First Steps with Mr. Men PCW


2021-03-01

I do not think a Amstrad PCW of this educational game exists. Its not listed in the PCW Wiki/Habisoft sites. Its not listed on Mobygames. Google gives no reference to a Amstrad PCW version, so I wonder from what source this UVL entry originates. Re-enter if there is more proof of this version existing.

I don't stop at main stream sites. moby is not complete. I'm currently on Apple II, Whoa! moby is so very, very incomplete. Google is increasingly less complete as the algorithm increasingly removes results that are not clicked millions of times. Do a Google search for "Apple" and you will get 4,240,000,000 results and Not one of them will be for anything related to Apple II computers or software (I ran my own test to confirm this). The Google algorithm is fatally flawed for serious research of any subject beyond current pop culture (and I suspect it is also flawed in that area as well). There are many great dedicate sites out there. They are not complete. I do not consider any site to be complete. Don't forget MenAvision's Air Raid, Sierra's Escape from Mount Drash, no mainstream or dedicated site had them listed until they were. I check with many sources. Many of my PCW entries were confirmed using gaming magazines, contemporary newsletters, personal pages, job resumes, some of which existed at archive.org. I also contact developers and people who were in management at the companies involved. Personal websites setup on a business' or educational institution's server are especially helpful for first hand information and find contact options for first hand information. And most of these sites are archived now. I stop short of traveling to a person's home and stocking them (I'm not Michael Larabel). Ok, I did once go to someone's home but I thought it was a business. They put the wrong address on a form so it was their fault. I don't remember which methods I used to determine the existence of First Steps with Mr. Men but I know I didn't just make up a game to add to the platform. I suppose some editors start with an existing game and then try to find platforms it was published on. I rarely do this (I think I did this for the Ultima series and the AD&D games). I generally start with a platform, sometimes a start with a list I stumbled across in a magazine or on a website or in a game catalog, and sometime I start with a specific game I stumbled across. If I enter the game for other platforms than the one I'm looking at, it is generally because I came across the other versions while trying to confirm the game for the platform or list I was currently targeting. Since I created and edited so many Mr. Men entries, I most certainly did exhaustive research of it.

2021-03-02 (updated 2021-03-02)
re: First Steps with Mr. Men PCW
If UVL is the only source of something and does not further explain the source I will always have my doubts. Mentioning in magazines (like in adverts) are not proof of existence. There are numerous cases where a version was advertised but never released. If you yourself must dig so far into getting info for a games existence and its not easily researchable by others I can only advise to give that info on the game page. How should I know otherwise? I also do quite some research before deleting a game and I have some good PCW sources and found nothing backing the entry.

I could create a forum thread for such instances before I delete games created by you to ask you first. The forum has no PM system so I cannot discuss it further. I am quite glad that there is some reaction to my "delete comment". Thats why I wrote the comment. So it does not get unnoted. I will re-create the entry. So no problem.

moby is not complete.

I only trust moby when there is a screenshot attached to a game. In some cases I had doubt a game existed even when there was a moby entry. In no way I trust them with a game not existing because a moby entry does not have such an entry. I guess mentioning moby in that particular case was a bad example.

I'm currently on Apple II

I know and at first I wanted to create screenshots for all the new Apple II games, (maybe you recognized that). But you were too fast for me ;-) completely outpacing me and then I decided to go after my normal schedule. And making screenshots meant for me to also do research for the games and where to get the disk images. At that time I supposed your main source for Apple II games was this list: https://tanrunomad.com/apple-ii-games/ I also know this list and speculated to use it to enter Apple II games for UVL based on the list not so long ago (after I "completed" the Commodor PET project I started with Apple II but eventually skipped it). But there were way too many games on the list which I could find no actual proof of, or it would have taken too long to find out, because the site also does not tell from where the source they claim it exists. Would have been too many "maybe" games for my taste so I skipped the plan. At the very start there were already a few "questionable" Apple II entries. One of the is https://www.uvlist.net/game-251214 and https://www.uvlist.net/game-159475 --> you claim they are confusable. I claim they are duplicates. You can download disk images for both games and its the same game. But I did not delete it because by then I decided not disturb the influx of fresh Apple entries. I am very glad when someone tackles a platform in depth.

I suppose some editors start with an existing game and then try to find platforms it was published on

Thats the way I am doing this right now. Basically I go through magazine reviews. When I find a review to a game I will also check out the other versions of the same game for other platforms and try to make them better by adding screenshots, tagging them and put up version relation, so the game with all its versions is cleaned up and "done". Thats what happened with Mr. Men for Amstrad PCW. I really searched for it quite extensibly. But when PCWiki (the totally best source even for obscure PCW-games with forum where people talk about "has this been released" does not have it) and Google gives exactly not a single match and not a single reference I came to the conclusion that it is likely not a valid entry. It also did not have a CPM or similar tag which could have explained an entry that was done due to platform limitations.

sometimes a start with a list I stumbled across in a magazine or on a website or in a game catalog

Lists in magazines, websites and catalogs are not good proof. Magazines? Oh I have seen reviews in magazines for games on systems that were never released. Not rarely a magazine in the 80s reviewed a game and did not specifiy which exactly they tested it on, but in the platform list they listed several platforms. But quite often it turns out the
game was not released for all the listed platforms. Magazines only told what publishers told them where the game "would appear" on. If I would do a full platform project on UVL I would go with projects like gamebase where for each entry the game 100% exists. Then you are missing a few titles of course, but I just wait until they get added later. I do this with Total DOS Collection for example. I enter early DOS games in UVL when they become "available" and "found" in Total DOS Collection, so I can be 100% sure it exists. I do not enter games from their "missing" list, which has games that supposedly exist or were mentioned somewhere (e.g. old magazines) but which have an unknown status.


Edit:
Do a Google search for "Apple"

Its a bad search term and I would never use that. But the combination of "Apple I" and "games" brings me to maybe the best resource/forum for games for the Apple I. So google can be used.
I did some more research for Mr Men for Amstrad PCW. The nearest I come is a mentioning in a magazine "The Complete Guide to the Amstrad PCW 8256 and 8512 Number 2", but only in a shop list and its not clear that the version sold is for PCW. It mixes everything Amstrad (CPC, PC and PCW). So still nothing. On the "pro-existence" side is the fact that the publisher Mirrorsoft did publish on Amstrad PCW. I put the tag todo-verifyexistence in the Amstrad PCW Mr Men entry. Although after my personal veryfication job I am still 99% convinced it does not exist. In other cases this would get delete by me now again. But will leave it and link to forum discussion in the tag comment.

2021-03-02
I guess wasn't clear when I said "start with". I check all the available sources I listed, and many I did not list, after I start with a source.
The tanrunomad list has way too many problems to base game entry on. I have searched for titles that are (or were) on that list but I'm not using it as a basis to add games.
I don't download roms that are illegal. For a variety of reasons. One of which is the slight possibility that it could cause problems for UVL. I sometimes use steaming but never as an infallible source; again for many reasons. The games available to download and stream, even from on archive.org, are rarely the originals. They are cracked. When games were cracked, they were almost always cut down with lossy compression, even vast amounts of game content were removed, bytes are altered to bypass the protection scheme, author and publisher information overwritten, features removed or added, game play is often altered, entire files are likely missing from the disk, there's a copy of Transylvania out their that actually entirely removed all the graphics (seems to me that would be like watching Bob Ross on the radio). And even if the goal is to preserve the game 100%, this usually results in failure. As one of archive.org curators has said, "We still can’t make perfect digital representations of Apple II floppy disks". (btw, that possibly makes archive.org in violation of DMCA. They are legally allowed to provide copies, but not legally allowed to provide altered copies. The "grey area" most pirates talk about is BS. What archive.org is doing when providing altered copies is actually a legal grey area that has been argued over in court more than once). Even if the game is preserved in full, such as with consolecassix, emulators can play them differently. When I see someone play a game on youtube, I want them to hold the package and the media up to the camera. I want to hear the disk drive make that horrendous noise as if it's blending the disk or the hear cartridge snap into place. If they are playing it on an emulator, I need even more information from somewhere else.

https://www.uvlist.net/game-251214 and https://www.uvlist.net/game-159475 This in fact was a hard sell to me as well. But SubLogic offered both titles simultaneously in their own catalogs in multiple editions. Each with different hardware requirements. This was my starting point. Several other sources discussed different version of this game with different hardware requirements.

I am aware that reviewers get prototypes, betas, advanced copies, and even reviewers editions that may be unique to each magazine (Piracy being one of the motives for unique reviewer's editions). I don't know how common it is/was for reviewers to not have the same game as everyone else. I assume all reviews are of a game different from the one sold on shelves or digital download; unless the review happens to mention "we bought the game at". I also assume that the digital download from any given outlet is different from one from a different outlet.

You can't keep up with me on the Apple II entries? I'm only averaging about 6 or 7 new entries per day. That's so slow. I think I entered half the Odyssey2 games in about 20 minutes. I must be getting old.

2021-03-03
When games were cracked, they were almost always cut down with lossy compression, even vast amounts of game content were removed, bytes are altered to bypass the protection scheme, author and publisher information overwritten, features removed or added, game play is often altered[...],

True, but most of the time its enough to make a screenshot for the UVL entry. I hate title screens with crack info though and do not use them and replace some of those that have been uploaded in the past.

I want them to hold the package and the media up to the camera. I want to hear the disk drive make that horrendous noise as if it's blending the disk or the hear cartridge snap into place.

I understand the purists point of view and that playing on an emulator is not the 'real' thing. I am an original collector myself. But for UVL its not necessary. We are not preserving software. Its basic info about a game and screenshots. If the screenshot from the cracked game looks exactly like it would from a non-cracked game, why not use it? The Transylvania example is an extreme example and sounds more like a full hack/mod.

https://www.uvlist.net/game-251214 and https://www.uvlist.net/game-159475 This in fact was a hard sell to me as well. But SubLogic offered both titles simultaneously in their own catalogs in multiple editions. Each with different hardware requirements. This was my starting point. Several other sources discussed different version of this game with different hardware requirements.

What are the results? I also read several articles about the game. Maybe not as many as you and maybe I did not find the real info, but from my understand "so far" there were different "versions/modifications" of the game. For me it sounds of what we today would call version 1.1, 1.1a, 1.2 etc. with slight improvements and iterations. This normally does not get its own entry. So for me its still open if we speak of two different games here or of modification/version differences of one and the same game.

You can't keep up with me on the Apple II entries? I'm only averaging about 6 or 7 new entries per day. That's so slow. I think I entered half the Odyssey2 games in about 20 minutes. I must be getting old.

No I can't keep up with Apple II games. For making screenshots I have to search for the disk images. If its a mainstream game its easy. If its obscure I am sometimes lucky after searching for ages and finding them embedded in compilation disks, sometimes I don't find them at all or in formats that can't be handled by emulator (or I am too stupid to handle). And its tiresome to search for a game with the "title" Chess and you start it and still don't know if thats the one that is meant by the UVL entry or another "Chess" titled game. And that would take away all my UVL time for the day. So yes, you completely outpace me with this. Screenshots for the Odyssey would be a breeze. Easily available, making screenshots... could be done in an afternoon. With the very old consoles the biggest issue is mostly the many different clone/releases per title. Just look at the Atari 2600. I would love to make the entries good, but the number of names and titles a single game was released under is scaring.