I’m very proud to announce a brand new feature for the Sonic Stadium and the Sonic community.
Introducing… the Sonic Database!
The Sonic Database is a re-imagining of an old legacy section we used to have on the Sonic Stadium (namely, the Info Section), brought into the modern age and using the power of SSMB to open the door for crowd-sourced community collaboration.
We are launching the Sonic Database in a BETA state right now. What that means is, it’s not informationally complete in the slightest and there may be some UI and editor-related quirks to improve. But by and large, the format we have here is what we’re broadly going for.
Open to all, our goal with the Sonic Database is to provide an online encyclopaedia of blue blur knowledge that was fast, easy to use, void of UI clutter and with its own distinct visual identity. It doesn’t look like an out-of-the-box wiki, because it isn’t a wiki: the code powering the Sonic Database is the same running the SSMB community.
That means anyone with a Sonic Stadium account can get involved and start contributing!
We have TONNES of categories where Database records can be created - from the Sonic video games, to merchandise and comics and beyond! Here's the general make-up of a record on the Sonic Database:
You'll notice a couple of cool things going on there:
- A tabbed section at the top of the record, which allows you to switch between the core page information as well as several other views:
- An 'Articles' tab that shows, at the moment, reviews that relate to the product being viewed (if it exists on the SSMB database)... more to come on that whole thing
- A 'Media' tab that dynamically shows related image galleries like screenshots, artwork and box art (if it exists in the Media Gallery)
- A 'Reviews' tab which allows Sonic Stadium/SSMB users to write their own five-star review of the game/product being viewed (not all records will allow this)
- A 'Talk' tab dedicated for editors and Database Curators to discuss the development of the record
- A Table of Contents that is dynamically created based on the number of section headers made on the record
- An 'infobox' style element that contains quick facts about the product being focused on
I hope you'll agree, this is pretty sweet! There's a fair amount of other cool things we've baked into this system, and are planning for more things in the future as well - like a new set of SSMB Achievements to help encourage contributions and community collaboration.
Now, this is the first time we've launched anything this collaborative, on this kind of scale, so we are launching things with a few caveats to start:
- Anyone with a 'Sonic Community' usergroup can edit and create records...
- ...but all such contributions will require approval before they go live. Approvals will be made by SSMB Admins and users in a new usergroup; 'Database Curator'
- Users in the 'Database Curator' usergroup will have NO social status above regular users - they are simply trusted members of the Sonic community that will be responsible for keeping the peace and organisation of the Sonic Database. They will have a few overriding options in the Sonic Database, and can upload media to the Media Gallery, but think of these users as helpful sherpas rather than users of any authority on Sonic Stadium or SSMB.
We have a few SSMB members assigned as Database Curators, and at this time I'm happy to consider users who also want to step up and join the group. It's a usergroup that requires responsibility and trust from me and the rest of the team, so please make sure your account is in good standing.
Anyone looking to help contribute to the Sonic Database should first take the time to read and follow the guidance outlined in the Database Guidance category, as we have written a number of organisational rules that should be followed.
I've spent a long time behind the scenes cooking this new feature and I'm really excited to see how the community takes to it. I want to try and establish a fantastic, accurate and fun resource packed full of Sonic the Hedgehog information - just like we used to back in the 2000s.
And I'm keen to see how positively you guys all take to it. Even if you can't, or don't want to, contribute to the Sonic Database, I'd love to hear thoughts and feedback on the design, user journey and anything else from a general user perspective.
Here's to new horizons and the start of a fantastic new feature for the Sonic community!