Thanks for looking over this page. This, however, is not a step by step tutorial in regards to building site/written material; that can be seen in the Help area. Also, another good way to become familiar with coding is to examine some pages by pressing the Edit button and looking at the reveal codes in regards to various formatting. This page is for formatting guidelines in regards to this wiki specifically and what to expect.
Formatting specifically for this wikiEdit
Those that are familiar with wikis/Wikipedia have no doubt noticed that certain terms are formatted in various ways in regards to specific sites.
For example, let's take a look how the following example would appear depending on what wiki (or even Wikipedia) it is on, namely if the below sentence were to be written in a gaming article of some sort:
"Doom is a First Person Shooter containing elements of horror and sci-fi."
Now, lets say the above sentence appeared on Wikipedia. There would be clickable links for "Doom", "First Person Shooter", "horror" and "sci-fi", since Wikipedia is about anything and everything possible: with clicking on "Doom", it would take you to an article about the game, "First Person Shooter" would take you to a page defining it and a brief history of First Person Shooters, and the same would go for "horror" and "sci-fi" and their respective pages (note: everything here is set in italics just as an example, rather than links).
Now, what if the above sentence appeared on a page for a gaming-type wiki? "Doom" and "First Person Shooter" would have clickable links, but probably not "horror" and "sci-fi", since the gaming wiki would (or should) have pages for Doom and First Person Shooter. However, they probably would not have pages for the terms "horror" and "sci-fi", and they are not necessarily needed, unless someone decided to create pages saying something to the effect of "a game with horror ingredients can have elements of suspense, gore, or a creepy atmosphere" to make the term "horror" as a clickable link, for example.
Finally, if the sentence were to be on a page in this wiki (for some reason), "Doom" would be in italics, since I believe that, in this case, any game that is not a bottom of the screen shooter should be in italics. The same goes for a video game system that does not have any bottom of the screen shooters in its library (such as with the Adventurevision, since it only had four games, none of which were bottom of the screen shooters!).
So, getting the above out of the way, lets say you decide to create a new page for a game that has yet to be written about. Of course, these can be created however the author wants, but most go by a general format that could include a game overview, gameplay and/or story, as well as including controls and scoring involved in the game. Notes or trivia and links to other sites that have something in common with the game (like a review, video and/or walkthrough) usually come last, if the author decides to include those.
Usually an end product will have one or more of these headers in a page entry (along with putting the title of the article in bold the first time it’s mentioned in the article, and formatting for categories at the end (see this page for examples of those):
Notes and/or TriviaEdit
Again, these are usually common elements that are found on gaming wikis, which depends on what an author feels they should include, and of course will differ depending on what kind of article is written, such as an entry for a programmer, which would have totally different headings (such as those for the person's technical education that led to their programming, contributions to a certain platform they program for, library of games created by them, etc.).
A lot of articles in general will have an infobox included. Although it's not 100% mandatory to have one with every page created, it is usually a good way to summarize information with, especially if the entry is for a game.
Of course, people can tweak these however they like – right now this wiki doesn’t even have an infobox template, but I shall be changing that at some point – but the following is a common form for gaming-type wikis:
- Release Date(s)
All Developer(s) should be enclosed in a set of double brackets, as they make bottom of the screen shooters. Release dates do not need to be put in brackets, as do neither Modes and Media (which Mode[s] involves the number of players, and Media is for what the game was released under, whether it be a physical medium like a cartridge or if it were a downloadable app).
Most wikis, in general, are neutral as far as articles go: just report the facts. However, reviews are allowed here on the BOTSS wiki, provided they are included on the game in particular's entry page -- rather than being separate and cluttered in the Content page -- they must be made into a Tabber and "signed" by the person who wrote the review (by using four tildes, or these: ~).
Also, a grading scale of ___ to ___ must be included; saying a game ranks a three won't cut it, it must state if it's on a scale of one to five or one to 10 or whatever. I'm not going to ask for a standardized grading scale either; on the reviews I've done so far, I've rated them from a one to 10, although people can use a grading scale (A-D or F), one through five, or even one to 100. Just as long as its explained what the scale is (just a simple "I rate this game a 7 out of 10" is fine).
Strategy guides also should follow most of the above guidelines, such as not making them into separate entries and including them in the game in particular's page as a Tabber. Some formatting does not work in Tabbers, though (such as using the tildes to sign your name, but using the formatting for linking to an off-site page still works though, so use that instead), as, for some reason (for instance), if you do not make a header (i. e. one of many in this article, such as Reviews/strategy guides above) before writing, all sentences will be jumbled together, even if you make space for paragraphs. However, if you make a header at the beginning of the review, strategy guide or whatever, the paragraphs will work then (go figure!), even though the header will not be seen. So start off each piece with a header, as just saying "Review" or "Strategy guide" will work.
Also, if there is already a review and you wish to add your own, rename the Tabber to match the person's name who did the review (i. e. if it was just a Review, and someone named Richard did it, change the Review Tabber name to "Richard's review"), add your own review, and give the Tabber the name of "____'s review", using your name for it.
Categories/updating the main pageEdit
And last but not least, let's not forget to add categories to an entry, which can be seen here. This makes it easier to connect with other similar games by just clicking on the Category link(s) at the bottom. If a page is created in regards to a new game that the site, at the time, did not have before, then for example, categories would be added for games and whatever system the game is for, such as if it were to be a game for the arcade.
And finally, make sure to update the main page by editing it by placing a link to your article under Latest activity, give a brief description of it and bumping off whatever is the last one on the list, as I think five is a decent enough number for new content (but only do this for new, COMPLETE articles though, and not stubs).
Learn to let go...Edit
Ok, so lets say you've done your article, you have your headers, photos ready for a gallery, infobox stuff planned out, etc., and have like a 20,000 character epic piece ready to go up on the site. You put it up and everything looks great, then the next morning you have an e-mail notification telling of how something you wrote had been changed.
Now, if it was due to someone correcting an error or typo that you didn't spot originally, this should be of little concern; probably most of us, in general, don't like making mistakes (myself included) and probably wouldn't mind, if not welcome an update such as this.
However, on the other hand, it could be something minor that you don't really see a need for and it was even difficult to tell the difference in history revisions when you compare them side to side (especially if there is only a very minor difference in the form of, say, just a few characters. Those can be hard to spot, which is why it is usually a good idea to fill out the summary at the bottom as to what a person's change would be to the article they're editing).
First off, one thing to remember is that, no matter how much time and effort you put into a piece, it’s NOT “yours”, it’s for anyone to edit (unless a piece is protected, which I hope to not have many of these on this wiki. Also – and on a side note -- the only reason this piece is being written in the first person and signed at the end is due to my anti-abuse pledge [which is coming up] that, as the head admin of this wiki, I will be giving to all contributors). Try not to think too much of it, especially if someone is probably just trying to help.HOWEVER, I do not see the point of what I consider to be pointless edits, changing some tiny thing because someone thinks something is “wrong” or looks “better” in another way. Obviously this opinion is going to differ from person to person, but say something such as taking out a header and leaving everything else intact is not necessary. I have seen this before (although rare), and where most of us are familiar with the term “grammar Nazi”, these are what I consider to be “form Nazis”, yet on places where I have seen this happen they did not have a page such as this one explaining what the hell it is they want in the form of a written entry, yet whoever contributes is just supposed to “know” these unwritten rules of theirs, which is ridiculous. Wikis are individually founded and differ in how they want their material presented; some are strict, others are more laid back.
So, keeping all this in mind, if there ever comes a time where someone on here repeatedly edits articles, making only tiny, arguably unnecessary changes to the point where it appears to be abusive, they will be given warnings, along with being banned if need be (and if they are an admin, that behavior is not to be tolerated at all, as they will have their admin title stripped, then followed by a possible banning). I have added to “stub” articles on other wikis by making them full entries when the originals only had two sentences to them and even kept those two sentences intact, but see no need to think “eh, I don’t think they need that header at the beginning”, then edit it out when obviously the original author had a differing opinion and thought it should be there. If people get micro-edited several times when they (arguably) did nothing “wrong” in the first place, they’re not going to bother adding new material any more if they get irritated and can even get scared off for good (which I’ve seen happen before). Most places are appreciative in receiving new material, and I’d like to keep it that way, along with keeping this a laid-back, welcoming environment for new pages as well.
For beginning contributors to wiki, the above might seem like a lot to digest, but it’s not that difficult actually; just look at a few articles (particularly any full game entries) to get an idea for form and it shouldn’t be difficult to figure out from there, as we all learn from example. The main thing (in my opinion) is having linked material, and that’s easy enough with using the double brackets.
The main thing to look at is to provide and share information, have fun, and link together as much as possible with every entry (if applicable). That’s one of the things that makes wikis so unique.
And – as in regards to this wiki, yes, I HAVE to say this – stay at the bottom! ;)