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I'm working on a project for which I will need to create a large item database, with plenty of different types of items which will all have different data structures and attributes. I'm hoping to either find or implement a tool which will help my collaborators and I create item data collaboratively, something like a database frontend, basically. I've considered setting up an instance of a rails backend like railsAdmin and creating models for each type of item we'll need (e.g. weapon, vehicle, etc) and allowing team members to simply create new database records and populate data fields, then pull the data out of the DB and convert it to whatever format we need down the road.

My question is whether anyone has any experience with another tool, preferably something web-based, which would allow users to edit records in a database while easily adding or removing fields for specific tables? How did you and your team catalog all the items for your last project?

Thanks in advance and apologies for my poorly worded query.

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Does this have something to do with making games? Other than the fact some of the tables are called "weapons" or "vehicles"? If you're interested in a web-based app, may I suggest – Cyclops Aug 15 '11 at 21:27
I agree that this doesn't really belong here, but I guess is probably even better than webapps. @Charles: Depending on the database, there might be lots of tools available.. you should mention what RDBMS you use. – bummzack Aug 15 '11 at 21:37
@bummzack, possibly you're right that the dba site is a better fit, but it's borderline :) The OP is asking for a software package recommendation, whereas dba is for "database professionals who wish to improve their database skills" - not locate a specific package. :) In any case, not here... – Cyclops Aug 15 '11 at 21:43
@Cyclops I interpreted the question so that he already knows the DB and is just looking for an appropriate GUI tool for it. And since dba has some tool-related questions, I thought it might fit there. But yeah, if he doesn't know either, dba might not be the right choice – bummzack Aug 15 '11 at 21:49
@bummzack I'll likely be using sqlite3 at least initially, since its simple to set up and use, and I'm familiar with it. – Charles Aug 16 '11 at 14:43
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Do you have some kind-of development tool (eg. for making maps)? If so, (and this is how I do it) build an item editor into that. That way, all of your development tools are in one single spot. So, a user editing a map through your map editor, doesn't have to go to the website to set up items they want to use on that map (or the creatures on the map, or whatever). They can just pull down a menu, open the item editor, add the item and go right back to their map.

This works even better for me since my game is multiplayer so I can control access to the different editors based on user logins (to the development tool).

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I think he would be better off investing his time in programming the game instead of re-writing a tool that probably already exists. – bummzack Aug 15 '11 at 22:05
@bummzack - That's up to him, I suppose. If it were a map editor, I would say "Yeah, don't re-invent the wheel". But items are certainly less complex than maps and I don't think it would take a lot of time to make a quick item editor, even just as a front-end to the database. – Richard Marskell - Drackir Aug 16 '11 at 13:23
Not a bad idea. Its good practice for a budding enthusiast, not to mention integration of various tools will pay dividends down the road, I imagine. Thanks for your input, and apologies for the non-game-specific nature of the question. – Charles Aug 16 '11 at 14:47
@Charles - Glad to help. :) – Richard Marskell - Drackir Aug 16 '11 at 16:01

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