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#1 Posted by Sombre (411 posts) -

Hey gang,

Over the last ten or so years, I've noticed how the wiki pages for modern games are bare bones as. When you look back on pages like Persona 4, or Diablo 2 or something, their pages are spectacular. Look at something like AC: Odyssey and you'll see there's NOTHING on there.

If it were you, how could you change it to make people actually care about the wiki again? Cause atm, it feels like even the staff don't give a shit, save for MAYBE Jeff, and I get the feeling only because it's kind of his baby

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#2 Posted by soulcake (2745 posts) -

I think Jeff is the only one who's cares about the wiki at this point, whit stuff like wikia/fandom being more successful, i would have stopped supporting it as there's almost zero community support to it. The only thing it got going is Twitch using it as a back end and dev's crying about why there game isn't on the wiki. Definitely a solid question. But i feel the wiki is super death.

RIP WIKI.

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#3 Posted by BeachThunder (15137 posts) -

As someone who tried to get people to care about the wiki, I can safely say that the wiki is pretty much kaput. Without a solid base of dedicated editors and a clear style guide, the wiki will remain a sad place.

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#5 Posted by Sombre (411 posts) -

I have tried time and time again to get more people to edit this wiki as I feel like this could be the best one with the tools available and such. However, most of the other die hard wiki editors I knew of have all but moved on. I have no idea if it can be brought back at this point, but I really wish it would. Of course there are still some nagging issues as well such as editing credits still being for the most part broken.

See that's another thing I don't get. Take this page for example.

There's NO INFO on there, but you still have 3k points?

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#6 Edited by Humanity (18710 posts) -

There were a few games in the past that I felt somewhat interested and knowledgeable about to edit the wiki for them but I dunno. It's a lot of factors really. One of the main issues is that over the years the site has become less user oriented, from both the staff and site standpoint. Usability is at an all time low. Jeff and the gang don't shy away from harsh words when it comes to describing stuff so I'll be frank and say this newest redesign is nothing short of a disaster - like XB1 UI level bad. In the past there were quests, there was some weird leveling up system, the staff was interacting with the user base. These days it's more of a video outlet. It's hard to care about the wiki when the site itself seems to have moved on from it. There are some other personal reasons I have that I won't get into but over the years my overall enthusiasm for the site has gone down a bit. I still like the doods a whole bunch and enjoy a decent chunk of the content they produce (and there is a lot of it) but I'm just not nearly as invested as I was. The most I do is gather up the effort to write a review for a game that I feel strongly about one way or another. The wiki? Ehh I dunno. I guess I could fill in large swathes of the BELOW page because I spent an excruciating amount of time with that god forsaken game, but I just don't have the drive to do it.

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#7 Edited by Slag (8157 posts) -

Drastic change is required at this stage to have any real hope. User engagement appears to be practically nil these days and a wiki that isn't even the front page of its' own site is doomed to fail imo.

I think at this point it's 100% clear that user side of Giant Bomb is dying a torturous death from lack of engineering resources/focus and frankly has been for 6-7 years now since the sale. I don't fault that decision as I'm well aware that the banner ad market never really recovered and it's clear where they make their money these days. Quests apparently were a failed attempt to monetize the wiki as well.

Thus I think it's in the best interests of both components of the site to separate. That's only been made more starkly clear with the new redesign (again I don't blame them, you want to invest in what works for your business. Throw good money after good. The gang is real good at the personality stuff). The Personality aspect of the site is probably hindered by weighed down by even having to spend mental focus thinking about anything other than that. GB clearly makes almost all their money off subs who come for the video and audio content and probably gets a far greater ROI for their time when they focus on what they do well. The wiki is something that is a living breathing database that needs constant attention to remain viable, now more than ever in the era where 3k + games get released every year just on Steam alone.

Couple options I've pondered whether they would help or would even be possible

  1. Sell the Wiki to an outside party-
    1. Might be unpalatable for sentimental, legal, economic reasons
    2. Positives might be it might be able to use the business model of a different company better (able to fund it through Patreon using donation drives ala Wikipedia etc) that wouldn't be viable at CBSi
    3. Maybe Twitch or somebody big who uses the API wants it. I dunno
  2. Make the wiki and user blogs/lists/reviews part of GameFaqs instead of Giant Bomb
    1. Gamefaqs is basically the database aspect of the CBSi game sites already, this sort of thing is their sole focus
      1. Release Data and Genre data are already present in the GameFaqs pages, guides are too obviously. Something GB's wiki once sort of had. A lot of the content is pointlessly duplicative in their current states. It never made sense to me that I'd have essentially consult gamefaqs to fill in blank release dates here.
      2. Gamefaqs community seems to be considerably larger and more active than GB's, much larger pool to recruit and continually find new editors.
      3. the Wiki would likely enhance what they already try to do over there and fits with their core mission better than GB's
      4. Their business model is already focused on text based content
      5. Gamefaqs already has plenty of user reviews and active forums. Blogs and whatnot would likely fit in well over there
      6. The Wiki would likely get more regular attention over there and basic upkeep/refresh needs would be more likely to be met.
    2. Some potential Downsides
      1. Probably an unbelievably massive project to try to integrate the two databases
      2. Gamefaqs probably has a different philosophy about to handle information. May be incompatible with existing info in the wiki
      3. Gamefaqs existing community would likely clash socially with what remains of the Gb community. (there's been subtle and not so subtle digs at them by some users here over the years)
      4. Jeff may not be allowed to be involved or not want to be involved with it anymore. Not many people have his breadth of knowledge or expertise. His involvement with the wiki is hugely beneficial even if it's just in an advisory capacity.
      5. gamefaqs leadership may not want the wiki
      6. I'm sure there's tons of challenges that I'm not aware of, since I don't work there or know anybody personally at either place.

Whatever happens to the Wiki whether it stays here or something else happens, I think for it to have any chance to revive it needs these things bare minimum

  • It needs to be front and center on its own site. You can't expect people to use something or know something's there that's not even the focus of its' own site.
  • It needs constant engineering focus, to change with the times. Video games themselves change and the wiki needs to adapt with them. There will always be new challenges and new ways to sort information. Some examples of the changes to video games since the GB wiki was launched, subscription services like Gamepass, PS Now, PSN+ etc. The flood of indie games hitting Steam every year making it impossible for a handful of active contributors to keep up. New genres like Battle Royale games. Thus a wiki must be able to accommodate such new challenges and most critically do so in a timely manner. A wiki cannot thrive on autopilot. It can't have engineering fixes to core features take years to address, same goes with editorial decisions.
  • On that note, it needs to be reliable. I've learned tricks on how to not lose my work, but there's plenty of times I've lost paragraphs I've typed due to CSRF token issues and/or other glitches. Or seen associations break etc. That's extremely extremely frustrating.
  • The editors need to believe their efforts are going into a project that is active and successful. Nobody wants to spend hours putting info (for free no less) and research into a dying endeavor. Maintaining editors' passion and goodwill is essential to keeping a wiki alive. These people are volunteers, if they aren't happy and enthusiastic they likely won't contribute much.
  • It needs constant engagement with staff, who oversee and try to direct activity to fill in areas where information is incorrect or incomplete. A staff who actively use, like and promote the wiki and communicate with users on a frequent reliable basis. To provide guidance about things like Style guides and set examples on how pages should be built. Also to settle disputes, we haven't had too many edit wars here that I know of but a lot of successful wikis do have to navigate things like that. When the wiki was rolling we had things like tasks and a functioning point system to help making editing more fun and focused.
  • A monetization model that supports it financially. Maybe that's patreon, I doubt it's banner ads. Whatever it is, A wiki needs staff and staff costs money.
  • Probably looser standards when it comes to allowing indie game makers to fill in their own pages. While pages absolutely shouldn't be ads, to be frank with the flood of games released now the bigger issue is manpower to just even fill pages. I think that's true for any wiki. It wouldn't perhaps to be so horrible to harness some of that desire to let game professionals fill in some of their own pages (at least initially). Maybe a new wiki could be used in a way akin to IMDB and be a place where professionals can make their own personal pages to network etc.
  • It needs to have value to the user/editor beyond just being information. At Gb probably the main benefit the wiki currently provides is the List function (which is fun!). But it'd even more useful if it was tied into more systems that provide value to enthusiasts (like guides, achievement tracking, collection tracking, backlog tracking, how many hours to complete a game etc etc). Be a tool for them to be selfishly interested in improving because they themselves are using it.
  • If it stays at GB , it's probably going to a consistent promotion campaign to win people back over, and it will probably need that for at least a couple years. A fullblown Relaunch event to start and then keep it rollin. Not only would these changes have to be made and shown to be durable over a long period of time (so that people trust it's going to continue), but you'd have to get people to even notice you are addressing it somehow.

EDIT: I forgot to add the above isn't intended as a personal criticism of anybody. I know there have been plenty of folks who put in absolutely herculean efforts into the wiki and still do, especially some of the mods. Running a website with as a broad of focus as Giant Bomb is just a really hard thing to do, even harder with such a small staff. Times change too, what made sense in 2008 may not make sense in 2019.

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#8 Posted by sparky_buzzsaw (8861 posts) -

CSRF token issues keep me from doing a lot of extensive work on any aspect of the site anymore. As mentioned elsewhere, I'm just not sure the impetus or the resources are there to properly gut and fix anything on the user side of things. I hope I'm wrong about that, but since the Sea Serpent redesign, it's been the norm for things to slowly downgrade on the forum/wiki side of things while chat and video improvements are implemented. I've seen engineering say something to the effect that the forums and wiki aren't drawing enough hits to be a priority, which is exactly the sort of attitude that drives people away from using those aspects altogether and creates something of an ouroboros. We can't get enthused about something that won't get fixed.

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#9 Posted by Marino (7269 posts) -

@sombre said:
@bobafettjm said:

I have tried time and time again to get more people to edit this wiki as I feel like this could be the best one with the tools available and such. However, most of the other die hard wiki editors I knew of have all but moved on. I have no idea if it can be brought back at this point, but I really wish it would. Of course there are still some nagging issues as well such as editing credits still being for the most part broken.

See that's another thing I don't get. Take this page for example.

There's NO INFO on there, but you still have 3k points?

No info you say?

https://www.giantbomb.com/despicable-me-minion-rush/3030-43462/credits/

Staff Online
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#11 Edited by Slag (8157 posts) -
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#12 Posted by Sombre (411 posts) -

@marino said:
@sombre said:
@bobafettjm said:

I have tried time and time again to get more people to edit this wiki as I feel like this could be the best one with the tools available and such. However, most of the other die hard wiki editors I knew of have all but moved on. I have no idea if it can be brought back at this point, but I really wish it would. Of course there are still some nagging issues as well such as editing credits still being for the most part broken.

See that's another thing I don't get. Take this page for example.

There's NO INFO on there, but you still have 3k points?

No info you say?

https://www.giantbomb.com/despicable-me-minion-rush/3030-43462/credits/

Fair

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#13 Posted by tds418 (465 posts) -

I would love if the wiki received renewed attention and there was more incentive for contributing. I would probably spend some time myself pitching in if this was the case.

However, I think the ship has probably sailed on this.

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#14 Posted by htr10 (1044 posts) -

Two words: Boobs.

Seriously though, free premium memberships and/or merch to users who generate a certain number of staff approved wiki points? Or just give up.

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#15 Posted by sparky_buzzsaw (8861 posts) -

@htr10: You might be on to something. Featuring a user every month or so and giving them, say, three months worth of free premium access or something might be an awesome way to reward wiki work.

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#16 Posted by rocketblast0063 (274 posts) -

Hmm, making it relevant (again) will get some people to take interest in it. But to get people to invest time to make it relevant again needs it to be relevant in the first place.

Or, yes, as above. Paying hard working wiki editors with premium time or other stuff is probably a good idea. If it's worth it for Giant Bomb to have an updated and relevant wiki this day of age that is.

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#17 Posted by Phos (75 posts) -
@humanity said:

There were a few games in the past that I felt somewhat interested and knowledgeable about to edit the wiki for them but I dunno. It's a lot of factors really. One of the main issues is that over the years the site has become less user oriented, from both the staff and site standpoint. Usability is at an all time low. Jeff and the gang don't shy away from harsh words when it comes to describing stuff so I'll be frank and say this newest redesign is nothing short of a disaster - like XB1 UI level bad. In the past there were quests, there was some weird leveling up system, the staff was interacting with the user base. These days it's more of a video outlet. It's hard to care about the wiki when the site itself seems to have moved on from it. There are some other personal reasons I have that I won't get into but over the years my overall enthusiasm for the site has gone down a bit. I still like the doods a whole bunch and enjoy a decent chunk of the content they produce (and there is a lot of it) but I'm just not nearly as invested as I was. The most I do is gather up the effort to write a review for a game that I feel strongly about one way or another. The wiki? Ehh I dunno. I guess I could fill in large swathes of the BELOW page because I spent an excruciating amount of time with that god forsaken game, but I just don't have the drive to do it.

Yeah the new site design is pretty clearly a mobile site, which it's pretty good at, the only difference between what you get with desktop and mobile is the top bar is different. It's pretty clearly meant for portrait screens, on landscape it's verging on hard to look at.

There's also probably not much financial incentive to promote or stimulate the wiki, an unusually large percentage of giant bomb users seem to be subscribers (compared to most similar sites), and they don't see ads so there's no ad revenue from them being on the wiki.

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#18 Edited by Onemanarmyy (4300 posts) -

@phos: But is it good at being a mobile site? Throughout the years i've been using 3 different giantbomb apps that all did a way better job at giving me access to all the content than this site could ever do. Are there people that prefer using the site over the list-based apps if they're on mobile? I guess if you're a new user, you're not going to find the apps before the site, so i can see how this might be an improvement on the old site, but still.

I don't feel like the current site is great for mobile. It's so hard to find content that have fallen off the carroussels, and the thumbnails are very nondescript given that this ain't netflix where every boxart is designed to tell you what the movie is generally about. The shows art is somewhat trying to help with this, but it just leads to content being shown on the page with the showart in one place, while it's shown with a thumbnail of the content in another place. So now you have the same content with two different appearances show up and clutter your carroussels.

The shows idea makes sense for playthroughs, but doesn't fit well with how people tend to watch UPF's and quicklooks. By obfuscating the decks & game links in favor of focusing on the mostly same-ish visuals of the studio's, it has become harder to figure out what is new. And the size of the topbanner makes it so that all you can see on the mobile frontpage is this one piece of content. That's not how you quickly communicate to new users what this site is all about.

This is all quite off-topic, but i was reading through the thread and the idea that this is what a good mobile site looks like just didn't jive with me. :P

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#19 Posted by dudeglove (13734 posts) -

I would read a wiki that is just Jeff's garage collection.

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#20 Posted by Kaigan_sake (187 posts) -

I agree with what @slag said. Wiki side needs to adapt to current trends, constantly improve and needs to change or it’ll slowly dies.

Here are my thoughs on how could the wiki improve just a little bit.

  • Add regions (UK could be changed to PAL reg. or EU), genres, themes, [requested] platforms
  • Make alias category editable by users
  • The object category is useless and I think we should get rid of it. Same for the guide.
  • The concepts category is unclear. There could be some toggle that would show for example just gameplay mechanics, protagonist characteristics, events...
  • Merge platforms i - phone/pod/pad into iOS, PS3/Vita Network into PS3 and Vita, 3DSE into 3DS... (I know there’s not a magic button for this, sadly.)
  • Rebuild the point system
  • Game releases edit should be accessible from front game page
  • That fun things such as game length
  • If a game is in early access or got final physical/digital release or has been canceled

There is needed a lot of coding, approvements, reviewing but looking how many people viewed this thread I think they still do care about this side of GB. In the hope of respond from the staff regarding this situation and their future plans for wiki I’ll tag some of them here @nuclearwinter, @mento, @jeff, @marino, @danauer, @mracoon, @zombiepie, @danryckert, @brad