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How to write an article

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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, lets 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, "Doom" would be in italics and "First Person Shooter" would be the only clickable link. A shooter is an actual (and pretty common) game genre/category for the Vectrex, due to many games falling under that category (although in this case – and as I will go over later – there is just a page for shooters, and not several sub-genres like the Multi-directional and First Person Shooters). However, since there is no Doom game for the system, it should be in italics, as I believe games, computers, handhelds, and other consoles/platforms (like the arcade) should be treated in that manner on this wiki. (There really isn't a need to spend a lot of time creating pages or categories for every single game term possible to make them into clickable links, as every single game and many pages on this wiki would have to be edited to include everything to be made into a link. Again, this is specifically a Vectrex, NOT an all-encompassing gaming wiki, so there is no need for categorizing/making links for every gaming term possible on this site.)

Sometimes a few terms could become confusing though, such as something in regards to Atari being italicized. For instance, in case something Atari-related is made compatible with the Vectrex, such as an Atari 2600 Driving Controller, then when that is made available to work for a specific Vectrex product, it deserves to be made into a link, and hopefully a page on this wiki (especially since the above has been created and can be used with the Vaboom!/Vectrace cartridge, for example, which hopefully there will be a page at some point for a modified Atari 2600 Driving Controller, which does work with this).

Form suggestionsEdit

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 if it's mentioned in the page's opening sentence, and formatting for categories at the end [see this page for examples of those):

OverviewEdit

GameplayEdit

StoryEdit

ControlsEdit

ScoringEdit

Notes and/or TriviaEdit

LinksEdit

ReviewEdit

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 homebrew programmer, which would have totally different headings (such as those for the person's technical education that led to their programming, contributions to the Vectrex scene, library of games created by the homebrewer, etc.).

Infoboxes/formattingEdit

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 Vectrex 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:

  • Developer(s)
  • Publishers
  • Release Date
  • Genre
  • Mode(s)
  • Media

All Developer(s) should be enclosed in a set of double brackets, from Vectrex originators GCE to VectrexMad! Productions, and the same goes with Publishers in order to link to those specific pages. As far as a Release Date goes, however, even if you know the exact day of a game, hardware or utility release, it is not necessary to put the entire date in double brackets, just the year. (Including the exact month and day is fine however, just don’t put them in the brackets.)

All Genres have their own pages as well, which are as follows:

Like with the Release Date, I don't really see the need for some sub-genres, such as a First Person Shooter: just use the term “Shooter” and put “First Person” outside of the double brackets, as well as “Multi-directional”, and others of the like.

Getting back to the template, Mode(s) involves the number of players, which only fall into a few categories, having these pages:

The above group of Mode(s) is pretty self-explanatory; just make sure they are typed correctly within the brackets in order to link to the appropriate page!

In my opinion, Media (usually common in a gaming wiki infobox), however, does not need to have the double brackets around whatever is filled in for the entry. The only media for the Vectrex is “Cartridge” or “ROM file” for a game running on an emulator. Since there are only two possible variables for this category, I do not see the need to create a page for these, unlike a full gaming wiki that has many more mediums, such as “floppy disk”, “download”, “CD-ROM”, “cassette”, etc. It should be noted that if a game is available as a download only for Vectrex emulators (such as War of the Robots Bow to the Queen Edition), it should be noted in the write-up of this on its page, along with explaining what keyboard keys function in regards to their corresponding game controls later in the article.

And speaking of which, as far as the “Input” category that other wikis/Wikipedia usually has, I have just left that one out entirely with every game page I have created, since the majority of all Vectrex games are just going to use the usual Vectrex controller, whether it be the original or the modern day converted ones. If a game is a ROM-only download for emulators, then it should be explained in the write-up of using the keyboard and what function specific keys have, or as far as something like Vaboom!/Vectrace goes where it uses a modified Atari 2600 Driving Controller, that can be noted on the page. If someone wants to add that to an entry in the infobox, of course they may do so, but I don't really see the need for it if controls are listed under a header in that game's entry.

Reviews/strategy guidesEdit

Most wikis, in general, are neutral as far as articles go: just report the facts. However, reviews are allowed here on the Vectrex 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 page/backup wikiEdit

And last but not least, lets 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 homebrew game that the site, at the time, did not have before, then for example, categories would be added for Vectrex games, Homebrew, and whatever genre(s) the game is, such as if the entry is a Sports game.

And finally, make sure to update the main page by editing it by placing a link to your article under NEW content, 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).

Also, there is a backup copy of this wiki at the Vectrex Museum, which is here. Make sure to either copy whatever you wrote by pasting it on there (although you'll have to contact Oliver for an account there if you don't have one, which you can do that here) or post a request on my talk page in order to move a copy of it for you onto the backup wiki. However, do note that if you take the latter action, the History of whatever page(s) is/are moved will have my name on it/them, which I would rather not have a credit for something I did not write, but I will move a person's piece if they request it though.

Also note there are some slight changes, as there is no coding for any references, so those can be left out (here it’s automatic). Any gaming terms that appear in the infobox have just one page now, being Terminology (which that link will take you to that page on the backup wiki). So there will be some slight recoding for that, although it cuts down on the bulk, rather than each gaming term (Single player, Freeware, etc.) having it’s own separate page like on here. Tabbers don’t work the same way as on here, so pages that had them (such as games that have reviews and strategy guides) were just moved to the Discussion pages of those games (such as with Mine Storm and Vector Vaders, for instance).

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.

Thumbdown

Down with form Nazis!

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 owned 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.

The wrap-upEdit

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. Some subjects have blurry lines in regards to exactly what, if not multiple genres they are, but it’s no big deal; that’s why more than one genre can go under game and hardware descriptions and categories.

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 what makes wikis so unique.

And – as a vector wiki, yes, I HAVE to say this – stay within the lines! ;)

Darrylb500 22:27, January 15, 2011 (UTC)

Head site admin

How NOT to write an articleEdit

I couldn't really find a place to put this, so here it is in the end then!

This site is mostly for information, and not much in the way of opinion, and certainly not an advertisement. Very few opinionated pieces are on this site, and those will be in regards to game reviews, which is ok to have on this wiki (others do not have them, as those are information only sites).

As far as the latter goes, a page cannot be written like an ad, such as "go to ____'s (homebrewer) site for information in regards to purchasing games"; just a link to the main site is fine. Many video game pages written up on Wikipedia have been taken down due to their strict guidelines, as they come across as to sounding like they are advertising the game sites. This site doesn't, but pages (or even just links) can't sound like an ad either.

Also -- and this also goes for many other wikis -- pages will not be accepted for those who only contribute to the Vectrex scene via having a web site. Even though every site out there keeping the Vectrex alive is good, that is not acceptable material to put up a page for, as the web site could be around every day for years and then suddenly vanish, never to be seen again or brought back (several Vectrex domains suddenly disappeared in 2011, for instance, many of which had been around for quite some time). Homebrewers have to have a tangible product to offer in order to have merit of having a page created for them on this site, such as those offering Vectrex merchandise, games, ROMs, etc. Just having a web site dedicated to the system is not enough.

Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.

Darrylb500 17:38, March 18, 2012 (UTC) Site founder/head admin

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