AoCZone at the moment has more than 88.000 recorded games, and they keep coming! So, if you`re up to find a specific game for download, or just to check if we already have it before you upload it, it would be quite a headache to do it manually , or through regular forum search system.
In order to make it easier (much easier, that is ) for anyone to find desired game(s) as quickly as possible, we have developed Game Search engine. It is up and functional for quite some time, while it has been improved a few days ago, but because maybe not all of you are aware of its existence and ease of use, here`s a small tutorial, explaining its possibilities.
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To get to Game Search engine page, you can use links on the main AoCZone page, as shown in the picture to the left - there are two Find » links on the left panel, and one Search for games link on the right (we may add a button somewhere else, too, just to make it more visible).
Once you click on any of these links, Game Search engine page will open for you to start your search, providing options to fine tune it and get very precise results.
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On Game Search engine page you will various fields you can fill in or check in order to define your search. We`ll explain what each one of them does, and to make it easier to follow, you can see all the fields numerated in the picture on the left.
1) Forums to search - Field that enables you to specify (select) all the forums you want to search. If you know that the game you`re looking for is in a specific forum (some tournament, for example), you`ll select only that forum from the list. Usually, you don`t have to select anything here, as you will probably want to search all available forums, just not to miss the game(s) you are searching for.
2) Player(s) - Player(s) to search for. Here you`ll write names of all the players you want to search for (max 5 per search), separating their names with comma - for example daut, kkab, ruso (you`ll get all the recs in which at least one of the players appears). Note that even parts of player name will match - for example, if you enter daut, you`ll get _DauT_, daut, [Viper]_DauT_, DauT_Baja, etc. For exact search, put the player name between the quotes "", like "daut". If you want to find a specific game with more than one desired player, then type their names with & sign between, like daut & ruso & chris to get a game in which they all participated.
3) Search only players in view - As we know, each recorded game has one original POV (Point of View) which follows almost the same game play and screen movement of the player which recorded game belongs to. We can switch to other players` view while watching the game, but then screen ("camera") movement won`t be as precise as for the original player in view. In simple words, if you leave this box empty, search will show you all the games in which your desired player (player name(s) from field 2)has played - no matter if he the recorded game is from his original point of view, or someone else`s. If you check this box, then only games with original point of view of the desired player(s) are shown - he may have played some more games, but if they`re from other players` POV, they won`t be shown.
4) Civ(s) - Civilizations to search for, up to 5 maximum, separated by commas. Useful when you know what
civ(s) you`re searching for. Same goes here about parts of civilization names - they`ll be matched, so for example, to find all byzantines games, you may write either byzantines or just byz, you`ll get the same - correct - result. If you want to find all the games in which either Byzantines or Huns were picked, you may type byz, hun. If you want to find all games in which both Byzantines and Huns were picked, you may type byz & hun.
5) Search only civs for player in view - This box is similar to 3) - if you leave it empty, it`ll find all games in which at least one player has the chosen civilization. If you check the box, it will only find games in which the player in view has the chosen civ - if the player whose recorded game is (his point of view) doesn`t have chosen civ, even if some other players in the game have that civ, the game won`t be shown.
6) Rating - Usable when you want to filter games by desired rating - it is in fact average rating of the game, calculated by summing ratings of all the players, and then divided by number of players. If you fill in both From and To fields, for example writing in 1700 and 2200, then all the games with average rating between 1700 and 2200 will be shown. If you fill in only From filed (leaving To field empty), for example writing in 1700, then all the games with average rating above 1700 will be shown. If you fill in only To field (leaving From field empty), for example writing in 2200, then all the games with average rating below 2200 will be shown.
7) Map name(s) - In this field you should write names of the map(s) you`re looking for. You may enter more then one name (up to maximum 5 per search), separated by commas - for example arabia, michi, oasis, forest. Part of the map name will be matched here, too, so if you write just arabia or arab, you will get all games played on Green Arabia, Arabia, Blue Arabia, etc. For exact search, put the map name between the quotes "", like "arabia".
8) Game type - Search for games with specific number of players. You may select All to get all the games no matter how many players played in them, 1v1 to get only games with 2 players (one versus another), 2v2 to get all the games with 4 players (usually two teams of two players, but maybe even 3v1), 3v3 to get all the games with 6 players involved (no matter if 3v3, 2v4, 1v5, 1v1v1v1v1v1, etc.) and 4v4 to get all the games with 8 players playing (no matter how the teams are formed, but usually 4v4).
Now that we are familiar with all the fields on the Game Search engine page, we may realize the true power of the search engine - combining all these fields to get the most precise results, eventually only a few or even a single game, the one we were searching for
For example - we want to find a specific game. We know _DauT_ played it, so we`ll enter daut in filed
2) Player(s). Because we want only his original POV, we`ll check box 3) Search only players in view. We know he played Byzantines, so we`ll type byz in field 4) Civ(s), and check box 5) Search only civs for players in view, because we want the player in view (_DauT_) to be Byzantines, we don`t care if other players are but he isn`t. We may leave both From and To fields of 6) Rating empty, as average rating isn`t important in this specific search. In 7) Map name(s) we`ll write arabia, as we know it was the map they played on, while in 8) Game type we will select 1v1, as he played versus one opponent.
With all this data filled in, the last thing we need to do is click on Search button (marked as 9) in the picture), and we`ll get all the games that match all of our criteria - with this specific example, I got 10 games, which I can check very quickly, and see if any of them is the one I was searching for... which is a waaaay better solution then to check thousands and thousands of games
So in fact, looks like finding a needle in a hay stack isn`t impossible here after all, with a small help from our Game Search engine... We hope you`ll find it useful, as it is intended to be. Cheers!