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Posted by Jeff (3417 posts) -

Hey guys. We're trying to fit in some time to lay down more effective wiki data editing guidelines and page styling techniques and since the "which games do you want to see on TNT?" discussion went so well (except for you lunatics who want Mount & Blade, of course), I figured I'd check in and ask you guys about what you'd like to see addressed.


The page styling stuff is less about telling you how to become a better writer and more about page formatting, like common section headings that could exist on just about any Game page, how far a plot summary should go, and which types of information (move lists) might not belong on a Character page.

The data stuff is more about how to relate things to other things properly and how to treat things like release dates and platform associations. Here's an example of that:

- An appearance in a compilation does not mean that a game was "released" on that platform.

EXAMPLE: Just because Mappy was released in a Namco Museum collection for the PlayStation does not mean that the game page for Mappy should be attached to the PlayStation platform. The Namco Museum page covers that relationship. Only platforms with a dedicated release of Mappy should appear on the Game page. A wiki section detailing its appearances in compilations is appropriate here, as well.

EXCEPTION: Though Game Room (360) may look like a similar situation, its nature as a free shell for purchased games excepts it from the above rule. The games in this compilation are purchased separately. If Game Room didn't have achievements of its own, which forces a game page to achievements relationship on our back-end, it would probably exist in our system as a subsection of the Xbox Live Marketplace platform, which, to be clear, is the platform that Game Room releases should be tagged with.

Topics like "how to properly edit release dates on Giant Bomb" and "why you shouldn't mess too much with the Accessory pages right now" will also be covered here. So, along those lines, what do you want to know? Which questions need to be answered?
Staff Online
#1 Posted by Jeff (3417 posts) -

Hey guys. We're trying to fit in some time to lay down more effective wiki data editing guidelines and page styling techniques and since the "which games do you want to see on TNT?" discussion went so well (except for you lunatics who want Mount & Blade, of course), I figured I'd check in and ask you guys about what you'd like to see addressed.


The page styling stuff is less about telling you how to become a better writer and more about page formatting, like common section headings that could exist on just about any Game page, how far a plot summary should go, and which types of information (move lists) might not belong on a Character page.

The data stuff is more about how to relate things to other things properly and how to treat things like release dates and platform associations. Here's an example of that:

- An appearance in a compilation does not mean that a game was "released" on that platform.

EXAMPLE: Just because Mappy was released in a Namco Museum collection for the PlayStation does not mean that the game page for Mappy should be attached to the PlayStation platform. The Namco Museum page covers that relationship. Only platforms with a dedicated release of Mappy should appear on the Game page. A wiki section detailing its appearances in compilations is appropriate here, as well.

EXCEPTION: Though Game Room (360) may look like a similar situation, its nature as a free shell for purchased games excepts it from the above rule. The games in this compilation are purchased separately. If Game Room didn't have achievements of its own, which forces a game page to achievements relationship on our back-end, it would probably exist in our system as a subsection of the Xbox Live Marketplace platform, which, to be clear, is the platform that Game Room releases should be tagged with.

Topics like "how to properly edit release dates on Giant Bomb" and "why you shouldn't mess too much with the Accessory pages right now" will also be covered here. So, along those lines, what do you want to know? Which questions need to be answered?
Staff Online
#2 Posted by Video_Game_King (36017 posts) -

I'd say that two headers that most pages should have would be "story" and "gameplay." For fighting games, I think my Samurai Shodown II page might be a good start, egotistical as that sounds.

#3 Posted by Garfield360UK (453 posts) -


Just one thing really that I would like to see or an answer as to why this rule exists. I like to talk to another user on here and we are forced to do so via PM rather than via the wall as when I reply sometimes I will get an "you may not reply more than twice" error message. I am just wandering why this is not an unlimited thing (I mean I could understand if it was spam but we tend to discuss games, Giantbomb, films etc but it gets frustrating to do so when we get into a good converstation and the page to block it).

 

Other than that a user group idea (such as the Union feature at Gamespot or something of that nature but done in a different way) would be totally sweet.

 

But these are just about it really, keep upt the good work, love the bombcast, quick looks and news from you guys!

#4 Edited by yoshimitz707 (2450 posts) -

I'd like releases to better explained. As it stand now I have no idea what half things mean. Like, what the hell is a company part and where am I supposed to get the product code from?

#5 Posted by natetodamax (19171 posts) -

There seems to be confusion on whether or not articles should be written in second person or third person. (For example, I've seen articles written like "You do this and this" and articles written like "Commander Shepard does this and this"). 

#6 Edited by TMThomsen (2070 posts) -

What about Team Fortress 2 then? Should Xbox 360 and PS3 be detached as platforms?


Edit: Oh, and how should mods be treated?
#7 Posted by CharlesAlanRatliff (5380 posts) -

I think the spacing after a header should be addressed. Whenever I see this:


This is a header


This is where the actual information starts. I personally find that having a line break before the info starts to be ugly and a waste of space.


I change it to this:


This is a header

This is where the actual information starts. I think this looks much better!


It's not happening to me now, but the space used to be automatically added whenever someone hit "enter" to start writing after the header, which is probably the main reason as to why so many articles have that formatting. I know some people prefer the first method, though, so it would be nice to have a set standard.

Also, I'm not sure if this is the right place, but I made a thread a few months ago with this:

" The DLC Add-Ons tab doesn't appear on pages unless a platform that is DLC-capable is attached. I suggest that platforms such as "Xbox Live Marketplace", "PlayStation Network", and anything else that is applicable activate the DLC Add-Ons tab, as there are several titles attached to these platforms only that have DLC, and the viewer should be able to click a tab on the left instead of having to type "dlc" at the end of the URL just to see a list of all the downloadable content."


#8 Posted by SJSchmidt93 (4885 posts) -

I don't like the lists of games for consoles.


Being able to sort by date released, filtering out unreleased titles, filtering by region/developer/publisher, etc. would be cool. 
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#9 Posted by Video_Game_King (36017 posts) -
@natetodamax said:
" There seems to be confusion on whether or not articles should be written in second person or third person. (For example, I've seen articles written like "You do this and this" and articles written like "Commander Shepard does this and this").  "
I think the general consensus is third person. Hell, there was a thread about it... that you made?
#10 Posted by natetodamax (19171 posts) -
@Video_Game_King said:
" @natetodamax said:
" There seems to be confusion on whether or not articles should be written in second person or third person. (For example, I've seen articles written like "You do this and this" and articles written like "Commander Shepard does this and this").  "
I think the general consensus is third person. Hell, there was a thread about it... that you made? "
Yeah I know, but I still see it happen.
#11 Posted by beej (1674 posts) -

1) I aint a lunatic, that game is fun, in it's own kinda janky way. 

2) Are there any plans to shift around the way wiki points are assigned for certain things? Someone sitting down to edit a page and fix grammatical mistakes provides a disproportionate value to that page, but they're only getting 1 or 2 points for doing so. I understand that it's not about points, but I feel as though the brave men and women who weather the storm of terrible writing deserve some recognition. 
#12 Edited by Underachiever007 (2468 posts) -

I have a question: what's the standard information any franchise page should have?

#13 Posted by Yanngc33 (4496 posts) -

I don't think I've ever edited game releases i usually do the plot and gameplay sides of things.

But I do realize how plot summaries must be shortened. I'm responsible for the Lords of Shadow plot summary and I've been thinking of a better way to rewrite it

#14 Posted by Jeff (3417 posts) -
@TMThomsen said:
" What about Team Fortress 2 then? Should Xbox 360 and PS3 be detached as platforms?

Edit: Oh, and how should mods be treated?
"
Yes. Only Orange Box should appear on PS3 and 360. TF2 should appear as PC/Mac. A paragraph on the TF2 page should be devoted to mentioning that the game was included in Orange Box 360/PS3 and a bit about its relative lack of post-release support and other platform-specific differences would be appropriate, as well.

Game mods do not get their own pages and we have no plans to add a mod page type. Notable mods (and I'm talking REALLY notable here) should be addressed on the game that they're compatible with.

@Vito_Raliffe: I change that, as well. There's a lot of backend work on the editor and other stuff going on right now that will probably change the ways stuff pastes in to help prevent spacing issues.


Staff Online
#15 Posted by Flaime (525 posts) -
@Vito_Raliffe: And how much space between content and a new header?

Example:

Like this?

No space

Or like this?

With space

HEADER



Also:
  • Some people use two spaces after each period or even after each word, and when pointing this out to them, they say that they were taught doing it this way.
  • Ethan said some time ago that links shouldn't be added to any kind of headers, since it messes up the search function or something.
  • I personally hate it when the very first thing that see on a page is an image aligned to the left, I always change it to the right. Also, when there isnt enough information in a section with a image in it and there's new section right after, the image in the first section clips through the second header line (example below), a way I've solved this is moving all the content in the first section inside a table, but some on the site really hate tables, though that is the only option besides deleting the image.

This example you see too often:

Overview

THIS IS AN OVERVIEW
Deck 16
THIS IS AN OVERVIEW THIS IS AN OVERVIEW THIS IS AN OVERVIEW THIS IS AN OVERVIEW THIS IS AN OVERVIEW 

Story





Some clarification on these points would be cool and thanks for finally doing something like this.
#16 Edited by Hizang (8534 posts) -


I think it would be great to have a spell checker, I think that would help alot of people. Also I would love to see "Original Europe/UK Release Date"

#17 Edited by Patman99 (1558 posts) -

I think that the tables in the articles should be more uniform. Some have borders, some do not. Some have multiple headers, some do not. The list goes on but here are two quick examples: The Black-Ops page's weapons sections first of all of two different tables for both the single player and multiplayer. Note when it is separated by gun class (eg. SMG, assault rifle, etc) the heading is outside of the table. Now compare all this with a very similar page, the Modern Warfare page. There are no borders, there are less columns, and the gun type is the heading of the table.
I understand that it is hard to make similar tables for games where they might give you different information but I think an agreed upon style should be put forth. So by that I mean, basically say that tables should have borders, and the title of the table should be outside of it while the column names should be inside it. That may sound a little confusing but look at the Black-Ops tables. Those, at least in my mind, are formatted perfectly. Now these are not the only two examples in the whole wiki, nor are they the best examples, but they were the two pages that I knew would have a table in them.

To recap, tables should look similar across all wiki pages. Labels for column information should be in side the table while the title should be outside. Additionally, all tables should have borders separating the columns and rows. Different games can have tables of varying length but I think there should be some consistency between them.

I guess this not really a question but more of a request...

#18 Posted by Flaime (525 posts) -
@Jeff said:
Game mods do not get their own pages and we have no plans to add a mod page type. Notable mods (and I'm talking REALLY notable here) should be addressed on the game that they're compatible with."
So how about a mod like Pirates, Vikings and Knights 2? It is one of the most popular source engine mods out there, but since it's a source mod, it just require a source engine game (HL2, CS:S, DOD:S, TF2) so exactly what page should it be adressed on? Isn't it too big to be on, say, the Half Life 2 page? It kinda merits its own page, even though its just a mod.
#19 Posted by President_Barackbar (3434 posts) -
@Jeff said:
"Game mods do not get their own pages and we have no plans to add a mod page type. Notable mods (and I'm talking REALLY notable here) should be addressed on the game that they're compatible with."
I wasn't aware of that because there are pages for the Source Engine mods Age of Chivalry and Pirates, Vikings and Knights II already. Should  these pages be removed or merged into the HL2 page?
#20 Posted by Enigma777 (6057 posts) -

What's the limit on pictures? I've been doing the KZ3 weapons and adding a pic for each one but it's simply starting to get too big. Have I gone too far?

#21 Posted by BeachThunder (11702 posts) -

This is the top of the page blurb, It should a be a sentence that gives someone who may have no idea about the game some quick insight.

Overview

A paragraph or two that gives a brief summary of what the game is. This is similar to the blurb above, but offering a greater amount of detail.

Gameplay

All games have gameplay, so it's best if this comes first. This could be split into multiple subsections detailing stuff like:

Multiplayer Modes

Details of modes which are available

Weapons

which may give an overview of available weapons.

Plot

A summary of the events that occur in the game, this shouldn't go into detail of very specific events, it is just a summary and not an exhaustive list of every moment in the game. This could also have subsections, such as:

Chatacters

Brief description of the main characters.
 

Locations

Some information about the main locations in the game.

Development

This section should deal with important details behind the development of the game and may contain subsections relating to:

DLC

summary of DLC packs that are available

Marketing

Details of anything interesting relating to the marketing of the game


A lot of the above is inspired by Wikipedia, mainly because it works.

Some other things I've seen in articles are lots of joke captions (plus other goofy colloquial stuff), such as "Oh No! This can't be good!" displayed under some image of the protagonist fighting some monster. Personally, I don't think this is appropriate for the wiki; I think the primary goal of the wiki should be to inform people about games, rather than being a venue for hilarious jokes.

Another thing is excessive and/or redundant images. If you're uploading images make sure they're not incredibly similar to something someone else has already uploaded. Also on images, I've seen some articles with about 20 images placed in them, there's probably not much reason to use that many images. An image on a page should exist for a reason - ie. illustrating a specific concept mentioned in the body of the text. A bad idea is chucking in a huge pile of images to get wiki points and to fulfill some desire to make silly captions.

Also, as @Vito_Raliffe mentions, there seems to be a lot of white space in some articles, it looks incredibly sloppy and difficult to read (it's not uncommon to see the end of a sentence followed by seven or so spaces)

Oh, and perhaps, spoiler tags available in the wiki editor?
#22 Edited by MattyFTM (14342 posts) -

I said this when Ethan asked the mods via PM about some of the style stuff, but I don't think a strict set of headings for sections on a page is the way to go. Gaming is a very diverse medium, we cover everything from simple games like Pong, to ever changing experiences like World of Warcraft, to competitive multiplayer exclusive stuff like Counter Strike, to in depth story based games like Dragon Age. You really can't have a standard structure when the pages are so diverse.

Moderator
#23 Posted by BaconGames (3292 posts) -

Honestly the one question I have is not content but picture formatting.  There seems to have been no correspondence about the location and proper etiquette regarding the ideal amount and location of screenshots.  Should text reviews be an example?  What of the picture lists where people list every weapon, or multiplayer class and put a description next to a photo?

Can there be any implementation of galleries that people can use instead of putting out the lists and saying "here's a gallery of all the weapons" and people can scroll across widget style.  Barring that I would really like it if the community was given a few words about that.

Otherwise I think every page sadly requires some common sense which isn't so common given that games are very different from one another (much like MattyFTM has said).

#24 Posted by BeachThunder (11702 posts) -
@MattyFTM:  I disagree; of course games are very diverse, but they all have some things in common. Clearly, a "story" section for Pong would be silly, but all game pages should at least touch on the "gameplay" and the "development" of the game. There shouldn't necessarily be a rigid structure that fits all games, but instead structured elements for when it's appropriate.

An idea could be having a dropdown list of common section headings. That way it might be easier to maintain consistency.
#25 Posted by Hailinel (23905 posts) -

Some things I'd note:

  • Game titles should not be italicized.
  • Pages should be written in the third person, not second.  (I.e.: "The player," not "You.")
  • Do not use the table tool for formatting of paragraphs.  I've seen at least one incredibly long article that was constructed almost entirely of tables used to format text for image spacing, and not only was it a pain to edit, attempting to edit it would actually crash my browser.  Tables should be restricted to sections of articles where their use makes sense.  (i.e.: When a table would be best for organizing information into a table, not as a means to fancily manipulate paragraph formatting.)
#26 Posted by Hailinel (23905 posts) -
@BeachThunder:  It's been commonly agreed up to this point that spoiler tags are not necessary for wiki articles.  If I browse to the page for a specific game, I should not be suddenly alarmed when I read through the story section and learn the major plot twist.

As for generally accepted headings and page organization, I think you have the right idea as far as game pages are concerned.  I would also add a "Critical Reception/Critical Response" section that describes the general press response to the game.
#27 Posted by BeachThunder (11702 posts) -
@Hailinel said:
" @BeachThunder:  I would also add a "Critical Reception/Critical Response" section that describes the general press response to the game. "
I wrote that, but I erased it. It seems somewhat inappropriate on a site that also creates reviews :( Also, unlike wikipedia, there aren't any stringent(ish) rules that state that references must be cited/nor are there notability guidelines. Basically, I just feel that it's probably best left out here, lest we end up with an influx of stuff like "Jeff thought it was really cool, he said good things about it in the Bombcast, so I guess he's a huge fan!"

Also, about spoilers, I know where you're coming from, but usually I visit articles/edit lists while I'm in the middle of playing the game; I usually try to avert my eyes but sometimes that doesn't work too well...
#28 Posted by Hailinel (23905 posts) -
@BeachThunder said:
" @Hailinel said:
" @BeachThunder:  I would also add a "Critical Reception/Critical Response" section that describes the general press response to the game. "
I wrote that, but I erased it. It seems somewhat inappropriate on a site that also creates reviews :( Also, unlike wikipedia, there aren't any stringent(ish) rules that state that references must be cited/nor are there notability guidelines. Basically, I just feel that it's probably best left out here, lest we end up with an influx of stuff like "Jeff thought it was really cool, he said good things about it in the Bombcast, so I guess he's a huge fan!"Also, about spoilers, I know where you're coming from, but usually I visit articles/edit lists while I'm in the middle of playing the game; I usually try to avert my eyes but sometimes that doesn't work too well... "
That sort of thing already happens on the wiki without the guidelines in place.  Some people apparently find it amusing to reference Giant Bomb memes and jokes in articles where not appropriate.  It's up to the wiki editors that know better to keep that sort of silliness out.

As for spoilers, I still feel that it's a read at your own risk proposition.
#29 Edited by LimpingFish (80 posts) -

I'm certainly no expert, as I've only edited a handful of pages, and added a couple of games, but I like to stick to a minimal approach if that's all that's required. My WIP page for "Mizzurna Falls" is an example of this.

In general, and referring to the main "Overview" page of a game entry, one image per section is probably enough to illustrate the point of that section, a "Plot" or "Story" section should be a synopsis, rather than a blow-by-blow account from beginning to end, and a "Gameplay" section should touch on the basic mechanics of the game, rather than the minutia. Superfluous images, information overkill, and track-by-track OST listings, (again, that appear in the body of the main page) are the kinds of things that seem to be a play for maximum points; the ability to score 5000+ points for editing a single game entry makes the moderation rules seem a bit wonky.

I agree that things like move/weapon/equipment/soundtrack listings, sometimes the longest part of a game entry, should have their own sections (if warranted).

#30 Posted by Gerhabio (1977 posts) -

What kind of releases are significant enough to warrant a page? Pinball and arcade games seem to be appropriate but what about flash games, iPhone games, and such?

#31 Posted by aurahack (2264 posts) -

Curious to know if adding extra information to a page's wiki, such as critical/commercial response or evolution of the development process, is a good thing or not. I feel like it adds information that's interesting to know and important to have from a database that's edited by game fanatics, but the staff might see otherwise on that one...

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#32 Posted by Kyreo (4600 posts) -
@Underachiever007 said:
" I have a question: what's the standard information any franchise page should have? "
Yeah should the game information be compiled onto a franchise page or should there be some history about the franchise and nothing about the games?
#33 Posted by LordAndrew (14424 posts) -

You've just offended everyone who plays Game Room on the PC, which is apparently no one. People, please remember to also add PC as a platform if it's not already present. I don't want to have to do it for you.

#34 Posted by LordAndrew (14424 posts) -
@MattyFTM said:
" I said this when Ethan asked the mods via PM about some of the style stuff, but I don't think a strict set of headings for sections on a page is the way to go. Gaming is a very diverse medium, we cover everything from simple games like Pong, to ever changing experiences like World of Warcraft, to competitive multiplayer exclusive stuff like Counter Strike, to in depth story based games like Dragon Age. You really can't have a standard structure when the pages are so diverse. "
Wikipedia's article structure isn't exactly standard either. If something doesn't work, don't do it.
#35 Posted by gakon (1945 posts) -

For concept pages, when should titles begin with phrases like "Games with", "Characters with", etc.? The application of this phrase feels inconsistent, especially since you could conceivably prefix any concept page with something like that. I'd suggest that shorter, more clever names be found in lieu of overly descriptive ones (e.g., "Abilitease" vs. "Games That Take Away Your Powers Near the Beginning").


As a sidenote, people have to stop incorrectly using "when" and "where" in concept page decks (e.g., "This Concept is when/where a character does this or that").

Where is the line to be drawn on guide-like material? I'd say there's a difference between reference material and instructional material. Reference material might be a list of abilities on a boss, whereas instructional material would describe how to deal with those abilities in-game. Both are probably only useful to somebody playing those games, but instructional material feels much less appropriate for the wiki than reference material. If this is a gaming wiki where "nothing is too obscure" (making it unlike Wikipedia, which is considered for a general audience), might there be a place for things like move lists, weapon lists, etc.?

What information should a deck have? Should a deck include the name of its page? Should decks for games include release date, platforms, developers/publishers, some notable fact?

For pages long enough to have introductory paragraphs, what should go in them? Should they summarize the content of the rest of the article?

Should people stop attaching every World of Warcraft character to every World of Warcraft expansion? Some characters only appear in one of them.

Is a reference (in lieu of an actual appearance) of a character in a game enough to attach that character to the game?

What general concepts are wide-spread enough to have counterparts that describe their absence? (this goes back to the thread about "No HUD" and "No singleplayer" I made a few months ago.

While I don't think strict rules on sectioning are needed, some guidelines are. Most all game pages have sections about Gameplay, Story, Characters, etc., so you could at least advise people on, say, how to order them. Some of the weirder page types like Concept probably need some sort of order as well. Even there, there are some common sections, like History or Examples probably.

Also as a minor addition to your style guide: single-player or singleplayer? Video game or videogame?
#36 Posted by Marino (4598 posts) -

Like Matty said, I don't think a strict header layout is the way to go especially considering how different the structure of pages in different categories can be. Typically, when I'm making a page, I start it with an "Overview" header. I think that's about as standardized as I would want to get on that regard.


Alot of the style guide stuff is really just common sense, but, sadly, quite a few people seem to ignore that. For example, if you cram so many pictures into a small amount of text that the images are cascading down the page, don't add so many pictures. Part of the reason people do this is clearly because of the amount of points images are worth in the wiki. It gets abused quite a bit.
Staff
#37 Posted by Marino (4598 posts) -
@gakon5: As a general rule, "Games with" should be avoided at all costs. I spent a decent amount of time whittling those down many months ago. Personally, if you can't come up with a better name that something that starts with "Games with," then you're better off making it a list rather than a concept page.
Staff
#38 Edited by Praxis (257 posts) -

I would love some clarification on just how long a plot synopsis should be on a game page, since there seems to be no standard at the moment. I'm of the school of thought that two or three paragraphs will suffice, with more detailed information being reserved for character pages. There are however many game pages on Giant Bomb with long, rambling plot sections that dwarf the description of the actual game mechanics. People who do this seem to be missing the point of a plot summary, and if there were official guidelines it would be easier to pare these types of articles down without hurting feelings.

Online
#39 Posted by Skald (4367 posts) -
@Jeff: Say there was an iOS app that let you purchase games inside it like Atari Greatest Hits in a style very comparable to Game Room. That would mean there wouldn't be a page for Atari Greatest Hits on iPhone, but the games within the app would be linked to the iPhone platform page, correct?
#40 Edited by mracoon (4954 posts) -

For those asking about plot summaries Ethan has already made a post addressing this.

Aslo, I think it would be good to get a definitive rule as to when add-on content is considered DLC or an expansion (meaning it can have its own page). Is a retail release of add-on content enough to warrant having a page (even if it is downloadable too) or does the content have to be stand-alone? An expansions like Cataclysm can technically be classed as DLC as it's available digitally but I doubt we want to remove it.

Moderator
#41 Posted by Mento (2441 posts) -

I concur with an "Overview" "Story" "Gameplay" kind of set standard, where:

  • The Overview briefly states what type of game it is ("first person shooter"), its setting, and perhaps console, company and release date. I know most of that information is elsewhere, but it helps to tell from a glance what the game is about. Like if I see "Violent Storm" I might think "bweh?" but then see "an Arcade beat-em-up developed by Konami in 1993" and I get everything I need to know from that. Then I get flashbacks of that bizarre soundtrack.
  • The Story or Plot or whatever you want to call it should be more than a simple "back of the box" synopsis (and definitely not the actual one from that game's box), but it should also steer away from being too in-depth or spoilerish. I guess that's common sense, and is aptly covered by that "what is a summary?" FAQ.
  • Gameplay should simply state how the game is played, how it's of its genre(s) and what distinguishing features it employs (and an explanation of them, if no concept pages for them exist already).

What I feel shouldn't be included:
  • "Appendices", that is to say long rambling lists about all the creatures in the game, or the bosses, or the weapons, or the OST or a list of dungeons/settings. They seem like padding. If there's something notable about any of those things, they should probably have a blurb in the "Gameplay" section in non-list form.
  • A list or a detailed description of characters in the game. When an editor gets around to making separate character pages, that's just going to be a superfluous addition to the main game article, and will either end up deleted or (worse) plagiarized for the new pages. Obviously, though, it's always going to be easier to write a list of characters than it is making separate pages for them, especially if you lack the Wiki points to make pages.

As far as adding stuff to assist wiki users both old and new, I did suggest recently that it would be neat if GB had a way of finding wikis that are missing specific data (such as releases or pictures or an overview/main body text) but that seems more like something the engineers or API people might put together. I'm content to manually search for empty pages for the time being though.
Moderator
#42 Posted by Marino (4598 posts) -
@Mento said:
"As far as adding stuff to assist wiki users both old and new, I did suggest recently that it would be neat if GB had a way of finding wikis that are missing specific data (such as releases or pictures or an overview/main body text) but that seems more like something the engineers or API people might put together. I'm content to manually search for empty pages for the time being though. "
This is a good place to start.  http://www.giantbomb.com/wikid/task/queue/
Staff
#43 Posted by LordAndrew (14424 posts) -
@Mento said:
" What I feel shouldn't be included:
  • "Appendices", that is to say long rambling lists about all the creatures in the game, or the bosses, or the weapons, or the OST or a list of dungeons/settings. They seem like padding. If there's something notable about any of those things, they should probably have a blurb in the "Gameplay" section in non-list form. "
I want to see someone make a list of the weapons in Borderlands. :P

The nice thing about creatures, bosses and weapons is that (aside from weird stuff like the Borderlands example) we can give each of them their own page. There's no way to then get the software to give you a list of only weapons, but such is life. I wouldn't give you a list of weapons either.

@Mento said:
" As far as adding stuff to assist wiki users both old and new, I did suggest recently that it would be neat if GB had a way of finding wikis that are missing specific data (such as releases or pictures or an overview/main body text) but that seems more like something the engineers or API people might put together. I'm content to manually search for empty pages for the time being though. "
I probably could, but such a list would be huge and I need a proper way to present them rather clogging my blog or the forums with them. So look for that some time in the future!
#44 Edited by Mikemcn (6955 posts) -

Mount and Blade lovers aren't lunatics, we just enjoy two handed swords (Thats not a euphemism.) more than the average person. Also, you had a civ 5/Liar's Dice TNT, the bar for crazy has been set pretty high. 


As for page editing, I dislike how Steam (Or Onlive, or Xbox Live or Games For windows Live, etc...) is a concept. It should be in it's own category, along with similar items, Maybe create a "Game Service" category?
#45 Edited by Praxis (257 posts) -
@mracoon: I think Ethan's guide is a very good place to start for guidelines on succinct writing on the wiki in general, but I would also like some clarification on plot guidelines as they relate to specific pages. For instance, in my estimation a character page should have a more detailed plot analysis than a game page, as it is really one of the primary reasons to have a character page to begin with, whereas the plot summary is just one of many elements that encompass a game page, and should therefor serve more as an introduction to the game narrative rather than an explanation of what happens in it. Does the GB staff agree?

As far as your other point, I would very much like to know the answer to this as well, as I made my case a while back that Myth II: Chimera is more DLC than expansion (requires main game, no stand-alone release, mostly fan-made), and have yet to receive an official response.

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#46 Posted by Mento (2441 posts) -
@Marino:  Definitely. There'd be less demand on the mods to continually update the Wiki Tasks if there was an easier way of finding empty pages that needed work. But then we'd all be depriving ourselves of tasty point bonuses. And that would just be silly.

@LordAndrew:
  It'd definitely be an undertaking, and to be honest I'm not sure how you could easily find said pages or narrow them down enough to not be thousands of old games people have all but forgotten (and most with good reason). I did suggest in the original thread that maybe isolating that specific "Fill in this page" message on empty pages would work, but there'd still be more than a couple results, to put it mildly.
Moderator
#47 Posted by Marino (4598 posts) -
Staff
#48 Posted by Turambar (6675 posts) -

Here's a question that I've been wondering about for awhile.  When it comes to characters found in video games but are from other medias, what should their character page contain?  Take the Super Robot Wars franchise, where the games are all mash ups taking characters from various mecha anime.  For the character page of one of the pilots, should it be strictly information from the games the character is involved in, or is information from the show also fair game?  Obviously a full blown summary of the show would probably not be ok, but what's the cut off mark?

#49 Posted by Jeff (3417 posts) -
@Turambar said:
" Here's a question that I've been wondering about for awhile.  When it comes to characters found in video games but are from other medias, what should their character page contain?  Take the Super Robot Wars franchise, where the games are all mash ups taking characters from various mecha anime.  For the character page of one of the pilots, should it be strictly information from the games the character is involved in, or is information from the show also fair game?  Obviously a full blown summary of the show would probably not be ok, but what's the cut off mark? "
Character pages should primarily focus on a character's game appearances. Additional information about their other appearances is fine, but shouldn't be the primary focus (and there's no need for full plot arcs or anything like that).
Staff Online
#50 Posted by Hailinel (23905 posts) -
@Jeff said:
" @Turambar said:
" Here's a question that I've been wondering about for awhile.  When it comes to characters found in video games but are from other medias, what should their character page contain?  Take the Super Robot Wars franchise, where the games are all mash ups taking characters from various mecha anime.  For the character page of one of the pilots, should it be strictly information from the games the character is involved in, or is information from the show also fair game?  Obviously a full blown summary of the show would probably not be ok, but what's the cut off mark? "
Character pages should primarily focus on a character's game appearances. Additional information about their other appearances is fine, but shouldn't be the primary focus (and there's no need for full plot arcs or anything like that). "
Just as a basic example, here's a recent page I wrote for a character who is based on someone from another medium.  It basically provides enough context to understand where she came from, how she fits into the games she appears in, and then some information related to how she plays in the games.  The gameplay section for her could stand to be even more fleshed out, but it is, like I said, a basic if slightly esoteric example.

An example of what not to do (and this is an extreme case) is an old version of the Harry Potter page.  After a wiki task was put up to fix it, it looks far better now, but previously, it contained an unbelievably comprehensive summary of Harry's story throughout the entire series of novels in incredibly minute detail, with minimal information regarding his actual appearances in the Harry Potter video games.  If Giant Bomb were dedicated to the fiction of Harry Potter, it might have been acceptable, but as it was, it needed to be cut down to the absolute basics.