Home

TuTorial

This is the tutorial page for the MaGog search engine. It will introduce you to the major features of the website. It is composed of four parts:

  1. The tutorial for version 1.0.0 or later covers the basics of searching through the database of GOG games.
  2. The tutorial for version 2.0.0 or later covers the ability to add your own data to each game's entry.
  3. The tutorial for version 4.5.0 or later covers the ability to incorporate basic MaGog search capabilities into your browser's search box.
  4. The tutorial for version 6.0.0 or later covers the details of the "downloadable files" field.

For these tutorials you should probably have this page and the search engine page open in two different windows or tabs to allow you to switch back and forth between reading the instructions and performing them on the search engine. Alternatively, you may print this page and use the printed version alongside the search engine page.

To avoid repeating myself, as I am wont to do, let me just say one more thing, and please listen very carefully, for I shall say this only once. During the tutorials, you will be asked to type some words or numbers; these words or numbers will be flanked by quotations marks – please do not type the quotation marks themselves. For example, if asked to type "writer", merely type 6 letters (w, r, i, t, e, r), no more, no less. Additionally, when I say "click", I mean click once, not double click (unless I explicitly say "double click").

Tutorial for version 1.0.0 or later

The central portion of the search engine page is divided into four main sections, separated by three horizontal lines: Scope, Filters, Display, and Order. There might be other sections visible (e.g. My Tags Checkboxes), but we will ignore them in this tutorial.

The page that has opened displays all the games in MaGog's database, namely all the games that are currently available on GOG or ever were (more than 1,000 in total). Browse around for a bit. Notice the wealth of games and the wealth of information available for your enjoyment (well, if you enjoy that kind of thing — games, I mean; I'm sure you enjoy information). Do note that what you see is MaGog's database, not live GOG data. The database is updated four times a day so some data may be slightly outdated (e.g. prices during a fast-changing sale, such as an insomnia sale). By the way, if you see some game whose price column is coloured dark red, it means the game is currently on sale, with the specified discount (dark red obviously stands for "Warning! Hide your wallet!").

Feel free to click on game titles you are interested in, which will lead you to their respective game pages on GOG. All links on MaGog open in a new page or tab.

We will now use MaGog to select some game(s) to buy on GOG. We'll intentionally make it a complex search, the better to explore the interface. Do note that you may at any point click on the "Search" button to examine the effects of the selection so far, even though the tutorial tells you to do so only at the end of the process.

You should have at least 10 games to pick from. My favourites from the list are "King's Bounty: The Legend", "Etherlords 2", and "Fantasy Wars". Do note that all the information about your search is present in the URL (web address) of the results page. This means that you can bookmark searches that you plan to repeat and that you can share searches with others, for example by posting them on the GOG forum.

This concludes the first tutorial. If you have further questions, just post them on the MaGog forum thread. One last note before parting: MaGog remembers the values of all the checkboxes (but not the selection menus) from one session to another. Since we have altered some checkboxes during the tutorial, you might want to re-examine those and select a combination that suits you best (if in doubt, choose "Set All").

Tutorial for version 2.0.0 or later

This tutorial will teach you how to add your own data to the games listed on MaGog, primarily for your own use, but optionally also to be shared with others. The tutorial assumes that you have not yet added any of your data to MaGog.

To make things (relatively) simple, all the editing of your data is carried out from the results page, so we first need to generate a set of results, i.e. perform a search.

There is now a new column to the far right, bearing the title "My Fields", which we will edit. There are six editable fields:

  1. Date: Use this to hold any one date related to the game. I use it to hold the GOG purchase date, which I copied from "My Games" on GOG. I expect some of you will do the same, but you can use it for any date (e.g. the date you first played the game, the date you plan to finally buy the game, etc.).
  2. Date Range: Use this to hold any pair of dates related to the game. I use it to hold the dates (from, to) I first played the game. This field will not play a part in this tutorial.
  3. Stars: Use this to hold your rating for the game.
  4. Price: Use this to hold any one price related to the game, for example the price you paid for it (if you own it) or the price you are willing to pay for it (if not).
  5. Tags: Use this to hold as many tags as you wish to associate with the game. MaGog comes with two predefined tags ("owned" and "wishlisted"), but you can define as many additional tags as you wish (you may also delete the predefined ones, if they are not to your liking).
  6. Notes: Use this to hold additional comments about the game. This field will not play a part in this tutorial.

So let's begin editing.

How do I save my edit, you ask? Any edits you make to your data are immediately and automatically saved. There is no save button and no undo button. That's right, you can only play MaGog in ironman mode. And where is the data saved, you ask? It is saved in what's called "local storage", which is part of your browser. That is, the data is saved on your computer, not on the MaGog server. What is the main implication of that, you ask? Since the data is saved in your browser, it is immediately accessible only within the browser and computer it was created on. So how can MaGog perform any searches on that data, you ask? Every time you perform a search from the search engine that in any way involves your data (e.g. display, filter, sort), a snapshot of your data is automatically uploaded from your browser to the server for Magog to process and analyse. And why did I decide to save it locally on your computer, rather than on the server, you ask? Because otherwise I would have had to implement accounts and usernames and passwords and security, to prevent others from accessing and changing your data, and frankly I didn't want to get into that mess. Would you mind not asking so many questions so early on and allowing me to continue? I promise everything will be clear by the end of the tutorial. And what if not, you ask?


WARNING! SOME BROWSERS DELETE YOUR LOCAL STORAGE WHEN YOU DELETE COOKIES.
YOU SHOULD AVOID DOING SO FOR WWW.AN-OVEL.COM (MAGOG'S DOMAIN) ONCE YOU BEGIN ADDING YOUR OWN DATA.
IT'S ALSO ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA TO BACKUP YOUR DATA FROM TIME TO TIME VIA THE "EXPORT MY FIELDS" FEATURE.


Now listen very carefully; I shall say this only once. MaGog will accept any edit you make and save it as such (ironman, remember?). If something looks fishy, it will often warn you, as it did just now for the month of "Peptember", but it will not reject your edit. Furthermore, it trusts in your wisdom and will therefore not repeat its warning again and again. If you ignore the initial warning displayed immediately after the edit, you will not get another one. MaGog will assume you know what you are doing. So look very carefully for those "incorrect format" warnings; MaGog will display them only once.

When you ran the search from the search engine just now, what happened was that a snapshot of the data in your "local storage" was sent to the MaGog server to display. And indeed all the changes you have made should be visible on-screen, including "Peptember" (with no repeat warning, as promised). Additionally, MaGog saved this information in a "temporary" file on the server, so that if you wish to share the results, inclduing the snapshot of your own data at this point in time, with others you may do so as usual by posting the URL (web address) of the results page. That's right, once you fill all your information, you can share it with others, for example publish the list of the games you own or the games on your wishlist. Why is the file "temporary", you ask? Because I may at some point delete it to save space on the server. "Snapshot" files on the server that have not been accessed by anyone for at least a month will be candidates for deletion. Remember, that's just the "snapshot" on the server, your data is safe on your computer.

When you reloaded the search results just now, what happened was that MaGog used the "temporary" file it had previously saved. And since that file was generated before your edits to the second game, it does not include them. The same would have happened if, instead of reloading, you had clicked on a previously-saved link or launched a previously-saved bookmark. The only way to generate an up-to-date snapshot of your current data is to run a search directly from the search engine (i.e. click the "Search" button or press Ctrl+Enter). This means that when you share your data you have complete control over what others see. The "My Fields" information displayed will be exactly the same as you had generated, regardless of any changes you may have made after that point in time. After all, you might not want some people to see the star rating you gave to "Sacrifce", for example.

As for the data you have added to the second game — it is safe and sound on your computer. Let's prove it.

Rachel is your twelve-year old daughter. If you didn't know you had a twelve-year old daughter named Rachel, check around. She's rather petite so you may have missed her. Trust me. I know what I'm talking about. I'm an engineer. Well, technically I'm not, but I seem to have been able to fool more than one hi-tech company into hiring me as one. Which is what counts, after all, when it comes to matters of determining parenthood, isn't it?

Needless to say, anything you can do with the regular GOG fields, such as filter by, sort by, and display them, you can also do with your own data. Accordingly there are such options under the filter and sort order menus (not surprisingly, all beginning with the word "My").

All you need to do now is fill the data for all the games. For those of you not interested in manually transferring the list of GOG games you own and/or have wishlisted from GOG to MaGog (i.e. everyone), there is an alternative. MaGog can do it automatically for you, through the "Get From GOG" feature. Why not click on that button? It's quite self-explanatory.

This concludes the second tutorial. If you have further questions, just post them on the MaGog forum thread. One last note before parting: MaGog remembers the values of all the checkboxes (but not the selection menus) from one session to another. Since we may have altered some checkboxes during the tutorial, you might want to re-examine those and select a combination that suits you best (if in doubt, choose "Set All").

Technical Addendum
In case you wish, out of pure curiosity, to locate your browser's local storage for MaGog, here are its locations for some common browsers (at least on Windows).

  1. In Chrome, in the www.an-ovel.com specific file in your local storage folder (e.g. C:\Users\something\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Local Storage\http_www.an-ovel.com_0.localstorage)
  2. In Internet Explorer, in the www.an-ovel.com specific file in your local storage folder (e.g. C:\Users\something\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\DOMStore\something\www.an-ovel[1].xml) [DOMStore is hidden by default]
  3. In Firefox, in the webappsstore.sqlite file in your profile folder (e.g. C:\Users\something\AppData\Local\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\something.default\webappsstore.sqlite)
  4. In Opera, in the www.an-ovel.com specific file in your local storage folder (e.g. C:\Users\something\AppData\Local\Opera\Opera\pstorage\something\something\something) [type "opera:webstorage" in Opera to find the exact file name]
  5. In Safari, in the www.an-ovel.com specific file in your local storage folder (e.g. C:\Users\something\AppData\Local\Apple Computer\Safari\LocalStorage\http_www.an-ovel.com_0.localstorage)

Tutorial for version 4.5.0 or later

This tutorial will teach you how to run a basic MaGog title search (i.e. search for a specific game or group of games by title) from your browser's search box without having to visit MaGog's home page. The tutorial focuses on the two most common browsers employed by MaGog users, Firefox and Chrome. If you use another browser and cannot seem to apply to it either of the methods described below, please contact me and I shall gladly assist.

To have this work, you first need to make the browser aware of MaGog's search capabilities. Nothing could be simpler. Well, some things probably could.

Now, whenever you wish to perform a game title search on MaGog, you no longer need to visit MaGog's website (we're going to miss you...). All you have to do is:

If, like me, you do not use the search/address box for searching (e.g. on Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.), you can even set MaGog to be your default search engine. Then, on Firefox, you wouldn't have to click the red circle, just press Enter. And on Chrome, you wouldn't have to precede the search by typing "magog".

This method of title searching does have its limitations, though, compared to using the full-fledged MaGog search engine. These limitations are: (a) You have no control over other parameters of the search — the search will use all the scopes (regular, DLC, removed, etc.), will display all the fields (execpt "My Fields"), and will employ the default sort. (b) You cannot combine the search with other filters. (c) You cannot display any "My Fields" information. (d) The search, by default, opens in the current window/tab, not in a new window/tab (some might see this as a blessing).

If you find this feature useful and would like to see other simple MaGog searches (e.g. search by price) made accessible through the search box, just drop me a note on the forum.

Tutorial for version 6.0.0 or later

This is not so much a tutorial as an explanation of the details and intricacies of the "Downloadable Files" field available for each GOG game on MaGog.

Since version 4.0.0, MaGog has been displaying information about downloadable files (installers, patches, bonuses) for all the games that I own. With the advent of version 6.0.0, it also displays this information for games that I do not own. However, the amount of information is smaller for games I do not own than for those I do. The following table lists the differences between the two types of information sets.

Information Displayed For Games I Do Own For Games I Do Not Own
File title (e.g. "Windows Installer, English" or "manual") Yes Yes
Ability to differentiate between multilingual (e.g. "English+French+German") and monolingual (e.g. "French") installers Yes No
File version (e.g. "ver. 1.602 (gog-18)"), if available Yes Yes
File link (e.g. "https://www.gog.com/downlink/afterlife/en1installer1"), allowing download for games you own Yes Yes
File name (e.g. "setup_advent_rising_2.0.0.8.exe") Yes No
File modification date/time (e.g. "Mon, 14 Oct 2013 15:03:43 GMT") Yes No
File size in bytes (e.g. "783,088") Yes No
Presence of a "Serial Key" or "Message from GOG" for the game Yes No
Changelog, if available Yes Yes
Number of sub-games the game is unbundled into, if any Yes Yes
The names of the sub-games the game is unbundled into, if any Yes No

There are a few games that I do own, but for which I miss one or more DLCs. For these, complete information is displayed for the files I do own, and limited information for the ones I do not, along the same lines as the table above.

Additionally, as of version 9.1.0, some games I own have outdated file size and modification date/time (due to a change made by GOG on 13 December 2017). For these, only limited information is displayed, as if I did not own them.

Finally, the information displayed also governs the ability to filter based on it. For example, filters dependent on file modification date/time or serial number/key will work only for games I own (as before), while filters dependent on changelog information will work for all games.