Meet RAWG TLDR, the fastest way to discover video games

RAWG has always been about one crucial thing — discovery. We’ve come a long way so far by growing our database into the largest one on the planet and rolling out our first set of UGC tools to make sure it stays that way. Basic, but broad data lies at the foundation of the discovery process because discovery is about finding something new and unexpected.

Today, we marked a new step in our development by introducing TLDR, a feature to discover video games. These days video games can be huge, tiny, photorealistic, minimalist, funny, dramatic, controversial or built for meditation. Ten years ago, after playing a shooter, you could have a definite opinion on the genre and its relation to other games. Today, things are different. Out of 100 players that loved the latest Assassin’s Creed, only a fraction of them fell for action, while others enjoyed the setting, historical context, dive into conspiracies, mythology, classical Greek culture, exploration, ship combat or overall size of the game.

On the other hand, it took me a while to figure out why games like Firewatch or The Radiant One clicked with me and it’s not just their artistic style. It’s also the sense of nostalgia, but most importantly — the length. When you are almost forty and your perception of value changes to a point where time is more precious than money, you start digging adventures that you can start and complete over a weekend.

Factors how we choose games evolve, gamers pay more attention to developer profiles and often connect with them via social networks. Indie movements introduce new and forgotten schools of thought to a point where every human being can develop a very specific and personal taste for games. All these new circumstances are gradual evolution for the medium, but it also means that established rules don’t work anymore. Old discovery methods when it was enough to know the genre or the publisher don’t work anymore. Genres are mixed, and quite often they mean absolutely nothing. Established publishers are in the constant attempt to milk the old cows, while experimenting with new models, specifically aimed at new audiences, rather than trusty fans. Essentially, it means that staying in your comfort zone means just lingering in the same old environment, constantly waiting to be disappointed.

There’s also another phenomenon — video games dominate every video platform out there. Seeing someone play and comment games became a new way for discovery, often tied to a person with similar views, skills, and tastes.

Fast-paced discovery

We developed TLDR with all these thoughts in mind but also fine-tuned it to work in tandem with RAWG’s algorithms and existing database. So what exactly TLDR is?

We attempt to create an infinite amount of curated content that drives games discovery. If you ever fell for a game executed in some specific style, you probably googled for “games like Limbo,” or “Best games with cell-shading” and most probably you found some answers. These, however, were likely presented in collections where you had to click through all games, cause those lists are built to drive page views. If you were lucky, you found a Youtuber presenting those games in a single video, but then again you may have had to spend minutes when all you needed was a big list you could review within seconds. Then you choose what you like, create your own shortlist and waste those precious minutes on researching discovered games.

And that’s what TLDR is about! It’s a large amount of games compilations, curated and structured in a manner when they aim to answer significant questions. Want to see the hottest titles of the season? Or an assortment of games fit for couch co-op? Best weekly or lifetime releases for a platform of your choice? Games where you could battle giants? Or perhaps you’re looking for the moody stuff to complement that autumn feel? We’ve got it all and many more, but the most amazing thing is — you’ll usually spend less than a minute to get first impressions on every game in that collection.

Found something! What do I do next? We developed a set of tools that will help to make use of new discoveries.

  1. You can add games directly to your wishlist while watching.
  2. 17 seconds per game is not enough sometimes though. One click and you’re watching the original source! As soon as you’re done, just close the pop-up and get back to a compilation where you left off.
  3. In case of falling in love at first sight, go to the game page in one click to find all stores where you can purchase your new object of obsession.

This, in fact, makes RAWG a multi-platform discovery service with the shortest route from “want,” to “have.”

What the future holds

We have so many exciting updates already planned, while we’re looking for your feedback to make it even better. As always, the quickest way to communicate with us is on our Discord, where we also share lots of news and thoughts on our development process. But just to tease…

At this point, our attention is fixed on our algorithms and learning, not only to show important games but also to automatically cut the selected content. TLDR is semi-automated, humans are still required to feed and supervise the system, but we are confident that robots will take our jobs — I mean, increase the quality in the future.

As soon as this happens, we’re set to add more tools to rawgers as well. For example, you’ve been working on that wishlist you wanted to share with friends just before Christmas? How about we compile a video for you, so you can share it? It’s not only neat, it’s also truly useful, cause you know, non-gamer friends will still be able to find a store button and buy you a game instead of an ugly sweater for once! Not promising this feature for this Christmas, we’re still in the phase of R&D, but I hope this paints a broader picture of the stuff we’re looking to achieve. Not to mention, that we will keep on improving tiny bits of TLDR by showing you more collections related to games you actually played and offering even more variety to our playlist.

So stay tuned for new updates and if you just scrolled here, here’s something you probably expected.

TL:DR: Click this link, to see amazing videos and discover new exciting games! And don’t forget to take breaks every 40 minutes or so!