Flaime's Tips and Mini-Guide on Page Formatting

Disclaimer

Nothing in this blog has been confirmed to be “the right thing to do”. It serves as a mere guideline and an insight on how to setup content when wiki editing, based entirely on my experience with Giant Bomb and the little education I’ve received in design and matters of such. 

Introduction

One of my primary activities here on Giant Bomb is wiki editing. I’m not a person who often adds ton of content to various pages, in terms of words, unless I find the subject rather interesting. However, the way I’ve gotten most of my wiki points is simply by formatting (more reader-friendly) various pages; pages that are messy (visually), chaotic, or poorly constructed. Sure, doing something like this usually, reward you with only 1-5 points, but some pages are really messed up, and if you take your time, you can easily acquire a quite large amount of points. Also, you make the Internet a better place!
 
With the rapidly increasing user-base on this site, I thought I would make a mini-guide showing you my approach, and maybe give you some tips on how to make your wiki editing look awesome! 

Placing Images

Adding images is incredibly easy and gives the pages much needed color and beauty. However, some problems may occur when not placing them correctly.
When images are place incorrectly, they divide a sentence in two, separating a word and making a new paragraph.

This happens because the image was placed in the spot where the word “augmentations” is now separated.
To avoid this, you have to place the images in the begging or in the end of a header or paragraph.  

Simply drag the images and make sure your marker is at the desired location. 

Images Overlapping Header.

One of the most common problems I see on this site is images that cross a H2 (Header 2).

This is often found at the very top of the page, giving the reader a bad first-impression when he visits the page. It makes the page look unprofessional. When talking about problems like this, your browser’ size often plays a big factor. The person who inserted this picture most likely had a smaller browser window, making the page look like this on his/her montitor:


Which is totally acceptable, but the problem occurs when you stretch your browser window. So whenever you are editing, keep in mind that pages may look different for some users.
 
Luckily, there’s an extremely easy way to avoid this. All you need to do is add a table. Adding tables is probably one of the tools I’ve used the most, as you will probably notice when reading this guide. 

  •  Copy/Cut your images and this will happen
    Add a table, size 1x1.
  • Delete the Column header (select the cell and press the cross in the middle of the two arrows, which you use to add additional columns or rows.)
  • DRAG the content into the table. It is very important that you don’t copy or cut anything, especially when you’re dealing with images. Otherwise, you’ll end up with an image that looks like this (see picture to the right) after you submit your changes, and you’ll have to delete it and then find it and add that image again, which sometimes can be a pain.
  • Right click anywhere on the table, and select “Borders Off”

Now the problem should’ve been solved. The image will no longer overlap the header.

Images Overflow

Sometimes when a section of a page has too many images, your eyes constantly have to jump whenever there’s a new paragraph, making the entire section intuitive and hard to read. This especially happen when images are aligned to the right, then left, then right, then left and so on. This is a fine method to “spice up” a larger and more heavily text based section of a page, such as the story or larger pages with few, if any, sections. But in this case, it just makes the section look chaotic. 


Now, this is not the best example of what I’m talking about. But you can see that because of the minimum of two images pr. header; the text is easily overshadowed by the images, making the page harder to read, as stated above. 
 
The easiest way to deal with this is obviously to delete some of the images, but in this case, I think they give this section a nice look. So to solve this problem without deleting images we should add some tables. 

  • Make a 1x1 table for every header, and add a row for every image under that header.
    or
  • Make a 1xX table with a row for each header.

If using the latter you would probably have to manually add some space between each header and body text, otherwise the paragraphs would be too close to each other.  
Once the content has been moved into the tables, align all images to the right side of the page, to avoid the chaotic feel of the page.
 

Lists

Weapon and vehicle lists are quite common here on Giant Bomb, yet most of them are poorly done and look chaotic.
 
 Not the best example I could find, but you'll get the idea
A problem that a lot of these lists have is that there’s not much difference between the body text and the headers, since there’s so many weapon-categories, sub-categories, weapon-functions and so on. So the first step to make this page look better is to delete the H2 titled “Game content”, and make “Weapons” the new H2. An easier way to divide each weapon type up is to add tables for each “weapon category”. This way you’ll save a H3, which you then can use on something else, or as in this instance, the weapon name:  
 
Adding the weapons’ name to the image caption is also a good idea.
 

Mess

This last scenario is a good example on how not to make your lists. 


There’s no consistency whatsoever, everything blend together, and, well… no headers. It’s truly chaotic. To finish the design the original editor probably intended to make, a 2x column table can be used here. I usually align the images to the same side, that way the differences between each column becomes more distinct. 

 
Also, never do this: adding spaces to align your text is a bad idea. 
 
 
 
 

That’s it (for now?), thanks for reading! I hope you’ll make good use of the tips and information I provided. Feel free to share some of your own tips. Do you have easier ways to approach situations like this? Do you think it’s a complete waste of time? Do you think that some of the examples I showed are complete bullshit? Let me know what you think!
22 Comments

My thoughts on this free game, which you should effing check out!

What Is This Shit?

Pirates, Vikings and Knights II is a first-person melee-combat Source mod that you can download for free, if you already have an Source-Engine game on steam installed. It's still in beta, and does therefore miss a lot of content, but the 20ish people who's developing it, is releasing major patches frequently that adds new classes, maps and so on. I've been playing Pirates, Vikings and Knights II, or PVK II, since 2007, I've had some breaks everynow and then, basically because I've been playing it too much, but then I come back to it after a few months.

So, why should I play it?

Well, first of all, the gameplay is at its finest when it comes to first-person melee games, which is a hard genre to make successfully, but the developers really nailed it. It is very simple, rewarding as hell, well balanced and the learning curve is fast. When I convinced some of my friends to check it out, it took them one or two maps before they were able to get a positive k:d and get pretty high on the scoreboard. But even when the killing isn’t going that well, it is still totally fun to play, or just even look at. All the crazy shit that happens during combat is just hilarious. The only problem with the combat is when it’s lagging. Lag in a melee game isn’t that great.

A thing that many people fear when playing multiplayer games is the game's community. But I haven’t really noticed anything negative on that front. Of course you'll encounter an angry kid, who yells "NOOB" every time you kill him once in a while, but the general community in Pirates, Vikings and Knights II is very polite and fun to play with - this might be because the game isn't that popular yet.

Actually, the only argument that I should give you guys to make this game awesome and worth attention, is that it's free. Even though it's free, it totally feels like a full-priced game - and I would gladly pay the full price. I can't imagine what the game would feel like, once every promised class is released and more people are playing it.

Help make this game popular. Currently only 116 Giantbombers have played it, compared to Darkest of Days' 148 players, this is just sad, considering that PVK II is actually fun and free to play.

I hope I've made you aware of the existence of Pirates, Vikings and Knights II, and that you check it out.
 
 
 - Flaime
 

 
For more information about Pirates, Vikings and Knights, check its main page or the review I wrote.

13 Comments