New PkmnCards Advanced Search Project – Help Needed!

I was bored and sick last week and looking for something new to work on, so I went through some old emails people had sent me with suggestions for projects, and found one from Cristian A. who in November wanted to see advanced search features on PkmnCards, and included some specific examples of functionalities to add.

Me on my CPU, 56k internet connection and all.

Originally I had no idea if it would be possible to make the searches more specific than the name, set, and number of the card, but I did some research and had about 15 tabs of technical reference pages open that might give me a clue of how to make it happen.

I was this close to nuking the window and tabs because it seemed too complicated, but decided to attempt one small test to see if I could make the search show all Grass Pokémon (before I would inevitably give up).

Well, my query worked, and I’ve ran with the project the past week. I have some basic advanced search parameters working, which are well documented on this page, but for demonstration purposes here are a few somewhat relevant examples:

As of this posting, all of modified is coded (and a few random older cards I wanted to test for edge cases). There might be some minor errors in the data entry, but all the cards are going to be updated to add more search parameters and the data will be double-checked at that time.

Where You Come In

I have a decent idea of where I’m heading from here with the project, but I could use your input! I’m trying to add search options that I think would be helpful, but because I haven’t been playing the game real actively myself, I’m sure there are some things I’m forgetting about.

For reference, here is the current data assigned to each card:

  • Legal Formats
  • Type of Card
    • Pokémon, EX
    • Trainer, Item, Tool, ACE SPEC, Supporter, Stadium
    • Energy, Basic Energy, Special Energy
  • Stage of Evolution
    • Basic, Stage 1, Stage 2, Restored (yeah… Restored is a Stage)
  • Hit Points
  • Pokémon Type
  • Weakness
  • Resistance
  • Retreat Cost
  • Rarity
  • Artist
  • Has
    • Ability, Poké-Power, Poké-Body, Pokémon Power
  • Is
    • Team Plasma, Full Art, Reprint, Delta Species

I’ve focused mostly on the outer edges of the cards, rather than any of the inner text, so concentrating on attacks and Abilities is the next priority.
Rarities give me a headache.

But first, one thing I am legit clueless about is the rarities. My friend sibon tried to explain them to me, but I still don’t get it. I understand that a circle means common, a square means uncommon, a star means rare, and then a lack of a symbol likely means it’s a promo.

What is the deal with the different holos? Is there a normal “rare holo”? What about the full arts, what is their rarity? What about about EXs? What about the shining Pokémon? What about ACE SPECs? Primes? SOMEBODY HALP!

Moving Forward

Here are a few attributes I was thinking of adding to the tree:

  • Can
    • As in referring to effects of Abilities, attacks, Trainers, and I guess Energies
    • e.g. Burn, Poison, Confuse, Asleep, Paralyze, heal, gust, switch, search, draw, hit bench, accelerate energy, move energy, place damage, etc…
  • Energy Requirements
    • As in referring to attack costs
    • i.e. maybe you want to search for a Pokémon that has an Energy requirement but isn’t that specific type itself (like how Black Kyurem-EX PLS attacks with W Energy)
  • Connected Cards
    • Somehow I want to link reprints. I have an “is:reprint” attribute but that doesn’t actually give the card reciprocal linkage to its predecessor(s).

And then of course I want to add a full text search. That’s sort of all I’ve got written down… if you have any other ideas, please let me know!

Other Odds and Ends…
My typical design process.

I will also be redesigning PkmnCards after I feel pretty comfortable with the data setup and modified is completely entered, so that’s something else to look forward to.

There will be a page where you can tick off checkboxes to take advantage of the search features, rather than having to learn the syntax. That page will be coming… just not right now (I’m more worried about making sure everything works as is).

I know that there are a couple other sites that let you do advanced searches, but I’m enjoying game planning and hacking away at this project and am hoping that the site can bring something new to the table. The basic goal is to make it so you can find a card you’re looking for but don’t know what it is yet.

Lastly, anyone who has some spare time and would like to help with data entry, get at me! I did most of the data entry by myself so far (with some help – thanks camoclone, sibon, inatspong, and holsety7). We could always use more help though… it’s easy to do, but there are a lot of cards.

Thanks for reading and if you have any ideas at all, please share them. Almost anything is probably possible!

Reader Interactions

14 replies

  1. Gregory Fortier

    When there is a star it means the card is rare, but for example Exs the star is actually golden or holo, it’s differently coloured, this means Ultra Rare. that’s the only difference, for shinies its the card number that identifies them for example it will be card 101/100

  2. Lukas Moore

    A Rare Holo is just a rare with a holographic picture. An Ultra Rare is typically any card with a white star for a rarity. This is where ACE SPECs fall in my mind, along with EXs and Primes. I would keep the pre-NXD Full Arts in the Ultra Rare category, and separate the EX FAs from the regular Ultra Rares. Secret Rares are cards where their place in the set is higher than the amount of cards in the set. This is where the Shining Pokemon fall. I would count the old EXs as Ultra Rares also.

    • Adam Capriola  → Lukas

      Got it… I think. So what would an EX FA be called? And are you saying something like FA Terrakion is the same as FA Cheren?

      • Lukas Moore  → Adam

        I would consider FA Terrakion and FA Cheren to be the same rarity. I would also call EX FA just that.

  3. Ross McCallister

    If your data is stored in an SQL based database, I could tell you how to create specific queries like ”

    Plasma Pokemon with over 100 HP that have an Ability
    Supporters and Tools in Boundaries Crossed
    Modified Legal Special Energies

    This type of thing is lickety split if you have an SQL backend. It’d be quite a project, but you could create a page with a form to filter using certain options. I don’t know how much functionality like that you already have.

    • Adam Capriola  → Ross

      Did you click the links? Those queries already work. And yeah it’s a SQL backend (WordPress). Page with filtering options will come later, right now it’s all done through search syntax.

  4. Phil Materi

    Fantastic idea Adam. I really like the fact that you will have the card cost with several different sources as well. That will take a lot of upkeep though, unless there is a way for it to pull the cost from the source everytime you search it.
    I wish that I had some spare time to help you out, unfortunately I will have to let the rest of you work hard and enjoy the finished product. :)

    • Adam Capriola  → Phil

      I have a team of mankeys that monitor the prices for me and update them every few days… no worries there!

      Finished product may not actually be too far away. There is less data entry left than I thought, and then I just need to do the site redesign (but that might take me a while since I’m so left brained).

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