exactly the same thing (such as "16x16", and "16 x 16").
- Create synonym links between tags for cases where the meaning is slightly different, and then weight the synonyms lower than the literal term in the search results. For instance, if a user searches for "tree", it would make sense to give them results tagged "trees", and vice-versa.
- Create a user tagging system that would allow users to tag submissions, and then upvote or downvote tags that other users have added.
- Create an admin interface so that new tags can be curated as they are added. Particularly if users are allowed to tag art that's not created by them, we'll have to keep an eye out for misuse of the tagging system (tags that comment about the quality of the art rather than the content). Since we already have a user reputation system in the form of points, perhaps we could award user tagging access to people who have reached a certain point theshold.
- Create a better tagging widget with type ahead find that shows tag hierarchies and related items, which will encourage people to assign their art to existing tags.
- Build a "popular tags" view.
I don't want to consider any of these items to be official TODOs just yet. I'd be interested in hearing comments and suggestions from the community about how to proceed on this.
If you have comments, please post them on this forum thread.