Posted by Jeff (3333 posts) -

Hey guys! Thinking about producing a set of "how to properly edit the wiki" videos to show people how the tools work and how to navigate the murky waters of some of our deeper pages. I already want to do one for Credits and one for Releases. Are there any other sections you'd really like some further explanation about?

I'll probably try to get this going after E3 (though if time permits, I may sneak in one before the show).

Staff
#1 Edited by Demoskinos (13822 posts) -

@jeff: I'd say just an overall basics on formatting and stuff would be nice. Some people might not know how to use all the tool bars or do things like highlight a word of a game then click the "link" button to instantly link it to the database.

#2 Posted by bobafettjm (1252 posts) -

I think the more clarity that can be given the better.

#3 Edited by Video_Game_King (34571 posts) -

Maybe some do's and don'ts with tables and images, because I've seen a lot of horrible use of both.

#4 Edited by BeachThunder (11252 posts) -

Mostly just the general formatting of articles - keeping consistent section titles and using the headers etc...

Also, it would be nice to mention something about trying to be objective when writing articles - articles that completely shit all over a game/gush all over a game are pretty awful.

In terms of actual sections - maybe something about writing plot summaries and keeping them concise (as oppose to writing 1000 words detailing all minute details of the story)

#5 Edited by Demoskinos (13822 posts) -

Mostly just the general formatting of articles - keeping consistent section titles and using the headers etc...

Also, it would be nice to mention something about trying to be objective when writing articles - articles that completely shit all over a game/gush all over a game are pretty awful.

In terms of actual sections - maybe something about writing plot summaries and keeping them concise (as oppose to writing 1000 words detailing all minute details of the story)

I'm on board with that too. Bringing agendas both positive or negative into wiki's isn't what they are for. Wiki's are for straight up information and nothing more.

#6 Edited by development (1571 posts) -

If you could touch on the fact that: yes, this site is about having fun with games, but your wiki edits aren't about making people laugh. Snide wiki entries are about as funny as they are useful.

#7 Edited by Video_Game_King (34571 posts) -

Snide wiki entries are about as funny as they are useless.

You mean useful? If they are as funny as they are useless, then they're very funny.

#8 Edited by BeachThunder (11252 posts) -

If you could touch on the fact that: yes, this site is about having fun with games, but your wiki edits aren't about making people laugh. Snide wiki entries are about as funny as they are useless.

;__; I miss Snide.

#9 Posted by development (1571 posts) -

@development said:

Snide wiki entries are about as funny as they are useless.

You mean useful? If they are as funny as they are useless, then they're very funny.

Oh... yes. That one. I always fuck those kinds of things up.

#10 Posted by Mento (2250 posts) -

Ooh, see if you have that Style Guide you created saved somewhere and talk about some of those rules. Many of the common mistakes I've seen on GB's wiki pages were due to writing in a certain way that perhaps wouldn't be prohibited on other wikis but is frowned upon for Giant Bomb, due to a decision you or the moderators made some time ago. I'm talking about things like how video game titles shouldn't be bolded or italicized in the wiki's body text, or how Japanese titles should be written in romaji for Releases, aliases and page titles. You could also tell people to only write in third person and in the present tense too.

Other than that, maybe just a basic step by step guide to creating a full page from its genesis to a roughly complete status? So you'd create the page with its blurb/deck and its box art image, add pictures, add releases, add the general info, add its related pages, add body text (with a cursory look at what headers to use: Overview, Gameplay, etc.) and anything else a page needs. You could create a new page for a game everyone knows about like Super Mario World to make the guide easier to follow, and then delete it afterwards, or a page for some made-up game you can leave around for demonstration purposes.

As for specific sections, I don't know what else there is to cover. I've never tinkered with the DLC or Guide tabs, so maybe those?

Moderator
#11 Posted by posh (447 posts) -

I've noticed some of the most neglected pages are the "people" ones. when editing a few recently I found it difficult to know how much info to divulge, whether too much non-game related information about the individual was unnecessary for the site or if it was necessary for information on the person in question. like is the fact that rodney greenblat has done a lot of cool shit outside of nana-onsha relevant?? (I would hope so)

#12 Posted by Slag (3331 posts) -

@jeff I think the basics need more help than releases and credits.

There seems to be great inconsistency on what sort of content belongs on Game page and what doesn't. Just some basic guidelines of what belongs on a Character, Game, Company, Franchise, Concept page and what doesn't would help immensely to bring some consistency to the wiki.

Then maybe perhaps some pointers on how to use tables and images properly in the wiki would help too. Even simple things like a rough idea of how many to use or not to use.

But anything you guys do would only help.

#13 Posted by Hailinel (22668 posts) -

@mento said:

Ooh, see if you have that Style Guide you created saved somewhere and talk about some of those rules. Many of the common mistakes I've seen on GB's wiki pages were due to writing in a certain way that perhaps wouldn't be prohibited on other wikis but is frowned upon for Giant Bomb, due to a decision you or the moderators made some time ago. I'm talking about things like how video game titles shouldn't be bolded or italicized in the wiki's body text, or how Japanese titles should be written in romaji for Releases, aliases and page titles. You could also tell people to only write in third person and in the present tense too.

Other than that, maybe just a basic step by step guide to creating a full page from its genesis to a roughly complete status? So you'd create the page with its blurb/deck and its box art image, add pictures, add releases, add the general info, add its related pages, add body text (with a cursory look at what headers to use: Overview, Gameplay, etc.) and anything else a page needs. You could create a new page for a game everyone knows about like Super Mario World to make the guide easier to follow, and then delete it afterwards, or a page for some made-up game you can leave around for demonstration purposes.

As for specific sections, I don't know what else there is to cover. I've never tinkered with the DLC or Guide tabs, so maybe those?

Yeah, at least some mention of style guidelines would definitely be welcome. It's always amazing to stumble across pages that are both amazingly subjective in their content while also written in the second person with game titles italicized everywhere.

#14 Posted by Ravenlight (8033 posts) -

Guidelines for massive pages would be super helpful. It's easy to get overwhelmed. The inverse would also be helpful: what should we consider the absolute bare minimum for a "good" page to be?

#15 Posted by Damodar (1155 posts) -

What we really need is the Giant Bomb logo to pop up with tips, like Clippy from Microsoft Word. "It looks like you're trying to add games to the 'boxart showing half a face' concept page. Need some help?"

I definitely agree with the idea of suggesting a unified formatting approach. Maaaaybe these videos could also briefly touch on the sort of information that you actually do or don't want on different types of pages? ie how appropriate would it be to have plot information on a character page for an RPG protagonist or should, say, Dante's page have information about his move set? That stuff is probably mostly self explanatory and probably not relevant to tutorials on wiki editing tools, but maybe passing mentions wouldn't hurt. You can tell this is a good idea by how strong my conviction sounds.

#16 Posted by ArbitraryWater (10981 posts) -

Some standardized guidelines of how to format a wiki page wouldn't be remiss. While most of them have since been fixed, there are still a handful of poorly-written wiki pages that either go overboard on the plot summary or are absurdly subjective.

#17 Posted by mylifeforAiur (3479 posts) -

I'm more interested in the idea of a community run, stringently filtered, Encyclopaedia Bombastica.

#18 Edited by Brackynews (3959 posts) -

I will appreciate Credits and Releases, since I have had some pretty specific and sometimes obscure questions about both. Franchises is an important one to demonstrate correctly as well. The hardest ones to do properly are People. Showing how to research and cross-verify a person is crucial in not falling into a "Will Smith" or "Jorge Garcia" google/imdb trap. I deduced / proved that the empty Larry King placeholder page was created pre-site-launch from a You Don't Know Jack manual, instead of for a TV Host. ;) I have a degree in Library Science, so I want to dig deeper before I'm satisfied I have the right info. (But guess who's birthdate got stuck there anyway afterward? /facepalm)

As others have mentioned, it's the Style Guide that we've really been waiting years for. So a video for how to use the new system is great but only half the battle. It's apparent that people have differing ideas about what makes a good wiki page, in complete contrast to what you've talked about as wanting the wiki to become. Using the tools better to create more fractious results, doesn't solve what a style guide will.

Sadly this probably isn't the kind of thing that can be quick-looked. It's going to take a ton of effort to construct and refine, as you well know! :) It's hard, but we're in it together.

Look at it this way, there are currently 13 names in the Credits section of L.A. Noire, and I have always wanted to add the complete credits of developers, actors and Characters to the database. You better believe I'm going to get efficient at doing so by the time I'm done. Therefore: As long as I've done it right, I'm comfortable making my own "advanced-level" video of how to be efficient about bulk-editing. Things like which pages to create in which order, where to link them from, managing dozens of images simultaneously... those things that were very idiosyncratic in the old system. All the while maximizing points of course! :D

#19 Posted by 49th (2538 posts) -

How to edit the wiki while eating chicken wings.

#20 Posted by mylifeforAiur (3479 posts) -

@49th said:

How to edit the wiki while eating chicken wings.

Wouldn't be an issue if the wings were boneless. Just saying.

#21 Edited by Brackynews (3959 posts) -
#22 Edited by Winternet (7935 posts) -

Maybe one dedicated to the writing itself. You know, how to be concise, factual, not-opinionated, those kinds of stuff. I think that would be cool.

#23 Posted by RazielCuts (2711 posts) -

For a moment there I thought you were going to let videos into the wiki.

#24 Edited by Nadafinga (953 posts) -

I've always wondered how much detail should go into character descriptions on a game wiki page if those characters each have their own wiki page as well.

Here's an example; On the Dead Island page, the four playable characters are listed, hotlinked to their individual character pages, with one sentence giving a general description of who they are. All other details are on their character pages. Is this about right?

Thanks Jeff.

#25 Posted by Benny (1935 posts) -

@jeff: Most people will be after general formatting tips, and how to word their wiki pages(e.g. you can /the player can/players can/Ryu can throw a fireball) what info is suitable for the wiki page and what is suitable for the guide.

Perhaps you could go through a wiki page that you like and highlight what makes it good and what about the page you think every wiki page on the site should include?

#26 Posted by MildMolasses (3192 posts) -

Maybe one dedicated to the writing itself. You know, how to be concise, factual, not-opinionated, those kinds of stuff. I think that would be cool.

Most of my wiki points are from eliminating the verbose and opinionated elements from pages. Don't take away the one way which makes me useful

#27 Edited by TruthTellah (7626 posts) -

Other than what others have already suggested, some videos with sick jumps in them would be nice.

#28 Posted by Praxis (234 posts) -

Giant Bomb doesn't really need an explanation of the tools available for wiki editing so much as it needs guidelines on how to edit properly. The database has needed something along the lines of Ethan's Comic Vine Style Guide for some time (ideally, with examinations of actual pages to see how well they conform); if this thread is any indication, people have more questions about what is expected of them when editing than they do about the basic mechanics of the site.

#29 Posted by Stimpack (724 posts) -

Are we allowed to properly edit now? As in typos and minor additions/corrections? On the old site I was told I needed to recreate the entire page in my own words if I were to edit even a small section or add something like the genre/developer.

#30 Posted by Rolyatkcinmai (2660 posts) -

Releases is a must have. I often feel like no one pays attention there.

Platform clarification would be great if we could get some definitive rules and platform setups (digital vs physical, lack of Wii U store, PSN digital day 1, etc)

#31 Posted by StarFoxA (5123 posts) -

@49th said:

How to edit the wiki while eating chicken wings.

Wouldn't be an issue if the wings were boneless. Just saying.

Get your filth off this website.

#32 Posted by DeF (4688 posts) -

Definitely touch on games that get their own page. Like remakes or something. Or how compilations work.

I've been getting rid of a lot of "compilation" releases on old Capcom game pages like Mega Man that had entries for PS1 and Saturn because a Capcom Generations comp with the game on it got put out on those.

Or how "related" games are supposed to work. Basically the stuff that drive-by editors can and will quickly mess up.

#33 Edited by Snail (8464 posts) -

This is awesome!

I think we need to streamline templates across wikis to make them more navigable. Different people seem to use Overview sections for different purposes, for instance. This makes it harder to find the information you're looking for when you go into a wiki page.

Defining the "bread and butter" content that should be in wiki pages, and what sort of content should be under each section, would be a great help. Giving people a notion what should be in Gameplay sections, Overview sections, what sort of info the opening paragraph should contain, etc.. I think standardizing and streamlining this stuff a bit can help add a lot of professionalism to the wiki, and bring us closer to a "Wikipedia" grade of reliability.

Basically I would like to see an official "style guide", if you will. Like you used to have, before guides were wiped out of the site. Maybe these videos would be good way to bring that back. Then again, maybe this isn't the sort of detail you're going for with this particular feature.

Thanks for doing this Jeff!

#34 Edited by Hailinel (22668 posts) -

@stimpack said:

Are we allowed to properly edit now? As in typos and minor additions/corrections? On the old site I was told I needed to recreate the entire page in my own words if I were to edit even a small section or add something like the genre/developer.

...What?

#35 Edited by Stimpack (724 posts) -

@hailinel: I edited a page to add a developers name, platform, release date, genre, and theme. There was already a description for the game, so I put in the information and saved it. I was prompted with an error that said I could not save without making edits to the description. I did something silly like change one word, because I had to in order to save the changes, and I was then told that I was not allowed to do that. I was told that if I want to make any kind of edit, I would have to re-write the entire description.

I don't know what the policies are. That was the first time I had ever even tried to do anything like that, and it was the last time.

#36 Edited by Cincaid (2948 posts) -

@jeff: Maybe this information can be found elsewhere, but I would love a straight answer just how we should handle "Platforms" when editing wikis.

Apparently Super Mario World was released again for the Wii U?

That screenshot is taken from the wiki right now detailing Super Mario World. Platforms are SNES, Wii Shop, and...Wii U? Or is it referring to the virtual console on the Wii U, or what? Please someone correct me if I'm wrong (hopefully with an official answer from the staff / mods).

#37 Posted by Snail (8464 posts) -

@cincaid said:

@jeff: Maybe this information can be found elsewhere, but I would love a straight answer just how we should handle "Platforms" when editing wikis.

Apparently Super Mario World was released again for the Wii U?

That screenshot is taken from the wiki right now detailing Super Mario World. Platforms are SNES, Wii Shop, and...Wii U? Or is it referring to the virtual console on the Wii U, or what? Please someone correct me if I'm wrong (hopefully with an official answer from the staff / mods).

Jeff has said that the reason why platforms such as PSN (Vita) and PS Vita aren't merged is because there is currently no tool or system that allows that do be done easily. He mentioned virtual marketplaces were created as individual platforms on the site all those years ago to give smaller indie titles "a place to shine". As was exhaustively highlighted in last year's GotY awards discussions though, there isn't nearly as much of a distinction between retail and downloadable, rendering those platform pages much less significant. There are no plans for a "Wii U eShop" platform page.

Here's Jeff's quote, taken from this thread:

The lack of a platform merge has more to do with the lack of a tool that can easily merge platforms.

No current desire to split Wii U. The whole reason we split stuff originally was to prevent confusion between the "small" digital games and the "big" retail games, giving the smaller games a place to shine. That split no longer exists in a meaningful way, especially on the Wii U.

#38 Posted by Hailinel (22668 posts) -

@snail said:

@cincaid said:

@jeff: Maybe this information can be found elsewhere, but I would love a straight answer just how we should handle "Platforms" when editing wikis.

Apparently Super Mario World was released again for the Wii U?

That screenshot is taken from the wiki right now detailing Super Mario World. Platforms are SNES, Wii Shop, and...Wii U? Or is it referring to the virtual console on the Wii U, or what? Please someone correct me if I'm wrong (hopefully with an official answer from the staff / mods).

Jeff has said that the reason why platforms such as PSN (Vita) and PS Vita aren't merged is because there is currently no tool or system that allows that do be done easily. He mentioned virtual marketplaces were created as individual platforms on the site all those years ago to give smaller indie titles "a place to shine". As was exhaustively highlighted in last year's GotY awards discussions though, there isn't nearly as much of a distinction between retail and downloadable, rendering those platform pages much less significant. There are no plans for a "Wii U eShop" platform page.

Here's Jeff's quote, taken from this thread:

The lack of a platform merge has more to do with the lack of a tool that can easily merge platforms.

No current desire to split Wii U. The whole reason we split stuff originally was to prevent confusion between the "small" digital games and the "big" retail games, giving the smaller games a place to shine. That split no longer exists in a meaningful way, especially on the Wii U.

This is very true, given that you can just as easily download $50-$60 retail games on the eShop as you can a $5 game like Kung Fu Rabbit.

#39 Edited by Cincaid (2948 posts) -

@hailinel said:

@snail said:

@cincaid said:

@jeff: Maybe this information can be found elsewhere, but I would love a straight answer just how we should handle "Platforms" when editing wikis.

Apparently Super Mario World was released again for the Wii U?

That screenshot is taken from the wiki right now detailing Super Mario World. Platforms are SNES, Wii Shop, and...Wii U? Or is it referring to the virtual console on the Wii U, or what? Please someone correct me if I'm wrong (hopefully with an official answer from the staff / mods).

Jeff has said that the reason why platforms such as PSN (Vita) and PS Vita aren't merged is because there is currently no tool or system that allows that do be done easily. He mentioned virtual marketplaces were created as individual platforms on the site all those years ago to give smaller indie titles "a place to shine". As was exhaustively highlighted in last year's GotY awards discussions though, there isn't nearly as much of a distinction between retail and downloadable, rendering those platform pages much less significant. There are no plans for a "Wii U eShop" platform page.

Here's Jeff's quote, taken from this thread:

The lack of a platform merge has more to do with the lack of a tool that can easily merge platforms.

No current desire to split Wii U. The whole reason we split stuff originally was to prevent confusion between the "small" digital games and the "big" retail games, giving the smaller games a place to shine. That split no longer exists in a meaningful way, especially on the Wii U.

This is very true, given that you can just as easily download $50-$60 retail games on the eShop as you can a $5 game like Kung Fu Rabbit.

Thank you very much the both of you for clarifying it! :D

#40 Posted by icytower38 (454 posts) -

I agree with @mento about the Guide page. That page has always kind of confused me personally, and I think most people don't understand the purpose of that page as evident by the lack of info on 90% of them. I know I've seen pages, and edited a few, that seam to include information that might be for a guide page on the main wiki page.

I mean are we just looking for something like a GameFAQs guide with Achievements/Trophies info, level guides and collectible specifics, character/vehicle details. Or is it for something else?

#41 Posted by Video_Game_King (34571 posts) -

As long as this thread is still up, I'd like to see some sort of guide on all the informal rules the community has formed over the course of many Delete/Combine threads. For instance, I can never remember what the policy is on characters who do not make a physical appearance in a game but still exert some influence on the plot. A good example is Cigyun from Fire Emblem 4: she's dead by the time the story begins, but she's talked about a lot in the events of the story.

#42 Posted by Rorie (2087 posts) -

Hey, this is a test comment.

Staff