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Kinda OT: Building a database...


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Showing 1-11 of 11 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 11, 2012 2:21:07 PM PST
Okay, so I'm trying to hone up my SQL skills by building a useful database to keep track of my video game collection. I'm curious as to what you guys would consider to be important fields in such a database. Any input would be appreciated!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 11, 2012 2:30:53 PM PST
Harmicky says:
Name, Platform, Year, Genre, Sub Genre, Meta Rating (if you care), MP/SP/Both, Developer, etc.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 11, 2012 2:38:56 PM PST
The "etc." part is what I'm interested in particularly though. I'm curious about the more esoteric fields, the ones I wouldn't have thought of. This exercise is as much for my database building skills as listening to what users actually need.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 11, 2012 2:50:07 PM PST
Harmicky says:
I can't think of anything else that would be very useful. Anything else would be very specific to an individual need.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 11, 2012 3:54:25 PM PST
Anthony says:
well, if its first person, third person, open world, linear, stuff like that. if you actually care, lol.

Posted on Nov 11, 2012 4:18:30 PM PST
Smarty says:
completed or not.

Posted on Nov 11, 2012 4:25:52 PM PST
Verbose says:
You may already know all this, but I love databases so I tend to go off on a tangent....

Keep in mind that a good relational database is never going to consist of one single, large table with a ton of fields.

You want to avoid:
- Having multiple entries in a single field. For example, in the "Platform" field, you don't want to type "PC; PS3" if you have the game for both platforms. This will create extra work if you write queries using Platform as part of your WHERE criteria, and especially if you want to do a GROUP BY on that field.
- Likewise, you don't want to have two nearly-identical records in your master table for the same game, with each record indicating a different platform. The idea is to avoid repeating data as much as possible, because it eats up space. You'd do better to have a separate table with just Game and Platform. Then, when you write queries, you can join it into your main table as needed. It's wasteful to list ALL of the game data twice in your master table when you could just simply list the game title itself twice in another table along with its platforms.

You could list Developer in your master table, but then have a couple other tables related to Developer. For example:
- A Developer master file that indicates basic data about the developer such as where their headquarters are, how long they've been in business, etc.
- A Game by Developer file which lists all of the games a developer has been involved in, whether you own them or not. Then, if you have a game you really liked, you could run a query to see what other games you don't own by the same developer to get an idea of other games you might like. (So it would probably be good if you included a rating field in your master table, so you can keep track of which games you liked. Then you could run a query showing unowned games by developer for all games you rated higher than a certain number.)

Posted on Nov 11, 2012 7:28:55 PM PST
Modern Bear says:
You could also include how many hours it took to complete each game, assuming you remember that for all the games.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 11, 2012 7:54:16 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Aug 22, 2013 5:32:50 PM PDT]

Posted on Nov 11, 2012 9:12:48 PM PST
Yeah, this relational database stuff is what I'm trying to work on. I have the problem of falling into being a SQL guy at my job without any "proper" training, really, so I'm trying to make sure I think correctly about this stuff. Thanks for the tips, for sure. I'm trying to avoid "Notes" fields if I can, simply because I've had to try to parse out string fields in my day job and the torture of the experience has completely turned me off of that idea, heh.

Posted on Nov 12, 2012 4:34:59 PM PST
Verbose says:
FrumpleOrz, I think it's awesome that you're taking the initiative to practice and build your skills instead of just scraping by as best as you can without putting any extra effort into it.

I don't have much professional database experience. I haven't used SQL Server or anything like that. But I do know basic database concepts because I've developed a lot of Access databases over the years. I also have a LOT of experience using SQL to extract data and generate reports. (That includes doing creative things with SQL to get the required data out of poorly designed tables.) So, if you need any syntax help in that regard, I could probably help.
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Discussion in:  Video Games forum
Participants:  7
Total posts:  11
Initial post:  Nov 11, 2012
Latest post:  Nov 12, 2012

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