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The first step to working on any guide is finding the guide on the wiki. After searching for the guide you want to work on, you may find that it doesn't yet exist. If that's the case, you should start out by creating the main page. See the scope policy first to make sure the game qualifies for inclusion on the wiki.

Nutshell icon.png This page, in a nutshell:
  1. Use the full, official name of the game when creating the main guide page.
  2. Use the "Main game page" preload button above the edit text box to insert the proper formatting and templates.
  3. Fill out the infobox fields, then add text to describe the game and its story.
  4. Add any applicable categories at the bottom for developer, publisher, systems, genres and modes.

Naming[edit]

Note
Due to server configuration, the percent symbol (%) does not work correctly in page titles.

Each game gets its own page. When naming a guide, attempt to use the official name given by the game developer or publisher. In most cases, it's not a good idea to go by how the title is presented on the cover art, which uses artistic typesets and splits titles across multiple lines. We use sentence case capitalization everywhere else for titles, so consider that best when naming the page. If no official name is available, all words except for internal closed-class words should be capitalized.

Disambiguation[edit]

If there are multiple games with the same name that require different guides, the first release that was given the name should get the title. To help users find guides for other games with the same or similar names, disambiguation links should be added to the front page, with one blank line separating them from the end of the infobox. These links should either point to a series category which contains all the relevant guides using the {{series disambig}} template, or directly to each game using the {{game disambig}} template). For example, the Super Punch-Out!! page has a link at the top to the SNES version, and the Batman page has a link to the Batman category.

For games with the same title that are not the original, titles are disambiguated by following them with the game's system, year or other identifying characteristic in parentheses. In the case of simultaneous releases of different games with the same title, the first guide to be written gets the main title and any guides that follow will be disambiguated. Another occurrence may be a game that is released under two different names in different regions or for different consoles. In this case, the main title also goes to whichever guide is started first. The alternate name would then be redirected to the main game so that anyone searching for it would end up in the right place.

Exceptions to the above rule exist for games that became popular under a certain name or were originally released with a non-English title. If the game was released under multiple names, it is common practice to use the name most known globally. If there is a tie, it is up to the discretion of the guide's original writer. As an English wiki, English titles take precedence over foreign ones. Common examples are games released first in Japan, which get the English title for their guides here. See below for Japanese naming guidelines.

Article disambiguation can be complicated, so when in doubt, bring candidates for disambiguation to the attention of other editors and admin by posting in the staff lounge.

Versions[edit]

If a particular version of the game has changes (such as more/fewer characters or remixed levels) this should be explained on the appropriate pages. However, if a game is substantially different from other versions, it may warrant having its own guide, in which case it would use the standard disambiguation in its title. In general, combining guides should be tried first to avoid duplication of effort.

It is also possible to share the guide up to a certain point, then put any extra information on the guide to which it applies. See the Table of contents page for how to use the {{subtoc}} to accomplish this.

Japanese exclusive titles[edit]

Games that were released with only a Japanese title (that include hiragana, katakana, and/or kanji characters) should be translated into English. This promotes readability and ease of use on the site (the translated titles can be typed on a normal English keyboard). The translation should omit macrons (which are commonly used in translations on Wikipedia) to also avoid the typing problem. Instead, translations should use the on'yomi reading of the hiragana (when translating kanji) to determine which characters are used.

Things to keep in mind
  • There are multiple ways to romanize Japanese (that is, to transliterate the japanese characters into English).
  • We do not allow macrons to be in page/guide titles.
  • The decision to use a double consonant, such as oo, or a similar sound, such as ou, is based on the actual characters (see example, below).
Example translation process

We have to break down each Japanese symbol into a format that is easily translatable from Japanese to English. In this example, we focus on the word gekitou, or 激闘 as it is in the original Japanese title of Naruto: Gekitou Ninja Taisen! 3 (ナルト-激闘忍者大戦! 3).

To begin the translation, start by using a combination of Google Translation and this site to break down titles into their initial constituents (this translation site also has more insight into the etymology and synonyms of Japanese words, although unfortunately in the case of gekitou it does not, which aids in providing better translations than Google Translate; additional research and multiple translation sources is usually suggested). Wiktionary is also a good source for on'yomi readings and other info.

Since this word, gekitou, is in kanji, we have to look into it further and break it down into hiragana so it can be romanized. Wiktionary is invaluable to this, as you can just go to the kanji's page, e.g. this one, and scroll down to the On (On'yomi) reading. Instantly we see that 激 can be spelled as げき (ge ki) in hiragana. Likewise, 闘 is spelled as とう (tō) in hiragana. But since we don't use macrons, how do we spell it? Well, と is to, so that's easy, and う gives us the final vowel of "u". In some cases we use a double consonant, like with shippuuden (another word that appears in the Naruto series of games), because the hiragana actually calls for a duplicate consonant with the っ character (a.k.a. the little tsu, small tsu, or sokuon). So, 激闘 breaks down to げきとう, or "ge ki to u", which is the most accurate romanization, making it even better than a macron (because a macron would hide the u). Note that the macron is usually used because the pronunciation of a double oo and ou are practically the same in Japanese.

Page creation[edit]

Use the "Main game page" button to start a new main page.

There are many ways to get to the page creation screen:

  1. Search box: Put the name of the game in the search box and press "Go" or "Search". If the game doesn't exist, you'll see a red link to it at the top of the results page where it says "You searched for Your Game". If you pressed "Go", there will also be a link under the "No page title matches" section, and the link will say "create this page".
  2. Address bar: You can type the URL of the page you want to create directly into your browser's address bar by putting in http://strategywiki.org/wiki/Your Game. This takes you to a splash screen letting you know the page doesn't exist. Click the link that says "edit this page" to create it.
  3. Red link: Any time you see a red link on the wiki, it means the page being linked to doesn't exist. If you find a link to the main page you want to create, it will take you directly to the editing screen where you can begin to create the page.

Setting up the main page for a new guide has been simplified with the use of the preload buttons above the edit box. Simply click on the "Main game page" button to be given a basic layout, then just fill in the blanks.

Content[edit]

The main page of a guide should be set up as contained in the main page pre-load template, with the following in this order:

  1. Any tags, such as {{upcoming}}, {{stub}}, etc.
  2. The {{Header Nav}}.
  3. An {{infobox}}.
  4. Any disambiguation templates, such as {{game disambig}} or {{series disambig}}.
  5. The {{marquee}} template for arcade games with a marquee image.
  6. Introduction section without a heading. It should be a paragraph or so in length and provide a general introduction to the game and its development. The first occurrence of the game name should be emboldened using ''', and the {{nihongo}} template should be used to add Japanese text where applicable. The first occurrences of items such as dates, systems, companies or other games should be linked.
  7. {{Continue Nav}}
  8. A short story or gameplay section, also without a heading. This section is not meant to be comprehensive, but should give a broad overview of the story or gameplay, or contain the relevant backstory for the game.
  9. An optional <gallery> of alternate box art, game flyers, etc.
  10. {{ToC}}.
  11. An optional external links (==External links==) section. See the external links policy for information on appropriate content for this section.
  12. The series navigation template, if one exists. These are in the form of {{Series Name}}.
  13. {{DEFAULTSORT:}} where applicable.
  14. Categories located at the bottom. See Categorization for more information.

The infobox[edit]

For more details on the infobox template, see Template:Infobox.

Some fields in the infobox are mandatory, and some are optional. In general, the more information you can provide, the better. If any mandatory fields are missing, the page will automatically be added to Category:Pages needing an infobox. Optional fields can either be left blank or removed entirely. Whenever possible, use a simple wikilink (i.e. [[Page name]]). Most fields link to categories, and the normal link usually redirects to the category page. If it doesn't, use {{c|Page name}} to link directly to the category.

Mandatory fields
  • title: Automatically filled in when using the "Main game page" preload, but you may need to adjust it if the page title contains disambiguation.
  • developer: Add links to developers if they are companies. For an individual, just put the person's name in plain text.
  • publisher: Add links to publishers if they are companies. For an individual, just put the person's name in plain text.
  • released: Using release date templates, add release dates by region. The minimum amount of information is the year of release.
  • genre: Add links to applicable genres.
  • systems: Add links to all systems for which the game was produced. Systems are actual hardware on which the game is played. For digital distribution, e.g. WiiWare or PlayStation Network, use the distributor field.
Optional fields
  • image: Put cover art here for console releases, arcade flyers for arcade games, or logos for online games or games that weren't released in retail stores. The field takes the name of the file and its extension, i.e. Filename.ext.
  • distributor: If the game has been released on a digital distribution service (e.g. Steam, GameTap, etc.), put links to them here.
  • designer: Put the plain text name of the designer or designers. Do not put their specific jobs in parentheses afterward. Use the introduction paragraph to expand on the designers if need be.
  • engine: Add a link to the engine used by the game.
  • version: Add the latest version to this field. This is meant for games that get usually downloadable updates.
  • players: Add the number of players. Don't add the modes field if this one is used.
  • ratings: Using ratings templates, add any ratings the game has received from official organizations.
  • modes: Add links to any modes for the game. Don't add the players field if this one is used.
  • media: Put any non-standard media on which the game can be played here. Don't add standard media here – a player would know that Nintendo 64 games come on a cartridge, for example.
  • input: Put any non-standard input here, such as alternate controls and accessories. Don't add standard inputs here – a player would know that computers use keyboards and the PlayStation 2 uses a controller.
  • requirements: Using the {{pcreq}} template, add relevant software and hardware considerations for computer games.
  • website: If there is an official website, the URL goes here in the form of [http://www.gamepage.com Official site]. This field is not for links to forums or retailers, but can be used for the original page where a flash game or online game is played.
  • expansion: If there are expansions to the game, list links to them here separated by <br /> tags.
  • series: If the game belongs to a series of games, put the series name here not inside a wikilink – this field is linked automatically.
  • preceded by: If the game is following a previous one from the same series, put a link to the previous one here.
  • followed by: If the game comes before a later one from the same series, put a link to the next one here.
Helpful templates
  • {{sys}}: Use this template to separate fields by system. For instance, if a game was released at different times on two separate systems, you would use {{sys|System one}} then the release dates for that system, followed by {{sys|System two}} then the second system's release dates.
  • {{co}}: Use this template to show which company developed or published the game for a particular system or region.
  • {{pcreq}}: Use this template in the requirements field to show nicely formatted requirements for computer games.
  • {{c}}: Use this template to link directly to categories when a plain wikilink doesn't get there. For example [[Racing]] goes to a guide page, while {{c|Racing}} goes to the category.
  • {{collapsible list}}: Use this template for overly long fields, such as release dates, ratings or requirements when they create too much whitespace on the page.
  • {{sys/nocat}}, {{co/nocat}} and {{rd/nocat}}: Use these templates to show information for systems, companies and release dates, respectively, while not automatically categorizing the page. Useful when there is a categorized redirect to the page.

Text[edit]

Unlike in individual guide pages, when writing the lead and plot synopsis for a main game page, use a third-person voice and include links to other pages on the wiki. This means you should refer to a "player" instead of saying "you", and link to the first instance of companies, dates, other games, etc. All links use no extra formatting, meaning don't use italics or bold when linking to other games.

Each page should start out with a lead, which immediately follows the {{infobox}} and any optional templates, such as {{game disambig}} or {{marquee}}. The subject of the article should be mentioned in bold text (not bold and italicised text as on Wikipedia) in the first sentence of the introduction. It is also important to list any alternate names in bold, as those names should redirect to the page and need to be easily identified by anyone who was searching by them. Use the {{nihongo}} template to format the addition of a Japanese title and include a link to Wikipedia's help page on Japanese.

The first paragraph clearly explains the history and development of the game, much of which is simply a written version of what is contained in the infobox. If there is anything notable or unusual about the production of the game, or you can provide a higher level of detail than the infobox, this is the place to put it. The information in the lead is mainly for meta information on the game, meaning very little or nothing about gameplay or plot.

The next section of writing, separated from the lead by the {{Continue Nav}}, is for a plot synopsis or overview on the game's mechanics. This section should include no spoilers, and is meant to inform readers who may have no idea what the game is about. This is not the place to divulge what happens in the game, but merely information on the game's "universe" or backstory so that a reader can understand what the game is about.

Images[edit]

Box artwork goes in the infobox, and should be at least 250px wide to prevent stretching. Also ensure that the cover image includes no watermarks, no borders and no "pending" rating symbols. Box art should also present a directly faced image, meaning it shouldn't be a 3-D box shown at an angle. Game logos and artwork are not acceptable substitutes for box artwork when a box for the game exists. If the game was never released in physical form, or never in a box, make sure the artwork chosen is official – either a logo, welcome screen or start screen. For games that are released on multiple systems, it is unimportant which version of the cover you use, as long as the actual artwork is the same. This means you can use the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 or Windows version of the cover, as long as the only differences are logos and symbols on top of the artwork. When this is the case, do not upload multiple versions. If no one has uploaded box art for the infobox yet, leave the parameter blank so the guide is categorized under Pages needing box artwork.

For extra images not being used in the infobox, include them in a <gallery> between the plot synopsis and the {{ToC}} template. Images to include here are actual alternative covers (meaning the art is different, not the systems/developers/ratings/etc.), flyers, screenshots, or other interesting images. Don't go overboard with these, as they still need to add something to the reader's understanding of the game to comply with fair use.

Categories[edit]

For more details on categorizing, see StrategyWiki:Guide/Categorization.

Most of the categories by which a main game page should be categorized, are found in the infobox. Categories go below all the visible content on the page, usually just below the {{ToC}} template or series nav, if it exists. Categories are added by putting [[Category:Category name]]. You will then see the category at the bottom of the page after you save the page or use Show preview.

To be systematic, so you don't miss any and others can easily verify they're all there, simply go down the fields of the infobox and add applicable categories. The following should be added if they're in the infobox (if they apply but aren't in the infobox, go ahead and add them!):

  • Developers
  • Publishers
  • Genres
  • Systems
  • Distributors
  • Engines
  • Modes

There are two fields which you don't have to worry about: release dates and series. In the case of the former, you should only be using release date templates, and they all automatically categorize by year and date. The series field automatically inserts the series category through the infobox template. Finally, the Games category is also added to the page, through the Header Nav template.

Some of the helpful templates used in the infobox will also add categories for you. These are the {{sys}}, {{co}} and {{series disambig}} templates. When using these templates, don't also add categories manually, as they're redundant. On the other hand, if you need to show system and/or company information without adding a category, use the {{sys/nocat}} and {{co/nocat}} templates. (There's no logical reason to use the {{series disambig}} template without also adding the category.)

Be sure to use Show preview to look at the categories being added before saving. Many of the wikilinks used in the infobox redirect to categories with different names. For instance [[Commodore 64]] redirects to Category:Commodore 64/128. Categories themselves are never redirected, so you must put the exact category name in category tags.

Redirects[edit]

In the case of main game pages, having many redirects to the page can be very helpful. Alternate names that don't have their own guides always get redirected. It's also a good idea to redirect common abbreviations and acronyms, such as [[Uncharted 2]] or [[FF7]]. Names not to redirect are misspellings. When making redirects, always be careful not to redirect something ambiguous to one guide over another. For instance, a general term like "tree" shouldn't necessarily redirect to Magical Tree, Money Tree or The Tree Stones. It's also unnecessary to create redirects with uncapitalized versions of game names, as the wiki redirects on its own when all lowercase is used in the search box.

In some cases, you'll need to categorize the redirect. In this case, you'll put categories below the redirect just like you do on the game main page. Redirects to main game pages only need categories if the game was released under that name by different companies, for different systems or at different times. Categorized redirects need all the same categories as the main game page, as well as Category:Games.

The purpose of categorized redirects is to get the redirect's name into the proper categories. For instance, if a game was released as Game A on the PlayStation and as Game B on the GameCube, and the main game page was going to reside at Game A, Game B would need the GameCube category on its redirect, or it wouldn't show up in the GameCube category. If Game A got the GameCube category, then Game A would show up when it was never released for GameCube under that name. To still display information about Game B on Game A's page, you can use {{sys/nocat}}, {{co/nocat}} and {{rd/nocat}}, which won't put those categories on Game A's page.

Single-page vs. multi-page[edit]

All StrategyWiki guides have either a single-page or multi-page layout. A platform game with a few levels may be simple enough to cover on a single page, while a strategy game or RPG will usually require many pages. The advantage of the wiki format is that any number of pages can be added and removed as the guide evolves from basic notes into a heavily detailed resource.

Single-page[edit]

A single-page guide contains all its information on the main game page under multiple sections. In this case, the {{Continue Nav}} and {{ToC}} templates aren't used. The single-page layout covers absolutely everything on a single page. Such games might include:

If the game can be feasibly covered in full on a single page, add the onepage=true variable to {{Header Nav}}; this will disable the Walkthrough and Table of Contents links that appear by default. Boxing is an example of a single-page guide.

Multi-page[edit]

Multi-page guides are most often used, as ubiquitous game elements such as controls, characters, cheat codes, etc. usually get their own pages. The guides for such games contain tables of contents and multiple individual pages, all of which are sub-paged from the main game page like so: Game Name/Page name. The multi-page layout starts with the main game page and can feature any number of sub-pages, each of which focuses on a single aspect of the game. Such games include:

If the game is too complex to feasibly be covered on a single page it will need a table of contents linking to all the sub-pages it encompasses. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney is an example of a multi-page guide.