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Posted by Jeff (5582 posts) -

Given the way that character relationships tend to twist and turn in video games, I'm finding that our current ability to create character-to-character relationships on a "friend" or "enemy" list to be a little outmoded. Would anyone object to bringing those two lists together into one that's simply called Related Characters?

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#1 Posted by FLStyle (6256 posts) -

One less thing for people to click on, I like it.

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#2 Posted by Slag (7349 posts) -

I agree, relationships can have a level of ambiguity that don't fit neatly into friend/foe buckets.

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#3 Posted by mlarrabee (3850 posts) -

@slag said:

I agree, relationships can have a level of ambiguity that don't fit neatly into friend/foe buckets.

NO THEY CAN'T.

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#4 Posted by Hailinel (25787 posts) -

Sounds good, though I wonder if characters couldn't be split into better defined buckets. Not necessarily friends/enemies, but maybe family/associates. Something that doesn't just give users the temptation to attach every single character that appears in a game to the page of the game's protagonist.

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#5 Edited by FinalDasa (3059 posts) -

I think they should be combined. Relationships can change during the game or in sequels.

And though the wiki is already considered spoiler territory, having someone already in an 'enemy' or 'friend' category could spoil something at a glance.

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#6 Edited by mento (3733 posts) -

Go for it. We might have troubles later on with people adding every other character from the same game to the related characters list, but it's definitely unwieldy to have multiple definitions for how two characters might be related. Especially if neither definition works for a certain duo of characters.

Would it be possible to implement a function where the editor could add a single word along with each related character to expound on the nature of the relationship? Like "Sibling", "Companion", "Rival", and so on? Or would the finer details of those relationships be better served as part of the page's main body of text, where they can receive further elaboration?

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#7 Posted by FinalDasa (3059 posts) -

@mento: On Screened you could add a small blurb about the characters relationship with one another, is it the same on GB? It would be exactly what you're suggesting I think. It wasn't used often over there but maybe a drop down menu of options could help? And that way maybe it could automatically organize the related character list so the important characters popped up to the top.

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#8 Posted by csl316 (13931 posts) -

I don't object.

Metal Gear Solid V twists would've made that sort of thing a nightmare.

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#9 Posted by mracoon (5099 posts) -

My only problem is the word "related" might make people think it works the same was as related games, which is not the case.

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#10 Posted by development (3009 posts) -

Agree

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#11 Posted by TheHT (14318 posts) -

@mracoon said:

My only problem is the word "related" might make people think it works the same was as related games, which is not the case.

Yeah that seems like an easy mistake for someone to make. Any other words that might avoid that? "Associated", "connected", "affiliated"? Maybe even "known characters"?

Most of those are just synonyms of "related", but they still might be enough to distinguish itself from "related games".

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#12 Edited by mosespippy (4751 posts) -

I always liked being able to see who a character's allies and opposition are. I get that sometimes someone can be neutral or someone can be both. Is it possible under the current system to list someone as both a friend and an enemy? Then you'd just need a bucket for neutral and you could place characters into all applicable categories.

In the end putting everybody into one list probably makes the most sense. It just sucks to see that data lost to the ages.

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#13 Posted by Corevi (6795 posts) -
@csl316 said:

I don't object.

Metal Gear Solid V twists would've made that sort of thing a nightmare.

It already does with a certain pistol wielding feline.

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#14 Edited by SaturdayNightSpecials (2547 posts) -

I totally agree with that move. It's especially hard to attach friends or enemies to characters who are directly based on real people, like sports figures.

I don't think there will be too much confusion over "Related" characters. The wording is actually "Similar" games, not "Related" games.

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#15 Posted by beard_of_zeus (1774 posts) -

Exactly, I totally agree. How else are we supposed to categorize the relationship between Paige and AJ Lee?!?

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#16 Posted by bobafettjm (2092 posts) -

I am kind of split on this one. I think it is a good idea, but I also see the problem of people attaching every character from a game together.

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#17 Posted by ZombiePie (6893 posts) -

I am totally okay with this proposal.

I am kind of split on this one. I think it is a good idea, but I also see the problem of people attaching every character from a game together.

Part of the objective would be to clarify that character associations would be between characters that have story established rivalries, friendships, or relationships. NOT for every character that another game character was in the presence of or in the same room with.

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#18 Posted by BeachThunder (14582 posts) -

Fine with me.

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#19 Posted by bobafettjm (2092 posts) -

@zombiepie: I just hope there is a way for it to be clarified that people would see when they go to edit this. I just don't want all of us who do understand to have to spend a lot of time cleaning up from those that do not know.

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#20 Posted by Jeff (5582 posts) -

Perhaps "Affiliated Characters" or something along those lines is a better way to phrase it. We don't want it to be "here is every character this character has appeared in a game with." We can already pull that sort of information with our existing data.

Alternately: Do we even need this information? What if we just tossed friends/enemies completely and didn't have character <-> character relationships at all?

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#21 Posted by Hailinel (25787 posts) -

@jeff: I'd prefer the information stay. It makes for good shorthand with the list of links to navigate around the wiki.

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#22 Posted by GERALTITUDE (5722 posts) -

@jeff said:

Alternately: Do we even need this information? What if we just tossed friends/enemies completely and didn't have character <-> character relationships at all?

Any "real relationships" worth mentioning should be in the text of wiki anyways I think (for example Ryu's wiki should make reference to Sagat anyways) so I wouldn't mind losing it.

I think the Characters panel from the Game wiki page should show at the character level, so you can navigate between characters more easily rather than going up a level to the Game - this would also replace Friends/Enemies.

As a bonus it would be nice to have a dedicated Character page that had the list of Characters from a game plus their header text (which would make some relationships known), rather than just the simple non-descriptive panel list.

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#23 Edited by Yummylee (24646 posts) -

I guess I'll be the one to go against the grain and say that I'm fine with the way things are. While character relationships can certainly divvy between both friendly and hostile, that's why we can add the same character to both a Friend and Enemy segment. I'm not overly opposed to the idea of simplifying it to ''affiliated/related'' characters, I just think that at the same time all it really does is narrow down character relationships from what we already have. Regardless of which direction it goes in, it'll still largely rely on users adding some text to the specific Friends & Enemies segments on a page to better elaborate how they are specifically related.

I would ideally prefer that we took it even further and, like @hailinel suggested, spread it out into more categories like Family. But then that could also potentially make things a little too complicated. Like I said, if I was the one to choose I would prefer to simply leave things as they are.

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#24 Edited by MattyFTM (14804 posts) -
@jeff said:

Perhaps "Affiliated Characters" or something along those lines is a better way to phrase it. We don't want it to be "here is every character this character has appeared in a game with." We can already pull that sort of information with our existing data.

The title for the associated objects, concepts and locations simply says "Objects", "Concepts" and "Locations". Assuming that is staying the same, wouldn't it make most sense that the related characters section simply be named "Characters". This keeps everything uniform and takes up less space on the tabs, so it probably improves the design too (it currently looks very cluttered with friends, enemies, objects, concepts and locations crammed into that small space, and merging friends/enemies won't help if the new name is twice as long).

We aren't going to be able to address the issue that people may misuse that field with the title. People will try to use it as an "every character in a game with this character" category regardless of whether it says "affiliated", "related" or simply just "characters". The best way to address this would be to have a separate message appear when in edit mode, specifically outlining what we want in that category. When you click edit on a page, a message should appear directly above the search box for associated characters saying something like "This category is for characters who have a direct affiliation with this character in the story of the game NOT simply all characters who have appeared in the same game". A similar message would appear for every category of associations, making it crystal clear what we're looking for in that category.

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#25 Posted by TheHT (14318 posts) -

@jeff said:

Alternately: Do we even need this information? What if we just tossed friends/enemies completely and didn't have character <-> character relationships at all?

Any "real relationships" worth mentioning should be in the text of wiki anyways I think (for example Ryu's wiki should make reference to Sagat anyways) so I wouldn't mind losing it.

That's a fair point. Even if you navigated to other characters through a link on the side bar for convenience, you wouldn't really be learning much about the relationship. For that you'd have to scroll to a relationships section in the article and actually read about it, which is where you could just put the links to those characters.

@mattyftm said:
@jeff said:

Perhaps "Affiliated Characters" or something along those lines is a better way to phrase it. We don't want it to be "here is every character this character has appeared in a game with." We can already pull that sort of information with our existing data.

The title for the associated objects, concepts and locations simply says "Objects", "Concepts" and "Locations". Assuming that is staying the same, wouldn't it make most sense that the related characters section simply be named "Characters". This keeps everything uniform and takes up less space on the tabs, so it probably improves the design too (it currently looks very cluttered with friends, enemies, objects, concepts and locations crammed into that small space, and merging friends/enemies won't help if the new name is twice as long).

We aren't going to be able to address the issue that people may misuse that field with the title. People will try to use it as an "every character in a game with this character" category regardless of whether it says "affiliated", "related" or simply just "characters". The best way to address this would be to have a separate message appear when in edit mode, specifically outlining what we want in that category. When you click edit on a page, a message should appear directly above the search box for associated characters saying something like "This category is for characters who have a direct affiliation with this character in the story of the game NOT simply all characters who have appeared in the same game". A similar message would appear for every category of associations, making it crystal clear what we're looking for in that category.

If you want to keep it to one word and better avoid confusion between any characters in the same game and directly affiliated characters you could call that section "Relationships".

That more obviously implies a direct and substantial connection, and can include both allies, enemies, and anything in between.

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#26 Posted by FLStyle (6256 posts) -

@jeff said:

Alternately: Do we even need this information? What if we just tossed friends/enemies completely and didn't have character <-> character relationships at all?

This is why you should write up wiki templates when you have the chance. Because then character pages could be defined in the template as

Overview

Ryu is a characters from Street Fighter...

Character Relationships

Ryu's primary rivalries are with...

----

That way you get rid of friends/enemies bit but you also get a short summary of relationships too.

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#27 Edited by mosespippy (4751 posts) -

I would clean up so many pages if there were templates. Most of the time when I look at a page that needs work I have no idea where to begin. That would help solve that problem of getting started.

Back to the topic of character relationships, I think that if you want to be able to show more complex relationships it's going to require a more complex system. In a dream world we'd have relationship trees, like the massive one in the Final Fantasy XII guide or the one on the bulletin board on the Vice City flash website. Obviously we aren't going to get that.

If you do collapse Friends and Enemies into one Relationships list then I think it at least needs modifiers for relationship type. I'm thinking like a drop down menu where you can select stuff like parent, co-worker, teammate, commanding officer, etc. For example, if you were to look at Trevor Philip's relationships it would list Jimmy De Santa (friend), Lamar Davis (homeboy), Franklin Clinton (co-worker), Michael De Santa (it's complicated), Steve Haines (enemy)(boss).

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#28 Edited by falserelic (5770 posts) -

Go for it, what's the worse that could happen?

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#29 Posted by Slag (7349 posts) -

@jeff: I think the information has relevance and should stay in some way. It's certainly possible for characters to be in the same game but have no contact or knowledge of each other.

In general I don't think removing information usually ever helps anything in a wiki.

It would be a ton of work to replace what was lost if deleted, whereas if it stays at worst the information misinforms slightly in some cases.